She steps onto the Bart at Embarcadero and before she even sits, I can smell the smoke, mixed with some sort of air freshener. The smell reminds me of Vegas, the pretense of being clean, but not being able to hide the stale residue of lingering cigarettes. I resist the urge to cough or gag, but can’t help the fact that my arm goes up to my face and I take a deep breath through my sleeve.

It’s a good thing I’m getting off at Powell and I leave hurriedly, anxious to meet Jen, who’s already at the bridal shop.

Up the elevator, and when the doors open, I’m in an open space, with cream colored walls, lined with dresses in all shades of ivory.

I hesitate, but relax when Jen emerges from the dressing room, a vision in white. She’s positively radiant, and I can’t help but exclaim at her. When she reenters the dressing room, I sit in the waiting area and think about this strange contrast; the old woman on the Bart, dressed in dark, dreary colors, the same weariness written on her face and here, a slim, young girl, enveloped in white, her face shining with happiness.

Later, we sit at the Nordstrom Cafe and talk about the things that plagues us, and it’s ironic to me, these luxuries we have to “struggle” through, and I’m confronted by the ugliness that lives in me. Jen is patient and gentle; she reminds me to not judge myself and this thought is echoed later in an email from Jenn. So much pride, but God is humbling me.

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