Usually, I like shopping. I like shopping quite a lot. Christmas shopping? It's insanity, and not so much fun at all. We've been trudging around for a while now and I've still not gotten anything for anyone.
"Who are you buying for?"
"Everyone. Your parents, Cay, Ava, you. Anyone I've overlooked?" If Cay will even be there. He giggles.
"Nope, that's everyone. Well, there's Ava's boyfriend as well but I've never really met the guy," he says, looking kind of thoughtful. Maybe I can just buy him some Lynx or something. And risk me thinking he smells. Maybe not, then.
"What do your parents even like? I can't really buy some cooking stuff for your mum, she'd take it the wrong way. At least, my mum took it the wrong way once," I say laughing slightly. That and his mum probably has every kitchen utensil under the sun.
"Dad likes expensive whiskey so you could get him some of that. And as for Mom... Flowers, something pretty and a flashy bottle of wine should do it," he says and I nod. I think I can manage that. "As for Cayden and Ava..." he pulls a thinking face and I walk quietly, waiting for some kind of hint as to what I can get them. After a moment, I take his hand, too. "Well, you can think of something for Cayden, can't you? And Ava likes... Um..."
While he thinks of something I could get for Ava, I set my mind to Cay. I'm not getting him booze too, or I'll just look like I don't care or put any thought in. So something else... I dunno. Maybe that dog he wanted. I guess I'll come to it later. I already know one thing I want to get for Hadley, and I'm still tempted to get him a Viper, despite the fact I don't like them.
"I can't think of anything she likes. I'm a sucky brother," he says, burying his head in my shoulder as we walk. I put my arm around him and kiss the top of his head.
"No you're not." He whines a teeny bit and I squeeze him gently. "You're not."
"How come I don't know what she likes?" he asks with a pout.
"Because she spends a lot more time in Australia than she does here."
"I'll get her some fancy bubble bath or something," I shrug, "that usually works for girls, right?" he kisses my neck.
"Should be fine." I hum and he giggles, "Now I don't know what to get any of them." I chuckle slightly and kiss the top of his head again.
"We can say they're from both of us if you like."
"Sure. But I'm paying for something." I nod. That's fair enough, I guess. "And not the cheapest thing, either."
"Damn," I giggle, smiling as he slips an arm around my waist.
"Reckon Alex'll do something with Caleb at Christmas?"
"I dunno," I shrug slightly, "if Caleb wants to." I hadn't really considered what Alex might be doing with Caleb.
"More like if Caleb's mom'll let him," he says chuckling a little.
"Even after this long? Is she really that scary?" I laugh, trying to imagine how anyone could be less popular with someone's mum than I am with Momma Smith.
"Caleb's all she's got left." He shrugs and I smile a little.
"Well she shouldn't be so afraid of losing him. Alex is hardly gonna take him away from her."
"I know. She's just worried he's in a rush to grow up, y'know?"
"Alex is a sensible guy. He'll make sure he stays nearby, if he can. He was hardly happy with me wanting to move so far away from my family," I laugh dryly, remembering the look on his face when I said I wanted to move to America. He squeezes me a little and I peck him on the cheek, smiling.
"Oh my God, I forgot I needed to get something for him."
"A bumper pack of condoms?" I giggle. Hadley giggles as well.
"The look on his mom's face would be priceless."
"Hey, at least he uses them."
"Unlike someone," he says with a smirk.
"Well if we're both clean, I don't really see a point," I mutter with a shrug, pulling him into a shop that looks like it sells expensive booze.
"Trying to say Alex has diseases?" he laughs. I shake my head, laughing too.
"No, just more cautious than me," I say, looking at the expensive whisky. I might not exactly be poor any more, but the price tags on some of these are excessive. I see him smile a little from the corner of my eye, but I'm more focussed on the whisky. See, I don't really drink whisky much. So I haven't got a clue what I'm looking for. He gives a tiny sigh and picks one from the shelf, handing it to me with a smile.
"That's his favourite. He doesn't get it very often."
"Thanks," I smile back, "I don't drink whisky; I've got no idea what to look for." He pecks me on the lips.
"Well either way, that's your dad sorted... what about your mum?" he thinks about it for a moment.
"She likes red wine. If it looks expensive and tastes nice she'll love you forever." ...good. I don't drink wine, either. Especially not red wine. And definitely never expensive wine.
"Might need your help again," I mutter, wandering over to the wine racks.
"Um..." he looks around for a while, and I'm quite happy to just sort of watch, in between considering getting a ten dollar bottle to share later on and wondering what else I could get for Ava. I mean, smelly bath stuff isn't that exciting, is it? It's like one of those standard presents that says ‘I have no idea what else I could've gotten you'.
After a while, he picks one out, just as I remember that he isn't a big fan of wine. So, changing my mind about getting a cheaper bottle to share, I just smile and go to pay for the whiskey and wine. Well I try, but he gives me the money for the wine before I can pay for all of it.
"I did warn you I wasn't paying for the cheapest thing." I laugh slightly and bite back my insistence that he doesn't have to pay for anything. As we walk out, he has this kind of thoughtful look on his face and I feel an expression of curiosity creep onto my features. When he notices, his cheeks flush light pink and I smile.
"I was trying to think of what to get Caleb. I wanna get him something nice this year," he explains. I think about it for a while. I mean, I was gonna finally sort out giving him the Saturn so that he becomes the legal owner and giving him a few month's insurance on it or something like that.
"Get Alex a job that doesn't involve travelling," I say after a while, a wry smile on my lips.