Chapter 9 || Go Brit or Go Home.
“Are you sure ? Isn’t this a bit blunt ?“, concern took over Sofía’s voice as I scrolled through my contacts.
“I won’t blurt it straight out, Sofía, don’t worry. I have a plan, trust me.“, I reassured, while my phone dialed Jana’s number.
“Hello ?“, a quiet female voice answered.
“Hey, Jana. Here is Jessica. Alex called me to invite us to the America’s Future and Sofía, Kyle and I don’t have anything to wear, so we wanted to ask you to go shopping with us.”
“Oh. Hey, Jessica.“, the invidiousness in her voice was noticeable. “I...Uh.”
“Are you sure this is going to work out ?“, Sofía whispered. I nodded in response and put my index finger on my mouth, signaling her to be quiet.
I wasn’t, honestly, but I like Jana and I want her to get at least an opportunity to make something out of her life. I spend the past years with ruining people’s lives, now I should spend the next with fixing them.
“Sure. When do you want to go ?“, she suddenly replied.
“Actually, we planned on driving to the mall as soon as possible. You can meet us there in thirty minutes, are you okay with that ?”
There was no response for ten seconds which might not sound that much but the silence felt like an eternity. “Yes.”
“Uh, I need to go.“, Jana said hesitantly from the other side of the phone and hung up.
This was definitely not my best act of convincing but as long as it’ll work out, I have no complaints.
“So what exactly are you planning ?“, Sofía interrogated me. “I’ll buy her a dress.”
“You mean we are going to buy her a dress.“, Kyle corrected me. “I won’t leave that poor girl all to herself. Besides, I need to make up the bad karma that has occurred since I started spending time with you. I will never ever be able to enter a church again or God will let me burst into flames.“, he fake smiled.
“I’m pretty sure that thought has crossed his mind before when he realized that you know the difference between salmon pink and atomic tangerine.“, I faked a pout and he just stuck out his tongue.
“Really ? Will you two ever stop with the insults ? It’s been a few months already and both of you don’t ever miss an opportunity to bombard each other with sarcastic answers. I mean I get that it’s funny especially when you don’t like someone but you can’t go on like that forever.“, Sofía gave us an annoying look.
It’s true. Kyle and I haven’t really made peace with each other. Sometimes we act in a friendly manner and then World War III is about to start. I don’t know if this is ever going to change though...
It kind of became our thing. Sometimes I don’t even know if we’re joking or not...
“I’m in as well. I have still some money left from my employment in a pet shop. Plus, my mom and dad were in a similar situation when they emigrated from Argentina and as a Latina I can’t let a fellow Latina sister down, can I ?“, I smiled at her response.
I always thought that the world is full of pretentious and stupid people and I believed that the only way to bear they’re crap is to become one myself. Then Sofía, Lizzie and Kyle kind of proved me wrong. Even Noah, although he fell for Marissa but the truth is that we all sort of did.
Except for Kyle and Gracie, but they don’t count because they have some kind of superpowers when it comes to judging people. Especially Gracie since this kid surprises me everyday anew...
“Do you have a real plan ? Because I don’t think she will accept us buying her the dress.“, I just shook my head and got off my bed to grab my purse. “No, I will just improvise and see what will work the best.”
The drive to the mall took us about fifteen minutes until the tire of my car the parking lot. As I stumbled out of my car, nearly making my face acquainted with the stone flooring, I recognized Jana awkwardly waiting in front of the entrance.
She constantly put her hair behind her ear and looked around nervously. As she caught sight of us, I waved at her and sped up.
“How long have you been standing here ?“, I asked Jana when we reached the entrance of the mall. “Not that long. Let’s go inside.“, she replied quickly.
We went into the first clothing store that caught our attention but the selection of dresses was rather humble. Sofía and I pretended to look for dresses to wear when, in fact, we were searching for something for Jana to wear and kept asking for her opinion.
“Kyle, do something. I can’t find anything acceptable. What’s with the cliché that every gay guy has some magical sense when it comes to fashion.“, Sofía whined.
“Yeah, hold on. Just let me activate my gay super powers real quick.“, he responded sarcastically and put his fingers on his temples, pretending to scan the room.
Jana was sitting on a little chair, probably praying for this whole shopping trip to be over soon.
“Why aren’t you looking for anything ?“, I looked at her expectantly, trying to put my non-existent plan into practice. “I-uh didn’t find anything.”
That was the worst lie I have ever come across with but I pretended as if I believed her. I was about to comment what Jana just said when I spotted a beautiful red dress worn by a mannequin which was positioned in the corner of the store.
It was tight with long sleeves, a v-neck and lace on the upper half of the dress. “This.“, I said, sprinting on the other side of the room before Kyle and Sofía could even react.
I scanned the price tags for the right sizes until I found one and made my way back to Jana. “Try this on.”
She raised her eyebrows at me. “I can’t wear that. I don’t even know if this is eligible for the gala. Plus, I don’t want to know how big my fortune must be to be able to buy that.”
“Even if it’s not, someone has to lay into the pedantic people out there. You don’t have to wear it if you feel uncomfortable but at least give it a try.“, I held up the dress towards her.
“And.“, I continued. “You can impress the guy you’ve been madly in love for such long time.”
Her eyes widened at my comment. “How did you know ?”
“I didn’t but now I do.“, I grinned at her. “Come on. Just try it on.”
Her gaze went to Kyle and Sofía who just nodded in approval and then back at me. “Fine.“, she sighed and vanished in one of the changing rooms.
“How much does it cost ?“, Sofía leaned into my direction. “One-hundred twenty dollars.”
“Everyone of us would have to pay forty dollars. Are you guys okay with that.”
“Sure.“, Kyle said. “Initially, I thought that...“, he was about to finish his sentence when his facial expression turned blank. “Oh. My. God.“, he uttered.
I followed his gaze when I saw Jana standing in front us, looking more stunning than ever. Red is really her color, I’m not gonna lie.
“You look amazing !!“, I exclaimed. “You need to buy it.”
“I can’t afford it. Do you know how many groceries I could buy with the money that dress costs ?“, she said when she was about to go back into the changing room but I stopped her.
“Then we will buy it for you.”
“No, no,no. I can’t accept that.“, her eyes widened after she realized what I just said. “This is very kind of you but I can’t do that.”
“Jana, seriously, just see it as an investment in your future. There will be so many important people at the gala which will help you to get to college and everything.“, I explained to her.
“Why are you doing this ?“, she lowered her eyebrow. “You are Jessica Weathers. You don’t do things like that, why now ? You don’t even know me. We met like a few days ago.”
“All I need to know is that you are a good person and that you deserve to be there. Please, let us buy the dress for you.“, she looked down on herself seemingly pensive. “Okay, fine. But I will pay you back as soon as possible.”
“You really don’t have to but if you feel better that way, fine.“, a tear rolled down her face when she suddenly pulled me into a hug.
“Thank you so much.“, she mumbled as she let go of me and looked at Sofía and Kyle. “Thank you all so much for doing this for me. Never has anyone done anything like that for me and I want you to know that I really appreciate with all of my heart.”
A sudden satisfaction took over my body. Seeing Jana like that really made me happy and I have never really felt like this before. Sure, I have done someone a favor every now and then, I wasn’t that much of a horrible person.
Okay, I was but what I did for Jana was something that surpassed everything I have ever done for anyone, especially because it mattered and had a real impact on her.
The thing that amazed me the most was her gratefulness. I wish I had the ability to be that thankful because nowadays we tend to take everything for granted.
When Jana exited the changing room, Kyle was the first one approaching her. “Sooo. Who is the guy you were referring to earlier ? How does he look like ?”
A nervous expression spread on Jana’s face when Kyle asked. “No one special. I know him from the America’s Future program but I have never really talked to him.”
“Is he hot ?“, Kyle asked and nudged him with my elbow. “What ? I’m just trying to have some real talk in here.”
“Yes, he is hot, although he has red hair.“, Jana laughed.” I know I shouldn’t be judging but normally I’m more into to the ‘dark hair and tan’- type”.
“What’s his name ?“, I asked curiously, having a weird presumption. “Nate.”
“Does he happen to study medicine at Columbia.“, Jana gave me a skeptical look as soon as I had uttered my question. “How do you know that ?”
“Because your long time crush is my almost step-brother.“, I explained as we reached cash desk.
“Wait.“, Kyle interfered.“The son of your father’s girlfriend is your crush ? Wow, I didn’t see that one coming. Is he also going to be at the gala ?”
“As far as I know, he’ll be there.“, Jana nodded in approval.
“Are you sure ?“, Sofía asked confusedly. “I thought the son of your fathers girlfriend was British, but Jana said she knows him from the America’s future program. That doesn’t make sense.”
“Actually, he is just her step-son.“, Jana explained.“His father is British but his mother was from California. He was born in England but grew up in California, moved to England for a few years and then back to America when he was fifteen.”
“Ah yes. I remember.“, I said. “The Fake Brit.”
“Fake Brit ?“, Sofía and Kyle asked in unison.
“That’s his nickname. He is technically British since he was born there and has the British nationality along with the American one, but is still missing something crucial. A British accent. That’s why he is often referred to as “The Fake Brit”. He has a pretty high position in the America’s Future program and in general pretty well-known. This is proved by the fact that I know so much about him even though I have only met him once.“, I shrugged.
“You said that you have never really talked to him but how do you know so much about him ?“, Kyle cocked an eyebrow at Jana.
“Well, if you can’t talk your way to him, you need to stalk your way to him.“, she chuckled and we laughed at her comment.
I have the feeling that this gala is going to turn out to be more interesting than I initially thought...