There had to be another way.
Why was your brother absent from the wedding? he asked her.She didn’t bother to look up from her food as she answered. He is still at Eton. My parents did not think he should be removed from school for such a small celebration.
But all of your cousins were there.You had no family in attendance, she countered.There were reasons for that, but he wasn’t prepared to go into them now.
And at any rate, Iris continued, that wasn’t all of my cousins.Good Lord, how many of you are there?
Her lips pinched together. She was trying not to smile. I have thirty-four first cousins.
He stared at her. It was an incomprehensible number.It’s not that I wasn’t excited about getting to Valentina’s—she was the only person who’d ever really understood exactly who I was. No, it was the fifteen hundred miles that stood between here and there that had me down.
I checked my reflection in the antique mirror hanging on the wall. The demands and expectations I’d endured had left a serious mark on me, and had apparently started me down the path of early aging. Twenty-eight was far too young to feel so beat down.Nothing a little West Coast sunshine won’t clear up.
With my fresh start so close, I hated the idea of any more delays.It’s too bad one of them was such a jerk, I added. They’re not too bad to look at.