I walk down the aisle today, toward you and I forever. All the memories, experiences, laughter and crying
all end and begin today.
The me you see today is the first day of the rest of our lives.
I’m standing here in front of you wearing white.
Cherish this version of me, love me, make me your princess. I’m standing here waiting only for you.
I do. ~Morgan Werhen
I heard her voice at the edge of the room, we’d kept our promises to each other about today. I’m sure her maids of honor, and subsequent family were helping her preen. Her voice escaping from the other excited sounds in the room sounds happy and quiet at the same time. I’m standing here in the hallway, tux fits, shoes hurt, ready to take the biggest step of my life. She cried last night, long sad tears streaming down her cheeks. The day, now here feels less anticipation but small hurt.
Stepping into the hallway toward the stairs
I hear the muted click of my rubber edged heels against the gleaming oak floor. This house though now too much for me has so many memories. The scuff over by the base trim we made while I helped him bring the dresser upstairs.
“I got it, I got it!” I kept saying.
The wall ended up getting it as my fingers finally let go.
He would have been frustrated, but since we were making a bend, my scuff ended up distracting him as momentum carried his edge into the wall directly across from me. I take my hand and follow the gouge, still unpainted.
Sliding my fingers along the punctured wallboard, from afar it has looked like a painting error, or a heavy brush stroke resulting in a dimpled line along the wall. Staring at it now I could see the chips of paper hanging tenuously on the chalky plaster beneath. Each one perilously close to falling free from their ‘home’.
There is nothing that doesn’t remind me of his words.
“I love you.”
“I can’t wait to come home to see you.”
His smile, some would call it lazy, like his mouth wasn’t sure it should entirely comply with the request.
I loved it.
I loved how his eyes would brighten just before his lips would start to change shape.
I always knew that our fight was over, or he gave in when those eyes brightened. The smile was always the chocolate syrup on my own personal sundae. He would let me hug him for indeterminate amounts of time. Some of our friends would make comments, like “get a room” or “really? Again?”
I just liked the feel of him holding me.
Fighting back my tears, though not being very successful, I continued on down the stairs.
These steps shouldn’t be a big deal, I have run, jumped and nearly slid down them so many times in the last year. It feels like I’m slipping now. That the steps themselves have morphed into a slide that will take me away, away from safety, away from our home. The end of the slide is unknown, it’s black, thick, and hard to breathe.
Each step echoes lightly, the oak treads recently refinished by his very hands. It’s as though I’m ripping each tread off the stairs, almost taking his work away from him.
Why does each step feel so final?
My left hand goes to my ear, and habitually wraps stray hair around it.
The knoll post is approaching, I hesitantly approach it. I reach out to touch it one more time. My hand graces the beauty and smoothness. The post that anchors the stairs.
It’s round, natural grain seems to stream into my eyes, as the sun hits the blond clear coat. I move my hand and the change in position splays shadows over my body.
The final step, the door stands in front of me, imposing, judging me.
I reach out, and grasp hold of the knob, the last barrier to my exit. The old knob normally would creak in resistance to the twisting motion, today greets me in silence. I pull slightly, and the sun streams into its new opening. Stepping onto my porch, I continue. Standing straight, looking good for the part I have to take.
Outside, starting over again.
Standing there in front of the mirror was nearly impossible. The polish on my left pinky toe was gone, and a major chip and crack of the toenail had removed the teal glaze. I’m standing here willing myself to fix it, to restart my life. “Walk over to the bathroom and reapply the nail polish.” It was more of an attempt at willing my psyche, because like my toe, the very smallest and vulnerable of all of them, was reminding me of my life. It was small, wrecked and teetering on desperation.
I hate everything about me right now.
My thighs seemed to pop out around my waist. I’ve done nothing, hardly ate, slept profusely, and gained weight? It seemed so far from this angle that looking to the right only showed thigh. “I can’t even see the carpet?” “Why am I so ugly?” “One big thigh” I thought. My stomach used to have so much panache and yet now so floppy. If it wasn’t for my “misguided now” belly ring, the front sag may have eternally hid my current only favorite body part. Standing straight, I temporarily fixed the problem, at least made me feel a little better.
Here I stand in my bra and panties, no place to go but no place to stay. Scrunching my hair to give me something to do, I continued with the work at hand. Fix my life by just living, pretending, willing myself to go on.
It was time to cover up this patchwork of sloppy with a magical dress. Opening my sixteen year old ‘wooden’ jewelry box, I grabbed my silver hoops. I wasn’t sure on the size for today’s ensemble, but these were my favorite, and made my face pop. With the right earrings and mascara I could make a thousand bad makeup days disappear. Big eyes, and cute ears. My hair never hurt either as it waved down past my shoulders some resting on my chest. He used to love just sniffing, breathing in my hair. “How is it that you smell so good?” He constantly asked. It was almost as if he was more surprised by the power of it, than the smell itself. For me I never thought much of these locks until I realized his total absorption with them. He would come behind me and just grab hold, twisting, and climbing “my mane” he called it. I smiled a bit in the mirror just then, happy that this thought was finished with a smile.
Earrings in, it was time to try on my find. The ivory and black Rockabilly picked up last Spring from Hot Topic.
The dress laid there on the bed, halter straps traipsed around each other like lovers in an embrace. The light nautical print brought a touch of ebony to an already pearlescent bodice kissed by crinoline tulle at the bottom of the skirt. The clothing called to me, daring me to transform into that warm soul that everyone used to love. The beauty who some men just wanted to touch, or bump up against as their conversation was veered toward me, and seemly some never knew how to pull away.
I started by adjusting this new bra. The hope was that the current strapless model would provide the protection needed against the mighty gravity, which if it won would automatically force all conversation away from me, and instead involve sudden shock and awe as everyone would be gaping at my chest.
Adjustments made, body parts appeared to be sound. A quick light pull at the bottom while quickly pushing everything inside the protective wire and pad seemed enough to move onto the quest at hand.
I picked up the article from my bed. It laid in my arm like a bouquet of roses. This dress was made for my body. The skirt lightly billowed out as the straps now hung loose. I undid the hanger straps while spinning it around to pull down the zipper. The light crackle of metal unfastening, provided an electric shock as I now forgot my sorrows and allowed my guilty pleasures to take over. I excitedly lifted the skirt, careful of my hair, over my head. The silver earrings did their bidding and caught the tulle like a sergeant holding up traffic. The lace tickled my nose and tummy as it slid over my waist. Once the skirt fanned out at my hips my arms grasped hold of the two halter straps.
A halter provides that free open back aura while protecting everything in the front. I delicately tied the bow while adjusting each so they equally fell just below my neck.
Looking in the mirror, I noticed a small, delicate shaping bow and lightly adjusted that tie to cinch up the bodice perfectly against my waist. The change was electrifying and my eyes widened at the site before me in the mirror.
Sometimes the right dress can be magical. I need magical today. I smiled a bit, and it felt good. My arms looked nice, pearly white but smooth. My hair appeared to add body, while noting that subtle shape of my waist now accentuated by the flow and twist of the skirt. My mascara popped and with my blush raised my cheekbone making my face feel skinnier. I felt light, and wanted to swish my hips.
While leaning down to grab the lipstick I twisted my hips. The skirt happily complied with the request and lightly swished about, the lace lightly tapping my legs as it fulfilled the requirements of the request. Looking back up I noticed my butt causing that subtle curve from the waste. “Now why don’t you look that nice in underwear?” I thought.