The assistant spread out the dress’ train. “There. Now, how’s that?”
Elsie looked at her reflection.
She saw a woman in a wedding dress unlike any other. Her neck and entire bodice was encased in liquid silver filigree with white silk backing. The full skirt and train were white Spanish lace with silver silk inserts, interspersed with faceted silver beads and small crystals.
“Oh!” She covered her mouth with her hands. Is that me? Is that really me? She has my frizzy black hair, but…
The assistant arched her penciled-in eyebrow. “Silence, huh? I sure hope that’s a good sign. I put a lot of work into altering this dress for you.”
“It’s beautiful. It makes me look beautiful.”
The assistant grinned. “That’s all the encouragement I want to hear. Come! Let’s show the finished product to your mother.”
As she stepped off the pedestal and followed the assistant, Elsie’s heart soared. It’s so perfect. I can’t wait to see Hildreth’s reaction.
I can’t wait to marry him.
Hildreth opened the silver trimmed envelope. “And it is….” His gaze went straight down to the check off box at the bottom of the invitation. “Yes! We’ve got another guest!” He pumped his fist in the air. “And they’re bringing their two and a half kids.” He frowned. “Two and a half? What does that even mean? Is a baby considered a half kid? That’s just weird. I’ll have to ask Elsie when she comes back. She’ll know.”
Elsie breezed into the apartment with a rush of cold air, snow, and warm happiness.
He looked up. “Hey. We got another acceptance.”
She took off her coat and scarf and dropped them onto the couch. “Oh, Hildreth. Wait till you see it.” She came over to him and quick kissed him. “It’s so beautiful. I feel like a warrior princess in it.”
He laughed. “A warrior princess? Huh. Interesting. I’m imagining you in Xena’s cute little mini-dress.”
She laughed. “No, it’s a lot more formal than that. Oh, Hildreth. When I saw my reflection, I realized that this is real. This is really happening. After all of the hurt and confusion, I am going to be your bride. I’m just so happy.”
Happiness and love filled his mind, but got caught up in his throat. “Elsie. My Elsie.”