Learning to Trust

*Sequel to Different From the Rest*
Kady is grown up now. She is now eighteen, a far cry from fourteen. There is no One Direction, if you asked your kids about them they'd be like "are you high again?" Kady's stutter is long gone, but the fears from it will never surrender. Being alone, forgotten, useless. Mainly she can't trust, anyone, not others around her, not herself. She makes a mistake that can't be fixed, and must go on with her life. Kady has to learn that you must leave the past behind you before you can move forward and not all mountains can be moved. It's a bowl of cherries, with a few-no many, nuts thrown in.

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12. Toasts

We arrive at the beach and it's about four o'clock, mid-evening. Liam and I are the last to arrive, but everyone is still looking at the seating chart and eating snacks. 
"All of these look so good," I say and my stomach growls. 
"Sorry, we forgot the pancakes," says Liam. 
"How could you do that to the Pancake Monster?" I ask laughing. Just another one of our old inside jokes. 
"Kady, I said you'd be fine, and you look better than okay to me!" says El with Lou behind her. 
"Congrats again mate," Lou said patting Liam's back, "and you look as gorgeous as always Mrs. Payne."
Wow, that name has a nice ring to it, Kady Payne. I fill up my plate with strawberries when I see a chocolate fountain. 
"Li, you got us a chocolate fountain?" I squealed, cutting off whatever Lou was saying. 
"Yup, maybe you'll be the chocolate monster after tonight!" I rush over to the heavenly goodness. Oh, maybe I shouldn't have it, I want my baby to be healthy. But it's one night, it can't hurt. I drizzle three of my berries with the chocolate. I leave the rest of my strawberries bare. I go back to join Lou, Eleanor, and Li's conversation, "why did Niall even date Valerie in the first place?"
"Because he must have seen something in her that none of us sees," says Lou. 
"Let's change the topic," I say. I'm in no mood to talk about Valerie. Plus, I think all this Valerie stuff makes Niall uncomfortable, right now he's at his table and Greg is with him, though it isn't Greg's table. I walk over slowly and I take a seat next to Niall. 
"Lou's sitting there," he says with a distant voice. 
"I know, and he's over there talking to El and Lou. And I sit right there," I point to a few chairs over at the same table. This table is for me and Li with our bridesmaids and groomsmen. Greg excuses himself and goes to get a drink. Niall avoids eye contact with me, but I speak anyway, "Is this about Valerie?"
"Maybe."
"Come on, it was her loss that she can't have a great guy like you."
"Do you want to know the real reason why I dated her? If you don't, then too bad, I'm saying it anyway. I always hated Valerie, but I don't want to grow up and be lonely. I'm running out of time to be married, so I took any girl I could get," he says putting his hands in his face. I see the three looking at us, but I keep coaxing Niall, "For heaven's sake, you were in the One Direction! On a scale of one to ten, your a thirteen! Do you not remember thousands of girls screaming your name every night at concerts? I was one of those girls. Any of those girls plus more would be happy to let you in if you gave them the chance."
"Do you really think so?"
"I know so my little Nialler."
"I'm sorry, this is your wedding, what can I do to make it up to you?"
"Just sing with the rest of the boys and find a real girl you love, not one that just came off the Jersey Shore."
"Thank you," he says hugging me. I hug him back, then I return to Liam. 
"Is Niall okay?"
"Yea, he's just mad about Valerie still and he thinks he'll grow up to be lonely."
Liam nods his head, he is one of the few that truly understands Niall. We walk back over to our table, and Niall seems like himself again. Now, the toasts start. First, it's Anthony, oh great. I wish it was my father giving this speech, but oh well. He goes up on the stage thing and he taps on his glass over the sounds of the waves crashing into the sand. After a few seconds, everyone is paying attention. 
"I know Kady would much rather have her father giving this speech, and I do too, but I feel honored to be giving a speech. See, I've known her mother since high school and we have always been friends, so I got the pleasure of watching Kady grow up. I came over about every two weeks. One of my most vivid memories of her was having tea parties in her room when she was six. I had to put on a boa and tiara, I was supposed to look like some sort of Bigfoot princess. She always made me treats out of her Easybake oven and used apple juice as tea. 'Pinkie up' she would always remind me. Then it became 'elbows off the table!', 'sit up straight!' and 'you have more wrinkles than a rino!' Then, she was obsessed with celebrity males through her tween and teen years. It was the Jonas Brothers, then Zac Efron, then Justin Bieber, then Cody Simpson, then Austin Mahone, then Hunter Hayes, I could be here all day. Then one day, I walked into her room and she was taking down her pictures of Ashton Kutcher and putting a new, young band. I asked her 'how long will this one last?' she surprised me and said, 'it's different this time.' I never even dreamed of giving her away to one of those boys on the posters, but I'm glad it's him, he makes my little Kady happy."
He steps off the stage and everyone claps. 
"Really, Zac Efron?" asks Peyton. 
"Excuse me, but he happened to be very attractive in High School Musical," I joke. Peyton stands up next, smoothing out her white dress. She sashays up to the stage and adjusts the microphone, "Hi, for those of you who don't know me, I'm Peyton List, Kady's Maid of Honor. Now, my speeches aren't great, so I'm just warning you. I have known Kady since we were twelve when we met at a party. At that time, I was working on a Disney show and Kady just made it onto the reserve list for the 2016 Olympics. Now I'm going to shut up about that because Kady hates when I talk about it. We exchanged numbers, then the two of us were the best of friends. My point is, I feel so lucky to have had Kady trust me all these times. I was actually the first person that knew about her dating Liam, and when they got back together, besides her family of coarse. She always told me she'd never get married and have kids. This is the day I get to say I told you so! She just got married to this hunk, Liam Payne and she's pregnant with her first child. Maybe I can get Niall! I know this is a really short speech, but it means a lot to people for different reasons."
She steps down and when she gets back to the table I hug her, "So, you have a thing for Niall?"
"That was a joke!"
"Mhm."
"Okay, maybe it wasn't so much of a joke."

Niall now walks up to the microphone, "Hello my little potatoes! So this man, right there, just got married to a fan! OMG, contact Perez Hilton, it's worse than when Ashton Kutcher told us being smart is the sexiest thing at the Teen Choice Awards in 2013! Anyway, I always thought Li would be the first to be married, but I guessed wrong. And for you potatoes wondering, Louis told me to say that. When Liam first told me he and Kady were an item, I think my brain blasted out of my ears. Kady was one of our best friends, and she was just a fan that we met on the road. Li then said to me 'she's different than the other girls, she will never go down without a fight and I admire that.' My first thought was, those teen magazines are going to kill you! She's like six years younger than you. Liam then pointed out Caroline Flack and I'm like man, how many doctors are we goin to take you to? Somehow, for like five months, they kept their relationship private. Then they grew apart and reconnected nine months later. Then, just as they started dating, the rumors came out I was the one dating Kady. Yea, you potatoes must love my life stories, but it'll make more sense later. Liam freaked, then Kads said she was dating Liam and there goes the gossip rumor mill. My point is, Kady has taught me so many lessons, how to be kind and, you don't have to like everyone. Interesting fact, Kady doesn't like anyone, I dumped her with cold water and she yells because 'it's cold.' But mainly, she gives the best advice. And now, I cannot think of another person better than her for Li."
Everyone claps, and I can't help but smiling from ear to ear. Liam whispers in my ear, "He's not wrong." Niall sits down next to Liam and he mouths thank you. 

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