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as in Presbyterian Church in America
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Joined September 10, 2019

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The Wedding Dress

April 11, 2020


It was the wedding dress that finally made her cry. The wedding dress, with an off-shoulder neckline, delicate lace frills, and white gemstones. It was remarkable how my mother managed to go through the entire funeral without shedding a tear, only to come home to the wedding dress and collapse to the floor with heart-wrenching sobs. The wedding dress, never worn.

I considered leaving the bedroom to grab a box of tissues, but I stood uncertainly in the doorway, too paralyzed by shock to move.

My mother sniffed, “The driver was drunk.”

The police told us no more than an hour after it happened. We sat in the living room, a circle of statues, piecing the scenario together. A dark road, my sister in her convertible with the top down, hair flying softly as the car meandered through the countryside, the land exhaling in a gentle breeze. And then the peace shattered, a black pickup truck slamming into my sister’s car as it swerved into her lane, her screams echoing only to be silenced as the blow forced the air out of her crumpled lungs. The quiet, splintered into a thousand shards of glass.

The doctor said she died instantly, but none of us believed it. We actually thought she laid sprawled in her car for at least an hour, half crushed, blood seeping out of her, waiting for someone to come and help her, only to die forgotten and unseen.

Mother stopped crying and wiped her eyes with the end of her sleeve, “Drunk. They always talk about accidents, and people getting killed, and how you shouldn’t drink and drive, but I never thought…” Her eyes watered, and she stopped talking with a shake of her head. After a few deep breaths, she continued, “I never thought Katie would pass that way.”

Later that evening, I found Taylor is Katie’s old room, clutching her wedding dress in his hands. I sat down on the bed beside him, “You okay?”

He nodded, but I knew he was lying. His hands curled around the fabric, his fingers so tight I thought he might crush the waist. Maybe he was searching for a trace of her within it, but found only air. A single tear slipped down his cheek.
“I never got to say goodbye,” he sighed. “We had an argument over what color palette we wanted for the wedding.” He leaned back and stared up at the ceiling, “A color palette. She left earlier than planned because she wanted to sleep it off. Had she not been on the road, that drunk man wouldn’t have hit her, and she still would have been here now.” His voice had grown to a roar, his anger bouncing off the walls like a thunderclap shaking a mountain.

I placed my arm around his shoulders, and together we fingered the lace on Katie’s dress. We may have only stayed there for a few seconds, but it was an eternity, during which the street lamps over the old cemetery brightened and the ghosts were suddenly free to roam the world once again.


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  • April 11, 2020 - 10:39am (Now Viewing)

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  • Tushar Mandhan

    You were able to pull the strings of the reader's heart in such less words. This piece just makes me weep for no reason. I feel like I have lost something. Also the last sentence is so amazing!

    11 months ago
  • mia_:)

    This is so sad, yet sweet and heartfelt. Great work!

    11 months ago
  • deep_breaths

    That's very sad. I love this.

    11 months ago