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She was glowing. The lights of the mirror were reflecting off her lightly pampered face, emphasizing the tints of rose-colored dust, revealing the nervous lines underneath. She looked into her own eyes, trying to read her own expression, but unable to see the fear that only I knew was in her heart.

I stood behind the vanity table chair she was sitting in, wondering why, on today of all days, I was here, but showing none of it on my face. I guess we were both good at hiding things.

I picked up the white veil that was resting on the side table. It was soundless, but only I could hear how it was screaming so many things, begging me not to place it on her brunette head of hair. But I did. I lifted it slowly, staring at its delicate material, littered with the sparkles of a different age. I fitted it snuggly behind her ears, and she smiled at my reflection. Didn’t this look as wrong to her as it did to me?

She breathed out through her mouth and stood up from the table. As she turned to face me her floor length white gown swung behind her. She looked down at it, and then adjusted the small puffs of sleeves. She looked at me. I could see the want for tears in her eyes, but she withheld them.

“You look great,” she said, gently touching the sides of my purple dress.

How could she say that with such a straight face? I couldn’t return the compliment, not when I knew that the reasons for its truth were ridiculous. She was rushing this. This didn’t need to be happening, especially not today. It was the anniversary of our parents’ murder. The date was his idea, her suitor. Apparently it couldn’t be changed, not that he would have wanted to.

“Thanks,” I said softly.

She picked up two bouquets of pink carnations from the same table I had taken the misunderstood veil from, and handed one to me. I took it wordlessly, staring at it. Then I looked at her, a vacant mask on my face, but an expression that she knew well.

“This will turn out ok,” she said frankly, but I knew it never could. How long was she going to keep fooling herself with this relentless act?

She walked to the door that led to the church lobby and opened it, waiting for me to lead the way. I did so without argument. I could hear the music of the organist attempting to guide me, but I was doing my best to ignore it, hoping that this was all just some sick dream. I walked up that long aisle and stood to the side. The pews were filled with faces I would never take the time to know. It would never be worth it, especially since they were all like him. As she followed, I knew she was already regretting it, she had to be, but I only stood there, holding my dying flowers, not saying a word, concealing my thoughts entirely. The words only rang in my head, louder than I could have imagined.

She was making a horrible mistake.





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