#fridayflash Trying On Life

“Does this make my butt look big?” Asked Lani.

Lani had her back to the dressing room mirror as she stuck her butt out and turned around to try and look at her derriere in the mirror. The green stretch pants wrapped her body and she looked at her shape and the fit, pleased with herself.

I giggled. Of course your butt looks big, I don’t know why you’re acting like you don’t know the answer to that.

“Yes” was all I said. I started scrolling through my email messages on my iphone while Lani continued to slowly shake her butt from side to side to get the full view of her more than ample hind part.

I have been with Lani all day as we hop from store to store trying on and buying tons of clothes. For her that is. I am there for advice and as a clothes rack.

“Sophie, hand me that yellow top. I’m going to see how it looks with these green pants” Said Lani.

I followed the arc of her hands to see what yellow shirt she was talking about.

“Lani, you have 3 different yellow shirts, which one do you want? I can’t read your mind you know” I replied.

Lani dropped her hands then placed them on her hips. She cocked her head to her right side and started at me with a look of disbelief on her face.

“Use your head girl, the yellow top with the green shimmer logo on the front. The Channel shirt dodo head.”

She rolled her eyes and turned back to the mirror.

Lani and I have been friends since 5th grade. We went to elementary, Middle School (As they call it now. I hear it use to be called Junior High School)High school and now college together.

“Shut up ” I said as I threw the shirt at her head. Before the shirt left my hands I glanced at the price.

“$425.00 Lani! Have you gone mad?”

Lani caught the thin canary yellow tank top in her right hand and began putting it over her head to put it on.

“Listen, I’m tired. I have no time to watch you try on clothes you couldn’t possible afford. That is unless you hit the lottery or something.”

Lani looked into the floor to ceiling mirror and ran her hand along her torso smoothing out any wrinkles that formed in her outfit.

I started at Lani waiting for an answer. Lani is up to her eyeballs in debt. She is the only college student I know who owes Victoria Secret alone over $10,000.00 and she’s only 20. Last year she was thinking of filing for bankruptcy because she started using credit cards to pay for the monthly minimum payments on her other credit cards.

Not that I’m so financially stable. I’m 20 also and I have debt mainly because I did not get any financial aid for college so I have to get loans and work to afford school. I work very hard at my job and at school. When I see Lani being stupid, it really gets me upset because If I had the chance to not have to work and go to school for free, I would do much better than Lani is doing with her chance.

“Not the lottery per se, but close.” said Lani. Looking over at me with a sly look on her face.

“Huh?”

“Do you remember when I told you I was going out to Club Mystic last weekend?” Asked Lani.

She started walking over to me with an animated look on her face. She looked like someone just gave her a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes for her birthday.

“Yea” I replied.

What has Lani gotten herself mixed up in now? God! she’s always doing this. Always flaunting her curvy body and her cute face with her long hair…

“Well I met the greatest guy EVER! His name’s Justin. He’s 6’3 with short curly hair. Light brown eyes and get this…FILTY F-ING RICH.” said Lani. Her voice rising higher than she intended it to.

I stared at Lani. Not knowing what to say, I said “Go On.”

Sitting down beside me, Lani continued as she gestured with her hands.

“So we really hit it off. We’ve been hanging out since then and things are going really good. This morning he gives me his credit card and tells me to go at it. He said if there is anything I want to get it and not to be shy and to have some fun.”

“Wow Lani….I’m speechless.

I just realized I still had my iphone in my hands and decided to put it away in my back pocket.

” Do you like him? What kind of guy is he?” I asked searching for something to say.

Gesturing with her arms again, Lani said “He’s really cool. He cares about me and is really nice to me. Plus he buys me anything I want, and must I remind you, He’s gorgeous. ”

Lani reached across me for a polka dot black and white halter dress and stood up to try it on.

Me, me, me. That’s all Lani thinks about. I don’t know what keeps me here as her friend. Is it the time that we have in together or maybe I don’t want to start over to find another friend. Whatever it is, she is really getting annoying.

“Lani..what do you think about him?” I asked as she wiggled out of the green skinny jeans and slinky top to slide on the dress.

“He’s ok.” replied Lani.

Looking at my watch I asked “So how much more things are you gonna get?”

I suddenly wanted to go home and take a nap. I had a few papers to write and didn’t feel up to this right now.

“As much as I can fit in my trunk” said Lani laughing.

The polka dot dress was thrown in the TAKE pile and Lani reached for another dress to try on. This time it was a blue spaghetti strap summer dress.

“Oh come on Lani, why do you always do that. It seems like you could have a good thing this time. Don’t mess it up” I said.

“Mess it up? How am I messing it up? Lani forgot about her reflection and met my eyes with a cold glare.

“Justin SAID I can get what I want. He specifically told me to not worry about any expense. He told me that. He gave me his credit card and it hasn’t declined yet today, and trust me I’ve been taking him at his word. What’s the problem. How can I mess it up if this is what he WANTS me to do? Why can’t you just be happy for me? ”

Lani straightened up with a look of recognition on her face and said “You know, now that I think about it, you’ve always been jealous of me..”

“Oh here we go..” I said. shaking me head as I got up to smooth out my yellow tank top.

“you know its true Sophie. Admit it. You’ve always been jealous of me.”

Lani went back to looking at herself in the mirror.

” Of my looks, of my boyfriends, now you are trying to tell me I shouldn’t..I shouldn’t..”

Lani turned to look at me.

“what exactly are you saying? What shouldn’t I do Sophie.. Oh genius Sophie, what shouldn’t I do? said Lani as she threw both her hands into the air.

I didn’t expect her to react so, I don’t know forceful. You never know with Lani.

“Well Just because You CAN Lani, does not mean you SHOULD.” I said.

“Why shouldn’t I. Listen, when someone gives you something, you take as much as you can get. That’s what my mother taught me and it’s served me well this far. If Justin’s open to give it to me, I”m smart enough to take it.” Said Lani.

“Lani, don’t you see. People who think like you end up ugly, old and broke with nothing to show for it. Maybe if your’re smarter about all of this you won’t be one of those people.

On second thought, forget it. Don’t listen to me. When you’re old,ugly and poor with nothing to show for it, I will be rich and successful. Looks won’t matter that much then. ” I said.

Lani looked away and went back to trying on more clothes without saying anything else.

For a second, I thought I saw a look of horror flash across Lani’s face. Or it might have just been a flicker of the lights in the dressing room.

Time will tell.

***(Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I’ve gotten rid of the last line but I haven’t had time to re do it and correct my grammer. My husband gave me some pointers so I will fix them. Thank you all again.)

Tell me what you think!
Chris Chartrand says:

You did a nice job capturing a friendship beginning to grow apart. I agree with others that it would be a stronger ending without the last line. Keep writing and keep posting to #fridayflash.

J. M. Strother says:

Excellent back and forth between the two characters. The dialog is very real, very believable.

I get kind of a sinister feel for Justin. I have to wonder what his ulterior motives are, if any. Maybe he's just a rich guy who likes to have a young babe on his arm, but I have my suspicions.

The piece also evokes a sense of loss, of friendship if not lost, at least waning. Sadly friends do drift apart, chasms develop driving them apart. I get a sense that this is happening in this piece. That is a universal experience anyone can relate to. Nice job.

There are several typos you should fix, but over all the writing vivid and crisp. And I love the title. They are both trying on life, and both finding it fits completely differently.

Sorry I'm so late in commenting.
~jon

Tomara Armstrong says:

This is a very familiar… I know many girls I could lump into Lani's role. I would like to see you take this a little further. I hope to see you next Friday 🙂
~2

Laura Eno says:

Yay! Your comment box is working now! 🙂 A belated welcome to #fridayflash, since I couldn't tell you that last week.

You've captured the essence of a sadly familiar tale for many young women. Greedy. Great story.

ganymeder says:

Yeah, aside from some grammatical mistakes or typos,you did an awesome job with the girls.

I agree that you summed it up perfectly before the last line.

Great job!

Netta says:

There are some good parts to this piece. You actually characterize both girls well.

What's missing (unless this is part of a bigger work) is a focus. I think you get close in the closing paragraph when there's a look of horror on Lani's face after talking about getting older and losing her looks. You don't need the last line, IMO.

Also, spelling, punctuation, and grammar are really important in flash fiction, because it's like wearing spandex. You can't hide a thing.

Keep writing!