Oh, to be a princess, even if for but one day! And if you’ve ever been married, you know this fantasy, one enacted by countless little girls of all cultures and from all generations, can and does happen. It’s called your wedding day!
A few weeks ago, while perusing antique stores, my daughter and I happened upon the most beautiful, hand-sewn, lace gown that reminded me of my pre-wedding jitters. Because I’m a novelist, those memories spurred a short story. (Don’t worry, I’ll tell you the story of my gown–and why I call it an antique–when this modern-day princess tale concludes.)
Elsie checked the clock on the far wall of Le Veritable Armour Bridal for the third time then glanced through the window to the busy street. Zaney, where are you?
The better question was, what was Elsie doing here? She couldn’t afford any of the gowns displayed throughout the store. Nor would her parents foot the bill. Not for Jack, anyway, the man who’d captured her heart and her parents disdain.
She sighed. The day she’d been dreaming of since she was a little girl playing dress up, and her parents weren’t going to be a part of it.
The door behind her chimed. Elsie startled andwhirled around. Zaney scurry inside. “I’m so sorry I’m late! Traffic was insane!”
“I’m just so glad you’re here. I’m crazy nervous.” She chewed her bottom lip. “Which worries me. I mean, you’re always telling me to listen to my gut, to take time to pray over things.”
“Are you having second thoughts?”
Elsie shrugged. “A little. It’s just… Most of these gowns are $5,000!”
Zaney exhaled with a whoosh that ended in a laugh. “You’re having second thoughts about your gown?”
“Duh. What else would I—? Oh!” Elsie giggled. “Disgruntled parents aside, nope. Not a shred. I’ve never been more in love.” She grinned, but as soon as she faced the dress racks, her stomach started revolting once again. “I just realized something. I need to pick–and potentially even pay for–dresses for my brides maids, each of which are as different as Spaghettios and filet mignon.”
Zaney grabbed Elsie’s shoulders and turned her to face her. She offered a warm smile. “Relax. Everything’s going to be fine. Better than fine. Beautiful. Just like you.”
“Good evening.” A lady dressed in black slacks and a matching blazer approaced. “May I help you?”
Elsie looked at Zaney, a giggle bubbling behind her appropriate—and hopefully sophisticated smile—before facing the dress-fitter. “Yes, I’m Elsie Jones. I have a fitting at 4:45.”
“Yes, of course!” The woman gave a stiff yet wide smile, revealing straight, white teeth. “I’m Mercedez, the boutique owner.” And to Zaney, “You you are?”
“Ah, but how can you speak of reason when you’re dealing with matters of the heart?” The woman shot Zaney a wink then touched Elsie’s elbow. “Besides, your dress has been taken care of.”
Return May 31st for the next scene of A Princess and Her Gown.