"Spaaaarx. I'm tired." It was so hot. By now it was well into the afternoon and the sun wasn't nearly as high as earlier. Even so, I was feeling cranky and bothered. We'd been walking for absolutely ages. Stupid Sparx walked so fast too. He didn't even look a bit tired. Damn... Boy! A bit of a breeze would be lovely. Or another ice cream.
"The Eiffel Tower isn't much further. It's not like we've walked miles anyway. If we hadn't spent so long on our feet from shop to shop perhaps you'd feel fresher?"
He got a slap for that. Just a light one mind. Not that it would've hurt him anyway.
"Shopping is an integral part of visiting anywhere. If you hadn't spent the whole time complaining and slowing me down we'd have finished sooner and had more time to rest. If you'd just bought me something nice straight away..."
"Complaining? Who wouldn't complain when you're asking me to buy things worth more than a small house? Besides I did buy you something nice."
"Well yeah but you could have bought me something nicer."
"Oh, come on! You could hardly look more 'nice.'" He wagged his fingers emphasising the speech marks over 'nice.'
"Well..!" I was struggling to stay irritated and find a smart retort. How are you supposed to argue with a compliment? "Um, you think so?"
He looked pretty disarmed for a moment. "Well yeah. I mean the dress is nice and looks really good, and you look nice but I don't mean like I was checking you out or anything or... yeah."
"Oh... Thanks." Am I supposed to be pleased or disappointed in this situation? So I look nice but he isn't checking me out i.e. has no interest in me? Is that some cryptic boy-speak for a compliment? Boys... mystify me. Confused is not an adequate adjective in this situation.
We walked quietly for a while. I looked down at my feet. The paving stones were flat and smooth, not like back home. There weren't any weeds sprouting up from the floor. There wasn't a spot of gum stuck to the pavement. Not like back home at all. You didn't even have to try not to step on the cracks, they were all evenly spaced. At least I didn't have blisters, that'd be murder. Then again I'd probably flag down a taxi if that happened. If I think about it that's pretty lazy. But nobody would want to walk in this heat with blisters. It's so hot...
"Spaaarx, I'm tired."
"What do you want me to do? Carry you?"
That'd be a better ride than most taxis...
"Oh shut up you." I smiled a little . "You'd start complaining about that too if I made you carry me."
We kept walking.
* * *
I practically collapsed into Erica when we finally reached the Eiffel Tower.
"Woah, Mels. You're not smiling and lively after a shopping spree. Did GS do something horrible to you? You didn't let him near any jam did you?" She made a face at him and he rolled his eyes.
"Oh, 'Ca he was horrible. He wouldn't buy me the bag, Oh, miGOD, the bag. He wouldn't buy it for me. Then, then he made me walk all this way in the heat, and wouldn't get me a second ice cream, he wouldn't even carry me when I got tired."
"But you said...!" Sparx's mouth opened and closed in outrage. It was hilarious. He just has a way of making stupid faces when he's being teased. Oh winding him up always makes me laugh.
"Shush, Sparky. You were horrible, Erica and I agree."
"Well, Ethan will take my side won't you mate? So it's two on two."
"Ethan's a boy. Boys' opinions don't count. You have to agree with us."
"But- Oh forget it. Whatever." Sparx sulked off and even Ethan had to smirk a bit.
"So, what's next in the schedule?" Ethan asked.
"Taxi. Hotel room. Dinner. Sleep." I answered.
"What? We've hardly seen the city! There's so much more to-"
"And we've got the rest of the week for that. Tired now. Sleep."
"Fine. Back to the room it is." Ethan held his hands up in defeat and lead on to the taxi rank.
I wasn't sure if it was jetlag or I was just exhausted from walking (letting Sparx carry me seemed more and more appealing in hindsight) but I was so ready to get room service, take a shower and hit that bed again.