IV. There's A Reason Why We're Outnumbered, Honey. We Just Haven't Prepared for It Yet
Tables were evenly arranged on a central area of the mall called “the Square.” They were ushered to their seats by the waiters in red uniform and gold trim. Gab was thankful that the only utensils available were the spoon, fork and knife, seeing that everything looked so elegant for a mall square. He wondered why it was called a square since it’s just a large circular area as seen by the balconies of the upper floors.
Looking around, it seemed that the mall has been opened this night just for this dinner. Le Blanc Bouquet must have been too small for all of these participants. Around a thousand of different nationalities and races were present. The shops were already closed, and the first floor is the only floor whose lights were on. There seemed to be effort in the decoration like the Le Blanc Bouquet. Red and gold was the theme with all the excessive elegance. The various kinds of high school students could be identified. There were the occasional nose pickers, whose nostrils were bulging in a manner so disturbing that it looked like there was a trapped Australian Yellow-frilled Shitzu (I own one. Trust.) inside. The immature runabouts who project balls of concentrated swirling air with their hands (they probably claim so) were there. The gadget whores were also present, whose techs were like their soulmates, minus the arguments. The sheep, silent and behaved (but not fluffy) sat were they were assigned, patiently (or perhaps not) waiting. The noisy bitches were ever so present, who sang out-of-tune songs, who in turn, cannot hear that they sound like an opera singer with a live eel in their throat. The narcissists, whose vanity overflows in every direction (’cause if they flowed in only one, it would be gay [I'm not homophobic btw]) were holding either cameras or mirrors, most with a duckface. The weirdos were also visible, which Gab belonged in, whose behavior of spacing out while in earphones block the majority’s opinion that they are creepy.
The banquet begun with someone tapping a spoon against a glass. Mushroom soup and garlic bread were served in little plates (Platelets? Nah.) To Gab’s dismay, red wine has been served as the drink. It seemed to be an inappropriate drink for the competitors composed of youth, but that wasn’t what was bothering him. Anything with alcohol made him sick, from wine to even fruit cake. Yes, even fruit cake. It all dates back in the 23rd Sherwood Clan Reunion, where a large “juice” dispenser got his attention. He was going to have his 12th glass when the grown-ups just realized that he was drinking a strong kind of punch. It was branded “Falcon Punch.” That night, he was both sick and cursing to alcohol and because of alcohol. More tangents to come up ahead.
Sickened, Gab excused himself and ran around for a soda store. He just realized (after meters of running to what was becoming an unlit area) that no store was open at that time of the night. He tapped his forehead and started to walk back when a solitary light source suddenly switched on from the second floor caught his attention. From the barely lit area he was on, he could see a clown on a wheelchair with a huge grin, looking at him. On the clown’s left was a nurse with bandages all over her arms and face, holding dextrose. The high unlikeliness of such people, in such a time, on that unusual place gave way to goose bumps across his body. The light flickered for a moment and stayed off, along with the disappearance of the odd bunch. Gab had irrationally feared to look behind him. He started to run towards his seat, half in fear and half in hunger. He bumped on a waiter with a crutch on his left side. The wine-filled glasses on the tray were almost spilled, thankfully and oddly, seeing a handicapped man serving as a waiter.
Gab slightly bowed his head down. “I’m sorry.”
“No need for apologies. You must’ve been excited for these red wine,” the waiter kindly replied.
“Uh. No, not really. I’m not into wine,” Gab replied as he analyzed the waiter. The waiter had curly but neatly managed hair. In white long sleeves topped with a red vest of golden trim, same color-schemed hat and handsomely shone shoes.
“Isn’t wine what you modern teenagers like?”
“Either it’s just me or that the hit today is soda or iced tea.”
“Oh, thank you for the information. I’d try wine if I were you. They’re very good for the soul. I envision that you’d be taking a glass with no interest whatsoever in drinking it; just as an act of kindness to me, though. I’m just endorsing, that’s all.”
Gab cocked an eyebrow in awe. “Woah. That was what I was thinking. You read minds or something?”
“I’ve been told,” the waiter jokingly bragged. “What’s your name?”
“Gab. Gabriel Sherwood. Nice to meet you, Bob.”
“How’d you know my name? You read minds too?”
“I’ve been told,” Gab said in a proud comeback. He chuckled as he pointed out Bob’s name tag. “Well, I have to go back and eat. Thanks and sorry, Bob.”
“Sure, Gabriel,” Bob muttered.
Bob walked away, supported by a crutch on his left. Gab wanted to help but he was really hungry. He found his way to his seat as he was greeted by Ken.
“Well, where’d you go?”
Gab sighed. “Looked for soda and failed.”
“That was kinda long for soda-hunting.”
Gab ate the Cordon Bleu served with fresh diced vegetables slowly, unlike Vincent and Ken’s style of gorging. They finished the food as soon as they got their hands on the utensils. Coach Evan took Gab’s drink as they chatted about random things such as love, films and why Miley Cyrus was relevant. A short program was hosted by a man in a black business suit with glasses. Gab didn’t pay attention but he heard the guy was Ardus “Nocturne” Edison, the CEO of the International Robot Association and of Virtual World Corporation, both of which interest him. He didn’t give a damn to the lengthy speech showered with generous applause, but he felt he heard his voice a lot during his childhood.
Coach Evan had a little chitchat with the other coaches, who only looked like denominator-increasers of their ranking for the competition report he had to submit. After a long night of sitting and waiting on a corner as he saw socializing among the competitors, the Team walked back to Le Blanc Bouquet with a full stomach and an empty energy meter.