Jenny stood on a small platform while the dressmaker made final adjustments to the lace overlay of her wedding gown.
Her mother, Geri Henderson, watched from the other side of the fitting room. Seated on a comfortable chair, she pulled out her cell phone.
“Well?” Jenny asked nervously.
“You look divine,” Geri reassured her. “I really didn’t think the pink underneath would work – but you were right. I love it.”
Lita, the dressmaker, stood up and rubbed her back. She checked all the loose sewing pins were safely back in her crystal container.
Turning and twisting in front of the mirror, Jenny checked her ice pink shoes matched her satin under-dress exactly. The one inch heels felt comfortable and secure.
“The worst thing I can imagine is tripping on the way up the aisle. On the plus side: my wonderful, handsome groom will look even taller beside me. Perfect!” Jenny thought happily.
“It has been such a pleasure to work with you,” Lita told Geri and Jenny. “Most brides come in with either no idea what they want, or demand something impossible. I hope you will let me use your idea for my designs. Pure white dresses seem to be going out of fashion. This is a great alternative. A little color underneath, and the traditional lace on top. Beautiful.”
Jenny stretched her arms over her head as Lita, carefully lifted off the lace.
Geri pressed the speed dial for her husband’s office phone. She wanted to assure him they would be on time for lunch. Just as Al picked up, Jenny sighed deeply and said,
“I wish it was time for -,”
The end of her wish was drowned out by Lita’s scream. The dressmaker threw her hands up, tossing her sewing pins into the air as Jenny started to fade away until Lita could see through her, and then Jenny disappeared completely like a chalk drawing washed away in a rain storm.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO –,” Geri cried, dropping the phone and rushing to the empty platform.
The pins danced in the air reflecting the sunlight coming through the high windows. One by one they winked out like fireworks dying before they reached the ground.
In his office, Al sat with his hands over his face.
By the time Al arrived at the dressmakers, Geri and Lita were drinking tea, and wishing it were something stronger.
“No, I don’t want tea,” Al insisted. “What I want is my daughter here and all this nonsense to be over.Normalwould be lovely! A mundane and boring life would be even better!”
“Well, I am sure she will show up on her wedding day. I can’t imagine any other time she would wish for.” Geri tried to sound sensible and calm.
“She may come back on the fifteenth, but it won’t be her wedding day. I said it and I meant it. If she couldn’t hold her tongue this time, and wait for the date like anyone else – there would be no wedding.”
“But –,” Geri started.
“But – nothing,” Al replied angrily. “We are not doing all the work while she slides along into the future. What? You are going to take another week off work to make sure the flowers are done, the bridesmaids are all perfect, and a zillion other things that need to be done that I don’t even understand? And then she just shows up to enjoy everything?
“Not this time. She made her decision when she opened her mouth. She’s too old to be so careless. I told her how it was. No wedding.”
Geri wiped off her tears and tried to calm down. Although she was willing to complete all the wedding arrangements for her only daughter, she accepted her husband was right. Jenny knew she needed to stay in the present. Geri understood how difficult life could be, waiting for Christmas, summer holidays, birthdays and especially your wedding, but other people managed to live through the time, and Jenny needed to learn how to manage it too.
“Shall I save the dress?” Lita asked.
“Save everything,” Geri replied, after Al nodded to her. “We never know what the future will bring.”