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Love and friendship (Rhode Island-style)

An excerpt from Sarah Rainone's new novel, Love Will Tear Us Apart , in which six friends let the music do the talking
By SARAH RAINONE  |  May 22, 2009

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In this chapter, “Sunglasses At Night,” set at an Irish-Italian wedding in Rhode Island, bridesmaid Alex Rossi, who arrives at the ceremony a half-hour late because she’d been up all night, reminisces about the beginning of her “friendship” with the bride.

Cort is whispering something to me but she's trying to be all respectful or whatever so I can't make out what she's saying.

— What? What?

— Your sunglasses, she says, loud enough this time that I can hear her. They're, um . . . She raises her eyes and tilts her chin ever so slightly upward, and I realize that my elegant Chanels are sitting on top of my head in a most inelegant way. I slip them off and let them fall from my fingers onto my bag though, of course, they slide off and land on the floor with a clack that can be heard throughout the church.

READAn interview with Sarah Rainone

Will someone please kill me? Like, now?

I mean, seriously . . . what am I doing here? I shouldn't even be at the wedding, let alone in the wedding party. And Lea knows it. I mean, God, look at her smiling and staring into Danny's eyes and acting all perfect just like she always does, when anyone who's taken the time to get to know her as well as I have knows what a total bitch she really is. Oh, sure, she'll be nice to your face, but the second you walk away she'll tell whoever will listen your deepest darkest secrets — just ask Shawn how it felt when Lea told the whole school that he was gay just cause he wasn't interested in her dirty hippie friend. I mean, sure, anyone with half a brain could have figured out Shawn was gay, but back then he was trying to, you know, like, survive high school without being murdered by someone on the hockey team and why Lea had to go blabbing it to everyone when I told her she couldn't tell anyone, I'll never know. He wouldn't talk to me for, like, a month after that—and all because Lea couldn't keep her big fat mouth shut.

She must know how I really feel about her, right? I mean, it's not like I've been discreet. And she must have other people she could have asked to be in her wedding party. I mean, she surely has other cousins, college friends — fucking manicurists — a hell of a lot nicer and more responsible than me, so I don't really buy her line that she wanted everyone in the wedding party who wasn't family to be old friends, dear friends. The only reason I'm up here is because she couldn't resist showing me that she won or teaching me a lesson or whatever. And you know what? Fine. I give up. She, like, totally beat me, once again. She got the perfect boyfriend, I mean, husband, and they're going to have the perfect life together, and not only that, but she gets to parade me, the loser, up in front of the whole world to see, just in case anyone had any doubt about whether or not she was the victor.

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