Tuesday, 18 July 2017
SHORT STORY #9: I Have The Dress (Chapter Seven)
#9: I Have The Dress
Chapter Seven: I Have The Dress
The dreaded… no, the highly anticipated day had finally arrived!
Rui Lee broke out into a cold sweat. She shuffled her feet and fidgeted nervously with her fingers. Then she gingerly set the plastic bag with her folded dress in it on a table, hurrying to the toilet for the zillionth time. Footsteps thumped and microphones boomed where the other classes were performing frontstage. Her heart raced like a UFO travelling by time warp, as she thought yet again why in the world did they have to be the last class to perform.
As she came out of the toilet, she saw Aliya admiring her dress. Her thoughts returned to the day Kimberly gushed at her dress, her burst of anger on impulse, her recoil from the itchy, frilly laces. She thought about her silly attempts at becoming a princess, like her mother had seemed to so badly want, but which Rui Lee turned out to have misunderstood. As Aliya held the dress up high, its iridescent sequins glinting in the backstage’s dim light, she pondered on how she had fulfilled everything Snow White was: kind towards animals---yes, she had loved the little sparrow from the bottom of her heart; being who she was, by having animal friends instead of human friends, living alone, never mind whoever thought her weird behind her back---yes, in Rui Lee’s case it was finding herself in creating a whole new world with words, despite her friends’ isolation. But there was something, something more that Snow White had in that book, something Rui Lee had left out…
Rui Lee wiped her wet hands on her school pinafore. She’d need to change into her dress soon. Her eyes were all wavery and nervous as she glanced briefly at Aliya. Aliya gave her a warm smile, which subdued her jumpy anxieties just a teeny bit.
“Your dress,” said Aliya. “It’s really sweet.”
Immediately, Rui Lee readied herself to fire back at Aliya, spit some ugly curses on that thing. Despite everything, Rui Lee wasn’t ready to give in to frilly yellow gowns yet. However, unlike Kimberly, Aliya didn’t go all overboard in praising the ‘undefinable beauty’ of the dress. Rui Lee instantly took a liking towards Aliya’s natural calm, her ability to express her feelings while being aware of the limits.
“Yuck, yuck, yuck. Hate that thing.” Rui Lee finally still mumbled. She wasn’t ready to throw away her reputation. She wasn’t going to do anything that would make Aliya even think twice about her detestation for dresses. Aliya laughed, cheerfully and freely.
Leaning against the table, Rui Lee and Aliya listened in silence for a while.
“…could feel the pea under all those mattresses. The prince rejoiced, because he had finally found his true princess.”
Rui Lee smiled. She knew better what a real princess was.
“Would you like me to touch up your makeup?” Aliya asked.
Disgusting graffiti, Rui Lee thought. Out loud she said, “Yes, please. That would be perfect.” She held her nose up high and narrowed her eyes as she said this. Then it dawned on her. Although she didn’t and definitely wouldn’t admit it, she knew deep inside that this was her mud. Her faults. That was what she had left out. Ever the reputation upholder and haughty queen, if only to cover her insecurities.
That was okay. To be perfect, you had to have flaws.
Aliya didn’t mind Rui Lee’s show off tone one bit. True princesses aside, every school play princess needs to put on some airs. Princess Red Leaves surely was a natural. Aliya giggled again, and took out her mother’s brushes and face powders that they could only bring on this very special day, so very excited to be Rui Lee’s make up girl. If Rui Lee was the high-and-mighty princess, Aliya was the sophisticated and bubbly one.
As Aliya gently combed Rui Lee’s hair now, Rui Lee’s thoughts had already flown elsewhere. Perhaps she could really have a human friend, after all. Two princesses. Two friends.
“Done.” Aliya grinned widely, looking at Rui Lee’s perfect face. You look gorgeous! Now, it’s time for you to change into your fancy dress.” Aliya teased.
“Uggghh! Tell me again, Aliya, why I have to do this.” Rui Lee waved her hands around in mock infuriation.
“Because you’re a natural,” Aliya laughed, “And because you have the dress.”
In the washroom, Rui Lee looked at herself in the washroom mirror. She had to say that Aliya had done quite a good job with the disgusting graffiti. Finally, Rui Lee saw the world of things that define a true princess. She hadn’t put on the dress yet, but she knew she was already wearing it. With good values and yet with faults. That defines a princess, and yet still defines you.
I have the dress.
Yes, I do.
I really, really hope you enjoyed my story! This is my longest attempt at a story yet. Please leave your comments on my story. Any form of critique on any aspect of my writing is very highly appreciated! Thank you.