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wedding song by mpeonies

21 Mar

Amy could not help but wonder if she was making a mistake. Her dress was beautifully laced and ornate, painted the delicate shade of white that she had always dreamt of. A few doors away, there was a room filled with violet and white freesias awaiting. It was a near embodiment of her perfect wedding.

And yet, the tune of Bryan Adams’ Everything I Do would not leave her mind. It would be playing at the ceremony. It was her husband’s choice, and he had declared that he would make that decision, as Amy had already gone as far as to make the rest. But Amy had always hoped it would be Celine Dion’s Because You Loved Me, the melodious and profound voice soothing the crowd of people.

She shuffled back and forth across the lush red carpet, being careful not to drag the bottoms of her dress. Occasionally, she stomped her feet and shook her head dramatically, as if trying to knock the song out of her mind.

“No no no. Because you loved me! It has to be that!” she exclaimed. “What is he thinking? How can he make such an important decision and fail so badly? It’s simple! Celine Dion!”She rammed her white heel into the carpet, only to have it slide and slip. Falling on her behind, she pulled on the ends of her hair and began to let out quiet cries.

Amy turned to glare into a tall mirror behind her, when the sudden sight of a little girl in a pink dress startled her. A bouquet of flowers was plopped within the girl’s tiny, plump hands. She was giggling, slowly tilting her head to the side, as if in deep thought.

“And my mommy calls me spoiled.”

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peacekeeping by phoenix.writing

14 Mar

Lisa darted around the corner, flying down the corridor as fast as her ridiculous shoes would allow, and saw what she’d been looking for.

The ladies’ room.

She darted inside, wishing that this place wasn’t so damn fancy so that the room had an actual door.  Preferably with a deadbolt, the kind which you could turn in an emergency.

She reminded herself that she was on her best behaviour and not supposed to be causing any incidents.  They were trying to keep it together enough for the evening to be salvaged.

Which was, of course, why Lisa was hiding in the bathroom instead of stomping on Ian’s instep right before she kneed him in the groin.

Not very discreet, that.

Probably hard to accomplish in this dress, too.

She stared at herself in the mirror.  She was stuck here in this hideous dress that was a colour that no one could possibly like—whoever’d said it was the perfect colour for a spring wedding was out of their damn mind—being chased by a man that no one could possibly like who had drunk too much alcohol and was even less likeable than he had been when he was sober.

And she was doing it for someone who wasn’t even here.

It was sort of like the blind date from hell.

She heard the sound of drunken pursuit and narrowly resisted the urge to start banging her head against the wall.  Her updo was too expensive for that, and the pain was unlikely to help.

It looked like she was going to have to try to knock him out after all.

“Psst.”

She looked over and found that a girl was beckoning to her from one of the stalls.

She looked to be about thirteen or fourteen, with straight dark hair and big blue eyes.

“In,” she instructed.  “I’ll take care of the Hulk.”

Lisa had had a little to drink, needing the liquor to make this almost bearable and prevent herself from just giving up and ducking out.  But she had been reasonably certain up to this moment that she wasn’t drunk.

Of course, Ian was kind of big and hulk-like….

The girl looked at her with exasperation.  “Come on, we haven’t got all day.”

Really, it was no stranger than anything else that had happened today.

She headed into the stall, the girl urging her to climb up on the toilet seat so that her feet weren’t showing.  Lisa locked herself in, slipped off her shoes so that she didn’t fall and break her neck, and then did as suggested.

She gritted her teeth as she balanced on the toilet seat.

Amy owed her so much for this.

There was the sound of running water, but Lisa couldn’t see what was going on without risking some part of her being visible.  It was impossible not to know when Ian arrived, however, because he bellowed.

“Lisa!”

The sound of water ceased.

“Are you aware that you’re in the ladies’ bathroom?”

Lisa’s lip curled up involuntarily.  The amount of disdain and condescension in the tone was impressive.  She could envision Ian looking round himself in confusion.

“Lisa!  Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

Lisa had to resist the urge to hit her head against the wall again.

“Are you talking about the woman in the salmon dress?”

There was silence for a moment, and Lisa could envision the eye roll from the girl before she repeated, “The woman in the pink dress?”

“Lisa!”

Drunken recognition at its finest.

“She went the other way,” the girl told him.  “Popped in here to get a drink of water, but said she wanted some exercise, so she’s taking the long way back to the ballroom.”  A beat of silence.  “You’d better get going if you want to catch up with her.”

Crossing her fingers, Lisa hoped, for once, that he was as drunk and stupid as he had been behaving all evening.

“Thanks, squirt.”

Lisa breathed a sigh of relief as it grew silent outside.

“I think it’s safe to come out now.”

She emerged from the stall, putting her shoes back on reluctantly; they looked great.  Unfortunately, they were the same colour as the dress, and she’d been wearing them for hours.

“Thanks,” she said with a smile.  “I owe you one.”

The girl shrugged carelessly.  “No problem.  You’ve been at it for hours, and he is clearly a loser.”

“Definitely not at his best while drunk,” Lisa agreed diplomatically, though privately, she’d thought he was a bit of an ass before the drinking had started.

“Don’t know why Uncle Dave is friends with him.”

Ah.  That explained the girl’s presence—and made Lisa lucky that she hadn’t been turned in forthwith.  Some of David’s family hadn’t been taking the desertion of the bride so well.  And with her gone, those salmon-coloured bridesmaids made obvious targets.

“Perhaps David simply hasn’t seen how he behaves in ladies’ washrooms,” Lisa suggested.

The girl cracked a grin.  “There is that.”

“I’d better get back out there.  Make sure no one’s started throwing cake at one another again.”

“Good luck.”

“Thanks.”

She headed back to the ballroom.  She understood the purpose of the open bar, she really did.  It would have been an open bar anyway, and now, with most of the guests either confused or pissed, it made doubly as much sense.  It gave them something to do now that there was nothing to celebrate.  The small group of them who were still celebrating the actual outcome were smart enough not to do so loudly, and Stacey had drafted the whole group of them to be peacekeepers.

No one had ever told Lisa that saying yes to being a bridesmaid could land her in a gig like this.

But she’d personally broken up one food fight and three verbal sparring matches, averted impending disaster with fourteen trips to the bar and thirteen walks outside—thank god for the mild weather—and got seven people on their way back to their hotel rooms to sleep it off.  She’d also ensured that at least half the men who wanted dances on David’s side got them.  And so long as there was an open bar and an excuse to dance with a reasonably pretty woman—even if she was in a dreadful dress—that was apparently a good enough reason for most people to be here and keep the peace.

It had been working pretty well until Ian had decided that he had a protracted interest in her.  The groping on the dance floor had been bad enough, but there was really only so much Lisa would take, even in the name of trying to prevent Amy from getting disowned by her family.

It was nearing midnight now, so surely they were getting close to the period where they were allowed to call it quits, go home, climb out of the dress from hell, and pretend that none of this had ever happened.

But just looking at the ballroom now, she could see the salmon colour scattered throughout the room and knew that nobody else had given up, so she couldn’t do so either.  Not even if she was the only one who had been stuck with Ian to this annoying a degree.

She made it through thirty more minutes, dancing with men whose names she didn’t know, carting off several more towards their rooms, and smiling what she felt sure must be a grimace.

And then, of course, Ian found her again.  Breath that reeked of alcohol wafted past her cheek, and then she found herself wrapped in an embrace from behind.

“You run fast, little bunny.”

She twisted out of his arms, turning to face him and trying not to look quite as pissed as she felt.  She had kept it together all evening, and she really, really didn’t want to be responsible for a brawl.

He sidled closer.  “I just want to dance.”

Yeah, if by “dance”, you meant “grope, fondle, and pinch”.  There was no way Lisa was going through that again.

“Sorry,” she said.  “I’m all done for the night.”

He frowned at her, clearly having trouble processing this.  “Just one dance.”

She loved Amy and had a lot of respect for David, who’d behaved like a true gentleman through this whole debacle, but not even half a dance.

“No,” she said clearly and tried to get past him.

His hand closed over her arm, hard enough that she couldn’t wrench out of his grasp.  Hard enough that it was probably going to leave a bruise to go with the one that she was sure that he had already left from that pinch to her butt.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

She was going to have to hit him.  She had a vision of the other bridesmaids coming to her aid, a sudden swarm of salmon all over Ian.  It was going to be a disaster.

“I believe the lady said she didn’t want to dance.”

They both swung around to face the new voice, Ian’s look of anger melting into one of submission so fast, Lisa was astonished.

“Take a walk, and make sure it ends at your hotel room.”

For a moment, it looked as though the man was going to protest, but then he lumbered off without another word.

Lisa looked at her rescuer with some confusion.  Blue eyes, dark hair that was just starting to grey a bit at the temples.  Older than she and Ian, definitely, but probably only two thirds Ian’s size.

His expression indicated he wasn’t someone to mess with, but she’d thought that Ian was well past caring about that sort of thing.

The other man held out his hand gravely, and Lisa accepted it without thought and was soon waltzing about the room.  Unlike half the men who had stepped on her toes tonight, this particular man actually knew what he was doing—and didn’t look as though he’d gone near the bar, never mind actually drinking any alcohol.

“Thanks for that,” she said gratefully.  “I was afraid I was going to have to cause a scene.”

“I was told quite firmly that if I allowed the Hulk to get you, I would be in serious trouble.”

Lisa frowned at him, and then her brow cleared as she finally recognized those eyes.

“It looks as though I owe your family a great deal this evening.  I’m Lisa, by the way.”

“Daniel Arnsworth.”

Looking into those brilliant blue eyes, Lisa decided that maybe when Amy’s mom had prattled on about spring being a time for new beginnings, she hadn’t been totally wrong.

~

Links to Cold Feet and Motherhood

a room of her own by typicalquirk

15 Feb

Amy could not help but wonder if she was making a mistake. All of her life she had imagined this day. She had dreamed as a child about the white dress, the cake, and of course the chocolate brown and light blue wedding colours, and of course having the wedding on Valentine’s Day.

Phil was a great guy. Handsome, nice teeth, a financial analyst. Steady. Stable. Everything she thought she wanted. They had been together for eight years.

Last year while working at the government as a receptionist, Amy decided to take a night class to try to finish her English degree she had started in the late 90s. She was nervous to go back.

The only night class that piqued her interest was a feminist literature class. The first essay that she read was Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own.” She drank it up like it was water. It struck her. And yet at the end of the semester, she put the book that contained this essay back on the bookshelf that she shared with Phil and didn’t think about it again.

Until now. Now she couldn’t get the damn essay out of her head. It was teasing her. She shared a one bedroom condo in downtown Toronto with Phil. The location was amazing, the condo was adequate, and the neighbours kept out of her business. But she didn’t have a room of her own. Even her closet was shared with Phil. Her secrets were kept in a box behind the one pair of Jimmy Choo’s she bought herself when she got her bonus last year. Her cubicle at work was her own, but she was only allowed minimal personal effects.

She had thought she was happy, until she was sitting here in this room. This white room where many brides before her sat filled with hope. She didn’t feel hope. She felt her breathing quicken and her heart race. She pulled the notebook she always kept with her out of the bag she had brought with her to change. She ripped out a piece of paper and wrote a note:

Phil

I love you. This will seem cruel, but I really did not know today that this is not what I want. I don’t know what I want, but I will let you know when I figure it out.

All my love, Amy

Of course at this point she did not mean all her love, but that is how she signed every note for the last eight years. She needed to keep some of that love for herself. And she slipped out of her wedding dress, into her yoga pants, and out the door. She was going to find a room of her own.

the dress by parenthesized

15 Feb

Amy could not help but wonder if she was making a mistake.

Well, to be honest, she knew she had made a horrible decision.  She twisted and turned in front of the mirror, attempting to extricate herself from the bedazzled spectacle that was the dress.  Hideous would be a polite way of describing her right now.  She had accidentally drawn her eyeliner in tiny zig zags while her other hand was busily involved curling her hair into a ridiculous style that resembled a poodle.   Of course, all of this paled in comparison to the dress.  Oh, the dress…

Comprised of a tutu stolen from a budding ballerina and yards upon yards of tulle and taffeta, the dress engulfed her petite frame.  She was more dress than woman in the monstrosity.  At the time, she had jokingly acquiesced to the dress, only because it made her future mother-in-law despise her less.  Unfortunately, her scheme to switch the dress with one of her choice, a tasteful A-line with the tiniest bit of beading, failed utterly.  The clerk had made the wrong order; it was too late to change it, and she thought everything was ruined.

Amy sat in front of the mirror as her bridesmaids clustered around her, lying to her about how beautiful she looked in the dress.  She thinks that she literally snarled at them, but she was unsure if that was her imagination or not.  When she had raised the eyeliner pencil to her eye and they saw her shaking hand, they made attempts to do her makeup for her.

She snapped.

Amy jumped up and forced her way through her friends.  She sprinted to her car in the silly crystal shoes that matched the dress and wrestled herself and the tutu into the driver’s seat.  Once she cleared the layers of tulle from the mirrors, she pulled out of the parking lot and wound up here at Bridal Designs.  She was sitting twenty miles away from her wedding in a dressing room in an ugly dress while hysterically giggling.  The tiny part of her that still possessed reason was ordering her to go back because she loved Ian, and she wanted to marry him.  The rest of her was convinced that Ian would see her in the dress and would then tell the crowd that this must be a mistake because she was not Amy.  This would happen.  She knew it.

She heard a knock on the door.  It sounded different than the clerk’s knock.  That poor woman must have been terrified when she stumbled in, bellowing for a new dress and champagne and cake.  Amy would have thought that the Tutu Woman was off the deep end too.  Ha!  Maybe that would be her new name, Tutu Woman, since it seemed she was never going to escape this dress.

“Hey Amy, it’s Emily.  Will you come out please?”

“Amy’s not here.  Would you like to speak to the dress that swallowed her whole?”

“Honey, I promise you look be—“ Amy snorted.  “Okay, the dress is very ugly, but you are beautiful and once we get you out of that thing, everything will be fine.  Come out, I have champagne and a pretty white dress.”

Amy thought she heard the clerk say, “What she needs is a tranquilizer.”

“Come out.  You’ll marry Ian, and then we’ll kill the tutu together okay?”

Five minutes later, after they had cut her free, she sheepishly apologized to the clerk before walking out with Emily.  “Can we burn it too?”

“Of course.  Now let’s get you married. “

a game by elibrody

14 Feb

Eli has created a game from the character prompt: http://blog.megastructure.org/2010/02/the-character-project-week-six-amy/

Enjoy! 😉 Shoot those grooms!!

unexpected by slingshotmama

14 Feb

Amy could not help but wonder if she was making a mistake.

Alan was a pudgy man, balding, and smelled often of garlic and onions. He liked numbers and logic and quiet girls like her, girls that didn’t dream or stretch, the ones that would settle… for him. It was part of his plan to look the part, but not have to play it. He wasn’t unkind; he didn’t yell or make demands. Merely, he was a ghost in their home, sometimes leaving dirty socks and underwear in the bathroom or a dirty coffee mug in the sink. If not for these small markers of his presence, she would forget him altogether.

She never had many boyfriends and had never been in love. Settling for this man, for his puzzle that was so perfect and concise was, perhaps, the best she could do. She stared hard at herself and pulled out an old, baby blue handkerchief, also borrowed (three birds with one stone) from Alan’s mother who was as logical as her son. She dabbed gingerly at her doe eyes shiny with tears. Not necessarily sad, she knew, with life like this she would never be happy. She fingered the lace eyelets that adorned her cuff. Her mother insisted the cream shade was more suitable for her voluptuous figure, the white, she said, would highlight every bulge. Great cascades of auburn curls rolled down her shoulder, her pale skin shimmered with the glittery powder her sister dusted all over her, her brown pupils shined brighter than ever contrasted sharply with her ever reddening eyes.

She remembered the night she made the decision to settle. It wasn’t romantic, not the romance she read about, not the kind in movies. Alan shoved his glasses up his greasy nose and, gesturing to last year’s mountain of receipts, invoices, and check stubs, mumbled, mostly to himself, “Getting married could really be a tax benefit.” She lifted her head slightly, sipping a glass of 14 dollar wine, “Sure…” and continued reading about a life she would never have, about a woman she would never be. Had it not been for her mother, they would’ve married at city hall with a couple witnesses, probably co-workers as neither of them had any close friends.

She smoothed the creamy wrinkles across the expanse of her belly and imagined a man who would appreciate it. She tugged the sweetheart neckline down a bit so her ample cleavage would seem a bit more… ample. She looked closely, making sure her mascara hadn’t run, though if it had, it wouldn’t matter. The stranger filled hall of guests would assume she was overwhelmed, weeping tears of joy on the happiest day of her life.

She fingered her lips, smearing pink lip gloss into the creases and corners of their fullness. She was beautiful and for the first time knew it.

Was this mediocre life good enough? Didn’t she deserve more? Do we really ever get what we deserve? Parents didn’t deserve to hold dead children and feel, with heavy hearts, that loss. Good people didn’t deserve to lose their jobs and homes. Starving people didn’t deserve to be hungry. Corporate CEOs didn’t deserve to fry fat pigs at home while their employees worked for pennies a day. Life wasn’t fair and her life was no exception.

She would marry Alan. She would work hard at a job that meant nothing to any one. She would play the role of Suburban Wife, Obedient Daughter, and one day, despite his overall absence – especially in the bedroom, Doting Mother. She saw her life roll out, uncomplicated and uncluttered, and knew Alan would be satisfied with the predictability of it all. No, not happiness, but at least this wouldn’t be difficult.

With one last look in the mirror, she picked up the bouquet of pink lilies and headed for the door. With a deep sigh she pulled the heavy door ajar to find Alan, out of breath, with red eyes, looking greasier than ever.

“Amy, I can’t marry you.”

“Oh…” was the only response she could muster.

the girl in the white dress by jadamthwaite

14 Feb

Amy could not help but wonder if she was making a mistake. She stared solidly at the girl in the white dress.

She’d never been the white wedding type. She’d had the wedding fantasy of course, but Amy the Teenager always imagined herself in silver… or red … something… different. How did she end up here? How did that Amy end up wearing a string of creamy pearls and flicking Jane Austen ringlets out of her eyes? She fixed the girl in the white dress with a blue-eyed stare.

The more she thought about it, the less Amy could understand why anyone bothered to get married. It’s not like society requires it anymore. No one would have judged them if they’d just carried on the way they were. Nothing was going to change for them with a signed piece of paper. She wondered what James would have done if she’d said no. If, on that day when he’d hidden in the wardrobe, snuggled behind a wall of dresses nervously clutching an Ernest Jones box, she’d said, “I love you, but no.”

It would have crushed him.

She held her engagement ring up to the mirror: a single diamond snowflake caught in a net of white gold. Amy sucked her breath in suddenly, thumped by a fresh wave of fear. Her stomach turned and fizzed.

“This,” she told the girl in the white dress firmly, “was for your own good. What did you think? That you could just become some good little housewife and spend the rest of your life raising children and icing cupcakes?”

Amy spread her hands out in front of her. They seemed unfamiliar, trembling and pale in the bright lights of the dressing room.

She stared.

She tried desperately to block out the memory of her shallow breaths misting the air like dust as she panicked, panicked, panicked… of the cloying warmth of the kitchen last night, the excitement she was supposed to feel… of the smooth silver body of the knife she’d just chopped the onions with…

Amy closed her eyes against the prickling tears and caught her breath.

And there it was again, that image she couldn’t shake, that awful scene on the kitchen floor playing like a looped horror film over and over and over… James in his favourite green shirt, the way his dark hair looked slightly blue under the light beneath the crockery cupboard, the knife on the floor where she’d dropped it, the dark slugs of blood slipping between the tiles…

Amy watched a fat tear plummet onto her dress and bleed through the fabric like an ink stain.

Suddenly she knew.

The hair appointment this morning at her mother’s house, drinking champagne with her bridesmaids, turning up here like everything was going just as it was meant to: this was all a mistake.

She watched her lips mouth the words in the long mirror.

“You killed him.”

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