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 Chapter 29: Cold, Daring

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Kell
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Join date : 2008-10-05

PostSubject: Chapter 29: Cold, Daring   Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:30 am

"Why are we doing this again?"

"Because my dad insisted that I do it, & I insisted that you come with me," I said.

Collin & I were walking through the mall shopping for Christmas gifts for me to give to Julie, Shannon & Max. You can imagine how happy I was.

Christmas was coming up & my dad had invited Julie & her kids over to our house to celebrate it, both the Eve & the Day. I honestly had no idea how Shannon or Max felt about their mom & my dad clearly having their own sleep-over in our house. I hated it.

Of course, being a young 16 year old, I had no say. So my dad had 'highly suggested' that I get Julie & her kids presents for the holiday. So I called up Collin, telling him that we were going to the mall. At least I didn't lie.

"Noah, I hardly know the people. YOU hardly know them. How the hell are we supposed to know what to get them?" Collin asked.

"I don't know. It can't be that hard to figure out. At least with my dad & you guys, you TELL me throughout the year what you want. But even though I don't really know them, it can't be too hard to figure out."

"You do realize that we don't actually ask you to buy us gifts Noah, right? I mean if we're at lunch lookin' at a catalog or if we're watchin' tv, or listenin' to the radio, or whatever & there's something we want, then we just say it. You don't need to REMEMBER what we want & then get us those things."

"Yeah, I know."

"Well then why do you get us stuff? You know we never get you gifts anyway."

"Who said I expect you guys to get me things?" I asked him.

"Nobody. But I mean I still don't get why you do it."

"There's nothin' wrong with being an altruist," I said as I glanced through the window of a jewelry store.

Collin just shrugged.

"I like getting people gifts, ya know? It feels just as good to give a gift as it does to get one, at least to me it does."

"You don't seem to like getting gifts for Julie & her kids," he said as we walked into the store.

"Well, that's because I don't like the idea of HAVING to get my dad's girlfriend & her obnoxious kids anything. They're not my family. Not to mention that she told my dad what she wanted: expensive jewelry."

"We're not your family but you get US gifts," Collin said.

I rolled my eyes.

"You guys practically ARE family."

"Well so are they..."

I turned.

"Ya wanna be quiet now?" I snarled as we walked by the rows of shiny gems & stones.

Collin & I peered at the sparkles, glitters & shines emanating from the small stones that were set up under the glass counters & being bathed in the artificial light. They were beautiful, like frozen teardrops from Heaven. Speaking of Heaven, the prices almost reached that high too.

"Is there anything I can help you boys with?" said a woman behind the counter.

"I think I'm good; I'm just lookin' for a gift for my dad's girlfriend. But I don't know what she likes."

The woman paced next to the gems & then pulled out a beautiful gold necklace with an emerald in the center of it.

"I guarantee she'll love this."

"I guarantee his dad will go into debt with that," Collin said to her.

I glared at him & jabbed him in the side with my elbow.

The woman put down the necklace, none too pleased with my friend's response. She started walking around the counters & pulled out a gold necklace that had a silver, sun-shaped design at the around the front, which had a small diamond in the middle.

"This is just $299," she said with a fake smile.

"Eh...that's still kind of expensive."

"May I ask how much you're willing to pay?"

I looked at Collin & shrugged.

"About $100."

The woman's facial expression told me she wasn't expecting THAT response.

"Do you have anything fake?" Collin asked.

"Cut it out!" I hissed quietly.

"None of our products are fake. All are 100% authentic."

Collin crossed his arms, unconvinced.

"You sell shiny rocks...in a small store...on the far end of a tiny ass mall...on the outskirts of a small town....There's no way EVERYTHING in here is real."

The saleswoman glared at Collin, but funnily, didn't reply. She walked to the back of the store, got something out of the storage closet & came back. She took two green earrings out of a small box & gave them to me.

They were...gorgeous. The green stones fit perfectly into the small gold holders. The light shone off the surface of each side & illuminated my chest. The edges were cut perfectly. They were stunning. They were fake.

"How much are these?" I asked.

"They're $60."

Why spend so much money on things for people I don't want around, when I can just as easily get them something fake like these?

"I'll get them."

**********

Collin & I were sitting on a bench outside of a Subway in the mall. By now, it was around 11:00pm & there were hardly any people walking around.

"I feel bad," I said.

"Yeah, those sandwiches were pretty bad. Next time let's go to-"

"Not that."

"Oh. Well then what's wrong?"

I took out the earrings from the bag.

"Am I a bad person because I purposely bought fake jewelry for the woman my dad likes?"

Collin put an arm around my shoulder.

"Buddy, you're acting on instinct; it's just some natural resentment towards Julie. I wouldn't say it makes you a BAD person. But then again, to be honest, it's not the nicest idea for the holiday season."

"Yeah."

"Stop hating yourself. It's totally natural to feel upset when parents start dating other people."

I put the earrings back in the box & placed the small white box back into the shopping bag. For Shannon, I got a bunch of make-up that I just bought; for Max, I picked up some comic books & a Rubiks Cube.

"Am I being selfish?" I asked.

I could almost HEAR Collin's eyes rolling around.

"Would you stop? Just drop it Noah."

I shrugged & just sat there, thinking about nothing in particular. I realized how tired I was & I leaned my head onto Collin's shoulder. I felt him rubbing my arm with his hand. It felt soothing & I found myself closing my eyes as I started to drift off, my head resting comfortably on Collin's shoulder. I sighed.

"Comfy huh?" he asked with a laugh. I smiled & said yes.

A little while later, Collin's mom showed up to get us. As we got into the car, I told Collin he was going to sit in back with me so I had a pillow. He went along with it & I just slept on him as his mother drove me home. When I got in, I said hi/goodnight to dad & went upstairs to the warmth & bliss of my pillow, sheets & blankets. I wrapped myself up tightly, closed my eyes, breathed out & fell asleep.

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Chapter 29: Cold, Daring
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