The next few days were filled with shopping and well, more shopping. It was quite hectic and really exhausting. I’d never shopped for an entire closet in just a matter of days, not to mention furniture, girly supplies, and random decorations. It was all a bit tiring. By the end of the week, my room was painted a light pink, surprisingly, with white matching furniture that had roses carved into each piece. I had a nice and large, full, four poster bed with roses and vines engraved all over the head board. Those same plants wrapped around and were carved in to the posts that led straight to the top of the bed, where white netting hung all around me in a princess fashion. I could tie it back if I wanted, or I could let it fall freely, so that if the lights were on, all I could see outside those curtains would be the dark shapes in my room. The bed sat in the middle of the room, therefore it was surrounded with the furniture.
The far right wall supported a large window, with newly set up lace curtains, and a little white bench carved into it, so one could stare out into the day, watching the people scramble for their things, or to gaze out at the starry sky when a night of trouble caught hold of the person occupying the room. Between the window and the back wall, a large desk played host to the remaining area. Books littered the shelves, and a decorative type writer sat in the corner of it, while colored pencils and paper were already strewn across it’s surface with sketches of random anime characters that I saw fit to draw. They were mainly based off of the friends that I missed, and the home I would never see again. It too had roses and vines engraved at the top, but only at the top. A large rose however hug a tad bit below in the middle, and I gazed at the perfection of it before letting my eyes drift to the left side of the window. That side held a large dresser with a mirror that stretched just as far as the dresser did. The mirror was, of course, held by a uniquely decorated frame which matched the rest of my furniture, yes, the vines and roses as well. In the six drawers laid an large array of clothing. The top two held bras, underwear, socks, and, although it was still spring, Penny convinced me to buy a swim suit. Leggings went along with them, as well as stockings and under shirts. The second drawer on the right side held my pants, jeans, kaki’s, Capri’s, you name it, in all assortment of colors. My favorite though, had to be the red plaid pair that I so hopefully convinced her to purchase. If I were to ever go back home, these were what I was going to be wearing. The drawer directly next to it held the matching shirts, all high collar, and all very lady like. Below that one lay my skirts, most of them ended just above my knee, or just below it, and like the rest of my clothes, they were in all assortment of colors. The last drawer held my pajamas, things I didn’t mind if they got wrinkly or not. White dresses with high collars and no sleeves, folded up pants and matching flannel shirts, all for the sake of comfort.
Directly in front of the bed sat my closet, a decently sized one whose doors folded in and out to open and close. On the doors sat tall, full length mirrors that one could examine themselves when preparing for something or somewhere to go. Beyond those doors however hung a mighty amount of dresses, which I loved dearly. Some had collars, some didn’t, some of them had sleeves, and others didn’t. Some of them were long and elegant, others were sundresses and daily wear. Below them sat a tremendous amount of shoes, all with matching outfits, and most of them heels or pumps. There were a few flats incorporated in the mix, but considering my height, Penny and I tried to spend as little time in the flats section as possible when we were shopping for shoes.
Tucked neatly in the corner of the front wall and the left wall, a decently sized vanity sat waiting for me. It too was white as well as engraved with roses, just like the other items in the room. At the moment, it’s counter was littered with different shades of lipstick, eyeliner, gloss, and eye shadow, along with perfume bottles and powder puffs that went along with the tan cover up that I used to conceal the nasty facial issues that came with being a teenage girl. The mirror was rounded, with little roses engraved around the top of it, and a small drawer laid just in front of the piano seat. Inside the drawer there was more make up, just testers, and behind the mirror, which opened like a door, held a pearl necklace. “It was given to me by my mother,” Penny had said to me when she gave it to me “She told me to pass it on to my daughter, but since I can’t have any, I want you to have it.” And that was when I found out about Penny’s condition. She couldn’t have any children due to the fact that she was beat as a child. Maybe that was why she was so happy-go-lucky all the time. It helped her forget those painful memories.
Beside my bed, a large bedside table stood, separating the bed from the door, and it held more pajamas, along with a diary and a bible in its drawers. A large lamp sat on its counter along with a note pad that Penny had written on as she made a checklist of what I needed. Everything on the list was crossed off, and I was now using the pad as a coaster for my water.
I laid back against my sheets, thoroughly worn out from the days shopping, and completely and utterly surprised that Jeffery let us get all this. I thought about it when he helped us pick out the furniture. He wanted to be a dad. I could tell, and maybe that was why he reached out to me so much. But he still did have that “too happy” vibe about him. There was definitely something underneath that cool exterior. I shrugged it off though as I climbed out of the pink and white sheets and headed to the closet. I stared at my reflection for a moment, soaking in the girl in curlers who was staring right back at me. She was wearing a white night gown with spaghetti straps, and the dress fell a little past her knees. A little ribbon and bow folded over where her breasts were and she just stared right back at me before disappearing as I opened the closet doors. I walked in and looked at the dresses, touching each one as if they were a delicate piece of clothing that would tear if I didn’t treat them like porcelain. This was a retro-lovers dream come true. At that thought, my eyes began to water. “Edie would love this,” Tears threatened my eyes and I let my body drop to the floor. Folding myself up I leaned against one of the closet doors, letting my lids close and taking a few deep breaths as two tears strolled down my face from each eye. I quickly wiped them away and stood, closing my eyes again and shutting the doors. Sleep, that’s what I needed. I brushed aside a loose strand of hair and climbed into bed, turning off the light and closing my eyes, hoping to get a restful sleep. There was a nock at my door, however, and I opened my eyes before sitting up and looking at it. “Come in.” I called, turning on the light, and it opened, revealing the tall blonde man who made everything in this room possible.
“Hey, Sunshine,” He smiled, coming up to the bed and sitting next to me. I drew my knees up to my chest, hugging them and smiled back.
“Hey, Jeff,” I replied, “What’s up?” I tilted my head to the side, getting that ‘puppy’ look as my friends called it, unintentionally.
“Well, I was thinking that maybe tomorrow,” He began, putting his long arms behind him and leaning back. “We could go the local high school, get you enrolled, seeing as you’ll be staying with us you’re going to need a proper education.” Another broad smile crossed his lips “And it’d be good for you to interact with others your age, heavens know you’ve been around nobody but us adults the past week,” He laughed, and I stared at him, wide eyed as my arms fell to my sides. In a moment I was upon him, wrapping him in a large hug as tears stung my eyes. He laughed and hugged me back tightly.
“Thank you,” was all I said, choking on the words. He nuzzled my neck lightly, which slightly confused me, but I didn’t care.
“You’re welcome.” Was his response before he pulled away. “Now get some sleep, we’re going to have a big day tomorrow.” He smiled, lifting the sheets so I could climb under them. I did and smiled up at him as I pulled the covers to my shoulders. “Sleep well,” He said, kissing the top of my head and I nodded in response as he untied the curtains, letting the lace fall separate the two of us as he turned off the lamp and walked out of the room.
“School,” I thought. “Wow, this ought to be epic.” My mind played out different scenarios that might occur and I smiled as I thought about it all. Sure, I was nervous, but I could start over. I could start my life over. With an anticipated sigh I closed my eyes, letting myself succumb to sleep. Although it wasn’t as restful as I had expected.
“Mr. Colosant?” A voice asked in the darkness.
“Is she awake?”
“No, sir. I’m sorry, but… but she’s getting her color back,” The unfamiliar voice offered, but there was silence on the other end. I knew my dad wouldn’t say anything. A rough, but warm, hand felt like it was cupping my cheek. “I’ll leave you alone…” The voice said again, finally, and the sound of a door opening and closing rand through my mind.
“Oh baby girl,” I heard him whisper, running his hand over my forehead and hairline like he does whenever we’re having those whole father daughter moments. “I’m so sorry, I should have stopped you. I shouldn’t have let you go out there. Damn it, Alice, I told you she’d come back in the morning, why didn‘t you listen?” His voice was stern, but it didn’t stay like that as I felt him pull me up against him and felt a warm, wet substance drop against my neck. Was he crying?
“Oh Daddy,” I wanted to say, I wanted him to stop crying. I’d never seen him cry before. He was too strong to cry, he wasn’t scared of anything. My dad was the bravest guy on Earth, so why in the world was he randomly crying now? What had happened?
Those questions haunted me all through the night until the sun rose and tickled my face. With a groan I sat up, lifting a hand to my head where the curlers were tightly planted. I sighed and stood, walking over to the dresser and taking them out, one by one. The curls bounced tightly around my head, and I wondered whether or not I should brush them through. Curls weren’t usually my thing. I usually straightened my hair or let it run free in waves, whenever I did curl it, it was long and with steam curlers or scrunched up with a ton of hair spray. I stared at my reflection in the mirror, unsure what to do when there was a knock on my door. “It’s me,” Penny’s voice rang, and I looked over my shoulder at the door.
“Come in,” I called, and turned back to the girl who was staring back at me in the mirror. Penny slipped in, careful not to let anyone poke their head in, not that we were worried about that, it was just a girls way of saying how skinny she was as she snuck in. She turned and looked at me and gave me a confused smile.
“You’re not even dressed yet?” She asked, walking over to my closet and looking for a dress for me to wear.
“Um, I don’t know how to do my hair,” I said, blushing a tad, and she laughed.
“Here, let me help,” She smiled, walking out of the closet and over to the vanity where I was standing. She motioned for me to sit, and I did so as she stared at my hair in concentration. “What to do what to do,” She repeated, then suddenly, her face lit up and she grabbed the rounded brush that laid on the dresser. Taking my short hair in her hands, she gently brushed the sides in, and since they were already tight, they ended up just at my jaw line. My bangs she swept to the side, covering my brow still, but held back gently with a bobby pin. “There,” She smiled, putting her hands around the tops of my arms and placing her head next to mine, staring at our reflections in the mirror. “Perfect, now, time for your make up!” She smiled, obviously loving this as she grabbed the tan cover up. She seemed to enjoy it when I played mannequin, so I sat there, eyes closed as she worked her magic upon my face.
The entire time she did my make up, she was in a fit of giggles, she obviously must have felt like a teenage girl once again, and who was I to deny that from her? I was her make-shift daughter, and this was every mothers dream, to play dress up with a life sized doll. When she was finished I opened my eyes and gazed at my doppelganger. My lips were painted a deep pink, as they were already naturally pink, with a slight gloss over them, and my face held a light pink blush, not that anyone could tell because of my natural tan complexion, but it made my face sparkle. My lashes were curled up, and brown lines were traced around my lids, which were also decorated a soft pink, with a tad bit of a whitish color in there. I looked at her reflection in the mirror with a smile and laughed. “So I’m guessing I’m wearing pink then?” I asked her, giggling, and she laughed.
“I guess so!” She said, walking to my closet to look amongst the many hangers as I pulled out a pair of matching undergarments. As I withdrew them from the drawers, I stared. They were so different from that of which I was used to. They rode high up on the hip, far higher than my normal underwear, yet they were also drawn up to my belly button. The bra was basically the same, except it wasn’t really even rounded, and didn’t push up on the breasts. Internally I noted the fact, and figured that must be the reason older women have such baggy chests. The hip wear, however, had a tad bit of a sexy side to it with hanging clips that one would attach stocking to. Of course though this wasn’t that sexy or uncommon here in the forties, but in modern day, these were rarely found but loved by all men. I laughed mentally, a small smile crossing my face as I looked at them. “Here we go!” She cried as I examined the white, frilly, underwear. “This’ll make a great impression on the principle.” I turned and watched her lay out the clothing on the edge of the bed and tilted my head at her selection. It was pretty much an over coat that buttoned up from the bottomed to the top, with a string that wrapped around and tightly held the dress around the hips. It was a light pink plaid, mostly white, and she’d picked out a pair of white heels to match. It was adorable! With a smile I watched as she walked to the door. “Just come out when you’re ready, ok?” I nodded, and she left the room. After the door was shut firmly, I pried my night gown off, letting the curls bounce around my face as they were delicately flopped up from the neckline. I stripped myself of the nights wear and slipped on the new bra and panties just before I walked back over to the drawer, forgetting to withdraw the stockings from the drawer. After removing them, I slid the skin-colored items up my calves and thighs, hooking them to the undergarments that so delicately clung to my waist. For some reason or another, I felt like taking my time, and turned to the gown on the bed, tracing a finger over the overlapping squares and slowly un-buttoning each individual button. I lifted it, draping the dress over my arm and turning towards the large mirrors, examining myself.
“What Michel would pay to see me like this…” My heart clutched up again, and tears threatened, but I shook my head, trying to clear myself of those memories. Michel, my loving, adorable, sweet, idiotic, Michel. My throat burned and I leaned against my bed, sniffling lightly. I couldn’t cry, it’d make a river down my face. But I wanted him, I needed him. I needed his arms around me, I needed his lips on mine, I needed his warm breath against my neck whispering those three little words “I love you.” I rubbed my hands against my face and looked up at my reflection. The girl staring back at me looked perfect, flawless from head to toe, every aspect of her screaming “innocence” with her soft make up and small yet full lips. But her eyes, her eyes were haunted. I shook that thought from my mind and refused to look myself in the eye as I slid the dress over my arms. Refused to think as I buttoned up every button. Refused to remember as I tied a bow on my hip and slipped the white heels on my feet, buckling them around my ankles, and ignoring the sound of the clicking across the hard wood floor as I made my way through and out the door.
“Are you nervous?” Jeff asked me, and I looked up at the rearview mirror of the green, 1960 Frontenac at his reflection.
“Um, only a little bit,” I smiled, looking down like a little girl.
“Oh don’t be! It’ll be fun for you, there are plenty of young, smart, kids just like you there, and you’ll love it. I promise.” Penny grinned, turning to look at me.
“It’s like it’s her first day, it’s just registration for her, she won’t start for a few more days,” Jeff corrected her, and Penny rolled her eyes. Before turning to her.
“It might as well be! The students will see her for the first time! First impressions are the most important, and plus,” She smirked, looking at me. “For some people it could be love at first sight,” She let out a wink and a laugh and my eyes grew wide as I laughed, looking down and blushing. Jeff shot her a stern look.
“Penny,” Was all she said, and she shot him an annoyed glance before we pulled up to the school. It was huge, far bigger than my original high school. The bricks were deep red, and some boarders around the edges were a light gray, almost white. I stared, not in awe, but curiosity. “So here we are,” Jeff stated, looking back at me and smiling. “You ready?” He asked, and I turned, nodding lightly as I pulled on the handle. The three of us climbed out of the car and walked towards a building with the sign “Office” above it in large, white letters. Jeff held the large red door open for me and Penny, and with an encouraging smile she took my arm as Edie would every now and again, to show me that she was there. I looked at it, eyes wide as the memories flooded me, and for a moment I pretended that it was her. We bravely walked into the carpeted room and straight up to a woman with curly blonde hair.
“Sign in there,” She said, motioning to the paper and not even looking up. “Just go to your third period class,” She stated, and Jeff put his hand on the counter.
“Devin’s not late, we’re here to register her.” The blonde looked up, her blue eyes hitting Jeffery’s face and she seemed taken for a moment as she caught a hold of his smile. She seemed to be dazzled, which, when I turned to look at him, wasn’t hard to be if that smile was focused on you. It confused me that he’d do that in front of Penny, maybe he didn’t mean to? Still, Penny tightened her grip on my arm.
“Oh, you’re the Jones’, we’ve been expecting you,” The blonde replied, pointing to the office to the right, never taking those heavily lidded eyes off of Jeff.
“Come on, girls,” he smiled, turning to us and extending his arms to us. Penny let go of mine and grasped onto his protectively, and I glared at the woman, who simply ignored my attempts as we left her.
The councilor was very large man, surprisingly so. He looked as if he’d just been released from prison, it was quite frightening. I couldn’t get a hold of his height, but the size of his body made me believe that he was at least six feet two, three? I wasn’t ever easily intimidated by people, even large people, but this guy… He could throw me like a paper ball… with more accuracy. His name was Mr. Malloy, and as I thought, he had been in prison. Except he was a guard, not an inmate.
We figured out what classes I was going to take, after much protest by myself, I was able to score just about the same classes as I had before. English, Geometry, World History, PE, and Chemistry. I purposely left out French, as it wasn’t required, and instead got drama, one of my favorite classes. I was registered as a sixteen year old sophomore, which made me smile, I was back to school. We walked out of the office about forty minutes later, and two Italian boys stood at the front by the blonde. One of them had short black hair, the other shoulder length curly hair. The smell of cigarette smoke radiated off them, and of course my gaze caught theirs.
“The Lambardi boys, Geovanni, we thought we got rid of you,” the blonde stated, smiling flirtatiously as she twirled her hair around a red painted fingernail. The larger of the two boys leaned against the counter, sharing the same smile as she did.
“You forget, Bella, it’s Giovanni, and you can’t get rid of me, Brianna, I haunt your dreams.” He whispered, and the skinnier boy, with long, curly, black hair, rolled his dark brown eyes, turning away from him and meeting my eyes. They went wide and I smiled welcomingly, yet he just stared. I lowered my gaze, not feeling any friendliness coming from the Italian boy. Jeff and Penny led me out of the school yard, and I immediately felt relief swell through me as we walked off of the grounds. The air was clear, and fresh here. No uncertain waters to tread on. At least, not today.
My dads voice rang, slightly cracking, surprise crossed over me. What does he mean, awake?
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