Ashleigh Hardcastle is a Perth-based writer whose work has appeared in The Big Issue, OUTinPerth, and Tenderfoot. In 2018 she received a Fellowship at KSP Writers’ Centre and was selected to participate in the CBCA Maurice Saxby Creative Development Program and Express Media’s Toolkits: Fiction. Follow her on facebook @AshleighHardcastleAuthor

Ashleigh Hardcastle


‘What do you think?’

‘I think I hate it.’

‘We’ve been here for hours.’

‘Three hours and eleven minutes. Trust me, I’m counting.’

‘Well, just choose something already.’

‘It’s your damn wedding – you choose something.’

‘I want you to be comfortable.’

‘Is any woman honestly comfortable in heels? And this dress! Look, you can’t tell me anyone is comfortable when bits of their anatomy are trying to run off without them.’

‘You know what I mean. I want you to feel like you.’

‘I’ve got a tracksuit at home that should do the trick, then. The other bridesmaids can get lovely grey numbers to match.’

‘Don’t even joke. It’s two months away.’

‘Look, I am never – I repeat, never – going to feel like myself wearing anything from this store.’

‘So, we’ll try another place. Find something with less cleavage, maybe.’

‘Cleavage or not, a dress is a dress. And a dress isn’t me.’

‘Work with me, will you? I could’ve picked them myself. I’m doing this for you.’

‘Are you?’

‘What’s that meant to mean?’

‘It means…never mind. Let’s get this one and be done with it.’

‘No, seriously – what did you mean?’

‘Admit it, if this was really for me, we’d be in a pants store.’

‘For goodness sake – you’re my Maid of Honour! You can’t wear pants.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because…I don’t know. It’s just not the way it is.’

‘It’s because of him, isn’t it?’

‘It’s got nothing to do with him!’

‘Does so.’

‘Fine – I just don’t want a scene, alright? Is it a crime for me to want things to go smoothly?’

‘You want me to play the nice girl. Dress up in a pretty frock, so I don’t upset Daddy.’

‘Can’t you at least pretend to like each other for a few hours?’

‘Have you met Dad?’

‘I know he can be…difficult.’

‘Perhaps I should leave Emma at home too? Rent a boyfriend for the day?’

‘Don’t be like that. You know that’s not what I meant.’

‘Isn’t it?’

‘It’s just one day.’

‘For you, maybe. It’s every damn day of my entire existence.’

‘That’s dramatic.’

‘Is it?’

‘Yes! I’ve always stood up for you –’

‘So that’s a yes to the pants, then?’

‘It’s just –’

‘That’s what I thought.’