Chapter Forty Three.Christmas Trees And Prom Dresses.
Song for this chapter:The 1975-Girls.
We were all sat down in a booth of the diner food crazed blonde admires, laughing at something idiotic Britney just said a few seconds ago making us all burst into a fit of laughter. By ‘we’ I mean myself, Gray,Becca, the three blondes, Blake and sadly my brother.
The smiles between me and Gray hadn’t stopped since this morning, even when we weren’t looking at each other we were smiling just at the thought of each other. Believe me I can tell since my face was burning with Grayson’s intense stares on me every two seconds if I even glanced away from his direction. I did the exact same thing.
The girls had practically forced me to get Gray to drive me home to get my money for my prom dress. So after minutes of bickering over it, I guess we all would be going prom dress shopping after eating food. Besides the three guys of course.
Turns out Becca and Blake are going to prom together, obviously Kimberly and my brother, Gray and I and then Britney and Stacey will be accompanying each other claiming they are ‘independent women who don’t need no man’.
I would have totally agreed with them ten months ago, but now?
I couldn’t say that anymore because I found true love and it was better than anything I had ever or would ever experience in my lifetime.
Being alone can be nice, but being with the person you love more than anything and knowing they feel the same way about you is an out of world experience that beats being alone any day.
″I was in class and she looks back at me and just stares″ Britney manages to choke out through her laughs.
″I was just like what bitch?″ She waved her hands around like a crazy woman earning odd stares from the family sitting beside us.
I had been too busy being infatuated by Grayson’s bright smile to even focus on the story Britney had been telling the group that obviously was funny enough to have the whole table in tears with laughter, including Blake.
″I swear that girl has serious staring issues, I was just on my phone. Like what’s the big deal?″.
″She’s our teacher, Britt. Of course she’s going to have a problem with you on your phone during class when we have life changing tests next month″ Kim commented incredulously from beside her with a snort making me chuckle and Brittney to just roll her eyes at her sister.
The thought of having our SAT’s next month was enough to make me want to curl up in a ball with stress and just cry my exam away. But sadly, that wouldn’t work and I knew I was going to have to work my butt off if I wanted any chance of getting a full scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America.
That takes good points to get into and crying wasn’t going to make get all A’s.
I had a 3.9 GPA and I needed to keep up my results for my SAT’s which would probably mean I should have started studying like... last month.
″Libby, you’re planning on going to culinary school, right?″ Becca asked rhetorically.
I nodded wondering what was in that head of hers. Becca was really smart, like NYU or Harvard smart but yet she still had no idea what college she wanted to go to although her parents are forcing her to go and she still has yet to decide what she wants to major in.
″So you’re basically the only here who actually has her life sorted out and knows what she wants to do for the rest of her life. Help us mortals choose what we should do″.
I smiled awkwardly at Becca and the girls, my life was anything but sorted out but she didn’t need to know that. For all they know I had a picture perfect family and I think I liked to keep it that way.
Becca was the outspoken person of the group, she wasn’t shy meeting new people and she would be the first person I would turn to for friendly advice that I know I wouldn’t be disappointed by. After all she was the one to ask me to sit her that one day.
″Well″ I began nervously thinking as what I would picture every one doing, ″Becca, I think since you’re not shy and quite...outspoken yet you give the best advice. I think something like a psychiatrist or a counsellor would be in the cards for you″.
She smiled content with my answer, ″You’re good at this, that was in my list of top three majors″.
Hm, not too bad.
″Kimberly, since it is obvious you adore kids something like a social worker or a kindergarten teacher″ I suggested and winked at her, ″I know all about your grades″.
It was true, Kimberly like Becca had top level grades. I guess blondes really aren’t dumb after all. Although...Stacey? She wasn’t dumb but there definitely was a loose screw somewhere with her humour and loving of food.
″You read my mind″ Kim replied with a smile as she held hands with my brother on the table.
″You know, I’m actually quite good at this″ I joked teasingly.
″Don’t be getting too ahead of yourself, Lib. Cockiness doesn’t suit you″ Gray joked with a smirk playing on pink lips.
I quirked a brow up at his handsome face. Me? Cocky? He was one to speak. ″Funny″ I deadpanned, ″Because I get all my cockiness off you″.
I stuck my tongue out at him making him look down at his lap with a boyish smile and slightly shake his head before meeting my eyes again.
I had always loved when he did that, it was one of favourite doings of his that I just couldn’t get enough of because every time he looked back up at me his eyes showed nothing but love and that’s how I always wanted to see his eyes.
Full of love and happiness.
″Okay, me next!″ Stacey cheered enthusiastically clapping her hands together with a bright smile showing off her Hollywood smile.
″Stace″ I chuckled, she was always so bubbly. ″I was thinking something along the lines of a party organiser, since you always are dressed head to toe in designer clothes I was thinking maybe a fashion designer either?″.
″Wow, Libby. You really are good at this″ Kimberly spoke with an impressed smile.
I looked at her with a confused expression, ″Stacey here had always wanted to be a fashion designer″.
Stacey nodded in agreement stuffing chips into her face, seriously where do all them carbs go in her petite body? She could eat the whole menu of McDonald’s and still have a killer body.
I turned to Blake who was sat next to Stacey who now had cheese on her chin but quickly licked it off, he sat back against the leather chair and crossed his arms behind his head motioning for me to guess what he should major in.
″Blake″ I hummed, thinking hard about what I thought would suit him using his personality to guess.
He smirked and quirked a brow up at me waiting for me to guess and evidently guess wrongly, ″A lawyer″.
It came to me in a flash, I don’t know if it was a millisecond of a memory or if that’s the first thing that came to my head but that’s was deemed suitable for him.
His face froze for a spilt second before composing himself and looking at Grayson with narrowed eyes then returning his ocean eyes to my grey ones, ″I would have been shocked that you hit it right on the nail, but it doesn’t surprise me that Grayson told you″.
I furrowed my brows at him, Gray told me?
Yeah, I don’t think so buddy.
″Ehm, no″ I chuckled, ″I’m just too good at this, you just can’t believe I guessed it right″.
″So you’re telling me Grayson didn’t tell you?″ He asked, his voice filled with humour still not believing that Gray didn’t utter out a word to me about him wanting to be a lawyer.
I nodded my head and looked at him seriously, ″Come on Blake, admit it. You’re shocked I guessed all.On.My.Own″.
He glanced at Gray again who held up his hands in surrender, ″I didn’t tell her man″ he chuckled.
He looked back to me and smirked, ″Impressive″.
I put on a cocky face and flipped my hair behind my shoulder dramatically like I was in an episode of Gossip Girl, ″Thank you, thank you″.
We were soon saying goodbye to the guys for the day while me and girls went to go prom dress shopping. Something I had dreaded for months, but I’ll be glad once it’s over and done with.
I inhaled Gray’s scent as I clutched onto him tightly not wanting to ever let him go.
″Navy looks amazing on you,Lib″ Gray whispered into my ear making me smile like a little girl.
″Is that a suggestion, Mr.Gray?″ I teased.
″Maybe it is″ He chuckled as we pulled away from the hug.
He looked down at me with a boyish smile that always made my heart flutter and my stomach twirl before he leaned down and pressed his plump lips to mine.
My hands went to his hair as his arms wrapped around my waist and our lips moved in sync with each others before a throat clearing made us pull apart from each other.
I narrowed my eyes at Jackson who was smirking mischievously, ″Wipe that smirk off your lips, Jacko. Don’t pretend you weren’t just sucking faces with Kimberly two seconds ago″.
He sighed knowing full right I was right before he walked off to wait at Grayson’s car. Obviously Gray was the designated driver for today.
″Libby babes, come on″ Brittney yelled from down the pathway in the lead to all the boutiques.
I turned around to them and out up one of my fingers motioning for them to just give me one more minute.
″You should go Lib, I think they have been waiting for this moment since there first day of high school″ He laughed holding my hand in his.
I chuckled at his comment, ″Try since the first day of elementary school″.
He shook his head and smiled, ″Don’t keep them waiting, Lib″.
I sighed pulling him into another hug again in which he hugged me back without a moment of hesitation, ″I’ll see you later″ I remarked truthfully as I let go of him.
He nodded, ″Later, Lib″.
I smiled at him one more time and turned around to walk to the girls who were waiting rather impatiently for me to join them on their venture of buying prom dresses.
But a strong grip gently pulled me back before I could even take a step, I smiled knowing it was Gray.
I quirked a curious brow up at him, wasn’t he the one to tell me not to keep them waiting?
″I love you″.
I smiled brightly at his sudden confession. ″I love you too,Gray″.
He let go of my hand smiling deeply down at me, ″You should go now, Lib″.
I nodded in agreement not wanting to keep the girls waiting for much longer, ″You’re right″ I agreed and quickly said our goodbyes and our ‘I love you’s’ before we walked away from each other, he went to his car while I walked rather quickly to catch up with the girls.
″You ready?″ Becca asked.
I nodded, ″Let’s get this over and done with″.
We walked to the boutique in a matter of minutes since everywhere in this town was close to everything. The boutique outside was painted a light blue with a white sign reading, ‘Flora’s Dresses’. It didn’t look anything special or unique but considering the blondes and Becca have raved about it, it must be much better inside than what meets the eye from outside.
We all walked inside and I was hit by the strong smell of a lavender candle burning on the desk where a woman in her mid 40′s sat with a content smile on her face as she stood up to greet us all.
″Hello girls″ She beamed, ″It’s so wonderful to meet you all, you’re here for prom dresses today?″.
Becca nodded and smiled politely at the woman who by looking at her name tag was named Claire.
″Yes, I thought you ladies were far too young to be looking for wedding dresses″.
We all laughed lightly as Claire directed us to the prom dress section in the small boutique.
It looked like I was in the middle of a rainbow, a rainbow made out of dresses that is. Every possible colour you could think of was in dress form-All different styles and all different fabrics and lengths.
This was dress heaven for girls who were into all of this stuff, for me I couldn’t care less if I wore a unicorn onesie, but of course I wasn’t going to do that. Unless I wanted to be taunted of the mere memories of everyone pointing and laughing at me the very last day school.
As soon as my eyes glanced towards the end of the dresses they instantly stopped towards the navy dresses.
Becca nudged me with her shoulder and winked at me, ″Navy goes with your hair and brings out the grey in your eyes″.
I smiled thankfully at her, ″I was aiming for navy ″ I admitted shyly thinking about Grayson’s words.
Damn, even when Grayson wasn’t around me he still made a lovesick puppy.
But God, I didn’t mind one bit.
We all grabbed a handful of dresses in a colour we each wanted and were now in a dressing room trying them all on, one by one.
Oh boy, this is going to take hours.
Well considering since I have eight dresses, it shouldn’t take me too long but considering the rest of the girls picked out at least twenty, they would be the ones to keep me here for at least three hours.
I got into the first navy dress I had laying across the chair of the dressing room, looking at myself in the mirror I cringed at the sight. Obviously I was terrible at picking dresses by the look of this dress and any normal person who took a glance of me in this so called dress would also know I had horrible fashion sense.
I sighed at the sight of the puffy arms, reminding me of Cinderella’s evil stepmother. The body of the dress was literally a corset that already felt like it was crushing my ribs and constricted my breathing while the skirt part of the dress was literally as flat as an iron and had no shape or anything. This was absolutely hideous.
I shook my head and let out a deep breath as I composed myself for the humiliation that was soon to come.
Anyone who chose this dress to wear to prom was probably was the 18th century and obviously didn’t know the difference from fashion to a bin bag.
I walked out with my head hung low in dread and embarrassment.
″Oh, Libby″ Kimberly said out in a sad but comforting tone. The type of tone your mother would you use when you try to do something on your own for once but fail. I didn’t have any memory of Elizabeth using that tone with me, but I sure had a lot of them with my Dad.
I looked up and my eyes widened with amusement at what the rest of the girls were wearing.
They were all standing there like in some sort of ugly pageant wearing the exact same dress as mine but of course in different colours.
Becca ventured out for old Hollywood red to compliment her tan skin, Kimberly going for dusty grey, Stacey going for a powder pink and Brittney going for a subtle blue.
I didn’t feel bad at the thought that not only did I look bad but so did the rest of the girls and that was saying a lot since it would take a look for them to appear ugly to someone. But these dresses were hideous and even a blind person could know that.
I laughed at the sight of us as did the rest of girls, Becca laughed so hard she now had to clutch her stomach. My jaw began to clench from laughing too much and tears started to brim my eyes. I couldn’t help myself, we looked fashionably horrendous.
Take out the ‘fashionably’-We just looked terrible and I don’t think any of us were afraid to admit that.
After we all composed ourselves we then tried on our second sets of dresses, this dress wasn’t half as bad as the first dress, I’ll give it that but still it wasn’t what I would choose. It was too...sparkly?
I’m sure this dress was a dream for many with it’s diamond encrusted heart shaped bodice and flowing tulle skirt but for me it was like glitter just puked all over it and it wasn’t my style...at all.
I walked out, this time not hiding my head in shame but rather with the uncomfortable feeling of the diamonds scratching off my skin making me feel like I had a thousand hives.
I gasped at the sight of the girls all in different dresses this time but choosing the same colour. They looked stunning, the dresses were definitely not half as bad as the first. Their dresses were all different from another’s. Glittery, simple, fashionable, and a bit daring but yet appropriate.
″Oh Libby, you look stunning!″ Brittney complimented eyeing my dress up and down with a smile.
″Thank you, you guys all look beautiful″.
″I think I found my dress″ Kimberly admitted with a content and fulfilled smile on her face. Her dress was aiming more towards for the 50′s vibes with it’s red colour, tight bodice that showed off her model like body and flaunted her curves and opened up towards the bottom like a trumpet style dress.
″It’s beautiful″ I spoke in awe, the dress really brightened her whole face, partially because of the huge smile playing on her lips
I knew my brother would just love her.
″I don’t know about this one″ I spoke in uncertainty patting down the dress as I stood in front of the mirror and looked at the dress from the back.
It just wasn’t...me.
″It’s beautiful, Lib″ Becca said but didn’t seem too pleased with the dress just like I didn’t, ″But is it your dress?″.
I sighed and shook my head in response. This was a lot harder than I had anticipated it to be.
My arms were getting tired from trying on the countless amount of dresses.Need I mention that the dress I will be putting on will be my fifth dress to put on as of today. I was just two dresses away from just bailing on prom altogether and watching Prom night on Prom night.
So far Kim had her dress picked out as did Britney and Stacey which surprised me to say the least since I would have thought they would have spent at least three hours shopping when in reality it hadn’t been one yet.
Yet, me and Becca still had to pick our dresses.
I carefully picked up the next dress in my hands instantly loving the silky smooth feeling of the fabric of this dress. I couldn’t tell by holding it up in front of me if this would be the dress for me or not and so I put it on in a matter of seconds with my tired arms.
Turning around to face the dressing room my eye widened at the dress that was now on my body. It was beautiful, it had a deep v neck that showed off the just the right amount of cleavage without being inappropriate, the dress wasn’t full of glitter but yet had not one diamond. It was everything I could have possible dreamed for with the tight waist where it flowed down like a waterfall but yet not looking like a mess.
It was perfect and I knew Grayson would love it just as much as I did.
I turned around and glanced at the deep v cut out in the back matching the front. I’m sure it would have jaws dropping at prom but Grayson’s would be the only one I cared about seeing.
I almost giggled like a little girl on Christmas at my reflection in the mirror. For once, I was happy at what was staring right back at me. And I could thank Grayson for helping me get there mentally.
I let out an unsteady breath hoping that the girls would admire the dress as much as I do. They were all sat down gawking at Becca’s timelessly beautiful dress that really looked beautiful on her.
It was simply yet detailed with lace and a sweetheart neckline that made her small pancake boobs appear bigger. Don’t blame me for calling them pancake boobs, I got the nickname off her.
″You look beautiful Becca, that dress is beautiful″ I spoke up in awe, at the sound of my voice they all turned around with widened eyes making my face as red as a pepper.
″I could same the exact same thing to you,Libby″.
We were listening to The 1975 on our drive home, luckily Kimberly had parked her car in the diner car park so we could easily get home without our dresses getting ruined somehow.
Knowing me, I would end up dropping it in a muddy puddle or something.
″I can’t wait for prom!″Stacey cheered sticking her blonde head out the window and screaming like a lunatic.
We couldn’t help but laugh at the crazy girl who if anyone asked was just home from a mental institution and we’re doing a good deed by bringing her home.
″You know what, I thought prom was just a boring dance″ I admitted making the girls besides Kimberly who had her attention on the road ahead of her as she drove, all stare at me with crazy eyes like I just said I’ve never seen an episode of gossip girl.
″Hey, I didn’t finish″ I scolded with a laugh, ″If you guys didn’t cut me off your huge ass eyes, I would have said that now I’m actually excited for it″ I shrugged carelessly.
The all pounced on me from the backseat like a pack of leopards and hugged me making me laugh until my jaw stung and my stomach clenched.
″Hey guys″ I breathed out with deep breaths, ″I’m kinda struggling to breathe here, and isn’t this a health hazard? I mean we are in a moving car!″.
The all laughed before getting off, ″You’re turning into on of us″ Brittney joked.
I dramatically opened my mouth and widened my eyes, ″Oh no! Am I going to end up with a mini cooper and bleach blonde hair too?″.
″Oh shut up″ They all said as if on cue’s and looked between each other weirdly before laughing again.
Once we arrived outside my shitty neighbourhood, Kimberly pulled the breaks on the car, ″Here’s your stop,Libby″.
″Don’t forget your dress, Grayson is going to love it″ Becca winked while the rest of the girls nodded in agreement with sly smirks.
I couldn’t control the blush from rising to my cheeks at the mention of Grayson’s name and the thought of his reaction to the dress.
Oh God, I really was becoming one of them.
Which I didn’t mind one bit, those girls were beautiful and sassy and hilarious. Who wouldn’t want to be somewhat similar to them?
We said our goodbyes quickly since I was freezing my knickers off out here. Once I waved them goodbye with my freehand whilst the other other held my dress in it’s bag, they drove and I walked inside to my warm home.
I left the bag on the cabinet counter beside the front door as I stared around in wonder to where that strange but yummy gingerbread scent was coming from, ″Jackson, are you making gingerbread men?″ I yelled from the hall making my way into the kitchen.
I furrowed my brows when the kitchen was isolated but my question had been answered as there on the kitchen counter was a bath and body works ‘gingerbread latte’ candle lighting. But still I was curious as to how that got there in the first place, I know for sure it wasn’t Gab since she was in Grayson’s and couldn’t use a lighter nor would I let her use one.
I walked out of the kitchen feeling dazed and confused which led me to the living room to sit down for a bit.
My jaw dropped at the probably seven foot Christmas tree right by the window, that already had the lights on but no baubles.
″I hope you don’t mind that I already put the lights on″ A nervous voice spoke making me jump in my skin and hold my hand on my heart at Elizabeth coming literally right out of no where.
″Ehm no″ I cleared my throat awkwardly, ″It’s nice″.
She smiled politely, things between us have still been a bit uneasy and awkward but I did respect her for making a change on her life for Gabriela, but I wasn’t going to go easy on her.
I took a glance at it and sure enough it was real, I should have noticed earlier from the smell off pine roaming the room.
″Thank you″ I said in all honesty, she seemed shocked by my words judging by her reaction.
″No problem,Libby. I do love you″.
She sighed in understanding, ″I better go now then″.
″You can stay″ I blurted out.
I shook my head at my words that came out without second thinking, not only surprising her but me too.
″Oh no that’s really okay, I don’t want to intrude″.
I rolled my eyes, ″There’s no one here to intrude on″.
She gave me a tight lipped smile but I knew deep down that she appreciated it more than she was letting on.
Like mother like daughter, she didn’t want to take it for granted.
Just like I don’t want to take Gray for granted.
″So, how about we make a batch of gingerbread men like old times?″.