Sunday, October 18, 2009

Chapter 12

The bed in the guest room was very comfortable and I fell asleep right away. I had a strange dream. I couldn't remember all of it, but I know at one point there was a lot of screaming and Suzannah was doing most of it. I never got the end of the dream because I woke up. Rolling over, I glanced at the clock. It read 9:12. I heard a noise and saw Suzannah sleepily walk out of her room. Upon seeing that I was up, she came into the room and told me to come downstairs with her for breakfast.

Suzannah was a cereal eater and we had Captain Crunch to eat. Mr. Rawlings was at work, Diana was watching T.V., and Mrs. Rawlings was still sleeping.

Suzannah looked up from her cereal/ "What do you want to do today?" she asked.

I shrugged. I didn't know what we could do.

"Let's wait until my mom gets up. In the meantime, wanna watch T.V. with Diana?"

I nodded and we went into the living room. Suzannah sat down on the leather couch and began to watch cartoons. I sat down next to her and shut my eyes. I hated cartoons.

We watched three gameshows after the cartoons before Mrs. Rawlings got up. She sleepily shuffled into the kitchen. Suzannah followed her in.

"What are we doing today, Mom?" Suzannah asked.

"We're going to buy you underwear, Suzannah!" She turned to me. "Do you mind?" She then laughed at her own joke.

Suzannah, however, did not find this amusing at all. I heard her swear under her breath quite a few times before she spoke to her mother again.

"Very funny!" she snickered. "But what are we going to do?"

"Well, assuming that John is invited to Therese's party tonight, I thought maybe I could drop you kids off at South Bend Mall to look for a present."

"Assuming makes an ass out of you and me," I heard Suzannah mutter.

Her mother ignored this and turned to me. I nodded, indicating that I was invited and that I did need a present.

Mrs. Rawlings brightened and said to hurry up and get dressed. We'll go at noon.

It took Suzannah half an hour to emerge from her bedroom. When she did, it was 11:45 and Mrs. Rawlings decided to leave then. She drove us to the mall, dropped us off, and said she'd pick us up at 3:30 in front of Marshall Fields. Then she left.

We found presents for Therese within the first forty-five minutes and decided to have lunch. As with most indoor malls, South Bend had the usual fast food joints. Suzannah had McDonald's and I had Taco Bell.

"You hoo!" came a shout from across the room. Suzannah looked up and groaned. It was Cass and her friends Ginger and Carolynn. Carolynn gave me a look that said what-are-you-doing-here-with-her! Cass sat down on a chair at the table next to ours. She turned to me.

"Like, oh mi gohd! I've been, like, trying to call you all night! Like, where were you?" Cass flipped her shiny blond hair each time she said "like."

"I slept over at a friend's house," I carefully answered. Suzannah snorted at my answer.

"Like, oh."

Ginger rummaged through one of the many bags she was carrying. Finding what she wanted, she pulled out an expensive lipstick and mirror. She applied some, blotted it, and smiled at her reflection in the mirror. Suzannah looked disgusted.

Ginger giggled. "What do you think?" she asked me. "Is it me?"

It looked terrible. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Suzannah repressing an urge to say something obnoxious. The girls ignored her.

"Well?" Ginger demanded.

"uh, it's nice," I lied.

Ginger giggled again. Suzannah looked as if she were going to barf. As usual, she mittered something. Ginger turned to her.

"Did you say something darling?" she trilled the word darling, trying to sound like her idol, Zsa Zsa Gabor.

"No darling, I didn't say anything your delicate little ears should hear," Suzannah said sarcastically.

At that, I almost laughed out loud. Singer, though, could not believe that Suzannah would say something like that to her. She looked almost as shocked at Cass and Carolynn did.

She stood up. "Well!" she huffed. She walked out of the room. Carolynn and Cass said bye to me, gave Suzannah a dirty look, and followed Ginger out.

When they were gone, Suzannah stood up, threw back her head with mock dignity, and, batting her eyelashes, said, "Well, I will not be - uh, what's the word? - imitated - yeah, that's it, imitated - by such a low social form."

The imitation was perfect. I laughed for so long it seemed as if my guts would burst.

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Oh, the hilarity!