“Elaine, it’s not happening. Just forget it!” Leila exclaimed, throwing her hands up in the air in frustration.
“Well why not? The magazine has been named the “Best of the Year! How could you NOT want to celebrate?” Elaine Landers countered. She was bound and determined to get Leila back to The Cathedral to dance, but Leila wasn’t up to facing the humiliation just yet.
“Well, let’s see. Maybe it’s because the last time I went there I made a complete fool of myself and I’m pretty sure I got roofied! Why in the hell would i want to do THAT again?” Leila half yelled at her friend.
“Stop your whining. Besides… What happened wasn’t really your fault. Do you know that?” Elaine countered. She knew that she had already won the battle at this point.
Leila hated it when other people were right. Now all that was left was the offensive stance...wait for it....wait for it...yep there it was! Gah! She was such a pain in the butt! Elaine lifted her right eyebrow, crossed her arms and shifted her weight onto her left hip. Tapping her foot, she looked like an impatient child wanting her way. The blue eyed beauty always got her way. She flicked her beautiful, straight, golden hair away from her face with a bronze hand as she placed her other hand on her hip as if saying, “well?”
“Fine, you win,” Leila said forcibly, pointing her finger, “But it had better be a damn good time or i’m holding you personally responsible!” Leila tried to keep her stern look and stiff posture, but when Elaine grinned great big she couldn’t resist smiling back.
“Don’t worry, hun, I doubt that guy is going to show his face there again.” Gushed Elaine as she grabbed Leila’s arm and pretty much dragged her to the closet. “Now. What are you going to wear? Ooooh I’m so excited!” she squealed jumping up and down.
“That makes one of us,” Leila muttered, rolling her eyes, “Just promise me you won’t leave me again okay?”
“Oh hush. I’ve already apologized a hundred times! I promise I won’t. We are gonna have a blast and sooo be the hit of the party! Just you wait and see....,” Elaine promised with a wink.
Leila checked herself out in the antique wardrobe mirror her grandmother had left to her in her will. She passed away just about two years ago. They were very close because they were so much alike. After she had been taken away from her parents, she had lived with Hazel, her grandma. She raised her until she was 18 years old and ready to attempt to take on the world.
Every time Leila looked in the mirror she was reminded of her. It was a comfort to know that she wouldn’t ever forget her as long as she had that mirror in her possession. She even had a small picture of her maternal grandmother taped to the top left of the frame. She was flooded with confidence when she saw her reflection beside the old worn photo.
She tried not to think about her parents because it depressed her, but sometimes she wondered what it would have been like if things had been different. For a long time, Leila thought that what happened to her was her fault. That she was somehow “too pretty,” like her father had always told her. He had made it seem like she tempted him because of the way she looked, which in turn made her feel ugly. Once she realized what a sicko he was she tried to let go of the feelings of guilt that ensued. What they did took a huge toll on her self-esteem growing up.
She never thought she was good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, and just all around lacking in every department. Some days she hated them for making her feel that way. Who knows what she would have done to escape if it had continued through to adulthood. She might not have been as well adjusted as she was now, well almost well adjusted. Taking a moment to touch her grandma’s picture in gratitude, she smiled. Looking over at her friend Elaine, she could virtually feel her friend’s enthusiasm about to explode.
It was so exciting to be going to a party tonight! It was a costume party and everyone’s identity would be hidden behind a mask. There would be a costume contest and everything for the best costume in the house. The prize was a fancy dinner and weekend hotel stay in the city. The best part was that the cost was all on the Cathedral! Leila had fun playing dress up because you got to be someone else for a night.
Her costume was a Little Red Riding Hood get up. It was a very sexy costume that wasn’t your typical fairy tale costume. The red dress was about mid thigh with the top showing a good amount of cleavage and it had an attached hood. The sleeves of the dress were short and puffed. She wore black fishnet stockings with arm warmers to match, knee high red boots and a black mask that just covered her eyes. She topped off the look with a deep red lipstick and a small picnic basket. She also made sure her hair fell in long tantalizing curls down past the middle of her back.
Elaine decided to be Ariel from the Little Mermaid. Her mask was painted on her face to look like the ocean, bubbles and all! It even had a small yellow and blue fish on her left cheekbone. She even sported the long red wig and pink clamshell bra. Her skirt was shiny and green with what looked like scales. She was such an artist! She looked so good that Leila started to wonder about her extremely revealing costume that was so out of character for her.
“Why did you convince me to buy this costume, Elaine? It’s not something I would normally wear.”
“Because you looked beautiful in it. I thought you wanted to be bold tonight.”
“Now I’m having second thoughts about this outfit. It’s probably sending the wrong message.”
“Ugh! It’s too late now! You promised you’d come with me and the cab is waiting outside. Please don’t change your mind last minute. You know how much I hate that!”
“Okay….I guess you’re right….”
She sucked up her embarrassment and hooked her arm through Elaine’s. A cab waited outside to take them to the party. One in the morning is just not a good time to be walking around by yourself, especially drunk. Granted she will have Elaine with her, but they would be in no condition to defend themselves if the need arose. On the way Leila kept praying silently that it would be a normal, fun and exciting night that she wouldn’t soon forget. She hoped she wouldn’t be too disappointed...