Potential Suicide

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Rather than wait until
later in the evening, Seth
opts to get our
birthday present shopping trip
over with right after school
on Friday afternoon.
"The stores will be
more crowded in the evening
because of Christmas shopping,"
he tells me,
"so we may as well
get it over with now."
Yet another reason
for me to dislike
the date of Natalia's birth -
but I agree, and
after making my sister promise
to tell our parents where I've gone,
as well as pick up
Thias' homework from the office,
I follow Seth out to his car.

Thias was out of school
both yesterday and today,
claiming he felt too
under the weather to go.
I think we all know
the true reason for it, though,
and it's definitely not
any kind of physical illness.
Still, my mother had
surprisingly been okay with it,
telling him only that he should
make sure to complete his work
regardless of whether or not
he was going to school.
I think he was just as
surprised as the rest of us
that she had been so lenient,
and had agreed to her requirements
without any fuss.

The nearest mall is
about a twenty minute drive
from our school.
Seth keeps up
a steady stream of conversation
the whole while, backed by
whatever pop station
had come on the radio
when he'd turned his car on.
He interrupts himself
at one point to belt out
the lyrics to one song
that I only vaguely recognize,
and he sounds so ridiculous
doing it that I
can't help but laugh.
He flashes me a goofy grin
between glances at the road
as the radio moves on
to a different song.

he says when we finally
reach the mall parking lot.
"What to get for
the girl who already has everything?"
The interior of the building
is all decorated for Christmas,
we find as we walk in,
and while the decorations do
look a little worn and cliché,
they definitely provide
the proper atmosphere.
I don't like Christmas before
the appropriate time, but
when the holiday is in full swing,
it lends an air of magic
to the otherwise drab establishment.
I think it could lift
even the darkest of moods.
Christmastime is just
magical enough to do such a thing.

"That's a good question,"
I respond pensively, scanning
the surrounding stores for clues.
"Is nothing an option?"

"Well, that is
something she doesn't have,"
Seth laughs,
"but not the kind of thing
you give someone
on their birthday,
unless you really hate them."

We've passed a shoe store
and a GameStop so far;
further down is
a sporting goods store,
which Seth eyes as we
pass across from it,
and a Boscov's in
the opposite direction.
So far, nothing
stands out as a good place
to get a gift for Natalia,
unless she's really looking for
the hoverboard that an employee
is demonstrating as we
walk between shops.

"Her birthday was
yesterday, you know,"
Seth speaks up
after a few moments.
"Technically, you're late
in getting her a gift."

"Well, you are too,"
I retort.
"And she didn't want anything
until tomorrow, anyway,
so it doesn't matter."

Yesterday, Natalia had
made a big production of
refusing to acknowledge her birthday
until her party this weekend.
She even told me
that she regretted telling people
that Thursday had been
her actual birthday at all,
because then they wouldn't
feel obliged to come
to her party to wish her
a happy birthday.
I don't think it works like that,
but I had let her whine to me
about it even so;
most of the time,
I had just tuned her out,
becoming distracted by
something or other
that had nothing to do
with her problems at all.

This mall isn't very big,
so after about ten minutes of walking,
I start to wonder if
we'll ever find anything
that Nat will like.
We haven't even yet
located a store that might
contain something to her taste.
When I glance up at Seth,
I find that he looks
about as disgruntled
as I'm beginning to feel.
"This is going nowhere,"
he grumbles at length.
"I'm tempted to just
get her a stupid card
and be done with the whole thing."

I sigh,
"that's all good and fine,
since she expects
as much from you, but
I don't think that
would cut it for me."

he begrudgingly gives me
after a moment of thought.
"I'm sure she'd forgive you if
you took the easy way out, though.

I'm about to snap out some
cutting retort in response,
since his 'easy way out'
practically would amount to suicide
as far as my friendship
with Nat is concerned,
but his gaze is already cast
in the opposite direction.
Sighing, I turn away
to continue scanning the storefronts
in hopes of finding something
our friend may like -
but he grabs my arm
after a second,
stopping me in my tracks.

he says, pointing off
down the row.
I follow his gaze and spot
one of those chintzy little shops
that sells plastic trinkets
and fake diamond rings
and the like to little
pre-teen girls who
think they're all that.

"Are you out of your mind?"
I demand of him;
he simply gives a
lopsided grin and shrugs.
"There's no way I'm
going in there, let alone
buying Nat something from it.
Now that
would be suicide."

"You never know,"
Seth argues back.
"Natalia is a very
shallow kind of girl, and
I think this would be
right up her alley.
Maybe she'd get
a good laugh out of it,
at the very least."

"I don't want her
to laugh at me,"
I mutter, but he
is already dragging me
off towards the shop,
and my protests are left
far behind.
Maybe, I wonder,
it's really Seth who wants
to go there, regardless
of his excuse.
The thought,
amusing as it is,
does little to brighten
my prospects, though.


Tfw the chapter is exactly 1000 words--

This chapter is probably really bad but it was rushed and I'm actually really surprised I was able to update this today at all. I wasn't planning on it. I was so tired and lazy yesterday, and then I was really out of it at work, which sucked because it was busy as hell all day and I literally went out of my mind-- Anyway, count yourselves lucky. I'm hitting a bit of motivation at the moment, and hopefully it doesn't die before I can write tomorrow's chapter.

If you guys liked this, I'd love if you would vote and leave me some feedback! (Kind words would be much appreciated because my mood is pretty bad atm;;;) Thanks, y'all. <3

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