(To The Fall From Eden)
If I be left behind… the rites for why I love him are bereft me
Only six and a half weeks thought Kati as she looked at her face in the mirror. Such a short period of time. Seated before the mirror in her bra and panties, she rubbed her hands together and began applying her makeup, covering her freckles. Was she making the biggest mistake of her young life? She shook her head and tried to push the thought away.
But that our loves and comforts should increase even as our days do grow
Reflected in the mirror, she could see the other girls. Like Kati, each of them was in various stages of undress, but none seemed to be as nervous as Kati. Shannon was biting her fingernails and stealing furtive glances at Kati. Mary, who had complained non-stop about her dress, had tossed it over a chair where it lay limp and wrinkling.
With the point of no return approaching, Kati recalled the telephone conversation she’d had with her mother announcing her good fortune.
“61/2 weeks? I don’t know, Katarina,” said her mother. “That seems like a very short amount of time to me. 8 weeks, I can see. Or 10 weeks.
“I know. But...”
“And this Dennis. Who is he?”
“I don’t know Katarina. It still seems short to me. But, if you’re sure?”
“Yes. I’m sure,” she replied. “I said yes.”
“Fine. Then you should do it. It’s your life.”
At that point, Kati asked to speak with her father. After a moment, during which she could hear murmuring in the background, he came on the phone.
“So,” she said. “Mom told you?”
“She doesn’t think I should do it. She thinks 61/2 weeks is too short a time.”
“Kiddo, your mother's a worrier. If she didn’t have anything to worry about, then she’d worry there was nothing for her to worry about.”
“What do you think?”
“I think you should do what you think is right for you. You've made your decision. I'm sure everything will work out.”
“No worries. My bill is in the mail.”
That’s what he’d said, “no worries.” If only that were how she was feeling. Instead, Kati's mind was racing. What if she tripped? What if she forgot what to say? What if....No, she thought to herself, you can do this.
Your wife, my lord, your true and loyal wife
Just then, she felt someone’s hands on her shoulders. A second later, Freddy’s face, curly hair, and horn-rimmed glasses appeared alongside hers in the mirror.
“You look wonderful,” he said.
“Thanks,” she replied.
Normally, being partially dressed in the presence of the opposite sex might be an uncomfortable situation, but none of the girls were concerned about Freddy. They knew he wasn't interested in them whatsoever.
“Well,” he began, “I came back here to tell you that everyone’s here. I took care of your mother and father myself. They're seated in front of your Aunt and Uncle. And your sister, Gretchen… she’s here with some guy named Rory. Personally, I think he looks a bit young for her, but that’s none of my business.”
Kati smiled at Freddy. She laid a hand on his and gave it a squeeze.
“Have you seen, Dennis?”
“I certainly have,” said Freddy, “and I can tell you that he looks absolutely wonderful as do all the guys. Everything is ready and tonight's going to go perfectly.”
“I better let you finish up. Best I go. Things to do,” said Freddy, giving her shoulder a pat. “See you later, girls. Break a leg,” he called out, waving goodbye as he shut the door behind him.
They are loves I bear to you
As she finished dressing, Kati’s mind wandered to Dennis. When she first laid eyes on him, she’d felt an instant dislike. He was tall and incredibly handsome, with dark brown skin, but he looked smug. She’d always detested smug people. But now, she knew it wasn't smugness, just self-confidence. Unlike many people, Dennis was totally comfortable in his own skin.
Death's unnatural that kills for loving
“Your hair. Do you want me to do your hair now?” asked the dressing room stylist.
Her thoughts interrupted, Kati refocused on the present.
“Sure, go ahead,” she responded, closing her eyes.
As she sat there, her hair her long wavy blond hair being brushed and pulled, she tried to halt her runaway thoughts and keep her mind blank. Finally, completely dressed and with her hair done, she got up, walked over to the door, opened it, and stepped out into the hallway. There, a short distance away stood Dennis. She looked at him and smiled to herself. Freddy was right. He did look wonderful.
If e'er my will did trespass against his love either in discourse of thought or actual deed or that mine eyes, mine ears, or any sense delighted them in any form, or that I do not yet, and ever did, and ever will love him dearly
Sensing eyes upon him, Dennis raised his head. Seeing Kati, he smiled and walked over to her.
My love doth so approve him, that even in his stubbornness, his cheeks, his frowns have grace and favor in them
“Shall we?” he asked, extending his arm toward her. She nodded and took his arm. “Don’t worry. You'll do great. It'll be fine.”
As the house lights dimmed, Desdemona and Othello took their places to await their opening cues.
© J. L. Higgs