“All right, darling, it’s time for you to choose.”
Harrison had three separate sari options on full length vid screens, each with Angela’s picture in the saris. She had watched as Harrison and Maya had chosen Maya’s outfit: a two piece, forest green dress with gold drape. It looked stunning on her, complimenting her golden skin and light hair. They had also chosen her hairstyle, which consisted of elaborate braids on top of her head and curls flowing to her shoulders. The braids had a gold and green chain of gems woven through it to indicate Maya’s royal status.
Angela looked at the options thoughtfully. This would be the outfit that officially introduced her not just to the Axion titled in person and the rest of the planet via pictures, but it would be her introduction to the members of the Galactic Union. Everyone would be watching and judging her choice. All the gowns were two piece, baring her midriff, but Angela felt comfortable with that since Maya was doing it as well.
The first sari was a bright silver that sparkled in the light, with a sheer, blue-grey drape. The second was a deep red with a gold drape. The third sari was a dark, sparkling blue with a silver drape that seemed to shoot out bursts of sparkling rainbows when the light hit it at certain angles. Angela nibbled on her lower lip, trying to decide what would make the best impression.
The silver sari matched the Sonsara Pendant and the drape matched Angela’s eyes, but it didn’t seem serious enough. It almost seemed more appropriate for a party, not a Royal Ball. The red one seemed almost garish, as if she was trying too hard, especially with the golden drape. It was very nouveau riche. The blue sari, though, was perfect. It was both elegant and beautiful, befitting Angela’s station beside Exalon, yet had a young twist of fun from the sparkling sari and drape.
“I like the blue one,” Angela said decisively. “I think it will make the perfect impression of elegance and sophistication, while also being a bit whimsical. What do you guys think?”
Angela turned to Harrison and Maya, who were both grinning at her.
“Darling, it’s perfect!” Harrison exclaimed eagerly.
“Oh, that was the one I hoped you would pick!” said Maya. “It’s so pretty and fun at the same time!”
“Now, hair,” Harrison said, rubbing his hands together. “Maya and I have a rather unique idea, but we both think it will be perfect.”
“What’s your idea?” Angela asked, curious. Maya exchanged a look with Harrison before she began speaking.
“I know you took the Alien Bridal Agency accredited classes on Axion, but was fashion covered?” Angela shook her head no. “I didn’t think it would be. So you’re most likely unaware that almost all Axion women have layers of hair electroed to our head, then extensions added to give the hair body. For female Axions, our natural hair is very thin and most of us are completely bald by the time we’re 20. That’s why most people wear their hair in these elaborate styles; so they don’t have to do continuous upkeep on their added hair. If the hair is styled up, that’s less hair you have to deal with on an everyday basis. But your hair…”.
Maya trailed off, reaching her hand out to softly feel part of Angela’s long tresses. Angela wasn’t vain, but she was aware her hair was lovely. It reached all the way to the small of her back and was naturally wavy, with curls at the bottom. It was also extremely thick, which made things difficult for her whenever she wanted to quickly get it out of the way. Angela couldn’t bear to cut it, though, because of the memories of her mother brushing it and singing to her.
“Our idea,” Harrison said, “is to leave your hair completely unstyled. I will, of course, add stylizing spray to avoid any tangles or frizzy hair that might occur. But displaying your hair like that, showcasing the length and natural body, will certainly make an impression. And your hair with the Pendant? It will look spectacular.”
Harrison tapped a few times on his tablet, and two of the Angelas on the vid screens faded away. The one that remained was in the midnight blue sari, with her hair down and wearing the Sonsara Pendant. All three of them let out sounds of surprise and pleasure, all taking a step towards the vid screen.
“You’re going to outshine everyone, my dear,” Harrison said as Maya nodded with a smile. “Now, I need to get started on your outfits and I’m sure His Royal Highness is expecting you both for dinner.”
Angela and Maya glanced at the time, shocked so much had passed. They both said goodbye to Harrison and Maya led Angela to the apartment’s private dining room.
Angela spent the rest of the night with Exalon and Maya, trading lighthearted stories about their lives. She couldn’t remember laughing so much since her mother was alive. Angela was becoming attached to this family so quickly and she was starting to want things people in her position couldn’t have: a loving family, financial security, and safety from any threats, whether physical or emotional. She had to keep reminding herself that by tomorrow night all of this could be gone. Her fate now rested in the hands of some priestess.