I wouldn't say I'm jealous of Fionn. Just because she's getting her happy ending while I seemed to have morphed my life into one of those "choose your own ending" books with umpteen choices and no idea how to get to any of them.
She deserves her happy ending - I believe that entirely. But still I couldn't help, as I watched her walk out of the changing room in her stunning shot silk gown, her eyes misty with emotion, feeling a little green around the gills with envy (and the remnants of last night's vodka).
"She's gorgeous, isn't she?" the over enthusiastic shop assistant almost squealed, while I nodded.
"Do you really like it?" Fionn asked, her face begging me to say yes.
"I do," I said and I wasn't lying. It was a stunning dress which accentuated my friend's natural beauty but when I choked back a tear it was because I couldn't ever see myself in her position - no matter how carefully I had planned every aspect of my life.
You see I had this wonderfully crappy habit of messing things up. If there was a degree in being a fuck up I would have passed with first class honours.
"I'm so glad you like it," Fionn said, waving her hands in front of her face to try and stem her tears, "Because I really think this is the one. This is my wedding dress, Annie. My wedding dress." She emphasised the words while twirling around like some sort of demented overgrown fairy princess and the shop assistant actually did squeal with delight at this stage.
I just sobbed into my hanky. In a most undignified manner.
“Like a princess,” I said, sipping my wine. The buzz of the bar had lifted my spirits and Fionn and I were three quarters way down a very fine bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
“I was, wasn’t I? Like a Disney princess.”
“Hmmm,” I answered. “Cinderella.”
“Or Ariel. I like her wedding dress best of all the Disney princess wedding dresses. The way it sparkles in the sun when she kisses Eric in the last scene.” Fionn sighed dreamily, before sipping from her glass again.
I raised my eyebrow – or at least I think I raised my eyebrow. The wine was accumulating with the previous night’s vodka and it was possible that any facial gesture I tried to make at that moment looked more like I had developed some weird facial tick.
“Okay, okay,” Fionn blushed. “I know I sound like an eejit, but Emma is going through a particularly fierce and ferocious Disney Princess phase at the moment and it’s about all I can think about it. Every moment of every fecking day some cheerful tune is dancing through my head.”
I smiled. Fionn was not taking to motherhood all that well. That’s not to say she was doing too badly at it, but since she had moved in with Alex in the run up to the big day she was finding it challenging to come to terms with the demands – and viewing habits – of his five year old daughter, Emma.
“But I can’t just tell her I don’t want to watch it, can I? Because if I do, I’ll be the wicked stepmother and, believe me,” she said with emphasis, “I’ve seen enough of these movies to know that doesn’t fare well.”
“Emma loves you,” I soothed. “And it’s just a novelty having a woman about the house to indulge her princess fantasies so.”
Fionn nodded. “I know, but promise me this, the next time I come into work with fairy dust on my cheeks can you point it out to me before the ops meeting? I don’t think it does well to have me looking like an overgrown schoolgirl.”
“I don’t know about that,” I laughed. “I think Bob liked it. You brought a little colour to the office that day.”
Ah Bob. (Or Bawb as Fionn and I usually call him, in a faux American accent.) He’s our boss and obsessed with client portfolios and it seems little else. I don’t think he actually has a life outside of the office which is why he likes to exert as much control over his minions (as he has been known to call us) as possible.
Fionn shuddered. “I don’t want to talk, or even think, about Bob just now. It takes away from the whole wedding dress, fairy tale experience. And I don’t want anything to take away from that.”
Which is precisely the reason I didn’t explain to her how the last 24 or so hours of my life had been the most spectacularly painful of my existence. If she didn’t want Bob to ruin her dream wedding dress day then she sure as feck didn’t want to hear about Chewbacca.
Have you ever made a mistake? You know, a big, huge mistake which makes your heart sink to the pit of your stomach and the contents of your stomach try and escape through your mouth every time you think about it?
It was one of those things which seemed like a good idea at the time – I was wanted. I was fancied. I was irresistible. But that was then.
Reading At The Edge - I'm delighted to return to Cavan on Tuesday, next week for At The Edge, run by Kate Ennals. Do come and join it, it's a terrific line up and there's an op...
17 hours ago