002: Part 8

by CM Towns

   Jessie was standing in the Womens section of the JC Penney. She was uninterested in her surroundings unlike her friend who was checking out all the skirts. Michelle Gibson, or Michie as she was called by friends, seemed very interested in the selection. She stood five-foot-five, had long ash blond hair and big blue eyes. Michie was a mix of French-Canadian on her moms side and a Caucasian mutt on her fathers. Today she was wearing a cute shirt with an animé character posing in the middle. She was also in a black medium length skirt, cute flats and a knock off Chloé purse she bought at a swap meet.
   The two had known each other since elementary, back when Jessie was more introverted. Back then Michie sported ash brown hair but since the return of magic a number of young people with the recessive gene for blond or red hair started seeing changes in their teens.
   Michie knew practically all of Jessie’s secrets. From her first kisses, to all her school fights, to Jessie’s handful of enthusiastic drunk moments and more. Michie even designed her Reina Titán costume as well as Red Sprite’s, Mr. Monster’s, and Araminta’s outfits. With help from her mother Sarah. Despite all that Michie’s father was not aware of what was going on with his daughters best friend. Which was good because Jessie always suspected that Michie’s dad did not approve of her with her tats and loud evil music. Definitely would not approve of her bisexuality.
   “I think I’d look good in this,” Michie said. Jessie shrugged. “What’s wrong? Worried about your date?”
   “My maybe date? Not even. More like he’s worried about being seen in public,” Jessie replied.

   “He does have that whole-” Michie posed like a raptor with her teeth gritted.
   “That is racist.”
   “What! No! I-” she stopped and shook her head. “Don’t play with me like that.”
   Jessie smiled and replied, “Sorry but I can’t help it.”
   “So how did he ask you?” Michie was curious.
   “I told you how. He just asked me to be his better half. Simple as that,” Jessie responded shaking her head at a shirt Michie pointed to.
   “It’s never that simple. Details.”
   “He asked if I was involved with someone. I said I just got out of a relationship that wasn’t serious. We talked a little about my ex,” Jessie said while looking through shirts before she added, “Then while he was drinking I said ‘we should have sex’ and he spat up and choked. It was cute.”
   Michie was holding in a laugh with her mouth.
   “Then we made out a little and called it a night.”
   “Yes! That sounds awesome.”
   “It would be more awesome if your dates were as cool as mine. So I could get the details other than ‘we sat at his place and watched Wagnaria!! and kissed and it was sooooooo sweet,’” Jessie mocked.
   Michie just ignored her. “So you know what you plan on wearing on this maybe date?”
   “You can draw me something up. Part costume, part sexy dress. I mean-its not even a guarantee we’ll actually go outside the base,” Jessie said.
   “Still… I like it when you’re seeing boys,” Michie said.
   “You’re just jealous of my ex-girlfriends,” Jessie said checking out a black top.
   “I am not jealous.”
   “Says the girl who draws femslash about me.”
   “I don’t!” Michie then lowered her voice. “I draw fanfiction based on actual true adventures. I do not not draw femslash with you.”
   “Don’t lie to yourself, Michie. I know you do it in secret. If you ever want me to-”
   Michie stuck her fingers in her ears and started singing Kids in America. Jessie raised her hands as gesture that she would be backing off.
   The two stepped out of the Womens department and Jessie asked, “Why do you prefer me dating boys?”
   “When you date girls you get more… Masculine I guess. Shirts are a size too big. Always wear long pants. Boots and Converse kicks only. Hairs always shorter. No make up. You wear your leather jacket more often when you date girls.
   “But with boys-oh you get so cute. Skirts and dresses. Little pumps and wedges. Fishnets! Little light make up, a necklace here and there. You grow your hair out. Your choice in sunglasses also increase in size,” she explained.
   “You’re obviously in love with me to notice all that,” Jessie said pulling out her phone. Michie hits her in the shoulder with her fist and Jessie shook her head.
   “By the way, I have been growing my hair out while I was with my ex,” she then added.
   “You two hit a rough patch. You get chin length or just above shoulder length between special friends,” Michie said before inquiring, “Checking in with the team?”
   “Left that phone in the car. This is my regular cell. Mom sent a pic of sis being all cute. Nothing important here,” Jessie said.
   Michie countered with, “Your little sis being cute is always important,” as the pair started moving toward the entrance into the main hall of the mall.
   “My little sis is a constant reminder that my parents make a terrible couple,” Jessie said.
   “Your parents love each other.”
   “In the immortal words of Tina Turner-what’s love got to do with it?” she replied.
   “Quoting a black songstress will win you points with your new black boyfriend,” Michie said.
   “God I hope he has higher standards than that. Of course seeing how he’s interested in me of all people makes me think he doesn’t have standards. Probably thinks I’m his only viable option among prospective women,” Jessie said and with those words she suddenly felt down just as they entered Suncoast.
   “Be quiet. You’re awesome, you’re sassy, and you kick ass. He likes you for being so very cool,” Michie said as they walked over to the Sci-Fi/Horror section.
   Jessie nodded in agreement. “You shipping us.”
   “I am shipping you two very hard at this moment.”
   “Back to an earlier point you made-I never noticed a difference in the way I behave with partners,” Jessie said.
   “I’m sure your mom has. Its probably why she gets weird when you date girls. Because you act even more like your dad,” Michie observed.
   “Please-that time my mom had her special friend she was a tatted chick in pants and jacket and-” Jessie stopped with her mouth open and shook her head. “Oh god I think I”m going to be sick. Please lets switch topics,” Jessie said as they walked over to the animé wall.
   “Did you tell your new boy that your ex was a lady?”
   “Yes. He did not say anything stupid so points to him,” Jessie said.
   “She’s still venting on Facebook.”
   “How would you know? She never friended you.”
   “Friend of a friend let me know. You really broke her heart.”
   “Yes I did. And in that same week she broke up with me I helped shut down part of a Neo-Nazi organization, saved a number of lives, and generally did the world a solid. I told her, like I tell everyone I get involved with, I just want to hang out and have fun and not be in a serious relationship. You know, cause of the secret identity and all,” Jessie said.
   “Don’t beat yourself up.”
   “I’m not,” Jessie said.
   “Yes you are. You liked Kirsten. I know you wish you could have ended it on your terms but believe me-it was going to end badly anyway,” Michie told her.
   Jessie was annoyed by that last line. Michie’s relationships are a lot less complicated than her own. Jessie pushed back a snappy response and just nodded. Michie meant well. They moved over to the Martial Arts section and Michie found 13 Samurai.
   “Can’t you just watch that on netflix? Or buy digital from somewhere?”
   “Be quiet. I’m buying this. And you should buy Elijah something,” she said.
   “Isn’t the guy suppose to get me flowers?”
   “Oooh, very traditional. In this case no. You should get him something,” Michie said.
   “A gift card from Amazon?” Jessie asked.
   “Gift cards are not cool,” replied Michie.
   “Screw you, they are cool,” Jessie said.
   Michie bought her disc and the two left the store. “Where to now?” asked Jessie.
   “I know. Let’s find you some cute dresses,” Michie said.
   “Why are you my best friend again?”
   “Because you love me. Now c’mon-we’re not leaving this mall till you buy an article of clothing. Or shoes. Or me shoes since you always have money,” Michie said leading the way.