Beneath the frosted bulbs Amanda preened at the wispy bangs that weren’t falling right. She pursed her lips at her reflection and picked out a few more strands with her red tipped nails.
At the next smooth sink, Rachel was digging through her narrow clutch. From its shallow depths, she found her lipstick. The cap popped off with a click. She leaned over the counter, her nose nearly to the glass and carefully coated her already pink tinged lips.
Amanda glared again at her dark tendrils and heaved a sigh. “Did you see Joe out there?”
“Yeah,” Rachel replied with her mouth still open like a gaping fish. She finished with the lipstick and smacked her lips together as she leaned back on her needle thin heels. “Did you see Iris?”
Amanda let out a delicate snort. “Red is so not her color.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Washes her out completely. And with her blonde hair. Awful.” Amanda shook her own dark locks. “She looks like a deformed hotdog.”
Rachel laughed and inspected the gauze, cornflower toned should straps of her dress.
“Everyone’s been saying so,” Amanda continued. She bared her teeth at the mirror to check for anything left over from the hors d’oeuvres. She found them free of the caterer’s spinach quiche and melting brie. “Joe said he hates that color anyway.”
Rachel’s wide eyes found her in the mirror. “Really? When did he tell you that?”
“At the last marketing session. He said it was a bold, aggressive color. Only good for stop signs and advertisements.” She patted down invisible folds in the wavering fabric around her hips. “Sounds like he wants something softer on a girl.”
“Oh no,” murmured Rachel. Her impeccably smooth forehead adding a single trouble filled crease.
“I told Iris he’d like it.”
Amanda’s mouth gaped. “No…”
Rachel shrugged and sucked in a quick breath. “I knew she’d look terrible.” She glared at herself and then put her back to her own reflection. Her eyes cast down to watch her hands twirling the small periwinkle clutch. “And well, I had heard from Samantha, that he liked blue.” Her cheeks colored.
Amanda whirled around so she could see Rachel’s flushing face without the mirror’s help. “It’s contagious.”
Rachel shrugged and stared off towards the pastel hued stalls at the other end of the ladies room.
“What are you going to do?” Amanda’s voice was soaked in curiosity.
Rachel shrugged again and let out a heavy sigh. She shoved back her long hair around both ears. “I feel bad enough about telling her to wear that god-awful thing.” She shook her head. “She really looks terrible.”
“Well, this is war isn’t it?” Amanda crossed her arms beneath her half hidden chest. “There are always a few casualties.”
“But I heard Jessica and Andy talking the other day. They said that Joe had gone out with Pete the other night but that he was hung up on someone at work.”
“That could be you.”
“They also said he liked blondes.”
“So? Dye it.”
A dry laugh fell out of Rachel’s slowly shaking head. “And never wear red again?”
Amanda shrugged. “Do you want him?”
“He’s not a purse or a puppy, Amanda.”
Amanda’s dark lined eyes rolled. “If you want this guy then you’re going to have to work for it. He’s not going to fall into your lap.”
“I don’t want to have to try so hard.” She waved her purse vaguely in the perfumed air. “If it’s meant to be then shouldn’t it just happen?”
“Love it not gravity. Sometimes you have to make it work.” Amanda pivoted and stood before Rachel’s slowly slumping figure. “You have to give it a hand.”
Rachel winced and didn’t meet the other woman’s exasperated gaze. “Like telling her to wear red?”
“Let it go, Rach.” Amanda’s hands found her hips. “So you gave
her some bad advice. She took it. She’ll pay the consequences. You on the other hand would look great if you’d stop worrying. Come on. I can guarantee nothing’s going to happen while you’re in here.”
The gloom on Rachel’s face lifted with a small smile. Amanda’s confidence started to seep into the air, filling it with strength that lifted the other woman’s chin and helped straighten her shoulders.
“Ok, let’s go.”
“That’s more like it,” said Amanda with a nod of approval.
When they reached the door Amanda pressed her hand around the knob. She paused and looked over at the other woman.
“Go get him,” she ordered with military crispness.
Rachel laughed and shook her head once more. “We’ll see.”
With a pull of the door the crowd noise flooded into the bathroom. Rachel and Amanda sauntered out with smiles in place and a sway in both of their steps.