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Authors: Shelly Bell

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A Year to Remember

BOOK: A Year to Remember
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Table of Contents






New York





Cover Design by Rae Monet, Inc.


This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, business establishments, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the priority written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.


The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.


Published in the United States of America by

Soul Mate Publishing

P.O. Box 24

Macedon, New York, 14502


ISBN-13: 978-1-61935-075-5

ISBN-10: 1-61935-075-0

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.


To compulsive overeaters and

food addicts still suffering, there is another way.

May you find it now.


Thank you to Deborah Gilbert for taking a chance on my book and to Rae Monet for the beautiful cover. Thanks to Melanie, Miriam, and Mom for providing encouragement. Special thanks to Romance Writers of America, especially the Greater Detroit Chapter for all your advice and inspiration. To Angela and my Ferndale friends, thank you for listening and sharing. And last but never least, thank you to my soul mate, Jason, for supporting my dream and keeping our children distracted.


FEBRUARY 25, 2013



The cameras’ brilliant lights blinded me, while the roar of my racing pulse hindered my ability to identify any of the voices barking instructions from all around me. As the stylist rushed to complete the last minute touches to my hair and makeup, a reassuring voice reminded me to breathe. I held out my hand to her, but they ordered me not to move, and I felt compelled to listen.

This past year, fate mocked me, leading me down a winding and confusing path, instead of the envisioned yellow brick road. I challenged my destiny every step of the way, until the day I learned to completely let go.

The music began playing, my cue to get ready. I took comfort in the knowledge somewhere nearby, he waited for me.

It’s hard to believe how much can change in one year.

It’s hard to believe how much did change in one year.

The day I waited for had finally arrived.


FEBRUARY 25, 2012






“Do you think your brother intentionally chose to get married on your birthday?” Missy asked as we dressed for the wedding.

I shook my head, careful not to mess my hair. “Seth said this was the only day he and Emily could get the Rabbi they wanted.”

Once upon a time, I fantasized about walking down the aisle to marry a handsome prince. He would whisk me away to his castle and pamper me for the rest of my life, grateful to have won me at last. In the dream, I resembled Snow White, with a twenty-two inch waist and perfect black hair that never frizzed. My name would change from Sara Friedman to Princess Sara of Dorchester, although I’d be addressed as “Your Highness.”

As I grew older, I fantasized about walking down the aisle to marry a Jewish attorney, who would whisk me away to his mansion and pamper me for the rest of my life, grateful to have won me at last. In this dream, he didn’t care that I didn’t have a twenty-two inch waist or perfect hair. My name would change from Sara Friedman to Sara Greenberg of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Boca Raton, Florida.

Now, on my twenty-ninth birthday, I’d settle for eloping in Vegas at a twenty-four hour drive-thru chapel to a heterosexual, monogamous man who would shack up with me in my two-bedroom condo, grateful to have a woman to support him.

To say I lost hope of finding “Mr. Right” and living “happily ever after” would be an understatement. Out in the dating world for fifteen long years, I haven’t gotten close to meeting a man I’d consider sharing my life and bank account with on a permanent basis.

Everyone, including me, assumed I would marry before my brother, Seth. After all, I’m almost two years older than him and about ten years more mature. Seth played the field and hadn’t had a steady girlfriend since high school. At least I’d suffered through a few long-term relationships over the years. Of course, they always fizzled out before the possibility of marriage entered the equation.

Before today, I had very high standards, and I refused to date just anyone. I didn’t understand why I needed go on a date to get to know someone with undesirable qualities. I’ve never been one to compromise, but look where my high standards have gotten me.

A bridesmaid at my younger brother’s wedding.



No prospects in sight.

Plus, it didn’t help I’ve always been fat, sometimes weighing as much as two hundred and fifty pounds. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard I should settle for anyone who would have me. My family couldn’t understand why I didn’t continue dating Mike, a nice but boring biology major with the worst case of halitosis on record. Or Harry, appropriately named for his hirsute body, hair sticking out of the collar of his shirts and hanging off his hands like a werewolf.

Silly me, I thought after I lost some weight I’d have a better selection of men, but maybe I waited too long because I swear the only men I meet these days are married, gay, or married and gay.

And those were the good ones.

But finding his soul mate had come easily for Seth. He met Emily in graduate school in New York and after a six month whirlwind courtship, they announced their engagement. Now after a six month engagement, they were getting married.

On the bright side, because I didn’t have a date for my own brother’s wedding, I convinced him to let me bring Missy as my “plus one.” Practically family anyway, she’s been my best friend since kindergarten.

Missy and I became friends as we sat in the hallway outside our respective classrooms for a “time out.” My teacher caught me hitting some kid who teased me, and Missy yelled the word “shit” when she stubbed her toe on her desk. Sitting unsupervised for five minutes, we discovered we had a lot in common. From that point on, we were inseparable.

I used to dream Missy would marry my brother, but the dream died when she revealed to me in eleventh grade that she preferred women.

Earlier today, Missy reminded me of the potential to pick up someone at a wedding. But other than Caleb, Seth’s friend from New York, no marriageable men were coming. Of course, he had a date.

“How do I look?” Missy twirled around in her sleeveless black Lycra dress.

A size two and drop dead gorgeous, Missy never had a problem finding a date. Yet, she chose to play the field, never getting serious with any particular woman.

“Fabulous as usual. Can you help me get back into my dress?” I literally needed help due to the amount of Spanx I wore to suck in my problem areas.

I wore one to suck in my thighs, butt, and lower stomach and another to confine my breasts, muffin top, and back fat. Then, I wore pantyhose over it. I wouldn’t be able to bend over, eat, or possibly breathe all night, but at least I’d appear a size smaller.

I panicked when Emily first asked me to be a bridesmaid. I’ve always thought the sole purpose of a bridesmaid dress is to ensure no one looked better than the bride. Luckily, my future sister-in-law decided the bridesmaids could wear their own dresses, as long as it was navy and the hem fell below the knee.

I chose a silk dress which covered the fattest part of my arms and showed a good amount of cleavage, my best feature if I do say so myself.

Since Seth had hired a professional photographer to take family photos, my parents paid for me to get my hair, nails, and makeup done. Emily hired a few beauticians to come to the synagogue and work their magic on the bridal party. I don’t normally wear makeup, but I didn’t want to be the only bridesmaid with a naked face.

When I saw the girl, who later introduced herself as Ophelia, with her blue Mohawk, black lipstick, and hooped eyebrow piercing, I almost changed my mind about the whole thing. My mother convinced me if I didn’t like it, I could always wash it off and do my own makeup.

As it turned out, Ophelia did work magic. She added a thick layer of mascara to my lashes making my brown eyes seem bigger. Then, she waxed my eyebrows, so instead of having bushy Brooke Shields eyebrows, they arched in the sophisticated style of Angelina Jolie. My nonexistent lips normally disappeared on my face, but Ophelia used a dark brown lip liner and filled in my lips with a matte burgundy, creating the illusion I had full lips like Renee Zellwegger after a collagen injection.

Somehow, Ophelia even managed to make my unruly black hair behave. As I explained the dangers of hairspray to the ozone layer, she tamed my hair with massive amounts of non-aerosol hairspray and mousse and pulled back the sides with rhinestone barrettes. It would probably frizz by the end of the night, but at least it looked good for the pictures.

She really earned her overpriced pay when she added acrylic to the short bitten nubs of what I refer to as my nails. Long but functional, square but slightly rounded, I had beautiful nails for the first time in my life. I kept glancing at my hands in awe, as if they belonged to someone else.

Too bad I didn’t have a diamond ring to wear.

Just as Missy zipped my dress, the door to the dressing room opened and Goldman, my brother’s Best Man, peeked his head inside. “Your mom sent me to get you guys. We’re meeting for the
and you and I have to sign the

Adam Goldman and my brother became friends in middle school, when they got into a fight and my brother sat on him. Apparently that’s all guys have to do to make friends.

BOOK: A Year to Remember
3.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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