Today is my sister’s wedding. Conveniently, it is also her 21st birthday.
All I can smell is the rank scent of exhilaration in the air. That, and the disgusting steaks my grandmother has been preparing all morning, just for the reception.
The comb slides easily through my hair, and my reflection in the mirror shows that my dark eyes are fearful. I feel dead strong inside, and yet, my eyes, they are always scared. People tell me that I appear exactly like my mother, and all I can think of asking is, “Was she always scared?” An awkward silence imminently ensues.
And that’s why I’d rather not talk to people at all.
My dress has already been laid out for me, resting quietly upon my bed, its frills and ruffles fluttering from the wind coming through my opened window. Today, my pillows and cushions are neatly gathered together, and my blanket is smoothed out immaculately. Today, my eyes still hold that haunted expression, even though there is excitement and – oh, God – happiness everywhere I see. In fact, specks of happiness are floating around the room, bouncing off mirrors, off countertops, and off me.
My sister, Emma, asked me to attend her wedding, which was really nice of her.
But I won’t be a bridesmaid, no, not even the flower girl. I will be sitting five pews from the front, in a cluster of people I won’t know, and people I know but don’t want to talk to. My sister asked her coworker to be her Maid of Honour. How nice, how sweet…
My father refused to pay for separate parties, see. His exact words were, “If you’re going to have a wedding just one week after your birthday, I’m not giving you any money for either.” (My father is one of those people who speaks as if in constant iambic pentameter; this frequently gets on my nerves.) Emma, of course, burst into tears, her round blue eyes squeezing together, and her nose scrunched up in mid-wail. My father ignored her, as usual, and stepped out to “take a breath of air”, which really means “inhale a few breaths of toxic fumes”. I can spot the pack of cigarettes in his pocket from five feet away, although he had promised my grandmother that he’d quit.
In the end, having one party for the two biggest events of my sister’s life was the answer.
“Fucking cheapskate,” I mutter under my breath as I slathered on some lip-gloss. By the time I turned 21, he’ll probably suggest that I not have a party at all but, instead, save my money to buy myself a car. There, killing two birds with one stone: he won’t have to buy me a car or pay for my party either! I almost laugh at this prospect, me having enough money to go buy a car. It might have to be used. And it might not be perfect – but my own car…
“Annabelle?” a stern voice asks from outside my door. “Are you ready?”
“Almost, Grams!” I answer loudly, and then stand up to slip on my dress: basically a top most like a corset, with a long skirt billowing out from underneath it, splattered with ruffles and flowers here and there. It is a dress of evil.
The top pinches deeply into my waist, and I wonder if Emma deliberately told the seamstress to make it a size too small, just out of spite. Then I shake my head and finish zipping my dress up. I look into my full-length mirror, but all I can see are rays of sunshine that fall on my desk behind me. It is almost as if I am invisible today – that nobody can see me.
- - -My sister and Pighead are exchanging vows right now. Words of poetry flow out of Pighead’s mouth, and I cannot help but retch. He must’ve gotten his mother to write the whole thing. Emma, however, is grinning, her smile shining brilliantly through her sheer veil, not distracted at all by this sudden change of her husband-to-be’s personality. Her golden hair is curled, and flows down her neck teasingly. Her porcelain skin radiates all goodness and beauty, and seems to be so translucent that even I can see the pure joy clogging her arteries.
Pighead and I met a long time ago, in summer camp – bible summer camp, to be precise. He was an experienced camp counselor, having been one since he was sixteen. He believed in God, and honest faith, and all that shit.
He was tall and thin, his face hidden in the black hair that used to be shaggy and long. That was what attracted me, the first time I saw him: the fact that I couldn’t see him at all! His expressions were enigmatic, our gazes fleeting, and sometimes I couldn’t even find his eyes among his messy strands of thick hair.
His lips were thin and dry, and his kissing was less than amazing. But whenever I leaned in towards him, and his head was tilted back, I could see that his eyes were dark green, rimmed with coal black. When I felt how those eyes pierced through my soul, I knew he needed me.
Poor Emma. She didn’t even realize…When she had met Richard, he was already mine.
(the tips of my hair are orange, but only because I dyed my hair red last year. though i guess it's the new "in" thing to do now, so hooray?)
you can probably guess what I'm wearing. so go ahead, guess!
- i've worn this highwaisted skirt in many outfits before
- this tee is mass-produced by a store that could be named "Canadian Beaver" if it was Canadian.
- nothing I wear is high-end. D: boooohooooo.
- don't bother guessing where my cardigan is from. they all look the same anyway.
X O X O