Hello dear readers. Today I'm trying something completely out of my comfort zone.
The prompt for today at Blogtember is to write a short story using a specific sentence.
That means that every blogger linking up today with Jenni, will have written a story
that starts with the exact same sentence.
Very cool, am I right?
When I saw this prompt, I knew. I knew I wanted to take this challenge,
and give my writing skills a challenge.
But I've been scared to hit publish. I'm not sure fiction is my thing.
So I'm leaving it up to you. I trust you.
Be my editor, give me a review.
What do you like?
What do you dislike?
And if you are interested, check out other entries here.
To say I was dreading the dinner party, would be the understatement of the century. I was already sweating, one of my many postpartum perks. I could feel my makeup threatening to smear as sweat started to bead on my nose. My hair, already damp at the nape of my neck, was starting to frizz. This is exactly why I stopped bothering with things like showers and makeup. My hair dryer was as shocked to see me as I was to see it. Why, why, why did I agree to this? Why did I say yes?
As I sat on the bed to wrestle myself into my Spanx, I could hear Addy crying. Addy always cried, and Caleb always tried his damnedest to comfort her. But we both knew what she wanted. She wanted me, always me. No matter the time of day, no matter the situation, Addy always wanted me. It was never ending, and I was suffocating. Her crying only added to my anxiety as I pulled and tugged the beige spandex. Was it possible that I was so out of shape that Spanx were going to do me in?
No, this dinner party would be my demise. But I had no choice. Melissa was turning 30, and that in itself was a crisis. She was the last to hit the big three-oh, and had been having a daily meltdown since January. In the last 3 months she had received 2 botox treatments, a chemical peel, and for tonight's party, a spray tan, a Brazilian wax, and new highlights. She was also back to her prebaby weight, her baby (a month younger than Addy) was sleeping through the night, and was exclusively breast fed. She was a walking advertisement for perfection, just as I was a walking advertisement for failure. But she was my best friend, so I had no choice. Oh yes, this was going to be a great night.
Looking into my closet for the umpteenth time, I again realized that nothing I owned would do. In this closet were the clothes of a size 6 person. She was long gone. Thrown out with the placenta just over six months ago. How could we have lost her so quick and so suddenly? Replaced by this zombie in spanx and heavy eyeliner that would hopefully give off the impression of well, happy, content. Hopefully. I looked to the closet door and saw my newest enemies. One red dress, one black dress, both sized 12. Double digit enemies bought at bargain basement prices.
Black dress, red dress, fat, fat, fat, I sang softly in my head.
"Jenn, where are the bottle liners?", Caleb bellowed from downstairs.
"In the pantry, second shelf, left hand side, next to the formula", I bellowed back, which only tipped Addy to the fact that I was still in the house.
"Thanks", from a frustrated sounding Caleb.
Caleb was dreading tonight as well, but for different reasons. Caleb had to put on a happy face. Caleb was going to have to lie. For me. For every How are you, we would, conspiratorially, say Fine. For every How is Addy, we would nod in unison Perfect. It would be a Christmas and Anniversary present rolled into one. I had asked him, no begged him to do it. Please for the love of God, don't admit that we co-sleep. Please say we are still breastfeeding, please say she sleeps through the night, please say... So Caleb, with nothing left to lose, was going to lie for me. Because we had stopped talking. Because we hadn't had a night out in, how old was Addy? Because Caleb, I was convinced had given up on me.
Black dress, red dress, fat, fat fat.
I longed for my sweats. Couldn't I just wear sweats? I mean my hair was freshly washed and combed. No, sweats would not do. Melissa had sent me a text of the new dress she bought from Banana Republic. Tara would wear something that looked like something her mother would wear. Nina would wear jeans, because Nina always wore jeans. And yet all three of them would look flawless and comfortable. I was pretty sure I was going to look like a sausage, screaming to break out of it's casing. Hopefully I'd look like a pretty sausage though. Black dress, red dress, fat, fat, fat... I grabbed the black dress just as the door bell rang.
"Jenn, are you ready? Mandy is here", Caleb, his I'm tired of waiting voice.
"Five minutes, give Mandy the rundown and the numbers", me in my hold your effing horses voice.
Tonight. A dinner party for someone else's life. Certainly not mine. A dinner party for someone without 15 pounds of baby weight. A party for someone who had slept more than four hours a night. For someone who could wear a dress in a single digit size. For someone with a baby who didn't cry all night, for someone who did feel like and look like a Holstein cow. A party for put together, well adjusted people, who were not Caleb and I.
"Jenn are you ready?", Caleb, I'm ready to kill you voice.
I looked in the mirror. I'd never be ready. Certainly not tonight, and maybe not ever. I wasn't looking at Jenn, I was looking at someone new. Someone named Mom. And just like my new black dress, that name didn't fit either.