by Delilah Grey

The dress was perfect. Arianna ran her hands across the luxurious fabric, examining the neat, even stitching. She held it up to her nose. It even smelled expensive. She drew it over her head, loving the way it clung to her skin as it whispered over her head. Smoothing it down her body, she posed in the three-way mirror. The cut was perfect, just the right amount of cleavage and leg. Hot.

Holding up her phone, she took a couple quick test shots in various places of the room, trying to get the lighting just right. She had spent hours on her makeup this morning, achieving the truly sun-kissed glow in her “no makeup” makeup look, natural and flawless.

Satisfied, she got to work.

Arianna twirled, feeling the dress flow around her, eyes closed, blissful smile. Snap. 

Holding out her arm, she arched her back, turned her hips, sucked in, thought of the way the fabric felt on her skin. Snap.

An imaginary friend told a joke while she held a mug that said ‘I don’t do Mondays’. Snap.

Add a hat. Look down and smile, as if a guy catcalled you on the street and you weren’t supposed to like it because feminism, but you know you look hot as fuck.

Take away the hat and ruffle the hair.

Sneakers. Boots. Heels with red soles. Purse. Beach bag. Add a scarf, add some bling. Snap snap snap.

She walked, she leapt. Each movement perfected so as to look effortless, even as her glow became less highlighting powder and more sweat as the hour passed.

Done at last, Arianna inspected the photos on her phone. Yes, that would be enough for a couple weeks. #littleblackdress #ootd #todayimwearing #instastyle #25looks #summerlovin.

She stepped out onto the bedroom’s balcony overlooking the infinity pool, staring out at the ocean, letting the Santa Ana winds play with her hair while she stared at the sunset. Snap#blessed

Stepping back into the room, she carefully put everything back where she had found it, referring to the closet photos she had taken at the beginning of her photoshoot. The scarf was tossed just so across a hanger, three ripples. One of the high heels leaning against the other.

Arianna pulled the dress off last, staring at it, feeling the quality against her fingers, the even stitching, caressing the designer label one last time. She rubbed her face against it before hanging it up again with a sigh.

She pulled on the hoodie and jeans from where she had dropped them on the floor. Took one last look at the dress, and in a moment of weakness, one she would regret, she grabbed it off the hanger, stuffed it in her backpack, and snuck back out the window into the darkness.