“…So, would you ever want to, like, do something different?”
A strange mixture of panic and excitement coursed through Aubrey’s body. “D-different? Like what?”
“Like…get dressed up and go somewhere nice.”
Her smile couldn’t get wider even if it were made of rubber. “Sure…of course. That would be…really nice.”
“Great. I’ll plan something and call you in a few days then.”
She could tell he was grinning quite hard as well. “Ok. Later then.”
That was the best yet most panic-inducing phone call she’d ever been on. She needed her sister and knocked on her door. “Maya?”
She let herself in but wasn’t able to form a sentence yet.
“What? I need to shower.”
“Ummm…I think…I think Julio just asked me out? Like, on a date date.”
Maya gasped. “Seriously? Well, what did he say??”
“He wanted to know if I would want to get dressed up and go somewhere nice.”
“Awww! He wants to kiss you!”
That K-word always induced so much panic inside Aubrey, and she didn’t know why. “I don’t think that’s what–”
“Yeah, of course you don’t. When I get out of the shower, we’re going shopping!”
“You need a dress, doofus!”
“But, I have–”
“You don’t have anything in your closet appropriate for this.” She opened the bathroom door and disappeared. “We’re shopping! End of story.”
Aubrey groaned and went back to her room. Somehow she felt like she had gotten herself into some hot water. Maybe her mother would have been a better choice.
Once Maya was ready, they went to the strip in Oasis Springs to the shop where Maya bought all her dresses; Aubrey was scared. Before they went in, she looked at the dresses on display and was even more afraid.
“Maya? I don’t think this is the shop for me.”
Her sister snickered. “What, are you afraid of a little skin?”
She was, but she couldn’t tell Maya that. “I don’t want him to get the wrong impression!”
“You want to move past friendship, right?”
“Ugh! You’re still such a baby! Your birthday is next week, Aubrey!”
“Excuse me,” an old woman leaving the store said.
They turned to her.
“Are you the Pruett girls?”
Maya was used to people knowing who she was, but Aubrey remained skeptical.
“Hi! Yes, I’m Maya. This is Aubrey. What’s your name?”
The woman chuckled. “Oh, I’m Katelin Flanagan. We’re distantly related!”
That made Aubrey feel less skeptical. “Flanagan? Are you Garrison’s mom?” She knew they were distantly related some kind of way, but neither of them knew the family tree well enough to figure it out.
Katelin rolled her eyes. “Yes, he is my crazy twin.”
Aubrey laughed. “He definitely keeps us girls on our toes.”
“My great-grandfather was Owen Pruett. He was your dad’s great-uncle.”
Aubrey and Maya looked at each other. They must have had the same thought. “Great-uncle” rang a bell, and Aubrey thought about the story Jonathan told them at the Pruett Estate.
Maya’s eyes widened and she snapped her fingers. “The flowers!”
“Oh right, the garden.”
Katelin looked confused but smiled through it. “Are you shopping today?”
“Yep! Aubrey here will be going on her first date soon!”
She wanted to disappear.
“Oh how lovely! I still remember mine. I hope you find something nice then. This is my shop, so let me know if you want to order something.”
Maya’s eyes doubled in size. “Really?! I LOVE this shop! I buy all my dresses from here! How funny!”
Katelin blushed. “Oh! Well I wasn’t expecting to hear that! Thank you. I’m glad my little shop suits your needs. I know it’s so hard to find a place that really speaks to you.”
“That is soooo true! I’ve been reluctant to tell people about this place because it’s mine, and I don’t want people biting off my style. But, now that I know who you are, I feel like I should tell everyone I know!”
“Oh, you don’t have to do that.”
“Too late! Already tweeting about it!”
Katelin laughed. “You kids and your phones. Well, when the time comes, I also own a bridal shop on the strip in Willow Creek.”
“We’ll remember that.” Maya glanced at Aubrey. “At this rate, she’ll need it before me!”
“Oh. My. Watcher. Stop!”
“It was nice meeting you, Katelin. We should get inside before she bails on me.”
“It was nice meeting you all too. Have a good afernoon!”
Maya dragged Aubrey into the store before she began having second thoughts.
There were so many dresses! Many of them were not her style, but this one purple dress was divine. It was too fancy though, but she would have loved to wear it for prom.
Maya grabbed the first dress she saw. “Oooh, Aubrey try this!”
Aubrey loved it and had to admit it was quite nice. She felt like it was more for a party than a fancy date, but she definitely loved the dress.
Maya suggested she try on the dress right next to it, and she did.
“It’s too fitted!”
“Ugh! There’s no such thing as too fitted, Aubrey!”
“But, look at my-”
“Beautiful curves? That’s definitely a dress that will get you to second base, hee hee!”
She gasped. “Maya!!”
“Don’t Maya me! You know you dream about making out with Julio.”
Aubrey just knew her face was as red as that dress. How did Maya know all those things about her? True, Aubrey probably needed a little nudging outside of her comfort zone, but Maya was dead-set on kicking her out and banning her from ever returning!
She tried on dress after dress, and while they were nice, they just weren’t her. Contrary to what Maya said, she was certain one of the dresses in her closet would do the job.
“‘Sup, Maya,” a voice that sounded like Tobi’s said.
Of course, it was him.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were stalking me.”
“It’s an exhausting hobby. You’re everywhere, girl!”
“Heh, funny. What are you doing here?”
“Funny enough, I was down the street when I saw your tweet, so I thought I’d pop in.”
“So you’re a part-time stalker then.”
“It appears so.”
“Good. Otherwise, I’d have to tell my daddy on you.”
“Ha! Is that your sister?”
“Yeah. Aubrey… This is my friend, Tobias.”
“Hi, how are you.”
“Doing well. How about you?”
“As well as one could be when they’re being kidnapped.”
Tobi snorted. “Is your family full of comedians?”
“Hey there’s some festival about to happen in the fashion district. You ladies wanna check it out?”
“Of course! Aubrey?”
She gasped. “I can come?!”
Maya rolled her eyes. “As long as you don’t act like a baby…”
…To be continued…