Sunday, January 07, 2007

Imperfection, Chapter 8

"So you do crap like this every day?" Dan asked four days later.

"Except for Fridays and weekends, yes." I looked over at him and looked back quickly. It was all i could do not to laugh at the too-tall guy standing behind the counter and wearing a pink apron. He had looked a little uncertain when i brought that out, but then he found a way to play up that whole "real men wear pink" thing. So it was all good.

Ding. I walked back to the oven and he followed uncertainly.

"Can I help?" he asked me as I took a sheet of bell-shaped cookies out of the oven.

"Nah, you don't have to," I said, scraping the cookies off of the baking sheet and onto a cooling rack. "I'll just leave them here for my sisters to decorate."

"I COULD do that, you know," he said as i walked over to the radio.

"I'm not supposed to let you," I confessed, pressing the on button and scrolling through the stations.

"What? Why?"

"Because you burned yourself making a Poptart this morning."

"Oh. Right."

A rap song blared out of the speakers, and i winced a little.

Dan smiled. "What? Not enjoying the musical styling of...whoever this is?"

"I don't have anything against rap," I said, "but seriously. You'd think that this dude could be at least a little more subtle. The entire song basically amounts to 'Let me take your clothes off'."

"Isn't that true of every song?" he asked.

"Well, yeah, but it's like 'God, use a metaphor or something', you know?"

"I don't get metaphors. You're saying the same thing in the end. Saying it differently shouldn't change it any."

I was about to snap back, and who knows, it could have turned into a full-fleged debate if Emmalee hadn't walked downstairs at that moment in all her big-haired, scantily-clad glory. So of course, Dan was immediatley fixated on her (even though he's nice, he's still, you know, a guy and everything).

"Hey, Emmalee, I have some cookies in the back that you need to--"

"Let Erin do it," she cut me off and kept walking.

"Where are you going?"


I rolled my eyes. "No, duh. I meant where are you...." But by that time, she had already breezed right by me and out into the street.

I groaned and halfway kicked the wall. "Great."

"So...that's your sister, huh?" he said, staring at the patch of hairspray where her head had been a minute ago.

"Unfortunatley, yes."

"Wait! Emmalee! Wait for me!" Erin came running down the stairs, dressed in the exact same thing (a tank top, sunglasses, short shorts, and flip-flops), only her shirt and flip-flops were green. Emmalee's were white. She stopped short at the counter.

"Who'er you?" she asked a very confused Dan, who didnt say anything.

"Hey, I have some cookies that i need you to put stuff on."

"Oh. 'Kay," she said distractedly and pushed through the little door thing to get into the kitchen. Dan jumped back from her like she was a ghost.

"Who...i mean, what--"

Emmalee burst through the front door. "Where is she?" she asked me. I pointed over my shoulder, trying not to laugh at the look on Dan's face.

"Erin, WHAT are you doing?"

"Frosting cookies."


I laughed under my breath.

"Because they don't have any icing on them yet!"

"Okay, no. We have to..." Her voice dropped to a whisper, and five minutes later, they were gone.

"Can you please tell me what just happened?" Dan asked, with the same adorably confused look on his face. Wow. Did I just think that?

"They're twins. And yes, they are always like that."

"Wow. Poor you."

"Nah, they're in college. Harvard. Pretty had to beleive, I know. And then all of a sudden they just...came back." I rested my head in my hands, not because I was being tragic, but because I was laughing so hard. "Oh, God. You should have seen your face. What did you think, that they had started multiplying?"

"Well, kind of. That would be pretty scary."

"You have NO idea." I lifted my head up...and saw the clock. "Oh, crap. Can you manage for like fifteen minutes? I have to go somewhere."


I went back to the fridge and took out two little white containers. "Mom? I'll be right back, okay?" I called into the depths of the kitchen.

"Alright," her disembodied voice responded.

I walked out the door, soaking up the sun. I really needed to get out more. I took my time walking the fifteen-ish feet to Melissa's mom's store.

"Lunch break?" Theresa asked me as i bypassed five hurried brides-to-be, a couple of bored-looking future husbands, and many dismayed bridesmaids.

"Yup," I said, pressing the buzzer outside the door. No response. Of course. I just went up anyways, though.

The hallway leading to the living room was totally full of fabric. I picked my way around all the clutter, and there they were, sewing obsessivley.

"Hey guys," I called, turning on the light over the kitchen table. "Ben made something that looks like spagetti, but i'm not quite sure cuz it has these little aregano things in in and something that looks like onions, maybe? I tried it, though, and it was really good." I put one of the styrafoam boxes into the microwave and turned around. They were still zoned out. Shock. I walked over to the bookshelf, picked up the dictionary, walked over to them, and dropped it."

Melissa screeched. Lilly just looked up. "Scare the hell out of me, why don't you," Melissa said, shutting off the sewing machine. "Did you say spagetti?"

As we ate (actually, Melissa more just picked at it and talked while i ate off her plate) I debated telling her about Dan working there. If I told her it would be a Thing. There was no reason to say anything. But then if I didnt say something and she saw him there, it would be a Big Thing, because she'd think I was hiding it and then draw conclusions that were all kinds of wrong.

"So, what's new with you?"

I took a deep breath. You have to tell her. "Well, actually, someone new is working at the store."

"Ooh, really? I'm assuming it's not your sisters, right?"

I laughed nervously. "Hah, no. It's actually that guy, Dan."

Her eyes widened. "Oh, really?"

Great. "Yeah, he just saw the...sign that we put up."

"What sign?" she frowned. "I didnt see a sign."

"It was only up for like a second, but it was there," I lied.

"Huh." She paused the motion of her fork -pick, pick, pick- for a second, looked up to the ceiling to process it. What I had said, I mean, not the ceiling. And then she said, "Cool," and actually managed to eat a full bite of her spagetti.

Well, that's it, I guess. And call me crazy, but I was almost...disappointed? No, that couldn't be it. And if it was, I had to channel it into a different emotion. I decided on annoyance.

"God, Melissa. EAT." I pushed the plate all the way over to her and she squirmed a little. "I have to go make sure Dan didnt blow the place up."

"Bye," Lilly said. Melissa rolled her eyes. She (Melissa) still wasn't talking to her (and by extention, neither was I), but the stupid manners that my parents have drilled into me kicked in and I smiled in her general direction as i walked down the stairs.

As I closed the door into the store behind me, i could hear bickering. The words 'just a guy' came up, but I didnt feel like listening. Then I'd be responsible for comforting her, and call me a bad person but i didnt really want to deal with that right then. I kind of had bigger problems at that very moment.

Like the fact that the smoke alarms were going off in the store.

I mean, they were always doing that for no reason. But you didnt turn them of by swatting them with a broom. That didnt even reach it.

I laughed and headed back. This was going to be more interesting. If nothing else.

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