Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Little Black Dress

The Little Black Dress

By Michael Cannata

It was such a beautiful, little black dress.  Candi had loved it as much as Beth had when they first saw it. Unfortunately, it was two sizes too small.

“You’ll look great in it once you lose the weight”. Candi squealed excitedly! “I can see us now, out on the deck in the warm night air on that cruise we have planned.
“Oh, sure,” Beth moaned with nothing close to Candi’s enthusiasm, “Like I can lose that much weight by then!” Candi could eat a horse and never gain an ounce. For Beth, weight had always been an issue.

Undaunted, Candi insisted and bought it for her when Beth complained it was too expensive. All summer long she dieted and exercised. When Beth felt weak and ready to dive into some cake, Candi would stand between her and the refrigerator ready to physically restrain her.

“For the cruise and humanity,” Candi would shout and they would break up laughing. Her sister was her champion. She believed in Beth. She couldn’t let Candi down.

The cruise was to be their first time away together in too many years. They would sit together, sipping their versions of all the exotic drinks they would be drinking on the cruise and fantasize about what they would do on the tropical islands they would be visiting. They swore they wouldn’t come back until they'd married some international millionaire or doctor.

Last weekend Beth stepped on the scale and screamed with joy. She had reached her goal! She rushed into the bedroom and tore the dress from the hanger to try it on. She cried when she looked at herself in the mirror. She was as beautiful as Candi swore she would be. It fit like a glove. She couldn’t wait for Candi to see it.

Beth spread the dress on the bed and smoothed the wrinkles. She loved the dress, but, not as much as she loved Candi. The tears welled up again as she thought of how proud Candi would've been of the way it looked on her. It was cold at this time of year. The dress would offer little protection against the chill. But Beth would make do. She had to.

The funeral would be starting soon.

She started to get ready as her tears slid slowly down her cheeks. Beth would wear it for Candi today. And only today. Then the little black dress would never again be taken out of the closet.

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