''Too plain,'' Dimitri mutters before shaking his head, disagreeing to the plain black dress I'm wearing. My eyes wander down to the sleeveless dress as I turn to look in the mirror, seeing how the dress fits onto my body perfectly well but it also appears as if I'm going to a funeral.
''I look fairer though,'' I reply, looking sideways.
''Wrong. Men prefer tanned women,'' He says which causes me to raise an eyebrow at him before looking at my other best friend, seemingly occupied with his phone.
''If you think that I dress up for men, you're wrong. I dress up for myself,'' My right hand is on my hip before looking at Dimitri after squinting my eyes, causing him to walk towards me, arms crossed; standing tall due to the differences of our heights.
He leans forward, ''Do you think men dress up for women? No, no, no, we dress up for ourselves too. We just somehow . . . attract them at the same time. Look around, women are obviously staring at me because I'm just too beautiful,'' He pretends to flip his hair.
''Wow! Excuse me? You're far from beautiful,'' I poke onto his chest which causes him to raise an eyebrow at me before taking a few steps back. Our eyes are having a war of their own, glaring and staring deeply with the amount of pressure radiating. ''It's me who is beautiful,'' I add, cockily pulling onto the hair-tie off my hair, letting them fall down.
Both of his eyes are looking down at my hair before frowning, ''Is that strawberry or is it apple? You still use fruity-scented shampoos? Dude, you're twenty-six . . . grow up.'' He flicks my hair on my shoulder which causes them to fall onto my back, making me stand on my tiptoes.
Dimitri and I always have an argument because it's a part of our friendship. We have different opinions on something . . . disagreements everywhere in everything. Even something as simple as an ice cream flavour can cause us to argue for an hour, straight. It's no doubt that this current argument can break the record.
Then again, no matter how much we argue, we would always have each other's back. I'd still look at him with the same amount of care for him as a friend—enjoying other stuffs together and neglecting our arguments. Maybe, it's because he's pretty much a savage.
He speaks what he wants to speak, saying words without even thinking how much it would affect someone . . . especially me but after knowing him for almost six years now, it's just who he is and I have to accept that. He may be annoying and a little childish sometimes but deep down, I know how much he loves and care for me. Just as I feel towards him.
That's one of the reasons why we're BFFs.
I lean closer towards him, ''You judge me because I use fruity-scented shampoos when you are still using the same scented cologne I bought you for your birthday, four years ago! Don't let me remind you . . . just how many girls you've gotten in bed with that cologne. Thanks to my sense of smell,'' My lips curve up into a smile at my respond, seeing him clenching his jaw.
To my surprise, he takes off his coat before throwing it onto the ground, ''You know what? When I get home, I'm going to burn that cologne. It's going to be gone,'' He replies, making me pretend to be upset by pouting and draw a fake tear dripping down from my eyes using my index finger, leaving him groaning.
''Boo!'' I keep on poking onto his body as he tries to protect himself from further attacks as he grabs onto my waist, picking me up onto his shoulder—letting me let out a scream.
My scream ends up turning into laughters as he spins us around, in a slow pace. I keep on pounding onto his back—not bothered by the stares we're receiving due to our childish behaviour. For once, I actually take it back when I said he's the only one acting like a child because I'm included.
''What are you guys doing?'' Aidan asks, immediately bringing us back into reality as he drops me onto the ground. I try to balance myself, looking up at Aidan who stands in between us with a confused look on his face.
Then, he looks down at me, ''What are you wearing?''
I raise an eyebrow, ''You mean my perfume? Oh, it's called Bombshell by Victoria Secret. I'm sure you've heard of it before because I wouldn't stop rambling about how much I love the heavenly smell,'' I reply and he begins to look at me, more confused.
''I meant your dress,'' He replies.
Both of his brown eyes are looking directly at me before taking a few seconds to gaze down onto the black dress I'm wearing, his expression changing into something that shows just how much he dislikes the dress. I stand still, letting his eyes wander down my body.
''Come here,'' He calls out for me to follow him and I do as told, after sticking my tongue out at Dimitri who quickly responds back by doing the same. Just as I turn to look at Aidan, I am left immediately stopping my steps . . . seconds before I can bump into him.
We are standing near the promoter, ''Yes, Mr. Ashton. How can I help you?'' She asks, her lips are curving up into a smile at both of us.
Funny, Dimitri was the one who had rejected any helps from the workers here and now, we actually need them or this whole shopping thing can turn out into a disaster. Honestly, Aidan's sense of style is way better than Dimitri's . . . when it comes to women's clothing.
Maybe, because I've brainwashed him enough when we were younger. He has always been my shopping pal, including his sister, Mia. The three of us would go shopping and he's be the one suggesting which one's the better outfit. He has never failed, though.
''Take her measurements. I want you to give her the best dresses you've got and I want to see her when she's ready,'' Aidan replies, his voice is much more deeper than usually. It's weird to see him behaving this way—more serious, professional because he's the complete opposite when he's with me.
Sometimes, it makes me wonder just why would his employees ever call him the devil. Yes, I've seen him get mad and it was not a good experience but he has always been a sweetheart to me. No matter how stressed or annoyed he might be, he'd always give in to what I ask. At times, I've forgotten just how much he has given in for a friend like me.
We've had heated arguments before but I'd rather lose everything else than losing him as my friend. He has seen me through my worst and there's nobody else who can replace him.
''I'll be there when you're done,'' He leans before whispering in my ear. Then, he starts to walk back towards Dimitri who is currently talking to one of the women, there—making them laugh at his flirty personality, instantly leaving me rolling my eyes.
''Follow me, miss.'' The promoter says and I quickly follow behind her to different colours and designs of dresses, leaving me staring in awe. It has been awhile since I've actually went out looking for nice clothes and it feels calming, for once.
Just as I'm about to ask her about what kind of dresses she has in mind, I am left speechless at the amount of dresses she has already picked out before placing them slowly on the sofa in the dressing room. From dresses that would cover up my entire body and down to more of the cleavage revealing dresses, they all seem to appeal in anyone's eyes.
''Where do you want to start?'' She asks, smiling.
My lips curve up into a smile before pointing out at the dress in the middle and she is already helping me with the dress after tying my hair up into a messy bun—making the whole dressing up a lot easier.
I step out of the dressing room, slowly in the sleeveless dark purple dress which ends down to my toes before standing in front of my two best friends. Dimitri's eyes widen as he eyes my dress, showing how much he likes the dress while Aidan just stares blankly at me—making me furrow my eyebrows, trying to find if there's anything wrong with it.
''Is it not okay?'' I ask, my voice low.
''No, no. I like it,'' Dimitri replies, giving me a thumbs up which causes me to smile. He smiles back before nudging Aidan on the shoulder, trying to make him say something but he does nothing . . . only eyeing my face after gazing down the dress for a couple of seconds.
''I don't,'' He finally responds and I keep on looking at him, waiting for him to say something more. Dimitri frowns at him before looking back at me and trying to find the flaws of this dress but he's completely left with none. ''Don't you think it's a little bit too much, here?'' He adds, pointing at his chest, gesturing towards mine.
There's no denying the fact, this dress reveals quite a lot of cleavage but other than that, it appears to be the perfect dress. I continue to look at Aidan who takes a step forward towards me, eyeing my face, ''I'm not saying that this dress is not beautiful on you because it is but all I'm saying is that . . . it's a family gathering and it would be a lot more appropriate if you wear a different dress,'' He says, leaving me nod my head and smile up at him.
He smiles back, ''You can keep the dress but choose a different one to the gathering. How does that sound?'' He asks, lifting my chin up before gesturing for me to get back inside the dressing room in which I just do as told, slowly getting out of the dress once I'm inside.
My eyes wander at the dresses before sighing, not really knowing which one to choose when there's a plenty of them in front of me. The promoter clears her throat, ''Actually . . . there's this one dress. I think it might suit you very well and it might also impress him,'' She walks towards the back, leaving me turn to look in the mirror, once more.
After a couple of minutes, my eyes widen at the dress she is holding. A long rose gold dress which would fit perfectly onto my body, showing off the right amount of curves as it covers my chest and it's also a long-sleeved dress but what makes it more appealing is the back. The dress screams perfection in every way as it is backless, attracting attention.
''Let's give it a try,'' She says.
After staring at myself in the mirror, I quickly peek through the door, seeing Aidan and Dimitri are talking but I can't seem to hear their conversation. Within seconds, I am already walking towards them . . . standing in the middle but neither of them have turned.
As I wait for a couple of seconds, yet I don't seem to be getting any respond from them which causes me to clear my throat. They both turn to look at me and it surprises me to see their expression changes immediately, leaving me tucking a strand of hair behind my ear.
''What do you think?'' I ask, turning around to reveal the bare back before looking at them again, seeing a smiling Dimitri and a pleased Aidan.
Dimitri's phone starts to ring which causes him to immediately pick it up, ''I have to take this. I'll meet you guys outside,'' He says before walking out, talking through the phone.
Aidan, on the other hand, is busy eyeing the dress. He takes a few steps towards me as he gazes down at my face for a few more seconds, ''Give us a minute, please.'' He says towards the promoter which nods and leaves the room, immediately.
''Are you worried?'' I ask, as soon as I find us enjoying the silence. ''I mean, about the whole fake marriage thing . . . with your mother. Do you think it'll fail?'' I add, waiting for him to answer as he shakes, nod and shakes his head again.
''I'm not worried about that or about my mother. She will believe us because believe me, I can't remember how many times she has asked me to marry you.'' He replies and we both begin to chuckle, ''I'm just worried about you. This is all about me and you're being a true best friend by helping me but I've never asked you, are you okay with it?'' He adds, silencing me.
We both stare at one another, leaving me playfully place my left hand at the side of his face before pushing it to the side—making his lips curve up into a small smile. Then, I let out a deep sigh, ''Aidan, I've known you for twenty-years and you've done a lot more for me than you think. So, I'm just returning the favour for all the past favours you've done for me,'' I say.
''Besides, what are best friends for? You and I against the world, remember?'' I lift my right hand up, waiting for him to fist-bump me and he does, causing us both to smile again. ''We'll still be best friends even though we're going to be legally married and staying under the same roof but that is not going to come in between us, right?'' I ask.
He smiles, ''Exactly. For once, I'm actually happy I pushed you down the swing or we wouldn't be friends.'' He adds and I playfully push him by the arm, making him laugh.
''Bill, please.'' Aidan calls out for the promoter and she walks towards us, leaving me turn to look at her, ''I'll be taking all of the dresses,'' He adds which causes my eyes to widen.
''Hey . . . man, I appreciate that but you don't have to pay for my dresses or take them all. How much does this dress costs, anyway?'' I turn towards the promoter who is currently staring at both Aidan and I. All of the dresses here are known to be expensive to extremely expensive, not my kind of shop for a gathering but Aidan wants what's best and he thinks, the more expensive, the better.
''The dress you're wearing costs around five grand,'' She replies and I am left gaping before turning to look at Aidan who nods his head, gesturing for her to get all of the dresses ready in the bags. Meanwhile, I am still surprised at the price.
''No, no, no. I'm not taking this dress,'' I try to take it off but he grabs both of my hands, stopping me from continuing it any further, ''Aidan, it's just for one night and it's too much. Maybe, we can choose a different and more affordable dress? You know how much I hate and loathe buying expensive stuff,'' I look up at him and pout, trying to make him agree.
''Listen, we're taking the dresses and this conversation about how much you hate and loathe expensive stuff will be over. For your information, I will be the one to buy all of these expensive stuff without causing any harm to you . . . financially,'' He replies, walking away but I grab onto his arm again, pulling him back.
''If you know how I feel, why would you say that? Like, you put in such an uncomfortable situation. Like, you know I'm not happy.'' I take one of Kim Kardashian's quote, begging for him to change his mind but he rolls his eyes, letting me pull onto his arm as he does nothing.
''Kenna, you're doing me a huge favour! You're getting married to your best friend who is also a womaniser so, at least let me pay for the dresses. How much would they cost me anyway? They're not going to burn a hole in my pocket or even my bank account . . . okay? Just, let go of my arm and try to think of all the dresses as a gift,'' He responds and he walks away, quickly before I can grab onto him again.
With a loud groan, I walk back towards the dressing room to change into the clothes I came here with—white slacks and light blue button up shirt. My eyes wander to the counter, seeing Aidan paying for the dresses using his debit card, leaving me sighing.
Dimitri walks back inside, ''You guys are taking forever. I had to come back,'' He says and I chuckle, ''I mean . . . I tried to wait for another ten minutes after I ended the call because I don't want to look stupid when I said I'd meet you guys outside,'' He adds.
I keep on staring down at the ground, making him notice the sudden change of mood and expression on my face before trying to lift my chin up. He looks into my eyes, ''What's wrong? You look like your cat died,'' He asks.
''I don't have a cat,'' I reply.
''Exactly. What's wrong?'' He asks, again.
''He's paying for all the dresses. You know how much I hate it when someone pays for me, especially when it comes to expensive stuff and you know what? The rose gold dress costs about five grand . . . and that's a huge deal for me. He could be paying for ice cream and I'd be fine with that but right now, he's paying for the dresses.'' I mutter, groaning.
''Actually, Kenna. Just let him do that for you. I know how it feels like and I know you can afford to buy the dresses on your own but . . . for once, just let him treat you. Try accepting it as a gift or something worth keeping to strengthen your friendship with him.'' He replies.
''Besides, you're complaining about how much you hate it when he buys you expensive stuff but that ring on your finger isn't exactly cheap, either.'' He presses his lips into a thin line, quickly placing his hand on his mouth, pretending to might have slipped it.
''You!'' I exclaim and he starts to protect himself from any further attacks from me which begins with a smack on the arm.