Mother’s taking us out shopping for our coming out party. Neither Vera’s, nor my family, is high enough on the social ladder to attend any formal debutante balls – something that nettles my parents greatly.

It hasn’t stopped them from doing all they can to propel me out into the spotlight.

Not that I mind, so long as Vera is there with me. I know I’m beautiful, everyone always tells me so. But it is her that makes me feel it.

Vera smiles at me, hooking my pinky finger with hers, silently conveying her excitement about staying the night again.