It was about five blocks to Roz's house so she set out in the warm fall air. She was excited to see what Roz would do with her make-over, but she was also a bit afraid. As long as she had known Roz she knew she was unique.
"So what exactly are you going to do?" Brynn asked Roz.
"Brynn, please have some faith," Roz said sitting her down in a chair.
"I do have faith. It's just wavering right now."
"Don't worry," Roz said. "You'll love it."
Brynn settled in the chair and sighed. "Do you think this is stupid?" She asked.
"Why would it be stupid?" Roz asked coming around to pick up a brush.
"I mean, to do this...all for a boy?"
Roz smiled at Brynn and went to pick up some bobby pins. "No," she said plainly.
Brynn smiled too and sat up straighter. "Well, at least I'll have you there," she said.
"Um...Brynn," Roz said as she lowered her hands from Brynn's head. "Maybe I should tell you something."
"What?" Brynn asked feeling a sinking feeling form in her stomach.
"Brent kinda asked me to go to Homecoming with him."
"What!" Brynn spun around in her chair to stare at Roz. "You're going with Brent. They whole reason I agreed to go is because you wanted me to come with you, and now you're going with Brent."
Roz put on a guilty face and tried to spin Brynn back around. "Look, I'll still be with you," she said continuing to work on Brynn's hair.
Brynn sighed and folded her arms. "I guess," she said. She picked at the edge of her shirt where they seam was coming undone. "So you and Brent, huh?"
"Uh...yeah," Roz said with a guilty voice.
"Well...I guess I can at least be happy for you," Brynn said putting on a smile.
"How kind of you," Roz joked.
It seemed like hours later that the chopping and hacking on Brynn's head stopped. "Are you done?" Brynn asked cautiously.
"With that," Roz said plainly.
"What do you mean 'with that'?"
"C'mon, we have to find something for you to wear." Roz pulled Brynn out of the chair and led her towards her room. She left Brynn standing by the piano and went straight to the closet.
"If I forget later," Brynn said watching Roz throw things from her closet. "...thank you."
Roz looked back at Brynn and smiled. "No problem. This is what friends are for."
Brynn couldn't help but smile. Roz continued to dig as Brynn stood awkwardly aside. She didn't want to make any sudden movement to ruin her new hair, which she hadn't even seen yet.
"Yes!" Roz said suddenly making Brynn jump. "I found it," she announced appearing out from the closet. Roz walked over to Brynn presenting her find. It was a gorgeous long white dress. The top was strapless with beads on the edge. It fitted tightly around the waist before spreading out at the bottom. The bottom must have had ten layers and thin silk cloth that had designs of small flowers on them.
"It's gorgeous," Brynn gushed too afraid to touch it.
"Try it on," Roz said happily presenting it to Brynn.
"No, I couldn't," Brynn stuttered trying to back away.
"Brynn, try it on," Roz said a little more forcefully. Brynn looked up at Roz who had a serious look on her face.
"Okay," Brynn said taking the dress and beaming.
Brynn stepped out of the bathroom picking up the long dress so she could walk. "What do you think?" She asked cautiously as Roz gazed at her.
"Wow," Roz gasped.
"What?" Brynn asked worried. Was that a good gasp? A bad one?
"C'mere," Roz said pulling Brynn in front of the full length mirror in the hall.
Brynn looked at herself gazing back at her. It didn't look like her at all. First of all her normal frizzy hair was now sleek and shiny pulled back in an elegant bun. Against the white dress her skin no longer looked pale and cheeky, but tan and bronze. Roz had applied dark eye make-up that made her green eyes pop out. Also Brynn noticed that with the make-up Roz had applied you could hardly see her freckles.
"I'm good," Roz said complimenting herself behind Brynn.
Brynn walked home carefully carrying Roz's dress in her arms. She was so excited. She looked great, thanks to Roz, and tonight was going to be wonderful. Brendon was going to finally notice her, and all her problems would be gone.
She walked into the house opening the door with care and holding the dress like it was glass. She planned to run up to her room quickly before anyone noticed she was back. That way no one would ask any questions about the dress, or her new look.
Cher and Clair had spotted Brynn as soon as she had walked into the door. They shot up from the couch sooner than Brynn could slip by.
"What do you got?" Cher asked quickly snatching the dress from Brynn's hands.
"And what did you do to your hair?" Clair inquired picking at Brynn's hair.
"Stop it," Brynn pleaded trying to grab the dress back.
"Girls, what is going on?" Zoe said coming to the foyer to expect the ruckus.
"Mother, look what Brynn stole," Cher chimed in first presenting the dress to Zoe.
"And look what she's done to herself," Clair put in.
Zoe looked at the dress that Cher was holding and then glanced at Brynn. She held an expressionless face without speaking. "Girls, go do you homework," Zoe ordered.
"But we have none."
"I don't care, go!"
Clair and Cher were gone up the stairs in a flash, but Brynn saw them crouch by the top of the stairs intent to hear what was to be said.
"Where did you get this Brynn?" Zoe asked.
"From a friend," Brynn answered. "She let me borrow it tonight for the dance."
Zoe walked closer to Brynn and sneered at her. "I don't know what shocks me more," she said examining her. "...that you actually have a friend or that you actually think you're going to this dance."
Brynn's mouth dropped. How could she be so cruel? "Why can't I go?" She asked somehow finding courage. "Clair and Cher get to."
"Clair and Cher did not lie to me today," Zoe shot back. "You have to learn Brynn Darling," Zoe went on putting emphasize on her name. "...that while you live with me you will obey me."
Brynn felt the sting of tears. She wouldn't allow herself to cry in front of Zoe. That is exactly what she wanted.
"Now, go to your room," she ordered walking away with the dress in her hands.
Brynn felt the tears start running as she raced up the steps. She shoved Clair and Cher out of the way and ran to her room. She slammed the door behind her and fell onto her bed. Why was her dad doing this to her? He had left her here all alone with her! Brynn felt Max lick her fingers pleading to be petted. Brynn sat up off her bed and wiped her face as Max came to sit by her.
"It's okay Max," she sighed.