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Mall Craziness

Saturday morning I text the group, and by one o’clock we were all bunched back together at our normal meeting spot outside the mall.

I’m the first one there, so I toss in a piece of gum and lean against the cold, brick wall, watching all the people glide in and out of the mall. Suddenly, two girls skip over to me and give me a big hug.

“I’m so glad you’re back from the beach!” Sarah, my totally blonde, totally cool friend says.

“Yeah, Kara, you’re like the glue that holds our whole group together,” Vanessa comments.

“She’s right. We’ve barely seen Rachel or the guys since you left,” Tameka states, rolling up to us on her skateboard.

“Well I don’t know about Rachael and Bryan, but I can see why Scott –” I begin to say, wanting to tell my friends all about my crazy experience at the beach, but a car flies by, honking its horn at all of us.

“Look who’s arriving! And always dressed to impress, malady,” Sarah says to Rachael. She steps out of her car in her tight, white, one-shouldered dress and stylish Louis Vuitton sunglasses and thousand-dollar, giant hoop earrings.

“Thanks girl.” Rachael gives us all hugs and soon Scott, Megan, and Bryan have all arrived, too.

“Okay. Scott and I are going to start at some stores like Linked, Emoticons, and The Playing Field, but we’ll meet you girls at the food court for lunch,” Bryan tells us. We all shrug and say sure, but, as usual, Megan gives Scott the puppy dog face. He shakes his head and they give each other a kiss.

The two of them are dating so they kiss and hug and hold hands all the time! But today something…different happens. Vanessa looks at Bryan, and he mouths subtly, “Sorry. Not my idea.” I realize soon that no one else notices this weird exchange. I’m going to have to talk to Vanessa later. She’s not one to enjoy a big confrontation, so I’ll make sure I bring it up to her in a one-on-one situation.

The boys head off towards The Playing Field, and we head off towards Jean Scene.

“Guys, I have to talk to you about something,” I tell my friends as we enter the dark, noisy store.

“Shoot!” Tameka states, shouting over the loud music.

“You would not believe who stayed in the condo across from my family!”

They all say, “Who?” and search through the racks and stacks of clothes.

“Scott!” I exclaim, suddenly stopping myself from telling the story. For a second I totally forgot Megan was here. If she heard what happened at the beach, Scott and I would never be Megan’s friends again.

“Really?” Megan inquires, suddenly interested in the story at the sound of her mysterious boyfriend’s name.

“Did you guys hang out together?” Tameka prods.

“Not really,” I lie. Luckily, Rachael switches the subject and exclaims how cute this one pair of combat boots is. She ends up spending 200 dollars on the boots alone when I spend ten on a tee.

“I could really go for some new sunglasses,” Vanessa states.

“I’ll come with you!” I exclaim a little too quickly. To cover up for my error I add, “Rachael, you just bought a new pair, right? Yeah. Why don’t you guys go to H.T., and we’ll meet you there after we hit Tints.”

“Ya know what? I need new sunglasses, too,” Megan mentions. “I’ll go with Kara and Vanessa.

“Okay chicks! Meet you at H.T.!” Tameka exclaims.

I sigh in disappointment. I just wanted to talk to Vanessa alone, but I guess I’ll just have to wait a little longer.

“What kind of sunglasses should I buy?” Megan inquires, trying on a pair of cute, floral aviators.

“Those!” Vanessa exclaims.

“Really?”

“Yeah. I really like them. I can’t find a pair I like, so I’ll just look another day,” Vanessa concludes.

Megan hops up to the line, and I notice it’s about three people deep. Maybe – just maybe – I can grab some time to talk to Vanessa.

“V, can we talk?” I ask her. She looks at me as if to say, “Go on.”

“So I have a little problem. And I trust you not to tell anyone because it could hurt someone’s – Megan’s – feelings.”

“What did you do to Megan?” she gasps.

“Nothing. It was one time! One kiss!”

“With Megan?”

“No silly. With Scott…at the beach. One night they were shooting off fireworks at the beach. Scott’s family and my family got together to watch them. I was lying next to Scott and he was telling me how much he loves Megan and how pretty she is. But then he glanced over at me and told me that Megan isn’t half as pretty as me. Then he kissed me! Since that day it’s been really weird between us and I honestly think he likes me now. What should I do?” I explain, beginning to go into total stress mode.

I watch as Megan pays the cashier and exits the line to meet up with us.

“We’ll talk about it later. Just relax,” Vanessa advises.

I take a deep breath and the three of us march towards the department store.

At the department store I find myself splurging on this adorable white, denim jacket. Megan also spends a lot on a designer purse, but Rachael finds a cute, tie-dye crop top, and Tameka buys a baseball cap. Sarah makes us prance around the make-up department looking for a nice perfume.

“This is the one!” She finally decides on a sweet, summery perfume. If I hadn’t spent so much on this jacket I might have bought that perfume myself.

“Who’s ready for lunch?” Sarah asks, holding her stomach as it growls.

“Let’s go!” Rachael agrees, leading us to the food court.

As we enter the busy food court, we spot the boys seated at a big table.

“Hey! You started eating without us?” Rachael inquires, pointing at their hamburgers and fries.

“We just got here, like, a few minutes ago,” Bryan argues.

“Whatever. I’m getting a salad,” Rachael replies.

“I’m with you girl!” Sarah exclaims.

“Pizza sounds delish!” Megan states.

“Alright, I guess I’ll get some pizza, too,” Tameka sighs.

I glance at Vanessa, and she points at the frozen yogurt stand.

“I’m not too hungry guys. I think I’ll just get some frozen yogurt.”

“Ditto,” Vanessa agrees. We all split off in separate directions, and I finally have time to have a good conversation with Vanessa. While we wait in line we discuss my dilemma.

“The first question is: do you like Scott as a friend or as more than a friend? Was the kiss friendly or something different?” Vanessa inquires.

“This kiss was way more than friendly. Originally I felt nothing, but the next day all I could think about was him. I really think I’m falling for him,” I confess, not believing what I’m saying.

“Then I think your solution is to talk to Scott and find out honestly how you both feel towards each other.”

“Good idea, but how is that supposed to happen when Megan is always hanging on him?

“I’ll figure it out. Just follow my lead once we get to the pet store,” Vanessa assures me.

“So what’s up with you and Bryan all of a sudden?” I ask her.

She tries to act cool and replies, “What are you talking about?”

“I saw Bryan mouth to you earlier that he was sorry he was going somewhere else with Scott. Are you two dating?”

“Maybe,” Vanessa replies, her face getting red. “Don’t tell anyone! We’re going to announce it today eventually.”

“Aw! Vanessa’s got a boyfriend! Vanessa’s got a boyfriend!” I sing.

“Shush!”

We head back over to the table the boys found and plop ourselves down in the two seats saved for us. Unfortunately, the seats are placed right between Scott and Bryan. So of course Vanessa shoves me next to Scott so she can be with Bryan. Talk about super awkward!

All through our lunch Vanessa mouths to Bryan when no one’s looking, Megan kisses Scott repeatedly, and Scott keeps taking quick glances at me. I hope whatever Vanessa’s plan is that it’s a good one.

“Who’s up for the toy store?!” Sarah exclaims.

“Sure,” we all reply. No matter what your age is, you never get tired of toy stores.

Once inside Milton Bradley Tameka and I head straight for the bikes, skates, and other athletic equipment.

“Tameka, look at these skates!” I exclaim, examining an awesome pair of pink rollerblades.

“Dude, I need a pair of those! But I broke my old skate ramp the other day, so I have to buy a new one of these first.” She pats her wooden ramp, and we head to the check out counters.

On our way there I can hear someone saying something to our right in the stuffed animal section.

“That ring is way to big Bryan! She’s gonna think you spent millions on it!”

“I did. This is important to me. She’s important to me.”

“This better be good.”

The voices fade away as we get further and further away from the stuffed animals. My stomach gets all jittery, feeling excited for what’s about to come.

Tameka and I hop in line behind Rachael – who’s buying a karaoke machine – and Sarah – who’s buying a new video game.

“Vanessa!” a voice calls from behind us. Vanessa, who had just arrived in line behind us, flings around at the sound of Bryan’s voice. He steps up to her and gets down on one knee. All of my friends and I spin around to watch what’s happening.

“Vanessa, will you be my girlfriend?” he inquires, holding out a tiny teddy bear clutching a gorgeous, diamond-studded ring.

“Sure!” Vanessa exclaims, for once out of words. They hug and kiss as if they’d just gotten engaged, and we all buy our items. Next we head to the pet store. This is when my stomach turns to knots. Vanessa’s plan better work!

At the pet store I head straight for the dogs, watching some sleep happily and others scratch at their cages, wanting to come out and play with us.

“Kara?” someone says, tapping my shoulder. I turn around and find myself staring straight into Scott’s cool green eyes. As Scott drags me away, Bryan and a frazzled Megan watch from their spots by the dog cages. I don’t believe this was part of Vanessa’s plan since she’s caught up staring into all the fish tanks right now.

“Kara, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about some things ever since that night at the beach.”

“Me too.”

“I wanted to tell you that I meant everything I said that night. You are ten times prettier than Megan, you are easier to talk to, easier to be friends with, and overall I like you better than her. I’m going to break it off with Megan soon, but I was wondering if you’d be my girlfriend?” Scott says, looking at the adorable guinea pigs running around their cages.

“Even if you do break up with Megan, I can’t go out with you. I don’t really know what my true feelings are for you, but I want to keep it that way. I want to stay friends with you. I can’t hurt Megan like that,” I reply.

“I understand.” He kisses me on the lips like he did at the beach and suddenly tears begin flowing down Megan’s eyes. He didn’t even have to speak for her to know that they aren’t really together anymore.

“So are you two a couple now?” Megan inquires, staying surprisingly calm.

“No. I have zero feelings for Scott. He’s all yours!” I run over to Megan and hug her as she cries. Scott just silently exits the pet shop. The rest of our shopping day consists of Bryan and Vanessa being “in love” and Megan bawling excessively.

Luckily, a few weeks later Scott apologizes, but goes on to break up with Megan anyway. And let’s just say it didn’t take her long to get over Scott. Less than a week after the official break up she’s already dating another guy. Scott continues to be caught up in chasing after me, and I continue to push him away. Bryan and Vanessa are still “in love” and the rest of the girls are living their life the way they want to live it; dating off and on, having fun, and hanging with the group every Saturday at the mall!




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