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"Sorry, dude. I need to give it back to Barb."

"Come on, man, Barb already used it, she doesn't need it anymore."

"Sorry, Deron. I'm much more afraid of Barb than I am of you." Kip passed me back the pen and I placed it triumphantly in my purse after shooting a poor-sport, gloating smile to Deron, as if I were 10 years old and he was one of my sisters.

The next morning, with David safely engrossed in his own work, I retired to my office, where I had hidden my purse after we'd returned from the reception. I closed the door behind me and danced over to my desk. One by one, I unpacked my treasures and lined them up side by side in front of me: a colorful origami crane with my name on it (used to mark my seat at the dining table), a silver bell with a purple ribbon (which we rang whenever we wanted the couple to kiss), a tiny veil (obtaining this was quite a coup; it was the only one at our table), a box of chocolates (the parting gift to every guest), and one red pen. What a great wedding , I thought.

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