Sabrina Orah Mark

The Saddest Gown in the World

“I do not give anymore,” said Walter B., “a fig about you.” “Are you sure?” asked Beatrice. “Absolutely,” said Walter B. “Not a fig?” asked Beatrice. “Not a fig,” said Walter B. “Promise?” asked Beatrice. “Promise,” said Walter B. “When do you suppose,” asked Beatrice, “you will give about me a fig again?” Walter B. looked up at the sky. “Probably not for many years,” said Walter B. “Oh,” said Beatrice. “Should I wait?” “Of course,” said Walter B., “you should wait.” “I’d be very happy,” said Beatrice, “if you joined me while I waited.” Walter B. squeezed her hand. “One day,” said Walter B., “I will make for you a sewing of all the figs I never gave about you.” And one day Walter B. would. He would sew all the figs together. It would not be easy, but he would do it. If he could promise Beatrice anything he could promise her this. He would make for Beatrice a perfect sewing of all the figs he never gave about her. She could wear it, thought Walter B., like a gown. And everyone would applaud.