I hate the mall. I hate shopping in general. Some girl I am. The people that you have to weave in and out of, the multitude of smells. Women wear far too much perfume. Did they bathe in it or find a way to connect their shower head to mass gallons of “Extreame Florale” and then add a few more dabs – just in case – before lotioning up with their favorite Bath & Bodywork’s fragrance?
I start letting my imagination carry me. No one I know is around, and the people of this city are far too preoccupied with their own shoes to notice that I’m in my own world. As a large group of people scatter around me and I start weaving in and out of the crowd.
The dirt below my feet is slippery but solid enough. The rocks crunch below the soles of my shoes and I cringe internally. They would hear my approach if I kept this up. I look to my left just before passing a pillar, woven with wooden planks to help guide the flowered vines to the heavens. Without real thought or effort I grasp the wood and start my climb to higher ground. Silent ground.
Peering down onto the masses I scan the bustling world below for my target, checking over my shoulder periodically. Wouldn’t want to get snuck up on. Not up here. The fall itself would be deadly.
“Hi! Would you like to try a sample of our newest fragrance?”
I jump, completely startled by the high school sales girl. I give her a warm smile but shake my head. “No thanks.” Looking around me I realize I’m on the stairs to the next flight of mall. I shake my head. Too many games… I think to myself, but I’m smiling.
I had been noticed. Why on earth was the beggar woman up here? I glared at her as she walked away and considered the possibility that she may have been my pursuer. I looked her over once more and decided against it before making my way back down into the crowd. My target isn’t in sight. I would have to move to a different location.
Some sense told me to blend in, to stay hidden where others wouldn’t really notice. There was a fire pit a few yards away with benches lined around it in a square. Man made waterfalls surrounded the fire pit, the crashing water would have been soothing to most, but now the people just let their screaming children play in it. I found my own spot next to a couple having a ridiculous conversation. They must have just met and soon decided to go somewhere more private. I look around the fire, more couples and even families gather around the glowing warmth of the flames.
“Hey Lex! Sorry I’m late.”
My Friend plops down in a cushioned lawn chair next to mine. “Hey! No worries. I kept myself occupied.” I smiled to her.