The Wedding Gown

November 15, 2009
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It was fall of 1872. Della was nineteen with a man by her side and not a secret to hide. Except for the one deep, dark secret that she had locked up way down inside herself that would never be let out. At least she never thought she would let her secret out.

Della was married to a photographer named Tucker. Tucker was probably the only photographer in Charleston, Mississippi. Della and Charles had recently gotten married in a small church near the center of town. They did not have enough money to go on a honeymoon, so they spent two nights in the next town. He borrowed a tuxedo from his friend who had gotten married just one week earlier. Della’s grandmother had given Della the wedding dress that had been passed down for ten generations. Her great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother, whose name was Milly, made the dress by hand. It was off-white and had off-white lace on the bodice. There were white beads and shiny sequins spread out through the lace. Milly had sewn these on the dress by hand. Della loved the dress, and her grandmother told her to hold on tightly to that dress and to never let it go. It had been in the family so long that it would devastate every woman in the family if the dress was lost or if something bad happened. When Della walked down the aisle of the small church, everyone’s face lit up, and they all saw how beautiful she was. Della was a one of a kind beautiful. She had dark brown hair with big beach waves. Della’s eyes were light blue, and she had a light ivory skin tone. With her slim figure and friendly personality, Della was the type of woman whom everyone wanted to be around. She was perfect in everyone’s eyes, at least for now.

Eight months had passed. Della and Tucker were still deeply in love. They were expecting their first baby in 5 months. It was going to be a girl, and they were going to name her Charlie. The only problem about having Charlie at this time was that they did not have enough money to provide for her. Charlie was unexpected, but she would still be loved just the same. Tucker and Della would find a way to provide Charlie with everything she needed, even if it took drastic measures.

The months leading up to Charlie being born were filled with wondering how they were going to get money. They thought of going to the bank and getting a loan, but there was no way that they would ever be able to pay the loan off. Della got a job as a seamstress, and Tucker not only made money from his photography business but he also delivered the paper to each house in Charleston. Even though they were making extra money, Della and Tucker were barely getting by. There was no way that they could take care of little Charlie. Della couldn’t think of any other way to make money. She tried to think of some things they could sell to the pawn shop. The only valuable items they had were the box camera and the hand-sewn wedding gown. After talking to Tucker about selling his camera and her dress, Della walked to the pawn shop. She was so sad to let go of the family wedding dress, but with just a few weeks until Charlie would be born, it seemed like there was no other choice. “Ca-Ch’ing,” was the sound of the cash register as the man gave Della $400 for her items. Mixed emotions were surrounded in the air.

Charlie, born on July 25th, 1873, was greeted happily as she came into the world. She was a replica of Della with no hair, of course. Everyone wanted to hold her and make goo-goo gaga noises at her. She was the cutest baby they had ever seen. Della’s grandmother came to see Charlie one day. She asked Della if she could see the wedding dress because she found a bead on her floor at her house. Della did not want her to know that she had sold the dress, but there was no way that she could keep her secret from her grandmother. Della told her what she had done. She studied her grandmother’s face, so she would know what her feelings were. Her grandmother’s facial expressions never changed until after she had told her everything. Then something surprising happened. Della’s grandmother smiled. She was happy for some reason. Della asked her why she was so happy. Her grandmother said, “I am so happy you told me the truth.” “You’re welcome grandmother, but what do we do about the dress? The next generation will not get to wear it.” Della’s grandmother smiled again and reached down in her carpet bag. Della was wondering what she was doing. She pulled out the sold wedding dress and the box camera. Della asked, “How did you ever get these back?” “I went down to the pawn shop, and I saw the dress. I asked the clerk why he had it, and he said that a young woman had come in and sold it to him along with a box camera because she needed money for her new baby girl.” “I cannot believe how we have miraculously gotten the dress back. This is definitely a blessing from God.” Her grandmother said, “You should have told me that you needed money.” “I did not want anyone to help me because I would never be able to repay them.” “You do not need to repay the people who help you. They do it because they love you.” They hugged each other, and Della realized how fortunate she was. She had a great husband, a wonderful daughter, and tons of family and friends who loved her.





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Lauren101 said...
Feb. 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm
I loved that!! Very well-written. Could you check this out and give me feedback?? Thank you! :) http ://www.teenink .com /fiction/historical_fiction/article/97138/The-Tripoli-Chronicle/
 
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