Once upon a time I made wedding dresses for a living. It was hard work - the money was bad and it was stressful. And yet, there were moments that made it worthwhile.
When I read this challenge on Haley's blog to write a 500 word story using body language, I immediately thought about those days, and I got writing. Here's my short story.
Her eyes lit up for the first time since she entered my shop. A smile slowly spread across her features and she reached to stroke the bolt of silk. I draped a generous swathe of the glowing fabric around her body. She preened in the mirror, turning this way and that, chin up, running a hand down her body to enjoy the fabric following her curves.
I love this moment of magic. It doesn’t always come – the confident ones, the ones accustomed to seeing their beauty in others’ eyes, not so much with them. But the ones like this luscious redhead hiding her charms in baggy clothes; for them it happens every time. Only 15 minutes ago she sidled into the shop clutching a page ripped from a magazine, which she handed over, her ring finger sporting a shiny new emerald engagement ring. Emeralds for a redhead, I thought, this one’s man knows her better than she does. I don’t really know that of course, but I get caught up in the magic too.
The dress pictured on the magazine page is predictably hideous. I remain unsurprised when she explains that her mother thought this was a good style of wedding dress for her.
“Why?” I ask. It’s a good question, and after the usual hesitation (no one expects that question) she says, “because the magazine said it would be flattering to my size”. I raise a single eyebrow. “Really? The magazine thinks that baggy white polyester and cheap lace is flattering? An interesting viewpoint.”
She smiles in spite of herself. “Yeah, well, it was her idea. I don’t really like it though. But I don’t know what to wear, whatever I’m going to look like the iceberg that sunk the Titanic anyway.” Ah, self-deprecating humour.
“Well, for a start, white isn’t really good for that complexion. And hiding those curves is a jailable offence. ..” and so on, until she is laughing in spite of herself. “So, let’s start again shall we, like you’re going to be the most beautiful bride in the world…”
And then I fetch the ivory silk, the one with just a blush of pinkness.
And when she sees herself in my mirror, she sees her beauty with her own sparkling eyes, and the magic begins.
I love my job.