~ Ch. 10: Shopping ~
Serena approached the small stand, her steps quick and urgent.
The young worker jumped up.
"Oh, hey… Uh-"
He looked down to see the girl kneeling down, face almost touching the display glass. "Are… you okay ma'am?"
"I don't know what to pick…" Her face fell into a pout.
"Well, I could always recommend something… you don't need to… do that."
"Yes," Serena stood back up, face rekindled. "Please, what do you recommend?"
"Actually, hold a minute."
She beamed, turning, before, "Jeong! What are you waiting for, c'mon!"
"Sorry! Er, I'm coming!"
"Hurry up! We don't have all day. Walk with a purpose, girl!"
She groaned before pivoting towards the worker. "I'm sorry about my friend, she'll be here shortly."
"It's… fine," he considered Serena, eyes more pointed to her than to the girl running behind. "Ah, look she's here."
He gave an awkward nod.
"Um… as I was saying, er, I'd recommend this one."
He pointed to a rose cupcake with sprinkles. "It's very sweet and a common order here."
Serena's eyes seemed to glow.
"That looks perfect. What do you think…"
Serena paused, glaring. "Stop looking at the waterfall, Jeong, it's creepy."
"Oh, sorry, um… I'll take one too…"
And Jeong's vague expression turned into a smile just like that.
"It's so sweet!" Serena exclaimed, holding the dessert, her mouth wide and ready to devour more. Jeong giggled, a similar sweet clutched in her hand too.
"Where should we sit?"
"Over there seems fine," Serena pointed to a bench in the distance.
Jeong followed, the place perfect for a snack. However, as the two wandered over, Jeong noticed the pair of chocolate eyes staring right at her.
"...I've been meaning to ask you."
"Why did you invite me today?"
"What? Can I not hang out with my best friend?"
"It's just been so long," Serena let out a soft chuckle. "Since we've hung out by ourselves, I mean. You've always seemed busy with something."
Serena's voice fell suddenly. "Not that I'm upset about it or anything. Promise. You just reached out again abruptly is all. I was just wondering if you… I guess… needed something."
"Well, you wouldn't be far off," Jeong averted her gaze, "I wanted to distract myself, and I figured spending time with you would be just the thing."
"Wow, so you only see me as a distraction then."
"You know that's not what I mean."
"I know, I kid," Serena smiled back, "but, if you don't mind me asking, what's the matter?"
Jeong paused for a brief moment. "…Remember Kuro?"
Serena blinked, silent.
"The guy I liked. First name was Sam. From seventh grade."
"Oh, yeah. The clingy kid," an ominous shadow cast over Serena's face as she said this, eyes narrowing.
"You know how he disappeared?"
"Yeah… you were so distraught over it."
"Well, I've been thinking… I want to move on."
"From Sam," Jeong answered, tone resolute. She fidgeted with her hands as she spoke. "I feel I'm ready to find someone new."
A stretch of silence.
"…I guess we'll just see."
The two finished their dessert not long after and agreed to go clothes shopping.
"Isn't this cute?" Serena said, peering towards the price tag.
Her eyes then widened with a pained smile. "Never mind."
"I don't know why you're acting so surprised. You know this store is expensive."
"Oh, look at this one. It's cute too."
"...On second thought, the color is one shade off."
"But this one…"
Jeong sighed, a hand grasped to her forehead. She glimpsed over towards a different part of the store, the one that contained all the personal ornaments.
It wouldn't hurt to see, would it?
She then glanced towards Serena who currently wore a look of pure horror.
Actually, it probably will, but… I'm already here so I might as well.
Jeong skimmed through the wares, many embroidered with golden laces and silver outlines. It was not until many audible 'nopes' later from a preoccupied Serena that Jeong found something that caught her eye.
A pair of earrings. Simplistic, and surprisingly cheap too for the store. They were laced in silver and in the middle was a blue gemstone.
Jeong was entranced almost instantly.
It was perfect.
She would love to see them on her.
On her, as she drenched in beautiful dark crimson.
"Hey, Serena," Jeong called out, releasing herself from her trance. "Do you happen to have Katherine's number?"