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Nancy was standing in front of the mirror, surveying herself critically. "I don't look anything like Juliet."

This objection was instantly dismissed. "That's because you're not in costume yet."

"You haven't?" Nancy looked at Kathie suspiciously.

"No, I haven't," Kathie reassured her. "Eleanore has."

"That's worse." Nancy's face clearly showed her dread of just exactly what Eleanore might have thought appropriate, costume-wise. "It's pink, isn't it?"

"Well, yes," Kathie admitted. "But it's quite a nice pink, Nance. A sort of faded rose colour. Really, it's fine."

"There are ribbons too, aren't there?"

Kathie peered into the box which held the costume. "Maybe a couple."

"And frills? Tell me the worst."

"No, you lucked out there, she seems to have overlooked the frills this time."

"I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies," Nancy sighed. "I definitely couldn't have carried off the frills with any shred of dignity."

"There is something else I should probably mention..."

"No." Nancy clapped her hands over her ears. "No more. I don't want to know. I'm going to look an absolute fright, even without the frills. I can't believe you're making me do this. It wasn't enough to dragoon me into playing Juliet, now you have to dress me up as well?" She looked at Kathie appealingly. "Can't you tell Eleanore we'll find our own costumes?"

"I don't think I can. It'll hurt her feelings. She made this for you specially. Besides, she says you'll like it once you see it on."

"Hmmmm." Nancy was unconvinced. "People are already sniggering at the very idea of me playing Juliet. I can only imagine what the reaction will be if they see me prancing about in a pink beribboned frock as well." She prodded at the swathes of rosy fabric, wrinkling her nose up in disgust. "Are you honestly going to make me wear that thing?"

"Just try it on, Nance. Please?" Kathie looked at her beseechingly. "No one will laugh, I promise."

*

Nancy was once again surveying herself in the mirror, but this time with such a marked amount of appreciation that Kathie was moved to protest.

"I think the idea was for me to admire you, Nance, not for you to admire yourself."

"I'm not stopping you," Nancy replied, turning around and peering over her shoulder in an attempt to get a back view of her costume. "Admire all you want, as long as you don't get between me and the mirror."

"I thought you didn't like pink?"

"That's when I thought it was girly pink with frills and ribbons."

"It has ribbons," Kathie pointed out.

"Not proper ribbons."

"They look like ribbons to me." Having spent a considerable amount of time tying, and then re-tying, said ribbons, until they were arranged to her partner's satisfaction, Kathie was fairly definite on this point.

But Nancy had her own criteria by which to judge. "They don't count as ribbons if they're functional. These are very functional."

"That does not stop them being ribbons," Kathie objected, but Nancy's attention had already returned to the mirror, and she was no longer listening.




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