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It wasn't just the perfect dress, it was THE dress.
                                                               Classified Ads
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Wedding Dress: Beautiful, Beautiful size 12 dress, never worn or altered. Has a sweetheart cut top with beading
and beading along the bottom. Also had a detachable train with beading along the edges. Getting married in a
few months so I need to sell this one soon. Email or call Bryan.
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“Bryan?” he heard his sister’s voice calling from below. He didn’t have it in him at the moment to answer her.
Instead he sat there on the trunk and stared at the open closet door his eyes taking in every detail of the image
before him, burning into his memory that which was already forever etched there.

He heard her footfalls on the stairs. “Bryan? Are you up here?” She stepped onto the landing and stopped in the
doorway of the room. Her sigh was audible. “Come on, big brother, you don’t want Shannon to walk in and catch
you at this again.” She moved over to shut the closet door.

“Don’t touch that, Heather,” his voice was harsh and hard. “I’ve told you before not to touch that dress.”  He
stood up and walked over to the long white gown that hung on the closet door.

“Bryan,” Heather frowned. “I’m going to say it again and I know you’ll hate me even more for it, but you have to let
one of them go.”

“That’s not really a choice I have, now is it?” the bitterness made his sister’s heart ache. She watched his hand
pick up the lace sleeve and hold it. The white lace narrowed at the cuff, coming to a point where it would have lay
across the back of the wearer’s hand. The pearls and crystals had been hand sewn onto the cuff as well as the
sweetheart neckline and bodice.

Katie had been more beautiful than ever the day she had stepped out of the dressing room to model this for
Heather, her mother and Katie’s younger sister. It was an absolute, foregone conclusion from the moment they
saw the dress that this was the one. It even had a secret pocket sewn into one seam. And the allergy stricken
Katie later claimed that was the sole reason she chose the dress.  “I can hide my Kleenex in the pocket so my
nose doesn’t run all over the priest and Bryan at the altar.”

Heather shook her head. “Bryan, you’re supposed to be marrying Shannon in six months. It’s been three years
since…” she couldn’t say it anymore than Bryan could. Katie had been her best friend growing up. They had
been a united front against Bryan in the early days when boys had cooties and girls were silly and icky.  

“I know the timeline, Heather,” Bryan dropped the sleeve; his jaw was clenched so tightly she could almost hear
his teeth grinding. “You can’t forget her any more than I can.”

“I’m not telling you to forget her. I’m telling you that you have to be sure you have moved on, that you can let her
go. It’s not fair to Shannon otherwise.”

Bryan snorted. “Since when do you care about Shannon’s well-being. Since when do the feelings of a “bleached
blond bimbo with a tramp stamp” matter to you?”

Heather closed her eyes for a moment before answering. “Since I saw that no matter what I think of her she
makes you smile again. You seem happy with when you’re with her.” She reached out and touched his shoulder
expecting him to pull away. He didn’t. “Katie is gone. We both miss her and wish it wasn’t so, but she’s gone. If
you’re really going to pack up everything, take the new job in Seattle and marry Shannon, you have to let Katie
go.  She wouldn’t want you to spend your life sitting here staring at the wedding dress she never wore.”

“I let you place the ad didn’t I?” Bryan turned away from the gown and picked up one end of the trunk. “Grab the
other end will you?”

Heather nodded and lifted the opposite side. “Bryan?” His look stopped her. She’d said enough. It was his life.

As they exited the room, Bryan paused. He shifted the weight of the trunk to one hand and pulled the bedroom
door closed behind them.  The breeze from the closing door tugged at the satin and lace, pulling it free from the
hanger and sending it dropping gracefully to the floor.