Authors: Wanitta Praks
Tags: #sliceoflife, #contemporaryromance, #teenromance, #teenfiction, #contemporaryfiction, #dramaromance, #romeojulietstoryline, #schoolromance, #starcrossedlovers, #teenfictioncontemporary, #tragedyromance
“No,” Ivy says, pulling at the scarf. “I
don’t want the scarf. One dress is enough.”
“Two dresses and a scarf.” I bargain with
her, preventing her from pulling that scarf away from her neck.
“You’ve already paid for my food. I haven’t
given you anything yet for our friendship gift. So one dress and
it’s a deal.” She tries peeling my hands from the scarf, but I
refuse to let go.
“Two dresses and a scarf, then. Plus, I’ll
let you pay for my meal next time we go out.” I put in my offer,
gripping her scarf tighter so she won’t try to peel my fingers off
Ivy thinks again for some time. Then she
finally says, “One dress and that scarf. And I will pay for your
meal next time you take me out. Do we have a deal? Otherwise, I
won’t agree to be your friend anymore.” Then she pinches my hand
and I yelp, letting her scarf go.
“Ivy. Seriously. You want to sever our
friendship just because I want to buy you the two dresses and the
scarf?” I ask playfully, holding on to the blue scarf again.
“Yes. So do we have a deal?” Ivy starts
peeling at my fingers again.
“Yes, we have a deal.” I smile.
“Good, now let go of the scarf. I’m
“Oh, sorry.” I let my hands go. “I thought
you hated the scarf; that’s why you were pulling it off.”
“I like the scarf. It’s nice,” she comments,
feeling the fabric between her fingers. “It’s just that you wound
it too tight around my neck.”
I smile again, this time winding the scarf
around her neck more loosely. Then I hug her body close to
“Look, Ivy. Look at yourself.” I gesture for
her to look at herself in the mirror.
Ivy stares at her own image. I also look up
at her, admiring her beautiful figure and the dress and scarf.
I hope she can understand what I’m doing. I
love her. I want her to understand how I feel. I want to tell her I
love her, but I’m afraid it’s too early yet. I want to spend some
more time with her first. So I decide to drop another hint
I wind my arms around her small body so
she’s pressed close to my chest. Then I rest my chin on her head
and say, “You seriously look beautiful, Ivy. I would really like a
girl like you to be my girlfriend.”
Revenge and Conflict
My breath shudders when Zac says, “You
seriously look beautiful, Ivy. I would really like a girl like you
to be my girlfriend.”
I wish he would stop saying that. Stop using
me as an example.
I wedge out of his embrace and tell him to
wait outside while I get changed. Zac reluctantly goes out with a
little push. I hear him chuckle, which puts a smile on my lips.
Oh how I wish he were more than just my
friend. He was such a gentleman when he helped me with that zipper,
despite his hands being too big and clumsy.
I shake my head to get myself out of the
fantasy world, then hear Zac say from outside the door, “I’ll wait
outside for you, then. When you’re done, give me the dresses and
scarf and I’ll put them through.”
“Okay,” I reply.
I like the blue and green ones, but not the
black one. I hate the color black. It reminds me too much of that
accident. Wearing black clothing to the funeral, waking up in the
middle of the night because of a nightmare in the dark. It’s all
black. Everything that gives me pain. Nightmares, deaths, darkness.
I pick up the blue and green ones. Zac
didn’t get to see me in the green dress, but he did see me in the
I smile. As if wanting to please him, I pick
the blue one, along with the blue scarf that he put on me.
Zac is still with the assistant, putting
through the items, when I come out. I go to stand beside him. The
lady assistant smiles at me.
“The blue one, Zac,” I tell him.
“Sure thing.” He gives me the cheesiest
smile ever and then turns to the assistant.
She smiles like she finds something
adorable, then says, “Oh, so sweet.”
I don’t understand what she means by that.
Instead, I go to look at the row of dresses along the other
This store has such lovely dresses. I pull
one of the dresses off of the rack and look at it. This one looks
similar to mine. I turn to look at the price tag and nearly drop my
eyeballs. $400. This dress costs $400. I put that one back and pick
up another one. $350. I pick up the next one. $475. Oh God. Next
one. $380. Next one. $500!
God help me. Are none of these dresses under
fifty dollars? What kind of store is this? Why are all the dresses
I rush back to Zac, hoping he hasn’t put any
of the items through yet. If this friendship gift thing is going to
be this expensive, then I don’t want it all at. Just a simple
exchange of books would be fine.
“Zac, Zac,” I call out to him when I see him
standing next to the counter. But my timing is so bad. By the time
I arrive, he’s already swiped his card through.
“Zac, don’t. Don’t buy any of them. Get a
refund. I don’t want them anymore,” I tell him, tugging at his
The sales assistant doesn’t know what to do
by this point. She stares between me and Zac with a perplexed look
on her face.
“It’s okay, Ivy. It’s fine. I’ve already
paid for them.”
“But, Zac. They’re so expensive. How am I
supposed to buy you something that’s that expensive?’
Zac only chuckles as he sees my worried
scrunched-up face, like I’m about to cry.
Instead of comforting me like usual, he
turns to the sales assistant instead. “It’s okay. We’re not going
to exchange them.”
I snap my head up when he says this.
“What? Come on. You’re scaring the sales
assistant.” Zac drags me away from the counter.
I dejectedly follow him, my head hanging
That dress, that blue dress and scarf that I
don’t think I’m going to wear, have cost Zac over half a thousand
“Give me the bag,” I say gloomily.
I want to see what they look like again,
that dress and scarf that would have cost me an arm and a leg if I
were to buy them myself.
Zac offers the bag to me with a smile. I
just want to hit him right now. How can he still have that smile on
his face when he had to spend over $500 for a friendship gift for a
girl who only agreed to be his friend last week?
“Did you pay with a MasterCard or a Visa?” I
“No. I paid for them using Eftpos.”
Oh God. Is he trying to tell me he’s
I peek inside. If my eyes were like yo-yos,
they would’ve bounced to the floor and up to the ceiling again
because inside I see a green dress too.
“Zac, you bought the green dress too?” I ask
just to make sure. If he didn’t buy it, then the assistant must
have accidently put it in the bag and we have to return it.
“Yes, I did. I like the blue dress on you,
but I didn’t get to see the green one, so I bought it too.”
No, no, no. I agreed on a blue one, plus the
scarf. There isn’t supposed to be a green one at all.
“Zac.” I take hold of his hand. “We’re going
back to the counter.”
“Why?” He chuckles, a light twinkling in his
“We’re going to return the green dress. I’ve
agreed to the blue one, but the green one was never in our
bargain.” I drag him back, but Zac puts his weight all on his heels
and I can’t even move him with my small frame.
“Ah… ah… ah…” Zac stops me, shaking his
head. “Don’t worry about it. I like the green one too. Plus, it’s
too late to return it now. I threw the receipt away.”
What! How can you throw the receipt
What happens if that dress doesn’t fit me?
revenge. No way is he paying for two dresses and a scarf. All three
items would amount to… help me, a thousand dollars.
Oh God. How am I supposed to find a gift
that would equate to a thousand dollars? I only have two thousand
in my bank account. I can’t use that money to buy such expensive
gifts for Zac.
He did say I could pay for his meals when we
go out. But a meal would only cost about twenty dollars for the two
of us. How many meals do I need to pay for him in order to reach a
thousand? Let’s see, divide that by twenty… Oh god, fifty times. I
have to cover meals for Zac fifty times. That’s just crazy. I’m
only going to see him until the end of this year.
“Zac, you liar. Come here.” I throw my bags
at him and drag him along this time.
“Ivy.” He chuckles, holding on to my bags of
dresses. “Where are you taking me?”
I don’t reply. I’m too thirsty for my
revenge. He bought all that for me without informing me of the
No, it’s not his fault. It’s my fault for
assuming the dresses would cost no more than fifty dollars. But
still, to drag me here and pay for a dress that is way over our
limit, that’s just wrong. We are high school students. We can’t
afford these kinds of things. What is he thinking, bringing me
I bite my lips and drag him all the way to
the men’s formal section, then grab a select few shirts and push
him into the changing room.
“You’re very bossy today, Ivy. What do you
want me to do with these?” He chuckles, looking at the items I
dumped in his hands.
“What do you think? Throw them in the
garbage of course,” I say sarcastically.
“Oooh, Ivy. I like when you act like this.
Such a refreshing change from your usual icy glare.” He chuckles
My heart stops for a second when he says the
word “like,” then resumes its normal beating again. “Stop chuckling
like a moron and get in the changing room and change. When you’re
done, come out. I want to see it.”
“Aye, aye, Mistress Ivy.” Zac laughs
playfully again and then salutes me before going into the changing
I bite my lips. Just you wait, Zac. I’m
going to let you try on every single one of these shirts here in
the entire store. I feel a little guilty for doing this because the
sales assistant will have a hard time putting the clothing back on
the rack, but there’s no way around it. Zac needs to be taught a
lesson. He cannot do this to me and get away with it.
Zac comes out of the changing room at that
minute and I almost lose my breath.
Why is Zac so handsome? With just his jeans
and that white shirt on, he looks to die for. If Mandy or Ashley or
any one of those hens were here now, they would be screaming their
“Well?” Zac asks. I blink and find myself
back on Earth. The mission needs to go on, despite only seeing Zac
with that one shirt. He needs to move on to the next one.
“Horrible. Next,” I say and hand him another
“Really?” he mumbles before going back into
the changing room.
Zac comes out again, this time wearing the
blue shirt. I almost capsize backward in my seat. Zac looks too…
too… hot for me to breathe. I’m almost suffocating in this
I cough, trying to appease my dry throat,
walk up to him, and pretend to survey him, up and down and then
around. With a disapproving look that I try very hard to paste on,
I say, “Absolutely unsuitable. It doesn’t suit you. Next one.”
“Really. What part is unsuitable?” he asks.
“I like this one. The color matches your dress.”
“It’s just… it’s just…” What do I say? I
can’t find the word. Zac just looks too handsome and cute and hot
and every single word that would describe a hot guy, and I can’t
even find the word to describe him that is the opposite.
I’m not making sense right now, am I?
“It’s just… it’s… just…” I bite my lip
“What is it? Spit it out. Do I really look
“It’s just… It looks unsuitable,” I puff out
“You just said that. What part is
unsuitable?” Zac asks for details. “Is it my arms? Are they too
long for this shirt? Or am I too tall? Do I need another size?”
No, no. You don’t need another size. You
look perfect. Just perfect, Zac. Don’t change anything. I like your
height; I like the length of your arms. They’re all perfect.
“It’s just unsuitable,” I tell him again.
“Stop asking questions. Just go change.”
I push him into the changing room again and
hand him another shirt. When all’s done, I slump back in the
waiting chair, exhausted.
This mission of making Zac tired and
humiliated from changing clothing is fast turning into my own
mission of trying to keep myself from turning into a sinner. I
think I’m going crazy seeing Zac trying on all of these different
When he appeared in the white shirt, Zac
looked like a rough bad boy, the everyday hero of every teenage
dream. And when the he came out with the blue shirt, I almost
I drum my head.
Ivy, you stupid girl. Zac
is not a piece of meat. He’s your friend. Your friend. Don’t get
any rude ideas. Friends don’t fall in love with friends. They’re
companions to brighten the dull day. That’s all.
Not wanting to feel this overpowering
emotion towards Zac, I put all my thirst and energy into my mission
of revenge. I go to find more shirts. Maybe this time I’ll pick
something that’s ugly. Anything. I know. Maybe I should go for
brown. Brown is an ugly color.
I’m about to pick up a brown shirt when the
sales assistant from before comes marching towards me like she’s on
a mission, with her determined stride and that smile on her lips.
She stops right in front of me and says hello.
“Hello,” I say back with a smile.
“Are you looking for a shirt for your
boyfriend now? Do you need some help?”
“What? No, no, no.” I shake my head
vigorously. “I… I—”
Zac must have heard the sale assistant
asking me because he appears out of the changing room at that
moment and walks towards me. When I see him, I almost suffocate
again. He has on a pink shirt. A pink shirt. A pink shirt that’s
supposed to make a man look less manly, yet on Zac, it looks so