Whenever she thought of getting married, she always imagined how Maggie would read the invitations. She always wondered whether Maggie would be impressed at the sound of his name. If Maggie would wonder whether he looked at all like his name, and if she were just settling for him, or if he were really someone she could hardly have found.
Funny that they never wrote letters anymore, she and Maggie. Both out of touch with that part of their past.
She could still see the short, tan-skinned boy with his curly, chestnut hair in the very back pew of the white church that day at Maggie’s wedding. He was handsome, in an irresistibly-cherubic way, like a rich boy who can hang by the pool looking bored. And, she remembered how he stared straight ahead in disbelief when the recessional signaled the end of the ceremony of the marriage of Maggie to Todd. She wondered whether Maggie married Todd that day just to prove to a lazy rich boy how simply she could live without him.
Maggie’s older sister Kate when she met her looked at her as one does when being introduced to the newest animal at the zoo…..conscious of the fact that their lives had not up until this point ever intersected, nor would they ever have had reason to. Kate smiled nicely and kindly toward her mother, who placed a great deal of importance on the whole introduction. Her mother had always placed a premium on presenting her daughter before her friends’ relations, being careful to condense every major academic and artistic award into two compound sentences, like life flashing before the eyes of this part of the world over which she had momentary control.
Kate was the oldest in a family of girls who bore absolutely no resemblance to the girls she was expected to grow up to become. Rather, Kate was cleanly quiet, and lived in the part of New England where people go so that they don’t have to think about the poor. She and her sisters had grown up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where everything was off-white and white long before the apartments in New York went that way, and the girls next door were natural blondes named Raleigh and Tiffany.
Maggie was the youngest and had been forced on her by their mothers at the age of ten, when they were already old enough to decide who their friends would be. But, Maura. Maura was the artist, whose paintings put the color on the white walls in Bloomfield Hills, and whose rustic ceramic dish and goblet set were the breakfast place settings at her parents’ retirement home. She remembered how disgusted Maura was at her own mother’s see-thru bra and how her mother’d pretended to be surprised. Maura wore purple patent leather platform shoes and yellow semi-opaque stockings with her mini, and very wide brimmed natural straw hats to the Pleasant Vale Bible conference, where they all met each other against their will.
She wondered if Maggie would one day look up from her sewing machine or come home from shopping to find her wedding invitation and, like she so often did, cast a hasty eye across his name to see how it read. Wonder what he looked like. And, toss it in the wastebasket.
© Ruth Ann Scanzillo
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