Leafing hopefully, through the white garments hanging primly on the rack. I sigh in frustration at the lack of options. Why are there only ever twig dresses? Do they really expect every girl to be pencil thin?
By the lack of reasonable sizes, and the plain designs of the plus size gowns. The answer is obviously yes. How many shops am I going to have to enter? Before I can find at least one decent gown.
“Sasha! Sasha!” A loud shout behind me. Pulls me forcefully from my brooding. My fingers twitching across the beaded gown. I had just been glaring heatedly at.
With one last disdainful glare at the offending item. I slowly turn to face the hurricane barreling toward me.
“Oof.” I groan. A small ball of joy slamming into me. A white fabric already halfway over my head before I could process what was happening. Squeals of delight filtering through the suffocating fabric.
“Your going to love this girl. It’s the prettiest gown in the store. Your fiancé will be drooling when he sees you in this.” My bushy haired friend rambles. Oblivious to the fact that she is slowly suffocating me.
Thankfully, Ruby wasn’t as distracted. Noticing my battle for air. My much calmer friend. Snatches the dress from Kelly’s eagers hands. Smacking the energizer bunny over the head. My lungs sing Ruby’s praises as sweet air is allowed once more through my body.
“Kelly. Cool it. Your smothering the poor girl.” Kelly deflates at Ruby’s gentle scolding. Her sun kissed cheeks puffing out in an adorable pout. As her sparkling emerald eyes glare the unimpressed girl down.
“Humph. I just wanted to show her the dress you found.” Kelly grumbles. Shoulders hunching as she playfully sniffs in disdain at us.
“You do realize she actually has to be breathing still to admire the gown, right? Ruby’s lighthearted words gains a scowl from our black-haired friend.
Sigh and fondly rolling her eyes. Ruby turns her gaze to me. Her puppy dog browns. Scanning my face for any sign of discomfort. Satisfied that I am in fact still breathing. Ruby with a soft smile. Holds out the killer gown. Allowing me my first opportunity to see the dress that nearly ended my life.
“Thanks.” Carefully extracting it from Ruby’s fingers. I hold it higher in the air. Allowing the soft shop lights to shimmer down it’s silk fabric. My sea blue orbs widening in awe. At the overwhelming beauty. It simple yet stylish appearance has me captivated.
My hand unconsciously running along the flowered lace appliques illusion along the high neck, and capped sleeves. It’s soft satin, lace, flared bottom causing me to swoon in delight. The fabric twinkling like a million tiny diamonds in the shop lights.
I must try it on. As if reading my mind. Ruby wraps her fingers around my bony shoulders. Steering me away from the still fuming Kelly. Toward the back of the store. Where a single changing stall sat wide open. Her rose pink lips twitching in mirth as my eyes remained glued to the fabric in my hands.
“Go try it on. We will be right out here when you are done.” Pushing me into the stall. She gives me one last fond smile. Before closing the door behind me. Shaking myself from my stupor. I stumble over to the silver lock on the knob. Turning it so it will not swing open while I am half naked. Placing the gown carefully on the hook attached to the door. I made short work of my clothes. Tossing them carelessly to the grown. Before all but pouncing on the dress I deemed as mine.
The first heart stop moment occurs upon reaching my shoulders. The dress bunching up and refusing to lower further than my neck. After a short battle. In which I return the victor. I manage to force the dress over my over glass figure. A triumphant smile pulling across my lips. Which promptly falls a moment later. My snow-white fingers scuttling across my back. To the cold metal zipper laying across my spine.
I whimper in agitation. When the stupid thing refuses to rise past my hips. It is practically mocking me as I hop, wiggle, and squirm the zipper past my hips. All while I beg the frustrating thing to rise.
Finally, after years of war. I succeed. The zipper snapping past my hips and squeezing my lungs into a tight hug. It’s corset like feel. Making me feel as though I am being strangled.
My lungs pleading me for release. I nearly cave too, but than a set of deep-sea blue eyes. Catches my attention. A beautiful woman with fiery auburn curls cascading down her back. Stares back at me through the reflective surface attached to the wall. Ensnaring my attention and drowning out my bodies screams for mercy.
“Ah. I love it!” I gasp. Eyes drinking in my appearance.
“I’ve got to show the others.” Wattling like a penguin. I exit the stall. Scurrying over to my bickering amigos.
“I’m just saying I…. Oh Sasha.” Kelly cuts off her impassioned rant as I come into view.
“So, what do you think? Beautiful right?” I crow. Twirling painfully once I was in front of them. An uncomfortable silence greets my breathy question. My tired smile falling in concern at the awkward glances shared.
“Um well…” Ruby stutters. Her bottom lip sinking beneath her teeth as she struggles to form an appropriate answer.
“What? What’s wrong with it?” I demand. Impatience and fear winning over politeness.
“You look like your pregnant.” I sputter in outrage at Kelly’s blunt answer.
“KELLY!!” Ruby gasps. Horrified by our friend’s lack of tact. A beige hand raising to cover her lips. Puppy eyes blown wide in shock.
“What!? It’s the truth! It’s much too tight on her. Her lips are turning blue.” Kelly defends. Throwing up her hands in frustration.
“It is not.” I pout. My lungs cursing me.
“Look Sasha. So, the dress is too small. Just means we need to find a bigger size.” Kelly continues. Rolling her eyes in exasperation. Spinning on her heels. She hurry’s back to the rack where the dress was found. Where her fingers practically fly across the offered gowns. Pulling one out. She frowns at it. Her eyes narrowing as she scans the tag. Shaking her head. She returns it to the rack before returning to browsing through the last of them. After a moment of looking. She returns empty handed. An apologetic scowl upon her face.
“Sorry Sasha. Looks like they expect every girl to be a twig. I did find one in a bigger size, but not only would it drown you. Its designs are also not as nice. The beads are falling off in places.” My face falls at her words. Of course, she couldn’t find a bigger size that would fit me. This stupid world expects every girl to be the same. Sure, in the recent years they have started coming out with more plus sizes, but the designs aren’t as wide. You can’t find as many cute options in the plus size section. The cute items are reserved primarily for the smalls, and for those girls like me. Who are in-between sizes? Well, we are just out of luck.
Turning back to the stall I had vacated. I Ignore my friends concern laced questions as I fight to hold back my tears of frustration. Closing and locking the door behind me. I gasp. My knees nearly giving out as sweet air is once more allowed into my lungs. My body singing in joy as the offending article is finally removed from my limbs. Placing the gown back on the hanger. I hang it once more on the hook. My sad eyes avoiding its shimmering beauty as I yank my previous clothes back on.
Straightening my butterfly shirt and freeing my auburn curls from the black shirts grip. I snatch the gown up and march from the stall. Tossing the item into the discard basket without another glance.
Arms folded protectively over my chest. I slowly make my way back to my friends. Disappointment and frustration clouding my thoughts.
“I’m sorry Sasha. Maybe the next place will have better options.” Ruby offers. Patting my shoulder in sympathy.
“Yeah right. This is the ten shop we have tried with the same results. I really think it would be better to just let her dad hire a tailor. Like he wanted to do in the first place.” Kelly scoffs rolling her eyes at Ruby’s words.
“Kelly!” Ruby hisses. Her eyes darting worriedly to me.
“Kelly that may be the easier option, but I really want to find a dress at a dress shop. Just because I am royalty. Doesn’t mean I can spend frivolous amounts of taxpayers money on gowns.” I sigh. Brushing off her comment.
“If you say so girl. Well lets just head back. No doubt your dad is freaking out over the fact you ditched your guards again.” I wince at this. I can just see a fire breathing king. Stomping through the castle. Demanding to know why my security unit returned without me.
“Yeah, probably would be best.” I nervously laugh. Rubbing a hand across the back of my neck. Ignoring the disgusted eyes of the shop keeper as we leave empty handed.
“Oh crap.” Ruby suddenly exclaims. Slapping her forehead as she groans in dread.
“What’s up?” I worriedly ask. Frowning at the distort girl.
“I completely forgot. I am supposed to pick up my brother from his choir trip tonight. They went up to sing in a choir festival at another school. The bus should be getting back any second now. If they are not already there.” Ruby groans. Covering her face with her hands.
“Will you be ok to drive us home?”
“Well Kelly isn’t a problem since she is staying with me until the landowners can fix the heating at her house. Some how instead of spitting out heat. The stupid thing has been freezing her apartment. With it being the middle of November. It’s much to cold for her to stay in a place with out heat. You on the other hand….” Ruby trails off at this. Biting her bottom lip in worry.
I understood though what she meant without explanation. His school is in the complete opposite direction from the palace. By the time she dropped me off and got back to her brother. He will have been waiting there for half an hour, and with the school not being open after hours. He would be waiting out in the cold during that time.
“What about your parents?”
“They are out of town celebrating their 20-year anniversary. They asked me to look after him for the week.”
“Do you have time to drop me off before then?”
“BZZZZZ!!” Ruby cuts off. Pulling out the flame-colored cell from her pocket.
“Hey kiddo. No, I didn’t forget you. I know it’s cold. I will be there soon ok. Any chance you can wai… Everyone left already. Yes, ok I will be right there.” With that Ruby hung up. Stuffing her cell back into her pocket. A pensive look in her eyes.
“Apparently he got back 10 minutes ago. Everyone has already left.”
“Even his teachers?” She rolls her eyes at this. A scowl on her face.
“Apparently they didn’t see the need to stick around to make sure he got home ok. They left 5 minutes after the bus dropped everyone off.”
“But that’s not right. What if the kids were kidnapped while they were waiting?” Kelly gasps horrified.
“Yeah. Trust me I know. That school is going to be hearing from me. That’s for sure.” Ruby scoffs. Her forehead pulsing in agitation.
“How about I just walk home?” They both balk at this. A horrified look in their eyes.
“Are you nuts? Did you forget who you are?” Kelly rasps. Looking at me like I’ve lost my mind.
“No Kelly I have not forgotten, but Robert is waiting out in the cold alone. Not to mention the fact you were complaining earlier about the fact that he forgot his coat in your car earlier. So not only is he alone, but he is with out a warm coat. In the middle of November. Not counting the fact that he is super skinny for a 12-year-old. He has no body fat to keep him warm.” I argue. Worry bleeding into my voice.
“Yeah but…” Ruby weakly tries before I swiftly cut her off again.
“Ruby. I will be fine. The castle is only a 5-minute walk from here. I have my phone if anything goes wrong. If needs be. I can always call Aaron to come pick me up.”
“Fine, but you call the moment you are home.” Ruby sighs. Clearly unhappy with the arrangement but not wanting to leave her brother waiting much longer.
“Try not to get yourself kidnapped.” Kelly begs. Giving me a hug before climbing into Ruby’s car.
“I’ll try.” I laugh. Watching as they pull away from the curb, and speed away. Stuffing my hands in my pockets. I slowly start heading home. Yeah, I guess I could wait in the store and call Aaron to pick me up. So, I don’t have to walk, but I want to stall the moment my dad pounces on me. No doubt I am going to be grounded for life after this.
So instead. I enjoy the cold November air. My thoughts a thousand miles away as I walk. It isn’t until a white flake hits my nose. That I truly start paying attention to my surroundings. Frowning and glancing up at the sky. I groan in dismay upon seeing the little white angels. Descending from their homes above.
“Of bloody course it’s snowing. Why ever not.” I sarcastically groan into the sky. Sighing and pulling my coat tighter around myself. I pick up the pace. Even with the frozen angels leaving wet kisses on my face. I refuse to call Aaron. It’s not until the wind really starts to pick up, and the snow starts to fall at a faster pace. That I finally admit defeat.
Pulling out my phone. I quickly dial Aarons number. Holding the screen to my cheek as I keep moving. Finally, after a few beeps. He picks up.
“Sasha? Where are you? Your security unit just returned 10 minutes ago. Spouting something about you ditching them in the mall. They spent 30 minutes looking for you. Until one of them finally thought to check the cameras and saw you and your friends sneaking out the back. Before driving away. Your dad is threatening to declare war if your not back in 10 minutes.” Aaron said. Fond exasperation clears in his tone.
“Yeah. We ditched them because I was tired of them snatching the dresses out of my hands. Just so they could check them for explosives.” I dryly stated. He laughs at this. His laughter loud in my ears.
“Yeah. I can see them doing that. Anyway Sasha. Where are you?”
“I just left Rachels Tattering’s beauty boutique. Ruby forgot that she had to pick up her brother, so I decided to walk home. So, she could go pick him up.”
“You did what!?”
“Calm down Aaron I’m fine. Apparently, his teachers thought it a clever idea to leave 5 minutes after the bus dropped him off. Everyone else has already left. He is over there by himself.” I soothed.
“You know what. We will discuss this later. I am on my way. Oh, and you get to explain to your dad why you decided to not only ditch your protectors but walk home in a blizzard alone.”
“It’s hardly a blizzard.”
“Ha try telling that to your worry wart dad.” I groan at this. Knowing that he is right. My dad won’t care. He no doubt see this little amount of snow as a blizzard.
“Alright. See you soon.” I sigh. Hanging up and stuffing the phone back into my pocket.
“Well. I guess I can meet him halfway.” I hum. Continuing my progress home. About 1 minute after I hung up. I notice a soft tapping behind me. As if someone were following me. Glancing over my shoulder. I frown at the seemingly empty sidewalk.
“Must have been hearing things.” I mutter. Turning back to my path and continuing on my way, but a few minutes later. I hear it again. This time it’s louder. Closer to where I am walking. Pausing and spinning around. I squint into the snowy night. Searching in vain for the sound.
“Hello! Is someone out there!” I call before I can stop myself. Cursing myself for doing the one thing I scream at characters in horror shows for doing. I spin back around. Speeding up my pace and pleading silently for Aaron to hurry. Expect this time its not a quiet walk behind me. Now it sounds like someone is running toward me. Glancing over my shoulder. I squeak in alarm at the masked figure racing toward me.
Breaking into a run. I book it down the path. My mind blank as all rational thought leaves me in my panic. I scream in terror as a gloved hand closes around my arm. Yanking me forcefully backwards into a muscled chest.
“LET ME GO! LET ME GO!” I screech. Squirming in his grip and kicking my legs in a vain attempt at escape.
“Now why would I do a thing like that princess?” A soft voice whispers in my ear. I whimper in horror as he tightens his grip. Effectively cutting off my struggles as a hand clasp around my throat from behind.
“Please. Just let me go home.” I pathetically beg. Tears pooling in my eyes as I tremble like a leaf in his grasp.
“Sorry my sweet. No can do. You see you did something I did not like. You gave your attention to someone other than me, and I can’t have that. You see Sasha. You may not realize it, but you are mine, and no one but I will ever have you.” He states beginning to drag me backwards. No doubt to a car that he left nearby.
Thankfully before he could get far. An angry voice cuts through the howling wind. Followed by loud thunderous footsteps.
“LET GO OF MY FIANCE YOU CREEP!” I sag in relief at Aarons voice. I have never been so glad to see him this angry than now.
“Looks like we will have to finish this later my sweet. Until then.” He growls pushing me away and racing toward a car hidden in an alleyway.
“Sasha, are you ok?” Aaron asks. Stopping in front of me and pulling me to my feet.
“Ye…Yeah. I’m ok.” I shakily answer. Leaning my weight against him. Throwing his arm around my shoulder. He leads me to the waiting limo. Where a guard waits with the door open. The driver already behind the wheel.
“Lets get you home. Your dad will want to know what happened.” I wince at this. Oh, my dad is going to be furious. All I can do is hope and pray I will never see that creep again. Of course, old Murphy is cackling at this thought.
Thank you for reading!
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