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Chapter 35: Choices

I'm going to have to get used to this.

Wearing fancy dresses was definitely something I would have to get used to and the best part was this wasn't even a special occasion... now if it were I would understand but it just sounded like wait, are outings or dates supposed to be fancy? Why didn't I get the memo?

"Isn't it um..." I paused with the dress placed on my lap as my fingers moved through it's frills. Wait, are those sherowski crystals embedded in the top part of the dress? It must have cost a fortune or at least a bit of magic to make if I know Azrael but then again I don't really know him, do I? "a bit too much?" I questioned Alicia as I held up the dress in front of me to get a proper look at it. Why on earth does it look like a light blue wedding dress? Cinderella didn't just forget her shoe this time... she forgot her whole dress and I just happen to be holding it. I don't know if it is a Cinderella dress... I just know that it sure does look like one.

"Of course it isn't." Alicia said looking at me as I was still holding the dress up. "It's just perfect... now try it on so I can get a better look at it on you."

I looked at Alicia and then I looked at the dress and then I looked at Alicia and then the dress again. "Well go on," she said with a hint of cheerfulness in her tone, "try it on already we don't have all day."

"But..." I paused doubtfully.

"B... b... butts are for sitting." She said as I was still seated on the bed, the dress now on my lap. "Now try it on." Alicia continued in hast and before I knew it or even realised it I was shoved into the closet and the doors were shut.

"Try it on." Alicia spoke from the other side of the closet doors. "I'm sure you'll look wonderful in it."

My hair was still loose and now all in my face since I was so wildly pushed into this small space of darkness? "I..." I stuttered, "I can't see anything in here." I shouted back to Alicia.

"Oh? You mean the light?" Alicia questioned me stating the obvious.

"Yeah..." I answered back. "I can't see a thing."

"Sorry I must have forgotten to leave it on." Alicia said. "But on the left hand side of, I mean on your left hand side of the closet doors there is a switch between one of the clothing racks. You just need to click it and the light will switch on."

I know how a light switch works you know. I thought to myself as I got up from the floor that I was so harshly thrown onto. Alicia wasn't exactly big or tall for that matter but she sure was strong for a girl a little bit shorter than me. I stood up, my legs a little shaky and my feet soon resting on the ground, a soft surface beneath them, the bathrobe brushed against my legs as I dusted myself off. My bangs brushing against my cheeks and my hair draping over my face. Pushing my hair back with my hands as my fingers slowly glided through them I could finally see a bit better.

Feeling my way around the room I walked towards the white closet doors which appeared more black now since I was surrounded by darkness, rays of light from the bedroom making its way through the cracks of closet doors help to guide me in this dark and I assume confined space? When I finally got to the doors I felt around the clothing rack on my left hand side like Alicia instructed. As I felt my way around the rack for the switch I couldn't help but feel as though I were in Mission Impossible, "Da, Dada, Da, Dada, Da, Da, Dada, Da, Da, Dada..." (my version of the Mission Impossible song, don't judge me, okay?) for a few seconds and then bam just as my fingers found the switch I heard Alicia from the other side of the door.

"Did you find it yet?" She questioned as I switched the light on.

"Yes." I shouted back as I turned around so that my back was now facing the closet doors, the room lighting up and my eyes expanding to the size of saucers. This closet was no expected confined space, no it was not. It was like a mansion in a mansion and no I was not exaggerating. It was beyond unexpected... in fact this takes the cake. I know I always joke about getting lost in my own closet when trying to find clothes but this is some otherworldly Shiitake Mushrooms.

How was it possible that a closet could be this big? No wonder Alicia took so long while I was waiting for her earlier, this closet is huge. I'm sure you could definitely get lost in it so how on earth did Alicia make it out? A map? How do you even find clothes in this place? I thought to myself looking up at the huge golden chandelier hanging from the ceiling with crystals hanging around its edgers.

Two velvet black studded couches were in the middle of the large room facing each other, back to back and antique styled furnished silver framed mirrors with clothing racks on either side of them as far as the eye could see leading to a double staircase at the end of the room which leads to who knows where? More clothes, I guess? A white carpet beneath my feet as I took a step deeper into the closet, the doors not too far behind me.

"I didn't want to get lost so I made sure to stay close to the doors."

"Are you done, yet?" Alicia's voice echoed from the other side of the doors as I stood there still bewildered and I'm pretty sure my mouth was agape. No it wasn't for the clothes, I'm not over clothes, it was just from how huge the room was itself. I'm sure you could have an underground rave in here, that's how big I'm assuming it is, big enough for a rave with millions of people, not that I've ever been to one but I'm assuming that, that's how much people would fit in here.

"Alice..." I heard Alicia call out once again breaking me out of my daze yet I still stood there frozen, eyes wide in amazement or was it shock? Honestly, I think it was both, "did you try it on?"

"No?" I shouted back doubt laced in my tone making it sound like a question as if I was unsure or confused.

"Do you need help putting it on?" Alicia said from the other side of the doors as I walked towards one of the mirrors on the left hand side of the room and gazed at my reflection.

"No it's fine..." I said, "I can manage." I shouted back to Alicia now as my eyes drifted back to the mirror. I stood before it holding up the dress in front of me as I pushed down the frills of the blue dress with my free hand. I was picturing how it would look on me as I still held it in front of me and yet I still never bothered to put it on. I then looked up viewing my facial features.

My hair was a mess and the tips of it appeared to be a bit wet. I moved some of the brown hair from my bangs out of my face so that I could get a better view of myself as I still held the dress against my chest, the blue frills reaching down and covering my feet. My brown eyes were still as wide as ever upon gazing at myself and my lips were plump and pink but my lower lip was more red than pink. Suddenly a loud knock came from the door followed by a voice.

"Alice do you need some help in there?" I expected it to be Alicia and I was right, no I was wrong. "You taking very long, should I come in?" It was Azrael?! One of the closet doorknobs slightly turning as his voice still echoed from behind the door.

I was still in the bathrobe, my eyes widening even more so, if that's possible. He was going to open the door?! Is this a threat? Is he threatening to barge in on me because I'm not getting done? I thought.

In one swift motion I bolted towards the door before it managed to fully open and threw myself against it, my body hitting the door on impact. I have no idea how I got the strength (or energy) to do this but hey... "desperate times call for desperate measures." The only thing that managed to make it into the room by a few centimeters was a piece of Azrael's shoe which stopped me from closing the door properly.

"No, no..." My eyes still wide as I spoke in hast, worry hitting me like a ton of bricks, "it's totally fine I can manage..." I shouted back again awkwardly in hast as I kept my body still pressed up against the door. Azrael's foot was still blocking me from pushing it shut.

"You sure?" He questioned me snickering to himself from the other side of the door and pushing his foot a bit further into the closet so that his foot was almost fully in the room. Was he teasing me? He was slightly pushing on the door as if he was trying to resist the force I applied to it and barge in on me. He was planning to barge in on me like this?! Pervert!

"Yes I'm sure." I yelled back applying more pressure to the door. "Now can you please go?" I shouted in hast still trying to stop him from barging in on me.

Finally after what felt like ages, of me trying to stop Azrael from resisting the force I pushed on the door and barging in to see me in a bathrobe, Azrael pulled his foot away, allowing me to close the door with a loud thud.

"You pretty strong for a girl." He said as the door shut behind me. "Only because you said please." He said nonchalantly as he snickered to himself once again as if I couldn't hear him.

"I can't tell if he was teasing me just to see my reaction or just threatening me to get done?"

Or he could just be a perv?

Phew... I thought to myself, that was a close call. Still standing against the door because I wasn't sure if Azrael was still there or not I heard someone rush into the room.

"Are you okay?" I heard a cute voice ask from the other side of the door. It was... Alicia. "I'm sorry if Sir Azrael frightened you." She apologised for him? "Sir Azrael just barged in and I tried to stop him but..." she paused, "he just did as he pleased, I guess?" She guessed?! She sounds doubtful. But wait, was she there when he tried to barge in on me? Why didn't she stop him? "He just wanted you to get done so he figured if he scared you, you'd get done faster?" Is she trying to explain the situation of what happened previously?

Wow... that's mind blowing, what wonderful logic Death has. Excuse me that was my sarcasm. Guys really do things without thinking, don't they? I'm traumatised for life. Okay that's a bit over exaggerated but you catch my drift.

You can't just barge in when a girl is getting dressed because you "feel" she is taking long and even if she was taking long what gives you the right to barge in on her? Azrael's response to this, I'm assuming, would probably be... "the fact that it's my house" (he'd probably look at me with a blank, annoyed stare as well) and that simple thought my friends is what burnt my protest to the ground but hey then again I am held captive against my will so I can protest.

"Or it could be that he's just a pervert." I shouted back sarcastically to her stating the obvious, my eyes falling down to my bathrobe, its edgers dangling against my legs.

"It could be that too..." I heard Alicia say with a giggle. No doubt her response made me want to laugh. How brutally honest she was.

"I'm right here, you know?" Azrael's voice came out as clear as day, the sound of sarcasm and irritation echoing in his tone, my eyes widened, the smile on my face suddenly fading and the laugh that wanted to escape my lips getting stuck in my throat. I thought he left. He was here the whole time? However, now that I do think about it I never heard him move out of the room. If he had left I would have heard his footsteps drift off into the marble hallway outside.

"Alice you taking forever." He said bitterly. "If you don't hurry up I swear..." ("And I swear by the moon and the stars in the sky... I'll be there.") (What? I couldn't help but think that cause he said "I swear.") (Don't tell me you weren't thinking the same thing) (Why am I bringing up old school songs?) Wait, when did Death become so demanding? "I'm going to put that dress on you myself."

"Give her some time." I heard Alicia say. It sounded like she was pushing him out the doorway and mumbling to herself while trying to shut the room door. He was probably stopping the door from closing by placing his foot between the doorframe and the door like he did with me. With a slight click and a thud I heard the door shut.

"5 minutes." I heard Azrael say. "I'm giving her 5 minutes." He said stretching out his last sentence as if he were saying it through gritted teeth. Was he angry? I can't believe how impatient he is. Maybe I should take long everyday just to rattle him up a bit? No! Do you want to die an early death?! The sarcastic voice in my head replied to that thought. My conscience had a point but then again the voice of reason always does.

You right... I thought, but for some reason I always come off as a coward or like a girl who can't fend for herself. It's time I stood up... but not now... I'm still playing survival mode so I can't jump ahead of the game only to die at the finish line. I got to play my cards correctly but the question is... which cards do I play first?

Or do I even have cards to play with?

"Phew," I heard Alicia sigh and then mumble to herself, "glad that's over." I was still leaning against the closet doors, I was practically resting against them.

"So did you try on the dress?" Alicia asked again breaking the silence that had consumed us for the last few minutes. I heard her close the door but I never heard Azrael's footsteps leave or walk off.

"Is Azrael still there?" I yelled out anxiously, a bit of worry present in my tone, to Alicia from the other side of the closet doors since I once again wasn't sure if he was still there or if he had finally left the room.

"No, he's gone now." I heard her say tiredly as she heaved a sigh of relief. She must have been exhausted.

"No, I'm not." I heard his voice, it was muffled and sounded a little distant compared to before. He was stubborn I'll tell you that much. It seemed as though he wasn't in the room like Alicia said but I wasn't going to take any risks.

"Azrael!" Alicia took a breath, her tone still cute but it held a hint of anger. It was almost as though she were passive aggressive. She was nice and most likely held back her anger and she was very polite, well from what I observed about her previously, but Azrael must have finally gotten to her?

What? I observe people. Stop looking at me like I'm creepy. I'm sorry that I always tend to analyse every situation. This is just my interpretation, okay? Plus I'm an overthinker, it's what we do. "You said you'll give her 5 minutes so can you kindly follow through with your words and leave?!" She exclaimed, the sound of her teeth gritting, a touch of rage in her tone.

"Okay I'm going to leave..." I heard him say, it was still a bit muffled though, "but she better be done when I get back." He barked and with that I heard, what I had been waiting for to make sure that he was gone, his footsteps. Still waiting in the silence, I heard as he treaded off into the distance, the sound slightly muffled, until the echoes his shoes made on the marble floor of the passageway could no longer be heard.

"Alice." Alicia announced after Azrael had finally gone. I knew what she was going to say next so I just went ahead and said... "I'm still putting it on." I semi shouted in a hurry back at Alicia as I rushed over to one of the mirrors and began to hurriedly change into the dress. I didn't want Azrael barging in on me again so I put it on as quickly as I could, well as quickly as I could manage.

I gazed at my reflection for a while once I was dressed and began fixing my hair. I was so dazed at seeing myself like this that I ended up exceeding the time Azrael had given me to get done. However, I will admit that he was a little lenient and gave me a little more time than just 5 minutes but that was probably because Alicia convinced him to do so.

Given the fact that I was not leaving the closet and because Alicia could only do so much, I assume Azrael was growing impatient but I didn't care. I pushed down the frills of the dress and I continued to gaze at my reflection. I didn't recognise myself and it didn't even take any makeup to make such a transformation... just a dress? It was unusual to see myself like this since I was a girl who mostly lived in a jeans and a sweater. I admit during special occasions like Easter or Christmas (don't forget Halloween) I would dress up but nothing this fancy.

Still entranced as the mirror held my gaze both closet doors opened wildly, a breeze flying into the room as the white doors swung back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. I turned around at the sight of Azrael barging into the closet and the breeze the doors made, since he so wildly opened them, blowing into my face causing some hair to blow back. He stood there in front of the doorway.

I took a gulp and then flinched as I stood there waiting for him to scold me since I had taken so long but instead he just stared at me for a really long time, the look on his face was blank and I couldn't read his emotions. Then suddenly his eyes widened and lit up as if under some sort of daze.

"You look beautiful." He whispered. I read his lips. His tone coming out rough like he had just woke up. His breaths were slow upon gazing at me, his hair causing a dark shadow just above his eyes which appeared dark and I shyly looked down at the dress, my eyes drifting to my toes that were concealed under the fabric. He moved deeper into the closet, his steps slowly making their way towards me.

I kept my gaze away from him until he finally reached me. I didn't expect him to be in front of me so fast even at his slow pace. He had closed the distance between us and hardly made a sound in doing so. For some reason I couldn't bring myself to look at him. His hand rested on my cheek, an all too familiar feeling washing over me. He did this before countless times, didn't he?

The memory was there but somehow I could not remember all the details. It was as if pieces of my memory was faded out and all I could see after the bits and pieces of it, like shattered crystal, was white and then emptiness.

Was it déjà vu?

Why was I so calm?

Azrael's hand was still caressing my cheek and then I felt his hand slip under my chin in order to make me look up. My lips parted as my eyes widened again. This felt so familiar. He brought his lips down as my eyes drifted towards them ever so slightly with each move. I was mesmerized. Dazed by the way he slowly brought his face down towards mine.

"Felix?" A voice echoed in my head breaking me out of the dizzy spell Azrael put me in. There's just something about him that seemed so familiar but the thought of Felix brought me back to my senses. I shook my head causing Azrael's hand to lose its firm hold on my chin. I was going to let him kiss me?! If not for the thought of Felix popping into my head would I have let him? Wait, I can't even answer that question myself. I'm speechless.

He said he wouldn't kiss me against my will... the sly dog.

Why didn't I resist him quicker?

What's wrong with me?!

This gives him leeway and the best part is I'm doubting myself.

I don't know if I'll ever see Felix after this but with everyday it's as if I'm growing closer to Azrael.

Alicia barged in the closet just as Azrael's hand left my chin. She was looking at me as Azrael moved a bit to the side making some distance between us. It seemed as though she hadn't noticed. "Alice you look gorgeous." She said upon entering the room, her eyes glistening in astonishment. A sheepish smile on her lips. She seemed happy about the fact that I was wearing the dress she had picked out for me.

I looked down at the dress again, then to Azrael, my eyes later drifted off to Alicia. "Isn't it a bit too much?" I mouthed. Both their gazes on me.

"That depends on where we going." Azrael said still gazing at me, his voice coming out husky. "You still never told me where you wanted to go."

"I don't know." I said blankly, my eyes falling down to my feet once again. They were both looking at me and I began to feel shy. I don't know why. Maybe it was the fact that they were staring at me? If people stare or gaze at you, how could you not help but to feel shy.

"Yes, if you stare at me of course I'm going to look away."

"I know just the place I can take you to." Azrael said as he thought to himself for a bit, his eyes lighting up. "I mean the place I can bring to you." He said correcting his previous statement as he scratched that back of his neck and smiled slightly at me.

I paused for a bit my mouth making the shape of an o before the sound "oh?" escaped my lips. "But that dress is definitely too fancy for the place I want to bring to you since you still don't know where you want to go." He paused. "You'll need something a bit more casual."

"I can fix that." I heard Alicia's voice pop up out of nowhere. "Here." She said putting some clothes in my hands. That was quick? "Try this on..." she said looking at me then to my hands with the clothes she handed me still in them, "it's more casual." She finished her sentence with a sheepish smile once again as if it were her trademark.

After finally getting changed into something a bit more casual, obviously not in front of Azrael. Alicia made him leave the room in order for me to change and so I did and in doing so I couldn't help but wonder where Azrael wanted to bring me to or was it bring the place to me? Either way it still ran through my mind.

I wonder...

To be continued...

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