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Chapter Eighteen

I looked at my reflection in the mirror and even though I never gave myself compliments, I had to think to myself, I look beautiful.

The dress fit perfectly and with the shoes I picked out I was a little taller than normal, so the dress didn’t drag as much. It flowed beautifully and showed off my collarbones wonderfully. I only wore little rose earrings and my silver spinning wheel necklace that Phillip got me, otherwise I let the dress do the talking. Mom had styled my hair and chic swirly up-do with curls falling around my face gently. Felicity hadn’t gone overboard on my makeup, thank god. She’d put some foundation on, natural eye shadow with winged eyeliner, making my eyes stand out. She’d gone with nude coloured lipstick so that it wouldn’t clash with the dress and light sprinkling of blush. I appreciated that she’d kept it as simple and natural as possible.

Felicity looked amazing as well. She’d lost a lot of weight since giving birth in January, but there was still a little bit of a bump around her stomach area. Her dress hid it well, and gave her a lovely, elegant look and the empire waist made her look taller. Her makeup was a little more dramatic around the eyes compared to mine, but she pulled it off spectacularly. My mother had done a similar hairstyle for Felicity as well, pinning it up and off her face, accentuating her jawline and long neck.

We took photos in our dresses and laughed, putting last finished touches while we waited for Josh and Phillip to show up. Dustin and his date would already have been picked up. Soon enough, the doorbell rang and we heard my father usher the boys in, talking loudly. Felicity and I looked at each other, beamed excitedly and grabbed out clutches. Mom handed me a lovely gold wrap that I draped over my arm. Felicity and I made our way downstairs. I felt like I was on a sugar high I was elated and excited. I saw Phillip before he saw me. He was dressed handsomely in a black tux. He’d styled his hair so it was up and off his face, like a quiff. He had a corsage consisting of a pink rose in his hands, but was busy talking to my dad, a smile on his face. He only looked around when Felicity and I reached the bottom of the stairs. His face kind of dropped into shock and I felt a little self-conscious. When I reached him, I decided to go and stand on my tiptoes to plant a kiss on his cheek.

“You look nice,” I said, straightening his tie.

“You look amazing.” He whispered. I blushed. “Like a princess.”

“Wait a moment, let me get my camera!” Mom shouted, running around the house looking for it. I sighed.

“Mom, we have to go. The others are waiting.”

“Just wait! A few minutes won't kill you!” she called. Phillip laughed and pulled out the corsage, slipping it on my wrist and then kissing the top of my hand, like a real gentleman. Mom came in, took our photo and then ushered us out the door. I could imagine my mother and father leaving for Prom, twenty years ago, just like us.

The limo was parked at the curb and Dustin was standing up with his head, shoulders and chest out of the sunroof.

“Yeah baby!” Josh shouted at him, “Let’s go to Prom!”

I laughed when Dustin and Phillip started whooping as well. We clambered into the limo and I smiled at Dustin’s date, Ruby, who was wearing a blood red velvet dress. She looked stunning.

This wasn’t the first time I’d been in a limo. When I was five my mom’s cousin got married and needed a flower girl. I remember then I was stunned by the luxurious interior, the space and the leather seats. I had been so small back then that everything stunned me. But I had to admit, limos were cool no matter what age you were.

The ride to the Prom was fun, with loads of laughter and rowdiness from the boys. When we pulled up to the school, you could hear the bass of the music. Balloons hung over the entrance to the gym. We all got out and made our way into the gym. The inside was decorated with purple and gold streamers, balloons hanging above the doorways and adorning the centerpieces on the tables. A disco ball hung from the roof and multi-coloured lights shone on the floor. People were already dancing and having fun. I saw Melanie talking to the DJ and even I stopped to stare at her.

She was wearing a black prom dress that clung to her hourglass figure before flaring out gracefully at her knees. Her black hair was pulled back into an intricate, sleek ponytail and was wearing blood red lipstick. But that wasn’t what made her look dangerously sexy. The bottom half of her dress was completely sheer with beading over it. You couldn’t see anything, but the sheer skirt went almost all the way up her thighs, just covering everything that needed to be covered. It was a bold dress but she pulled it off.

“Maleficent – trying to subject the poor people of this kingdom to her horrible music taste. When will the evil cease?” Felicity murmured dramatically. I laughed, shaking my head.

“You really should stop calling her that.”


“Uh, because it’s mean?”

“It’s not like I’m saying it to her face.”

“Saying it behind her back isn’t very nice either.”

“Why do you have to be such a goody two-shoes all the time?” Felicity groaned. I shrugged.

“I guess that’s my flaw. I’m too nice.” I grinned. Josh grabbed Felicity’s hand.

“Let’s dance.” He said. She let herself be dragged onto the dance floor with a huge smile on her face. Phillip slipped an arm around my waist.

“You really do look amazing.” He said, having to shout to be heard over the loud music.

“Thanks.” I smiled. “I like your tux.”

“I haven’t worn this since I had to go to a wedding with Melanie over a year ago. Damn, that was a boring night.”

“Did you see her dress?”

“Yeah. She looks like some kind of evil queen in it.” Phillip replied, giving me a strange look when I burst out laughing. “What?”

“It’s just funny. Flick calls Melanie ‘Maleficent.’” I said. “It’s been a running joke for a while now.”

“Strange.” Phillip said. He jerked his head to the dance floor. “Want to dance?”

“I’m not a good dancer.” I warned.

“Good for you.” He said, “Because I am.”

I’m not one for dancing, but I actually had loads of fun. I danced with Phillip most of the time, but Josh stole me away for a few dances, (his dancing involved a lot of air-guitar and head banging) and even Dustin asked for a dance. We danced so much that I needed to sit down for a while, fanning my face from laughing so much. Phillip offered to get both Felicity and I some punch, and we let him. The DJ stopped the music and allowed Melanie to get up on stage, a microphone in her hand. Next to her, two cheerleaders held red cushions with the Prom crowns on top. They were both gold, the male one shaped like a typical kings crown with fake rubies adorning it. The queens tiara was fashioned like a gold laurel wreath.

“Okay!” Melanie called into the microphone, smiling at the crowd. “Who’s ready to crown our king and queen?”

A roar went up through the crowd and I clapped along. I knew Phillip would be kind and Melanie would be queen. I was prepared to watch them have their dance together, even though I didn't like the idea. Okay, that's a lie. I hated the idea.

“Okay, so your nominees for Prom King are, Phillip Kingston.”

Everyone clapped and Phillip raised an arm to wave. A spotlight appeared on him for a few moments before shutting off.

“Leo Balta.”

Leo was a quiet but popular boy. He was captain of the basketball team so it made sense. The spotlight flickered to him and then shut off.

“And Josh Harvey.”

I didn’t remember Josh being nominated, but hey, I was happy for him. He was being scouted by so many people for colleges, some were even saying in a few years, with some training he could really go somewhere. He grinned when the spotlight shone on him, winking at Felicity.

“Okay, and drumroll please!”

One played whilst Melanie pried open the sealed envelope. She pulled out the card and read the name. Her beaming smile gave it away, “Phillip Kingston!”

Of course.

Phillip made his way up to the stage, a spotlight on him the entire way and Melanie placed the crown on his head. I had to admit he looked regal in it. It was probably cheap plastic crap, but he pulled it off. Maybe he was a prince in another life.

“And your nominees for Prom Queen are,” Melanie said and I swear she looked like someone had forced her to eat a rotten apple. “Felicity Normandy.”

Felicity grinned at me and I put my arm through hers.

“Rhea Keem.”

I waved at the crowd as a spotlight shone on me for a few seconds.

“And me, Melanie Ofaleval.”

“Isn’t it weird how her last name sounds like, “Of all evil?’” Felicity asked me as we clapped.

“Maleficent? Of all evil?” I raised an eyebrow. “Now you’re just taking it too far.”

“And your Prom Queen is…” there was a drumroll as Melanie was handed another envelope, which was sealed, and she pried it open, snatched the card out and blanched at the name, “Rhea Keem?!” she shouted. My jaw dropped open.

Felicity beamed at me and together, she and Dustin ushered me towards the stage, where Melanie was waiting with a disdainful expression to crown me. Phillip looked pleased. She placed the crown on my head and turned to the crowd. Phillip grabbed my hand and smiled down at me.

“Let’s have a round of applause for our King and Queen, shall we?” she said weakly into the microphone. “If you could all please make some room it’s time for their dance!”

Phillip led me down from the stage and onto the cleared space for our dance, twirling me around before he pulled me in, holding my right hand in his left, and his right hand wound around my waist. I picked up a bit of my skirt so it wouldn’t trail behind me when we were dancing. I didn’t want to step on it and make a fool of myself.

Phillip was a good dancer. He didn’t do anything overly complicated, but it was still lovely. It felt natural to be in his arms like this, gliding over the dance floor.

“You know, you never did tell me what your real name is.”

I shake my head. It was so typical of Phillip to ask that at a time like this. He was smiling that charming little grin of his. He was so cheeky and so sweet at the same time that it was hard not to love him.

“I can’t believe you remember that conversation. It was so long ago.”

“Of course I remember.” Phillip smiled, batting his long eyelashes at me. “Tell me?”

I sighed and thought, what the hell? He’s going to find out eventually.

“Aurora.” I replied, looking right into those big brown eyes, “My real name is Aurora.”

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