"The magic was all in the finishing touches."
I barely acknowledged her breathy proclamation before she was off and running yet again.
"Like, for instance, they didn't just use generic tea lights, but pale pink ones to coordinate with the rest of the table's palate. I never would have thought shades of gray and pink would hold up, but it was really sweet. Even the chargers, which looked just like marble, had these subtle pink veins running through them."
Clearly, my sister had enjoyed herself last night, but I couldn't care less about the highlights she shared. She didn't even come close to answering the questions I would have offered: Did they write their own vows? Which readings did they choose? Were there toasts? Were there tears? I returned to my book as Annabelle's swift back and forth around the bed shadowed my periphery.
"Oh, and the linens, the linens were gorgeous. They must have had thin iridescent thread incorporated into them, or something. They shimmered in the candlelight."
She paused, either to place her personals with more precision or to assess her appearance in the large mirror that rested on the floor. The soft slam of the dresser drawer confirmed the former. I kept my eyes on the words in my lap and merely flexed my toes to crack them.
"And, get this, the soaps in the bathroom looked like marble, too. Of course, those were more for decoration. There were still automatic dispensers, but they made up these cute little baskets with the soaps and pink and gray towels and such. They were kind of like centerpieces for the sink counters, you know? Look, I took a picture of one with my phone for my idea book."
At this I looked up, sat up and opened my mouth to speak. Annabelle beat me to it.
"I can't believe I forgot to tell you! I started an idea book, you know, for when I start to plan my wedding, our wedding, mine and Todd's. I know he probably won't propose until next summer or maybe Christmas, but I get ideas all of the time and I want to make sure I don't forget."
I stared at my sister. Her hair was back in a tight, neat ponytail that barely grazed the bright, white collar of her shirt, its crisp sleeves folded up and over her black, cable knit sweater with a perfect crease. She was so organized, so together and so hopelessly clueless I couldn't help but continue to stare.
"What? What is it? Do you want to see the book? I have it right here."
Annabelle turned to retrieve the book from its shelf. "I have it all divided up into sections, see? I even have one called 'Finishing Touches'."
I am not exactly sure what broke me, but I shattered like glass. "Anna! For Christ's sake, what is wrong with you? You are so over the top, so freaking over the top it makes me sick. Everyday you yammer on and on about all this superficial, sappy shit to hide the fact that you have no substance. Stop wasting your life. Todd doesn't love you and he never, not in a million years, will ever marry you! God!"
I fumbled with my own book to find the page I had lost. As I brushed the hair out of my eyes to resume reading, I saw my sister wrinkle her face to wrangle her words of retort. I decided this would finish her, "Everyone knows he's only with you because you're a slut."
And it did. But the result, well, the result was far from magical.
This piece is a work of fiction and was inspired by this week's the speakeasy writing prompt. Click on the button below to read the prompt and the other beautiful writers who hang out there. Thanks!