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Carefully and delicately, Belle picked up the clip and placed it in her hair. She anxiously pumped lotion into her hands and vigorously rubbed them together. Today is the day, she thought.
The sky was blue, the sun was shining. Birds sang as if there was not a care in the world. The temperature was pleasant- correctly centered between a winter wonderland and a hellish inferno. A bird perched itself on the windowsill and Belle glared at it with envy. How easy it was for the bird to simply fly away! Oh how she wished she could simply fly away, and disappear into the horizon. She closed her eyes and willed herself into a bird. When she opened them though, she was still sitting in her wooden chair, across from the mirror.
Tears leaked out of Belle’s eyes. Oh stop it, she thought, if he could just see you now. She gazed at her reflection in the mirror, with a perplexed expression on her face, as if she could not comprehend such serenity. A breeze passed through the open window and she hugged herself to keep warm. She got up and draped a black shawl around her shoulders.
“Hello darling,” she heard her fiancé whisper. She turned her head and smiled. “Morty, I love you so much, you know that?” She grinned as they locked eyes. He made no further comment, he simply beamed back. Another breeze passed through the room and Belle’s long, flowing, wavy hair flew high above her shoulders for ten seconds. She sat back down, once again in solitude.
Roses littered the room. They protruded from every corner- being all too obviously abundant. Belle frowned- she had never liked roses, she liked sunflowers. She thought of Morty, his gleaming green eyes, his bright white teeth. She longed to see him again in his favorite white t-shirt and jeans.
They had been together for seven years and he had finally asked her to marry him. She had said yes with such joy and enthusiasm, and she hadn’t stopped smiling for a week straight. The two of them had smiled and laughed all night-they were so giddy. Belle would never forget how happy she had felt in that moment-how she knew that she had waited her whole life to hear that one question.
“Are you ready?” Morty asked her. She gave him a kiss on the cheek and together, they walked into the open air. Belle stumbled down the aisle, her hair pinned the way Morty had always liked it, her dress flattering, and her heels high.
“Dearly beloved,” the priest began with a sigh, “we have gathered here today…” Tears flooded Belle’s eyes. Oh how Belle longed to hold Morty’s hand-for him to wipe away her tears, as he always used to. The Priest continued, “…to mourn a kind, gentle man.” Belle looked at the tear-blue sky. A swarm of black crows flew overhead, like the one that had perched on Belle’s windowsill. A breeze caused Belle’s demon-black dress to swish around her knees. She had finished her passage down the aisle and sat down in a chair.
The priest droned on about how precious life was, but what did he know, Belle thought, he was only a priest. She glared at the ring that Morty had placed on her finger. It served as a constant reminder that she would never be married, only engaged. She was so close to happiness and yet so far from it.
Belle’s mother-in-law sobbed next to her. The funeral had ended. Belle stood up, her legs straightened on their own-without her permission they walked her to her room, giving cold, depressed greetings to in-laws along the way. The yellow death roses somehow seemed to have multiplied in the two hours that Belle had been at the funeral. Ivory invaded every crevice of the room-there was no escaping that foul, yellow, deathly color.
Someone knocked on the door. Morty! Belle thought. Then she realized that no, it would never be Morty. Her mother-in-law came in and asked if she was all right. She slowly nodded- as if once she lost control of her head movement, she wouldn’t be able to control her emotions at all. She left, and Belle eyed her reflection in the mirror then lowered her gaze, instead focusing on her hands on the dresser in front of her.
Belle raised her head and scrutinized her reflection in the mirror. Today is the day, she thought. The birds were singing, the sky was bright blue. As she examined her serene reflection, tears filled her eyes to the brim. She clipped her hair with hair clip lying on the dresser. Anxiously, she pumped lotion into her hands. Oh stop crying, Belle thought to herself.
“How’s my beautiful bride doing?” Her fiancé whispered into her ear. “Morty, I love you so much, you know that?” They stared into each other’s eyes as they wore huge smiles on their faces-more happiness didn’t exist anywhere in the world. “I have to go put on my tie, see you out there.” Belle kissed him on the cheek. Hers were rosy. Belle sat back down, once again alone. Beautiful roses decorated the room. Although she usually preferred sunflowers, Belle was growing to appreciate the abundance of this particular flower. For seven long years, Belle had waited for that fateful request. Morty had finally asked her and she was so grateful. A bird perched itself on the windowsill. Belle looked at the bird pitifully-she felt free and the bird would never the kind of happiness and lightness that she felt.
“Are you ready?” Morty asked her. “As ready as I’ll ever be,” she responded. They clasped hands and together, strolled towards the garden. Belle strutted down the aisle, her hair pinned the way that Morty loved it, her dress flowing and her shoes glistening in the morning air. “Dearly beloved,” the priest began, “we have gathered here today…” Belle’s eyes became moist.
“…to join this man and this woman…” Her bright white dress captured her serene nature in a way that nothing else ever could. Red robins sang-just like the one that had perched on her windowsill. The ceremony ended and rice precipitated onto their heads as a crow flew overhead. They weren’t traditional people-so instead of riding in a limousine, they walked back to Belle’s room. Belle smiled and Morty smiled back. They sat in each other’s arms for a while- happy to simply be happy.
“I can’t imagine this happening any other way,” Morty said. Belle’s eyes shifted downward, and she glanced back at the mirror. Across from her sat a puffy-eyed single woman with a dark black dress and a thousand yellow roses.