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"Ashley? Are you ready yet?" I called out, barely able to hide the excitement in my voice.
"Just give me a couple of minutes!" my sister, Ashley, answered from the dressing room next to mine.
I stared at myself in the mirror. The store dressing room was completely littered with clothes, but I'd found the perfect outfit at last. I couldn't stop smiling. "Do I look great or what?" I asked myself.
The answer was yes.
The knit top I chose brought out my blue eyes and looked killer with the short denim shorts. It was perfect for our sweet sixteen party.
"Ashley, hurry up!" I called. "I'm dying to see what you think of this outfit!"
"I've just got a few more dresses to try," Ashley called back. I rolled my eyes and sat down to wait on the little bench in my dressing room, pushing the pile of clothes aside. Our party is going to be sooo great, I thought. I let my mind wander off...
All of our girlfriends are hanging out on the beach and it's a sunny, breezy day. There's a DJ spinning in the sand while a bunch of people dance to the latest songs. A few people swim in the waves. The rest of the crowd watches as Ashley and I rule in a volleyball tournament. Dad mans the barbecue while Mom snaps pictures of our friends.
We hang out on the beach until the stars come out, dancing to our favorite hits next to a big bonfire. Our cake is huge and has tons of candles on it. All our friends gather around to sing to us. Everyone agrees that it's the most fantastic sweet sixteenthey've ever been to.
And, of course, there 's a monster pile of presents waiting for us when it's all over. Can't forget about the presents....
"Almost ready, Mary-Kate." Ashley's voice snapped me out of my thoughts. The beach and the party all melted away. "Just give me two more minutes."
"No problem," I told her, smiling at my reflection in the dressing room mirror. After all, I could spend another half-hour just daydreaming about the presents!
Okay, Ashley, I said to myself, you saved the best dress for last. Time to go for it.
I hung up all the outfits I'd already tried on. Then I turned and took the last dress down from the hook on the back of the door. I had a feeling that this was going to be the one.
I slipped the long, flowy, light-blue gown over my head, and it fell perfectly on my frame. The dress looked like it was made for me it was just the right length, fit perfectly around the waist, and its slim spaghetti straps were totally flattering. Plus, it sparkled when the light hit it just right.
Mary-Kate is going to love this so much, I thought. She's going to want to get the exact same dress!
I gathered up my long, wavy blond hair into a twist and secured it with a clip. Then I stood up on my tiptoes and grinned at my reflection. I'd found it! The perfect outfit for our sweet sixteen...
Mary-Kate and I walk into a huge ballroom filled with people who are all dressed up in ball gowns and tuxedoes. Elegantly dressed waiters circle the room carrying trays heaped with food and tall champagne glasses full of sparkling cider The scent of flowers fills the air, and there are roses on every table. Hundreds of candles give the room a romantic glow.
The dance floor gleams, and two incredibly cute guys ask me and Mary-Kate to dance. Mom and Dad stand along the wall, watching us with proud smiles. One of the waiters wheels out a huge cake, and everyone sings to us. When we blow out the candles, the whole room bursts into applause.
It's the most amazing party anyone has ever attended.
I shook myself out of my daydream and smiled at my reflection once again. It was all coming together. Our sixteenth birthday is less than two months away, I thought, and now I've found the perfect dress an elegant dress that shows I'm not a kid anymore.
"Ashley!" My sister groaned.
"Okay, I'm ready!" I stood and smoothed the dress once more. "Let's both come out on the count of three."
"Right," Mary-Kate said. "Here goes. One..."
"Two..." I chimed in.
We both stepped out of our dressing rooms, took one look at each other and burst out laughing.
"Um...I think we may have a problem here," I said, taking in her shorts and tank top.
"Tell me about it, Cinderella," she joked. "Nice dress, though."
"Thanks, and those shorts are great. But..." I shuffled over to her dressing room and peeked inside, taking in the piles of casual clothes. There wasn't a single dress in sight. "Mary-Kate, what were you thinking?"
"Beachparty, of course!" she replied.
"But...we live in Malibu, California," I said. "We go to the beach all the time."
"Exactly," she said. "What's the point of living here if you don't take advantage of it?"
I took in her shorts and tank-top again. When it came to our birthday party, we were definitely not on the same planet. "Maybe we should go somewhere and start talking about this party," I suggested.
Ashley and I kicked back in the cushy corner booth at Starbucks with our coffees. "We've got to get serious about this sweet sixteen party," she said. It I know you like to be spontaneous, but"
"Hey," I protested. "Even I know that great parties take planning. Give me a little credit, Miss Organization."
She pulled out a glittery purple notebook and matching pen. "I'm no more organized than the average..."Mary-Kate & Ashley Sweet 16 #1: Never Been Kissed. Copyright © by Mary-Kate & Ash Olsen. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.