TITLE: There’s No Place Like Home
GENRE: Women’s Fiction
“It’s funny, Beth, a year ago I expected to be dressing you in a wedding gown for another man.” Her mother’s breath warmed her back as the woman threaded another pearl button through its tight hole, stealing more of Beth’s diminishing breathing room.
“Mom,” warned Beth’s sister, Cynthia.
“Well, it’s true.”
Beth kept her back to the warring women and took a deep, restricted breath, the scent of her nearby bouquet battling her mother’s perfume.
“Cut it out.” Her mother gave Beth’s back a light tap. “I can’t do up these impossible buttons when you horse around.”
Beth took halted, unfulfilling breaths. The church’s tiny upstairs dressing room seemed to lack oxygen.
Her mom squeezed the last button through its hole and spun Beth around, beaming, hand to her chest. “You look beautiful.”
Cynthia loped over in a fluttering silk robe. “Your Nash sure can sure pick a gown.”
A chestnut tendril tumbled across Cynthia’s forehead and Beth brushed it back in place. Her sister’s hair was perfect in a sexy, tousled way making Beth think of movie stars and champagne, and left her thinking she shouldn’t have bullied her own curly hair into a slick chignon. Beth lengthened her spine and dragged in a long, uneasy breath.
“Cynthia,” commanded their mother, “put on your dress.”
“If you need me—for anything—” Cynthia shot their mom a warning look, “I’ll be down the hall.” She wagged a finger at her mom. “Don’t mess with her head!”