Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Two Dresses, Side by Side (2)
The first time I went to the chapel of rest to see Emily, I took her long multi-coloured maxi dress and her favourite bottle of perfume. As I’ve said, she hated the bloody nightie she had on. It was grey and black. Emily loved bright colours. It’s why we asked people to wear bright clothes at her funeral, and why we had orange and yellow roses spelling her name. She wanted an orange coffin. We couldn’t find one, so we bought a white one instead and my Mum, my boyfriend and I went traipsing around fabric shops until we found a nice orange sheet to wrap it in.
The dress I handed over to the lady at the chapel of rest was the one Emily was buried in a week later. The choice had not been a difficult one to make, as the day Emily died was the day on which I was due to graduate from University with a degree in English Literature. Emily had been planning the day for months, getting excited at the prospect of getting dressed up, doing her hair and make-up.
After the official ceremony, the entire family were coming over to our house in Stalybridge to celebrate. Emily had organised the party with my Mum and Grandma in the months approaching July. There was to be pimms in large plastic jugs, loads of bright cakes, and colourful bunting.
Emily died in the early hours of the morning. I text my best-friend to let her know that she couldn’t come round to do my make-up for the day anymore. I dropped onto the edge of my bed, and turned to look up at my huge white wardrobe doors.
Hung there were mine and Emily’s freshly ironed dresses. Hers long and bursting with colour, mine short and black with minimal lace detail.
The dresses were ready for a future that would never happen.
I went downstairs and asked my Grandma to go and take them both down and put them away.
Then I went back into Emily’s bedroom and sat with my Mum and Dad.
I went to bed for a few hours. I was still crying when I woke up again.
As I walked back down the stairs, I could still hear Eva Cassidy songs playing on the Ipad next to Em’s bed.
I think it was Fields of Gold.