Douglas and Louise’s wedding fell into the past as all beautiful events do: softly, with whispers of nostalgia for its various aspects emerging even as people put on their coats, tidied up their areas, and headed out the door.
“It was a wonderful day,” they said. “What a lovely celebration.” “Everything was perfect, just perfect,” they said.
For Sasha, the evening had been far from wonderful, lovely, perfect. David had rejected her coldly, without a word. All her efforts, the dress, the makeup, the attitude of carelessness, had backfired brutally.
Anger simmered in her belly for days, a heat that prickled its way into every interaction. She agreed to stay with Kassandra “for now,” unrolling a sleeping bag on the inflatable bed, just uncomfortable enough to ensure wakeful nights full of rumination on revenge.
David would pay for his behavior, she knew, but she could not determine precisely how. Would she poison his newly loving relationship with his father? Would she find a way to tempt him into bed, after all, then reject him? Would she disrupt his work, or kill him with kindness, letting the worm of guilt destroy him from the inside out?
Nothing felt right. Sasha stewed, snapping at Kassandra when she tried to help her friend out of the foul mood she carried everywhere with her. Her own guilt-worm pricked her about this. Kassandra offered so much kindness, and kindness was an abrasive element in Sasha’s determination to keep her anger alive.
As autumn weather took hold of Pine Street, and chats among its denizens turned away from recollections of the lovely, beautiful, perfect wedding, toward their small daily challenges and trials, their moments of joy and relaxation, Sasha could only decide one thing.
One chilly, drizzly morning, Sasha rose early, made coffee and toast for Kassandra, and asked her about getting a gig at the coffee shop.
She could not leave until David had seen the error of his ways, and the inflatable bed was not a long-term home. Time to find a job, a place of her own, and settle in on Pine Street for the duration.