Chapter 9

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By the time Gwen honks outside the house, Kelly and I are barely awake. Despite the so-called wisdom Kelly told me last night about a girl always being prepared for shopping, my sister really does look as if she went through the circles of hell. Bags are under her eyes, her clothes were rumpled, and she's barely able to stand herself up. A big cup of coffee sits next to her, waiting patiently for her to use its help. 

I curse as I look at the clock. "Kelly, it's 5 minutes past 9," I say. "Gwen's outside waiting for us." Kelly nods feebly, as if the gesture's giving her a migraine. I give her a thumbs-up and go upstairs, forgetting my wallet. I'm not planning to supervise without some money in my back pocket. 

"Took you long enough," Gwen says when Kelly and I are out of the house. She's sitting in a large black truck with Joey in the passenger seat. Joey gives me a subtle glare, but smiles when she sees Kelly. Joey immediately gets out of the truck to let us in the back. "Did someone oversleep?" Gwen teases.

"Be glad we accepted your invitation," I mutter. Gwen laughs and drives us out of the neighborhood. There's barely any room for my legs, so I awkwardly put one up on the seat beside me. "Mom says we're good until 4." 

Kelly gives me an I-can't-believe-you-said-that look. I give her an I-don't-give-a-fuck expression in reply. She grouches and slumps in her seat, already wishing she's gone. 

Applying make-up on, Joey says quietly, "Am I glad I don't have a strict parent."

"At least someone would care if you were in deep shit," I respond. 

Joey snorts. "I'm sorry, was that supposed to be an insult?"

"If you paid attention in class, I'm pretty sure you would be able to pick that up without questioning." Kelly smacks me on the arm. Apparently, she doesn't want me to ruin her chances of being friends with the mega bitch. 

Alright, fine, I think, leaning myself against the back of the seat. Just don't go crying to me if Joey stabs you on the back. 


"How's your supervisor holding up?" Joey asks Kelly, staring intensely at me across the table. I play with the straw in the cup of iced coffee I got from one of the many booths at the food court. The others, however, were complaining of hunger pains, so a half-full bowl of salad is place in front of each one. 

So far, the mega bitch and Kelly are getting along pretty well. It could have been because Kelly was kissing up to Joey so much to the point my sister would willingly steal the most expensive dress in the world if the bitch asks. By knowing this I'm already irked by both their presence together. 

My sister shrugs, her complete focus on her phone. "I think he's mad there isn't a porn store around here," she says. Both Gwen and Joey laugh at the half-hearted attempt of a joke. 

I pretend not to hear it and stir the drink mixture with the straw. Finally chugging it down, and suffering a brain freeze, I walk across the area to throw the empty cup away. I turn back around and bump into an elderly lady. Her shopping bag falls to the ground, and the contents spill out. 

"Whoa, sorry about that," I say, bending over to pick them up. I put them in the bag and hand them over to her. "I didn't see you there."

She smiles. "It's quite alright," she assures. Before I can say anything else, she extends her hand and holds my forearm. "This world doesn't have a lot of nice boys, you know. And I'm glad I found one right here." 

I'm not sure how to respond to that, but the lady is already walking away. Still feeling a little odd about the exchange, I walk back to my table. The girls apparently noticed it, and Joey makes a joke. "Has someone been a nice boy?" she asks, her voice tinged with arson. 

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