Pink DressAlright, this rough, so don't laugh. Any advice at my terrible ability to write third person would be very much appreciated...And I was thinking, about the whole colalborative novel thing, ST. Are we giving that a whirl?
"My bed feels like it is floating." Elizabeth said, turning on her side to look across the room to Carrie, sitting on the edge of her vanity stool, watching in interest as her friend lay there in a towel shifting from side to side.
"How? Like it wobbles? The floor is uneven or something?" Carrie leans over, as if to inspect the quality of the furniture.
"No, its different from that." Her eyes flutter open and closed as she tries to think of another way to describe the feeling she has at that particular moment. To her, it seemed the wind had swept in her window and cradled her mattress, swinging it gently to the cadence of an unsung lullaby. "Its almost like flying...or being pulled to the side in a windstorm."
Swinging her legs over the side of her bed, shamelessly letting the towel fall, she dangles her feet over the edge, her toes lightly kissing the carpet as she swings them back and forth. She breathes deeply as her toes kiss the carpet, bit by bit lowering her feet to the floor.
"Do you ever feel beautiful for no reason, other than knowing you are?"
Carrie, a sweet but down to earth girl, shakes her head with confusion written upon her face. "I don’t think I have. I mean, you know, men have told me I am beautiful. But I think it is different to know. Why? You really like this fellow, don’t you?"
"Its not that. I like him, but," she answers, standing up and stretching. "Did you ever get tickled as a child?"
"Yeah, quite a bit actually. My granddad, he would chase me through his house and tickle me. I would laugh really hard. You know, giggle loudly and shriek the way kids always do when they are tickled. I loved it. But what does that have to do with being beautiful? This guy, Jayke, he tickles you? That’s why you feel happy?"
"No. My dad used to tickle me. He would do what your granddad did, only he would scoop me up in his arms and tickle me after tossing me onto the living room sofa, and all I could do was gasp for him to stop and laugh until I cried. He would laugh too, and kiss me on my forehead before letting me get a head start on him trying to catch me again. That’s how I feel tonight. Like I am being chased down my hallway with tickles a moment behind me."
She crossed the room and began to shift through the closet. Sighing, she turned to Carrie again. "No, I don’t think there’s a man out there that just wants to tickle me now."
"Too right," Carrie replies ruefully. "And if they do...well, what kind of man is that?"
Elizabeth reaches into the closet again, pulling out a lipstick pink dress, tied with a bow in the back. Crossing the room, she stands before the mirror, and holds it in front of herself, tossing her long blonde locks over the side of the dress, peering this way and that.
"You know," she says thoughtfully, "It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this."
"What wasn’t? The dress?" Carrie stands, looking into the mirror and smiling. "I like it."
"No, I mean men. Love. Life. None of this was supposed to be like it is. Remember growing up? Everything was going to be different than it turned out to be. Especially men, though. Especially them."
Reaching over, she flipped on her radio, letting the sounds of the music fill up the room as she rolled on her nylons. Picking up the beat of the song, she sways her hips this way and that, dancing about the room, searching for her bra. Dancing to and fro, she lets the music slide through her ears, down through her fingertips and toes as she searches, humming the tune as she slips it over her breasts.
"Do you remember when Madonna came out with this song, ‘Material Girl’? I loved that song. And I bought the record, and would play it in my room. I had a pink comforter and I would wrap it around me and turn up the stereo and sing into my hairbrush. I had a pet poodle, and he was my audience. I would imagine him and handing me diamond bracelets and all sorts of fancy things."
"Yeah," replies Carrie, dodging her gleefully dancing friend as she moves about the room. "I remember. It wasn’t fair. I thought every man would be bringing me flowers and candy and dresses."
"Yes! Pretty dresses, that was the most important, wasn’t it?" interrupts Elizabeth, laughing lightly as she digs through the closet, tossing out shoes this way and that. "Every man is born to worship you. That’s what my Daddy always told me."
"Right. Turns out he was wrong. I remember, because I wanted to be just like her back then. One day, I was dancing around my room, singing at the top of my lungs, living in my own little world. I was smiling a dazzling smile, I was so cool, and then my older brother came in. He told me I was being silly, and switched off my radio. I remember him storming out of the room and slamming the door. It caused a scratch on the record." Closing her eyes Carrie lets herself drift back to that day in her mind, remembering how shattered she felt. Sighing, she looks up at Elizabeth, seeing her pull on the pink dress, and smooth it about her waist. "Its been the same since that day, though, reality always seems a bit like my brother, eager to point out my faults, shoot down my dream of finding the perfect man and slamming the proverbial door."
"Well, then this dress is a little symbolic for both of us," chirps Elizabeth from in front of the mirror, adding jewelry to her ensemble delightedly. "Tonight I am beautiful because I say so, and when we go out, you and I, with our fellows, we’ll be stars. We’ll be the women we always wanted to be. I’m tired of feeling disappointed because men aren’t falling all over me. I am tired of men not doing the things my Daddy said they would. Tonight, I am going to believe I am gorgeous without someone’s encouragement. I am going to ride out this beautiful, giddy feeling and see if that works any better." Turning back to the mirror, she paints a trail of lip gloss over her bow shaped lips, smiling back at herself with glee.
"You’re crazy." she replies, shaking her head and straitening her short dark hair in the mirror.
"No, I am in love with myself tonight. Look at me. My senses are in overdrive right now. Everything tingles, every breath is almost overwhelming. I am kissing myself from the inside out tonight. And you are lovely. You should feel this way too. Every man we see tonight is going to wonder how the men we’re with got so lucky to have us. Watch and see. You’re beautiful. You’re classic. And so am I."
Crossing the room, she pulls Carrie in front of her, placing her hands on her hips and giving her friend’s neck a tiny kiss of affection.
"Imagine your favorite screen stars. James Dean, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby. Think of all those classic, beautiful men holding you like you are Vera Ellen or Marilyn Monroe. Imagine yourself on their arms tonight, and think of how lucky they are to have you."
"Lizzie, you’re crazy."
"No, I’m not. Blow a kiss to yourself, go on- do it." she urges from behind her, shaking her hips a bit.
Reluctantly, Carrie looks into the mirror and blows a kiss.
"No! Smile, and do it like you mean it." she demands, pulling a face.
Again, she looks to the mirror, smiling a sly smile, and blushing a bit, Carrie blows a saucy kiss to herself, and stifles a giggle by turning to her friend.
"Extremely. Now, I think I smell cologne outside the door. I think Jayke is here. Want to check?"
"No, go on, I am behind you..." she answers, casting one last doubtful look into the mirror, with the vague hope of seeing a stunning beauty there. When she sees herself grimacing back she turns to the doorway in time to see the fabled Jayke sweeping Elizabeth into his arms and tilting her back in to a silver screen worthy kiss. His brilliant white teeth and chocolate brown eyes flash as he kisses her, and Elizabeth giggles delightedly at his attentions. The room seems to sharpen around the two of them for just a moment.
Shifting uncomfortably, Carrie catches Jayke’s attention in the doorway. Righting himself and Elizabeth, he strides over with confidence and grasps her hand with a firm yet delicate touch. Raising it to his lips, he kisses it gently, and intones with a voice rich in timbre and emotion,
"Elizabeth said you were lovely, but I can see I was hardly able to give your date an accurate description. I didn’t realize how stunning you’d be." His smile settled on her like a cape or a long skirt might, loose about the edges, but clinging in the right spots. Turning to her friend, he places her arm in the crook of his elbow. "Shall we go, princess?"
Turning back to her friend and mouthing ‘what did I tell you?’ she nods delightedly and allows him to escort her down the stairs. Carrie, with nothing to lose, follows, quietly reflecting on his words and wondering exactly what he meant by the word ‘stunning.’