It was during the discussion over linens that she decided she couldn’t go through with it. The head caterer had folded, unfolded, and refolded napkins three different ways and was now staring plainly at Liz, expecting her to illicit some type of affirmative response, but nothing came. Wavering a little, the red-haired man, dressed perpetually as a penguin, released the neat creases once more with a quick shake and, with his fast fingers began skillfully building some type of three dimensional bird that would perch atop the table like a hairless piece of taxidermy.
“The problem with folding the napkins this way,” he said, fussing with the corners of the birds’ tucked wings, “is the height. You’ll already have the floral arrangements as centerpieces, and you certainly won’t want to upstage them with the napkins. In my experience, simple is best concerning this detail. If you want, we could discuss napkin rings- I have a few very tasteful options I think you might like.”
The fact that Liz had contributed no thoughts to the triple diagonal fold vs. the square-shaped collection of creases didn’t seem to faze the bow-tied man; perhaps he had had success reading brides-to-be in the past, but this particular one didn’t want to be one anymore, and it wasn’t about the flowers, the food, the dress, the dj, the hall, the minister, the in-laws, or even the expense. It wasn’t about the napkins, either, though she couldn’t help but to stare at them, wildly it would seem, her eyes as big as the wingspan on the upright origami-ed non-descript flying thing.
She wanted wings. Even if they wouldn’t take her anywhere. Even if they could get wet and stained and lose their magic, she wanted them, for a little while. Just to touch, to reach her hand around her body, stretch behind her back. Even if she couldn’t see them and would never use them, she just wanted to know they were there.