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Chapter 5 : Shopping With Cinda
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After arriving in the middle of Cinda and Richard's drawing room, I immediately ran up to my bedroom and remained there the rest of the day. The last thing I felt like doing was being social with my grandparents. I knew Cinda would immediately want to show me the dress she had picked out for me, but I wanted no part of it.
My bedroom at Richard and Cinda's makes me cringe every time I go in it. The large chamber is the exact opposite of what I would want a place of my own to look like. The walls are a sickening pink color, adorned with flowery wallpaper running along the top. The bed is a canopy bed complete with a flowery canopy that matches the walls. Atop the cushy mattress are pink linens with a pink rose print doona. 'What little girl doesn't want a pink canopy bed?' Cinda had giggled when she bought it years ago. The thing was, I didn't want it, even back then. I tried to tell Cinda this, but she wouldn't listen. To go along with the pink walls and pink bedding, all the furniture is white with a little pink rose on each drawer. The carpet is plushy and white, but Cinda added a couple rose shaped pink throw rugs. The entire room looks like it belongs in a Muggle fairy tale, which is probably what Cinda had been thinking when she decorated it.
Despite the sheer ugliness of the room, I spent the remainder of the afternoon there. It was the only place where Cinda wouldn't bother me. I wanted to be alone with my thoughts and not be interrupted by anyone, especially my grandmother. I pondered about what I had found in Dad's office until my brain hurt and I still didn't come up with any conclusions about it. The only way I was going to get any answers was if I constantly hounded my parents about it. Which I was planning on doing as I got back home. I wasn't going to let it go this time, either. I would keep asking them about it until I got the answers I needed.
Eventually, hunger drew me out of my pink bedroom and downstairs into the kitchen. I quietly slipped out of my room and into the hallway. My grandparents' house is even bigger than mine and my bedroom is on the second floor. The top floor is mostly storage and guest bedrooms and I hardly ever go up there. It also houses the room my parents stay in when they spend the night. Not that that happens very often. I'm really the only one who spends a significant amount of time in the large house. Along with my bedroom, my grandparents' and Matt's bedrooms are also on the second floor. The ballroom is on that floor as well. Yes, they have a ballroom. I personally think it's a bit excessive, but Cinda hosts parties so she thinks it's completely necessary. The first floor consists of the kitchen, formal and regular living rooms and dining rooms, Richard and Cinda's studies, the drawing room, various other small rooms, and the library.
Richard and Cinda were sitting at the table in the dining room when I entered a few minutes later. Cinda had heated up leftovers from Christmas dinner and she and Richard were eating them. There was a third plate on the table and I sat down in front of it.
"Feeling better?" Cinda asked.
"Fine," I mumbled as I started to eat the lukewarm turkey.
"Good," Cinda smiled, "We'll be going shopping for your dress tomorrow."
"Wonderful," I replied flatly.
"You're welcome to invite Kenzie to come," Cinda said, an obvious attempt to make me happy about this shopping trip.
"Misery loves company," I commented, "I'll call her after dinner."
"Tell her we'll leave at ten."
I nodded and went back to my food. I continued to shovel it into my mouth, wanting to finish before Cinda launched into another gossip fest. Fifteen minutes later I had returned to my pink sanctuary, free from an evening of boredom with my grandparents. Well, as free as I could get in this room. I supposed that I could sneak out if I wanted to, but I just didn't have the energy tonight. I would be seeing Kenzie the next day anyway.
I grabbed the cordless phone (pink of course) that was always on my dresser and threw myself onto the bed. My fingers typed Kenzie's phone number into the device and waited for her to pick up. There were only two phone numbers I ever called and I had them both memorized. Richard and Cinda's, and Kenzie's. Someone picked up on the sixth ring.
"Hello?" It was Kenzie's mum and she sounded out of breath.
"Mrs. Dawe? It's Amy," I told her.
"Oh, Amy! Hi! You're with your grandparents, then? Kenzie told me you'd be coming sometime shortly after Christmas, but she didn't say when. How is your brother?"
"He's ok," I answered. The first time I ever spent the full moon with my grandparents, Mum told Kenzie's parents that I stayed with them while Matt received treatment for some kind of chronic illness at a Muggle hospital in Sydney.
"Tell him and your parents I pray for him everyday," Mrs. Dawe continued, "Why these things happen to kids, God only knows..." I could imagine her shaking her head as she said it.
"Yeah," I replied uncomfortably. Mrs. Dawe really did think Matt had some kind of incurable Muggle disease and I hated lying to her. Mum told me it really wasn't that much of a lie, since lycanthropy really was a disease.
"Well, how was school?" Mrs. Dawe sounded a bit happier as she changed the subject.
"It was good. I'm glad to be done for now, though."
"Glad to hear it. Well, you probably want to talk to Kenzie, so I'll stop rambling."
"Ok, bye Mrs. Dawe."
I really did like Kenzie's mum. She was so motherly. She kind of had to be with five kids. Kenzie is the oldest and she has three sisters and one brother.
"Amy?" Kenzie came onto the phone a few moments later.
"Kenzie!" I shouted in delight. It had been so long since I had last talked to her. "I'm with my grandparents now."
"Mum told me! Listen, we've got to get together!"
"I know. Cinda's having a New Year's Eve party."
"Yeah, she invited us but we're going to my cousins' house. I'm sorry, I know how you hate those things," Kenzie sighed.
"I'll survive. Hey, she's dragging me around dress shopping tomorrow. Want to come?"
"Sure, why not?" Kenzie laughed, "A day shopping with your grandmother, sounds like a blast."
"With any luck she'll find something satisfactory in the first shop we get to. It's not like I'm going to have any choice in what dress I wear."
Kenzie laughed, "True. But it'll be fun just hanging out. What time should I be over?"
"She said ten."
Kenzie groaned, "God, that's early. Whatever, I'll be there."
"Ok, see you then," I said.
"Bye," Kenzie replied.
"Bye." I got up off the bed and hung up the phone. My telephone conversations with Kenzie were always short. We never really talked much on the phone, preferring to wait until we saw each other to really talk. It was probably because I'm not really used to talking on the phone. I really only talk to Kenzie and my grandparents, since no one else I knew used phones. I was glad that Kenzie was coming with us shopping, though. She always made shopping trips interesting to say the least.
I sighed and looked around at my room until my eyes came to rest on the clock. It was still early, too early to go to bed. The days spent at my grandparents' house were always incredibly boring. Cinda was sure to rope me into getting ready for the party, but that probably wouldn't start for a couple days. I'm somewhat curious as to what theme Cinda was planning for this party, but not enough to actually go ask her.
After a few more minutes of thinking about the next day's activities, I dug a book out of my bag and sat down on my bed to read. I quickly became lost in the story and didn't even know how late it became until Richard and Cinda came in to say good night. By then it was nearly eleven and I decided to attempt to go to sleep.
I never sleep well the night of the full moon. I think it's mainly due to curiosity about what goes on at my house, but I worry as well. My worrying doesn't even come close to Mum's, though. Mum and Dad have never really explained what happens these nights, so I don't entirely understand her worrying. Sure, I know the basics of what goes on, but nothing more than you would read in a book. Mum never fully answers my questions about it and even Dad seems keen on keeping me in the dark. What their reasons for not telling me anything about it are, I have no idea. So I lie awake every full moon, until I fall asleep out of sheer boredom.
I was not exactly sure when I fell asleep that night, but it must have been sometime after three in the morning. I pried my eyes open at half past nine the next morning to the sound of Cinda yelling at me to get up. Despite my late sleeping, I was incredibly exhausted. This is so unlike me, I thought as I got up off the bed. I quickly threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, which would surely send Cinda into a tizzy as soon as she saw them. I ran a brush through my hair and put it up in my standard ponytail, and then ran down to the kitchen.
My grandparents were both eating bowls of cereal and drinking coffee when I entered the room a few minutes later. Richard was still in his pajamas, which wasn't surprising since he wasn't joining us on our shopping excursion. Cinda was the complete opposite, dressed in an expensive green pants suit with her hair perfectly styled.
"Oh Amy," Cinda shook her head as I poured myself a bowl of Cheerios, "Can't you wear something a bit more, sophisticated?"
"Would you rather I wear robes, Cinda?" I grinned mischievously at her.
"R-robes?" Cinda visibly paled. "No, I was thinking more along the lines of a skirt and blouse."
I gave her a look, "You're lucky you're getting me into a dress for this party. I'm wearing this when we go shopping." I gestured to the outfit I had on.
"Fine," Cinda muttered and took a sip of her coffee.
I smiled to myself as I ate my brekkie, looking out the window at the cloudy sky. Richard and Cinda's kitchen had a wonderful view of their backyard. The entire yard was surrounded by tall trees, but not bush like at my house. These trees were planted there years ago by whoever built the house. They are to provide privacy, Cinda told me when I was four or five, not for you to climb. Contained inside the perimeter of trees are two tennis courts and an in ground swimming pool. The pool has a load of landscaping around it in order to make it look like a natural pond. I'm really not sure why it was done that way, since there is a real koi pond not ten meters from the pool. Swimming is not allowed in the koi pond, as I found out when I was seven. I did enjoy my brief swim with the koi, though.
A loud bell jolted me out of my day dreaming and I jumped up and ran over to the intercom. I pushed the button and shouted into it, "Hello?"
"Amy! It's Kenzie! Let me in!" Kenzie shouted back. I grinned and pushed another button, which opened the gates at the bottom of the driveway.
"We'll be leaving now, Amy, since Kenzie is here," Cinda got up from her place and gave Richard a kiss on top of his bald head, "See you later, Richard."
"Have fun, girls," he smiled at us.
Kenzie opened the door to the entrance hall and walked in just as Cinda and I left the kitchen. "Kenzie!" I shrieked and ran over to her, giving her a big hug.
"Amy!" she hugged me back. "Holy crap, you've gotten tall!"
"Yeah, I grew about four inches since I last saw you," I laughed.
"Geez, you're almost as tall as me," Kenzie replied. "You're not a shrimp anymore."
Up until a few months ago, I had always been kind of short. Then I went through a growth spurt and am no longer the shortest person in my year at school. I hated being so short and Mum always told me to be patient and I would eventually catch up. She was short as a kid, too, and then she caught up to everyone else.
Kenzie has always been tall. She was always at least a head taller than me when we were little, but now I'm just a couple inches shorter. He hair is extremely curly, and brown to match her eyes. Kenzie's features may be average, but her personality is anything but.
"I was never a shrimp," I told her. "You were a giraffe."
"Was not," Kenzie insisted, "And you were short."
"Oh, fine, I was short. But you are tall."
"C'mon, girls," Cinda interrupted, "You're both shorter than me, so it doesn't matter." Cinda threw open the doors and started walking haughtily down the steps.
Kenzie and I giggled as we followed her to the garage. Cinda unlocked the doors of her black BMW and got into the driver's seat while Kenzie and I climbed in the back. Riding in cars is another thing I only do at Richard and Cinda's. My parents don't own any cars and they really don't need any.
"I always feel rich when I ride in this," Kenzie commented as she sat down on the black leather seat. "To the mall, Driver!"
I rolled my eyes at her and watched the scenery as we turned off the driveway and onto the road.
"So what's new at your fancy school?" Kenzie asked eagerly.
"Not much," I replied, "Passed everything and am glad to be home, although Mum is getting on my nerves already."
"Your mum is just too strict, no offense."
"None taken," I replied, "I agree, she is too strict. I wish she was more like your mum."
"Yeah, my Mum is pretty cool. But I have four siblings to deal with, so that kind of off-sets it."
"Are they driving you mad again?"
"Of course, they always do. They keep going through my stuff all the time. Especially Morgan," Kenzie groaned. Morgan is her twelve-year-old sister that she has to share a room with. "At least you only have one brother, and he's so quiet anyway."
"Trust me, you don't want to have to deal with my brother," I sighed, wishing I could tell her the truth about my brother.
"We should trade families for a week or something," Kenzie joked.
"You'd be begging for your crazy siblings after living with my mum for a week," I told her. "Amy, pick up your stuff! Amy, be quiet you'll wake up your brother! Amy, don't climb over the wall!" I mocked.
"Amy, don't make fun of your mother," Cinda warned.
Kenzie was laughing hysterically, "My mum does that, too, especially the don't wake up your brother one. Anyway, did you get anything good for Chrissie?"
"Oh, yeah, I got the telescope I wanted!"
"That's great!" Kenzie grinned, "I got a bunch of art supplies and clothes."
"That's good. I got clothes, too. Plus an iPod."
"Finally!" Kenzie laughed, "I've been telling you to get one for ages. Do you have any music on it?"
"Er, no," I replied. Life would be so much easier if I could just tell Kenzie that I was a witch.
"Well, come over to my house after this and we'll put some on it," Kenzie announced.
"Sure, if this doesn't take all day."
A few minutes later, Cinda pulled the car over to the side of the road in front of an expensive looking boutique. The place had a pink awning with 'Lisa Mae Libere's Fashions' written in gold script atop it. I rolled my eyes as I got out of the car. I could tell already that I wouldn't find a single dress I would like at this place.
"Hello, lacy pink dress," Kenzie muttered as we followed Cinda into the shop.
The store was small, with bright lighting and soft classical music playing in the background. The walls and floor were both white, although the walls were mostly covered by dress displays and mirrors. A skinny, short saleslady approached us as soon as we walked in.
"Mrs. Bailey!" she greeted us, "How nice to see you again!"
"You, too, Kadre," Cinda smiled at her.
"What brings you here today?"
"I'm hosting a party this New Year's Eve and my granddaughter," Cinda gestured to me, "Is in need of a dress. I was hoping you still have that pale pink one with the beads embroidered onto it that was in the display the other day?"
"Oh, yes, we still have that one! I'll get it and bring it into the fitting room." Kadre smiled and walked to a rack that was in the middle of the store.
"Come along, girls," Cinda started walking towards the back of the store. Kenzie and I followed.
"She seems...perky," Kenzie whispered to me.
"I'll say," I replied. I knew that Cinda frequents this store a lot and have been here a few times, but I have never met Kadre before.
Cinda, Kenzie, and I entered one of the large fitting rooms and waited for Kadre to return. When she came back, her arms were laden with not only the dress Cinda was talking about, but a few other colors, too.
"Here's the pink one," Kadre held it up. The sight of it made me want to gag. It was the exact same color of my walls at Cinda's house. There were beads and sparkles all over it, with their intensity gradually increasing towards the bottom. The straps were thin with silver stitching. I groaned inwardly.
"I also brought a few other colors," Kadre gestured to a pale blue, mint green, and bright red versions of it.
"I like the red," I announced.
"It's too bright," Cinda replied immediately.
"I like it too," Kenzie agreed.
"Try on the pink," Cinda held it up to me. I took it and pulled it on. Both Cinda and Kadre immediately pronounced it 'charming' and cooed over how beautiful I looked in it. Kenzie was sitting on a nearby chair and I could tell she was trying not to laugh. She was probably very happy that I was the one trying on dresses and not her.
I tried on the blue, green, and red ones after the pink one. Cinda and Kadre agreed that the pink one looked best, but I wanted the red. I absolutely detested the style, but I love red. If I am going to have to wear a fancy dress to this party, I want it to be red. "I'll take the red one," I said adamantly after I changed back into my clothes.
"The pink looks better," Cinda insisted, "You'll wear the pink one."
"Cinda," I began, "I don't even want to wear a dress. If it were up to me, I'd wear what I'm wearing now to your party. That, or my school uniform," I smirked at her.
"All right, fine!" Cinda relented, "You can get the red one. Now let's go look for shoes."
Kenzie gave me a questioning look as we left the small room and headed over to the shoe section. "She gave in pretty easily."
"She hates my school uniform and knows that I would probably show up in it if she bought me that pink dress," I explained. The thought of wearing robes to Cinda's party made me want to laugh out loud. All the explaining she'd have to do to her Muggle friends....
Cinda and Kadre spent nearly an hour mulling over the choices for shoes. Kenzie and I became so bored with it that we decided to stand in the display windows and pretend to be mannequins. Then we would startle passersby by suddenly moving.
"Stop that, Amy!" Cinda scolded us once she noticed. "We've found shoes for you."
"Great," I climbed off the display and sat down. Cinda pulled out a pair of strappy red sandals with a two inch heel. I tried them on, walked around a little bit, and told her I would wear them. By then I would have agreed to just about anything, considering how bored I was.
Cinda paid for my outfit and we finally left the boutique. I was thrilled to be done with shopping, although I still had to endure the party. At least the dress was a decent color. I don't think I could have tolerated wearing that pink dress.
Kenzie and I ran up to my room as soon as we got back to Richard and Cinda's house, grabbed my iPod, and went back to her house to put music on it. Kenzie's house was as chaotic as ever and we had to wait a good half hour for Morgan to get off the computer so we could use it. I didn't mind since I didn't really care if I got music on my iPod or not. Once we were on the computer, Kenzie did most of the work since I was clueless as to how to download music. I was just happy to be at Kenzie's house and not at my grandparents'. Kenzie's house felt so homey and comfortable to me. I couldn't really explain it, but I was more comfortable there than at Richard and Cinda's. My grandparents' house felt so empty, probably because it was so big for only a couple people. I wound up spending the night at Kenzie's house, forgetting for the first time in days the things my parents were obviously keeping from me.
A/N: Thanks to my sister and beta, Dancer_of_Starlight! Thanks as well to XDNLxtlz99 for the review!
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