Nothing to Wear | Ian Harrison


Nothing to Wear

Ian Harrison

Hate and Coat Major Contest


Matilda Jackson was rushing around the house, threatening to mess up her perfect hair. She’d spent over an hour agonising over each strand and it was flawless, sprayed firm. Her make-up was complete and while she was normally very beautiful, today, she was stunning.

But scatty, running in all directions at once. Her mother, Natasha, had seen her flustered like this before – but never quite so pronounced.

“Come on, Blake’s all ready and waiting for you.”

Matilda had had a not-so secret crush on Blake Turner for – well, years. She’d presumed that he’d never notice her. Quiet, bookish but with a razor wit that kept many would-be suitors at bay.

And Blake had now asked her!

She was a thoroughly modern woman, so she’d planned the evening to the smallest detail, and Blake would not know what had hit him – in a manner of speaking. Matilda had carefully selected a venue, reserved a table with the best view, pre-ordered, pre-tasted the meals they’d eat, favourite tunes for throwing off the jackets and getting down to.

Oh, yes. Blake Turner would dance. She didn’t know yet whether he had two left feet or whether he would swing her around the dance floor like Fred Astaire. It didn’t matter. She’d be gliding on air. She knew, without misplaced vanity, that she was a good catch – but so was Blake Turner, and she wasn’t about to let him go.

The only problem now was…

“Ear-rings?” Her mother prompted, breaking Matilda out of thoughts of signing her name as ‘Matilda Turner’, children’s university funds to arrange, and…

“Hmm? Oh, yes, I’ve narrowed the choices down. Here,” said Matilda, snapping back to the present, holding two pairs in the palm of one hand.

One pair were zirconia, little studded buttons that caught the light and would dazzle whomever Matilda was talking to – especially Blake Turner. The other, pearl drop ear-rings. Simple and elegant. Neither would be a particularly bad choice.

“Pearls,” they said in unison, with a laugh. Natasha looked almost on the verge of tears.

“But come on, you’re not even dressed yet and you’re going to be picked up, any minute now.” Her mother didn’t want to upset her any further, but Matilda was still standing there in her lacy lingerie, plush dressing-gown unfastened.

Tonight, Natasha knew, Blake would almost-certainly…

Fiddle-dee-dee. None of her business.

“But what should I wear?” Matilda suddenly sounded lost – her meticulous plans threatened to explode in her face if she didn’t pick the perfect outfit.

Natasha stood in the bedroom doorway in her mother-of-the-bride outfit, knowing a wind-up when she heard one.

“How about that big white dress with the veil? And come on Tilly, hurry up. The photographer wants some pictures before we go.”