A Dress for a Day

Posted: September 16, 2011 in #fridayflash, Short stories

There it stood in all its splendour.  The dress of her dreams, literally. The same dress almost exactly, to the one that had appeared all week, as she fell asleep.  Its image was tattooed on the inside of her eyelids. The charity shop manikin however, did it no justice.  This might have been to do with the fact it had no head.

Louisa had talked about the perfect dress for the last few months and it was the final part of the jigsaw puzzle she had been constructing around her big day.

She had made the ultimate decision with her fiancé Mike, in the July and everything had been a spiral of activities and emotions ever since.  Flower arrangements, music, hymns and such like, were part of the long list she had been planning with the help of her best friend Becky.  The dress had always been the main highlight and it had to be a certain style to incorporate with the rest of her theme.  Seeing the vibrant ensemble in the run-down charity shop, for some reason made this even more of a perfect discovery. 

She bought it without hesitation.

The flamingo pink frills around the bottom of the aluminous dress, were a mild hint of the flamboyant beacon this dress would be in the contrasting natural-stone coloured church.

The shop assistant almost looked relived to take it from its stand in the window and as she lay the dress neatly into a black nylon dress bag, she smiled and looked up at Louisa.

“I’m glad it’s going to a good home”, she smiled softly, concentrating on not catching the dress in the full length zip of its new flexible casket.  “It’s been with me here at the shop since I started as a volunteer five years ago.  I’ve moved it from rail to rail, but it never seemed right for it.  As soon as I put it on the dummy in the window, it brought it to life.”

“It’s just what I wanted. I can’t believe how exact it is to the one I had pictured in my mind.  It’s perfect.”

Louisa left the shop feeling a much lighter person.  The biggest task of all, which had been top of the list for months, was now finally complete.  She couldn’t wait to show Becky, who had also been in on the quest; to find the unusual and unique dress for Louisa’s perfect day.

As she drove home from the town centre, she couldn’t help but feel a little emotional.  All the preparation had kept her focused and busy, too busy to think about the actual day itself and the weeks leading up to it.  She felt a similar feeling but on a much smaller scale, when she had taken a whole week choosing the perfect television cabinet.  Once she had got it home and spent hours constructing it, her week long mission was over and she wasn’t a hundred percent sure she liked it. 

She had an overwhelming feeling in her gut, which could only be described as harsh realisation.  She was now on a countdown to an event in her life that was final.  There was no turning back now.

*   *   *

Becky stood at the end of the church isle, facing her best friend Louisa of twenty-five years.  Louisa looked stunning.

The church was filled with bright Hawaii style flower chains and inflatable palm trees. It was all perfect and just how Louisa had described it. Becky felt overwhelmed with emotions.

She walked down to where her friend lay. She rested a hand on her chest and the other on Louisas. The dress certainly highlighted the dark oak wood of its new casket

“You did it mate. I hope we’ve done you proud. This is the brightest funeral ever. I hope you’re up there having a laugh as your stuck-up family members and lawyer-friends open those doors.  I’ll miss your sense of humour, but our friendship will always live on in my smile, thanks to this day!

  1. adampb says:

    Giving it a second read, it adds so much more poignancy. What a way to celebrate a life.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  2. Bevimus says:

    Sweet- and totally how I want to go!

  3. ~Tim says:

    I saw that coming, but I still enjoyed the trip. Nice.

  4. This was lovely to read… I like what adampb said … it has so much poignancy

  5. Helen says:

    I thought something might not be as it seemed when the dress was described as ‘The flamingo pink frills around the bottom of the aluminous dress.’

    A good story and I too enjoyed reading it.

  6. This story really messed with my head. It’s poignant and sneaky. I had to read it over again to catch on (guess I’m not as quick as some of these other readers!)

  7. Stephen says:

    A good friend, this, who can take a sombre occasion and make it a celebration. Those are the kind of friends I want to have around me when the time comes.

  8. Icy Sedgwick says:

    I did have a sneaking suspicion when you referred to the “flexible casket” but I did have to re-read this again. I love the fact that she had the funeral she really wanted.

  9. KjM says:

    There’s final, and then there’s FINAL.

    Glad she had the day she wanted, and that she had a friend who understood.

    A good story, well told – and sneaky. 🙂

  10. John Wiswell says:

    Nice to be able to set it all up to your own personal perfection. Few get that much peace to rest in!

    Minor typo: paragraph 3, “in the July”

  11. This really is a “slice of life”. A great tribute to true friendship.

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