When Willa’s offered a job as a professional bridesmaid, she seizes the chance to save up and leave the memories of her cheating fiancé and best friend in the rearview. Developing a friendship with the bride—and a flirtation with the hotshot best man—is not part of her exit strategy. Now she must decide if some people just might be worth sticking around for.
I never envisioned myself as a twenty-nine-year-old children’s birthday-party performer, but here I am. Princess effing Sparkleheart. The effing is silent. Squeezing myself into a Goodwill-clearance-bin ball gown that itches severely, I look like a walking bottle of Pepto Bismol.
Once upon a time, I was someone else. Everybody was. Before my idol Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the Supreme Court’s resident badass, for example, she was just a girl from Brooklyn with big dreams and a bowl cut. Before Meghan Markle met Prince Harry, she was a B-list actress who got her start as a briefcase girl on Let’s Make a Deal. But unlike Ruth and Meghan, whose glow-ups transformed them from ordinary people into aspirational figures, my transformation went in the opposite direction.
Weekends as Willa Callister—blogger, adventurous social media “it girl”, and fiancée to Max—are a thing of the past.
Today’s gig is Chloe Wellington’s sixth birthday party, the social event of the summer for Columbus’s under-ten set. It literally says so on the invitation, a thick piece of white stationery covered in pressed rose petals that each guest had to display before entering. Chloe’s backyard garden party, complete with rows of sparkling fairy lights and a shitload of mason jar centerpieces, is a Pinterest board come to life.
Chloe herself, a wiry, gap-toothed kid sporting a fuchsia dress and a tiara I suspect might have actual diamonds in it, is a total asshole.