Wednesday, 16 November 2011

695 words about a missing pudding cup.


[Woah, this one actually has to do with fashion!  Not so much with pudding cups, but that was my accomplishment for today.  This excerpt was written a while ago, but I figured it relates to both excerpts I've posted before, so you know a bit more back-story now :)]

Cue the mad dash that is our getting ready for school: Mar was having a freak attack because she realized that she hadn’t brought any clothes over last night, and she didn’t have her make-up, either.  Or her flat iron.  I love this girl, but she can be excruciatingly high-maintenance at the precise wrong times.

“EMMMMMMMM!!” I hear my name shouted in terror from the bathroom.

Padding over in my fuzzy socks (it was somehow freezing in my house, despite the mild weather outside), I approached the doorway, from where I could see Marron furiously brushing her hair and looking at her very frustrated reflection.

“It’s just getting worse!  Em, how on earth can you not have a flat iron?  Every single teenage girl on the face of Earth, and Mars, and Saturn has a flat iron!”  It was comforting to know that Mar knew her solar system this early in the morning.

“I just don’t ever have the need for one.  Why would I buy something I have no use for?”  My hair was naturally wavy-ish and I was just fine with that.  Burning one’s hair in order to achieve straightness or curliness had always seemed a bit extreme to me.  Not to mention potentially painful.

Mar’s eyes grew wide in the mirror, and she seemed to give up on attacking her hair in order to force it into submission.  “Because you love me, that’s why!  Though if you truly loved me, you would have a flat iron and more than two palettes of eye shadow and some bronzer, for god’s sake!”  She took a hair tie from her wrist and expertly gathered her hair into a high bun, with wisps hanging on either side that framed her face just right.

            I sighed.  “Mar, the train case where you keep your make-up is big enough to act as an apartment complex for cats.  I’m pretty sure the universe can only take so much love of make-up between two friends.  If I bought bronzer, a bolt of lightning would probably fry your eyelash curlers or something.”

            Stepping back from the counter, where she’d just been leaning as she inspected her [perfect] complexion, Marron turned to me and said, “That’s okay, though.  I think I could sacrifice one of my eyelash curlers if it meant you had bronzer.”

            “And just how many eyelash curlers do you have, exactly?”

            “Six.”

            She didn’t seem to get it when I burst into uncontrollable laughter and had to lean on the counter to keep from falling – but she joined in too, because maybe I looked funny without bronzer or eye shadow, or maybe my laugh was annoying, or maybe she’s my best friend and that’s what we do.

            After the make-up ordeal, clothes came next.  I had already laid out an outfit for today, so I just slipped on my favourite skinny jeans, pulled on a slightly oversized black and white patterned shirt, donned my red Ked sneakers, and grabbed a navy cardigan just in case school was cold today (our school’s heating and cooling system was notoriously bipolar, and one never knew exactly what to expect on any given day).

Mar had a significantly more difficult time deciding what to wear.  She hadn’t brought any clothes with her when she climbed through my window last night, so it was lucky we wore roughly the same sizes of clothing.  After rifling through my closet and describing to me exactly what made each and every piece of clothing unacceptable or faulty in some shape or form, she ended up with an ensemble that “would do, I guess”.  She wore the same dark denim shorts she’d worn with her corduroy blazer yesterday, but today wore them with sheer black tights fished from the bottom of my sock drawer, a cream-coloured peasant blouse that would have made me feel like I was trying too hard but on her looked perfectly normal – that is to say, extraordinary.  She’d left her Doc Martin boots at my house from the last time she was over, so she wore those.  Pretty lucky she’d left them, actually, because our differing shoe sizes (she wore a seven, and I was a nine, and eternally envious of her) made those the only clothing pieces we didn’t share.

Once we were dressed and ready to leave for school, I hovered around the kitchen restlessly while Marron made herself a cup of coffee.  Mar’s parents only drank decaff, and I was decidedly a tea sort of girl, but Mar and my mother shared a love of strong Columbian coffee, so she’d brew it at my house whenever she got the chance.  My mum bought this specific blend at the coffee shop around the corner, Brewed Awakenings, which was owned by Xenia Leming, a long-time friend of my mother’s and the woman who used to babysit me when I was, well, a baby.  I sometimes suspected her of being the sole reason I survived my infancy, as my mother certainly hadn’t been any help.  Other times, I suspected her of spiking her coffee with Vicodin.  On both suspicions, I probably wasn’t too far off.

“Can’t you make that machine go any faster?” I complained?  Mar had decided that this morning was the perfect time to practice her skills with the French press.

“It’s a manual thing,” she explained.  I knew that.  “I have to press down at the exact right speed, and do it very gently, otherwise the coffee won’t fulfill its flavour potential.”

“Did you just quote the instruction manual?”

“No…it’s from the back of the box, actually.”

Well.  Obviously.

After four minutes and fifty seconds, Mar’s coffee was satisfactorily brewed and transferred to a travel mug, and we were running out the door.  School started at seven thirty, so we had exactly…six minutes to run there.

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