The next morning Bella awoke early (for her) and headed down the gently curving staircase to bid her father farewell before he went off for his weekend 'business' trip. He left every saturday at 10am and she needed to catch him before he went this time.
If her mother noticed that he seemed to spend a lot of time away at night and on weekends she never said, but Bella certainly couldn't help but realize what was going on. Then again, perhaps her mother was aware, as she had been spending considerably more time at her sister's house and less and less time at home. Which was alright, she supposed, but it left Bella with a lot of alone time. Not that her mother was much company when she was in her usual state, anyway.
Her father was seated at the head of the dining room table, reading the paper in a dark blue suit and sipping coffee.
“Morning Daddy.” Bella said, as she entered the room.
“How was school yesterday, Issy?” Her father asked, crossing his legs and glancing over the top of the paper at his daughter. He was an attractive man in his early 40s. He had deep brown hair with white streaks glancing back from his temples, bright morning sky blue eyes and chiseled features. He wore his success over his shoulders like a mantle and he seemed to ooze authority.
“It was fine, there was a surprise world history test. I was very surprised.” She said, rolling her eyes and sitting to his left. She sorted through the discarded sections of newspaper until she found the comics.
“In other words, you weren't prepared.” He said, giving her a mock stern look.
“Daddy, how can you possibly prepare for a surprise?” She asked, eyes wide with innocence.
“It's a good thing you are pretty, precious.” He said, reaching across the table to tap the end of her nose. “God knows you'll need your looks to get by without an education. You should study harder, you'll never get into a good school at this rate.”
“I'm sure I don't know what you mean.” She said, lifting the comic to hide her face. “I need more money, Daddy.”
“You could try something novel, like getting a job.” He said, turning the page of his paper.
“How could I possibly study more if I have to get a job?” She asked, lowering the paper to stare at him wide eyed again.
“How much do you want?” He asked, sighing and folding the newspaper.
“Oh... You know... However much you think...” She began before he cut her off.
“You have a figure in mind, I know you. How much do you want? Or shall I just give you your allowance early?” He asked, reaching for his wallet.
“Oh, please do. That would be perfect.” She hopped up and stood by the arm of his chair, hand held out. When he placed the bills in her hand she glanced at them, and back to him without saying a word. Laughing, he added another to her open palm.
“Thank you, Daddy. I love you, you know. I really do.” She bent to kiss his cheek before darting out of the room without waiting for a response.
“Good-bye Daddy, if I don't see you again before you go! Tell Chrissy I say hiiiieeeee!” She tossed over her shoulder, laughing at the thought of the surprised look her father must be wearing at having her see through the thin pretense that he was spending the weekend on a business trip instead of in his 22 year old secretary's loft.
She had a lot to get done that day, and was eager to get started. When Beth crossed her mind, she thought to herself, giggling WWJD..? He would probably set her bitch ass on fire and send her to hell.
Bella went to the garage and started her car, then headed in the direction of the mall.
Lauren yawned as the sun peeked in through her blinds. She glanced at her bedside clock which read 9:04 AM.
No doubt Megan was still asleep.
Lauren sighed. Why must we be so different? she wondered. Instead of getting out of bed and heading downstairs, she stared up at the celing. She smiled at the thought of Michael. Did she like him? Hard to say. He was just a bit on the cute side...
Megan pulled the covers over her head as the sun lit her room up. She got out of bed and closed her blinds, trying not to fall over from grogginess. She climes back in bed but couldn't fall back asleep. Her mind wouldn't shut up.
She grabbed her CD player off her nightstand and listned to her soft music CD. Sleep finally engulfed her at 9:10.
IC: Michael awoke and yawned. The sun had long since spilled it's golden rays through his window and was already a quarter of the way through the sky. Michael gazed at the classic alarm clock on his nightstand. It was one of those old fashioned ones with two hands and two bells at the top. Michael had always like the clock, it provided him with a nice nostalgic feeling. 10:45. I slept in. I'm becoming a teenager. Michael groaned at the thought. What did that mean? Girls, acne, and B.O.
Michael got out of bed and went downstairs. Still in his pajamas, he remembered his mental note from last night and began making bacon in the kitchen. He picked up the note on the fruit bowl on the table when he sat down. I'm going to get groceries. Feel free to wander. Michael recognized his mother's handwriting and put the note in the garbage. Michael began picking at his eggs and bacon, staring out the screen door into nowhere.
Lauren got out of bed and got some breakfast. "Hey Spunky." she said, giving the lab puppy a pat. "Wanna go play outside?"
He barked in reply.
She went back upstairs and changed. "Okay, let's go." she said, grabbing a tennis ball on the way out.
I opened my eyes lazily keeping my own thought: ‘mornings are not the brightest part of the day’. I guess I’ll go to the town today. I walk toward the dining room quickly as I smell meatloaf and omelet from downstairs. Finished eating the whole thing, I put on my jacket and hop into my bike and quickly pedal the army green bicycle.
“I guess I’ll meet Orochi today, he’s never been so busy lately.” I mumbled as I turn my bike toward a smaller street.
Saturday morning, Jack thought, lying in a heap on the floor. He looked to his right and noticed his bed. Hrmm. I figured for sure I would have been IN that. Ah well, first step is to probably get off the floor, shower, get dressed all that jazz. But then, what next? Cartoons? eh the cartoons of this entire decade weren't all that great compared to what was on when he was a kid. He-man, Transformers? Great stuff. So no cartoons. Call Jay up? Nah he probably stayed up the whole night, prowling the streets for muggers and drug dealers. He'd be driven every since the tragedy in his family. It changed him. The change hadn't been all bad though. It made him toughen up even more, and he was shaping up to be a phenomenal boxer. So, wait on Jay.
OOh a thought!
Jack reached up, scrambling for his wallet on the bedside table, he knocked over an empty Coke can and a small pile of change before finding it. Looking inside he saw it there was woefully little in it. A twenty... but wait! He looked in the little spot on the inside, where he stashed a bit away for special occasions. Score! ANOTHER twenty. 40 bucks wasn't gonna buy him the world, but he was sure he could find a use for it at the mall. Besides, it was the Mall on a Saturday, SOMEONE was sure to show up.
With that thought in mind, Jack pulled himself to his feet and wandered across the sea of dirty clothes toward the bathroom. He could hear the lawnmower outside as he walked past a window. His dad was mowing, and his mother would likewise be doing some gardening thing. Oh how they loved their yard. Well, more power to them. They took good enough care of him, but he was glad they had a hobbie or two to keep them busy some of the time.
Finally he reached the shower. Time to get a little clean.
Bella sat at a central table in the food court sipping her latte... alone. That was unsettling in itself. She tried to do some mall watching, imaging what the people passing her were thinking, filling in strange made up details about their life, but it simply wasn't as much fun alone.
She could have called any of the people from her societies, or any of the cheerleaders, or well, anyone really... But she couldn't stand the way they looked at her, tilting their heads to the side to ask if she was alright. Of course she wasn't, but she wasn't going to tell them that. All the girls from the decoration committee for the dance and all the cheerleaders would be at her house later anyway.
That was one reason she had came so early, to avoid most of the sympathy givers. She was all sympathied out. Her hate had crested, and she didn't even really want to do bodily harm to either Beth or Mark. In fact, she was almost ready to forgive Beth, for the sheer fact that she was bored and lonely.
I stepped out of the shower having been awake for a hour or so, and got dressed in my usual sleeveless shirt and cargo pants, and headed to the kitchen. Another butler in a black tuxedo stood by the door waiting for me holding a gray tray with bacon, eggs, and toast. I ate it happily and left in a flash to go to the mall and buy something for the upcoming dance before sports and weightlifting with my personal trainer came around.
IC:Michael rinsed his plate and put it in the dishwasher, then went upstairs, took a shower, and got dressed. He put his right sock on last, like always, then put on his shoes, nice plain running ones he always liked. Funny, shoes are always tread upon, and we leave marks of them wherever we go. Michael got over his new found appreciation for shoes and walked out the door, whistling If I Were King.
Clean, dressed and lookin Def. Ah yeah. Jack checked himself in the mirror. Okay it wasn't anythign fancy, jeans and a t-shirt. And he needed a haircut, but still... There were people who looked worse, and besides it was all about how you carried yourself. Anyways, enough with the Narcisisim, he thought and quickly headed for the car. He stopped as his dad slowed the lawnmore to a stop.
"A," his dad began, "where are you going, and B do you have a thing to wear for the formal dance thing next Friday?"
"Well, A," Jack countered, "I'm headed to the mall for a bit, need me to pick anything up? And B... not exactly. You got a suit or anything that's absolutely worthless?"
"Hrmm... Actually I have this blackish thing your mother made me buy a while back. It's dated, and the sleeves were made smaller than the rest of the jacket. So yes, you can have that. Burn it, cut it up with razor blades whatever."
Jack's eyes lit up, "Hrmm.. yeah I may do that..." He cranked up the car and headed for the mall.
"Don't forget to pick up Milk!" his father yelled after him.
And at last Jack arrived at the Spielburg Heights Mall. Where to head first? Video Game store? He didn't have THAT much money. Book store? No that would take too much time, better save it for later. Arcade didn't open till Eleven so that was a no go. Clothing stores? Please, Goodwill and Wal-mart had clothes that were just as good if not cooler than anything the mall could offer. And so, the food court it was.
Now the food court was pretty cool, in Jack's opinion. The actual food places surrounded it, and there were chairs and tables and things arranged on this pyrmadically raised dias. There were three tiers, and the third highest tier formed a little plateau that sat under a big sky light. Jack took the few stairs in a leap and a bound, standing in the middle of the food court's raised plaza, hands on his hips, looking around for something cool to do.
Lazily, I awake, noting that once again, my head was hanging off my bed up-side down. I was begining to have theories related to it, but for now just ignored them. Getting out of bed I pull on my shirt, one that I had purchased multiples of due to it being the only one I'll ever wear. By now dad was at the car lot, but I wasn't needed for the next month, something I found realtively useful. Blinking a bit a pull myself into the kitchen and pour myself a glass of milk.
Ah, Lucerne'll never fail me. I think to myself as I sit down to eat the waffles dad had left in the microwave. Sighing happily I think of what I'll do. It was roughly 9:53 on a Saturday, so I could watch toons on the tube, or could just go to the mall.
I suppose going to the mall'd never hurt, though what I'll do is questionable...aw, I'll just play on my GBC...I get up and put my dishes away. I then go to my car, GBC and games in the underseat compartment. Turning on the car I feel the satisfying purr, pulling out of the driveway I had one destination in mind, the Mall.
Seated at the top of the pyramid, Bella retrieved her battered copy of Emma from her purse and quietly read while she waited for her favorite store to open. She hadn't realized she was leaving so early. To be perfectly honest, she didn't realize the store opened so late. Usually she slept in on weekends and had never been bothered to learn the store hours previously.
Emma was one of her favorite books, and she tried to pattern herself after the main character. She never understood what Jane Austen meant when she said she had created a character no one much liked. Bella found Emma delightful in every way and would love nothing better than to be like her. She was kind, gracious, beautiful and she had beautiful manners. What more could one want?
Plus, she rather liked how the author used the word rather. In fact, she had every intention of using the word rather in an rather unusual manner at the first opportunity. She enjoyed learning new words and using them in conversation.
Ah Ha! A Victim! OKay not necessarily a victim, but at least someone to hang out with, until a more regular posse showed up. Jack, stealthily made his way toward Bella, whipping out a chair from a nearby table, spinning it around and straddling it, crossing his arms to lean on the table. Man he was smooth.
"So, you reading Jane Austin for fun and profit or do you have some school junk to worry about? Hey don't feel embarassed to be reading a stuffy book about an incredibly irritating woman, BY an incredibly irritating woman. I read too, despite contrary belief. Not anything like Jane Austen mind you... but still I do know a little bit of literature. More importantly, WHY are you of all people alone, at the mall, reading Jane Austen, realtively early in the morning?
And perhaps of the absolutely paramountest importance... what are you wearing to the thingy, Firday?"
Bella looked up when she heard the chair scrape across the floor. Covering her mouth with a hand to hide her giggle, her eyes going wide as the torrent of Jack's speech rolled over her.
“You're funny.” Bella said, winking at Jack before tucking in her bookmark. “I don't know what anyone could possibly have against Emma or Jane Austen either, for that matter. She is the epitome of proper ladylike behavior. I find her to be rather wonderful. But no, I hardly ever pick up a book, I have no idea what I am doing reading.” She shoved the book into her purse to hide it's well creased spine and the faded cover.
“I'm at the mall to shop, strangely enough, and coincidentally it is for something to wear to the party next Friday. The store is unfortunately closed until 11, silly hour to open if you ask me. I'm here alone because everyone I know is most likely asleep at this hour, and I am up so early to bid my father farewell before he goes off for a weekend in his secretary's loft, and also, most importantly to hit him up for money with which to do the before mentioned shopping.
“But to answer your question as to what I'll wear, I think I'll get something in pink. They say redheads aren't meant to wear pink, but I've never understood that myself. So I guess I'll just rebel against the rules of fashion and forge my own pink path. Caution be damned.” She said as dramatically as possible, only spoiling it a little by giggling.
“What are youuu doing here so early?” She asked, rolling her eyes.
“And what do you like to read? Oh wait, let me guess. Lord of the Rings?” She smiled to take the sting out of her words, never admitting she had read the book herself, of course. A girl had to keep up some pretenses. By her reckoning, Emma was flighty enough to maintain her personae.
A loud laugh drew her attention to the foot of the pyramid where Beth was wrapping herself around Mark. Her laugh was clearly designed to draw every eye. At least Mark had the grace to look embarrassed. Bella couldn't decide if it would have been better for them to pretend that it had been a random heat of the moment incident when she had found them crawling all over each other like a box of hamsters or if it was better to try and form some sort of relationship out of the mess. It was a conundrum, one she wasn't about to ponder on for long.
Parking the Subaru I sigh happily, and pull out my Game boy, only to realise that I had forgotten the games at home.
No sense going back, oh well I guess I'll read this book... I think to myself, sighing. I pull out an old dusty edition of the Hutt Gambit. I get out of my car, and enter the mall. Coming to the food court, I find my spot, a chair in the corner near a coffe stand. After a couple pages I look up and see another guy, probably younger than me, talking to a girl, who had a book in hand. By what I could read from the girls lips they were talking of something up this coming friday and books. Going back to my book I sigh, if I wasn't indulging myself in the latest video games or internet, I was fantasizing about sci-fi, or reading it. Sure I wasn't all to up to going over and talking to them, but I had half a reason not to. I was in thier eyes, a sci-fi freak, a gamer, the gaunt-faced electronic jockey, sure I wasn't proud of the titles, but I surely enjoyed being one.
I entered the food court and saw Jack and a girl from the Sanders that I didn't ask or say anything to. I headed over and pulled a chair and said casually to not upset anyone by the interruption, "Whats going on?"
"Shakespeare actually, you aren't the only one with a theatrical bent. OF course I've read Tolkien, he's a little too dry for me. I tried reading the first couple of the Silmarillion.... eesh, the Bible has more action and adventure. Anyways," Jack broke off his sentence as he watched Bella's eyes trail across the court to Beth and Mark. Well isn't that lovely.
"I'm glad I didn't come here to eat. Someone should complain about rats in the food court. Look B, they aren't even worth you lookin at them, much less thinking of them. REGARDLESS of whatever 'issues' you think Beth is working through." He stopped again as the Ubermensch appeared. Well at least it gave him a chance to distract Bella from the Public Display of Assholes.
"Hey Yo, B and I were just discussing the finer points of Jane Austin and the Bard. What you doin' in such a...genteel place as the local mall. Aren't you usually on your third lap around the city by now?" Jack grinned good naturedly, and put a hand on Bella's shoulder as he stood up.
"I'm gonna get somethin to wash this taste out of my mouth real quick, you want a coke or somethin'?"
Listening to my music on the old walkman I had fixed up, and sipping on my coffee, I look up again. Another guy, with a much more atheletic build had joned that group, still seemed like he was younger. He seemed to displease the first guy, who had promptly stood up to get something.
Four chapters down, I think I've done good for now...maybe I should act like a citizen and sociolize. I think to myself, snickering a bit too audiably.
"Nah!" I once again get into a comfortable position, and resume reading.
Megan groaned and finally rolled out of bed.
"Oh good. You're up." Megan's mother Lynn said, standing in the doorway. Megan gave her a look. Er, how long have you been standing there? she wanted to ask. She just kept staring.
"Right, well." Lynn laughed nervously. "I know it may not seem fun, but maybe you could take Lauren to the mall...?"
Megan thought about it. Disadvantage: She might run into those overly enthusiastic preppy kids again. Oi. They made her head spin. But scince she was apparently stuck in Speilburg, it wouldn't hurt to socialize. Advantage: she could spend some time with Lauren, who she felt pretty distand from lately...
She sighed. "Alright, I'll go."
"Oh wonderful!" Lynn clapped. "Here's some money." she said, handing Megan $47.
Half an hour later, Megan and Lauren were headed to the mall. Meagan had on a black jacket with a blue T-shirt on underneath that brought out her eyes, and jeans.
I smiled a little before answering, "Yeah, I guess, I'm here to get things for the fall thing. I'm good." I replied to the coke as I looked around then at my watch instantly looking away and said, "Well I'll see ya later, gotta go for the football game against the panthers."
Before anyone could respond I ran out the mall decided to jog to the field by the school for the game. In minutes I arrived to see the rival team dressed in Blue helmets with the picture of a panthers head with black and blue uniforms with panthers on the front. Our team was the Wolverines with a black helmet and a picture of a small bobcat pouncing with a red uniform with the words Wolverines on the front. I looked at the crowd to see its relatively full for the game being played at noon. What game is played at noon I thought as I went to the locker room to change into my uniform then planned to waiting for the game to start.
IC: "There she stood,
On the street,
Smilin' from her head to her feet."
Michael sang as he passed by the various shops. Funny, the world is revolving against my walking. I suppose right now I'm just slowing myself. Michael chuckled at his philosophical ponderings while singing a song by Free and gave a two-fingered salute to the bookstore person as he passed by. Michael, of course, knew George well, and had soon developed a friendship. Michael nodded in the direction of the mailman, and gave a peace of bacon he had been keeping to the local neighbourhood dog, who, although not owned, became fat off of the donations of the kids and sappy adults he lived around. Of course, soon the dog became known as Mongrol Joe after his vicious fight with some invading neighbourhood cats. Michael gave him a pat on the head and then smelled the air. He smelled.... Mcdonald's. Michael became suddenly hungry and set off in the direction of the mall, and more importantly, the food court.
Yve woke up with a pillow in her face.
It wasn't hers, though it may have well been, as she slept in odd postions, usually sprawled across the length and width of the bed. She shoved the pillow off her head and opened her heavy eyelids to see Aidan with a smug grin plastered across his face. Her first reaction was to kick him in the stomach, he being the annoying little brother he was. Now fully aware of her surroundings, she had a better idea.
Feigning grogginess, she sat up slowly with a dazed look. "Ha ha! That was for dropping that book on my toe the other day," Aidan informed her, obviously thinking that he was triumphant in revenge. A pained expression came over his face for a moment, as if he was reliving the incident when a six hundred-page volume had fallen onto his feet.
"I told you," Yve began quietly. "That was an ACCIDENT!" she nearly screamed the last word, but not in anger or frustration. She swung her own pillow, which carried a hardback book(she was prepared for these kinds of things) and hit him square in the stomach. He grimaced, partly in pain and partly because Yve had foreseen this.
Wonderful way to start off the morning, she thought as she stood up and prepared herself for a Saturday of laziness and reading.
"Let's head to the food court." Megan said, walking along in the mall.
"Why?" Lauren said. She was suprised yet happy that Megan said yes to taking her to the mall. Since Megan was a girl of few words, Lauren did most of the talking. "I already ate."
Megan shook her head. "But I didn't Laur."
Sometimes, Lauren could be so clueless. They walked along in semi-quietness.
"Do brainiac-ish people come to the mall?" Lauren asked.
"Where did that come from?"
"Well, I met this boy yesterday..."
"Was he cute?"
"Right. Well, you come to the mall don't you Lauren?"
"Are you implying I'm a braniac?"
This shut Lauren up for awhile.
OOC: Well Audrey, our dear friend Barbie (Kelsey) informed me you were compleatly lost without me these past few days.
I worry about you. What will become of you when we go to seperate Highschools? Oh! I came up with something for 8th grade prank. Heh heh heh.
Jack gave Zack a wave and then didn't wait for Bella to respond. He'd get her a coke anyways. If she didn't want it, that's okay he'd drink it. It was all part of the cunning plan he had suddenly come up with. He moved over to the Cajun Chinese amalgam cuisine place, picked up a pair of cokes. He then moved back toward their seat, taking a small detour to go around Beth and Mark. Just as he passed by them, he stumbled, tripped even, and while he was able to precariously balance one of the drinks, the other went flying, soaking Beth's hair and the front of her shirt. Bella wasn't the only one with theatrical aspirations and it was VERY convincing, save for the wink he gave toward Bella as he flew through the air.
The girl leaped to her feet, shrieking. Mark rose as well, but looked unsure of what to do. Beth launched into a tirade about how she was wearing a thirty seven dollar shirt and she had JUST done her hair and she would RUIN his social life.
"Oh yeah, My God, I am SOOO sorry about that Beth! You really should run home, put something on that, white wine might take out the horrible stains you know... if you're quick!" Jack appologized semi-profusely.
"Mark, Take. Me. Home." Beth said, her voice sizzling with anger. The young man started to follow Beth as she stopped toward the exit. She was almost to the door and Mark was trailing a little behind when Jack put his hand on the boy's shoulder. He spun around and for a moment, Jack thought he might have to try out some of those fancy moves Jay had taught him. Instead the boy just stared.
"Hey, don't be such an asshole," he said very quietly, cutting his eyes toward Bella. Mark seemed to get the idea. He stared at Bella for a moment then nodded and turned to follow Beth who was screaming for him by now.
Jack grinned. So it wasn't a perfect plan. On the bright side, maybe Mark would come to his senses, realize how he'd been acting and appologize profusely, begging for forgiveness. Of course on the other hand, Bella might take him back, and Jack wasn't sure he deserved her. Ah well, the best friend curse continued. But maybe, just maybe he had helped make the world a little brighter. At least he had got a kick out of sending Beth into a tirade.
Finally he slid back into his seat, supressing a grin. He coughed, and it was fake.
"I uh... dropped your drink. You can have mine if you want."
“Thanks.” She said, smiling. “I'm still nursing my latte anyway, but I really do appreciate the ... sentiment.” She looked down, blushing softly.
"You reckon someone should run after Mr. Personality there and let him know the game doesn't start till three this afternoon?” She asked, indicating the direction in which... uhh... what's his name went.
“I guess he'll realize it when no one's there. Seems like he would have figured it out if he had looked around and seen that two cheerleaders and the star quarterback were still in the mall.” She shrugged. “Well, it looks like it's 11 and my store is opening. You want to tag along? If you are really nice I'll model for you or let you carry my bags.” She said, giggling. “Or would you rather stay here and absorb the scenery?”
With a final glance toward Beth she gathered her things and stood up. She knew if she checked her voice mail she would have at least a few messages from both of the wayward sinners down there, why don't they just approach her? She shrugged again and pushed them from her mind. It didn't bare thinking about. She looked back to Jack, waiting for his response.