Even the weather was perfect as she placed the final sand dollar in the last silver bowl. Pushing her long hair back from her face, she glanced at the horizon- the sun was high, a sure sign of afternoon.  It was time to get ready. She called out to her girlfriends and together, they giggled their way back to the little house on the beach.

She stopped at the back door, brushing the smooth white sand from the soles of her feet. It fell against the brown tiles, sprinkling them with the promise of what was to come. The kitchen was abuzz with activity- her mom, her aunts, and her cousins were all running around, completely unaware of one another, yet dancing in perfect synchronization as they filled pots with water, took pans from the stove, and lined up treats on trays that had been lined with sea green paper.

When the girls walked in from outside, the activity in the kitchen slowed almost to a halt. Jenna made eye contact with her mother and smiled.  The older woman set the pot down that she had been carrying and smoothed a gray hair back from her face. She was needed elsewhere. The other women in the kitchen picked up pace, down a body and still so much left to do in the hour that remained before the ceremony.

Jenna and her mother walked hand in hand down the hallway before ducking into a large bedroom off to the left. The walls of this room were a pale blue, the furniture a rich chocolate. A wedding gown hung stark against the dark oak door, its lace brushing against the floor tiles in a smooth sweeping arc. Jenna had never been so ready for anything in her life. Today, her life would change.


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