“Kimberly Bailey if you win this damn beauty pageant I’m gonna kill you!” I said bursting into the high school dressing room.
The girls laughed. They had spent weeks trying to convince me to enter while I tried to convince them that it was degrading. Kim was in the top five. We were supposed to be at the party hours ago.
“I won’t win,” she said.
She had on a fitted, blue floor-length gown. Her hair hung down her back in perfect loose curls. She was stunning. “Holy crap, you’re gonna win,” I said, beaten.
I waited in the back of the theater as the girls glided on to the stage. Finally, Kim won. Despite my convictions I cheered. They handed her roses, cameras flashed, confetti fell from the rafters. It was ridiculous.
“Get me out of here,” she mouthed. I yanked the fire alarm.
The campus police evacuated the building. We walked across the parking lot, the smell of gardenias in the southern summer air, the sound of fire engines in the distance. Me probably in cut offs, Doc Martins, and a Pixies t-shirt. Kim in her gown, tiara, and tiny flecks of confetti sparkling in her hair.