The Wedding Dress

The single photograph I had of my mother was from her wedding day.  And it was only of her.  Though I had no memories of my mother, the stories I had made up over the years about her childhood, college days and marriage to my father filled notebook upon notebook that I stashed on the bottom shelf of my lone bookshelf.  My father didn’t like to talk about her much and whenever I got the courage to ask him about her, I was told it was still too painful to talk about.  Her death when I was two weeks old still hangs around the house at odd times of the day.  I would get home from school and find him staring at the photo on the wall.  I would sometimes find him drinking his morning coffee while staring at the photo. 

When he caught me staring, Dan would smile and go back to whatever he was doing before he got lost in thought.  That was the weird thing about my father, he had always insisted I called him Dan, never dad or father or pops.  He always made a joke out of it saying that being a dad only made him feel old and decrepit and he was young, damn it!  Dan would never let me take the photo off the wall or inspect it too closely. I was always suspicious about this, but when I was young, I assumed he was just protecting the one and only photo we had of my mother. As I got older, I got even more suspicious. The summer I turned seventeen was the summer I decided to find out about my mother and the only place to start was with the photograph. 

As soon as Dan’s car pulled out of the driveway on the way to work, I knew it was my chance. I knew he had his phone and his coffee (the two items he always turned around for) because I had met him at the door with everything he needed. I just wanted to check the back of the photo for any clue as to where my parents had been married, what church the wedding had taken place in and I wanted to get a closer look at her dress. What I wasn’t expecting was for the photo to be an advertisement clipped straight out of a magazine. 


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