Martha hurried over to Kara. “Darling, it’s time to cut the cake.”
The photographer stood poised beside the cake waiting to take a picture, so Ross and Kara followed Martha to the table. Hmm. The cake had turned out better than she expected. The white columns between the layers gave the cake a classical air which offset the vivid purple flowers scattered among the columns. Kara picked up the pearl-handled, silver knife Annie had provided, but before Ross could put his hand on top of hers to help her with the first cut, Justin charged across the floor and dived under the table. The table collapsed, smashing and scattering a huge stack of glass plates and dumping the cake down the front of Kara’s dress. Pandemonium reigned as Justin howled and squalled. Sue hauled him out from under the table and smacked his bottom. “I told you not to run indoors. Look what you’ve done.” The barrage of noise increased, so Bobby picked Justin up and carried him outside.
Nobody knew what to say. Justin had not only ruined the cake but also the bride’s dress. Kelly flew across the room with wet and dry towels to do makeshift repairs. Careless of her new navy suit, she scraped the cake from Kara’s dress and tried to get the stains out of the heavy fabric, but the colored frosting didn’t budge.
“I’m sorry, Kara. I can’t get it all out.”
Kara felt a wild desire to laugh building in her throat. To think that Kelly would be the one to help her! She took a deep breath. “Thank you for your help.”
“Do you want to change?” Ross picked up her hand and chaffed it gently between his own.
“No, it’s okay,” Kara answered, managing a wan smile. She actually didn’t mind about the dress. After all, she never planned to wear it again. Ross would expect her to treasure the dress because she wore it on the day they got married, so she’d have it professionally cleaned, sealed, and packed and store it under the bed or in a closet somewhere.
A vision of her first dress torn and ruined flashed in her mind. She buried the thought as soon as possible. If she lived to be a hundred, she never wanted to think about that dress or that night again because that night she found out who and what she really was.
A wave of dizziness passed over her. She forced herself to breath normally. If she didn’t stop taking such shallow, rapid breaths, she’d hyperventilate.
So, she received her guests with icing staining her wedding dress. It didn’t matter. The detachment that made the ceremony bearable hadn’t failed her. What a relief.