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I woke with a wide smile on my face as my thoughts drifted to the night before.  Travis and I stood in the driveway, continuing our private, steamy make-out session, until his phone interrupted.  It was his mom wondering where he was.  I had to grudgingly let him go after one last tender kiss.

I stretched to grab my phone, which had fallen to the fluffy white rug next to my bed.  I excitedly looked at it, my stomach fluttering.  It flashed “one new message”.  I willed my phone to respond quicker to my finger rapidly pressing the button.

Disappoint flooded over me when I realized it was a sale update from Barney’s.  That doesn’t do me any good.  I scowled and threw the phone on my comforter.  My thoughts had become completely and wholly about Travis, his adorable smile, his warm eyes, his amazing kisses.  I felt the familiar flutters in my stomach when my phone rang next to me.  Without looking, my hand darted out to answer it.


“Hey, you,” said the familiar voice coming from the speaker.

“Hey,” I said, disappointed.  It was nine o’clock in the morning, and Malcolm was already calling me.

"So tomorrow’s the party.”

“Yeah,” I said, annoyed.

“Whattya say we go over to the Eastland Mall and find something for you to wear?”

“No, thanks.  Been there.  I don’t think I’ll find a designer dress in a country bumpkin store,” I said.

“No, no, no.  Not that mall.  Eastland is ‘bout an hour away.  It’s got some nice stores,” he said.

“Oh, this is that other mall.  Travis told me about it,” I said, the fluttering returning.  “Is there a decent department store?”

“I dunno.  It’s got a website check it out, and let me know if you wanna go,” he said.  I grabbed my MacBook Pro from my desk and searched the name.  Looking at the online directory, few store names stood out as ones I knew.  But there was a Macy’s, and on occasion, it was possible to find something decent there.

“Alright, I guess it’ll do,” I said.

“Great!  I’ll pick you up at eleven,” he said, before hanging up the phone.  I stopped, staring at the screen.  A shopping day with Malcolm was definitely not what I had in mind.  Excuses for cancelling ran through my mind.  However, he had made a good point.  I did need something for the party still.  I rustled through my closet one last time to make sure I hadn’t forgotten a dress in some unsearched corner, but to no avail.  I checked my phone for the umpteenth time, hoping Travis had at least sent a text message.  He hadn’t.

I dressed in a simple pair of boyfriend jean shorts and a comfortable tee before heading towards the kitchen where I found my mom flitting around checking the food supply.  I smiled at her when she greeted me.

“Have fun last night, hun?” she asked, not stopping her task.

“Yeah, it was cool.  Thanks for doing that, it was awesome.”

“Oh, dear, it really was all José.  He was as excited as a three-year-old when Travis asked.  Besides, it was romantic,” she said.  “So how was your date last night?”

“It wasn’t a date, Mom,” I said, deciding not to mention I had fallen for Travis.  The thought of hearing her “I was right” speech this morning was not appealing by any means.

“Oh,” she said, understanding that my tone meant to drop the subject.  “What are your plans for today?”

“Malcolm is taking me to a mall where I’m going to find a dress,” I said, unenthusiastically.

“Jessica, I know you don’t want to hear this.  I think you need to do stuff with Travis more.  He really did a lot for you last night, and I think he really likes you,” she said, finally stopping her search for missing ingredients to carefully explain this.  Despite the fact that everything she said was completely true and nothing would make me happier than to do so, I glared at her.

“Mom, I can make my own decisions.  But I’ll take your thoughts into consideration,” I said, standing up and walking out of the kitchen.  Standing in the foyer, I pressed my fingers to my temple, willing the stress headache to go away.  My miniature massage session was interrupted by an obnoxious honking from the driveway.  I glanced out the window to see Malcolm sitting in his beat up Chevrolet, waiting for me.  I rushed up the stairs to grab my purse and quickly left behind my overly involved mother.

"Thanks for taking me,” I said as I buckled my seat belt.  He began backing out of my driveway.

“My pleasure.  Literally,” he said, winking.  I turned to look out the window, hiding my disgust.

We sat in near silence the entire one hour ride to the mall, mainly do to my sudden “interest” of the barren landscape.  Malcolm pulled into a parking spot just outside the entrance to the mall.  Surprisingly, it was in a well-populated, busy area.  It had a modern design on the outside, something the Hawesville Mall lacked.  It was brightly lit on the inside and had stores that some people in Hawesville had never heard of.  However, there were some I hadn’t heard of either.  We found our route to Macy’s quickly, the mall was not too large.

We stepped into the bright Macy’s department store, and I longed for the familiar smell of designer clothes and perfumes, platinum white tiles, and soft florescent lights of Saks.  I whimpered a little at the sight of the elderly women in frumpy blouses walking about the racks of clothing, something that wouldn’t be seen at Saks unless they donned highlighted extensions and five inch pumps.  I eventually found my way to the dresses, disappointed by the lack of variety.  I eventually got over the depressing conditions I was in and started sifting through the mixture of perfect designer pieces and the lame attempts to compete with them.  Malcolm, excited to finally get some time with me, searched through the dresses, finding things he thought would work.

He held up a brightly colored tropical flowered dress and, having trouble holding back his laughter, said, “I think you would look ravishing in this one.”

“Oh yes, put that in the pile,” I said with sarcasm before cracking up.  Sitting on a large, plush, red ottoman was a pile of more than a dozen dresses for me to try on.

“Don’t you think this is enough?” Malcolm said, placing another dress on the pile.  From where I was it didn’t look like there was much fabric to it.

“It’ll do for now.  You’d be surprised by how many will be instant nixes,” I said, adding five more dresses.  I grabbed six of the dresses and walked behind the black velvet, floor length curtain of the dressing room.

The first dress I slipped over my curves was a shimmer ruffled Suzi Chin dress.  I stepped out of the dressing room, and Malcolm shrugged.  It was nothing special, and he noticed this too.  Without saying anything I turned back into the dressing room.  The rest of the dresses in the group I had went the same way.  I looked at the collection, all dresses I had picked out. 

Disappointed, I exchanged them for a second group of six dresses with Malcolm.  They were all shorter than the last ones and had plunging necklines.  I didn’t recognize them either.  I rolled my eyes at the first one I picked up.  Malcolm picked out a dress that was short enough to need leggings underneath if I were to go into a public place.  I put it on and stepped out from behind the curtain, Malcolm’s eyebrows shot up.

“Whoa.  It really makes your legs look good,” he said with a smile.  I narrowed my eyes at him.

“Of course you would like it,” I said bitterly.  “But I’m not trying to be trashy.  I’m trying to show off my excellent sense of style.”

“Alright, fine.  I’ll find some other ones while you try on the rest that you found,” he said, taking the rest of the dresses from the dressing room.  I grabbed the ones I had chosen that were left on the ottoman and reentered my dwelling.

Much to my dismay, the final designer garments I had chosen, ranging from halters to strapless and in varying colors, didn’t look right at all on me.  I tore off the last one and met Malcolm, holding several dresses that were much more acceptable than what he had chosen before.

“None of these?” he said as I handed him the dresses.

“No,” I said, retreating into the dressing room.  I grabbed the first one, a turquoise blue halter that would do nothing for my skin tone.  I threw it aside.  The one under this was a bright yellow that would have only worked for a formal brunch.  I threw it aside.  The final one was a white sequined, draped halter mini dress.  I checked the tag: BCBG.  I was impressed.

The dress settled on all the right places.  I turned to see the low back, which flattered my slim frame.  I smiled, knowing that Malcolm would easily approve.  I opened the curtain to show him.

“Tada,” I said, my hands on my hips.  “What do you think?”

“I think you look amazing,” he said.

I blushed and pushed hair behind my ear.  “Thanks.”

I took off the dress, perfect for my party, and put my clothes back on.  I joined Malcolm outside of the dressing room.

“So how much is it?  I didn’t even check when I picked it out,” he said.

“Only two sixty,” I said, tucking the tag back into the dress.

“Whoa, that’s quite a bit,” he said, uneasily.

“No big deal.  I’ve got an AmEx that I’ll put it on, my dad won’t know the difference,” I said, laughing.  “Now it’s time for shoes.”

Malcolm followed as I found my way towards the shoe department.  I sighed as I entered the comforting area.  It had been ages since I had been in the midst of beautiful, new designer heels.  I walked amongst the shelves of shoes, running my hands along each shoe on display.  I glanced over the area, ignoring Malcolm’s mumblings about how they all look the same, and spotted them.  I left Malcolm on spot and rushed over to them.  The gray cutout pump would add a little twist to the glamorous outfit.  Malcolm reached my side and I said, “These are perfect.”

“Um, okay.  Where are the boxes?” he said, looking under the table.  Not even two seconds after this came out of his mouth, a man with gelled back hair and an all black outfit stepped to the other side of the table.

“How can I help you two?” he asked sincerely.

“I’d like these BCBGenerations in a seven please,” I said, pointing to the gray stilettos.

“Excellent choice.  These Estrella pumps are extremely popular.  My name is Cliff.  Please take a seat at the couch over there, and I’ll go grab those in a seven,” he said before turning to go to the back room.  Malcolm looked taken aback, like he had never been a place that gave this kind of service.

“Does this always happen?” he asked.

I laughed and said, “Only when you go to the right places.”

Cliff returned sporting a black box with a silver writing on it.  When he reached us, he said, “Here you are ma’am.  Would like help putting them on?”

“Oh, no.  Thank you, Cliff,” I said, grabbing the box.

“I suppose you could have your boyfriend help you, right?” he said.  Then, before walking away, placing a hand on Malcolm’s shoulder and winking, said, “Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.”

I fought to contain a giggle that was dangerously close to escaping.  Malcolm had an expression that was a mix of flattery and shock on his face.  “Was he flirting with me?” he asked, uneasily.

I shrugged and, laughing, said, “I guess I’m going to have some competition for you, Malcolm.”

“There would be no competition,” he said, laughing along.  I slid the shoes onto my feet and stood up.  The five inch heels did wonders for my height and even worked with what I was wearing.  I took a few steps and pivoted.  They were perfect.

“How did they work out for you?” Cliff said, appearing next to Malcolm, causing him to jump.

“They are amazing.  I’ll take them,” I said, flipping them off to return them to the box.

“Excellent.  Will you be paying, sir?” he asked Malcolm, batting his eyelashes.

“No, I will,” I said, answering for him.

“Oh.  In that case, will you follow me to the register?” he said as he turned away.

After I paid, Malcolm and I exited Macy’s in search of a place for lunch.  Our choices were limited, either the food court or a shabby T.G.I. Friday’s.  Much to my surprise, Malcolm chose the sit-down restaurant.  The young hostess showed us to our table, a corner booth optimal for a couple on a date, wanting to sit close to one another.

“I hope this is okay,” Malcolm said as soon as the over-bubbly hostess left.  “It was either this or some crappy fast food, which I figured wouldn’t be a decent enough place to take you.”

I looked at him, a little offended by the insinuation he was making, and said, “Well, yeah this is fine.  But it’s not like I would complain if we went there either.”

“That’s not what I meant,” he said, defending himself.  “I meant that you are too beautiful, too great, of a girl to be taken to a food court for lunch.”

“Oh,” I said, shrinking back in my misunderstanding.  Malcolm was simply trying to be nice, and I had turned it into something that made him look bad.  I never gave Malcolm enough credit for being the gentleman he could be.  I stuttered a thank you and moved my attention back to the menu.

Our waitress, a tall blonde who, too, was over-preppy, took our orders quickly and hurried off towards the kitchen.  After she left, a silence drifted over us.  I turned my attention towards my purse, searching for my phone.  I started taking things out and placing them on the bench next to me in panic.  It was no where to be found.  I groaned a little when I realized that it was still laying on my bedspread, probably receiving bunches of text messages and phone calls from the guy I really wanted to be with.

“Is that what you really think of me?” Malcolm said, suddenly, playing with the straw wrapper.

"What?” I said, clearly distracted by my missing phone.

“Like, do you think I’m a jerk?  Someone who can’t ever be nice,” he said, concern in his eyes.

“Well, you kind of give off that impression,” I said.

“I don’t mean to.  I mean, I can’t help but give those comments, that’s the way I have always gotten a girl,” he said.

“But only to get with them.  Have you ever said those comments hoping to have a relationship?”

“I’ve never had a girlfriend,” he said pathetically.  I felt a pang of guilt.  He didn’t know how to talk to girls.

“How about you just try being real and not like a pretentious stud,” I said, reaching out to place a hand over his.  “Like now.”

“I’ve tried, but no one takes me seriously,” he said.

"I take you seriously.  When you are like this, being yourself, not acting like you’re above everyone else, you are a pretty enjoyable person to be with,” I said, squeezing his hand.  He smiled, slightly.

“I really like you, Jessica,” he said, his blue eyes lighting up.  I had a feeling this was the first time he had ever said this to a girl.  He boldly took my hand in his, his demeanor making a complete one-eighty.  “And I’m glad you wanted to go out with me today, despite how I’ve treated you.”

I felt a wave of guilt crash over me.  Only twenty minutes ago, I was trying to make this day go by faster to be with another guy.  I finally replied, “I’m glad you invited me.”

We ate our late lunch, exchanging small talk.  I noticed his sudden interest in me and my life.  For the first time, Malcolm was making an effort to get to know me.  And it was flattering.  We eventually finished, and he offered to pay.  I realized that it was easier to be with Malcolm when he was acting like himself, he was even likeable.  More likeable than I thought he would be.

A short silence had fallen over us in the car in between his continuous questions about my friends back in New York.  Suddenly, he said, “You’re beautiful, you know that, right?”

I looked over towards him to see that his attention was on me.  I blushed, “Thanks.  You’re not too bad yourself.”

He laughed and took my hand in his free one.  Our fingers intertwined, I didn’t remove mine.  It felt right.  I felt guilty.  Travis, I thought to myself.  Was it possible that I could be developing feelings for both of these boys? 

Malcolm pulled into my driveway, causing me to get all of my stuff together.  He stopped the car and jumped out to get my dress hanging in the back seat.  I grabbed it when he came over to me.  I carefully balanced the box of shoes in my other hand and started to say something when his hands were suddenly holding my face as he bent down and kissed me.

It was different than the sweet kisses that Travis and I exchanged the night before.  This one was a strong push, the desire to grab him and pull him closer was difficult to subdue.  This kiss was heated and passionate, nothing like a hesitant first kiss usually is.  I found myself leaning into him, when he pulled away.  Without saying a word, he grabbed the box of shoes and replaced them with his hand.  I blushed from his brave act. 

He walked me to the front door, taking his hand away and handing me the box.  I looked up at him just for an instant.  He bent down and kissed me again, but this time, only a quick peck before saying, “See you tomorrow.”  He walked away back towards his car as I stood watching his every move.  At that moment, I wanted nothing more than to continue the kiss.

Submitted: February 06, 2011

© Copyright 2023 Kay Bee. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments:



this was absolutely amazing :) I loved loved loved it :) Keep at it and please update me

Sun, February 6th, 2011 4:35pm


yay! :)
Of course, of course!

Mon, February 7th, 2011 2:06am

unknown girl

Whoah! How could she do that to Travis?!! Gosh! How could she be that stupid? I've got a feeling that Malcolm is just doing that to hurt Travis. I HATE him (I know he's not real but..) anywhoo plz keep me updated. want to know what will happen to poor Travis :(

Tue, February 8th, 2011 4:41am


Oh, I'm so happy that you're getting so passionate about Travis. Psst! I like him too! ;) Of course I'll keep you update! Thanks for reading even though it's been FOREVER since I've updated! :)

Tue, February 8th, 2011 1:22am

UnKnownPrinCess Vaj

You have been gone for quite a while, girl! but i'm glad you finally update and did not forget to let me know. thanks.

this is a GREAT CHAPTER. but OH WOW, i knew he likes her. and she's harboring feelings for both guys, this is so exciting. i'm anxious to know what's going to happen next. Please update me again will you? Thanks so much

Wed, February 9th, 2011 10:39am


I know, I know! It's terrible. I'm so glad you liked it! :) Right?! We'll see what happens! :) I'll update as soon as I can, and as always, will let you know!

Wed, February 9th, 2011 3:20am

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