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As Awsten's week continued, he was seriously reconsidering his earlier claim of reality and video games being entirely different things. He was trapped somewhere in between the two of them. It was like reality had a semi-unrealistic flair. After he had taken Geoff to work on Wednesday, the two returned to the apartment to find a twenty dollar bill on the front step leading into their apartment. With a minor amount of teasing, Awsten brushed the event off as a lucky accident.

It was on Thursday that his skepticism grew. After much protest, Geoff stayed home that day. When he eventually left the apartment -somebody had to grab the instant coffee they had forgotten about- when he was pulled into what he recounted as 'the most insane thing ever' to the other boy. Geoff had somehow been a witness to a mugging and before he knew what he was doing, he was chasing down the thief. After catching the culprit and returning the stolen purse to the victim, he was given a more-than-generous reward.

On Friday, any doubts that Awsten had were destroyed. They went to Geoff's grave only to find out that other people saw the name on the tombstone as one that didn't belong to Geoff. Their minds were bursting with questions and recalled that they could summon their guide and ask a single question. Despite Geoff's protests, their question was used to find out more about Geoff's dead or alive status. The pair were shocked to find out that until the end of their adventure, it was as if Geoff had never died. When Geoff found out about this, he promised himself that the moment he got a cell phone, he would try to contact his family.

Geoff's most pressing question was regarding how the fuck he was supposed to get any form of work documentation. The following morning, he was supposed to be meeting with Michaela's boss and as cool as staying home all day was, Geoff wanted to be productive. Or save up to buy a Switch. Whatever. After a rather large donation to Geoff's grave, a series of documents came into view. Geoff felt relieved.

Saturday morning came and went. Geoff, by some miracle, charmed the owner of the coffee shop and was hired before he got a chance to sit down. His first shift was supposed to be on Monday morning. And that was how Awsten Knight ended up in a mall on one of the last Saturdays of the summer.

"I thought you would like shopping." Geoff commented, checking out a blue Sonic shirt. The size read medium and although that should've been Geoff's size, he bought the shirt two sizes larger. He thought it would look better as a tank. When he was alive the first time around, he had a thing for turning his shirts into muscle tanks. Geoff was always warm for some reason and absolutely hated sweating. Muscle tees were a good alternative. "It looks like a mall exploded in your living room."

"I hate fast fashion." Admitting that out loud was easier than admitting that he was sort of expecting to use Geoff as a mannequin. Awsten brought him to the mall assuming he would be dressing Geoff in whatever he wanted. It was a good plan until Geoff tugged on the other boy's wrist, guiding him into every generic store Awsten hated. After four stores and six bags, Geoff insisted they checked out the men's section in Forever 21. Forever 21, H&M, Zara and other fast fashion clothing stores didn't have the quality of clothing Awsten preferred. He would've rather saved up and bought Geoff a couple of nice, good quality pieces than some mass produced piece of fabric everyone on Instagram had. "That's ugly. You're not buying that."

"I'm turning it into a tank." Geoff smiled, dropping it into the dark mesh bag. Awsten had somehow gotten suckered into not only paying for what he could only assume as an expensive shopping trip, but also holding all of Geoff's bags. Geoff had had what Awsten referred to as comfort clothing. Black pants. Stripes. Cooler tones. These were all things Geoff knew he already looked okay in. They were pieces he could feel comfortable in. Awsten had slid in a couple of riskier pieces -a red and black checkered shirt with white text on the front, a pink floral button down, a medium wash denim jacket, among others- into the bag, silently hoping that they wouldn't go into the changing room. If they didn't go there, Geoff might not notice. "It's gonna look cool."

Game Over. Continue? // gawstenRead this story for FREE!