Christening (part of a work in progress)

The baby’s name would be Amy, less foreign than Amelia, Marsha had explained, but still close to Dee’s middle name. ” Who would ever name a baby Dolores Amelia Louise?” Marsha had asked.
“My mother would.” Dee sighed, thinking of her mother – so full of ambition, hoping for drama in the nursery, a leading role as mother. Later, there was always a rehearsal to go to or an opening at the community theater, more important than Dee’s school events. For Dee it had been clear – in her mother’s life, she was an off-stage event. The Drama Club was the one club in high school Dee had never joined, even after her mother died.
Carefully holding her godchild as the priest did his stuff, Dee nodded, thinking Amy is good, a short name, small like this tiny baby, not over-blown like my name. Standing beside Marsha at the christening, Dee felt happy for her friend – in high school the most popular, most likely to succeed – now a teenage mama. All through high school Dee – unsure of herself, overweight and shy – had envied Marsha. Whatever happened to the girl who was going to right the world’s wrongs, become a social worker, maybe a politician? Facing university, Dee didn’t know what she wanted, but she was sure it wasn’t what Marsha had chosen.
That summer she listened to the high-flying plans of her friends, most of them going out of state, going steady or engaged, excited, happy. She was stuck at the Manchester campus of N.H. University – no money for anything else. Dee hugged everyone, wished them luck, promised to be there for them when they came home for a weekend, only occasionally feeling like Cinderella waving good-by to her sisters on their way to the ball.