Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyer owns all.
Rated M for several reasons.
A/N So, we're travelling back in time a bit . . .
Chpt 42 Say Yes to the Dress
"This is ridiculous!" I object as Rose hauls me along the street with Alice shoving from behind.
"You're only getting married once." Rose growls over her shoulder.
"But I'm old and we've been together for years . . . . I was thinking a nice, low key, elopement . . . ."
"Edward cheated me out of a wedding once." Alice snarls. "It's not happening again."
"You got me drunk at lunch deliberately." I realise.
"Yes?" Rose confirms. "And?"
"Suck it up Cyggers." Alice laughs. "We're here."
Oh. My. God.
"So." My consultant begins brightly when we're alone in the dressing room. "I guess I can't pretend I don't know who the lucky man is, so how about we start with the wedding?"
"Um?" I query. "He only asked me at the weekend, we haven't even thought about it yet."
"Oh. Alright then. Do you have any particular style in mind?"
"Yes." Voice still bright, eyes dimming. "You know. Ball gown? Mermaid? Sheath?"
"Color?" She asks hopefully.
"Um. Not white?"
"Alright then. You get yourself changed into the robe and I'll see what I can find!"
I groan after her departing back. This is going to be a total disaster . . . .
She brought back one each of styles that can only be described as Christian Old Lady, Pouffe, Rhinestone Hell, Unexpectedly Busy at the Bottom, Not Since I was Twenty One and Fuck No.
We agreed to venture out first in Christian Old Lady. The lace sleeves were scratchy and the harridans on the couch had pissed themselves laughing before I even made it onto the dais.
"No Sale." Rose finally snorts, waving her hand dismissively. "Next."
I've got to admit, that though there is something satisfying to my inner eleven year old about sashaying along in a big organza skirt I wouldn't be caught dead in it on any other occasion, not least my marriage to Edward.
Rose and Alice were speechless and my consultant took the opportunity to add a veil and a tiara.
Alice purses her lips thoughtfully.
"No!" Rose and I snap together.
Rhinestone Hell. No organza this time but still plenty of princess ball gown with a long train, all adorned with crystals and other embellishments of a sparkly nature.
"Oh God Bella." Rose groans. "Please tell me you didn't pick this?"
"We don't like it?" My consultant asks carefully.
Rose and I shake our heads. Alice just looks like she wants to cry.
Unexpectedly Busy at the Bottom was unexpectedly difficult to walk in. Fit an' flare I think they call it. I minced up to the dais and inelegantly hoisted myself onto it, one step at a time.
"It looks good if you stand still." Is Alice's only comment.
"Your boobs look fantastic." Rose informs me. "The dress definitely needs to be off the shoulder. Can you dance in it?"
I waggle my ass at her, all the better to convey the absolute lack of ability to move properly.
"That'll be a no then." She snickers as I topple of the dais, barely managing to stay on my feet, and hobble back to the dressing room.
Next up, Not Since I was Twenty One.
I feel ridiculous as I lift the clinging, shimmering, satin skirt to step up onto the dais. The thin spaghetti straps show off my neck and shoulders beautifully but it's all downhill from there. Literally. This has got to be the most unforgiving fabric known to woman, my every imperfection, gleaned over nearly four decades, blazing under the salon lights.
"I like the style." Alice murmurs doubtfully.
"Really?" Rose drawls. "Looks like the fucking nightdress Em got me for my birthday and after three kids I won't wear that fucker unless he turns the light out first."
I'm in really good shape for a woman my age, I know this, but damn. I look like a condom stuffed with marshmallows.
And finally. Fuck No.
My consultant vents her frustration on the corset back, cinching me in tight for my catwalk run.
"It's beautiful." Alice chirps, cupping her face with her hands in excitement.
"Alice, no!" I object. The top's pretty much see-through and I can feel it 'all hanging out' at the back.
"We can add a lining." The consultant beams. "Many brides prefer that."
"I am not getting married in a corset with my ass hanging out! Rose! Tell them!"
"It does look good on you Cyggers." She observes. "And Suaveward will love it. You're all shoulders, collar bones and heaving breasts."
"The rich cream color really accentuates your skin and hair tones." My consultant gushes, giving Rose an uncertain look.
"You could lace it up with something pale blue." Alice suggests. "Edward loves blue on you."
"Oh yes. And I think . . . . just wait one moment . . . ." And my consultant's off, weaving through the other clients like a wide receiver.
I look in the mirror. I guess its okay from the front. Maybe with a lining? It certainly displays my attributes to their best advantage. I quite like the heavy fabric and its modest pick-ups, pooling around my calves. I look like I've grown out of the dais, a creamy tree, branches dwindling to fronds as they curl up to the top of my torso . . . .
My ruminations are disturbed by an exclamation I have heard before, many times, on television.
"Well hello beautiful!"
I can see him clearly in the mirror, the famous Fashion Director, flanked by my consultant and Alice, who looks like she'd going to vibrate herself into a case of spontaneous human combustion. I am so not explaining that to Jasper, Rose can do it . . . .
"You are stunning and I think we have just the thing to finish your look. A hint of blue."
Before I can react he flourishes a veil from behind his back, gently taking my hair in his other hand to sweep it up on the top of my head . . . .
When he moves away I can't help but stare at myself in the mirror.
I don't look too old. Too old to be wearing this dress. Too old to be a bride. Too old to be marrying Edward after almost a decade.
I look . . . . beautiful . . . . surprised . . . . wide eyed . . . . ready . . . . ready to float down a flowery aisle in a Kentucky church and claim him, officially, as my own.
And I want it suddenly. That experience. With him. There will be no 'age appropriate' elopement.
The gauzy yet weighty veil has a hint of blue shot through the cream. Edward's blue.
Alice is crying. Rose is crying. I am crying. My consultant is crying. Probably from relief, but I'll take my moment.
"So how was your day?" He sighs happily when I call him from our New York apartment.
"Oh you know. Alice and Rose got me drunk at lunchtime."
"Some work trip." He teases.
"Hey! I have a Board Meeting tomorrow, I'm entitled to let my hair down."
"Of course. Don't worry about me. Home alone with three kids missing their Momma."
"Aw. Are they okay?"
"They're asleep finally. What time will you be home tomorrow?"
"My flight lands at seven thirty. Pick me up?"
"You know I will."
"Have you thought about our wedding?"
"Once or twice."
"Were you thinking, you know, tropical getaway, beach, closest friends and family?"
"I'll be honest." He murmurs. "Although it's completely up to you. I've imagined you floating down an aisle towards me. Breath-taking. With Dad having to grab the back of my tux so I don't charge forward and grab you inappropriately. And Mom crying tears of joy."
"Bella? Love? I know you don't like being the center of attention. Whatever you want. I want. I love you."
"I love you too."
"I bought a wedding dress today." I blurt out.
"It's a church aisle kind of thing."
"God Bella." He breathes quietly. "I fucking love you."
A/N So, this really is it. I hope you didn't suffer too much reading this tale!
If you didn't you should join me in thanking Moosals, because frankly is she hadn't of encouraged me I'd have wandered off to raise Llamas in Peru about halfway through. Also I can't take her credit for Cyggers. Cygnet, baby swan.
Accept no dissonance in your life. Be well, be happy, be you