“Valerie, are you planning to actually go to the prom, or should we move it to your bedroom?”
It was my mom calling from the hallway below. I took one last look at myself in the full-length mirror, and I could hardly believe what I was seeing. My shiny pink satin dress had a ruched bodice and a floor-length full skirt, under which was a hooped petticoat. Even more exciting was the enormous bow on the back that covered most of my rear end. It was the most beautiful dress I had ever worn, and, as my mom liked to remind me, the most expensive.
“I’m coming,” I yelled back, smiling at myself, for once glad I had listened to her advice on the perfect prom dress. I couldn’t wait for Kit to see it.
At the top of the stairs I began my descent, but got only to the first step before I stopped abruptly. At the bottom stood two guys—Kit’s date, Larry, and my date, a boy called Teddy who I hardly knew (but he was cute, and so I’d jumped at the chance when he asked me to prom). Between them was my mom, looking proud as she took her Kodak Instamatic out of her pocket and began her clicking. Next to my mother stood Kit.
Kit! Her dress—oh, her dress! Where to begin . . . Okay, it was gold. A shiny, glimmering fabric that hugged her slim body and was held up by two thin gold chains over her shoulders. It was short, above-her-knees short, and on her feet were strappy gold sandals with the highest heels I had ever seen her wear. Were we even going to the same prom? Mine apparently was taking place on a Southern plantation, whereas hers was in Las Vegas.
“You look very pretty, honey,” I heard my dad say when I reached the bottom step.
“Do your best to ditch Charo,” my mom whispered, when she came to me for a close-up.
But I couldn’t stop looking at Kit, who I now noticed was also wearing gold gloves. Up to her elbows. Note to self: never let your mother pick your prom dress, unless of course your mother is Kit’s mother and she takes you to Frederick’s of Hollywood.
“How’re things back in Tara, Miz Scarlett?” Kit, the golden Bond girl, whispered into my ear as we headed out the front door to the Cadillac Fleetwood parked in the street. But before I could respond, she added, “Don’t worry; I’ve got scissors in my purse. That bow has got to go.”
I couldn’t wait for her to get out her golden shears and start snipping.