‘The Blue Dress’ by Samuel Stevens

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The couple sat in his room. He leaned on the wall. He had movie posters taped to the walls. Hiking gear and military surplus littered the floor. She sat with her legs crossed on his desk chair. She held her head with her left hand. The diamond engagement ring glinted in the light. Her eyes were deep and brown and her dark hair framed her soft face. The only hardness was around her eyes.

“We already have an appointment for the fitting.”

“You can’t wear white.” He crossed his arms. He looked at his icon of the Virgin Mary on the wall. She sat under it.

“My mom and dad are paying for this, and you knew—”

“Well I knew, but you can’t wear white.”

“What will the other people think? What about your family?” She looked down at the floor. “This is my special day. Please,”

He shrugged.

“What will your parents think?”

“I don’t care.”

“Don’t say that. I feel my job is to help you be the best person you can be…oh please don’t look at me that way.”

He grunted.

“We already have an appointment.” Her eyes watered.

“Don’t do that now.”

“Just let me wear white, it’s my day, please, I love you and I want you to love me back the same way.”

“I do but I can’t let you wear white.” He picked up one of the rifles on the wall and shouldered it.

“Can you not do that now?” she said quietly. “We need to talk about this.”

“What’s there to talk about? You can’t wear a white dress.”

She wiped her eyes.

“What’s the matter?” he said. He replaced the weapon. He stepped over a backpack on the floor and put a hand on her shoulder. She covered her face with her hands.

“I’m doing my best.” She got up. His hand fell away. “I don’t know if I can do this. I need to go to my mom’s house.”

“No,” he said. “Don’t do that, come on.”

“I need to go see my mom.” She left his apartment.

He went back into his room and laid down on the bed. The icon of the Virgin stared at him. He could not make eye contact with it.

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