“Hey! That was rude Chey, why did you hang up on them?” Dakota whined.

“Because I didn’t want them to hear over the mic how I am going to kill you, Harris, and Briggs for what you did to me!”

I threw off my headset and chased her down the hallway. She screamed like a little girl, as we ran through the rooms squealing, just like we used to when we were little. We ran around the whole house, dodging around corners, and flying down the hallways. Beano barked like a crazy dog enjoying the animated energy in the house. When we got back to the office, Dakota grabbed my hand and Beano’s paw. I grabbed hers and his other paw and we all jumped up and down dancing round and round in circles. It was a thing we did growing up. We taught Beano how to do it from puppyhood.

“Oh My God.” we chanted, over and over again. Our laughter vibrant and contagious. It felt good to run, laugh, and jump. My body felt more alive in the past couple minutes than it had in years. My heart ecstatic – I was going to meet Roxas.

“Oh Chey, can you believe it? He’s going to meet you….TONIGHT!” Dakota’s voice exuded excitement. “We’ll have to go all out on your makeover. You haven’t had the works since… hell, I don’t know when you have ever had the works. We need to go!”

“Go where?”

“You, honeychild, have a date with my beautician. His name is Armond and I know he’ll just love to dig his paws into you.” I grinned at her. I couldn’t do anything else but be happy. I really didn’t care if I was about to be poked, prodded, colored, curled, waxed, and clipped. I was going to finally meet Roxas, and truthfully, I probably needed the makeover.

“Ya know Chey, what if you already know him?” Dakota mused.

Screwing up my face at her question, I grabbed my car keys and fumbled around looking for my purse. “What are you talking about?”

“Well actually he doesn’t live that far away from here. I know he travels a lot but didn’t you send that 3D holographic smurf suit to a P.O. box in Kissimmee?”
I reached down to give Beano a smooch goodbye. “Stay here big fella, momma will be back soon.” I got a “woof” of acceptance. “Please don’t eat any delivery men while I’m away okay?” That got me another “woof” and he laid down on the foyer mat.

Dakota continued, “So for all you know he’s the guy at the coffee shop you go to every morning. Or he’s the guy who runs the animatronics at Disney’s Country Bear Jamboree. Or… or…” You could see the little hamster wheel turning faster than her brain could compute the words. “Or he even could be that guy who makes the 3D chalk drawing at Downtown Disney.”

I took the ‘whatifs’ to a new level, “Or maybe he’s the guy who pushes the shopping cart and talks to the swan boats at Lake Eola. You know that crazy guy who yells at you to stop drowning the swans?” We both laughed until our sides ached. I hadn’t laughed this hard in ages. Note to self – Take more half days off with sisters.

We got in the car and cranked on the AC as high as it would go. I praise the engineer who invented the air-conditioned car seat. It used to be I would have to put a towel on my Jeep seats, for if I didn’t, the Florida heat would burn three layers of skin off the backs of my legs each time I got in. Now we could cruise in cool comfort. “Hey remind me when we get back to water my garden on the roof. I should’ve done it before we left. I hope my tomatoes aren’t crispy critters by the time I get back.”

We pulled into the corner coffee shop drive-thru and speculated if the cute guy making the drinks could be Roxas. Every guy I saw anywhere now made me question if that could be him. We got a couple of icy frappuccino drinks topped with whipped cream and headed to Armond’s. Admittedly, we really did have a lot of work to do to improve my appearance.

Dakota droned on about all the things she wanted Armond and staff to do to me. I got kind of quiet just listening to all of it. She finally stopped mid-sentence. “Are you okay Chey? You look a little green.”

I took another swig of my coffee drink and revealed, “I guess I’m just afraid he won’t like me in real life the way he does in our virtual world. My avatar, Lady Caz, has the perfect body. She’s beautiful, smart, sexy and she seriously kicks ass in the game.”

“So tell me something, what makes you any different than what you just described Lady Caz to be? You’re beautiful, even if you do need a little work. We all know you’re smart. You just need a little more self confidence in the guy department.”

I really didn’t want to go any further into this conversation so I decided to try a new tactic and redirect her line of thinking. I was still trying to figure out my costume. “Okay, so what’s behind garment bag number two?”

I knew I was in trouble when Armond was waiting with two other guys and two bottles of wine. Dakota had already booked the entire afternoon just for us.

After what seemed like hours of my emergency beauty makeover, I still wasn’t sure if I looked like a bad beauty pageant entry or simply just a moron. My eyebrows puffed like red marshmallows. I hoped the swelling went down soon.

“So dahling, what are you dressing as for this most momentous occasion?” Armond asked.

I shrugged. “To be honest, I really don’t know. You see, I lost a bet with Dakota earlier this year. And my pay up was she got to pick my Halloween costume this year.”

Dakota decided it was time to reveal my costume. She dangled the little bag in front of me again. “What am I going to wear, a gift card or something?” I groaned.
I see you’re already in character” she said.

“Huh? What are you talking about? Did you get me a costume for a hooker or something?”

Laughing, Dakota said, “Sweetie, you couldn’t be a whore even if you tried!”

I wasn’t sure if that was a compliment or not. Armond and the others looked at her in rapt attention as Dakota unveiled this skimpy, gauzy mummy costume.

“What the hell is that? And where does my body fit in it?” My eyes and hands examined the thin, flimsy fabric. Baffled as to how I was going to fit into it…“I.. I don’t understand. Is this a joke? Is this just the accessory? Where is the costume?”

“This is the costume Chey. Look, it’s a bodysuit. You can move the gauze straps to cover the areas you want, but it still looks like you are wearing hardly anything. Isn’t it badass? This is exactly what Lady Caz would wear to meet Roxas.”

Armond said, “Oh now, Cheyenne. If you can’t get your man with my perfection and this little number, then I don’t think there is much chance left for you.”
I swallowed hard and held out my wineglass for a refill. I needed another shot of courage. I stared back at the reflection of my new hair cut and manicure and hoped the red puffiness of my eyebrows died down soon.

Once we got back home, Dakota insisted we try on our costumes before we loaded up our final equipment needed at the theme park. As I tried it on I complained, “Dakota, are you sure you didn’t get this from the little girl’s department as a joke?”

“No silly, it’s lycra. It will completely mold to your body. What I haven’t showed you is the skirt which goes with it.”

“I breathed out a sigh of relief. Oh thank the Goddess… there’s a skirt. She pulled out the bag with the shoes in it and another small bag. The skirt looked just as small as the body suit.

I looked at her with a ‘What the Hell’ question but she just beamed at me. That’s when I knew something was up. “Did you and Harris set this up all along?

She shook her head in a theatrical gesture and brought her hands to her chest in mock surprise. “Not us, we would never do something as devious, deceptive, and perfectly wonderful for the two of you now would we?”

I threw the tiny bits of fabric at her and rolled my eyes. “Seriously? Was Briggs in on this too?” Beano sauntered over to the scraps of fabric, sniffed and grabbed them up in his mouth. “Hey gimme that.” I rescued the costume from the wrath of Boxer and walked into the kitchen to grab a bite to eat.

Dakota’s mobile rang and she grabbed it out of her bra. I looked at her sideways. My eyes questioned her choice of cell phone holders. She looked back and me and shrugged. “What? Can you think of a better place not to lose it?”

I shook my head and grabbed Beano’s leash and thought better not to say anything. I knew the contents of her underware drawer, I did not need to know anything more about the content of her bra.

“C’mon, Beano, let’s go water some plants and gather eggs.” Beano’s stubby little Boxer tail wagged as best it could.