Home > Echoes of You(8)

Echoes of You(8)
Author: Margaret McHeyzer

Neve returns to her table, rights her chair, and sits. “Please, don’t come back,” she says.

What paralyzes me most, is her cold, spiritless voice. She seems burdened by merely breathing.

I walk away, and respect the fact that even though I think Neve needs me, she doesn’t want me. My entire soul grieves for a little girl I once knew.

 

 

“Can you believe tomorrow is our eighteenth birthday?” I ask Tina.

She swings her arm around my shoulder, and squeezes. “Who would’ve thought when you came to live with us, that our birthdays would be on the same day. Still blows my mind.”

I give her a big smile. I’m so glad we both ended up in the same family.

Mom and Dad adopted Tina when she was six, and me when I was seven. Tina and I might not be sisters by blood, but we’re closer than sisters could ever be.

“Dad wants us to get tomatoes and a head of lettuce,” Tina says, reading her phone as we walk toward the mall.

“Did he say what he’s making?” I ask.

“Nachos.”

My stomach grumbles, and my mouth instantly salivates. “You know how Dad always fishes for compliments with his cooking?” I ask.

Tina chuckles and shakes her head in jest. “Oh, man! He’s always saying, ‘I’m so good at this cooking thing,’ every night through dinner.”

“You know, I think we should say tonight, ‘I’ve had better.’”

“Oh no, that’s so mean. But yeah, let’s do that. You say it first, and I’ll agree.” Tina is so cheeky. “So, we need tomatoes and a head of lettuce. I’ve got to try to find a dress for tomorrow night. What are you wearing?” Tina asks.

I shrug my shoulders. Fashion and me don’t really mix. “Whatever’s in my closet. I don’t know.”

“Mom and Dad are taking us out to celebrate our birthday, and knowing them, it’ll be somewhere nice. Can’t you dress up, just a little?”

“Tina, you know I’m not into fancy clothes and shit. I’ll just wear jeans, and a shirt.”

“No, you damn well won’t. If Mom and Dad are going to take us out somewhere nice, you’re dressing up.” She grabs onto my arm and starts dragging me toward the closest fashion store.

Slumping my shoulders, I follow. I know when it comes to clothes, Tina’s going to win every time. I’ve learned over the years to just go with it. Put up a bit of resistance, and if she backs down, yay. If not, suck it up and go with it. “I don’t want to do this,” I whine.

“Too bad,” she snaps back. “Oh, I like this.” She picks up a floral dress, and holds it up against my body. “It’s cute. Flirty even. Off-the-shoulder, fitted to the waist, then slightly flared to the knees.” She thrusts the coat hanger in my hands, and I stand like a mannequin holding the stupid dress. “Hmmm. Nah, I don’t think it’s going to work. You have nice size boobs, we have to show them off.”

“Now we’re talking about my boobs? Really?” I grumble.

“Yep. And you have really nice legs. Your ass is flat though. Like a guy’s butt. So we don’t want to show that off.” I shake my head.

“Hi, can I help you?” the young shop assistant asks.

“No, we’ve got it, thanks,” Tina replies.

“Help me. Save me,” I joke. The assistant smiles at us both, then quickly leaves to help another customer. “Can we just buy this and go?” I really hate shopping.

“Nope. I don’t like it.” She takes the dress, puts it on the rack, and continues browsing the store. “Oh, I really like this.” She holds up a black dress. One that doesn’t look like it would fit my thigh, let alone the rest of my body. “Yep. You’re trying this on.”

“Are you kidding? There’s not enough stretch in the material to get it over my head.”

“Why do you do that? You’re smoking hot. And you dress like you’re a fifty-year-old grandmother. You’re going to try it, and I know you’re going to love it. Excuse me,” she calls the assistant over. “Change rooms?”

“At the back of the store, around the corner.” The girl points.

“Thank you,” Tina happily chirps. She’s way too happy for me to try on clothes. I detest clothes shopping. Hate it with a passion, so the quicker we can get this over and done with, the better. “Go, and I have to see it. Because I know you, you’ll go and stand in the change room, not try it on, and say you don’t like it.”

I try to hold in the smile, but I can’t. “Fine.” I snatch the dress from her, and head to the change rooms. Closing the loose curtains, I quickly slip out of my jeans and t-shirt, and hold the dress up in front of me. “Ugh,” I grumble. “My pillowcases have more material than you,” I mumble at the dress. I slide it over my head, and glide it down over my hips, to my thighs. “Hell no!” I look at myself in the mirror, in shock at what it reflects back at me.

“Let me look!” Tina draws back the curtain. Her eyes widen and her mouth falls open. “Hell yes!” she says. “You look hot! Man, your boobs look so good. I wish mine looked like yours.” She reaches out and cups her hands around my breasts. She lifts them slightly, then steps back. “Yeah, you don’t even need a push-up bra. Turn around.” Why do I feel like her own personal doll? “Shit, man. Even your butt looks rounder than what it is.”

I turn to look at myself in the mirror, and I can’t help but like how my butt looks. “It’s too short though,” I whine as I try to pull the dress down.

“You can’t see your vagina, so why are you complaining?”

“If I bend over, everyone will know I’ve had toast for breakfast.”

“You over-exaggerate everything. Here, step forward.” I do. “Turn around, and bend in front of me.”

“I’m not bending in front of you, Tina.” I roll my eyes and let out a sigh.

“If you can’t do this stuff in front of me, then who can you do it in front of? Just trust me. Bend,” she demands. I groan, but do as she asks. “Stay there.” Her fingers go near my bottom. About three inches down. “This is where the dress ends. So no. If you bend, we won’t know you had toast for breakfast. This is a hot dress. It makes your legs look longer, and your boobs don’t need assistance. Your butt looks really good. We’re buying it.”

“Tina,” I argue as I straighten and turn.

“We’re buying it,” she says over her shoulder as she leaves.

Just go with it, Molly. If rolling eyes was a national sport, I would’ve already won a gold medal. I close the curtains, and quickly change back into my comfortable jeans and t-shirt. I place the dress on the coat hanger, and pray I can sneak it back to the rack before Tina sees. No such luck, she’s waiting outside at the entrance of the changing rooms, leaning against the wall. She holds her hand out to me. “Ugh,” I grumble.

“Whatever. And I have the nicest pair of red high heels you’re going to borrow.”

“Can’t I wear my Converse?”

She turns and shoots me a dirty look. “I’m going to pretend you didn’t just say that.”

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