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“Good morning sunshine” . I wake up the next morning to the smiling face of my roommate Serena.
“It’s Saturday” I groan and snuggle deeper under my covers. “Why are you even up?” The beautiful Serena spends her nights as a shot girl/ Go-Go dancer/ whatever hot girls can get paid to do at bars at the same restaurant and lounge I waitress at during the day .I don’t really see much of her around the house as she is either sleeping or at school during daylight hours. “Oscar filled me in on your date, aren’t you excited?” I could feel her petite frame shake the bed as she jumped up and down around me like a 4 year old on a sugar high.
“Oscar needs to mind his damn business” I grumble from my blanket cocoon. Serena immediately stopped her bouncing and plops down beside me.
“I hope Oscar didn’t talk you into something you didn’t want to do”
I roll onto my stomach wriggle my head out from the covers and look up into her wide grey eyes. “It’s not like I don’t WANT to ..it’s just that it has been a while since the whole “James” incident and I don’t know if I’m up to getting let down again.”
James Fey was the love of my then 21 year old life. We had dated since my freshman year of college and I had thought we would always be together. Well , that all changed when I caught him cheating only two weeks after he gave me the cheapest engagement ring in the free world. To be fair I had loved that ring with the almost nonexistent diamond chip, and I’m sure whoever finds it in its final resting place at the bottom of the Hudson River will love it too.
“That was almost two years ago . James was an asshole. You trusted him to be your forever and he fucked it up NOT you . What’s wrong with trying out something different?. Ryan Lochte seems like the total opposite of James and it could be just what you need.”
I thought of Ryan with his bright eyes, and easy smile. “You’re right. Ryan looks fun and I do need to let my hair down a little”
“Yay!” Serena grabs me into a big embrace “I can’t wait to help you get ready! He’s not going to know what hit him”
“Cool” I smile , warming to the idea . “I get off work at five so we have plenty of time to work your magic”
When I got back home that afternoon my room looked like it was hit by an Oscar sized tornado. My normally neat room was a sea of Clothes and shoes, some of which I was not even sure was my own. I closed my eyes and took a few big cleansing breath; In through the mouth, out through the nose. “Oscar?” I call out sweetly, Pleased that my voice carried no hint of the irritation I could feel building inside
“ Aviv ! Darling, don’t mind the mess.” I jump back as an object flew out of my closet, narrowly escaping being beamed in the head by a black high heel. Oscar poked his blond head out from in my walk in closet. “Serena and I were just pulling some options for you to wear on your date”
“hmmnn, so you want me to go in my Catwoman costume?” I said as I picked up the pieces of last Halloweens outfit off the floor”.
“No” Oscar said forlornly. “I couldn’t find the whip. Anyway Serena is in her room pulling out some options and you need to get your ass in the shower. We have some serious work to do”.
“Yes, sir ! “ I said giving him a mock salute and turning toward my bathroom.
“And Aviva, do us all a favor and do some maintenance while you are in there”
I turn back at Oscar, confused. “What?”
“I know its been a real long time for you girl so I got the weed whacker all gassed for you outside. Ya know… so you can take care of what sure is a monstrosity around your lady parts” Oscar makes a sweep gesture across his nether region and looks at me pointedly.
“ugggh!” I give Oscar another salute (this time using only my middle finger) and flounce into the bathroom.
As the afternoon faded into early evening I had experienced more torture in the name of beauty then I had had in the whole past year. I had been plucked, buffed and fluffed until I had begged for mercy; only being granted a reprieve when I locked myself in the bathroom and threatened not to leave. It was now approaching 7:30 and I was standing in front of my full length mirror clad only in a new dark purple lace bra and panty set that Oscar took upon himself to buy from Victoria’s Secret while I was at work . It was hard to look in the mirror and not see the formally chubby girl who’s fiancé cheated on her. After two years of running and learning not to eat my feelings I finally had a body I was proud of. I would never have the naturally lithe and slender body of Serena but I was happy with my toned curves.
“So, you guys realize that I have to wear more than this on the date right?’’ I said, cutting in to the heated debate that Serena and Oscar was having on if a skirt, shorts or tight jeans was the right choice to show off my long legs.
“yeah , yeah , yeah “ Oscar said shoving a pair tiny tailored shorts and patterned tights at me while throwing Serena a dirty look . “ We need to cover up that bandage on your ankle but still show off what your daddy gave ya”
I couldn’t help the snort that escaped. My dad’s side of the family was full of women that possessed natural video model style curves and my mom ..Well, athletic was the word to best describe her compact frame.
At 7:59 I was pulling on a black cardigan over a navy, corset style top that I had borrowed from Serena. I turned around as I heard a choked sob behind me. I turned around only to be assaulted by the flashing lights of Serena’s Nikon camera.
“My baby …she’s all grown up.”
“Oscar, you’re being ridiculous” I laughed, walking over to the blond man and shaking him gently before pulling him and Serena in for a group hug.
“I just want you to be happy”. Oscar sniffled, pulling away to wipe a big crocodile tear from his face.
I was about to go on a rant about how I didn’t need a man to be happy when the doorbell rang off in the distance.
“Don’t worry A, I will take care of him” Serena said pushing me in the direction of the stairs. “You have an amazing time”
I could hear Oscar yelling “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” as I reached the front door . I smiled to myself thinking that doing what Oscar WOULD do could get a girl in some serious trouble. I smoothed down my newly Straightened locks before opening the door.
“ Hey , you’re right on time” I smiled greeting a nervous looking Ryan.
“ You look great” He smiled . “I got something for you” I was presented with the most beautiful roses I have ever seen and a Big white box with a yellow bow on it .
“Wow, these are beautiful but you really didn’t have to get me anything .” I say confused as held the box and flowers awkwardly.
“I just saw something earlier and thought of you” Ryan flashed his dimples at me and ducked his head shyly.
“Come in for a sec and I will put these flowers in some water” . While walking with Ryan to the kitchen I look up to see a flash of blond and red hair duck down behind the second floor railing. “Nosey bastards” I mutter as I walk into the kitchen.
“Did you say something?”
“Nope”I say innocently as I grab a vase from the cupboard and start filling it in the sink
“Wow, these paintings are amazing” I look over to see Ryan admiring the series of paintings of an older woman cooking with a small child that adorned the far wall.
“Do you really like that ? Because actually painted it in high school” I say while settling the roses in their vase.
“No shit!, you like a prodigy or something?” Ryan turns to me with wide blue eyes.
“Ha! Prodigies get paid. I’m just a girl who likes to paint”
“You should though … get paid. These are really amazing, I mean I love to draw but I could never do that.” Ryan exclaimed, smiling broadly.
I turn to grab his present off the counter, eager to change the subject. It had been quite sometime since anyone had shown so much interest in my work and I was torn between wanting to preen under the accolades and running from the room in embarrassment.
“Thank you, Ryan. I’m super excited to see what’s in this box” I said, shaking it like a kid on Christmas. I gently unwrap the bow and put it to the side before open the box with a flourish.
I look up at Ryan and start laughing as I pull out a professional first aid kit.
He chuckles and said “I didn’t know if you would be offended …I’d hoped that you would have found it funny”
“Of course I’m not offended and it’s a very sweet gift .I’m sure I will probably need to open it before the night is over.”
“I will do my best not to injure you tonight.” I feel My cheeks redden slightly under his intense stare and I clear my throat and reply with a squeak “I’m sure you won’t ”