Well, That Happened (5): Girl Time

Girls' day out.
(Amanda, Simone and Simone's cousin, Marley are walking around The Diamond, the largest and busiest shopping center in town.)

Amanda: Wow, we did a lot of shopping, girls! I'm proud of us.

Simone: There are so many good deals here, I love it.

Amanda: I know right! I can't wait to fill my wardrobe with these new Fall outfits!

Marley: Mr. Pickle and I are having so much fun.

(Amanda makes a face of disgust while Simone twitches her freckled nose.)

Amanda: Don't tell me, you actually brought that-

(A little white head pokes out of Marley's pocket and looks at Amanda with its small beady eyes. Amanda shrieks and hides behind Simone.)

Amanda: Ewww! Oh my god! Why did you bring that disgusting rat with you?

Marley: (pouts) Don't insult my friend!

(She strokes the rat's head softly with her index finger.)

Marley: It's okay, Mr. Pickle. She doesn't mean it. She's just upset.

Amanda: You better keep that thing far away from me, or else you can't blame me for what'll happen to it next!

Marley: (glares) You're so mean. What did Mr. Pickle ever do to you?

Amanda: Do you realize that rats caused the worst plague ever, AKA the Black Death? Those things are deadly!

Marley: The rats were innocent! Blame the fleas!

Amanda: I don't care! They're gross!

Simone: (whispers) Just leave her, Mandi. It's not worth it.

Amanda: (hisses) Why did you bring your dumb cousin along? She ruins everything.

Simone: Hey, at least you're not stuck with her! Did you forget she's staying at my place for two weeks straight?

Marley: Guys, I'm gonna get some food for Mr. Pickle. I'll be right back.

(She jogs away. Amanda comes out of her hiding and shudders.)

Amanda: Let's ditch that freak.

Simone: I wish I could, but you know what she's like. I can't leave her alone.

Amanda: I can't believe you're stuck with her for two weeks! I feel so sorry for you.

Simone: I'm just about surviving. Guess what happened the other day?

Amanda: What?

Simone: Yesterday evening, I was putting my pajama pants on. I had already put one leg in, and I was about to put the other in - when I touched something furry with my foot! That little fur-ball ran past my feet, across the room, and I screamed so loudly that my neighbors thought I was being murdered! Old man Billy and his wife actually visited us and made sure everything was okay.

Amanda: (whimpering) Ew... I've got the chills. If I lived with Marley and her rat, God forbid, I'll leave my house and stay somewhere else. Probably at Tom's.

Simone: Do you really think he'll let you move in?

Amanda: Yes. Why wouldn't he? We've almost been together for-

(Her eyes widen in realization)

Amanda: Oh my god, our anniversary is in two days!

Simone: You don't seem too happy about that...

Amanda: I am! It's just...

(She bites her nail nervously)

Amanda: I haven't chosen his present yet. I don't know what to get him. It takes me forever to decide these things.

Simone: Lucky for you, I'm here! And we're in The Diamond, the best place to look for gifts! We'll find one in no time.

Amanda: (smiles) This is why I love you, Simmy.

Simone: Love ya too, boo.

Marley: (yells) I'm back!

(The brunette is jogging over to the girls.)

Amanda: Ugh, there goes the sweet moment.

Simone: Be nice, Mandi.

(Marley holds up a bag full of brown-and-green balls.)

Marley: I got Mr. Pickle some chocolate peppermints.

Simone: Uhh... are you sure, he's supposed to eat that?

Marley: Yes. These are his favorite sweets. He prefers them over cheese!

Amanda: Okay, whatever. We've got important things to worry about.

(Amanda hooks her arm around Simone's arm.)

Amanda: Let's hop to it, Rabbit!

Simone: You know I hate that nickname.


(In the store, Rachel's Comfort Luxuries, the three girls are wandering through the clothes aisle.)

Amanda: (firmly) Get away. I don't want you or your rat anywhere near me.

Marley: I don't know why you're so scared of him.

(She puts her hand in her pocket, gently stroking his fur.)

Marley: He's so little, cute and shy. He's more scared of you than you are of him.

Simone: Mandi is scared of a lot of things - especially creepy crawlies.

Marley: What are you most scared of?

Simone: Hmm.. (strokes her chin) That's a good question.

(Amanda is browsing through the clothes, when the smell of aftershave hits her nostrils. She looks up, seeing a man in a leather jacket walk past.)

Simone: My biggest fear is being alone...

Amanda: (coos) Aww, Simmy! That won't ever happen. We'll always be here for you.

Simone: Thanks. It's just... (rubs her arm) what if I never find a boyfriend?

Amanda: Don't think like that. You'll find someone.

Simone: I dunno... I don't really like any of the guys in our school. And they don't like me either (looks down sadly) I can't remember the last time I had a crush.

Amanda: Aww...

Marley: So... (awkward pause) Do you guys want to know what I'm scared of most?

Simone: Sure. What is it?

Marley: Basically, I have this internal fear of a dead singer named Billie Holiday. I get sleep paralysis all the time and, during it, she emerges from the closet and, one by one, she removes my fingernails by paper cutting around them.

(Amanda and Simone stare at her in uncomfortable silence.)


(The three girls are on the bus at the back seats. Shopping bags are covering the surrounding seats.)

Simone: I feel exhausted... in a good way!

Amanda: Same. I just wanna go home and soak myself in a nice, warm bath.

Simone: Same here, sis.

Marley: I haven't taken a bath once.

Amanda: (surprised) Are you serious?

(Marley nods.)

Amanda: Why?

Marley: Because I don't want to drown.

Simone: You won't drown, Mars. Don't be silly.

Marley: But I can't swim.

Amanda: You don't have to swim. You literally sit in water, that's it.

Simone: Just don't fall asleep and you'll be fine.

Amanda: Jeez, I can't believe we're having this conversation.

(She shakes her head and then she freezes, noticing a man in a leather jacket. He appears to be in his late-forties, his dark hair gelled back.)

Amanda: That's the fifth time...

Simone: Huh?

Amanda: That guy... I've seen him so many times today.

Simone: He was back at that store with us, wasn't he?

Amanda: Yeah... He was at the shoe store, the pizza plaza, the cinema area, and at the ladies section of RCL. Isn't that so spooky? At the time, I thought he was shopping for his wife or something, but now... (shivers) my Creep Radar is going off.

Simone: Or maybe you're just being paranoid.

Marley: I think it's the universe's way of telling us that we should befriend him.

Amanda: That's the most stupid-

Marley: I'm gonna say hi to him.

Simone: No! Marley! Don't!

(Marley gets up from her seat and walks away, before the girls can stop her. She walks towards the front of the bus, to the man and taps his shoulder.)

Amanda: Is she crazy?!

Simone: She's insane.

Amanda: I'm cringing. I'm cringing so hard.

Simone: She's talking to him. She's really doing it.

(Amanda jumps in her seat and covers her blushing face.)

Amanda: Oh, god! She's pointing at us! This is so embarrassing!

Simone: Don't look! Act like we're not with her.

Amanda: We are so kicking her ass when she gets back.

(Simone looks up slowly, makes eye contact with the man, and quickly ducks her head down.)

Simone: Ahhh! He's looking at us!

Amanda: Are you sure- oh hell, now he's waving!

Simone: Who's he waving to?

Amanda: Us!

Simone: There are no words to describe how uncomfortable I feel...

(A few minutes pass.)

Amanda: Ugh, she's still talking to him! What the heck is she telling him?

Simone: I hope she's not sharing our information.

Amanda: I will kill her if she does.

(Simone sits up straighter and takes a deep breath.)

Simone: Okay, she's coming back. It's okay. Just calm down. I'm sure nothing major happened.

Marley: (chirps) Hey guys! We just made the coolest new friend, ever.

Amanda: What's that supposed to mean? Didn't anyone ever warn you about Stranger Danger?

Marley: His name is Derrick and he's a photographer for Hello! Magazine. He was collecting resources or whatever from The Diamond for his photoshoot. He's looking for teen models and he thinks we've got the perfect look! How amazing is that?

(Amanda and Simone's mouths drop open from utter shock.)

Marley: He's coming over right now. Be cool, guys.
Published: 12/17/2018
Bouquets and Brickbats