The Other C-Word(2)

By: MK Schiller

Stupid cat.

“I have to go pick up the consultant.” Stevie knew about him. We called him the consultant because I had no idea what his name was. Everything was supposed to be top secret, but my best friend Dillon worked with me and always had the good gossip. It was Dillon that had found out the guy was some sort of business guru and had apparently saved many companies in crisis.

“Seriously, Marley? Are you wearing that?” Of course, Stevie would ask this question. We were as close as two sisters could be, but our fashion senses differed greatly. I liked to wear comfortable—what Stevie referred to as ‘boyish’—clothes. My wardrobe mostly consisted of flannel shirts, jeans and T-shirts.

“What’s wrong with it?” I asked, assessing my khakis and plaid button-down shirt.

“Do you want him to think you’re a slob?”

“I look fine. I’m in the dress code.”

Stevie rolled her eyes, “So? Don’t you want to impress him? Maybe he won’t be so quick to fire you then.”

“Stevie, my days are numbered either way.”

“Dress up…just this once.” Her voice got sing-songy as she uttered the next words, “I’ll let you borrow my Louboutins.”

My mouth dropped open. Okay, I’ll admit I’m a twenty-five-year-old tomboy, but I’m still a girl at heart. I liked to dress up occasionally and look good, usually in Stevie’s clothes. She was very generous with her wardrobe, and we had identical body types. She was, however, prickly when it came to her designer stilettos. A chance to wear Louboutins made my mouth water just a little.

“Deal, but I have to hurry. I’m already going to be late.”

We ran into Stevie’s room, an area of orderliness, which contrasted drastically with my den of chaos. She went to her closet and handed me a slim-line black skirt, a fitted jacket and a pale pink shell top. She placed the shoes on top, somewhat reverently.

“Pink, really?”

“Pink is perfect. It was practically made for your crazy shade of blonde hair and those pale blue eyes.”

“This is a little much, Stevie. Why can’t I just wear the shoes?”

“You’re kidding right? You want to wear my Louboutins with that outfit? Are you trying to insult the great Christian Louboutin himself?”

I looked down at the pile in my arms doubtfully. “I don’t have any pantyhose,” I replied in weak protest.

“Want to borrow some?”

“Yuck, I’m not borrowing your pantyhose. I know you don’t wear panties with them.”

Stevie put her finger under her chin in deep contemplation, as if she was trying to solve the economic problems of a third-world country. She suddenly smiled and snapped her fingers at me. “Do you remember that garter belt and hose set I got you for your birthday?”

I grimaced. “You mean the gag gift?”

“No, you idiot, it was a real gift. Wear those. It’ll be fabulous.”

I thought about arguing, but Stevie looked determined and I was already running late. I ran into my room and assembled myself in an amazing fifteen minutes. Stevie ran blush and eye shadow across my face, despite my protests. I had already put makeup on, but apparently it was too light. When I finally looked in the mirror, I had to admit I was impressed. The outfit was snug enough to hug my curves perfectly without being too tight or short. I pulled my hair up to twist it into a knot, but before I could fasten it, Stevie grasped my hand.

“Your hair is so pretty. Don’t hide it,” she commanded, smoothing out my locks. I didn’t quite agree with her sentiment. I had thick, shoulder-length blondish hair that some people referred to as ‘dirty blonde’. It was like, five colours, really. People asked me if I had highlights all the time, but my hair was naturally uncommitted to a certain colour. I stared into the mirror, allowing myself a brief moment of admiration. I was no siren, but the pouty lips and long eyelashes inherited from my mother provided a subtle sexiness. I would call Stevie classically beautiful, whereas I was cute in that tomboy kind of way. Growing up, some boys had said I was prettier than Stevie—I guess in the same way guys prefer Jennifer Aniston to Angelina Jolie…not Brad Pitt mind you, but some guys. We never fought about it, though. It was never a competition, especially since I wasn’t very interested in charming the opposite sex.

“I don’t know about this, Stevie. I think I’m overdoing it. I don’t want this guy to think the company sent an escort to pick him up.”

She rolled her eyes. “You look totally professional, not slutty. Seriously, Marley, professional doesn’t mean matronly. You’re a pretty girl. Don’t be afraid to show off what your mama gave you.”

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