When she received the invitation, Laura was surprised… Ally hadn’t spoken to her in a couple of months; her latest foray into high end society had brought her back changed and somehow Laura didn’t fit in her life anymore. Who could have known that her mother’s second marriage would influence her this way? She’d insisted she hated her stepfather.
It was a good thing though if their relationship improved. Laura believed that. Maybe that was why Ally hadn’t been so close these past few months. And maybe she felt bad about it: after all they’d been best friends since kindergarten. Still Laura didn’t want to embarrass her friend; she couldn’t go to the party in one of her usual outfits. The invitation just said “dress to impress” and nothing she owned fitted the bill.
She took what pocket money she’d saved since Christmas; she might as well find a dress she could wear again for prom. She spent hours trying to find something nice and classy, not one of these dresses that look cheap. So it was a bit pricier than she’d anticipated but she found a dress she’d gladly wear more than once.
Laura asked for her mother to help her with make-up and to dress her hair, which she was delighted to do.
“Finally, I was wondering when you would ask.”
“It’s a one time thing mom.”
“I hope not.”
“Something simple ok?”
Her mother shrugged and did exactly how she wanted: a bit more flamboyant than Laura would have liked but not overdone.
Laura drove to the party at 3pm as requested on the invitation. She was surprised to find that there were a lot of people already; in fact the place was packed. And there was a service of valet parking; the man who picked her keys looked dubiously at her old fiat. It clashed in the middle of Mercedes and other high end cars but that was what she could afford. She was lucky to have a car even.
She carefully walked the gravel path to the main house. The party was well under way she noticed from the noise. Was she late? She looked down at the card again; it was 3pm. Oh well… She knocked on the door and a butler opened. Ally had a butler. Wow! Well Ally’s stepfather had a butler. He looked down at the invitation and let her in, directing her to the veranda where the hostess would be.
When Laura entered the room people turned. She suddenly blushed; she was late. But… Ally stood in the middle of the veranda with a glass of wine or champagne, looking gorgeous in a satin dramatic dress. She turned as silence filled the room. When she saw her, Ally’s face dropped into a pout.
“You made it. How disappointing.”
Laura’s heart sunk, as the crowd laughed. Ally’s lips curved into a smile, a cruel one.
“This my friends is someone who can’t take a hint.”
Stunned Laura stammered, showing the invitation.
“But you invited me. I don’t understand.”
Ally’s laughter resounded in the veranda.
“I said ‘dress to impress’ stupid, something you couldn’t do even if Karl Lagerfeld took you by the hand. And didn’t you notice that the party was under way. It was a hint you were given the wrong time. Oh my God, you’re so pathetic.”
As people started laughing again, Laura’s world turned red. Then blurry. She whipped around and ran back down the gravel path. The valet grumbled that he’d only just parked the car but got it out when he saw how distressed she was. Tears blinding her, Laura started her car to drive the way back home. She never made it.
In response to the Deviant Art Flash Fiction Month July 7th 2017 prompt
Prompt: “You made it. How disappointing.”