“Are you getting dressed?” Sophie is asking Alison this question.
“Yes,” Alison says. Alison is making something in a jar, pouring in clear liquor.
“What are you doing?” Sophie has her legs crossed, she is sitting up straight in her chair next to Arthur, peeling a label off of a beer bottle. Her eyebrows are like two black bolts of lightning, Arthur thinks, in a weak metaphor, if lightning were made of fine black hairs, were tiny, and on Sophie’s face. She is looking out from under the eyebrows, sort of flicking her eyes against Catherine’s drink.
“What?” says Alison. “It’s prom. I’m not any happier than you.”
“That’s true.” Sophie looks down.
At this moment Arthur hears Grover and the Chloë on the stairs.
“Alison,” Grover is calling.
“Alison!” Chloë is pretending to scream. Arthur can tell that Chloë already has her dress on, and he does not look forward to seeing it. He also realizes that he is sitting in a house full of girls who are getting ready for the prom, before the prom. He is wondering how this happened and what became of his own male friends, if he ever had them, what they are doing now. Then Chloë walks into the kitchen, her dress long and black, accentuating pointy yellow shoulders. There is a “keyhole,” a diamond shape cut out of the dress so that the concave plane between her breasts is exposed, the skin there reflecting a long piece of light.