In answer to the daily prompt Snapshot Stories:
Raphaelle caressed the leather bound album softly truly gathering courage to open it. She had not opened it since Nathan died: he was the one who insisted they should have a keep sake of their wedding day. Since he passed the pain had been too much and she had survived instead of lived for the past three years.
But her little sister had just made the biggest sacrifice by marrying the devil that every man and woman be allowed to make their own choices without any angelic or demonic intervention. She must honour Gabrielle’s courage by starting living again. If she were honest with herself she also needed to do so for her two precious children who could not live their lives watching their mother struggling. And finally she must do it for Nate who’d be so mad at her for giving up on happiness.
Taking a deep breath she opened the album; a sad smile crept around her lips for attached to the first page was their invitation. Nathan designed it himself, a representation of the two of them with a tree standing behind them; she looked into the garden. The tree was still here, holding their names and that of Jade and Romeo… Gabrielle had done everything she could to ensure that their lives wouldn’t be affected by what was required of her. Raphaelle was grateful; much as she hurt she couldn’t have left this house. Looking back at the invitation she remembered the difficulty of writing it; both hers and Nate’s parents had wanted something traditional but the two of them had a very precise idea of what they hoped their wedding to be like. Nate won that argument and it was their names that showed at the top of the invitation; there had been no reception card for they decided that they’d rather invite only the people who truly mattered in their lives and have everyone be here for the entire event. At least that had been accepted readily by all.
She delicately flipped the page and the very first photo caught her breath; it was the picture Gabie took at the bridal shop when she first tried the dress that eventually became her wedding dress. Again it was not particularly traditional. She had wanted colour and something demure but fun. So she had chosen the cocktail length dress that she knew still hung somewhere in Nathan’s wardrobe. The face that looked back at her appeared happy, much happier than she had felt in a long time. Still she would choose the same dress today: the backless dress with its champagne colour and overlay of black lace was perfect. Though she did on the picture she hadn’t worn a veil on her wedding day choosing instead to have white roses and black pearls in her hairdo.
She remembered her mother’s and mother-in-law’s horror at the choice. It wasn’t nearly as demure as they wanted despite the lovely matching black lace bolero. And they wouldn’t find a dress to match; and what of the bridesmaids and groom. Gabrielle was the one who convinced them. It was hers and Nate’s day and their wedding must be a reflection of their love and life style no one else’s. Sweet Gabie: hers hadn’t been anything like her. She watched the ceremony the day before: there was no music, no songs though these were such essential parts of her sister’s life. And there was no father to bring her down the aisle, not even her friend this Aidan.
Her thoughts were scattered… she concentrated on the picture again: the truth was that she hadn’t been convinced it was her dress right away. It was merely the one she’d liked the most out of the dozen she had tried on. In fact if she looked closely the emotion in her eyes wasn’t only happiness but rather a bemused expression as if she was asking the photographer – her sister – whether it really was what she wanted.
Gabrielle hadn’t given any advice on this one though she had clearly expressed her disgust for some of the gowns the attendant had made her try. In all cases Raphaelle agreed; in some she hadn’t even wanted to try the dress. But this one… Gabrielle hadn’t said anything. She wasn’t one to force anything on her. Instead she had answered to her own unspoken question “It’s your dress sis. What do you think?” And something fuzzy had spread inside her heart. It probably meant it was the dress.
Happy daze indeed.