A big white dress hangs 10 feet away. I've been entrusted with it for the next 48 hours. Every so often I unzip the comically long garment bag for an extended peek inside, stiff layers of satin and flowery bundles of encrusted jewels shining back. I’m tired, having stayed up until 2 a.m. putting the finishing touches on wedding favors. The living room is dark and a bit musky from afternoon rain and it feels like a family moment experienced solo. I imagine out-of-town guests gathered for the festivities, staying over, sleeping on beds and in bags, eating up Entenmann's and coffee for breakfast. My Dad is sadly absent.
My niece Colette and I are separated by one day and 21 years yet she has double the wisdom, empathy and pragmatic approach to life than I did at her age. She'll be amazing at 40. She’s the sole girlfriend I share every vent and all the details with. She mirrors me in frightening ways, with one exception; she's found love and is willing to trust and be happy.
Part of me dreads the next two days. I'll see the family I chose to walk away from. Couldn’t stay for any more hurt. Couldn’t remain invisible any longer. Couldn’t deal with any more anger. Yet I have the feeling I’ll cry, alone in my car, on the way home. I have the feeling the buttons are still there to destroy me a little, eat away at the confidence and self-love instilled in the past five months.
Beginnings and old wounds. The flow of champagne and tears. Love and indifference. Came home from rehearsal dinner and left a teary message for the only boy (I think, I don't know) I loved. Felt right. He won't call back.
I hope it rains to wash away the back luck.