"C'mon, girlie! This dress isn't going to wear itself." A voice sounded from somewhere in my room. It was sharp with a bit of a southern edge to it. I lifted my head off of my bed to see my cousin Cassandra standing in my doorway with a short black dress in her arms. "Get up already. Do you know what time it is?"
I groaned, upset that my late afternoon nap was ruined. "No. Nor do I care."
"Please! You have to get up!" She swung the dress at me, threatening to hit me. "It's my birthday and you promised you'd take me out." She smiled widely. "Up!"
I rolled over, wrapping myself in my blanket. "Go away."
Cassandra sighed. "You promised. Please. I still barely know anybody here, so you're the only that can take me out."
I groaned again. Cassandra moved here from Alabama about three months ago. Since I was looking for a place, my aunt thought it would be a great idea for her and me to move in together. And it was! Don't get me wrong. Cassandra was fun and quirky. Only I almost never was. She always wanted to go out and dance or do something social while I would very much rather stay home and read or play some videogames. She always stayed home with me, although I had no idea why, so she had yet to make any real friends. I felt bad for her. And I did promise. "Fine!"
She squealed and clapped her hands, then pulled me up from my bed and hugged me tightly. "I just need to fix my hair and then we can leave."
"It's barely 5 o'clock," I sighed.
"Girl, you know how long it takes me to straighten my hair!" She smiled and pointed to her long naturally curly hair. "It's thick, too. It'll be a while. Enough time for you to shower and everything."
I walked into my bathroom to turn on the shower and caught a glimpse of my reflection on the way in. "Ugh!" Major bed-head. After my shower, I walked downstairs in my underwear. Cassandra was in the kitchen, pouring herself a glass of orange juice. Half of her hair was straightened to perfection, the other half, an untamed beast.
"Want some, girlie?" She pulled out a second mug, my own. "Here, I'm halfway done. Slip on that dress of yours. Oh! And I have the perfect shoes for you to wear."
I took the cup. "They're not going to break my feet, are they?"
She snickered. "No, silly. Just come back down when you have your make up done and I'll show them to you."
When I finally slipped on the dress, I shrugged. This isn't too bad. With my makeup done, my hair fixed, I walked back downstairs barefoot.
"There she is!" Cassandra said, smirking. All of her hair was straightened so she didn't look so much like a monster. "Like my dress?" She spun around.
"Nice," I said. She did look great in her new red dress and leopard print heels. "Now, are my heels as big as yours?"
"Not really. I remembered you said you hated heels, so these are a bit shorter. But just as great!" My roomie handed me a pair of glittery red shoes. I gasped. A month ago on a shopping trip, we saw them in a store for $70 bucks. "I remember you said you liked them! So I bought them so you could feel like Dorothy!"
"Oh my gosh, Cassandra! Thank you so much!" I put on my red ruby slippers and totally forgot about how high they were. "I love them!" I waddled to her and wrapped my arms around her.
"Now, are you ready for the best night ever?"
"This place is supposed to be THE place to be!" Cassandra shouted as we neared the entrance of the club.
"Oh, yeah?" I mumbled, rolling my eyes. So is my bed.
Once the doors opened, I could swear I lost my ability to hear. The music was so loud that I could not hear a single thought in my mind. I looked over to Cassandra who was grinning ear to ear. This was her domain. She led me to a table, where the music was thankfully not as loud. "Wait, here! I'll go get us drinks!" I nodded, knowing that I couldn't get any for myself since I was only 19. I sat down and began to twiddle my thumbs. Cassandra came back a few minutes later with two pink mixed drinks.
"What is this?" I asked. She shrugged with a smile.
"I don't know. Some lady at the bar said they're delicious though!" With the straw between my lips, I took a sip. She was right. Suddenly, a hand appeared over Cassandra's shoulder. "Hey, do you want to dance?" She looked completely surprised. But before accepting, she looked at me with her big brown eyes.
"Go! Have fun!" I shouted. She smiled, taking the guy's hand before becoming a part of the crowd.
So, I sat and watched as people danced with friends or strangers and I couldn't help but think how weird it was. I don't think I would ever let another person, especially a stranger, lay his hands on me the way that guy was touching my cousin. I tried to imagine it, a large pair of hands running up and down my sides and I just couldn't see it. A giggle escaped my lips as I thought of how pathetic I was. My drink was running low. She was having way too much fun to stop everything just to get me another. And I wasn't about to get some other person to buy me one.
I remembered my phone. Great, now I won't look so awkward. I pulled it out of my purse to see one message from half an hour ago. I didn't even hear it.
Jess: What are you doing tonight?
Jess was a friend… of a friend. We had hung out on our own a couple of times, but I think the thing that kept us friends was our name. Both of us were Jessica and we mutually enjoyed the confusion on peoples' faces when we both turned when they called out "Jess!"
Me: I took my cousin out for her birthday. Gonna be out all night probably.
It took a few minutes for her to respond so I played a quick game of Sudoku. Great, here you are, in a freaking club and you decide to play Sudoku. Way to be social! My phone vibrated.
Jess: Aw, Adam is out with his friends. I'm home alone.
Adam was Jess's new boyfriend that I had yet to meet. She didn't talk about him too much, but I still was curious as to how he got Jess of all people to agree on a relationship. She wasn't exactly the nicest person. My fingers hovered over the screen contemplating what to type. I knew she hated Adam' friends, so I didn't bother with that question. Did she want an invite?
Me: Wanna meet us at the club?
Cassandra approached the table with her arm around her new friend's waist. "You don't want to dance, girl?"
I scrunched up my nose. "No, I'm fine."
She sat down. "Can you get us two more of these, Jason?" Her dance partner left. "So, who are you texting? A boooooy??"
"You know very well that I have no sexual interests," I said with a smile.
She threw her head back and laughed. A few moments passed with nothing but the bass of the music to listen to. "Gosh! He's taking forever, isn't he?" Her eyes swept over to the bar. My eyes followed. I scanned the bar to find Jason and instead I found a pair of striking eyes looking straight at me. The face that they belonged to was just as amazing. My breath caught in my chest as he smiled at me.
"Oh. My. Gosh. Smile back. Smile back!" Cassandra nudged me with her elbow. I panicked and I think that this guy knew it, too, because he laughed. Goodness, was he attractive. "What are you doing? If you don't flirt back, I will disown you as my cousin!"
I ignored her and looked down at my phone.
Jess: Nah, it's cool. Ima chill here. Have fun.
I read the text but really paid no mind. When I looked back up at the guy, he was still looking at me. I matched his smile and a part of me wanted him to come over and talk to me. However, there was a bigger part of me that feared I'd do something to scare him away. "There you go! Now look at me!" Cassandra said. "You're gettin' it! Let's go dance! Me and you!" She pulled me up. "But… Jason!" She didn't hear me; we were already deep into the crowd.
She spun around, claiming our spot on the dance floor and started shaking her butt. "Do what I do!" I copied her, putting my hands on my hips and running them up my body. A few dance moves later and I started to gain some confidence. For a moment, I actually forgot that I was my awkward self and began enjoying the night. In my awesome dress and shoes, I felt sexy. Not exactly myself, but it still felt nice. In the midst of all the dancing, I glanced up to see if the guy at the bar was still there. My heart dropped a little when I saw that he wasn't.
"That guy was hot!" Cassandra's voice pierced through the house. We were both already in our beds, in our separate rooms with our doors wide open.
"Jason?" I called into the dark.
"Well yeah, Jason, but your guy! The one that was at the bar!" I hadn't forgotten the look that he gave me. "Wouldn't it be so cool if you guys saw each other? You know, like if y'all ran into each other somewhere."
I smiled. "Yeah, that would be." A sigh escaped my lips.
"You need to get yourself a boy toy!" she giggled. "We can work on that first thing next Friday."
I closed my eyes and saw his face again. Never could I ever land a guy that great looking, especially since I never initiated any conversations… ever. With those big eyes, his perfect face. Hell, his perfect everything! I could only dream. And that's exactly what I did.