Zoe’s Dance

Zoe had learned long ago that it was unwise to voice her thoughts about weddings. After all, who would listen to a woman who never dreamed of being the bride? As a girl, she often played wedding with the neighbourhood children. The others always fought for the same roles—bride, parents of the bride, flower girl or organist. Zoe only ever wanted to be the priest. She’d put on her grandmother’s oversized black wool cardigan and demand an answer to the words she’d seen on television soaps: Do you take this man? The impatient guests wiped away sweat in the late afternoon summer heat. The groom, who’d been promised his fair share of chips and gum, tried not to look bored. Now, at thirty, Zoe waited for the weddings around her to pass. Once all her cousins were married, she thought, life might assume some quiet and stability.

She checked herself for the last time in the hallway mirror before leaving her house. Wiping away some of the inky liner around her eyes, she tried not to look down at her bright blue sleeveless dress.

Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 3. Purchase the book to read the full piece.

Toronto locations referenced in this piece

“They arrived at the Isis Banquet Hall on Danforth Road, the place where Zoe’s family held all their functions . . . ” —Danforth