Satin Dress and Silhouette
In a room that glitters from the crystals and diamonds, a young woman waits.
She glances around and orders herself not to notice how the other young women are arriving arm in arm with their mothers. For a moment she admires the dresses, the jewelry, and the make-up. But her attention is torn back to the empty chairs around her; the blank space is so heavy, it's palpable.
Around her, the other guests are seating, talking, laughing. Some are even staring at the lonely girl in the red satin dress. They approve of her elegant dress, her brunette hair twisted into a bun, the jeweled pins glittering underneath the light that holds her hair in place. They do not, however, approve of her sitting alone and gazing about the room sadly. It was distracting.
For half an hour she sits alone, keenly aware of the stares and titters coming from all around her. Then the host begins her welcome speech to all the mothers and daughters. The banquet has begun, and it's past time her mother should arrive.
She tries to text her mother, asking where she is, but the reply she receives is silence. And that is far more wounding than any words.
As a last resort, she texts her father, asking if her mother has left yet.
His reply: She decided to spend the evening at your sister's.
She couldn't have even bothered to tell me, she thinks to herself bitterly. She knew she and her mother weren't as close as they could have been. She knew her sister's company was preferred over her own, but it still wounds her deeply. The whole night was planned out to rekindle their relationship, but now it was crumbling away. Her pride won't allow her to try rebuilding again.
Through blurry vision, she stands, and when others glance at her, she feigns a smile to try lightening the situation.
Her heels click against the tiles loudly as if to announce her departure. She pretends not to hear.
She crosses the room, weaving through the tables and banquet guests. She quietly slips out onto the balcony and into the warm airy night.
Alone and hidden, she attempts to compose herself, but nothing can stop the ragged sob that tears from her throat. Nothing can stop the burning in her eyes or the ache in her heart, Hot tears drip from her eyes and fall into the city lights below. The city that keeps on going without realizing the world is being turned upside down, or at least to one single girl in a red satin dress.
She swallows down her sorrow and tries her best to dry her eyes.
She mourns for the mother that she loves who turns into the mother that she had. She only wanted to try and build the bond that her mother has with her younger sister, but now it was clear that wasn't going to happen anymore.
Tearfully, she reaches behind her and pulls out the crystal pins, one by one. Her soft bun falls out of its shape, and her hair falls pitifully around her.
The pins she clutches were given to her by her mother years ago. She wore them that night because they were from her. She thought it would make her mother happy.
She doesn't want to make her mother happy anymore.
The young woman looks at the pins once more, gently shaking them around in her hand. Then, she turns her palm and casts them away from her. She watches them as they fall down each story, catching the light and sparkling.
They fall out of sight and her heart sinks. She rests her head on the balcony rail and weeps.
In a room that glitters from the crystals and diamonds, the mothers and daughters all band together in toasts. In smiles. In laughter and love.
No one notices the silhouette of a girl who is standing outside on the balcony.