Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Change of Heart

Today's muse: Sarah Selecky's Daily Writing Prompts

The prompt: Write a scene that starts with the line, "Next.".

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Change of Heart


Jennifer was now at the head of the line, had been standing there for what seemed like hours.

“Are you going?” The angry woman next to her all but growled the question. “We’ve been waiting, too, you know. You’re holding up the line.”

“I know. I just…” She just what?

Jennifer looked around the room filled with women who smiled and laughed. She could see that a queue had formed out the door; imagined it went down the street and around the block. After all, an event like this only happened once a year. And most of these women had dreamed of it since childhood. She didn’t fit in with these women.

“Honey, don’t be shy.” The assistant—the only man in the room—smiled at her, exposing a neat row of straight, white teeth. “Step behind the curtain. I’ll help you.”

Jennifer glanced behind her. A woman—quite a few years younger than her—seemed faint with excitement. Before Jennifer could ask if the girl was okay, Angry Woman shoved her forward.


“Alright! Alright!”

She had a sick feeling in her stomach. It was the same sensation she’d had when she walked to the principal’s office that time she got caught cheating on her calculus exam. She’d hated calculus. Sucked at it. Who the hell needs to know linear functions?

The toothy assistant pulled the curtain aside and nudged her through, let the drape close behind her. It was exactly what she had imagined, every vision she had conceived since she could read.

And she felt empty inside.

On the other side of the curtain, the crowd erupted in cheers. The first woman must have exited her own curtained room with her selection, Jennifer thought. She knew she should be happy for her, excited to walk out with her own selection, but she just couldn’t bring forth that emotion.

“I can’t.”

With one last glance at the wedding dresses hanging in the curtained room, Jennifer pushed through the drapes. Angry Woman stopped her as she walked by.

“You didn’t pick one?”

Jennifer smiled. “It’s not for me. But the second one from the left will look great on you.”

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