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All Dolled Up with Someplace to Go

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"Coreen?" It was a half hour past her finishing. Vicki got up with her chest feeling clamped – what if it wasn't Coreen? What if it wasn't Coreen, again.

"Oh, hey Vicki." It was Coreen, nervous and smiling at being caught out. "Sorry, I just told Liza to meet me here, and I want to, you know." She indicated her face, the false pallor, the intricately applied eyeliner.

"Aren't you all dolled up?" Vicki didn't let her relief slip into her voice. She gestured for Coreen to turn around. The girl held her hands out and did a slow twirl. "A bustle?" Vicki said. "Can you sit down in that?"

"I manage," Coreen said. She reached a hand up to her hair, then checked herself.

"So, what's the occasion?" Vicki lent back against the door. She was beginning to think of opening a beer. "Should I be warning all the little boy goths to watch out?"

Coreen grew flustered at that. "Well, uh, no. It's actually – well, it's a date, Vicki. Me and Liza."

"Ohhh." Well, that was something to file away. Coreen stood tightly, her expression trepidatious. "Sorry, Coreen," Vicki said, "I didn't mean to – well. I'm glad for you."

Coreen gave a small shrug. "It's okay. Now I've gone overboard and she's going to freak out." She looked down at herself. "God, Vicki, do you think it's too much?"

"You look fine," Vicki assured her. "Besides, she's going to see it sooner or later. I think maybe this Liza's the one should be worried. You want me to check her out?"

"God, Vicki, no." Vicki laughed at Coreen's pained expression. It soon changed, with the knock on the door, into one of pleasure.

Well, well, well, thought Vicki.

The girl who came in was short, not a goth, but dressed up nicely – if a little old fashioned still. What was with these kids and their historical crazes? Vicki was satisfied with her excitement at seeing Coreen, though she gave the big scary boss lady nervous looks.

Maybe she thought Vicki was Coreen's Mom.

"Liza." Coreen looked half caught between wanting to hug the girl and holding off. She turned quickly to introductions. "My boss, Vicki Nelson. Liza's in my anthropology classes," she explained.

"Good to meet you, Liza." The girl seemed to relax, and took Vicki's hand. Good. Vicki only wanted to be as scary as all that when she needed it.

"You too, Ms Nelson." And she was polite. Coreen could learn from her, Vicki thought. Except then Liza added, "I've heard so much about you," and Vicki had to stand and wonder just what it was Coreen had been telling her.

"I hate to think," she said. "Anyway, you two run off, have a good night. Coreen."

"Yeah, yeah, Vicki, I'll see you tomorrow." She winked before she left, like she knew what it was Vicki wanted to say.

If you need me.

Coreen hadn't had much luck with relationships lately, what with the demons and the ghosts – it was good to be careful.

Vicki sighed.

Coreen out to have a nice time, but not too nice, Vicki wanted to mother her, and Vicki stuck all alone for another night of take-out and cheap beer.

She should be glad Coreen didn't let her life be put on hold. She imagined them walking together and laughing. She was glad.

Just a little jealous was all.

And the chinese wasn't going to order itself.