Secret Lives of Dresses, No. 2

by Erin on January 21, 2006

plum velvet dress
She was alone at the hotel bar, and she was smoking, neither of which I think she'd ever done before. She didn't smoke alone, and she didn't sit at hotel bars. And she was drinking, too. Smoking without a cigarette holder, smoking the bar cigarettes and not her own, drinking straight gin and not martinis. Her silver minaudire was open in her lap, and she kept looking at the scrap of paper sticking out of it. It said "Ambassador Hotel, 7:30."

It was 7:35 now.

From where we were we could see the front entrance of the hotel, and she didn't take her eyes from it. Even so, I saw him first, and then I knew why we were there, alone.

Five strides, her heels striking hard on the floor. The drink in his face, followed by the glass smashing on the floor.

"Don't come home tonight," she said. He looked green. "I'm changing the locks. The lawyers will call you in the morning." A look at the floozy on his arm–definitely a floozy, in a lamé dress and a bad wave. "He doesn't have any money, you know. It's all mine. Bad luck for you."

The bartender had her bag and a sympathetic look. "That last drink was on the house," he said, and she almost smiled.

The driver was waiting. He steadfastly pretended she wasn't crying. "Home, ma'am?"

When we got home, the maid took me from her and I was brushed and aired, because I smelled terribly of smoke.

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