On The Outskirts Of The Gang

Rosa is a pretty, self-conscious girl who wants to be cool. She's a bit afraid of Jessica, the most popular person in the entire year. As she clings on at the edge of Jessica's gang, she notices things that slowly make her realise that there is something odd going on...


6. Saturday 27th September (later)

Phew! That was tiring. We were there for four hours, not counting the time we spent in a restaurant having lunch (the food was utterly delicious). Everyone bought at least one new outfit.

I was glad that I'd taken so much money - £50 pounds I'd got. I wasn't expecting to spend it all, and I didn't; there was £1.50 left. We went into pretty much every clothes, accessories, music or shoe shop in Ravenfield Mall.

As I expected, Jessica and Felicity looked fabulous in every outfit they tried on. In fact, they were so amazing that we couldn't bear to let them leave without a single one of them. They had a lot of money to spend, though; they had about £150 each!

Hattie and Imogen really got into it as well. They bought two outfits each, both matching the other person's in everything but colour. Imogen tended to go for kind of berry-style shades, while Hattie was more into monochrome, as well as greens and blues. Also, the two of them picked out a lot of things from HMV.

Each one of those four bought a pair of stilettos.

Katya surprised me by being very into girly clothes, opting for pastel colours and cute tops with designs marked out in gold swirly lines. At school, she was always very glamorous, with a clingy skirt and her hair in a high ponytail. It was really nice to see more of her own style and personality. Her choices all really suited her. As for her shoe preferences, she bought a pair of lilac ballet pumps.

Then there was me. At first, I wasn't sure whether I should pick out much because I was worried what they would think. However, the gang - led by Katya - encouraged and prompted me until I gave in. I tried on quite a few pretty tops, and one dress that I decided in the end that I wouldn't wear. I had to tear myself away from it, mind you.

Eventually, after many failed attempts at choosing something that I would actually use, I gave in.

"Come on!" Jessica said. "I know, we'll chose an outfit for you!"

"That's a great idea!" I replied. I knew they would find me something good. They all have great taste and always look cool.

When they had found a set they all liked, I went into a changing room to try it on. I turned to look in the mirror.

What I saw amazed me. There stood a girl wearing a green cardigan, which matched her sparkling green eyes. She had on a white polo shirt with a tiny black heart logo just over where the centre of her real heart would be. It was tucked into a black high-waisted skirt, but not one of the silly ones with massive pockets. On her legs were thin black tights leading down to the black pumps that were on her dainty feet. She had a perfect figure, and her face seemed like it was from one of those flattering portraits that artists way back used to produce to please rich aristocrats. It didn't seem real how her lips were just the right shade of pink. This face was framed by her gorgeous glossy black hair, gently wavy, that went  to about where the skirt started.

I blinked. It felt like I was in a dream. Could this beauty really be me?

"Are you ready yet, Rosa?" Katya called. I had completely forgotten about them. I pushed back the curtain and went out to show them.

They made me feel so good. It was obvious that I had to buy every single piece of that outfit. So I did.

I didn't realise before that I was pretty. I guess everyone just picks out the things that are bad about themselves. What a thing to miss, though!

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