Our host for Friday Fiction today is....ME! Thank you Karlene, for giving me this honor! If you'd like to join the fun, scroll down and add your link to the linky tool at the bottom of this post. Then be sure to come back and follow the links to our other participants. And don't forget to leave an encouraging word to let the writers know you are reading! (We thrive on that, you know.)
I started this story over a year ago for the "Black" challenge at FaithWriters.com, and I finished it up today so I would have something new for Friday Fiction. It's based on a true story, but a lot of the facts have been changed for the sake of creative writing.
Happy reading and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!
NOTHING TO WEAR
Stacy rifled through her clothes for the third time, toppling stacks of sweaters and yanking clothes off hangers, hoping something suitable would magically appear. She had a classy black sleeveless sheath that still fit, but it was December and she was going to the frozen tundra of Iowa. Her two black suits and countless black skirts, sweaters, and dresses were all too small. In a fit of rage, Stacy screamed at the ceiling, then crumpled to the floor. The dam holding back her tears exploded and she curled up in a ball and wept.
That’s where Kevin found her. The arm she had flung over her face to block the light didn’t hide her tear stained cheeks. Her lips whispered prayers that stopped when Kevin turned off the closet light. He knelt down beside her and combed the hair away from her face with his fingers, and Stacy breathed a sigh.
“Bad day, huh?”
Her giggle hiccupped into fresh sobs, and Stacy flung herself into Kevin’s arms. He stroked her hair and murmured love into her ear as she cried.
“Oh, honey,” she finally said, “I don’t have…I don’t know…What am I going to wear to the funeral? Everything’s too small, and I’m too fat, and I don’t know what to do.” She broke into sobs again.
“Hmm, well, you’ve got that black sweatsuit. You know, the velvety one I like so much? You look mighty fine in that with your new curves. You’ve got a little junk in your trunk now, baby. And it’s nice.” Kevin nuzzled her neck, then tackled her to her back with the intent to prove he liked her new physique.
“Stop, stop!” Stacy’s laugh was truer this time, and she shoved Kevin away. “Yeah, yeah, I know. I look better. I like my junk too, but I HATE not having anything to wear! Mama wasn’t supposed to die before Christmas.”
Kevin heard the warble threaten her voice, and he jumped to his feet. With a tug on Stacy’s hands, he said, “Come on, I want to show you something.”
She stubbornly refused to budge from the closet floor. “What?”
“It’s a surprise. Just come on.”
“I still need to pack and I still have nothing to pack! I’ve got to figure out…”
Kevin cut her off by bending down and scooping her up in his arms. “I said come on.” He turned and carried a giggling, weeping Stacy to the attic stairs.
“Put me down, I’ll walk up the steps.”
“What? Don’t trust me?”
“Nope. Especially now that I’m fat.” She winked and pecked Kevin on the lips.
Inside the attic, Kevin turned the light on and motioned toward an old door they had replaced and stored up there last summer. “Would you like what’s behind door number one, or door number one? I apologize about the limited options, but what with the economy and all, we’ve had to make some cutbacks.”
Stacy rolled her eyes in mockery, but still grinned. “Gee, I guess I’ll take door number one, Monte.”
With a flourish, Kevin swung the door open in its frame to reveal a stack of boxes wrapped and festooned in Christmas colors.
“I found the catalog you had all marked up, and your list. This was going to be your Christmas surprise.”
Stacy often window-shopped through catalogs when Christmas neared, dog-earing pages and circling sizes and colors, preparing her wish-list for “Santa”. Only a fraction of the clothing she selected made it under the tree each year, but it was fun to dream.
Kevin reached into the stack and extracted a gaily wrapped and beribboned large box. “I think this is what you’re looking for. Oh! And wait…” he pulled out a couple of slightly smaller packages. “These too.”
Plopping down on the planked floor, Stacy tore into the big present, opened the box, and burst into sobs anew as she gazed upon the black wool suit she had circled and then decided against.
“What? It’s not right?” Kevin’s smile turned into a worried frown.
“No. I mean yes. It’s perfect.” More tears followed as she opened two new silk blouses and looked up at her fidgeting husband. “And maybe someday you’ll learn to tell the difference between happy tears and sad ones. I love you.”
Dedicated to my mom,who is dancing with the angels. Eva Mae Bancroft, 08-01-1932- 12-08-2003.
|My mother, her parents, and me, circa 1967|
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"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)