Wendy stared at herself in the three way mirror in the bridal shop while her mother and aunt fussed about her. "Oh Wendy, it is very lovely." her mother gushed.
"Just how a young lady ought to look at her wedding." fussed her aunt.
"Yes." Wendy agreed, though why she couldn't share in their joy she could not figure out. She smoothed her hands down the white satin fabric, feeling the softness underneath her hands. "Why can't I just get over this nagging feeling…must just be pre wedding jitters."
"Here we go." The seamstress bustled into the dressing area carrying the specially made veil. She slipped the combs into Wendy's perfectly coifed chestnut curls. "Oh my, I have never seen a lovelier bride to be Miss Darling".
"Wendy, isn't it something? You will treasure this day forever my dear." Wendy's aunt admired with a tear in her eye. Wendy's face didn't show the excitement of her mother and Aunt. " My dear... surely you aren't disappointed….The lace itself must have cost a fortune."
"No aunt I assure you, it is perfectly lovely."
"And why would the miss be disappointed? my goodness she is marrying the most eligible bachelor in London." The seamstress scoffed.
Wendy wished she could be as sure as the seamstress. Maybe she should marry him Wendy thought to herself. No I mustn't think like that… I am fortunate, many girls would love to be in my shoes and my family is so pleased, especially father. My brothers though are not so happy…Oh to have the freedom of a boy. How I would love to go to university like them and become a novelist… Silly I am a girl my lot in life is to marry, be a proper wife and mother.
"Wendy my dear, why are you so melancholy"?
Wendy look at her beautiful delicate mother. " Just pre wedding jitters mother, nothing to fear". Why can I not be more like her…so proper and ladylike made for marriage and childrearing. How it would disappoint them if they knew my thoughts."
"Come now child, every woman goes through pre wedding jitters. You must change so we won't be late to tea"
I wonder how aunt Millicent knows about wedding jitters considering she has never been married. "Yes Mum I shall be ready soon. Wendy changed back into her day dress and had her maid Nancy help smooth her curls...it wouldn't be proper for a lady to go to tea with mussed hair I suppose. Wendy thought to herself….Though it might be fun to see the faces of all the proper ladies if I did. she thought with a grin as she stepped out of the shop door with her mother and aunt.
"There now Wendy, you see... I knew you had a smile in you, only jitters." Repeated aunt Millicent.
As Wendy looked up she saw a man across the road. He seemed familiar. Silly I've never met that man in my life. she thought. He noticed her and nodded his head in greeting, she nodded hers in reply.
"Come now we'll be late, it wouldn't do for a proper young girl to be late to tea with her new mother in law now would it"?
"No aunt, it would not." Wendy glanced behind her once more to the handsome gentleman. He was still looking her way as well. So familiar… Kind blue eyes and mischievous smile.
"That man back there across the road… is he an acquaintance of ours"? Wendy's mother discretely glanced back to the handsome man.
"No dear, no one I have ever met. Why"?
"He seems so familiar." Wendy stopped immediately in her tracks. She knew why the gentleman looked familiar to her. She could barely hear her own thoughts due to the loud pounding of her heart. It was the smile she saw in her dreams and in her stories. The smile from adventures long ago not to be spoken of. "Impossible" That smile belonged on a younger face… one she would never see again.