A Night To Remember
The dress looked beautiful on her, an ageless time capsule that had seemingly teleported her back to the seventies.
She smiled on the dance floor with her hand looped around her date’s elbow. But the song was only halfway done when something pricked her thigh.
She ignored it the first time, thinking it was a stray pin she’d need to attend to later. But it happened again, wrenching a screech from her. She excused herself and ran to the bathroom. She had no idea she was about to unearth a 50-year-old lie.
Her Choice Dress
But Lisa wasn’t meant to be wearing that dress in the first place. She had had other plans but now only hoped the night would go her way.
Her sweet grandma had only wished to help, and Lisa was more than thankful for it. But now here she was, trembling with what she’d found stitched inside the dress.
One thing was for sure; their lives would never be the same.
The Perfect Dress
There’s nothing Lisa Miller had looked forward to like her prom night.
Like many high school seniors in Buffalo, she knew this was her last chance to go through the full high school experience.
She thought she’d made every plan necessary to have a good night. But things started to fall apart one by one, ending with a grand finale that would break her family into two.
Lisa had always led a simple life. She lived with her mom and had two younger siblings and a house cat.
Although she loved her grandparents, Magnolia and Erick, she wasn’t that close to them, given that they lived two states away and they rarely visited each other.
She’d always thought of her grandma as a woman made out of secrets. This incident would show her that her grandma was just that and more.
Her High School Career
Prom night was supposed to be the highlight of Lisa’s high school career. She’d worked hard to maintain good grades and rapport with the faculty and students.
This was supposed to be her gift for the hard work and good conduct. The way she saw it, the only factors capable of ruining it would be the school itself.
She had no clue it would stem from the stitching of her dress.
Like many teenagers across the country, Lisa started making plans for prom months before the event.
She was on the organizing committee and knew precisely what dress would fit the occasion.
She and her friends went around dress shops and boutiques in town, searching for fairytale-themed gowns. They wanted prom to be a night to remember. It would be but for a very different reason.
It took them only a short time to find what they wanted, a small corner shop just outside town selling the most gorgeous dresses they’d ever seen.
They ran in, barely fitting through the door. With broad smiles, they quickly picked their favorites.
But one of them halted as soon as she saw the price tag on the gown in her hands.
Spoilt For Choice
The shop had every type of gown Lisa, and her friends wanted, from evening gowns to cocktail and party dresses.
But their eyes were stuck on the fairy-themed ones.
They were lavish and made from the best materials, each channeling a different Disney Princess from the extensive selection of existing ones. The girls were home. Well, that was until they saw the prices.
The dresses were beyond expensive, with the cheapest barely reaching what each of them had in their pockets. Dejected, they walked out of the store, knowing they could have had the best dresses.
They couldn’t even go into other stores, knowing their tastes were beyond ruined now.
But unknown to her friends, Lisa was already working out plans to ensure she went home with her dress of choice.
Her Dream Dress
The dress in question was sleeveless and sleek with a classy chiffon and a balloon skirt. ‘Cinderella,’ the tag under it read.
It was love at first sight for Lisa, who couldn’t get to the gown fast enough.
She pictured herself walking into prom with the dress, the spotlight shining on her, and everyone gawking. She knew she couldn’t let it go.
Check The Price Tag
She took it off the stand, running her fingers against the smooth fabric. She couldn’t help but grin, happiness flowing through her.
But then her friend Sandy exclaimed about the prices, prompting Lisa and the rest of the group to check the tags.
One by one, they each returned the gowns where they’d found them. But this was far from over.
Can Her Mom Buy It?
As they journeyed home, Lisa thought of ways she could acquire the dress.
She knew her mom wouldn’t buy it for her. It would be a selfish request on her part, given that they didn’t come from money.
Her mom was already working two shifts just to take care of her and her siblings. She couldn’t be this inconsiderate with her. But what could she do?
Lisa thought about checking her piggy bank. She’d been throwing quarters in there for years and knew she had saved up a bit.
But none of it would be enough to reach half the price the dresses were going for. She scratched her head, trying to figure out the best way forward.
There was no way she was letting go of her dream gown.
The blue chiffon gown had ruined other dresses for Lisa. She spent the week daydreaming about it, wishing it was in her closet, waiting for the big night.
She’d pass by the shop every evening after school, staring at it through the window like a secret admirer.
If only she knew that getting it would lead her to open a wound her grandma had sewn shut decades earlier.
Lisa talked to her mom about her dress, asking for advice. Her mom worked as a nurse in the local hospital.
She was sleep-deprived and could barely give coherent answers as Lisa shared her problem.
Luckily, she showed up a few hours later with ideas on how Lisa could get the dress. Even though she led a busy life, she’d never been too busy for her kids.
Lisa’s mom offered to pay half the amount of the dress but on one condition. Lisa was to get a job and cover the remaining amount.
She already knew about the cash in Lisa’s piggy bank and told her she could add that to the amount.
She had a friend in town who ran a bakery and was looking for someone to run the counter. Was Lisa interested in the position?
Going To Work
“Yes!” Lisa exclaimed. She loved the bakery and had accompanied her mom there on numerous occasions.
She’d also worked as a cashier before and knew the ins and outs of the position.
She and her mom made the phone call without wasting time and secured the job. Now all she had to do was work for a few months, save the cash, and buy the dress of her dreams.
Lisa’s plan worked, and for the first three months, she’d rush to the bakery after school and run the counter until late evening.
Her mom would pick her up on her way home before returning to her second shift at the hospital.
Everything was perfect, and Lisa’s savings were slowly growing. It would only be a matter of time until she had the dress in her hands.
By the end of the fifth month, Lisa had enough to cover half of the dress. She broke the news to her mom, and they drove straight to the shop the next day to buy the dress.
Even her mom agreed that Lisa had made the right choice. She smiled proudly as her daughter tried on the gown, glad it had been a reward for a lesson well learned.
Neither of them knew disaster was about to strike.
It happened a few days after the two ladies had bought the dress. Lisa’s mom was off to work, and Lisa and her siblings were cleaning the house.
As part of the cleaning process, Lisa was also meant to do the laundry.
She put on her favorite playlist and got to work. Since she’d only had the dress for a few days, she decided it wouldn’t harm anyone if she washed it. She’d live to regret this decision.
Into The Washer It Goes
After clearing the week’s load, she stuffed the gown into the washer and hurried to take care of the other chores waiting for her in the house.
She returned minutes later and took it out, hoping to stuff it into the drier.
But one look at it and her heart broke. What had she done?
A Wrinkled Mess
The wash had reduced the dress to a wrinkled mess, with strings coming out of the seams and parts of the expensive chiffon destroyed.
Lisa hurriedly checked the tag on the dress, slumping down when she discovered the gown was hand wash only.
Her lungs surged, her eyes pooling with tears. There was no way she could come back from this.
Calling Her Mom
One of Lisa’s siblings called her mom, who rushed home immediately.
They found Lisa curled on the floor, still in shock from what she’d done.
Her heart thrummed in her ears, her fingers trembling where she lay with the destroyed dress in her grasp. “Let’s have a look,” her mom said soothingly while taking the dress, but even she gasped at the horror that stared back at her.
Prom Is A Week Away
She asked what had happened, and Lisa burst into fresh tears. Prom was only a week away, and she’d destroyed the dream dress she’d worked so hard to get.
Lisa’s mom ate back a curse. She knew the shop would charge them a fortune to fix the dress – money she didn’t have.
But as luck would have it, there was one person she knew that could help fix their problem.
Grandma To The Rescue
Lisa’s grandma had been a seamstress back in the day. Lisa’s mom called her, hoping to get some insight on how to fix the dress.
They hoped on a video call, with a teary Lisa holding the dress up for her grandma to see.
She expected the woman to offer a few tricks to fix the dress, but she got something even better.
A New Dress!
She went off camera for a few minutes, returning with a sealed package covered in cobwebs and dust. “You won’t believe what I have here,” she said, unwrapping the package.
She pulled a similar dress from it, smiling with glossy eyes as she did. Lisa’s lips parted.
The dress was identical to hers, if not better. Had her grandma just saved the day?
50 Years Apart
“I wore this in 1973 on my prom night,” she said, nostalgia caked into her voice. “I never thought I’d take it out of its packaging again.”
Despite living two states away, she took the first flight out the next day, bringing the dress to her granddaughter.
But unknown to her, it carried a secret she’d long forgotten.
Lisa’s mom took the next day off, and she, Lisa’s grandma, and Lisa spent the day preparing the dress for prom.
It looked even better in Lisa’s arms, with its material more exotic than her original dress.
Two days later, she walked down the school hall with her date by her side. The hall was alight with blue and pink lights, leading her to the dance. Tonight would be one for the ages.
At The Dance
Lisa hurried into the dance, and just as she’d daydreamed months ago, all the eyes were on her. Her boyfriend led her to the floor, and they started slow dancing.
But something pricked her thigh. The first time was just a mere scratch, but the second sent a sharp pain through her leg.
She excused herself, limping to the bathroom.
Inside The Stitching
Lisa stepped on the sink, bunching up the dress’s fluffy skirt. Her eyes furrowed as she saw it. Someone had affixed a piece of paper to the seam. Painstakingly, Lisa took it out, surprised to find it heavy. “An old envelope,” she whispered, shaking it around—something jingled inside.
She tore it open, and a ring rolled into the sink. She picked it up, her eyes switching back to the envelope. Someone had scribbled words inside. “Magnolia Miller,” the letter began. “Will you marry me? Henry Pritchett.” Lisa gasped. Her grandpa’s name wasn’t Henry Pritchett.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.