•63• Fancy

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I didn't realize when Heather said "discounts" she really meant "free", or close to it. We barely had to pay anything for our dresses. Maybe, like, $20 each.

Heather drops me off at home. I get out, thank her, and walk up to the house with my new dress. I almost make it to the steps without Mom noticing me.

"Oh my gosh! Is that your prom dress? How much was it?" Mom asks, walking over to get a closer look.

"Yes, and it wasn't a lot." I say.

"It looks real cute. I like it. Who are you going with?" Mom asks.

"Heather." I reply.

"A new friend of yours?" Mom asks.

"Yeah." I answer shortly, moving towards the stairs. I walk up to my room and put the dress and it's plastic covering in my closet. I shove some of my hung up clothes to the side to make room. My eyes land on the white dress with black lace as I hang up the blue gown. I could've decided to wear the dress Luke got me, but I forgot about it for awhile. I let my hand linger on the fabric of the skirt before closing my closet.

Maybe that's why he had bought the dress.


"So. Are you nervous?" Michael asks me as we walk down the school's front steps, and into the parking lot. I glance back at him, confused.

"Nervous about what?" I ask.

"Dinner with your mum." he says.

"Dude, it's my mom. Why would I be nervous?" I question him. "Should I be nervous?"

"I have no idea." Michael says, holding his hands out as he shrugs.

"Okay then." I sigh. Michael drives me home since Mom took the car. Apparently her final job interview is today. I hope she finds something worthwhile, I don't want her to go through all of this for nothing, and I don't want her to stop looking for a job because of me if she still can't find one.

I thank Mikey and hop out of his car, heading up the driveway and stone path to get to the porch. As soon as Michael pulls out of the drive my mom pulls up. I walk in the house with my mom close behind.

"How was school?" she asks, breathless.

"Okay, I guess." I reply. "What did you do? Run a marathon?"

"No," mom answers, letting out a small laugh. "I was rushing because the place where I want to take you out tonight gets really busy at night. You should start getting ready, too. Wear something decent."

"Where are we going?" I ask curiously.

"It's a surprise!" Mom say excitedly, nearly squealing. "We're leaving at five o'clock, so hurry."

I walk up to my room. I don't know why she thinks it will take me two hours to get ready. What place could we be going that would take that amount of time to get ready? Just to waste some time, I lay in my bed going through my social media and other apps. I avoid looking at my photos, knowing what feelings I would be overwhelmed with if I looked through them.

Once I get bored with the internet and anything else on my phone, I get up and look through my closet for something "decent". I don't know what to wear. How nice is this place? What does this place look like? What would be considered decent at this place? Is it a fancy restaurant or a family restaurant? I choose a simple dress with a pink skirt and a white top, a thin gold belt wrapping around my middle. I throw my hair up in a bun, letting some loose curls hang around my face.

I grab my phone and some sandals out of my closet before heading downstairs to my mom. She stands in the living room, watching TV for a brief moment, then she passes me to get to the stairs.

"I'll be right back, then we can leave." she says. I walk over to the front door, put my sandals on and wait patiently. Mom returns with a clutch replacing her other bulky purse. She wears a dark blue, silk dress, diamond earrings and necklace, with a bit more make up than she had on before, making me feel underdressed for our little dinner. "You look nice." she compliments me with a smile.

"Thanks." I say, shifting uncomfortably. "You make me feel underdressed." I say honestly.

"Oh, please. I'm probably overdressed." Mom says, waving a careless hand at me. We get in the car and Mom drives to this surprise dinner place I can't know the name of.

It takes a surprisingly long time to get to the restaurant, at least, that's what it feels like. We arrive in the parking lot and immediately notice that this place is pretty fancy. The Bridge Room. I gawk at the building as Mom parks the car. There are a lot of other clean cars in the parking lot, making me feel a little ashamed of our poor little '02 Toyota Camry.

"Isn't this place supposed to be really expensive?" I ask cautiously.

"Yes." Mom says, standing outside her open door. "Aren't you coming?"

I climb out of the car, slamming the door unintentionally behind me. I walk awkwardly up to the restaurant with my mom. I feel so out of place here. It's too fancy, and I haven't seen the inside yet. I already don't like it.

"You can afford this?" I ask quietly, walking through doors held open by a doorman. A low hum of voices, the clattering glasses, and other restaurant noises fill my ears. I expected to hear some kind of little kid crying or whining, like in family restaurants, but as I look around there are only adults and mature teens around.

"Of course." she answers me after placing a table for two.

"Where did you get the money?" I ask.

"I'll tell you later, when we sit down." Mom replies with a sigh.

"Why not tell me now?" I ask stubbornly.

"Lilly-" Mom starts, then stops herself as a waiter walks over to us to take us to our seats.

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