"I'm only doing this because it's their last day," George warned, "Don't push your luck."
Bess pulled away, "Fine, you got away with no manicure and no pedicure, but I am doing your hair and makeup, whether you like it or not. She was wearing the red dress that she had bought with Nancy. She also wore her new silver heels. They were sleek and had straps running all over her feet. She had her hair pulled up into a pile of messy curls. Her makeup was just so, and she was determined to have George's done within the hour.
Nancy walked out of her closet wearing the blue dress that Bess had finally convinced Nancy to let her pay for. Nancy wore short heels similar to Bess's. She walked to her dresser and started digging through her jewelry box. She had told Bess not to bring any over because she had the perfect things picked out for all three of them.
"Hold still!" George stuck her tongue out at her cousin, who was again attempting to do her makeup. The tomboy wore a dark brown dress that Bess had also bought. Nancy had picked it out just for George. It was a flowing dress that elegantly reached down to just past her knees. It was a plain, brown dress that scrunched up at the chest and straightened out from the stomach down. A single strip of cloth wrapped around her neck and through a silver ring that connected it to the rest of the dress. This served as her sleeves. It was the simplest of the dresses, but that's how George liked it. They had bought her a pair of open-toed, cream colored heels that had no back. A single, thick strap covered the top half of her foot. The strap had a thin cord-like lining that ran across the top and bottom. The same material formed a small bow on the outside of the shoe. The muted colors complemented George's tanned skin and her dark features. She looked as stunning, if not more, than her two faithful friends.
"Here let me do it," Nancy took Bess's place. When George started to protest once more, Nancy gave her a look that said 'just do it for me'. She promptly shut up and closed her eyes, awaiting her torture.
"Now, how come she won't do that for me?" Bess shook her head. Bess peeked into the hallway, "The coast is clear. I'm going to run and get the straightener out of the bathroom. I'll be right back." As she darted out the door, Nancy turned her attention back to George's makeup. She was using earthy tones because they had always looked best on George. She made it look very natural and carefully brought out George's features. Nancy was just as expertly as Bess when it came to makeup. It helped when she had to go undercover or just whenever she went out on a special occasion. She finished by coating George's lips with a cream colored gloss that was the fourth and final layer on her lips. The first had been foundation, the second chapstick, and the third a similar colored lipstick. The gloss set a shine to that the other layers couldn't have. Nancy had used an array of light browns, creams, and even some light pink on George. It was very subtle and attractive.
"There," Nancy sat back, "all done." She stood and returned to her dresser. She picked up a thin silver necklace that had a single, silver butterfly at the center of the chain. After putting it on, she picked up a golden chain that had a solitary, pale pink rose at the center. "Here," Nancy clamped the necklace around George's neck, "It'll match your makeup." Then, Nancy handed her a bracelet that surrounded the wrist in pale pink roses encased in gold setting.
George stood to look in Nancy's full-length mirror. "Whoa," she took in a sharp breath, "You guys really know your stuff, huh…" Nancy smiled and squeezed George's bare shoulders. She fastened a thin, silver bracelet around her own wrist, and started on her own makeup.
Bess bustled in the door, "I couldn't find it, but it was hidden under the sink." She held up the straightener.
"George, there's a necklace and bracelet for Bess on my dresser. Can you get it for me?" Nancy asked. She sat in a chair, so that Bess could work on her hair as she applied her makeup. She decided that she would stick with cream colors and light browns like George, but she didn't use any pink except as blush. It would have clashed with her dress.
Bess set the straightener down to warm up. As she did, George placed a silver necklace around her neck. At the center were three diamonds, one larger than the two on each side of it. The bracelet that she handed to Bess was a diamond bracelet. She gasped, "Nancy, where did you get this? Are these real?"
Nancy nodded, "Yeah, Dad got them for me last Christmas. He gave them to me after everyone left. It was my special gift from him."
"Now I remember," Bess picked up the now heated straightener, "You did mention that."
"I thought you'd like to wear them," Nancy smiled, "I'll be done with my makeup in a minute. Why don't you wait until I'm finished?"
Bess turned to George, a glint in her eyes. "Oh, no, Bess," George took a step back, "I like my hair just the way it is. Beeeesss!" George darted out Nancy's door and ran downstairs.
"Oh, leave her be," Nancy laughed good-naturedly, "Her hair looks fine. She promised to leave it down."
"But she leaves it down every other day!" Bess complained, "She does look very nice, though. Oh, alright, she wins…but next time her head is mine!"
Nancy walked downstairs. Bess had straightened her hair and the three girls were ready to go. Bess had conditionally allowed Nancy to do nothing special to her hair. It was down, as usual, but for one small, silver barrette that clipped some of her hair back at an angle. It pinned the hair closest to her face back so as to stay out of her way, but mildly affected the rest.
George was sitting in a kitchen chair. She held up a handwritten note, "The boys said that they'll meet us there. They didn't want to ruin the 'surprise of their three beautiful dates'. I think Joe's getting a little big headed with this three dates thing."
"Oh, I wouldn't worry too much about that," Nancy gave Bess a sideways glance, "I think he'll have his hands full tonight." She eyed her friend teasingly.
Bess just blushed. "Hey what about you? Frank's eyes are going to pop out of his head when he sees you," she retaliated.
Nancy's cheeks flushed even deeper than Bess's had, "I resent that."
"Well, I should just stay here. I'm not needed," George stood confidently.
"Not so fast!" the others held her back. George crossed her arms and stuck her tongue out again. She huffed as she sat back down.
"You won't get out that easily," Nancy said, "Besides, Frank and I are just friends!" The cousins glanced at each other. "I mean," Nancy said more to herself than her friends, "he's been sweet these last couple of weeks, but it's nothing…it's not like that."
"Fine," Bess sighed, "We'll quit pestering you, if you promise to have fun tonight, and dance with someone."
"Bess, she isn't going to go and get a new boyfriend anytime soon," George said softly, "You can't expect too much from her. Not when it's only been two weeks."
"No, George," Nancy said firmly, "Ned left me, for good. I get that now. He's out of my life forever…There is someone out there for me. Someone who will wait for me, and for me to be ready for him. Someone who will understand me even more thoroughly than Ned did. Someone who will love me with all his heart and all his soul, someone who…someone whom I will love so completely…so completely that we will day become one," Nancy's voice had not wavered at the mention of Ned. It was the first time in two weeks that she had spoken so fiercely and with such confidence, "I just happened to make a stop along the way. A stop in my search that led me astray." The room fell silent.
Bess nodded her head. She wiped the single tear that fell down her cheek, sniffled, and engrossed Nancy in a hug. George joined. She blinked back tears, but was glad that neither of her friends could tell.