A/N: Okay, so 50,000 reads?!? That's kinda crazy and I'm still trying to make sense of how much of audience this book has gained over the last few months. I know I keep saying it but thank you so much for your support ^o^. Honestly, without it this book would never have been written. The above/side image is from an episode of House referenced in this chapter btw.

At first, I'd been all for it, excited to relive the halcyon Saturday shopping sprees from the pinnacle of my friendship with Alexa. Back when best friends forever could be certified by two necklaces with half a heart each from Claire's. Even as the shops changed to ones with skinnier models and skimpier clothing, and our milkshake break became time to flirt with boys, it was still our time together.

Only now had I realised that those days could only be mimicked. No matter how hard I tried to be that girl again, as the day dragged on I felt more like a puppet that Alexa could bend to her will than her best friend.

She was off ahead, chatting up the store's sole male employee, though I hadn't a clue who he worked for. The last few hours all blurred together.

I strayed near the door, aimlessly trawling through another aisle of clothes, which were almost identical to the ones I'd seen in earlier shops. My fingers trailed across the flimsy materials and came across a softer, velvet texture. I glanced down. All the hours of shopping no longer felt like a waste.

'I guess one more black dress wouldn't hurt...'

"Lily! What's that?"

I almost dropped the dress as Alexa reappeared and plucked an identical dress off the hangers.

"Oh my God we have got to try this on, c'mon," Alexa's grip on me was as insistent as her voice, and she pulled me across the store into a changing room.

The stuffy air clung to my chest, with the fluorescent lights only draining me of my soul even further.

"Hey Lily, you done yet?"

"Oh, yeah, nearly," I called back, doing up the side zip. Just in time, as the curtain was ripped back to reveal Alexa in her own dress.

"Damn Lily, we're dressed to kill," She mused with a sultry grin at our reflections in the nearby mirror. Her fingers skimmed along the hem and the velvet shimmered beneath the lights.

"Wow," I said, suddenly realising I was fixated upon Alexa's reflection, the way the dress clung to her figure, and forced my gaze upon my own reflection.

Having admired myself for long enough to be certain I had to buy it, I searched for the price tag.

"Really?" I muttered as the delight soured.

"What's wrong hun?"

"I can't afford this, I've already spent way too much."

Alexa flicked up the price tag and shrugged. "It's worth it though Lil'. Anyways, you're the one with a football player for a Dad, just get some money out of your savings account."

"My parents put money in there for my future, not for shopping. No matter how nice the dress is."

The self-discipline on my part didn't seem to resonate with Alexa, who sighed behind her smile.

"You know what, I'll buy this one, and you can borrow it sometime, yeah? Like your birthday? You are having that house party right?"

"Oh yeah, like Mum will agree to that," I said, "But thanks for letting me borrow it."

"No problem babe. Let me talk to Natasha, I'm sure she'll agree, we've got plenty of time to work on her. I'll go pay, and we can go get some coffee," she gave me a wink, and I glanced over at the till. Something akin to sympathy tugged at me for the poor guy, just waiting to be lured into Alexa's flirtations.

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