fifteen ~ flirtations
**Dedicated to lindorchocolate1008 for leaving such a detailed comment on the last chapter.**
Mia wanted me to wear my leather shorts again.
"I just don't think they're beach-appropriate," I insisted.
"Aren't shorts the perfect beachwear?" she countered, with a smile.
For the second time since my arrival in Camberley, we were going for drinks on the beach. This time, I'd be meeting the final member of Mia's friendship group: Brooke. From what I'd been told so far, I was slightly apprehensive about meeting her. It didn't help that Mia was trying to antagonise matters, either.
"I just think her face will be priceless," Mia continued, referring to Brooke's reaction upon seeing me in the shorts.
"In case you'd forgotten," I said, "I'm trying to make a good impression on your friendship group."
Mia chuckled and carried on rooting through my wardrobe. I remained sat on my bed, laptop open in front of me, as I simultaneously browsed Facebook and chatted with Mia.
"You don't really need to make a good impression on Brooke, though. She's hard to please so you may as well cut your losses and just go for the entertaining approach. Look!" she said, pulling out an off-the-shoulder t-shirt. "You can dress it down with this."
I eyed the coral-coloured top. I'd not worn it recently, and it would make the shorts look slightly less dressy. However, the nature of the design meant that it revealed a lot of my left shoulder blade, and my back wasn't fully healed yet.
"Not sure," I replied. "My back will be on show and it's still looking nasty."
Mia scoffed and draped the top over the back of my armchair. After shutting my wardrobe door, she headed over to the bed and swept my hair away from my back to inspect it for herself.
"It's mostly brown now!"
"It's not normal, though. There's no point wearing sexy shorts if my back looks rough."
"It's going to be dark!" Mia maintained. "Come on, cheer up. Nobody will be staring at your back because everybody will be staring at your legs."
I rolled my eyes and closed the laptop lid, finally conceding. When Mia had an idea in her head, it was impossible to argue with her; she was both persistent and convincing. Despite the assurance that everyone would be staring at my legs, I still decided to put on a nice, lacy black bra. After all, I needed something pretty to counter the ugliness of my back.
"You look good," Mia assured me as I assessed my appearance in the full-length mirror. "Your eyes look amazing."
"My foundation no longer matches my skin tone," I told her.
"Shit, first world problems," she replied with a smile. "Ready to head out?"
Dinner with Mia had been a turning point for my relationship with Mum. I don't know if it had been relief that I was making friends, or genuine approval of Mia, but she'd been much chirpier around me recently. She hadn't nagged me for a good while, and she'd even happily provided me with some alcohol to take tonight. Of course, I'd also received the lecture on drinking responsibly and being safe, but I took it as a step in the right direction.
"You look nice, Rosalie," Mum said as we passed through the hallway.
She'd been standing near the living room door, a glass of wine in her hand, as we made our way out. I scrutinised her expression, wondering if you look nice was code for something else, but she seemed genuine about it. At the end of the day, Mum would never accuse me of advertising my body; as far as she was concerned, I wasn't selling it.