That night after Eddie left, I was tooling around on Facebook, and I noticed Maggie was online on the chat feature.
I felt compelled to say hi to her, hoping she wouldn't think I was crazy or some kind of freak stalker. I felt a connection to her, though, because I knew what it felt like to ache over Eddie Kindle. And he and I had never even been in a relationship. I thought, since they had broken up, it was possible she was hurting.
I told her that he had come over so we could talk some things through, and she said that was cool. We had been in conversation for some time when her screen name popped up with, "Do you think he's done with me?"
I wanted to hug the computer screen and tell her no, absolutely not, he adores you and he will come back to his senses permanently any second now and return to your side.
But I couldn't. Because I didn't know. That could have been the case, but if it wasn't, I didn't want to give her false hope. Eddie Kindle was hard for me to predict. I couldn't give her any kind of guess that I felt confident about at all.
I sat in front of my glowing computer screen trying to think of something better to say than "I don't know.", but I was at a loss. So I told her I didn't know, but I put some hearts after that sentence in hopes that they would convey to her that I really really cared.
Because I was so endeared to her, and I deeply hoped that those two would work out.
As the weeks drew closer and closer to my wedding, I started having dreams that the day had arrived and Star was fashioning a dress for me out of a bed sheet. Toga style.
I had been looking for a dress with my mom when I was in Indiana, and again with my friends when I came back home, but the sea of white had failed me in store after store. My options were dresses that looked like layer cakes, dresses that looked like I longed to be a mermaid, and dresses that were insanely expensive.
Finally, I went to Chattanooga to see Star. After about 2 hours of shopping with her, we gave up and decided to just make a dress together.
We stopped by a fabric store on the way home and spent $125 on everything we could possibly need. The only catch was that we bought all of the silk material the store had to offer, so every cut would have to be done with care.
Back at her house, we sat back to back on the floor, sketching what we thought this dress should look like.
It was the first out of many days we would spend together over the months preceding the wedding diligently working together on this dress.
Adelaide would come in from finding bugs (her favorite pastime) outside and sit in the antique armchair near our work area and ask questions about what we were doing.
"What are you making?"
"We're making a wedding dress!"
"Because I'm getting married!"
"Because I love Joseph!"
"Um..." I paused, "Because he's considerate and..."
Star had to tell me to hold still lest she stab with a pin while I was cracking up, "It means he thinks about other people and is attentive to their needs."
"Oh. Okay. Bye!" She shouted and scampered off to cause a ruckus elsewhere.
One month left. The Hanwells had offered up their backyard for us to get married in, and we found a picnic area on campus for the reception. Occasionally I woke up in a panicky awareness that my entire extended family and all my dearest friends would be in the same place at the same time. As glorious as it sounded, it was also rather terrifying, given that my family is a little bit on the crazy side.
Star came over for one last work session on the dress. At first with every cut we made, she took a smoke break. It was nerve wracking. We were attempting some kind of rumpled effect, but the fabric was stubbornly folding over and looking more and more like scales instead of graceful rumples.
At some point in the afternoon, we needed me to be wearing the dress in the living room so that we could take half decent photos to send my mom, who was a bit concerned about this endeavor of ours. Star had warned Joseph not to come in so that he wouldn't accidentally see me in my dress.
He faithfully stayed outside... until he forgot. Joe came through the front door, started to look over, and was met with Star screaming, "Nooooooo!"
He yelped and leaped in the air, and then fell face down on the floor and crawled back outside. We were pretty much cracking up hysterically at him, and were mostly sure that he didn't really see me.
Around 3am, we stressed out, hung the thing up and went outside for a break. When we came back inside, it was abundantly clear that it looked more like a wadded up tissue than a wedding dress. We had worked and worked for days, with Mamma Mia playing in the background until we could quote the whole movie by heart.
And there it was with the slippery polyester lining sticking out from under the silk all wadded up and looking absolutely ridiculous.
Star sighed and told me to get into it so we could see what we could do.
We decided to just chop of the bottom half of the dress (except the lining) and start over. It wasn't even stressful anymore, we were so slaphappy and silly.
Star hacked into it until the bottom half fell off and then started giggling. My dress looked like something out of Tinkerbell's wardrobe gone horribly wrong, and the lining was sticking out all the way down to the floor.
We stood in front of the mirror so I could see it too, and we both doubled over laughing.
Of course, we had to document this moment in our friendship, so I pulled out my camera and counted to three. We stood trying to grin into the mirror, as we waited for the camera flash.
Wait, it wasn't flashing. Maybe I didn't click... Star began to turn away to laugh... Oh there it went!
I turned the camera around to see how the picture turned out, and could not have been more amused with what I saw. One of Star's eyes was going this way, and the other was going that way.
When I showed her, we reached levels of mirth that can only be described as shrieking.
I believe with all my heart that if I were to crack up any harder I would have broken a rib. Which would have been hilarious and would not have helped matters. Perhaps that's how someone really could die laughing.
As it were, I could hardly help thinking to myself, (despite the fact that I wasn't wearing pants) "Oh no! What if I pee my pants in my wedding dress!"
This thought was closely followed by, "Oh no! I'm peeing my pants in my wedding dress!"
Panicking, but no less able to stop giggling hysterically, I cried for help and started gathering up the lining so as to minimize the, ahem, pee effect.
Star was too busy literally rolling around on the floor still roaring with merriment and snapping pictures to help me get my dress out of the way.
I was so grateful that Joseph wasn't home when we had composed ourselves just enough to waddle into the bathroom and put the lining in the sink to wash it off with laundry detergent. I was also grateful that the silk had been spared this trauma, as it would have been much harder to wash.
It seemed only appropriate to call it a night and try again the next day.
At the end of Star's visit, the dress was nearly complete, and we were feeling much better about it.
The day of mine and Joe's wedding was drawing nearer, and I was starting to feel like it was really happening.