y heart rate accelerated as we pull up to the popular DC night club, Mood. I was currently sitting in a limo that my brothers sent over to retrieve my best friend Gia and me. Taking a steadying breath, I took a peek out the window. Of course, they had a small red carpet set out for celebrities and socialites like my brothers.
Let me make this a little clearer, I don’t do this.
I didn’t go out dressed up like I was right now. I glanced back at Gia who looked anything but anxious. She was in her element right now, and I...well, I was not!
I preferred sitting at home reading a good book. It was a passion of mine. My Gran was an avid reader. What could I say? I took after her and my mother, who happened to have been an editor in-chief for a big publishing company. I guess I could have followed in her footsteps, but I had a passion for History. With only a few classes left, I was well on my way to restoring books at the Library of Congress. Still, no matter how many books I’d read, nothing could prepare me for nights like tonight.
Sure limos, nice dresses, socialites, photographers, it all sounded like a great time, and maybe it was, but not for me. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find an appealing outfit for a size twelve, tall, curvy, twenty-three-year-old? Well I’ll tell you, it’s nearly impossible!
Sure there were things in my size, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was feeling exposed, and not in a good way—the bad way, like every-inch-of-fat-had-been-magnified-by-tight-fabric way. Even Gia, the fashion stylist in training, had a hard time finding me something to wear. It was mortifying.
I didn’t know what I was more worried about, falling on my ass or getting my picture taken. Oh, right. It was falling on my ass while getting my picture taken. I tried my hardest to get Gia to go in the side entrance, but clearly, I lost that battle.
Gia stepped out first, thankfully. The cameras were snapping away like crazy, but why wouldn’t they be? She looked like a movie star in her short gray dress and sparkling heels. Smiling at the cameras and swaying her long blonde hair, she posed like it was second nature to her.
Taking a deep breath, I closed my eyes. I could do this. Just get out of the car and don’t fall on your ass. With one last, quick prayer, I scooted over and let my foot glide out of the limo. Holding on tight to the door handle, I exited the limo and cautiously made my way over toward the sea of cameras. I clung tight to the shawl that was covering most of the red dress that I had finally found, after hours of shopping with Gia.
I stopped moving when the photographers started snapping a few pictures. Maybe they thought I was a lighter haired Kardashian or something. It didn’t take but a few seconds for them to find out I wasn’t.
“She’s nobody!” I heard one of the snakes say to his neighbor.
Knives, meet my heart…ouch! I wanted to run back to the limo or into the safety of the dark club, but I couldn’t move. I glanced over in Gia’s direction where she was using her hands to take off an invisible jacket. I guessed she was telling me to take my shawl off? I couldn’t help but think that this was a very stupid idea. And, of course, against my better judgment, I did it anyway.
I quickly un-wrapped the fabric. My long, wavy, brown hair fell against my bare back and exposed cleavage. The unseasonably, cool air brushed against my arms, making a chill run up my spine. This dress was perfect, practically made for me. It hit all my curves and pushed my boobs and ass up too. But most importantly, it flattened my stomach—magic!
The wall of cameras turns back to me. I guess they think I might be someone worth photographing after all.
“Red Dress—Red dress, can we get a name?”
I turned in the direction of the warm voice and felt the heat rise to my cheeks. Embarrassment? Flattery? I tried to make out the person calling to me as I scanned the wall of photographers. My eyes were instantly drawn to a handsome man with shaggy, sandy hair and muscular build. Well, I’d like to think it was muscles under the sweat shirt he had on. I squinted to get a better look but lost sight of him as the flashes went off.
“A name?” another man called.
“Elizabeth Monroe,” I answered back.