“Can we fiiiiinally have something now?” I whined, pushing through the glass door behind Brittany and Kendra.
My poor stomach had been begging for food for about thirty minutes already and Brittany had been shopping like a crazy bird, flying from one store to the next in this big, huge, enormous, mall, floor after floor; her hasty enthusiasm seemingly as though the world will stop selling dresses from the next day onwards.
It was the following day after the night we all hung out. It was Sunday. Brittany called me and Kendra to accompany her to Anderson’s Arcade to help her shop. It was easy actually, to shop for her. You make her wear a dress of any color, any design, she ends up looking like the dress is personally made for her and only her by Chanel. Seriously, with that glowing skin and the body, she looked good in anything, once again making me think what an idiot her crush is; not giving a crap about this jewel.
After two hours, she was already carrying around a pile of bags like a bunch of keys. Kendra managed to buy one - two dresses while I settled on flip flops; not really in the mood to strip and wear and strip and wear over and over again.
“Sure. Sure,” Brittany nodded, “Let’s head over to the cafe on the next floor. That one’s not bad.”
“Yes!” I literally jumped.
Whilst making our way to the cafe, Kendra grasped my wrist and abruptly pulled me in to a lingerie store.
“What are we doing here?!”
Without answering me, Kendra just pressed a pair of very red (the wavelength of its color making holes through my head) and extremely lacy, lingerie to my body.
“What the . . . Kendra!” I jumped and cringed away from the creepily lacy piece.
“What?! Now that you’re not single anymore, you might be needing it soon enough.” She smirked while rummaging through the thousand lacy pieces of all colors in the universe surrounding us. “I’m sure you’re wearing some Disney Princesses. Tell me. Is it Snow White or Cinderella?”
I grabbed the lingerie from her hand and hit her with the hanger.
“What was that for!” She laughed. “Listen. Even if you’re not buying, I’m definitely buying you one. You’re not leaving this place without something.”
Brittany on the other hand was laughing her ass off.
“I’m not wearing any Disney Princess!” I whined.
Why did I even say that?
“Okay. She definitely need a pair,” so saying, Brittany too started digging into the lined pair of lingeries.
Soon, much to my embarrassment, I was becoming a Victoria’s Secret Model in the store. They kept pressing one pair after the other to my body.
“Stop it, guys. Please. Xavier and I . . . were not ready for this yet,” I begged, covering my face with both palms.
“You never know when you’ll be ready. You don’t really get to plan it. You have to be prepared,” Kendra stated casually as if it was the most easy thing for her mouth to say.
“Well . . . yeah but this is crazy. I mean, for real. We kissed for the first time only yesterday! It’s still too early to be preparing!” I was beginning to hyperventilate; my breath coming out in short panicky puffs. “Let’s just go to the cafe. I’m literally dying of starvation,” I begged as I dragged my palms down from my face to my neck, trying to cool my face which was almost hitting boiling point.
If you can name a situation more embarrassing than this then I’d be glad to know, because you can’t imagine how I was feeling. You’re just standing there helpless while your best friends keep pressing one lingerie after the other to your body. And what the holy fudge! Xavier and I had only kissed, like really kiss, only the night before and they had already started equipping me for the deed. If by accident he shows up out of nowhere and see me standing in this particular store, or hear from some extremely resourceful source that I’d been here trying out lingeries, I’d be as good as dead. I couldn’t imagine his reactions. I’d run for my life.
Can’t they just leave that out of their mind for a while?
First my dad. He didn’t want me to go out with Xavier last night. Said he didn’t trust Xavier and Xavier had to swear he wouldn’t do anything; bring me back just the way I left. How embarrassing. Even Xavier hadn’t thought about crossing the line but my dad was already protective. And now my best friends! Even I hadn’t thought a bit about it. But with their Twenty First Century advanced brain, oh well, they were way ahead of time.
I couldn’t even think about Xavier now. I was blushing so hard it was almost aching my cheeks. Like I said, if by any chance or accident he show up, I swear I was ready to hibernate for the rest of my life.
After about half an hour, we left the store with two pieces of lacy lingeries (I doubted I’d know when to make use of them). Of course, I begged them to pick the ones with less lace. Seriously, the first red one frightened the wind out of me.
Taking seats inside Jade’s Cafe, Kendra and Brittany chit chatted about which one of the two lingeries they liked more.
Brittany was like, “Both the colors are nice, not too much, not too less. They’re soft. But I like the peach one more.”
Kendra grinned and nodded, “Yeah. That one’s so Alana.”
“Oh shut up, please,” I groaned, folding my hands over the table and leaning my chin on it and mumbled, “I’m still wondering why we even bought them. It’s not gonna happen anytime soon. It’s still a far far away story.”
“Yeah. But you have to be prepared. You can’t run all the way here to get a pair of lingeries when you are already at the edge, can you?” Kendra countered.
Brittany nodded in second to her motion.
“I don’t get why I should when they’re only going to be removed anyway,” I said.
“Well, that’s literally the thing,” Brittany mused, “Guys appreciate it when you give some effort.”
“I still don’t get you.” I looked at her bluntly.
“Okay. Simply put – it’s a huge turn on when you look sexy in sexy lingeries and... Guys appreciate it when you put some effort to look sexy,” she shrugged at the end of her informative lecture.
“Hmm,” I nodded and began contemplating.
Will that work on Xavier?
I don’t know. With the fact that he hasn’t laid a girl yet... I just don’t know. And especially when it’s me whose sexiness is not even the size of a grain.
But then again, that’s not the reason why we like each other.
And God, why am I even thinking about this?! And if Xavier ever finds out that we talked about this, I’m done for.
“Have you guys done it?” I asked them.
“No,” both of them shook their heads together.
“Then how come you know all these?”
“These are not some classified NASA information, Xavier’s Mongrel,” Kendra sighed.
Munching on our fries and Burgers, we fell into silence. Kendra and I were busy trying to stuff ourselves out of the starvation zone, while Brittany was deliberately nibbling on her fries with her eyes on the tray, but her focus lost somewhere within her own thoughts. The cheerful expression which previously flooded her face was now overtaken by something melancholic. Noticing her quietness, Kendra and I glanced at each other in question.
“Brit, is everything all right?” Kendra asked, “You never shop like this unless something is bothering you.”
Pursing her lips and chewing the insides of her cheeks, she sighed, not meeting our gaze.
“I’m fine,” she whispered very lowly, almost missing my hearing capacity.
But since, Kendra and I had both zoomed our attention to her, we could hear it. Had it been some usual conversation, we would have clearly missed it. And with the fact that Brittany was whispering, we knew that something was really falling out of track. Brittany doesn’t whisper. She’s outspoken and brave. If she whispers, it means code-red.
“Brit?” Kendra leaned her head down to take a closer look at her face.
“I think my mom is leaving me,” Brittany said lowly.
My throat constricted at once. I felt her. The pain I felt when I lost my mom almost resurfaced, demanding to be felt again. I know what it’s like to lose a mom. It’s almost impracticable and unacceptable.
“I just don’t wanna go back home. My parents keep fighting... It gets worse everyday. And this time, I have a feeling that mom is leaving us,” she said barely above her breath, eyes on her plate and her fingers fiddling with the fries.
Brittany was always cheerful and full of life, so it was hard for me to even believe what she was saying. She never showed any of that in school.
“Shopping is lame but sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps me distracted from what happens at home. I don’t wanna lose her. I mean, she’s my mom; the only one I’ll ever have,” with a quiver in her voice, she broke into tears,
I reached for her hand and tried consoling her although my lack of ability to console people is amazingly low in the chart. I just wanted to try because I felt for her. The pain and fear of losing someone close to your heart literally rips your heart apart... And always a little bit more. I’ve felt it and I didn’t want anyone else to feel it too.
“You can crash at my place anytime you want,” I smiled at her softly, “How ’bout tonight?!” I smiled more brightly.
At first, her smile was sad but it slowly reached her eyes and eventually she was laughing through tears, “I love you guys so much.”
Being the cry baby I am, I almost cried too. But it was mostly because I had felt the same way she was feeling.
Kendra pulled her chair closer to her and wrapped an arm around her saying, “We’re all here for you, Sugarplum.”
And we all made faces and laughed at the new name Kendra just gave her. That wasn’t so Kendra.
The three of us fell back on my bed laughing our asses off at the jokes and stories we shared.
“So...” Kendra breathed, staring up at the white Holy Mother, “I think we’re having good time. The three of us alone and with the boys too.”
“Yeah. We’re the best of friends. We’re gonna rock senior year too. I can’t wait,” Brittany agreed.
“Last night was pretty awesome too. I actually had a great time,” Kendra said from my left.
From my right, Brittany replied, “Absolutely. Me too. I mean, who flies lanterns like that.”
“Hmm,” I nodded.
The two of them turned to look at me at the same time and stared hard at my poor face. I turned to look at them one after the other only to see them raise eyebrows at me.
Oh, so you guys were expecting me to say something too.
“It was good,” I nodded nonchalantly and Kendra began to tickle me.
“It was good, my ass. It was Sweet Child Of Mine for you,” she said quoting her favorite song and hinting at what Xavier and I did.
She started tickling me that I laughed so hard and rolled over to the other side of Brittany to escape the my best friend of a witch.
Somehow in the talk of the night before, we ended up talking about Connor and the big asshole who tried to touch Kendra.
“That was the first time I’d seen Connor blow up,” I said.
“Yeah. He rarely gets angry but when people try to hurt me or say some shit ’bout me or something, he explodes like crazy,” Kendra smiled dreamily.
“He would do anything for you,” Brittany said.
“Yeah,” Kendra simply agreed as she pulled a pillow and positioned it beneath her head.
“What ’bout you? Would you do anything for Connor?” Brittany questioned and I quietly wondered at her side where this conversation could possibly lead us.
“Duh. Connor’s half of me. He’s practically my twin brother, though not biologically,” Kendra replied and I could imagine her quirk her eyebrows though I wasn’t looking at her.
But hearing her say Connor’s practically her twin brother, I wanted to slap my forehead and knock some senses in her smart head.
Brittany whipped her head towards me and murmured, “She’s just as clueless as you are to Xavier when it comes to Connor.”
Ignoring me, she murmured again, “I’ve had enough of this,” and looking back at Kendra, she asked, “Don’t you feel anything for Connor?”
“All the time... Pissed, happy, crazy, annoyed, delighted, furious everything. Sometimes I feel like snapping his head off and putting it back again. Why?”
Brittany sprang up to sitting position, blinking thoughtfully and tucking her tongue in her cheeks like she was deliberately contemplating.
“Get up,” Brittany ordered.
When Kendra didn’t move an inch but just stared at her as if she’d lost her senses,Brittany pulled her up. I followed them.
Brittany sighed and questioned again, “How about we consider a bit of a ROMANCE there, hmm?”
Kendra snorted and laughed, “You gotta be kidding me. Me and Connor? Romance?” she burst laughing. Like really laughing. “That’s just crazy! Or I should probably garland you?”
“Kendra, it’s not funny!” Brittany countered, “Tell me. Can you live without Connor?”
“Is that even a question? That suck,” Kendra glared.
“Yes! It is a question! Can you?!”
“NOO!!” Kendra barracked, frightening me to the point that I almost leaped out of the bed, “And that’s not happening! We’re gonna be together forever, okay! But as friends. We don’t even like each other like that.”
“Are you sure?” I tagged sheepishly.
She frowned at me and then fell back on the bed, sighing, “Whatever.”
“Get up, Kendra. We still need to talk,” Brittany sighed.
“No!! I don’t wanna talk about it!” she replied, burying her face in the pillow.
Sighing again, she sat back up, “What else?”
“Connor likes you,” Brittany told her.
Now, Kendra looked almost furious. I watched her face morph to complete blankness, no expression. The two of them just kept staring back at each other and I just watched them shoot arrows at each other through their eyes... Cupid’s Arrows from Brittany’s eyes, Oh-Really? Arrows from Kendra’s eyes.
“You can’t be serious,” Kendra finally said.
“I’m serious, Kendra. You just don’t see it because you’re friend zoned,” Brit returned.
“That’s just impossible, Brit We’re friends. We’re best friends!”
“I think it’s very possible because Connor really likes you. Even I, the clueless one, can also see that,” I did my fair share of speaking.
After a debate of about thirty minutes, Kendra was quiet.
“I think I’m gonna cry. Connor can’t...” she broke off.
Trust me, when she first said she might cry, I didn’t believe her. It was just not Kendra. But here she was blinking back tears.
“How could he like me!” she was angry.
“I think it’s sweet and I’m actually happy that he like you. I’ll be even more happy if you like him back. Actually, I wanna get the two of you married right now if possible. Why are you angry?” I flustered.
“Can’t you see?! What if it ruins our friendship! I don’t think I can even look at him the same way I did anymore. It’s gonna be awkward now. Everything’s gonna change! You shouldn’t have told me!”
I hardly imagined Kendra would fit into the cliché what-if-it-ruins-our-friendship thing. She was friend zoned in the most cliché and the most heartbreaking way. She just didn’t get it.
“Shouldn’t have told you?! If we don’t then you guys will never get married to each other. That’s gonna be horrible. I think it’s high time you start looking at him with a different pair of glasses,” Brittany said, “You guys will work it out. Trust me.”
“I won’t be coming to school tomorrow. Tell Connor not to come see me. He always check on me whenever I miss school. So do whatever it takes to keep him away from me tomorrow. I need to think this through. I really can’t see him tomorrow,” Kendra stated firmly.
In full respect to her decision, Brit and I nodded, “Sure!”
And that was our sleepover. For all I knew, Kendra didn’t sleep well. She was mostly awake all through the night. At some point, I regretted telling her all of these. It was giving her a major dilemma. But like Brit said, it’s gonna be horrible to see them marry different partners.
It was not that she didn’t like Connor back. It was more than that. She loved Connor so much that she’d rather have him as a friend forever instead of a boyfriend and ruin what they have as best friends. Not that she didn’t trust him, not that she thought he would leave her but the really sucking fact that in life, shit happens. We never know.
She slept so little that night. How did I know that? Because she was still wide awake by the time I decided to sleep around 1am after texting with Xavier.
The perks of having a boyfriend.