Familiar Dress

Submitted into Contest #160 in response to: End your story with someone dancing in the rain.... view prompt

10 comments

Drama Romance

Edwin had rehearsed his dance many times. Grab her hand-lift it up-twirl her around. He'd have the ring in his pocket. Grab her hand-lift it up-drop one knee. He knew his neighbours had seen him rehearsing at times, it didn't bother him. He wanted them to watch, really, he wanted them to see who it was for.

He thought about what sundress she'd have on today, soft pink,

faded violet, or his favourite, sky-blue covered in yellow flowers. Edwin put on his best cologne; it matched well with Lillian's flowery (it's what he called it) perfume, so he told himself.

"Should I get flowers?" Edwin thought. "No, I'll buy her flowers after, enough to put one in her hair every day until we get married."

Edwin's clean-shaven face made him look five years younger; it wasn't something he usually did, only for special occasions, really, and he did take this to be a special occasion. He'd picked out his white collared shirt and navy-blue trousers two weeks prior, not wearing them until today, with not a crease in sight.

10 minutes felt like 10 hours while he waited until evening. He

polished the diamond ring seven times before placing it in his pocket. He thoroughly checked his pants for any holes that might ruin the evening. As he stepped out the door, he noticed the weather had changed; dark clouds began to blanket the sky. "No Matter." Edwin thought, "I'd propose to her, rain or shine." He paused. "No, I want it to rain, after all, I think it'd be a great narrative, having cold rain shower upon us yet failing to quench our fire as we dance in puddles."

Lillian was always at the town square Friday evenings; she loved listening to the different kinds of music that played each week. Edwin thought music would be a great addition to the proposal, dancing often accompanies music, although he left it up to fate.

Edwin entered the town square and noticed immediately music was not playing. What he also noticed immediately was that sky-blue sundress he could spot a mile away. The sky started to dribble, tearing up at the anticipation of Edwin's proposal. As he walked closer, he noticed she was talking to a man, a man who had pulled out an umbrella to shield them both from the rain. He was a man with thinning hair, a moustache, and a sly lustful look in his eye. They were both smiling. He'd put his hand on Lillian's lower back, patting her, and moved her away in the opposite direction. Edwin stood fifteen feet away from them, Lillian not noticing his presence for a mere second.

Edwin thought to himself, "She's never once looked at me

like that." He kept thinking, uttering a quiet whimper, "I was going

to put my hand around her waist today." He couldn't move and stood there motionless for over thirty minutes. The rain started picking up, the clouds crying in sorrow at what they just witnessed. He came to and slowly walked back the way he came, his eyes not turning away from the ground.

He wished the shower falling from the sky was acid rain that'd

consume him, it'd be a better fate than living through the anguish that tore his soul apart, he reckoned. His breathing became heavy, wheezing with every breath, and his head started aching, pounding with every beat of his broken heart, and that's when he fully burst into tears. He stood there in the darkness, his hands covering his face in the place he used to dance.

Edwin tried to recreate the dance he was going to perform for

his fiancé after seven years of preparation. With his crooked posture, and limp, cold white fingers, he lifted his right arm passed his soaked brown hair that clung to his forehead. He attempted to smile, lifting a thousand pounds with his cheeks. Edwin's salty tears mixed with the rain on his face and started forming a puddle at his feet. He began his dance for Lillian one final time.

Grab her hand-lift it up-twirl her around. He held the hand of

death, her touch ever so gentle. He swayed from side to side in perfect rhythm. Grab her hand-lift it up-drop one knee. He bent down on one knee and kissed her hand. He took out the engagement ring from his pocket and placed it in the puddle the way he'd envisioned placing it on Lillian's hand. Upon tilting his head up and seeing her face, Edwin proposed to death, to put away his love for Lillian, to kill a part of him that never came to be.

His neighbour had been watching him through the crack in his

curtains, allowing a faint orange glow to emanate from the sleeping house. With one eye peeking through, bulging out its socket, this neighbour stared and started fantasizing that it was he who was dancing, he and his beloved mistress-to-be.

He [the neighbour] heard footsteps coming towards him. The worn

wooden floorboards creaked louder with every step. This neighbour was already cold but his body temperature dropped several degrees lower. He turned and averted his gaze momentarily. He knew his wife didn't trust him; he knew she had her suspicions about his inward desires despite her meekness. It was because of how he spoke to that younger woman a month ago, along with today, and how he lied about it despite the evidence being clear. He couldn't get his mind off of her blue sundress with yellow flowers printed all over, the smell of her perfume resembling the flowers she wore, but most of all he remembered her radiant smile that warmed his heart like a fire on a cold winter’s day.

"That's precisely why she'd come downstairs, to check on me, to make sure I'm not watching other women again." he thought.

He started blushing, turning his chubby cheeks red just thinking

about his past encounters. His moustache remained grey covering his quivering upper lip. He turned back to the window and scrunched his thick eyebrows, putting on a stern look to hide any emotion his wife might chance to see.

"What is it, dear?" asked his wife dressed in her nightgown, "Is there a commotion outside?"

 "Nothing, just Edwin dancing in the rain again."

August 27, 2022 03:20

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

10 comments

Caitlyn Kilbee
16:06 Oct 21, 2022

Others have already said a lot of what I would have said myself but I do like it when a male writer describes a male character feeling and acting sad. It's never been "okay" in most countries for men to show emotion which stinks in my book so I loved how you described Edwin's feelings. Beautifully done. I love a twist at the end and put them in most of my stories so I really appreciated yours. Clever. I've commented on both your submissions now and loved them both. I want to read more!

Reply

Carter Obasohan
07:43 Oct 22, 2022

I have a travel memoir on Amazon called "Notes From Out West" if you want to read more... I also use a different writing style though, a chapter excerpt is available on my website https://notesfromoutwest.com that showcases it. Your comments are appreciated!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
K'lee Stewart
21:48 Aug 31, 2022

Very vivid descriptions! It was like I could see him dancing and feel the cold rain.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Havana Summer
12:39 Aug 27, 2022

Just Edwin dancing in the rain…AGAIN?! Has he done this multiple times before? Great story and interesting read!

Reply

Carter Obasohan
20:02 Aug 27, 2022

Yes, Edwin has danced in the rain before to make sure he could do it in any weather condition. He's a character that over-dramatizes things, making himself the focal point in some grand 'theatrical play.' Unbeknownst to Edwin, his neighbour is the focal point of his own 'theatrical play' as well. This represents our desire to be part of a narrative, and our willingness to partake in narratives, even if there is no sound evidence for that narrative or rather what we believe (act out (because we're actors, remember)). Thanks for reading and c...

Reply

Havana Summer
02:18 Sep 20, 2022

Great characterization too! I forgot to put that in my earlier comment. Here are some of the lines that stood out to me after rereading it again: "He attempted to smile, lifting a thousand pounds with his cheeks." and "Upon tilting his head up and seeing her face, Edwin proposed to death, to put away his love for Lillian, to kill a part of him that never came to be." Amazing work!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Sky S
04:22 Aug 27, 2022

It started out so happy but turned melancholy so quickly. I'd definitely read more of your work.

Reply

Carter Obasohan
19:38 Aug 27, 2022

I wanted it to be unpredictable with a plot twist at the end..

Reply

Sky S
00:16 Aug 28, 2022

I'm so glad you did! I completely forgot about neighbors and how small of a world this is. You did so well on it!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Sonia Walcott
18:30 Oct 22, 2022

Hello everyone, my name is Sonia from Los Angeles, California, I tried getting a car loan sometime last year but my credit score of about 521 ruined the process. Since I was in desperate need of a car due to the nature of my new job, I resorted to making online research on how I could restore my credit to a minimum of 650 to enable me to qualify, after a few months of searching, I bumped into a blog and found positive reviews about HACK VANISH CREDIT SPECIALIST, So I reached out to them to explain my credit situation, they requested my info ...

Reply

Show 0 replies