Rummaging through my wardrobe, I long to find something I can wear for the party, the party my friend's have been intent on planning for my Birthday. All I can find are plain dresses, which Sophia claims are 'too boring'. So what I'm not the kind of girl who enjoys dressing up. I wish they'd just let me wear jeans and a top.
As if reading my mind, Sophia goes, "You need something fancy. It's your eighteenth, not some little kid's birthday party."
And the fact is, I know she's right. I just can't will myself to step out of the house to go shopping with my friends - something I absolutely dread doing.
"Becca, please, just this once go shopping with us." April pipes up, from beside Sophia. She sounds so exasperated, like she's going to give up persuading me after this last sentence.
"Please?" Sophia adds, "For us?"
I feel myself rolling my eyes again, sighing. "Fine. I'll go. But if we don't find a dress in a hour I'm leaving."
Sophia and April exchange a meaningful glance before saying in unison, "Sure."
"Okay, so we'll have your party at my house, because it's bigger. Sophia can create the group on Facebook so people know. April will sort out the food. Oh, and Sophia don't forget to mention that everyone needs to bring alcohol." Chloe chats on for Britain, clearly the party planner of us all.
"Great." I feel myself playing along to their plans, something they've been so excited about since I actually agreed to have a proper house party. Why did I even do that?
"In here." April calls out, suddenly. The four of us dart into the shop to our right. We're on the trip for my dress and so far, we've found absolutely nothing, although Chloe has persuaded me into buying some heels, which I'm still doubting I can actually walk in.
Walking along the rails, I admire the dresses along the rack. The dresses that look beautiful, sequinned and sparkled and everything pretty. The dresses that would never belong to me. They belong to them - the three girls who are in the corner squabbling over a bright red mini-dress. My three friends.
"I think this would look good on me for the party, don't you think?" Chloe suggests, snatching it off April and holding it up against her in the mirror.
April pulls it out of her grip. "We're looking for Becca's dress, not yours."
Walking over to them, I wonder why the hell I decided to go shopping in the first place. Yes, maybe just with April would have been cope-able, but all three of them?
"This shop sucks; there's nothing that suits Becca." April states bluntly, turning on her heel.
"That could be because dresses don't suit me altogether," I point out, but all I get in return is a stuck out tongue and two 'are you kidding me' glares.
I follow my friends out the door, and eventually into a million more shops down the high street. People roam everywhere, bags swinging from the joint of their arm, money swept off their cards like it was hardly there in the first place. Except for me. I walk around bag-less, still searching for the perfect dress - the perfect dress that probably never actually exists. I'm just about to claim that an hour is up and that I'm leaving, when April says that this will be our final shop. Thank goodness for my best friend, who knows not to push me too far on shopping.
We walk into the shop stating '50% sale' on the front, thinking that we might get a good quality but affordable dress. My friends scatter about, immediately searching aisle after aisle, whilst I roam aimlessly, barely glimpsing at the dresses on the lines. I feel my body giving up on dress-hunting now; there is no way I will ever find what I'm supposedly looking for.
"Need any help there?" I hear a voice call over from the till.
I look up, expectantly, hoping that they're not some stupid salesman that wants to force me into buying a dress, but instead I lock eyes with someone else. And I almost faint with shock.