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One month later 

"Ouch!" I yelped, rubbing my head where Madison had aggressively yanked a strand of hair. "Why are you so rough?"

"Stop being a baby. Pain is beauty, Talia." She responded. I shot her a venomous look in the mirror, then slid my eyes to my own reflection. So far, I looked like a half ready mess. Half my hair was pinned up, the other half sitting in bouncy curls as Madison twisted the strands around the curling iron. I had tried to start my make up a while ago, but gave up when my hand jerked every time Madison yanked my hair.

She, on the other hand, looked absolutely stunning. She had gotten ready before me so she could put all her efforts into me. Her hair was pinned up in an elegant updo, and her skin glowed as if there was liquid gold running beneath her skin. She wore a forest green gown, matching her eyes and hugging her body with a dangerous slit running up her thigh. I knew Gray would absolutely lose it when he saw her.

"Pain is beauty only when the curling iron is in your hands." I shot back. She blew a bubble with her gum in response, then popped it loudly.

"I can't believe it's prom already." She said after a while, working on the last few strands.

"I know, time has been flying. We'll be graduating in a few weeks." I replied.

She thumped the back of my head lightly. "Don't be a buzzkill! It's prom, stop looking all sad and wistful."

I chuckled, but I couldn't really help it. Yes, I was excited for prom and I couldn't wait to see Isobel and have an amazing evening but at the same time, it just reminded me of other things.

We'd be graduating, all going in separate directions. Who knows when I'd see all my best friends again. I'd be leaving home, my mom, and everything I'd ever known.

And then there was Isobel. I had no idea what would happen between us. Yes, we were both going to the same city but that didn't mean anything. I hadn't brought the topic up with her yet, I kept putting it off and before I knew it, here we were at prom. 

I didn't know if she had even thought that far. Things between us were going better than ever, and we had been on numerous dates in the past few weeks. I reached up to rub the pendant on my neck between my fingers. She had gotten it for me on Christmas, and I adored it. It was a hollow silver circle, with a wave splashing across half of it, studded with little blue jewels.

And yet, I still hadn't told her that I loved her. Everyday I decided tomorrow would be the day, I'd find the perfect moment, and everyday that moment didn't come. Days bled into weeks, and I convinced myself that maybe there was no rush. I mean, she hadn't said it either. Maybe it was a good thing that I hadn't done it yet.

I sighed. It was a bad habit of mine, but I couldn't help thinking about these things instead of focusing on the good stuff.

"Grayson will be here any minute, and so will Isobel." Madison said, and I noticed she had finished. She mussed up the curls a little and covered them with hair spray. It looked amazing.

"Thanks, Mads. It's beautiful."

"Of course, it is. Now hurry up with your makeup and get dressed. I'm going downstairs for a minute to call Grayson. He better not be late."

I shook my head as she continued talking to herself on her way down the stairs. 

My stomach filled with butterflies as Isobel entered my thoughts again. I couldn't wait to see her. She had asked me if I wanted to go to prom with her a few weeks ago, surprisingly nervous. My heart had all but jumped out of my chest, and the rest of me jumped at her. She had caught me with a laugh, mumbling "I'll take that as a yes," into my lips.

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