The Mission: The Girls (part 14)

Deborah Hendrick on Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

“I don’t know why you have to choose,” said Sandy Madden. “Wear the 1920s wedding dress for the New Year’s Eve party, then change into this dress for the marriage ceremony.”

“I agree,” said Georgina. “It’s perfect.”

Ginny had bought the dresses when she found them one day in a Houston resale shop. Both dresses had been hand-made by the legendary island dressmaker, Tibby Macdhui, and bore her iconic, embroidered dressmaker’s mark, a thistle. Not knowing when, if ever, she would wear one, Ginny had carefully folded them in tissure and stored them in her cedar chest.

“I’ll need a genuine corset to wear with this one, because I am really holding it in here. The woman who wore this dress had a tiny waist. And a veil I guess, although she may have worn only flowers in her hair.”

Ginny stood in a glamorous Hollywood-style dress that could have been designed for Jean Harlow. Made entirely of lace, and bias cut, the aged ivory dress had a high neck with a choker collar, and long tight sleeves. It fit close to the body, buttoned in the back, and ended in a softly gathered, six-foot train.

“You can wear these with it,” said Sandy, opening up a flat square box. “These rope pearls were my grandmother’s, and they haven’t been worn since she passed. I tried to wear them, but I’m too short and looked like a little girl playing dress-up. These are the matching diamond and pearl drops. I did wear the earrings occasionally, but even they are a little too long for me. I’ve been saving them all these years for Elijah’s bride.”

“Oh Sandy, I can’t take your grandmothers’ pearls.”

“Ginny, none of this is an accident. This dress was meant for you. This jewelry was meant for you. And Elijah … well. He says his heart stopped beating the moment he saw you. And it didn’t start beating again until he found out Ace was your brother. Was he ever relieved.”

The women laughed, and Ginny whispered, “No, no. Don’t make me laugh. I can’t exhale.”

“I have a present for you too, Sandy,” Ginny said, “and I think now is the right time to give it to you.”

“A present for me? What ever for?” she asked in surprise.

Ginny stepped briefly into another room and came back with a large framed painting. “I started this without knowing where I was going with it, but before I finished the sketch, I knew it would be yours.”

Ginny turned the painting around and handed it to Sandy. It was a toddler with dark glossy curls and sturdy little legs, running down a garden path, holding a toy airplane as high as he could reach. The view was from behind the child’s left shoulder, with his face turned just enough to the left that a deep dimple was visible in his fat rosy cheek. It could have been any child, but it was without doubt, Elijah.

Topics: The Mission

2 Responses to “The Mission: The Girls (part 14)”

Sarah Says:
October 13th, 2006 at 6:32 pm

You are a truly gifted writer. I’ve loved reading this story so far.

Deborah Says:
October 14th, 2006 at 10:46 am

Thank you, Sarah. “Ginny” started out as a single Glovebox story, but sometimes characters take over!


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