• Chapter 1:
    Start at the Beginning
    Hi, I’m Nicole. I have an important, but yet sad, story to tell you. It’s about me and my best friend Elizabeth. And her boyfriend, because every story has to have a little romance!
    If we’re going to start, let’s start at the very beginning. It was early spring, about April. Elizabeth and I were talking about the upcoming Prom…
    “Oh, Nicole! That’s gorgeously breathtaking! I’m speechless! Where did you find that?”
    “Just Dress Shoppe. It’s nothing special, really. You are always full of compliments! But anyway, now you show me your dress.”
    “But I…”
    “No excuses! Hey Lizzie girl, we’re friends aren’t we? I’ll just be giving my thoughts! Don’t you trust me?”
    “Well yeah, but I really don’t like the way it sits on me.”
    “Too bad! Bring it on!”
    “Ok, fine. Here it is. Isn’t it pretty?”
    It was a long sleeved, black, silky dress with a layered bottom. I wasn’t quite sure what to say. Elizabeth had never been the “black” sort of girl. She had always been the “light blue” kind of a kid.
    “I, I don’t know what to say! It’s definitely not what I was expecting”
    She looked crestfallen. I immediately regretted what I had said.
    "No, it’s not ugly, no! It’s just, well, just not what I thought it would be. You get what I’m saying? I still like it.”
    Now she just looked a bit confused, and so did I.
    “Yeah, I get you. You just had me thinking you hated the dress. But now I get it!”
    “Ok good! Now lets try them on!” I said, eager to change the subject.
    “No! I mean, shouldn’t we keep it secret? You know, as a surprise?” she looked absolutely petrified to just try on a dress! I didn’t know how to react to this stunning discovery I had just made. I thought of all the times we had played dress up, and she was always the one to ask if we could play it in the first place. What was up with her?
    “Are you feeling okay?” I asked, full of concern.
    “What? Oh, yeah, I’m…fine. Yes, fine.” She sure didn’t look fine.
    “Okay, I’ll let you get by this time. It’s a beautiful dress, by the way.”
    She grinned. “Thanks Michelle. I love when we keep secrets!”
    “Finally,” I thought, “she’s back to her old self.”

    But who was this “new self” and what was I going to do with it?