Alli’s tan hands carefully hovered over what seemed like dozens containers of makeup. Tubes of mascara, lipstick, lip balm, lip stain, cases of eye shadow, foundation, and blush with a few sticks of eyeliner thrown in littered the top of the small wooden desk. Every single item of makeup she’d acquired within the last couple of years had been pulled out of the various drawers they’d been tucked away in. As soon as the final bell of the day chimed Alli had hurried home to get ready for her hang out with Julian. Luckily, Mr. and Mrs. Bhandari were both working late tonight. She could just imagine the stream of never ending questions they’d be spitting out at her if they were there. “Alliah, where are you going? Why are you so dressed up? Who is this Julian fellow and why haven’t we met him before?” Laughing quietly, Alli applied one last brush of mascara with a swift flick of her wrist. A quick glance at her clock told her that Julian would be there any minute. She made her way over to the full length mirror in the corner and checked herself for any last minute imperfections that needed fixing.
Her dark brown hair was curled gently; the waves framing her face. Since she still had no idea where they were going she had to do some guess work with her outfit. “Dress up a little” both intrigued and confused Alli. Finally she ended up settling upon a hot pink and black sundress with a bright floral pattern on it. Paired with black heels and black jewelry it was definitely fancier than she would ever dare to dress for school. Not that she had that option anymore, the disgusting khaki and colored polo uniform was still in place. Frowning, she grabbed a piece of hair that was sticking it out and carefully moved it back into the correct place. Wherever Julian was taking her, Alli was determined to look as close to perfection as possible. The very thought of him made Alli blush. Her stomach twisted itself into knots, and she assumed this is what people must mean when they said they had butterflies in their stomach. Julian made her feel nervous, giddy, giggly, excited and safe all at once. Ever since the night of the carnival she hadn’t been able to keep her mind off of him. When she was bored in Perino’s class she often found her mind wandering to memories of that night. The way their hands had fit together naturally, as if they had been made for each other. The temperature must’ve dropped dramatically during the short time they were there but he’d still insisted on wrapping his coat around her shoulders. It was like a scene out of a cheesy romantic movies; the ones that were usually hidden favorites of hers.
There was no doubt in her mind that they’d both felt something that night. Yet their second hang out at the Dot had seemed a bit strained at first. It was as if Julian wasn’t all there. As much as he tried to hide it, his mind was definitely preoccupied with other thoughts. Alli had gone home after and reread their conversations from the days before and replayed their…whatever it was, over and over again in her head trying to find that small mistake she’d committed that had him so distracted. Eventually she’d given up and had taken the fact that he’d asked her to go on this mystery outing with him was a good sign. Over thinking the situation would only make matters worse. A firm knock pulled Alli from her jumbled thoughts and she felt her pulse quicken with excitement. Grabbing her black bag from her bed she jogged down the stairs to answer the door before Jenna or KC could answer it first. Inhaling deeply, she gripped the brass doorknob and opened the door. After taking in the boy standing before her, Alli found herself grinning automatically, “Hi. I’m ready if you’re ready.”