What a night! I must get it all down now while the memories are still fresh. The poison dwarf had me skivvying all day, washing her and her daughters’ filthy underwear (they are so gross), ironing and dusting and hoovering. I’ve never worked so hard in my life, and every time I stopped for five minutes to catch my breath she’d pop up and get on my case, calling me lazy and disobedient. By evening I’d only got done half the things she’d set me to do.
Flagg and her daughters were all dressed up to the nines and preening themselves, like they thought they were going to be the belles of the ball, but they looked like a trio of overdone carnival floats, and so smug because they were going to the Ball and I wasn’t. The poison dwarf said I could go, like she thought she was doing me this big favour, but I said I didn’t want to. Off they went in a chauffeur driven limousine, paid for with my father’s money.
As soon as they’d gone I threw down my feather duster and pinafore and went upstairs to slip into my cocktail dress, a slinky little number in black velvet that I’d liberated from Tiffanys in the Mall with a little assist from Celia, who has a gift for distracting people, especially the bull dykes they employ in posh shops like Tiffanys. I put on stockings and high heels, some jewellery that mother had left me and lipstick I borrowed from Hortense – it looked much better on me than it ever had on her blubbery lips. I looked so good, cool and sophisticated. I just knew all the men would be looking at me. To be on the safe side I stuffed a pack of Glass Slipper condoms in my handbag, and then I rang for a taxi.
I was one of the last to arrive at The Palais and the party was in full swing, the dance floor packed, no sign of the Flagg brood in the crush. I was wearing a cat mask and didn’t think they’d recognise me, but if I could avoid them completely that would be even better. I knew that I’d made quite an entrance. I could see heads turn as I swept by. I pushed my way through the crowd to the bar and ordered a G&T, which some guy in a tuxedo paid for. We chatted for a while, then I danced with him and some of his friends. He said his name was Danny and his hands were all over me, but he was rather cute and I didn’t mind, not really. He was older and a lot more fun than the spotty dweebs I usually get stuck with, more my own class.
Danny introduced me to his father, who kissed my hand and said how charmed he was to meet me. I knew who he was, even though he was wearing a domino mask, Gerald Prince, the owner of Prince’s Used Cars. His face is always in the papers and in ads on TV. They call him “Genuine Gerald, Czar of the Car Men” and say he’s one of the richest men in town. Certainly he looked the part, very dapper in an Armani suit, a broad grin on his suntanned face, not a hair astray. Danny could do with some lessons in grooming from his father. I think he was pleased to meet me. Danny thought so too. I could tell by the way he pulled me back onto the dance floor. It must be hard having a lech for a father. I’d be the one to know.
Anyway, Danny and I had a couple more drinks and then went off together. We found somewhere we could get to know each other better without being disturbed, a store room at the rear of the building, and started making out. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go all the way with Danny, but he had such a cute puppy dog look on his face I just couldn’t say no. He hiked my dress up over my waist and went down on me. No boy’s ever done that before. It was really, really nice, all warm and tingly. He wanted me to give him head, but I refused. He laid his jacket down and we did it on the floor. Thank God I had some condoms. Danny was good, much better than most of the boys I’ve been with. On a scale of one to ten, I’d give him seven. I kept thinking about his father, wondering what it would be like to do it with him. We came on the stroke of midnight, more or less, which was kind of romantic I think.
Afterwards I had to rush off. I knew the poison dwarf would leave as soon as she’d seen in the New Year. I wanted to get home first, so she wouldn’t know I’d been to the Ball. Let her feel guilty for making me miss it. Danny asked if he’d see me again, but I didn’t answer. He wrote his phone number on the back of the condom packet and gave it to me in case I wanted to call him, but I don’t think I will. I like the idea of being a woman of mystery, someone he’ll spend the rest of his life pining for. Besides, this way he doesn’t get to meet my ghastly stepfamily. I couldn’t stand the embarrassment of introducing him to the poison dwarf and the gruesome twosome.