The Favorite Dress

by Louise Yeiser

The little girl sat in the living room with her grandfather and her new doll, while her mother bustled about in the kitchen making dinner, and her brother and sisters played upstairs. She wore her favorite party dress over her sturdy frame, the red and white checked one, with puffy sleeves and see-through pinafore that tied in a big bow around her waist. When her grandfather asked her if she would dance for him, she became embarrassed and told him no, causing her mother to emerge from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron, saying, "Aw, come on, honey - Gramps would love to see your beautiful dancing. Be a sport, change your mind, trot upstairs and get your leotard and slippers, and I’ll let you wear one of my petticoats, how about your favorite, the blue one?" The little girl shook her head, even though she loved to twirl in the stiff, full layers of pale blue chiffon, watching them flair in filmy waves around her legs and pretending to be Cinderella, while the skirts spun a web around the body of her Prince Charming, engulfing him, binding him to her, and making him hers forever. Decades later, when she sat with her uncle in his family room, nestled in a worn, red, leather chair, with her legs tucked under her, talking for the first time about the specifics of her grandfather's death, carefully skirting around the word "suicide," all she could remember of him was that she wished he had seen her dance.

6S

Louise Yeiser is a published writer and writing student at the University of Pittsburgh. She authors Sneak Peeks, edits A Good Look at Mastiffs and lives with her two cats and as many English Mastiffs as she can fit into her house. Her hobbies, which change frequently, often include chocolate, yoga, and crossword puzzles.