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The Prom Dress
I squeezed into the crowded stands of the filled gymnasium.
“Move out of the way fatty’s coming through!” an obnoxious jock hollered. I turned to glare him down as he and his friends high fived.
“Ignore them Gabby,” Lilly said to me and gave me a hug when I sat down on the bench next to her. Lilly was probably the nicest girl in school and she was always flashing her brilliant smile. Every student in the whole school was gathered in the small stands in the gym and they were watching with anticipation. The principal stood at the far end of the gym holding up a white index card.
“And now the moment we've all been waiting for,” the principal announced into the microphone with his deep voice, “This year's prom queen. Please put your hands together for Ms. Lacey James!” Lacey popped out from the entrance on the opposite side of the room. Lacey was beautiful and her flaming red curls bobbed as she strutted down the long white floor. Her tiara twinkled in the bright stage lights beaming down at her. Her dress was hot pink and had thin spaghetti straps. Hundreds of red sequins were attached to the top that made her tan skin shine. The dress went down at the bottom in ruffles that curved around her legs. It was the same dress I had tried on the day we went shopping together. She knew I loved it, but it did not fit me. She wanted to try it on and of course it fit her. It was like the dress was made for her, it hugged every curve. I still remember her asking me if I liked it. I hated her for everything at that moment, but I smiled and said yes anyways.
“That’s my dress, we have the same dress,” I heard a girl named Victoria whine. The principal announced the students’ dismissal. Lacey scurried to the girls’ locker room as all the students swarmed out. I hide in the crowd then took a detour to the girls’ locker room. I arrived just as the door swung open and knocked my water bottle right out of my hand. It was Lacey; she did not notice and kept on running. I caught the door before it closed and threw the empty water bottle away. I knew this would be the ultimate revenge. I slyly opened the locker and took out the marvelous dress. I rolled it up into a ball and shoved it into my backpack. I took a quick glance around making sure no one was around to see me. It was perfect no one would ever suspect me because I was one of Lacey’s friends. I heard the dismissal bell ring so I sprinted to my locker.
“You're driving me home right?” Lilly pleaded sweetly to Lacey. Lilly looked almost exactly like Lacey except that she had pin straight, hazel colored hair. My hair was the same color, but mine was up in a ratty bun.
Hesitantly I butted in, “Me too!”
“Ugh, fine,” Lacey rolled her eyes, “but I have to go get my dress from the locker room.” I looked at Lilly and we giggled and followed her down the stairs. “Wait right here,” Lacey pointed at the spot, “I'll be right back.”
Lilly jumped backward and shrieked, “Aww sick, it's all wet in the hall.” She had stepped into the puddle from my water bottle.
Lacey burst through the door and clutched Lilly’s shoulders, “It's Gone! My dress, it's gone!” I looked down at the floor so I would not make any eye contact with Lacey.
“Oh Lacey, someone probably just moved it.” Lilly shrugged while shaking off excess water from her shoes.
Lacey gave Lilly a harder look in the eyes and spitted her words out, “No, the door was locked, nobody was allowed in!” She panicked, “Lilly that’s a five hundred dollar dress!”
“I don’t understand why you paid so much for a dress,” Lilly chuckled still not concerned, “Don’t worry I bet the principal put it somewhere to be safe.” I tried to concentrate on my breathing making sure it was nice and even. I had to try to play it off.
“Calm down Lacey, I’m sure you’ll find it but I have an eight hundred word paper due on Monday and so far I have five words.” I lied and folded my arms across my chest.
“It’s Friday, you have all weekend to work on it! I’m not leaving this school until I find my dress!” Lacey demanded and marched back up the staircase to the principal’s office. I almost slapped myself, what a stupid lie. I was out of breath by time we made it up to the principal’s office. It was no sweat for Lacey. She worked out every day to achieve her almost supermodel-like figure. “Principal Patterson! I can’t find my dress did you put it somewhere?” the words came out so fast from Lacey’s mouth Principal Patterson almost looked frightened.
Principal Patterson tried to seem concerned but I could tell he just barely had time to even talk to us, “No Lacey. I’m sure if you just take another look in the locker room there you’ll find it.”
“But…” Lacey tried to say
Principal Patterson cut it, “I’m a little busy right now, just go have another look.” He shooed us out the door. Tears formed in Lacey’s eyes.
“Aww Lacey, it really is missing?” Lilly said with a guilty look on her face. Lacey shook her heat without looking up. “We’re going to find it. Don’t worry. Now who could have taken it?” Lilly pondered.
Lacey choked back her tears, “Well, it has to be someone with a key to the locker room. Lilly began pacing in deep thought. There was no way they could be suspicious of me. I could see the light bulb pop up above Lilly’s head as she discovered her first suspect.
“I’ve got it! It has to be Patty. She’s on the swim team and she’s coaching the freshmen. So she has to have a key!” Lilly jumped. I had to make them think it was her.
“Not to mention she’s always been jealous of you.” I added slyly. Lilly glared at me. She was never mean to others.
In a low whisper Lilly added, “Well… and Lacey, you have to admit you’re not very nice to her.” Lacey completely ignored her comment.
“That little nerd, she doesn’t know what’s coming to her!” Lacey snarled. She squinted in a harsh way and stomped away.
“That’s what I mean.” Lilly whispered and rolled her eyes, but she knew Lacey could not hear her.
The pool was connected to the locker room. Lacey threw the doors open and took a quick glance around the room and then spotted her prey. She came down on Patty like a hawk catching a mouse. Patty was dripping water from the pool and she was standing by the edge of the pool talking to her teammates.
Lacey shoved Patty against the wall, stared into her eyes, and barked, “I know you took my dress now give it back.” Patty was stunned, she froze in terror. She tried to say something but instead sneezed all over Lacey.
“Eww you’re disgusting!” Lacey shrieked. Her jaw fell open as she was trying to shake all the germs off herself.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. What dress?” Patty questioned in a stuffy voice and tilted her head to one side. Trickles of water ran down her face. Her frazzled hair had snarls and her nose was all red.
Lacey cackled then went back to staring Patty down, “You took my prom dress that I was wearing at the assembly today!”
“Look Lacey, I couldn’t have taken your dress considering I didn’t come to school today. I was sick. My mom drove me here so I could coach swim practice.” Patty exclaimed. Her irritated facial expression made me laugh. I did not realize how hard Lacey would crack down on Patty, but it did make me a little scared.
“Yeah but you could have taken if before you came to practice.” Lacey went back to her interrogating.
Patty immediately shot back, “Except that I just got here ten minutes ago to let the girls in for practice!” The girls behind her in the pool all shook their heads to confirm her alibi. Lacey got out of her malicious pose and realized she had been defeated.
“Her story checks out Lacey,” Lilly used her sweet voice and reached for her back to pat it, “There are still plenty of places it could be.”
“That makes me feel better.” Lacey pouted. I had to come up with more suspects.
Quickly I came out from behind Lilly and explained, “I bet Victoria took it. She was complaining the whole assembly about how you bought the same dress as her.” Lacey’s face became vicious again and I guessed it worked.
“Well why didn’t you say that sooner!” Lacey said like an insult. Lacey was always like that, putting me down like I was below her. Again, Lacey set off at cheetah speed to find Victoria. Victoria was head of the student council and they had a meeting every day after school. Back up the stairs we went. I couldn’t run up these stairs anymore, this would be my last suspect I would tell Lacey. Lacey burst open the door of room 136, which interrupted Victoria in front of about thirty people she had been speaking to.
“What?” Victoria said in a stern voice under her breath.
“I need to have a word with you. Could you come outside?” Lacey said innocently, but I could see the fire burning inside of her. Victoria was one of those people who was born to be a CEO of a big corporation. She wore black heels, a black blazer, and a gray skirt as if she was going to work. Her dirty blond hair was pulled back into a tight bun, and she had an agitated look on her face. Once Victoria closed the door behind her, Lacey went back to her “bad cop” role. “So…” Lacey said casually and then more fiercely, “You decided to take my prom dress, well I want it back!”
“Why would I take your dress if I already have the same one. I don’t need two of them.” Victoria said as if she were talking to an unintelligent five year old.
Lacey grinned and said, “That’s exactly my point. You just don’t want me to come to prom wearing the same dress as you. Well you can go buy a different one!” Victoria rolled her eyes. This sent Lacey over the edge and she put all her might into pushing Vitoria into the door. It made a loud thud and shortly after, a few faces appeared in the narrow window of the door.
“Ow! What’s your problem? I didn’t take your dress!” Victoria roared lifting herself off the door.
“Yes you did. You’re the only one with a motive!” Lacey screeched, “Being the leader of student council you have a key, and after school, you took your key and snuck into the girl’s locker room, where you knew my dress would be. You stole it out of my locker and shoved it in the back of your car making it back just in time for your meeting before anyone would notice.” Lacey put emphasizes on her analysis and leaned back to wait for a confession.
“Hmm… good try.” Victoria laughed. She quietly opened the door and signaled the teacher over. “Mr. Baker is it not true that immediately after sixth period ended I helped you organize your papers and throw out your old junk?” Lacey smirked proving her point. Mr. Baker blushed from being embarrassed by Victoria’s words.
“Why yes that is true. I’m sorry were you girls looking for her?” Mr. Baker timidly asked. Lacey frowned and shook her head.
Lilly turned to him and chirped, “No sir, we were just wondering where she was.”
“Now if you would let me get back to my meeting.” Vitoria snarled and threw the door in our faces. Lilly and I both looked sympathetically at Lacey. I knew this had gotten to Lacey and she had, had enough of being wrong.
“I just want to go home. Let’s go.” Lacey sulked. This time her pace was much slower as we walked to her car. I felted some satisfaction. It was like I was winning. I finally crushed her spirits like she had been doing to me throughout the years.
To cover everything up I shouted, “We can go to my house!” Without a word Lacey turned down my street and pulled into my drive way. I looked at my backpack and suddenly remembered the dress stuffed in it. I pushed through Lacey and Lilly to get to my room.
“Whoa what’s the deal Gabby?” I heard Lilly call. I slammed the door shut and locked it. The door knob jiggled, “Gabby, let us in.” Lilly insisted. I tore open my backpack and retrieved the dress.
“Uh just one second.” I shouted because I could not think of any excuse. I covered the dress in a bag and threw it in the back of my closet. Out of breath I opened the door and put on a fake smile, “Sorry come in.”
“Ha, you would clean your room at the last second by shoving everything under the bed.” Lilly laughed through the doorway. Why did I not think of that. I let out a hesitant chuckle.
“What is this?” Lacey questioned. She bent down and picked up a small red sequin off the floor. “It’s just like the one from my dress.” Lacey gazed at my backpack to see it had suddenly become half the size it was. She thrust open the door to my closet.
“No!” I screamed. I tried to beat her there. I searched my mind of the thoughts of what could happen. Lacey was there before my ripping things out of my closet. She whipped out the bag and poured out her prom dress. I froze; it felt like death was coming for me.
Lacey stared at the dress and smiled, but then a confused look came on her face, “Gabby what gives?” I kicked the floor, I had no excuses.
I took a deep breath and put on the same interrogating face that Lacey used, “You know Lacey; you can’t have everything in the world. You’re always Miss Perfect. You knew I loved that dress when I tried it on. I didn’t fit me, but of course you had to try it on, and it fit you no problem. When you came out of the dressing room you looked flawless. It got to me when I realized how badly I needed to look better than you… be better than you. The only way was to take your dress so you would have nothing. So you could feel how I feel for once.”
Lacey’s eyes seemed to pop out of her skull, “I… I don’t understand Gabby, I thought we were friends. How did you even get the dress out of the locker room?”
“Well I guess we’re not friends. It was easy; you didn’t even notice me catch the door as you left. You should have locked the locker. I took your dress and shoved it in my backpack, you were too stupid to even notice.” I said evilly. For the first time Lacey actually looked scared of me. I felt so powerful.
Lilly hissed, “Come on Lacey, let’s go.” I heard them chatting with my mom and then the door shut. Then I heard the engine of Lacey’s car start.
“Gabby! You get your butt down here this instance young lady!” My mom screamed from downstairs. I hadn’t thought about any consequences. I went down the staircase to see my mom sitting on a stool in the kitchen. She was tapping her nails on the marble counter. She signaled me over with one finger. Now I was going to get it.