I could feel my pulse throbbing through the fingers that were wrapped around the H&M bag like my life depended on it. Adrenaline fueled my power walk across the mall and I had to work to keep the smile from spreading across my face.
This was what falling in love felt like.
I finally owned the knit miniskirt of my dreams. I had fallen unconditionally in love when I spotted it on the rack and I could hardly get to the dressing room fast enough to try it on. It was yellow with black lace over top. Black and yellow were my signature colors, and half of my clothes included some kind of lace embellishment. It was perfect. There was a reason I hadn't owned a knit miniskirt, a college girl closet staple, before I had found this gem: this was the one that was waiting for me, and it was flawless.
I had allotted myself exactly an hour at the mall, from the time I sped into the parking lot to the moment I had to exit whatever store I was in so I could make it to work on time. My time was quickly ticking away as I combed through the racks of Forever 21 with lightning speed. I was 3/4 of the way through the store when I pulled out my phone to do a time check, and I saw a missed call on the screen and a voicemail waiting for me. Andrew Kang.
I sighed, and quickly snatched a navy knit empire dress that had caught my eye, and I bolted to the dressing room. Voicemails made me nervous, if someone really really had something to say they left a voicemail, and if it wasn't important people don't bother. I was running through worst-case scenarios as I started to try on a scarf-print skirt: someone's in the hospital, the truth about Ian came out, plane crash...
The skirt was too short, I needed a medium for the length but I didn't have time to grab another size. I yanked on the navy dress and, my worry getting the best of me, I checked the voicemail.
"Hey Kaitlyn, it's Andrew, give me a call back when you get this."
I don't know if it was possible to leave a more specific voicemail as to the nature of one's call.
I sighed again, and redialed. This dress wasn't working for me, I thought as the phone rang.
"Hey, what's up?" I said instantly.
"How are you?"
I rolled my eyes. Obviously everyone was alive if he wasn't cutting right to the chase.
"Want to go out tonight?"
"What are you planning on doing?" I said, trying to keep the sarcasm out of my tone.
"Well it's Jen's last weekend in Livonia-"
That's right. My best friend was leaving later in the week to go away to school.
"So we were thinking of going out to that club, Elektricity, where Ian works on Sundays-"
I had heard far too much about Elektricity. Ian worked there on Sunday nights for the radio station he worked for, and either he was telling me to come out or texting me while on the job telling me that I needed to come out sometime. It was 18 and up, so I could get in, but a Sunday night party isn't conducive to someone who had an 8:30am Monday chemistry lecture. But this was my one last weekend of summer before I had to embrace 8:00am Monday calc III...
"Who's going?" I asked, checking the time quickly.
"You, if you can, me, Jen, and Marcell."
"Solid, I'm in," I said quickly, "I'm working until close, and we close at 9 so I'll be done by 10pm hopefully, 10:30 at the latest," I began swapping the empire dress for the floral skater dress I had come here in. My time was up.
Kang was giving me some not-set-in-stone details as I began to rush backwards through the store. I didn't fall in love with anything enough to buy it, but I still had the amazing skirt and my earlier Sephora purchases to keep me happy.
As soon as I was on the highway I dialed Jen.
"Jen, I'm freaking out."
"Wait, what? Why?"
"Clubbing tonight?" I anxiously looked at the clock, "I'm on my way back from the mall and I was going to go straight to work, but now I've got to stop home and grab stuff for after work, can I come over to your house and get ready?"
"Yeah, I was just about to tell you to, I'll be done with work by 8."
"And I'm closing so maybe like 10? I seriously can not become aware of these plans at a little after 3pm when I have to work at 4. I haven't touched my hair since I got out of the shower before church and I'm just wearing foundation, you know that when I go out after work I come to work prepared! I'm not at all prepared!" I ranted.
"I'm on my lunch break, so I'm eating, but I'm still listening," Jen said through a mouthful of something.
"That's fine, I just need to vent for a second. Kang left me that dumb 'call me when you get this' voicemail, which could mean someone's dying, or hey, let's go get tacos! I hate that voicemail! I was worrying something was wrong so I called back when I was in the dressing room and now I'm racing home like a mad person, and I don't even know what I'm going to wear! Isn't Elektricity all glow-y and shit? I don't own anything glow-y for going out! Everything is black! Black dresses, black skirts, black tops..." I was having a minor fashion panic attack.
Even Jen couldn't call me down. This was a crisis.
Hours later, I was unloading the contents of my Victoria's Secret tote onto Jen's bed, "So I brought the peplum dress," I unfolded a black dress, "I brought my shorts, a couple tops," I set out my favorite black high-waisted short shorts, a grey sequin tank, a black lace trapeze tank, and a white tank with the names of cities printed in black, and a black peplum top, "Plus I've got my beauty of a new skirt," I unfolded the lace skirt from its' bag, "and two pairs of flats, and heels."
Most of Jen's clothes were packed for school, so she was going in a cheetah-printed day dress. If she wasn't doing neon, I sure as hell wasn't.
"You look good," Jen's brother Andrew nodded his approval as I poked my head out of Jen's room, wearing my new skirt with my black peplum top and black glittery platforms.
With my hair in a messy, rockstar ponytail, I looked mildly hot.
Then Ian called.
And cue the costume change. He said we had to wear neon.
So my black shorts were paired with the white tank. The white tank was slightly sheer and I wore a hot pink bra underneath. In elegant hot pink letters, the shirt said 'I Love' and below in black 'New York, Paris, London, Tokyo." I had already worn this outfit out once already, and with so many awesome going-out outfits, I hated being a repeat offender. But this was as close to neon as my going-out wardrobe got. I favored the dark and the dramatic.
As we parked across the street from the club, we spotted Ian waiting for us outside. I was instantly glad I was wearing my heels. They were a confidence boost in addition to a couple extra inches.
Ian got us in for free and as soon was I entered I cringed. Neon and glow-y was code for trashy in far too many girl's minds. I found myself instantly thankful for my Audrey Hepburn-esq wardrobe.
But I was dancing either way. It was a Sunday night and I was clubbing. Yolo.
As the night came to a close, there was something weighing on my mind. Ian had hardly seemed to acknowledge my existence, short of buying me and Jen shots, and nearly getting us on the radio. I wasn't sure how I felt about that, but there was a tiny part of me that almost didn't care.
I had just danced my ass off, with several hot guys, plus Jen, and Kang, and Marcell. I couldn't recall a Sunday night that had ever been that much fun.