“Can you zip me up?” I ask Alice, lifting my hair up off my back. She gets up from the bed and zips me into my dress. “What do you think?” I do a little twirl.
The top of the dress hugs tight and is covered in white crystals. The bottom is all tulle that stops mid-thigh. I feel a bit like a princess. It’s different than what I would normally wear, but maybe I’m looking for some attention.
“You look like Barbie going to the prom,” Alice says, making me snort.
“I don’t know if that’s a compliment or not,” I tell her, smiling.
“You can pull it off.”
She plops back down on the bed, making her dark green dress ride up her legs. Green always looks best on her with all that red hair of hers. It’s shorter than I’ve seen her wear, but I’ve noticed her style has been changing a little here and there. She still has on a pair of flats, but she no longer tries to hide her body. She even lets her hair down more and puts on make-up.
I’m really starting to think there is someone she isn’t telling me about. I tried to get her to invite some people to my birthday party today, but she didn’t take the bait, and she never hangs with anyone but me.
“How are classes?” I ask as I start digging for a pair of shoes to wear. I’m going to try heels. See how long I can last before I bust my ass. I’m hoping they will make me look taller, older, more like a woman and not a little girl.
“Okay,” she sighs.
“Still struggling with picking a college and major?”
“I just don’t know what I want to do. Nothing is grabbing my attention.”
“Well, maybe try the community college and take basics. Feel things out once you’re in college. Not like there is a giant rush.” I try to reassure her, but Alice likes to have things planned to know what’s coming because I think her home life is chaotic.
“Maybe.” Her voice is soft, and I can detect a trace of sadness in it. I think she’s lost, fighting to find her own way. I thought when her parents finally separated a few days ago she might perk up at not having to listen to them fight all the time. But now her mom has started drinking and having random men over.
“I was thinking…” I come over and sit down on the bed next to her, slipping on my bright pink heels.
“You’re going to kill yourself in those,” she tells me.
I ignore her because I’m making these heels work. Heck, I practiced walking in them on the treadmill every chance I could last week. Of course when no one was home because I never would have heard the end of that.
“Like I was saying, I was thinking. Maybe you should come stay here. Get out of your mom’s house.”
“Mags.” I can tell by how she says my name she’s going to say no.
“Hear me out. I live closer to school.”
“Still closer,” I push, smiling at her. “Also we’re best friends. Think how kickass it would be to live under the same roof. I’ve never had a sibling, and I’m guessing I never will because I can’t get Dad to go on a date to save my life.”
“No, it’s fine, really. Besides, you have Eli. He’s like a brother.” I narrow my eyes at her, and she holds her hands up in an I give gesture. Yeah, she knows my dirty secret.
“Just think about it.”
“I will,” she finally agrees.
I’ll talk to my dad about it later. She might be in high school, but that doesn’t mean she has to live at home. She’s eighteen. I’m sure my dad won’t care. Alice has been staying here more and more, and I know it’s to get away from her mom’s house.
Jumping up from of the bed, I forget about my heels and almost fall over. Alice catches me by my hips and helps steady me.
“This is going to be a long day if you’re wearing these.”
“Well, you’re my best friend, so it’s your job to make sure I don’t fall on my face and embarrass myself.”
“I’ll try my best, but also as your best friend, if you fall on you face after I help you up I’ll have to make fun of you for the rest of our lives.”
I grab my lip gloss and apply it, then hand it to Alice. She slicks some on, and I drop it back onto my vanity.
“I wanna give you your gift before we go down.” Alice walks over to her bag and pulls out a present and card and hands them to me.
I rip open the present.
“I think you’re supposed to read the card first,” she laughs.
I open the box to find a pair of decorated flats. They are completely covered in gold sparkles, with a gold bow on the top and a diamond in the center. Sunshine is emblazoned on the back.
“You win.” I kick the heels off, not caring how much I practiced walking in them. I slide on my new shoes. “I love them!” I wrap Alice in a hug.
“I thought you might like them.”
“They’re perfect,” I tell her, feeling a little choked up. Alice has come to mean so much to me. I never really got to have a friend like her before, having to move so often. I didn’t know what I was missing.
I release her from the tight hug, and she hands me my card. The picture on the front is of a hot guy standing on the beach, and I open it.
“I’m shocked you went and bought this at the store without blushing to death,” I tease. Not that I’m not an easy blusher, but Alice gets all wiggly and quiet if you talk about sex. I open the card and bark out a laugh at what it says inside.