Weekly Sanity

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Chapter 16


October 06, 2013

"I don't like the mall, Chloe."

She offered me a smile.

"I don't like this mall too. But my mother insisted that I'd go to the mall like a normal teenaged girl and go buy myself some new outfits." She sounded like she's doing a chore but the smile on her face tells that she's pretty much enjoying herself. I thought that she's the type of girl who doesn't like window shopping.

She rolled her eyes. "Oh, that's why I invited you -to make shopping more bearable. Besides it's not like I'm going to make you pay for everything I'll buy."

Yeah, right. We're not exactly window shopping. Well, she does seem to like unrestrained money-spending.

"Hey cheer up. We'll go to an arcade or somewhere after this." I smiled as she made me remember that time we played a round on an arcade. It also made me remember that I felt sick after our game for some reason…

She unexpectedly held my left wrist as we walk, like I'm going to go away or something. Oh no, she's not planning something that will make me want to do so, does she? We're just going to a department store. She's right then. I don't like going to a department store. The reason, though, is because of the salesladies. They kept staring at me like I'm some kind of criminal from the Most Wanted List.

I had no choice but to look down all way to avoid their gaze. The only exceptions were when Chloe wanted to show me something she thought that I'll find interesting. She made me wonder at some point if I did something to make her do this to me.

"Stay there. Don't move," What am I a dog? "I'm just going to try these on," she said motioning to the dress she was holding. She followed that statement when she seen me crunch up my face. "And if you try and ditch me," she sounded severe and icy, that it made me feel so hot and uncomfortable out of the blue. Then, she smiled. That type of smile that usually comforts me, but it scared me now. "—we'll have some nice fun later, Miles."

My legs felt like jelly. Really, it does! I didn't know that it happens in real life.

Well waiting isn't that bad. I can wait like this for hours. I don't really mind. (I promise.) It's just that everyone kept glaring daggers at me. Well, earlier it's just glares, but now they're all looking at me with pure disgust. Of course they would, earlier I just looked like a delinquent but now, I looked like a delinquent who was standing near the underwear section. Is Chloe messing with me?

I could move away but I can't seem to move my legs. My body seems to develop some kind of mechanism to not disobey Chloe whenever she uses that kind dialogue to me.

But finally, she came out. She walked towards me apparently still not realizing (or does she?) that she made a guy stand near the Women's Undergarment Section.

"Do I look okay? Do you think I look fat on these?" she asked smiling again, that weird smile of hers. But seriously asking me this? I never thought that Chloe would ask me this.

"Well?!" she raised her voice. I didn't need to look around me to know that every glares and stares just got flavored with venom.

"Er –yes?" I was forced to answer so I didn't have time to recollect her question.

"I. Hate. You."

Oh come on. She didn't need to sob after saying that. She's faking it. Now, I'm sure everyone's stopped glaring at me as they were now too busy to stop themselves from hounding me to the nearest wall. I might have just imagined it, but I'm sure I saw one move their fingers in a way that they wanted to strangle something.

"Ooh, smooth one, Miles." It was Zec. If he wasn't laughing at me (albeit good-naturedly), I might have thanked him for making all of those glaring eyes divert away from me.

"What are you doing here?" I asked in a much friendlier tone than I had intended. He can be annoying sometimes.

"Er… my dad works with the mall's admin- I'm usually here at Sundays. Wait, didn't I mention that already?" Oh, I forgot. "Anyway Miles, everyone knows that you should always deny that a girl is fat. They're sensitive about it."

Given that he has more experience with girls, hence more knowledgeable, I should listen to him.

"Oh, I didn't know that. Thanks for the advice." Yep. It's an advantage to have Zec as a friend. He's knows his stuff. At least, I hope so. Oh well, it does make sense. It's the safest answer too.

In the middle of my approval of Zec's advice, Chloe decided to finish and Zec left to hide, giving me a thumbs up as he did this.

"So," Chloe seem to return to her cheery self. "How about this one?"

"Nope," I said popping the 'p' for emphasis.

She giggled and went to pat my head. She's treating me like a pet again, but I don't care right now. Her approval in my answer matters the most. Thanks Zec.

"Liar." she said.

Wait. What?

"I'm in stripes and everything. You're just trying to get on my good side again," she sighed. "And I thought that you're a decent and honest guy, Miles. I guess I was wrong," she sounded so exasperated and disappointed. But she's not serious, is she? However, before I could react to her, she got on and went to try on another set of clothes. From her retreating back, she does look kind of bulky in that outfit. I should have just paid more attention instead of trusting Zec's reckless advice. Speaking of that jerk, I could have sworn I heard him snicker in the background. I'm going to get him for that. He knew that was going to happen all along!

I was distracted from planning Zec's eminent death, upon hearing Chloe's compartment door open again. Alright, this is my last chance. For the third time today, she went towards me. This time though she had an expression of bemused mixed with annoyance, at some random reason I don't know.

I examined her from head to toe. I won't fail this time. To criticize or to comment her with flowery words, I don't care, I'll just tell her the truth.

"Er… I don't think you're fat," I said proudly, though I was relieved that I did not need to criticize her.

"Miles," she held my shoulders and looked at me seriously. Then her lips curled into a smile. "I'm wearing the clothes I got here with," and she giggled at my utter idiocy.

I just stood there.

"I'm no good at this." I just said. Well, I always wear hand-me-downs from various 'friends' and neighbors of my mothers. I have only one pair of cargo shorts and a pair of jeans. I don't know anything about fashion. People must be wondering what Chloe's doing hanging out with a dirty looking delinquent. I feel so worthless.

"Hey, don't worry about it. I'm only having some fun with you. I didn't mean any of that nonsense about you not being decent and honest. I mean, you just make the cutest expressions." So, she's just messing with me? I was hurt, though. Oh well whatever, I don't care now. I'm just happy that I didn't make any slipups. I was certain that I offended her.

"Sheesh, surely, you didn't think that I'd be conscious about how I look, did you? I always look great, Miles." Chloe gave me a wink.

"But really, Miles, try to get mad at me sometimes, okay? You're too easy. Didn't I just hurt you?" Oh so she's aware that she did hurt me. "I wanted to see how you look when you're angry. I did saw a glimpse of it but it wasn't enough to leave a mark at my brain," she then suddenly surprised that she revealed this to me.

I just shrugged not knowing how to answer.

"Hey, I'm sorry Miles. Do you think I'm too hard to handle?" This question was like she's wearing a new outfit for me to judge, like earlier. I'm sticking with my last resolve: to examine everything very carefully, to criticize or to comment her with flowery words, it doesn't matter. I'll just tell her the truth.

"Yeah, but it's worth it."

She turned away and sighed. She looked uncomfortable suddenly. Then, she ran away.

Oh, wait, she just went to the cashier. That's good; it stopped me from thinking several things on how I failed her. I guess I'm doing fine, then.

She came back with the things she just bought and rummage them on my arms. Chloe then grinned suddenly, like she just had a wonderful idea. I'm sure I'm not going to like it.

"Let's buy you some clothes,"

Well, I guess it wasn't bad. I just got a bit tired of being forced on outfits she thinks that would look good on. She even threatened to put it on me herself if I don't.

"How am I supposed to pay for all of this, Chloe?"

"Their mine, I'll just let you borrow sometimes,"

"But—,"

"Creevie can have these once you've outgrown them,"

"Who's Creevie?"

"Oh, he's my little brother." So that's her little brother's name. "He's Chelsea's twin. You haven't seen any of brothers yet, huh?"

I haven't even seen her mother before and I only saw a glimpse of Chelsea that one time. Chloe started watching me for some reason.

"Yeah, they won't try and kill me like those overprotective brothers we see on movies, right?" I made it sound like I was only joking but I failed to keep a straight voice. Yeah, I'm nervous about their brothers. Every time Chloe talks about either of them I always feel a hint of jealousy go through me. But I can't be selfish about that; they are her brothers after all.

"I promise I'll let you meet one of them next week, who do want to meet first though? Charles or Creevie?" I tried to ignore the way Chloe said their names so fondly. They're her brothers, Miles.

"Do you think they'll like me? What if they decided to come up with an evil plot of disposing me?"

She laughed at me. I'm serious here.

"I'm sure Creevie will like you. That kid practically worships everyone I'm close with," She paused to ponder about what to say next. "And I'm sure my big brother Charles will find it in his heart to like you Miles, I hope." She said that so seriously and miserably that I wouldn't want to ever meet this brother of hers.

"Oh, I just remembered something." Chloe fumbled in her pocket to produce her phone. "Here, I'm giving this to you," she took my hand and placed it on my palm.

"But it's your phone," I said lamely but I know deep down that she wouldn't have 'no' for an answer.

"One of my aunts just bought me a new one. I figured that I wanted to bid you a 'Good Night' every night. Besides, everyone nowadays has their own mobile, it's important. I already saved my number there along with Mel's and Zec's."

So basically it means that I can't say 'no' now. I gazed at the phone, it's smaller than the ones I usually see, and it's no bigger than my palm. It's Chloe's old phone. I felt like I was light-headed for some reason. Am I blushing?

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