I was dead excited about the prospect of going dress shopping with Ali and Cara the next day. It had been ages since we had done something like just go shopping but what with all the drama that had been happening there had never really been much time for shopping. there had definitely been not much best friend time either. Part of me still wanted more from Cara but was slowly coming to the resolution that it would never happen, she was happy with Sam and I should not try and rock the boat lest I wanted to loose Cara forever.
After a dreamless night’s sleep I woke up bleary eyed but excited, and after perusing my wardrobe I picked an outfit which both emphasised my skinny body and its features and made me look nice. I was just in the process of straightening my hair (for what was the first time in a long time as normally I didn’t have the time or couldn’t be bothered), when Cara rung me.
“Hey” I said smiling, pressing my mobile to my ear with my shoulder and continuing to straighten my hair and put bobby pins in.
“Hey, just to let you know that we are going to be meeting at about one outside Topshop”
“Yeah that’s cool; I have been so excited about this ever since you suggested it”
“Why?” Cara chuckled, “Its only shopping,”
“its not just shopping, its shopping with my dear besty …. Plus I need a new dress!”
“Annabella Hawman, you have more dresses than anyone else I know in your wardrobe so let me rephrase that for you. You don’t need a new dress, you want a new dress.”
“Fine, I want a new dress, is that a problem…. Oh and possibly a new bag”
“You and bags Anna honestly, you have far to many bags, I am sure its an unhealthy obsession,”
“Pot calling the kettle black here, what about your unhealthy obsession with shoes”
“I don’t have one…”
“She says with about twenty or so shoes in her wardrobe here and about fifty back at home…”
“Over exaggeration” she said in a mock shocked voice and we both laughed. It felt like old times…. Almost.
“So I’ll see you at one, and I can almost guarantee you will spend too much money today, you always do!”
“I’m getting fifty pound out, and that’s it!” I said, “That’s enough to buy a dress and a bag!”
“Pfft” was Cara’s response to this, and we both laughed again before saying bye and putting down the phone.
About an hour later I was ready to set out, I had my phone, my purse, one of my many bags and my makeup supplies because you never know when you need to touch up your makeup (I then realised how materialistic I really am), locked the flat and headed towards town.
About halfway down the cobbled town centre, I passed a group of teenagers standing huddled just outside the shopping centre which I was about to enter. They reminded somewhat of my group of friends when I was about their age, being part of a ‘gang’ and feeling popular and cool. As I walked passed them I inhaled the smoke wafting from the lit cigarettes in their hands, and despite having been a non smoker for about three to four years now the smell and the taste of a cigarette came back to me. I remembered the calm sensation that had washed over me when I had just had a cigarette after a long day, how it had released some of the stress I was dealing with. Part of me missed it, and now I thought about it with all the stress I was going through, forcing myself not to love Cara and move on with my life, and with the upcoming move, two parts of my brain were caught in battle.
“go on, one now and again wont hurt…” my id coaxed
“You stopped for a reason …. Why go back to it now?” my superego countered
“She doesn’t love you and she never will….” My id pointed out, “you need a way to release your stress”
“No, do something you like doing, a hobby?” my superego suggested but to no avail, the impulse now was too great. I made a beeline towards the nearest shop in the shopping centre and towards the counter.
“Do you do cash back here?” I asked, realising I hadn’t taken any money out yet.”
“Yes we do love, up to fifty pound cash back” the man behind the counter said, “what can I get you?”
“Can I get, twenty Sterling red a disposable lighter and fifty pound cash back please” I said smiling.
“ID please?” he asked, I pulled out my purse and I showed him my driving licence which he examined carefully before handing it back to me and saying, “That will be eight pound twenty six plus your cash back, if you just want to pop your card into the machine, check the amount shown and press enter” the man instructed.
I completed the transaction, received my money and a receipt and placed them both into my purse and then shoved the cigarettes and lighter down into the bottom of my back so it couldn’t be stumbled on easily as it was hidden by a layer of things above it. I then headed out of the shop and towards Topshop at a jog as I was already five minutes late.
“Sorry I’m a tad late, I got held up…. Shall we go?” I asked looping my arm through Cara’s and grinning at her and Ali.
“Sure, lets go shopping!”
I kept my bag very close to me throughout the whole shopping trip, worried that if I put it down Cara may see the cigarettes buried deep inside my bag and would hit the roof, but as the day wore on the likelihood that the cigarettes would be spotted seemed to decrease. I bought a beautiful yellow dress with big black buttons which hugged at my figure and I thought suited me well. It was a simple dress which could be used for a night out or just worn with leggings for a more casual look, and a new bag to many eye rolls from Cara. Ali bought an equally beautiful green dress which was plaited at the bottom and like mine hugged at her slim figure, but it was Cara’s dress that was by far the most beautiful. It was a simple black dress with a lattice cut out from the section just below her bust to just above her belly button and when she tried it on I was in awe at how beautiful she looked.
“Wow, you are going to be the belle of the ball wearing that dress!” I said to Cara as we were paying for our dresses.
“Nah, next to you two!” she said modestly and I blushed slightly.
We were just leaving the shop when I spotted someone standing by a rack of clothes, a woman with long dark brown hair and big brown eyes.
“Megan?” I said approaching her, the woman turned and I was glad to see that it was Megan.
“Hey Anna, how are you?” she asked smiling,
“Yeah, fine thanks, just been shopping with my friends Cara…” I gestured at Cara who smiled, “and Ali” I pointed at Ali who also smiled warmly.
“Nice to meet you both, I’m Megan, I met Anna in hospital” she said.
“Hey, we’re just about to go to Starbucks for a hot chocolate if you want to join us?” I suggested but Megan shook her head.
“I’d love to but I have a prior engagement, but I will see you on Saturday at the Oxtail for two bowls of cheesy chips” she said emphasising to two bowls before we both laughed and I remembered how she had thieved my chips before.
“Okay then, bye” I said cheerily, giving her a one armed hug before leaving with Cara and Ali.
We reached Starbucks and grabbed a table, deciding that we would have a bite to eat here as well so began to peruse the menu.
“I’m going to have a Hawaiian Panini and a luxury hot chocolate” I said as I stomach growled, “but before I do I need to go to the toilet” I said laughing and getting up from the table, my bag still on my shoulder.
“Well do you want me to order it for you?” Cara asked,
“oh yes please… “ I said fishing around in my bag for my purse and handing it to her, “There should be some money in there, I wont be long” I said before heading off to the toilet.