My walk back to Kelly’s car is quick as I find myself moving my feet faster than usual, I am excited to tell her about formal. I didn’t think I was that excited at first, but I find myself becoming more and more comfortable with the idea. I have to try to let myself live again beyond the walls of my bedroom. . I spot Kelly propped against her car, waiting for me. She flashes me a big smile and I return one, which seems to shock her. I guess I really have not been smiling that much lately.
“Well hello there!” She beams.
“Hi bestie!” I say with an equal amount of happiness.
“Okay don’t get my wrong, I love the new upbeat attitude you are projecting right now but I swear a few hours ago you were totally emotionless.” She says with a laugh.
“Well today I get to go dress shopping with you, if you want of course.” I smirk.
“Wait, WHAT!” she practically screams with joy.
“Yep, Jackson actually asked me to go with him to formal.” I shrug.
“He what? Jackson? Jackson Thomas?” she says with pure confusion written across her expression this time.
“Yes, Jackson Thomas.” I laugh “I am just as confused as you are, but I figured better to go than sit at home.”
“No kidding on the confusion part... and of course you should go!” she says back. “Wow I am so excited you are going now I can barely stand it! Let’s go.” She replies while climbing into her car.
We make our way down to the mall; it is about a fifteen-minute ride from campus. The smile across Kelly’s face is still there. She is clearly very happy about me coming to formal. This week she has been treading lightly trying not to bring up going around me, even though I know she has been excited to go with Kyler. Kyler is a sweet guy. He is a little country for my taste, I am pretty sure he took her to a rodeo a few weeks back, but he is perfect for her. They are both full of so much personality.
When we arrive to the mall the parking lot is packed with cars, we have to circle around the lot to try and find a place to park. This is the only mall within 50 miles of campus, so it stays busy. We climb out of the car and walk inside the mall headed straight for Altar’d State which is the boutique we both agreed we would want to look in first on the car ride here. I grab three dresses I have spotted while looking and drape them over my arms while continuing my search. None of the dresses I’ve grabbed so far have really excited me, but they are nice enough.
“Can I help you find anything?” the short haired brunette who clearly works at store, asks me.
“Um, well maybe. I am looking for a dress for formal. I have three but I’m just not sure about them.”
She looks me up and down studying my appearance with a smile growing on her face.
“I think I have the perfect dress for you.” She says with a smile and begins to lead me toward a rack I hadn’t look at yet.
“This one.” she assures me while pulling a long white dress off the rack. The dress is a skinny strapped flowy gown with a deep v neck line. It looks like it is made of silk, it is long with a slit that looks like it would go far up my thigh. I like it, its elegant but sexy. I nod at her accepting the offer to try on the dress as she leads me back to there fitting rooms. I decide to try on the first three I found first, saving the best for last I suppose. I step out of the room in the first dress to show Kelly who has already found a light pink dress with a hint of sparkle she loves.
“Ew, no way!” she says immediately while waving her hand telling me to turn back around and try again.
I can’t help but to laugh at her, she has always been so honest which is something I have grown to appreciate. I slip myself into the second dress I found, it is a short black dress that cinches in just below my breasts and flows down with the hem stopping mid-thigh. It is plain with not much wow factor to it, but it does hug my body nicely. I pull the fitting room curtain back and reveal the dress to Kelly.
“Seriously? To plain! You need something more.” She says clearly unexcited by the dress.
I roll my eyes and close the curtains behind me again. ”Something more?” I think to myself and decide to not even try the third dress I found and I go straight for the elegant white one I found with the assistance of the store associate. I step into the dress and put it up, securing the straps over my shoulders. I look at myself in the mirror before presenting myself to my friend waiting outside again. The dress hits my curves in all the right places leaving the illusion that I have the perfect hourglass figure; my breasts are peaking out but not in a way that makes the dress become tasteless. The bottom of the dress flows down perfectly stopping at my feet, barely brushing against the floor; the slit on the left front side of the dress goes up higher on my thigh than I expected but for some reason I find myself loving it. I pull back the curtains for a third time and reveal myself to Kelly who is now anxiously waiting.
“Oh. My. God.” She practically yells as her jaw falls open.
“Yes, one hundred times yes. Buy it! This is the dress” she squeals clapping her hands together.
“I think so too.” I laugh and turn to look in the long mirror outside my fitting room.
I love the way I look in the dress and it restores confidence in me that I had been severely low on lately. I put my clothes back on and hang the dress up to take it out to the register with me leaving the other three behind in the room. When we get to the register I hand the dress to the associate who helped me earlier.
“I told you.” She says with a smile as she rings up my purchase.
“You were correct.” I give her a smile back as she hands me my bag and I head towards the exit of the small store with Kelly next to me.
“Can I ask you something?” she says as we trace through the mall headed towards the car.
“Of course.” I reply.
“Do you think its weird Jackson who was Logan’s best friend and has never dated anyone or even been to formal offered to take you?” she says with a nervous tone.
“It’s a little weird. I think it may be a pity date since he was there the day, I lost it in Logan’s room.” I shrug.
“Jackson just doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to pity ask; you know?” she says.
I know Kelly is right, it is weird Jackson decided to ask me to the formal, but whatever the reasoning is behind the invitation, I am glad I accepted. Today is the first day in a long time I feel somewhat normal. The pain I have felt in my chest is lessened being here with my friend shopping like normal and having plans to look forward to. It gives me a little purpose if nothing else. I don’t have high expectations for my night with Jackson, I know it will not be anything like the time I could have had at formal with Tyler.