Le Grande Fête

Asking her control-freak sister to be maid of honor had been a brilliant idea, if only because no one else would have had the paranoid foresight to bring a sewing kit with perfectly color-matched thread.

“Stand still, would you?” Bethany groused.

“Those are my boobs you’re poking at with that needle,” Hannah said, staring at the ceiling. Bethany huffed, concentrating on the tiny white button.

“You sure you don’t want a ride to the airport?”

“I told you. David’s got it covered.” The thin silk charmeuse tugged across her chest. A fly banged against the window, disoriented by the sunlight, and Hannah wished she hadn’t skipped breakfast that morning. “Thanks anyway.”

“Have you seen dad yet?” she asked.

“Not yet. He’s coming right from the airport.” Bethany gave the button a little tug and felt it wobble in her fingers. “Almost.” She saw Hannah’s sigh more than she heard it. “Don’t worry. It’ll just take a second.”

Hannah suddenly became overwhelmed by the smell of her sister’s perfume and turned her head to try to clear her sinuses. The fly had stopped banging against the window and was now hurrying back and forth along the windowsill, buzzing angrily at its inability to find a way out. Hannah watched it scurry until she glanced up and saw her gleaming white reflection in the glass. She saw her sister’s familiar look of concentration directed at her chest and the rope of long brown hair down her back. She remembered their places reversed on the night of Bethany’s prom, after Dylan Roseman finally gave up trying to pin on the corsage he had bought. She remembered the soft fabric of Bethany’s gown and the smell of the corsage, and she wondered where Dylan Roseman was now.

“What were you and David talking about before?” Hannah’s neck was beginning to ache and there was no more nowhere to look.

“Nothing. Just some last minute stuff.” Bethany felt her face go warm and her fingertips tingle. “I still can’t believe he’s the same David Schwartz from high school.” She heard Hannah’s gown swish and wondered again what it would feel like to be inside it.

“He said you didn’t know who he was then,” Hannah laughed.

Bethany’s throat tightened. If only.

“Okay, you’re all set,” she said, snapping the thread off in her teeth. She stood and looked Hannah over one more time. She thought the baby’s breath in her sister’s hair looked like the beads in the hairnet their grandmother always wore, and for a moment she could smell the rum cake that grandma always made for weddings. A knock on the door brought her back.

“Everyone ready in there?”

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