The Dress

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Amanda sees the perfect dress. She's got to have it but she just cannot afford it.

The Dress


It was a beautiful dress, breathtaking. Amanda had never seen anything like it before and she simply had to have it. The graduation dance was coming up and if she could turn up there wearing something like that.......well, it would shut some of those rich bitches up for once. She could feel herself begin to smile.


A quick glance at the price tag and the smile vanished. Almost $4000! She shouldn’t have been surprised. Half the t-shirts in this place had prices of over $100, and many tags she’d seen were $1000 plus. Amanda had only ever made a couple of purchases in this store and they had been of goods marked down to below half price in sales. She knew she was just tormenting herself by coming in here, seeing how the other half lived, but a girl could dream. Couldn’t she?


That dress, however, would not leave her alone. It haunted her; she became obsessed with it. One way or another, she decided, it would be hers for that dance......Amanda sat up all night thinking, plotting, inventing a plan. And by the end of the following day, a Sunday, she had thought of an idea that just might work.


After her last lecture on Monday she made her way back to the boutique. The dress still hung in its specially reserved spot, drawing admiring glances from so many other girls and women. Amanda would not approach it, or even look obviously towards it, but it was always there hanging at the edge of her vision. She watched as customers went in and out of the changing room, gathering more information to use in her plan.


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – Amanda was there again. Each time she made sure that she looked different. Another hair style, different make-up, as radically different outfits as she could manage to put together from her very limited wardrobe. She wanted to be unnoticed, to blend in.


It was hard for her to keep quiet when she saw people touching the dress, feeling the fabric. Amanda’s natural instinct was to tell them to keep their hands off what was about to become hers. Once she saw a girl of about her own age persistently grabbing at it, stroking it. Amanda ‘accidentally’ gave her a shove as she walked past her. She apologized aloud but inside her head her voice was saying, ‘Leave it alone.’


Friday came, the day she had picked to carry out her plan. Could she do it? Would she dare to be so bold, to stoop so low? Amanda had allowed that dress to become such an obsession that she would indeed do anything she could to make it her own.


She had a magnet to use on the label; she hoped it would be strong enough so that a swipe would disable the tag. She spent ages making the cheap Halloween wig look presentable, cutting it and arranging it to look kind of real. She made herself look much older with a few simple strokes of make-up, making sure that she used a product easily removable with a simple face wipe. It never ceased to amaze her what it was possible to learn how to do from watching videos on YouTube.


She was only going to take a small bag with her so as not to arouse suspicion. Everything was emptied from it, left in a pile on her bed. Amanda studied the inside of the bag – not really a lot of space. She would just have to somehow make it fit. She dressed in her most conservative clothes, ones that luckily she was not too fond of. Her t-shirt and leggings she wore underneath.


Amanda studied herself in the mirror. She wouldn’t recognise herself so she was sure no-one at the store would either. Her hair was now black instead of blonde, shoulder length instead of long. The double layer of clothing made her look fatter, more substantial. And the make-up – well, that had added 10-15 years onto her age. No, if anyone there had noticed her hanging around in there over the past week they would not recognize her today.


Amanda walked in to the store. It being a Friday there were more customers than there had been previous days, all looking for the perfect get-up for their dates, no doubt. Good; the busier the better. For a moment Amanda thought the dress had gone. She had started to feel sick with disappointment, but also relief that she no longer had to go through with her plan. No, it was still there. Somebody had just taken the hanger down to get a better look. She would have to make her move as soon as possible or she could lose it, and that would just be too much to take right at the last minute.


Amanda made her way towards the dress, pausing to look at other garments that she really had no interest at all.


And then, there it was – the opportunity she’d been waiting for. A girl walked towards the changing rooms carrying five or six items with her. The important thing about her though was that with just a quick glance she looked very similar to the real Amanda.


As she reached up for the dress an assistant swooped. “I’d like to just try this on,” Amanda said, amazed at how confident and imposing her voice sounded.


Are you quite sure it’s.......” The assistant stopped herself from querying the size. After all, in a store with these price tags the customer was always right.


In the cubicle, curtain drawn, Amanda set to work. Speed was absolutely essential. She removed the wig and shook out her long blonde ponytail. A face wipe quickly removed all traces of that age- acquiring make-up, instantly making her young again. She took off her conservative clothing and piled it together with the wig on to the provided chair, carefully making sure that nothing was hanging down. A swipe at the tag with the magnet and that was almost it. As carefully as she could she folded the dress, forced it into the limited space inside her bag. She left the magnet on top of the pile and waited. This was where her plan could so easily go wrong. She must not mess up the timing.


Then she heard it; the curtain being pulled back, the rattle of hangers, the curtain closing again. She had to make her move right now! Amanda quietly crept out around the side of the curtain, picked up the two garments the girl had left on the rail outside and forced herself to walk calmly from the changing rooms.


She willed her hands not to shake as she passed the hangers to the assistant who was still hovering near the changing rooms door. “No good! They just don’t look right,” she said in a voice very different to the one she had used when she’d entered them.


The shop now looked so big, the door so far away. Amanda had to consciously slow her pace even though her feet so desperately wanted to run. Now, the alarm. Would the magnet have worked? She was through the door and out on the street without there being so much as a beep.


Right up until she was back at home Amanda expected to feel a grasp on her elbow, or a hand on her shoulder. She felt sick. She was shaking. She wasn’t a thief, had never stolen so much as a bar of chocolate before.......But there had just been something about that dress.


Now she would finally try it on and get to see the image she would project at tomorrows dance. She stepped in to it, struggled to fasten it and then looked in the mirror. It looked horrendous! The cut of it was completely wrong for her. It was baggy in places where it should have been tight, then stretched to its limit in places where it should not have been.

The lemon tint of the material was wrong too; it made her look sickly, jaundiced even.


Amanda felt tears prick at her eyes. After all that, for all its worth, she could never wear this dress, let alone go out in it. She had stolen $4000! She’d take it back, go into the shop and leave it in a carrier bag somewhere it would easily be found. Too late to do it today but Saturday morning, bright and early, she would be there getting rid of her guilt.


She’d lost the stuff she left in the changing rooms but it did not matter. And she would not go to the dance. No one would notice whether she was there or not and she really did have nothing to wear. She toyed with the idea of turning up in the ‘casual look’ but no – dancing was just not her thing.


Amanda returned the dress. She left it in a carrier bag as close to the cash desk as she dared. It was quiet enough at so early an hour. One of the assistants was sure to spot it quickly. A different dress with a similar price tag was already hanging in its place, but this time Amanda thought it looked almost tatty. As she walked slowly towards the door she felt kind of empty. For a whole week acquiring that dress had meant everything to her and now she was left in a void with nothing to think about.


So, no dance! She’d go and pick out a movie to watch, she’d buy a big tub of her favourite ice-cream. She’d put on her favourite most comfortable pyjamas and get comfortable on her sofa. And Amanda knew that she would enjoy that so much more than the dance!






Submitted: October 08, 2016

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Lionel Walfish

Good one, Hully!

And isn't it true..some of the dreams we dream, may turn out to be so much less than we expect when push comes to shove and realty sets in.
Give me a good book and a comfortable sofa, any time !!

Sun, October 9th, 2016 8:52pm


Me too, Lionel. Can't beat it! Glad you enjoyed the story.

Sun, October 9th, 2016 1:53pm

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