All chapters are up on W a t t p a d.
“Do you think this will look good on me?” Cherry asked me, holding up a white graphic tee to her chest.
Cherry is my best friend, someone who has been by side for over six years. We met at school. At first, we despised each other (I mostly hated her), but we soon forgot about our differences and learned to be good friends. As time past, we began to have a strong bond. We went to each other’s house, slept over, all of that cliché school thing.
Her birthday was tomorrow, and I was excited to celebrate with her and a bunch of friends. Before the big day, she wanted to buy a dress. How extra. I went with her anyway. Little did I know, I wouldn’t be able to attend her birthday gathering the next day.
“You look good in everything,” I flattered her, then looking away to rummage through the unorganized pile of clothing. Customers are a pain in the ass. “They have nothing in this store, let’s go.”
“Should I buy this?” Cherry playfully swung the hanger around my face.
I accidentally took a whiff of the white fabric of the graphic tee and scowled. “That smells like child labour and sweatshops, get that out of my face.”
“I’m guessing that’s a no...” she murmured.
We walked out, saying goodbye to the sales associate. The mall was loaded with people. Loud buzzes of conversation between individuals filled my ears instantly as we began to take a stroll.
I had recently got paid. Working at a lousy fast food restaurant didn’t pay me much, but I’m determined to cash out this week. As a person who is dedicated to her job, I didn’t really mind working there. The customers were a little annoying. Everybody in my workplace knows that I’m not patient with rude customers, so I usually flip the beef patties now.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. It was hard for me to decide what I wanted to do, so I took a gap year. Making money was all I thought about to escape the harsh reality that I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life.
As we passed through stores, I stopped at an overrated luxury store, Gucci. Overrated? Yes, but I long to boast myself more than I do now, and something simple from a designer store could do the trick.
“Don’t even think about it,” Cherry interrupted my thoughts. “Don’t you remember you work at-”
“Shut up,” I interrupted her promptly. In my head, I blurred out her lecturing and headed inside anyways.
A security guard looked me up and down. Either he was sizing me up, checking me out, or questioning how I am going to afford the products without stealing. All three of them left a bad taste in my mouth.
The store wasn’t big but medium sized. There were chandeliers, bright lights, simply a light atmosphere. It looked divine. The illumination of the room attracted my soul, luring me into a huge purple void of money dept and disappointment. I picked up the most basic white sneakers. Technically, it wasn’t as basic, because of the logo on the side. It was basic because, without the logo, it would be nothing. At least it was the cheapest.
The leather felt like, well, leather. Soft, expensive, everything that I wanted that I didn’t know that I wanted before. “This is it, Cherry, I am a hundred per cent getting this.”
“That is so simple, don’t you want to get the ones that are sparkly? Or like, glittery? Or something that doesn’t look like THAT?”
“Whaddya mean by that?”
“Plain white shoes with a logo slapped on it!”
I rolled my eyes. As much as I love Cherry to death, she still doesn’t get this whole idea. Of course, I do slightly regret being a bit materialistic. But I’m young... I smiled at a sales associate. “Do you have a size five and a half?”
“Yes! I’ll get that out for you shortly.” the brunette replied back in a rather chirpy tone. She looked and sounded extremely professional.
Her shiny, chestnut brown hair was properly curled, neatly resting on her shoulder. The tight black dress she wore hugged her figure appealingly, and on top of that, her most-likely expensive blazer finished her outfit.
She looked good.
“You’re really getting that?” my best friend rudely asked for the second time, curling her dyed red hair with her finger.
She dyed it recently. Cherry looked great in red, it even fit her name as well. It’s been more than a couple of years that I’ve never seen her in her biological black hair. Anyone may think she looks like an Asian bootleg Kat Valentine, but I personally think Cherry looks way better than her.
Before I could reply to her annoyingly asked question, the sound of high heels and the scent of expensive interrupted me. “Here you go! My name is Heather and if you have any more questions, please let me know.”
“What a snobby name...” Cherry whispered in my ear, a smirk played out on her face.
“Alright, thank you!” I elbowed her roughly, then giving Heather a small smile. I took the box from her hand and eyeballed it for approximately five seconds.
What a plain box.
I tried on the shoes quickly, hoping that I didn’t crease it and mess it up yet. It fit like a glove. A really nice glove.
I bought it.
It was already getting late, and Cherry’s mother was overprotective (too overprotective for an eighteen-year-old), hence we had to go home. As I called an Uber, we patiently waited outside. The pungent smell of burnt cigarettes entered my left nostril, but the aroma of fresh air entered my right nostril. It was extremely uncomfortable. It was just the two of us and deep conversations whilst staring at the stars like two morons.
A grey car pulled up in front of us and honked twice. I don’t understand what drug this man was currently on, but we were literally five centimetres away from him. I checked his driver license and nodded at Cherry.
“Jeez, we get it!” I shrieked, getting into the backseat.
The man, around his forties, turned around and smiled at us. “How are you, ladies?”
“Great,” we both said in unison, avoiding eye contact with him.
A year ago, we had a discussion about the dangers of Uber, and ironically we find ourselves in one. Your Uber driver could be drunk for all I know, and your life is in, well, nobody’s hands. Except for death.
The ride was proper, smooth and nothing crazy. But as we reached the highway, I regretted my entire life decisions.
It happened too fast. Way too fast. A larger car rammed against Cherry’s side, causing the car we were in to tilt left. Our transportation crashed onto the heavy cement wall separating the other lanes, which was on my side, may I add. I predicted my head went right through the window and collided with the road. I screamed as the pain in my head became too unbearable to handle.
There was a sudden strong ringing in my ear, it felt like a microwave continuously going off. I wanted to die. The pain was so terrible, that I’d rather die than go through with it. I swear, my skull cracked open as I was just waiting to lose consciousness. The last thing I saw before I blacked out was Cherry’s face with blood trickling down, flames that shone brightly in the dark sky, and the scene of people trying to get out of the colliding cars.
“Can you hear me? Can you hear us?” a soft murmur of voices entered in my head, but the ringing noises were too loud for me to hear the rest of what they were saying. I couldn’t open my eyes, I felt paralyzed. My body did absolutely nothing, and I didn’t know what to do anymore.
Then the familiar voice, the loud familiar voice. “Carmen! Carmen! Carmen please!”
Cherry. Cherry’s alive. I still couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t respond, not a single lift of a finger. I was dead. I was literally dead. This is it. This is really it. As long as Cherry’s alive, I’m alright... I’m dead. I really am.
I finally accepted my fate.