3 Your name matches my surname

"C'mon!" Mum nags, pulling my arm like a child. I smile, the boutique across the street is mums favourite place to kill time and her pay check.

"You know you're on Rose Petals strike Theresa." I grab her arm and forcibly drag her back to the entrance of Woolworths; "Today's strictly business. No time to play around, we have dinner to cook and Tita Faith texted me the list just-" a searing pain travels across my hand. I stare down at my mum biting my arm, she immediately lets go of my arm and bursts out in laughter.

"Uhm, miss girl-" I stare at her blankly, holding back laughter. She playfully pushes me as she tries once more to sprint to the other side of the street, she just makes it out of grasp because she's now giddily skipping to the boutique. I sigh dramatically and follow her.

"I always forget which one of us is the kid and whose the adul-" mum shushes me as we reach the doors of Roses, "Pag hilom, child. I'm taking in the atmosphere. The smell of my card still intact." she raises her arms around her, as if taking her morning stretch, before grabbing the door handle.

"That'll be 213 dollars, cash or card?", the sound of the enthusiastic Mrs Rose has followed my mum and I for almost three hours now. "Thank you Rosie, card." Mum holds out her card excitedly, as Mrs Rose punches her cash register I glare at mum suspiciously.

"What could you possibly be doing with this many clothes?" I ask, exasperated. "We need outfits for next week's town spirit week!"

"Yes dear, all the pieces in the store have been imported exclusively for next week. I've even got a book to make sure nobody duplicates." my mum interrupts "It's very important we as a family look our best. You remember how important this year is?"

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My brow creases as I try and recall what mum meant by this year being more important. "No?" I question, she sighs "This year you're attending the snow ball as a lady! You'll need a dress and clothes to lead up to the special day on Friday!" Mum and Mrs Rose squeal and begin to discuss the details of the upcoming events, I grab the bags from the counter.

"I'll take these to the car and meet you in Woolies." I announce as I open the doors. Speed walking across the street to the car, I place the bags in and slam the passenger door purposefully.

"I'm so screwed."

"One- or two?" I carefully hold two cabbages in my hands, weighing them out; I've got two hours tops to get all the ingredients, take mum and leave. Jordan and Tita Faith are at home preparing the baked goods. We're having a little barbeque dinner before town spirit week; kinda like, pregame but non alcoholic. That's how dad died after all.

"Pick two, it's bigger." I jump in shock, my skeleton is chattering in my flesh as the deep voice behind me chuckles. I turn around and to my shock it's bus boy.

"I- We- you?" most of the words that escape my mouth are illegible. Bus boy leans in and pulls my hair back out of my face, smiling innocently. "My name's Eli, dear."

"W-well, why didn't you say that sooner? Save me the confusion." I fumble, still holding both cabbages. "Can I know your name?" he raises his brow expectantly.

"Why would you need to know my name?" I inquire, crossing my arms. I completely forget that I'm holding cabbages and drop them. I immediately drop to the floor and grab one, bag boy beats me to the other one.

"Well how am I gonna know if your name matches my surname?" he holds out the other cabbage, I stand still as stone; the other people around us steal glances; Lord Jesus please give me strength.

"It's a joke, glasses." he laughs, tapping my glasses. I snatch the cabbage from his hand and turn back around, "Now I have to buy both of these; shit!" I sigh exasperatingly, pulling a plastic bag from the roll and place both carefully into the bag and into my basket. I can still feel bus boy's presence behind me as I ignore him. I walk to the tomatoes and grab a bunch, shoving them into bags and into my basket.

"Look, it's the colour of your face." He jokes, I turn to him holding up bright red tomatoes. "Mate, you're not that funny. Don't you have something else to do besides annoy the crap out of me?" I readjust my basket around my elbow as I turn; he follows me.

"Nancy? Sylvia? Veronica. You look like a Sophie", he guesses, tagging along beside me as I make my way down the bread aisle.

"Ooh, white bread. Doesn't bread make you fat?" He points out, stretching his arms out. I stomp my foot and make laser pointer eye contact with him.

"If I answer will you leave me alone?" he smiles and nods, crossing his arms.

"My name's Jane." I grunt, turning around to leave. He calls out "That wasn't so hard was it?"

"Whatever, bus boy." I mumble to myself.

"The past two days has been the most action I've experienced in years." I chuckle, shifting my hands around the paper bags in my arms. My mum picks up the last of the bags as we head out to the car.

"Well that's good to hear, so does that mean you have an escort for the snow ball next week?" she grins, eyeing me as we cross the road. I groan dramatically, "Does everything we talk about have to end with you asking about my love life?" I groan furiously, feeling my cheeks heat up at the thought of having someone care for me in that way.

"It's not about love, darling. Just ask a male friend to escort you, preferably one who's a good dancer of course, that's it!" I open the trunk of the car as we place the groceries down she claps her hands together.

"Well I don't have any friends, let alone male ones." I admit, it's embarrassing to live everyday knowing my mum was the heather of her time and I obviously didn't inherit any of her wits and game.

"Well we'll just have to arrange-" I sit down in the passenger seat as she shuts her door. "Please don't finish that sentence mum!" I wave my hands up in terror.

"I'd rather not go at all if it means you have to organise a boy to escort me. How will you do that? You'll have to pay them to keep me company." Fidgeting with my nails I don't meet my mum's gaze, she eventually sighs and starts the ignition and backs out.

"What if I told you that I know someone who's dying to take you? Payment and bribe-free?" I raise my brow, chuckling as I look outside the window. "If you do then I'll go on book-buying probation."

Before she could reply there's a loud beeping emanating from the hot pink audi behind us. "Jesus Christ hallelujah Santa Maria", mum's practically speaking in tongues. I hop out of the car and approach the pink curiosity.

"I'm so sorry about that! Did your car get damaged?" I apologize profusely to the closed window as I inspect the front of her car. Mum's head pokes out from the car, I frantically gesture for her to drive off, so she does.

As the window goes down I can see that the person behind the wheel is none other than that new student from my English class; Amy Connors.

END OF CHAPTER

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