She glanced up and gave me one of her sidelong smiles from where she was seated on the living room floor.
I couldn't help noticing what she was doing, although I was sitting on the couch supposedly doing my English reading, which was dreadfully dull-- it was Dickens that semester. I remember Anthy remarking that Dickens was rather tame after a course of Wilkie Collins. She'd had me read The Moonstone to her on one of our long car drives somewhere, I recalled fondly, saying that it would improve my English accent. She had giggled at all the parts with the "Indians" in them, but it was a very exciting story nonetheless.
I blinked, shaking myself out of my reverie. Anthy's smile deepened at one corner and she unfolded the top of the brown box and rummaged through the pale tissue paper within.
"The-- Anthy, what is that?" I half stood up, spilling the book and the cat off my lap. Nanami hit the floor with a heavy thud and a trill of protest, waving her tail.
The box was filled with red-and-gold silk. That's a simple way to describe the shimmering glory of the thing. It was patterned with green, and the the patterns were too intricate for me to make out at a distance, and the gold threads seemed to be woven in with the red silk. The designs were like flowing water and flame and flowers, but not quite any of those things. I had, frankly, never seen anything like it.
Anthy pulled one end out of the box and examined a border that looked like either leaves or flames or leaping fish, and was even more heavily golden than the rest of it. "It's a wedding sari," she said, as though it were quite ordinary.
"Oh," I said.
"It's antique," she said, pulling more of it out of the box. It seemed impossibly long. She flung one end of it over my lap and I touched it gingerly. Despite all the gold threads, the silk was very soft. "Handwoven," she added. "It's very fine work."
"Where did you get it?" I asked, almost afraid to touch it again.
She raised one eyebrow quizzically at me. "India," she replied.
I stared at her as she stood up and gathered the red-and-golden-and-green glory of it around her. She snapped it in the air-- it seemed to catch all the light in the apartment-- and then started to fold it.
"Anthy?" I asked.
"What's it for?"
"The wedding." She was looking down at the cloth as she said it, but there was a secret smile in the corners of her eyes.
"Oh." I sat down, breathless. "Right. The wedding. Does that mean you just asked me to--"
"Yes," she said, putting the sari back in the box.
"Oh," I said, through the big stupid grin on my face. "Yes."
Anthy smiled back. "Wait until you see your outfit."