I gazed out the car window, observing the other people in cars and those walking on the sidewalks. Today was the day that my favorite band was coming out with their new CD and I just could not wait a second longer to get it. My leg bounced up and down as I tried not to fall asleep while observing. Like usual, I hadn't gotten much sleep last night. Stupid insomnia.
My mom pulled into an empty space in the parking lot. She grabbed a twenty dollar bill from her purse and handed it to me with a smile. "Have fun, dear. Call me when you're ready to go home. I'll be in some of the little boutiques." I took the bill from her and put it my pocket, tucking it tight against my phone and my leg. "Thanks Mom," I said as I got out of the car and headed to the music store.
Excitement filled my whole being and my steps were long and energetic, a sharp contrast to my sleepiness earlier. It was just a quick walk down this stretch of the mall; I was almost there. My stride increased at the corner. Yes! There it was! A smile stretched over my face, but I quickly quelled it, biting my lip instead.
I knew the way to the Rock section without even looking at the signs. My feet carried me through the weaving aisles and then I found myself in front of the new CD's. My eyes grew wide, drinking in the cover art. I resisted the urge to pick it up right then and there and chose instead to sample some of the music on the CD. The headphones from the demo machine engulfed my ears as I put them on. The sound came clearly and I reveled in the melody. My ears strained to catch the lyrics, that's what I was really listening for. I loved songs that I could relate to. I closed my eyes to listen all the better, but couldn't stop the smile from appearing on my face.
All too soon it was over. The music was finished, but the smile still lingered on my face. I just loved this band. I placed the headphones back on the rack and picked up the CD; time to buy it. Turning around, the smile vanished from my face as I made eye contact with Kale. I quickly jerked my gaze away and then glanced to the right and left. No, no, no, no.... The only way out of the rock section was right past him. I grimaced, but tried not to let him see that. Already, I could feel the anxiety building up in me.
"Hi." One simple word came from him. Curses! He had chosen to acknowledge my presence. I clenched my fists as I could feel my body starting to tremble. Great, just great. I twitched one side of my mouth upward into a travesty of a smile. "H-hi." My voice was shaky and I stumbled over that one little word. Instantly I chided myself. How could I slip up on a two-letter, one-syllable word?!
He looked at me intently, seemingly unconcerned that I am a failure at communication. Kale's head tilted slightly to the side as he asked, "What were you listening to?" His voice ensured genuine curiosity, but that didn't stop me from being all paranoid. That little voice in my head kept insisting that he'd judge me based on my music choices.
My eyes flickered to his for a brief second before looking down at my Converse again. "Nothing much," I said softly, curling my wrist so that the CD was now obscured slightly behind my back. Ugh, why did I have to be all avoidant like that! Now he probably thinks even lower of me now that I didn't actually answer his question. I just wanted to get out of there- NOW. My eyes flickered back and forth, trying to find some other escape route. I started to hyperventilate slightly as I couldn't find anything. As a last resort, I ducked around another aisle and turned away from him, pretending to be interested in whatever was over here. I'll just wait until he goes away, then I'll buy my CD, I told myself as I tried to slow down my racing heart and rapid breathing. Calm. Be calm.