Nova rolled her eyes and grabbed most of her shoe rack, adding them to the pile of clothes she had created and began to sort everything out over the rail of her lofted bed. Finally, she stepped back to look at the seven or so outfits she’d created and turned towards us. “Discussion time.” Inwardly, I groaned. As much as I loved Nova, her method of shopping and getting dressed often got on my nerves. Whenever we went out shopping together, she’d debate the pros and cons of each clothing piece with herself.
Needless to say, Nova wasn’t the best impulse shopper. Really, impulse anything just wasn’t her style.
“I kind of like this one,” I said halfheartedly, pointing at one of the outfits Nova had lain out in front of us. It was about knee length, with a classic fifties style cut and a high boat neck. Instantly, Simon responded by making a face.
“It’s too housewife for your style. I love you, Boo, but you just can’t pull of the fifties look.”
“What about this one?” Nova asked, holding a two piece outfit out by the shirt. I didn’t mind that as much as some of the others, because it seemed to cover up a lot more of me than anything else might.
“And what do you call this style?” Simon asked snippily, rolling his eyes at Nova as though he couldn’t believe she actually made that suggestion. “Slutty flight attendant?” He shrugged. “Sorry, but a vest and a skirt? Do you want him to see you as a member of the mile-high club?”
“I’m sorry, but do you have anything positive to contribute?” asked Nova, frowning. “At least I’m making an effort. You’re just being negative as always.” She leaned over and pushed her fingers against his chest.
He mirrored his frown and narrowed his eyes at her. Uh-oh. I could see where this was heading. As he opened his mouth to say something nasty back to her, I grabbed his arm and dug my fingernails into his skin. “Hey, Simon, what do you think I should wear?”
He turned away from Nova and scanned the outfits. He pulled a pair of shoes off of a pair of pants and snagged a dress from another set, leaving the shawl that Nova had paired it with behind. “This is your thing, Boo. It’ll look gorgeous.” As quickly as I could, I shimmied into the dress behind the Chinese screen that Nova reserved especially for outfit changes. It was asymmetrically cut, baring my entire right arm while the sole sleeve ran down to my left wrist. White silk fabric with muted blush lace covering overtop; it clung tightly to my thighs and made it slightly more difficult for me to walk out from behind the screen.
Nova nodded slowly as I turned in a circle for her and glanced in the full length mirror on the back of her closet door. It was…really short. Wow. “Be careful how you sit and try not to rip the lace,” Nova said, crossing her legs and sitting down in her computer chair.
“Do I want to know how much this thing costs?” I asked as Simon pulled me down next to him onto the couch so that he could buckle in the strappy heels he’d chosen for me. Nova thought for a minute and shook her head as Simon’s deft hands moved around my ankles, working with the buckles faster than I would have. As he finished, he pushed me so I was standing up and grinned.
“I like the full effect,” he said thoughtfully. “Although you should probably wear that all home, so you get used to the feeling of it.”
“I agree, but there is no way she’s getting on the bus wearing that,” Nova sighed. “Take my car. I’m not going to go anywhere tonight.” She tossed the keys at me and I caught them easily with one hand, grinning pleasantly at the reflexes that being a cyborg had awarded me. It had become easier to forget that I was different, easier to slip away from it, but the thought was never fully out of my mind.
My phone alarm chimed, signaling that it was time for my afternoon pills and I frowned. “I need to head out if I’m going to make it back to the house in time to finish getting ready. Nova, I’ll see you tomorrow for breakfast and Simon, I’ll see you…well, I’ll just see you later, I guess.”
“Yeah, you know it, Boo,” he said, rolling his eyes as he picked up yet another fashion magazine. “Now go. You have someone to look nice for. Embrace it.”