Loriwen walked through town, the chilly air blowing her hair into her face again. She laughed and stopped to push it back again. It may have not seemed like much of a trim, but when she got her hair cut, that made it just short enough to be mussed by the wind again. Oh, well; definitely worth it, though! Last time she didn’t trim it before winter, she had hair half-way down her back before she got around to cutting it. Never again. That was just too unmanageable, even if Tarlanc would most likely love it. Ah, he certainly would love running his fingers thr –
“Loriwen Abigail Snowberry!” A familiar voice scolded her much like a mother, both hurt and amused.
Stopping dead in her tracks, Lori winced and rolled her eyes with a sigh before turning around to face her old friend, Anna. The short, plump woman stood with both hands on her hips, those same wide hips jutting out on one side. Loriwen made sure to keep her voice light and cheerful. “Hi, Anna. How’re you doing?”
Anna was having none of it. “Who do ya think you are, plannin’ to get married and not tell me! Ya know I had ta’ hear from Jenna? Poor thing sent me a note fer some new winter clothes fer her husband, and she asks what kind of dress ya asked me t’ make, fer yer wedding! That’s how I find out?”
Loriwen bit her lower lip and held back a deep sigh. There was no way out of this one. “I’m sorry, Anna. I truly am. But I knew if you found out, you’d try to make a–”
“I already gone and did, soon as I was findin’ out ’bout it! Fat lotta good not tellin’ me did ya.”
Blue-green eyes went wide, eyebrows shooting up. “You … what?”
“Ya heard me, I know yer hearin’s great. I already gone and done made you a dress.”
Lori walked over to her shorter friend and looked down at her; the surprise brought out a tiny bit of her country accent. “Why’d ya go ‘n do that?!”
“C’mon, c’mon. I’ll show ya! Ya better wear it, missy; ‘specially after not tellin’ me ’bout it!” Anna walked off, clearly not taking no for an answer this sunny afternoon. Loriwen followed like a good “daughter.”
She waited, borderline impatient. This is exactly what Lori was trying to avoid: having a new dress yet again. The one she had chosen was thin, yes; she’d probably be a little cold in a summer dress during the middle of winter, but it had sentimental value. Lots of it, too. It was the one she wore to her town’s summer party, the one she was wearing when they first confessed their love to each other. A rather good memory to have associated with getting married, right?
Anna finally emerged, breaking Lori of her internal rant. Blue-green eyes widened to meet twinkling brown ones. Anna hung the dress against the wall, beginning to remove the dust bag that covered it. In a flourish much like a bard doing a small trick, her older friend pulled the covering off in a quick motion, revealing a perfectly dyed dress. It was as looking into a mirror, a deep and rich teal color. The dress was thick and soft, a heavy brushed velvet with golden embroidery and ribbon tastefully decorating it. It looked luxurious, comfortable, and warm.
Tears slowly began to form as Loriwen continued to gaze at the dress. In a rare moment, all the usually loud woodcarver could muster was a, “It’s…”
A sunny and rather smug grin spread across Anna’s face. “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout, lil’ Lori! No need t’ try’n get yerself to use a reg’lar old dress fer yer weddin’! That’s a special day, now, an’ no one deserves it more. Go an’ git, try it on!”
She’d think she’d be used to being shoved into Anna’s back room against her will, dress in hand, but Loriwen still sighed and drooped her shoulders as she was pushed through the doorway. Carefully undressing and then redressing, she spent a quiet moment by herself, running her hands along the dress. It felt as thick and luxurious as it looked. It was far too nice a dress for her..
The short, plump woman trotted right in, well aware of how adept Lori was at changing clothes quickly. As Lori silently turned around, both were struck speechless. It was perfect. The dress hugged her athletic – much to her chagrin, not curvy – body; the panel of white velvet in the front seemed to elongate her past her diminutive 5’4”, and the ribbon adornments helped accentuate her entirely too average bust line. Her eyes popped as they reflected the same shade from the dress.
Rather than respond with words, the young woman silently moved to the shorter woman and enveloped her in her arms. The hug, much more a silent conversation than just a hug, lasted for a few minutes until Anna finally managed to push Lori away with a small explanation. “Don’ want t’ git it all wrinkled er nothin’.”
Wiping away tears that had fallen during their embrace, Lori managed to choke out four words. “Thank you; it’s beautiful.”
Anna grinned and gave Lori that mischievous look once again. “So, how’dya feel ’bout shoes?”
It was going to be a long afternoon.