I’ve told you for thousands of years, and thousands of times that I’m sorry. No matter how much I say it or how much I mean it, it will never fix what I did to the both of us. I messed up, and bad. Maybe if I hadn’t been so selfish and taken the beauty of life for granted, this never would have happened.
This experience has allowed me to learn almost every language known to man, play every instrument there is, and work every job one can work. But I’ve always liked tailoring best; of course, you already knew that. I guess I’m rambling. I’ll keep it brief, then.
I love you, Waylon. Don’t forget that I’ve always loved you.
“Where is it? You know that I’m bad with directions, and I just moved here. I don’t know where anything is.”
Lisa chuckled, shaking her head as she stared down at the screen of her phone, GPS pulled up, “Just take the next right. The picture on the website showed it in a kind of strip-mall.”
Waylon took the turn, and sure enough, a large strip-mall came into view to the left of the road. “Remind me again why you took me to order your wedding gown?”
“Oh calm down, you need to get to know your way around this place anyway,” Lisa chuckled, gently nudging her friend’s shoulder. “It was only ten minutes. Remember when we used to take six-hour long trips with the others back in community college?”
“I don’t even remember half of their names anymore,” Waylon sighed, pulling into one of the only parking spaces available. There was both a movie theater and a Big Lots in the strip as well, explaining the abundance of cars.
“Me neither, but I definitely remember the crazy amount of marijuana they brought with us.”
Waylon groaned, resting his forehead on the wheel as soon as they were parked. “Never again.”
Lisa shook her head, grin plastered across her face as she opened the passenger door of the car. “Come on Way, lets go find the perfect dress.”
“How come your fiancé didn’t come, too? You’re only getting married to each other,” Waylon grumbled, following Lisa down the sidewalk of the strip.
“Support!” said Lisa, “Besides, he’s on an overnight for the next three days.”
Suddenly, Lisa stopped them in front of a shop at the very end of the strip. The place looked fancy and expensive just from the outside. The shop was two stories high and painted over with an eerie midnight-like color, intricate carvings decorating the walls. A serif sign above them read ‘Tailoring and Bridal’, and the windows were darkened from the outside.
Before Waylon had the chance to comment on the somewhat-medieval exterior of the shop, Lisa was already headed inside. Waylon followed quickly, a small bell above the door chiming a small chime before closing behind them.
The interior was definitely different than the exterior; the walls were an off-white color, the floors covered over with polished mahogany. Small pots with realistic-looking roses and other flowers covered shelves and cases across the room, giving the whole place a look of elegance.
Waylon could practically smell the expensive as Lisa clapped her hands together, trotting over to the first display of bridesmaid dresses she could find. Along with the wedding gown of her dreams, she also wanted to put in an order for bridesmaid gowns, too.
Waylon was just thankful he wasn’t paying for any of it.
It was then that Waylon’s eyes trailed to a small counter across the room where a man sat, book in-hand. He didn’t seem as formal as the rest of the place was, wearing only a simple gray t-shirt and black jeans.
The man’s eyes slowly found the two customers across the room, closing his book before coming to a stand, “Can I help you two with something?” the man asked, moving away from the desk and over to the racks they were eying.
Waylon looked over his shoulder to Lisa, who was still sucked into the depth of ocean blue dresses on a dais across the room. The blonde sighed, turning back to the man, “Yeah, actually. Are you the owner?”
The man shook his head, “Nah, I just work here, but the owner’s here. He’s working upstairs. Anything I can help you with?”
The blonde looked to a small nametag resting against the man’s t-shirt; ‘Dennis’. Ah. He probably should’ve noticed that earlier. “Well, she was looking to put in an order for three bridesmaid dresses and a wedding gown.” he said, gesturing to Lisa. “Hey, Lisa!”
Lisa swiveled around, a large grin plastered across her face as she approached, “Hi! Are you-?”
“I’m not the owner,” Dennis answered again, voice sounding like he was already tired of saying it. “But if it’s a commission you’re looking for, I can go get him. Are you the bride and the groom?”
“Waylon? Nah, he’s just a friend,” Lisa laughed, throwing an arm around Waylon’s shoulder.
As soon as the words left Lisa’s lips, Dennis’ smile fell. He stared hollowly between the two; but most of his attention remained on Waylon.
The blonde shrugged his shoulders up to his ears, not entirely comfortable with the man’s scrutinizing gaze. He opened his mouth to continue, but Dennis beat him to it, “I’ll just go get the owner for you.” he replied quickly, scurrying away towards a small curtain-covered door near the back of the shop.
Once he was gone, both Lisa and Waylon gave each other the same look. A look that said something was up.
“What was that about?” Lisa frowned, letting her arm fall from Waylon’s shoulders. “Did you see the look he gave you?”
Waylon huffed, “No Lisa, I’m blind,” he said sarcastically, running a hand through his hair. “I’d be lying if I said that didn’t freak me out a little.”
Lisa rolled her eyes, “Well, that guy was just weird.”
“He was fine until you said I wasn’t the groom.”
“Well, why would that make him give you that look?” Lisa pouted, crossing her arms over her chest. She shook her head. “That’s not the point of any of this, anyway. Come check out the bridesmaid dresses I found!”
Waylon and Lisa were both admiring the shimmering display of gowns in the back of the store when a loud thud echoed from the floor above their heads. Both Lisa and Waylon looked up, startled, as heavy footsteps walked the upper floors.
Dennis reappeared shortly after, brushing the curtain back before giving the two a small smile, “He’ll be down in a few minutes.”
Despite the previous warning, another set of footsteps descended the staircase Dennis had moments ago. A much larger figure made its presence in the shop, and based upon Waylon’s first look, the newcomer seemed much more fitted to the place than Dennis did.
He was dressed rather spiffily in what one could describe as wedding attire. Along with that, the man had a sculpted face and black hair shaved and slicked back upon the top of his head. His eyes were piercing as they fell on the two of them.
As he approached, Lisa was quick to jump in, “Hi! I really like these dresses back here; could I put in an order for three of these? I have the sizing all ready to go.”
The man’s eyes were locked on Waylon for less than a second before they flickered down to Lisa; down; the guy was huge, “Of course. My attendant mentioned you wanted a bridal gown as well?”
Minutes later, Waylon was standing behind Lisa at the counter, hands in his pockets while watching her fill out the paperwork for her bridesmaid dresses. He looked up to the man who’d been sitting behind the counter, more than a little startled to find him staring him down. As soon as their eyes locked, Dennis stood, moving to the back of the store.
That’s when Waylon decided to see what the owner was doing instead. He almost flinched when he saw the owner staring at him too, but the man tried to hide it well enough. He almost managed to look away in time to avoid Waylon’s eyes.
Waylon frowned, leaning over the counter beside Lisa all the while continuing to gaze at the man, “I don’t think I caught your name,” said Waylon, raising a brow as the owner’s eyes turned back to him.
“…Eddie Gluskin,” the owner replied, taking a step back from the counter as Lisa finally looked up, gathering the paperwork in her hands.
She looked to Gluskin, then Waylon, then Gluskin again before smirking, handing the tailor the papers. “Thank you, Mr. Gluskin. When can we talk about the dress…?”
Gluskin looked back to Lisa, uncrossing his arms to take the papers out of her hands, “Are you looking for a specific dress, Miss Lisa?”
Waylon was already getting bored of all of the wedding talk, choosing instead to walk away from the desk and observe the displays they’d missed while ogling over bridesmaid gowns. There weren’t just dresses in the shop; it seemed half of the room was dedicated to brides and women, the other men and grooms.
This guy really did it all, didn’t he? Waylon couldn’t help but to snake his way into the men’s section as quiet voices talked business behind him. The further back the shelves were, the more formal the clothing got.
There was one particular display of tuxedos that caught Waylon’s interest; there was a dark aqua-like material over one particular pair that he found he liked almost instantly. There was a pin with a white rose and beads sitting on the upper chest of the suit, and the closer Waylon looked, he began to notice a small pattern inside of the color.
It looked like such an expensive piece of clothing that Waylon didn’t even want to know the price. The fact that there wasn’t evidence of a tag was enough to tell him there was no way he’d be able to afford it. He didn’t understand why he liked it so much…
“Like it?” A voice suddenly echoed beside him. Waylon jumped back as he spotted Dennis standing beside him, staring at the same suit he had been.
“Uh… Yeah,” Waylon gasped, clutching a hand to his chest. “I doubt I’d be able to afford it, though.”
Dennis simply shrugged, running a finger along the fabric before turning back to Waylon, “It comes with a veil too, you know.”
Waylon immediately raised both brows, “Why would it come with a veil…?” he asked, more out of curiosity than anything else.
Again, Dennis shrugged. “I’ll answer that question like I answer a lot of questions around this shop; why not? Eddie Gluskin is certainly… Eccentric, when it comes to certain aspects of his work. You can always buy it without it, but I think that takes the fun away from it.”
Waylon followed Dennis’ eyes back to the front counter where Lisa and Gluskin were looking through some sort of thick book. From the distance they were at, Waylon couldn’t really tell what was in it. At least the tailor was occupied, and not staring.
“Sorry if I freaked you out a bit earlier,” Dennis continued, gaining Waylon’s attention. The attendant looked to the floor, scratching the back of his neck. “Staring and everything. You just… have nice hair.”
Waylon let out an awkward laugh at that, shrugging, “It’s fine,” he replied, glancing back over to Eddie Gluskin. “What’s up with him, anyway?”
Dennis’ smile immediately fell, “He’s just… Stressed out. Has been for a while. …I probably shouldn’t say this but,” he said, leaning closer. “I think he keeps looking because you look a lot like someone he used to know.”
“Oh,” said Waylon, staring down at his feet. Suddenly he felt much more uncomfortable than before. But then he looked back up, realizing just what Dennis meant. “Oh. I’m sorry.”
Before either could continue their conversation, Lisa’s voice echoed across the room, “Hey, Way! We’re all set! Let’s go, unless you want a dress too…?”
Waylon blushed furiously, shaking his head as he followed Lisa to the exit. The blonde spared one last glance over his shoulder at Eddie Gluskin as they left, only a little surprised to find the man was still staring at him with that same intense gaze as before. At least he knew the reason why, now.
Not like it mattered all that much. It was the only time he’d be seeing the tailor, as long as Lisa didn’t drag him along to pick everything up once it was finished.
“Okay, now that we’re out of there I can finally say it,” Lisa laughed as she entered the passenger side of the car, “That guy was totally into you.”
“What? No, he wasn’t,” Waylon immediately denied, shoving the keys into the engine. “If anything, he looked like he wanted to slice me up and hang me from the ceiling of some old gymnasium. He was scary.”
Lisa shook her head, “No, you weren’t standing right in front of him. He was super intimidating, sure, but I can tell the difference between hate and lust. And that was definitely lust.”
“You’re just saying that because you want to hook me up with my first guy,” Waylon sighed, “Besides, despite rugged handsomeness, he looked as straight as an arrow to me.”
“So you admit he was handsome!”
Waylon blushed, “Shut is, Lis.”
“Can he be like, my brother-in-law?”
“We just met him five minutes ago!”
“I can see the wedding now.”
“Lisa,” Waylon wheezed, “The attendant told me I just looked like someone he used to know. That’s. It.”
Lisa slumped back in her seat, defeated. “Okay, fine. But I’m just saying, you could’ve had a man with a dark past.”
Waylon paused. “…What the hell are you talking about?”
“Don’t tell me you didn’t see the scars all over that guy’s face.”
“…No. I didn’t.”
Lisa rocked back and forth in her seat, “I don’t mean it in a bad way or anything. I mean, it was kind of hard not to notice. Although it could’ve just been from an accident or something…”
Waylon rolled his eyes, “You are the most prying human being I know, Lis.”
“I try not to be,” Lisa sighed. “Sometimes I can’t help it. I feel like you should’ve tried talking to him more.”
“Again,” Waylon said, holding up a hand. “We met him five minutes ago.”
Dennis slumped back into his chair behind the counter, folding his hands behind his head and kicking his feet up onto the desk. He watched Eddie with curiosity, a large smirk plastered across his face.
Eddie stood completely still on the opposite side of the counter, staring at the front windows. He’d been staring ever since their two clients left; the only thing that had changed was his expression, which had quickly gone from firm to saddening.
“So,” Dennis began causally, flicking a paper away from his feet with two fingers. “Was that Waylon?”
Eddie swiveled on his heels instantly, glaring at the younger man. “What did you tell him?”
Dennis flinched, but the smirk still remained. “Hey man, I’d never rat you out. I just had to make up a bullshit excuse for him to explain why you wouldn’t stop looking at him.”
“I just told him he looked like someone you used to know,” Dennis shrugged. “And he totally bought it.”
Eddie hissed, turning away from the attendant and back towards the front window. He could see Dennis shift in his seat out of the corner of his eye, approaching, “There’s no way I would be able to understand what you’ve been through,” Dennis sighed, “But this isn’t the first time. You can do it, man.”
Eddie closed his eyes, fists clenching and unclenching by his sides. “He’s not young; it’d be safe to assume I don’t have a lot of time to work with here.”
The two men fell into silence shortly after, but Dennis clearly wasn’t willing to let the subject slide, “Look Eddie, there’s really nothing you can do about it now. It was just a lucky roll of the dice.”
Eddie’s brows furrowed. ‘A lucky roll of the fucking dice, indeed.’
“He liked the suit in the back,” said Dennis.
Eddie frowned, glancing to the display across the room. “Which one?”
Dennis pointed to the aqua suit resting in between the other four, “The one in the middle that you made the veil for.”
Eddie couldn’t help but let out a soft chuckle, “He would.”
“You know, when you first told me about him, I didn’t believe you.”
Eddie grunted. “No one ever does.”
“He always does, doesn’t he?” said Dennis, smirking.
Eddie sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose between two of his fingers. It was something he really didn’t want to think about.
Dennis shook his head, “Look, it’s almost seven. You can close the shop early, get some sleep. Come to Frank’s bar with us tomorrow. What do you say?”
After some silence, Eddie nodded. He could really use a drink, despite the fact that getting drunk probably wouldn’t happen. Maybe if he drank enough this time…
“Things will be fine Ed,” Dennis continued. “You’ll see him again.”