I Don’t

I Don’t (January 2019, Round 2, Day 1)

She stood, frozen, feeling all the eyes in the room pointed at her. The intensity of their stares made her need to exit more urgent and left her feeling stuck. 

“Let’s go.” 

The relief that those two words spoken at her shoulder gave almost brought her to her knees. She turned away from all the eyes and silently grabbed the offered hand. Once the two of them had cleared the threshold of the room she let go. “Tha-”

“Just do whatever was important enough for you to disrupt the ceremony and save your thanks for later. I’ll wait here.”

She didn’t need to be told twice. The bathroom was within sight so she dashed in there, hoping for solitude. As the door closed behind her she scanned the stalls and let out a sigh of relief. The room was just as unnecessarily opulent as the rest of the hotel. It had two love seats and linen towels and a chandelier that demanded attention. She counted it as a stroke of luck that the room didn’t have an attendant in there waiting to hand her a towel and make the whole bathroom experience that much more uncomfortable, the thought of which made her look over her shoulder to make sure she hadn’t missed someone. The day was full to the brim of Jes having to be and do and the call she’d have to take sooner than later was pushing her to the brink. Her little brother’s wedding day was supposed to be about him – all she wanted to do today was blend into the background for once and let him be the focus of everyone’s attention. Her phone began vibrating again and she fumbled with the clapse on the purse to gain access to it before it stopped again.

“I’m here. I’m sorry.”

She paced the tiny room, avoiding the mirrors, while she let the diatribe eminating from her phone wash over her. There was nothing more she could do, really, and saying anything would just extend the call. Letting Sal vent her spleen had to happen. She knew that if she had continued to ignore her phone she would have gotten to the reception to find Sal standing there, fuming, and would have had to navigate even more of a scene than the one she’d just caused.

It didn’t take too long – there were only so many different ways for Sal to tell her how wrong she’d been. When the words stopped she took a deep breath and said, “I know, and I’m sorry. Goodbye.” She stopped pacing and looked at herself in the mirror, half expecting to see signs of the one-sided argument in her expression. What greeted her instead was her reflection looking lighter than it had in years. Her eyes were bright, her forehead was smooth, even her hair was cooperating. She tried out a smile and was pleased with the effect. 

When she emerged from the bathroom she found Ana standing right where she’d left her, waiting as promised. 

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