This is for a story I wrote for a challenge. Please read it! I'd love to get feedback, but no hate comments please! Thanks :) 
 I was always hiding. It was my thing, and I wasn’t about to change things up. It wasn’t until the summer of 2010, when my cousin Angelina came over to visit, that I broke out of my shell. 

Let me introduce myself first: I’m a 16-year-old girl named Scarlet, which I always thought was such a vibrant name for the timid girl I am. I have dirty blond hair, and clear blue eyes. My favorite things to wear were my brown rimmed glasses with huge lenses, and baggy shirts and skirts. That was before that summer, though.

Naturally, I was sitting at my computer, typing away to my friend Sasha when my cousin strode through the door. My expression was of extreme discomfort. You see, I’ve never been too fond of my preppy cousin who’s always flouncing around in her short dresses and high heels. There wasn’t a thought in my brain that didn’t tell me she was a tramp.

When she walked into my dreary bedroom, she had a permanent smile planted on her face. She arranged herself on my bed, and wiped away any crinkles in her tight black dress. 

“Hey cuz’!” she exclaimed, “Haven’t seen you in a while!”

We both just sat there for what felt like forever, until she got up and stood behind my desk chair, looking over my shoulders at my computer.

“What you writing there Scar?” she said using that annoying nickname she had for me.

I just ignored her, and kept typing to my friend. I was just about to tell Sasha how annoying it was that my cousin was staring over my shoulder, when Angelina seemed to sense my mood, and walked away. She closed my door and I heard her heels clack on the wooden hallway floor.

I had a sigh of relief, then typed goodbye to Sasha, and shut off the computer monitor. I peeked out the door, and could hear Angelina talking to my Mom in the kitchen.

“I really want to hang out with Scarlet, and go shopping, but she doesn’t seem to even want to talk to me. What should I do?” my cousin asked in her whiny voice.

“I really don’t know sweetie, but she’ll open up eventually, you just wait,” my Mom reassured her.

I walked into the kitchen and grabbed a plastic cup out of the cabinet. I filled it up to the top with juice, and was about to walk back in my room when my cousin stopped me, “Hey Scar, how would you like to go shopping with me?” 

“I don’t know, I’m kind of busy today,” I lied.

“Well, do you think you could squeeze me in?”

I was about to ignore her and just go back to my room and read like I was planning to do, but instead decided to give in. Don’t ask me why, because I really couldn’t give you an answer. 

We drove to the mall in my Mom’s Honda Civic, and parked close to Nordstrom. As we walked towards the front entrance, I finally decided to talk to her, “Why do you want to hang out with me?” I asked; a reasonable question in my opinion.

“Because Scarlet,” she said with a smile across her face, “You are my project right now.”

I had no clue what that meant, but I decided just to go along with it. The only thing I could think of right then, was to get through this shopping spree without losing my mind.

She dragged me all over the mall that day, taking me to store, after store making me try on outfit, after outfit. She paid for so many things with that shiny gold credit card of hers, that by the end of the day, my head was spinning from thinking about how much money I owed her.

As we dropped the multiple shopping bags down on my bed, I sighed from exhaustion. 

“How much do I owe you Angelina?” I asked her politely. 

“You don’t owe me anything silly!” she said so obviously.

I just shrugged, and said, “Well okay, if you insist.”

I wasn’t going to complain if she was going to be nice. I certainly didn’t feel like paying for all those clothes she made me try on, and now I didn’t have to worry anymore.

We said goodnight to each other, and she left to make her way to the guest bedroom. I changed into my pajamas, and drifted off to sleep immediately after turning out my light, and falling into my bed.

When I awoke that Wednesday morning, I saw Angelina sitting on my desk chair, wearing her usual preppy, fancy clothes as usual. I ignored her, and got out of bed and walked down the hall to eat breakfast.

To me, yesterday was a blur, and all I wanted to concentrate on was eating my cereal in peace. Angelina had other plans.

“Okay Scar, eat your cereal quickly, and then head back to your bedroom, because I have a special surprise for you,” she squeaked excitedly. 

This just made me want to take longer eating my breakfast. I chewed and swallowed each bite of my cereal carefully, then groaned as I got up from my chair, and headed towards my bedroom.

I opened the creaky door slowly, and peeked inside for a second. What I saw scared me more than seeing a horror film. There was a whole makeup station set up with lipstick, blush, brushes, and everything. 

I was about to shut the door, and run back down the hall, but Angelina saw me before I accomplished that.

“Hey Scar!” she shouted, “Come on in!”

Now I had no choice, I had to walk right into the horror show that had become of my room. I stepped slowly into my bedroom, dragging my slippered feet across the carpeted floor.

I plopped myself down in the chair beside the makeup station she had set up, and waited for my punishment. 

“Okay, now close your eyes Scarlet, and let me work some magic.” she said.

I sort of drifted off after being in the chair for 20 minutes. I was waiting for her to finally tell me to open my eyes, and when she did I was overjoyed.

I opened them slowly, and carefully, but what I saw in the mirror was not what I had expected. I saw a beautiful girl in the mirror. It couldn’t be me, it just couldn’t, but it was. 

The first thing I did was reach for my glasses, but Angelina slapped her hand down on mine.

“Scar?” she questioned, “Don’t you have some contacts?”

“Sure, they’re in my night stand, but I hardly ever wear them,” I responded

She sped over to my night stand in a flash, and rummaged through my drawers for my contacts. When she finally succeeded in finding them, she handed them to me. 

“Put them on,” she demanded.

I did what she ordered me to do, because something inside of me itched to see what would happen. I put them in each eye carefully, and then looked back in the mirror. My face looked less fuzzy now that I had contacts in, and I couldn’t resist just looking at myself in the mirror for a minute. 

“How did you do this?” I asked quizzically.

She just giggled and said, “Sweetie, all I did was put on a touch of makeup, and curled your hair a little. You were this pretty all along, and you just didn’t know it.”

I thought about that and smiled. For the remainder of the morning, she did my nails in a light shade of purple, and then dragged me over to my closet to try on some clothes. It was only then that I realized how I was her project. 

She was planning all of this all along; the makeup, the nails, and the clothes. All I could do was smile, and let her dress me like a Barbie doll. Something inside of me just let free, and I realized that I didn’t need to hide behind anything anymore.

When I looked in the mirror after she was done, I loved how I looked. She had dressed me in a purple floral shirt with frilly sleeves, and three silver buttons down the front. Below that, I had on a large, light brown belt, and a short black skirt. With that, she had paired jet black tights and heels.

That day was considerably the best of my life. I knew then and there that I had the best cousin a girl could possibly have. She may be a little too flamboyant at times, but she did the nicest thing anybody could have possibly done for me.

She took me out of that shell I’d been hiding in for so long, and set my spirit free. That day I actually felt beautiful, and for that whole summer Angelina gave me beauty tips on just about everything. When the first day of school came around the corner, I was ready. 

I showed up at school on that first day of my junior year, and I don’t believe anybody recognized me. When my homeroom teacher called my name, and everybody turned to see who the girl was that peeped “here,” I had a permanent smile etched into my face. 

I had changed for the better that summer, and it was all because of my new favorite cousin, Angelina.
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