The Sunglasses

January 6, 2008
My best friend Chelsea and I looked up at her mother as she began giving us directions, “I just want you to keep an eye on the kids and make sure they stay in the arcade area. You don’t have to follow them obsessively, but you just need to know where they are.”

Nevertheless, I was obsessed. I had a mini backpack on my back with everything you would need for watching eight and nine year-old kids. Chelsea had told me about this upcoming event a couple days ago over the phone:

“Rose, my mom was wondering if you wanted to help me chaperone at Brian’s,” that was her younger brother, “birthday party at Boomers.”

“Let me check with my mom.” I went to ask for my mom’s approval and she gave it to me.

I told Chelsea that I could go.

“Cool,” she said in her usual smooth voice. She told me the time and place, but then added, “Guess what the party theme is, you’re going to love it.”

I pondered for a few seconds and replied that I didn’t know.

“It’s Yu-Gi-Oh!” Chelsea shouted.

I instantly yelped with joy as I said, “Yeah, I’m so excited!”

Unfortunately, the cake and present part was over. I had enjoyed the Yu-Gi-Oh! silverware as well as the Yu-Gi-Oh! cake, I even wore the Yu-Gi-Oh! t-shirt that Chelsea made for my birthday to celebrate the occasion. However, all good things must come to an end. It was time to chaperone.

“To the kids!” I yelled with passion.

Chelsea shook her head, which was in her hand, embarrassed to even know me. “Rose, you know you don’t have to be so dramatic.”

I ran over to Brian and all his invited guests. Chelsea stayed closely behind, but not in a rush like me. I watched them intently but then, being me and Chelsea, we began to talk and talk and talk.

I then realized what must be done and said, “Shouldn’t we be chaperoning?”

Chelsea laughed, “Ah, who cares. I don’t need to watch my brother, he annoys me anyway. Besides they’re standing right in front of us.”

I nodded my head, “True.”

We watched them for a few more minutes but then, all of the sudden, they began to run downstairs to the arcade. Me, being me, yelled to Chelsea as we quickly followed them, “We can’t lose them.”

We followed them downstairs to the arcade. They were quick, but we did not lose sight of them. As we made it to the arcade, we did our job and made sure to know where every kid was. We chased them around sometimes but no child was ever lost to us in the big world of the arcade.

Chelsea and I looked around satisfied at the children fixated on the video games and started to talk while we walked around, watching.

Out of the blue, a thought just occurred to me. I spoke, my voice stern and serious, “Chelsea, we are watching kids, like the spies on Mission Impossible. We have to walk dramatically.” I started singing the theme but then stopped, knowing that I got my point across. I began to start walking slowly through the games of the arcade, like those people in black suits and sunglasses who look like they are put into slow motion.

Looking at me in disbelief, Chelsea sighed, “Oh boy.”

I stopped walking as I realized something. “This needs to be more dramatic. I should get out my sunglasses.” I took my backpack off one of my shoulders and put the weight on my other one. I unzipped it and pulled a blue sunglasses case out of the bag. I placed the backpack back firmly on my two shoulders.

Chelsea asked, “Why do you have sunglasses?” She was still astonished by the fact that I was being “more dramatic” but now she was just amazed that I had sunglasses with me at an indoor arcade.

Softly, I replied, “I thought we might go outside to play miniature golf or something.”

I started walking dramatically again, Chelsea joining me this time. We just turned around the corner of a huge game when I opened my sunglasses case without looking down. Slowly, my hand reached down into the case and began to grab the sunglasses but all I felt was air. I patted the inside of the sunglasses case but I didn’t feel anything solid. Looking down, I said sadly, “They’re…not there.”

When Chelsea watched me do this, she stumbled on her own feet and was cracking up laughing. She was not alone though, for I too was laughing.

Still laughing hard, Chelsea said bluntly, “Well that ruined the moment.”

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