“Those are like a work of art!” Marcie exclaimed. “Where did you get the idea?”
“Pinterest,” Jane replied. “I planned 75% of the wedding off that app.”
Her face felt like it would crack, but Marcie wasn’t really looking at her. She realized that Marcie avoided eye contact. Would Jane have noticed if she didn’t know? She pushed the thought from her mind as soon as it arose, accompanied by the memory of the pink négligée.
She forced a light tone into her voice. “I got special blown glass vases made and painted with the first initial of each bridesmaid. “The pink one with the A is for Ann, and Sandy gets the purple one. My mom and Tom’s mother will have the yellow and orange ones.”
“How many kinds of fruit do you have in these? And are we supposed to eat the marigolds?” Marcie poked a finger under the sprig of mint in the pink cup, dislodging a raspberry and sending it rolling across the table.
“That’s not yours,” Jane said before she could stop herself. The anger welled up with a lick of bile. She pursed her lips and looked away to conceal it. “Yours is the blue one, to match your dress.” She plastered on a smile and rode out the nausea, remembering the dress.
They’d gone shopping together at the mall. Marcie had bought the blue formal dress, then dragged Jane into Victoria’s Secret to help her pick out lingerie for her trousseau. She’d talked Jane into buying the pink nighty, even though it was way too sexy for her. It was meant for a curvy woman, a woman like Marcie.
This time, the image of Marcie wearing the négligée couldn’t be suppressed.
Jane had come home midday from work, thinking she had the house to herself. Surprised by voices in the back room, she’d approached quietly, then stood, gaping through the partially opened door to her own bedroom, where she saw Marcie on her knees, offering herself to Tom, promising to do things Jane had told her in confidence she would never do.
The part that hurt the most, more than Tom’s betrayal, was the scent of her own perfume. Marcie must have sprayed it on herself.
Now, Jane dug her newly manicured nails into the flesh of her palms, steeling herself yet again.
“There’s mandarin orange, strawberry, blueberry, mint and sesame seeds. The marigolds are edible but probably a little bitter, so mostly for show,” she said, directing her gaze at the pretty vases.
“What’s the ginger for?” Marcie asked.
“Oh, that’s for the lemonade. Can you take these out to the table? It sounds like people are arriving.” She handed her two of the bowls.
Marcie took the fruit bowls out through the swinging door of the pantry into the living room. Jane took a small tupperware container from her pocket and sprinkled the contents onto the arrangement in the cobalt blue bowl. She looked up and smiled when Marcie returned for the other vases. “Put them by the correct name cards, please.” she said.
“Sure!” Marcie chirped and left with the next round. This time, while she was gone, Jane opened Marcie’s purse which had been sitting on the counter. Pulse hammering, she fished around for a few moments, then triumphantly pulled out the epipen, zipped shut the purse and went to the garbage can under the sink.
Your guests are here, come have some champagne!” Marcie called from the doorway.
Jane tucked the pen deep into the garbage pail.
“Be right there, dear!”
Inspired by Vicente L Ruiz’s weekly writing prompt
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash