Chapter 34:

Shopping "Date"

Would You Paint My Dunk


After a few minutes, we finally arrived at Serramonte Center. The driver parked the car just beside the entrance, and told us that we had arrived at our destination.

She opened the door and left the car, while I paid the driver using a digital wallet on my phone before hopping out myself. As I close the car door, the driver drives his car slowly away from us.

Now here we are, looking at the big buildings in front of us, decorated with the spirit of Christmas. Garlands and ribbons all over the building’s walls, and a few of them have a small sock hung in their full window glasses.

As I was looking around, she gently nudged her elbow at me.

“Keith, may we look for stationery and my art supplies first? I just hope they won’t be sold out soon.”

I glanced at my phone screen to see the current time. The clock indicated it’s 10:41 AM right now.

What kind of item would be sold out this early? Well, she must have her reason. It doesn’t like sports stores would run out of shoes in my size if I went a little late. Since I’m with her, I guess my best course of action would be following her lead.

“Sure, let’s go”

Without any delay, she pulled my wrist and dragged me into the direction of a popular store. Beside the store name, there was a big logo of a red circle inside another red circle. A lot of Christmas wreaths hung all over the entrance as we went in.

Inside, garlands were hung diagonally across the white ceilings, and other Christmas decorations tinted the white-themed store green and red. In front of me, there stood white racks, containing the goods that the store sells.

Some of the racks have white billboards that mention an item price, and a few of the racks mention the categories instead. Also, there were few white billboards that wrote ‘Priced’ ‘Right’ ‘Daily’ in red color, with one word per line.

Knowing that I should be the one carrying stuff, I took a red shopping basket near the entrance. But before I could put it on my arm, she grabbed my wrist once more.

“Keith, follow me.”

And so, she started dragging me around. Soon, we arrived at the creative corner. There were red texts indicating that a few items were for sale, and her face was brimmed with happiness as she looked closer into the tags.

“A fifty percent off? Nice! I’m glad to come here.”

She took a few brushes, an acrylic paint set, a plastic palette board, and three canvas boards before dumping it on the basket I’m carrying. Shortly, she turned around and smiled at me.

“Whew, that’s everything. Keith, it’s your turn next. Let’s check out at the cashier and look for your shoe, shall we?”

Knowing that I could impress her by taking her tabs, I offered myself to pay for the bills.

“Alright. Can I pay for…”

“No!”

She shook her head in disagreement. It seems that she is displeased to hear that I would pay for her.

“Keith, these are my things, I’m not that shameless to let you pay for these. I’ll pay myself.”

Knowing that things would turn worse if I insisted, I decided to back down.

“Okay, let’s go then.”

We walked our way into the cashier, only to find out that it is crowded. Looking around, I found a shorter lane than the others. I lightly tapped her arm and pointed her to it.

“Jess, come here, this one is shorter.”

“Nice one, Keith. You have such good eyesight. I guess you need good eyes when you want to go pro with basketball.”

Well, she is not wrong. To execute the fake-out techniques Brandon taught me, I have to pay attention to my matchup’s movements, or otherwise I wouldn’t be able to shake my defender off.

Using my eyes, I have to guess what my opponent would do next.

Side stepping to prevent a drive?

Jumping to prevent a shot?

By reading their next move, I could seize any openings they would create. Sometimes, it would even lead to an open path for a dunk. And now, I’m unconsciously doing the same thing.

I have to thank Brandon for this.

Shortly, we arrived at the cash register. The cashier’s clerk scanned the items one by one before putting it into a plastic bag. After all of the items were scanned, she paid for her items using her card and we took our leave.

With her errands done, now it’s time for me to look for my shoe… Or that’s what I thought before we got sidetracked.

As we headed toward a certain sports store, she got distracted, buying clothes left and right.

I know they are on Christmas sale, but why did my arm become a wardrobe rail for her shopping bags? Am I her partner or her porter?

Looking at myself once more, I wasted my time picking this outfit. Here I am, carrying shopping bags instead of linking my arms with her.

As I thought… She didn’t think of me as a man. No, wait… She wouldn’t make me carry her bags like this if she doesn’t, but… Argh! Now I know what my dad went through when mom was shopping at a mall. I’m experiencing it myself right now!

Why can’t people just go to a shop, buy what they want, then go home? Why did I have to tag along on a shopping spree?

I sighed deeply as I tried to calm myself down.

Sigh… Whatever. I guess I just have to accompany her shopping spree a little longer.

After a while, we arrived at my destination at last. A lot of time had gone because of her ‘detours’, and with the sports store in front of me, I was filled with a sense of relief.

I’m finally here!!! Well, time to look for my shoe… Oh wait, if I’m busy looking for my stuff, then how about her? I hope she won’t be bored.

Thinking about that, I decided to ask her if she wanted to do something else while waiting for me.

“Jess, I’m going to look for my shoe for a while, I hope you won’t mind about…”

Before I could finish my sentences, she put her fists on her hip.

“Keith, what are you talking about? I wouldn’t bring you here in the first place. Besides, I will look around, maybe I can buy some sports clothes for jogging or something.”

“I see. Well, let’s go in then.”

We went inside, and we saw mounted racks on either side of the walls, showcasing a lot of shoes. There are apparels and even a women’s section as well.

We split up. I went for the shoes and she went for the women’s section. Browsing through the shoes, I found a basketball shoe that caught my eye. Thinking I should try it first, I asked a shop assistant to get me the shoe in my size. Shortly, he comes back with a pair of shoes.

With the shoes arriving in front of me, I took my shoes off and tried giving the product a shot. However, I didn’t feel comfortable with the new pairs, especially when I hopped around with them. It reminds me that the purpose of a shoe is not to make you look cool, but to make yourself comfortable.

After a few try-and-error, I finally found a pair that was comfortable to wear. The shoe was flexible enough that it didn’t restrict my movement if I’m about to jump or to dash forward. Deciding to buy that one, I told the store assistant to bring it to the cashier.

Just as I was queueing in peace, I heard her voice calling for me.

“Keith, look.”

I turned around, only to be shocked at what I saw: She had turned into a sports girl.

She is wearing a pink jacket that had its zipper opened. Just between the jacket gap, there exists a purple sport bra to cover her chest.

To further go with her sport look, she is wearing a tight white sport legging that covers from her waist to her knee, and a white and red running shoes to help her with her morning jog. And lastly for the finishing touch, she is wearing a black baseball cap in reverse.

Well, I know that this is a sports store and all, but her sporty attire made me turned on.

Wait. Keith, pull yourself together. This is not the first time you saw her in…

“How about it? We are matching, right?” She closed her eyes, turning her head while smiling at me.

If words can kill, then I would already be dead right now. Her words were akin to a sword that pierced through my chest.

Oh man, I want to hug her real bad, but I couldn’t do that to her. And if I wanted to confess right now, it’s the worst time to do so. Hold it in! Have some self-restraint!

“Uh, yeah. You looked cool, Jess.”

“Right? Great, I’m buying these.”

With a smile, she turned around and swiftly went into the changing room. After a while, I finally got in front of the cashier table. Just before I could pay for my stuff, she went in and dropped her stuff on top of the table as well and asked for a separate bill.

The cashier clerk scanned all of our items and put them into separate shopping bags. But again, it’s me who had to carry them, so it doesn’t really matter. After we finished our payment, the clerk bowed and thanked us before we went our way.

Carrying even more bags, I went out of the store, and she quickly took my side and walked with me.

As we finished our objective, I guess we had no purpose of staying here. Thinking that we should go back home, I asked her if she wanted to go to the toilet before leaving.

“Jess, do you want to go to the toilet before we go home? If you don’t, I’ll book…”

She pouted while looking at me.

“Keith, what are you saying? We are just getting started. Since you bought what you had to buy, we can start having fun now. Come on, it’s still way too early to go home.”

She turned to look at her wristwatch.

“Let’s see, it’s still one forty-seven pm. Keith, let’s have lunch together!”

“Sure, I’m getting hungry as well. Where do you want to eat?”

“Let’s look around and see what we can eat. Then, after we fuel ourselves, we will stroll around until night.”

Well, I guess today will be a long, long day. Hold on, does that mean that I can stay longer with her? Yesss!!!

However, my arm felt a little numb. I looked downward to see that the shopping bags’ handles started to leave red marks on my skin.

Wait, does it mean that I have to carry these bags until night? Then how was it different from hauling the boxes in the Halloween event? Shit, am I a forklift?

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