The apartment was silent, and devoid of movement, save for the lone she-wolf who sat on the couch, scribbling away in a notebook. Every so often, she would stop to take a sip of tea, or read what she wrote, but continued writing. That however, didn’t prevent her from shutting her notebook close when she sensed her chameleon roommate sneak up from behind.
“Good Morning, Vanessa. You’re up early.”
“Darn!” Vanessa replied “how did you know I was there?”
“I know your scent, dear. It’s kind of a mammal thing.”
“Snakes can sense things too…” Vanessa mumbled
“But they taste the air.” Zoey said, shifting in her seat “Besides, I know you well enough to know when you’re sneaking up on me. Try harder next time.” Vanessa only pouted
“So when are you going to show me what you’re writing?” Vanessa said, grabbing the remote, taking a seat on the recliner
“When the time is right.” Zoey replied
“You said that to me months ago.”
“Well, these kind of things are like wine, it takes time to refine it and make it good.”
“You’re just afraid I’m going to say your story sucks, aren’t you?” Zoey only scoffed
“As if!” Zoey crossed her arms and legs, turning to the side. “…I know that you’ll read the first three sentences at best, before you hand my book back to me. People don’t like to read.” Vanessa’s expression softened, as she frowned, reading Zoey’s body language
“…Not everybody hates reading, you know.”
“…” Zoey turned her ears toward her, slowly raising an eyebrow “…anyway, do you remember what today is?”
“No… wait, yes! It’s-”
“Date night with Cecil~” Zoey sang “Come on, might as well start the day since you’re up.” Zoey sprang off the couch, taking her notebook with her. “What do you want to eat? I’ll cook today.”
Vanessa put their dishes in the sink. Turning around, she saw Zoey starting at her with the most eager expression. Her bushy tail swished from side to side in a slow, steady rhythm, and her smile was so wide, her teeth nearly showed.
“What?” Vanessa said, nearly laughing
“I’d never thought I’d see the day you’d go on a date!” Zoey said “My baby grew up so fast!” she gushed, wiping an imaginary tear
“You sound more excited than me. Are you sure this isn’t your date?”
“I’m just happy for you, Vanessa. You’re blossoming” Zoey said stretching out her arms for effect “…You aren’t such a wallflower anymore; you know? Before recently I could barely even talk to you without you looking at me like you expected me to swallow you whole.”
“I… have?” Vanessa suddenly found herself feeling ashamed, unable to look at Zoey
“Yeah… but I’m glad that I stuck to my guns.” Zoey nodded. Vanessa smiled, meeting Zoey’s eyes
“…I’m glad that you did as well.”
“Well, now that we ate, what do you say we get you ready for today?”
“What did you have in mind?”
“Well…” Zoey said, getting up from her seat “…we could pick out a nice outfit, some shoes, and do your hair… how do you feel about getting your makeup done as well?” Vanessa grimaced, rubbing her arm
“Um… I’m okay with everything else, but I don’t know about accessories and makeup.” Vanessa said, following Zoey
“Have you ever tried it before?”
“No, not really. I just…” Zoey’s ears leaned forward in interest
“…I’ll give it a try.”
“Alright. We don’t have to use it if you feel uncomfortable. Just give it a try, and see if you like it or not.” Vanessa nodded, and several minutes later, the two stood in front of Vanessa’s bed, staring at her wardrobe “… is this really all you have?”
“…I guess… what’s wrong with my clothes?”
“Nothing, it’s just… um… very casual and plain.” Zoey’s eyes flicked around the T-shirts, jeans, and the rare shorts, and the even rarer single skirt. “Do you have any tank tops, crotchet or lace tops?”
“No.” Zoey put her hand on her hips
“…Alright, here’s what we’ll do… we’ll take a quick trip to the shopping center and find you a nice outfit for tonight. We can change up your wardrobe a bit later.”
“Don’t worry, it won’t take so long.”
“I’m surprised that you like that dress as well.” Zoey said, as the two came back to the apartment “I wasn’t sure you’d be comfortable wearing it.”
“Well it was pretty nice in design, and I like the colors.” Vanessa admitted
“Alright, so now we just mess around with your hair and make-up, and then we’ll take a break.”
Zoey began to fish out a few magazines, placing them in front of Vanessa
“If you find anything you like, let me know, and I’ll see what I can do.” Vanessa nodded, and Zoey left the room to search for other things. Vanessa flipped through the magazines, looking at the various colors and styles the models wore. “Did you find anything?” Zoey asked, eventually returning with a makeup, brush, and comb set.
“How do you think this would look on me?” Vanessa asked, pointing at a photo
“…Excellent choice. I think that would look wonderful on you.”
Zoey wasted no time experimenting on Vanessa’s hair and make-up. Once Zoey had decided how she’d replicate the picture, she sat Vanessa down after playing some music.
“This may take a while, but I’ll try to get this stuff done as quickly as I can.” With the precision of a surgeon, Zoey set to work on Vanessa’s makeup. Both Vanessa and Zoey were silent, except for the occasional “Look up at the ceiling”, or “Gently close your eyes.” Zoey would tell Vanessa to look to one side, or glance back at the magazine.
“Alright, I’m done!” Zoey picked up the mirror from beside her “Do like what you see?” Vanessa was speechless as she gazed at the mirror
“Who… is this?”
“Vanessa Bridges, silly! Who else?”
Vanessa stared at her reflection, still astounded at her transformation. This wasn’t the Vanessa she saw every morning. This Vanessa had lovely golden eyes that appeared from dark, long lashes. She had sharp eyes, and angular features that she normally didn’t notice staring back at her. She was… mesmerizing… enchanting. “Okay, narcissus.” Zoey chuckled, snatching the mirror away. “I want to fix your hair up before you gawk at yourself forever.” Vanessa only chuckled before she straightened up, letting Zoey work on her hair.
Vanessa stared at herself in shock. Now dressed in the black and orange dress that she and Zoey picked out, Vanessa couldn’t help but stare at her reflection.
“I figured you didn’t really need to do much for your hair, but it’s braided in the back, while still leaving it down. I figured that looked fine on you.” Zoey spoke up
“Wow.” Was all Vanessa said “I look so… pretty.”
“I prefer using the term beautiful, if you ask me.” Zoey shrugged. Vanessa turned to Zoey
“Zoey…” Zoey’s eyes widened in shock.
“Are you okay, Vanessa? …Your colors are changing, and your eyes are big and shiny…” Vanessa pulled Zoey into a tight hug
“Thank you so much, Zoey! Thank you!” Zoey’s expression changed from shock to a soft smile
“…You’re welcome. Anytime, Vanessa.” The she-wolf responded, patting the chameleon’s back. “No more crying, even in joy, okay?” Zoey asked, breaking the hug. “You’ll smear your makeup that way.” She handed Vanessa a tissue “Just gently pat your skin.” Vanessa nodded, doing as she was told.
Zoey parked her car, turning the stereo’s volume down
“This is it, my friend.” She said, turning to Vanessa “Your first date with Cecil. Remember what I’ve said about the mints, but just keep in mind that you’re trying to have fun alright? You aren’t marrying the guy.” Vanessa whimpered in response
“Why couldn’t we go on a group date? You always suggested that with Janet.”
“Jenkins is different. She needs a wingman. You on the other hand, I trust you enough not to screw things up. Besides, I’ll be at the cafe nearby. Just give me a call if something goes bad, or if you need anything.”
“Well, next time- if there is one; you bring your boyfriend too, okay?”
“…” Zoey lowered her sunglasses to reveal that she blinked, once, several times.
“Well? Will you?”
“No, I can’t.”
“You can’t, or you won’t?” Vanessa demanded
“I can’t.” Zoey shrugged “I don’t have one.” Vanessa gasped in shock
“Why would I joke about something like that?”
“Well, you always seemed like-”
“No, no.” Zoey interrupted, wagging her finger “Today is not about me, it’s about you. Let’s talk about that later. Close the door, won’t you? Go have fun.” Vanessa hesitantly nodded, closing the door behind her. She quickly waved, before walking away. Once Vanessa confirmed that she met Cecil through a text, Zoey drove away to her own destination.
As she drove away, Vanessa’s reaction replayed in Zoey’s mind “Well, you always seemed like-”
“Like what, Vanessa?” Zoey thought “I’m not always that outgoing!” she chuckled.
To be continued...