Chapter 26

"You're the only girl I know who likes thrift stores," I said as we walked into the Salvation Army.


"You mean to tell me LaToya doesn't like thrift stores?" Shayla made a face.


"She dreads them. She doesn't like the idea of wearing other people's clothes, but what she fails to realize is that the clothes get washed."


"Oh, wow!" She laughed as she walked over to the women's clothing. "I guess I'm going to have to drag her in here sometime. I like it because it's cheap and you can find good quality clothing here. I mean look at this genuine leather skirt for three dollars!" She picked up the skirt. "And oh my gosh! Look at this silk blouse! My dad would freak out about this! I'm going to go try this one," she rushed to the fitting rooms. I walked over to the hats and came across a clown hat with rainbow hair. I put it on my head and looked in the mirror. I don't look half bad. But my hair is peeking from underneath the rainbow afro. I'm definitely cutting it now. I walked over to the fitting room and waited for Shayla. "Michael, do you want to see?" She asked.


"Of course!" I said as she opened the door. She made a face, "what on earth do you have on your head?" She laughed.


"A clown hat. Do you like it?" I smiled.


"You look adorable! You have to get it."


"You think so?"


"You must! You look too cute in it! If you don't get it I'll get it myself."


"If you insist," I took the hat off.


"What do you think of the blouse?" She turned around to show it off.


"It's nice!"


"You think so? I think it's a bit too sexy..." She's right about that...


"I think it looks great."


"Are you sure?"


"Positive," I nodded.


"Should I but it? Do I really need this blouse?" She asked herself.


I wrapped my arms around her waist and rested my chin on her shoulder, "Michael thinks you should get it," I whispered.


"Shayla isn't really sure."


"What if Michael buys it for her?"


"Shayla wouldn't want him to do that. It's just a blouse."


"A blouse that Shayla looks good on. I want to be able to buy what my baby wants."


"Let Shayla think about it. How much is it again?"


I looked at the tag, "five dollars."


"Sold!" She exclaimed and hurried back into the fitting room to take it off.


VII


"Michael, I think I have everything I want," Shayla said with her arms full of clothes as we walked up to the cash register.


"And I've got my hat," I twirled it around my finger.


"Welp, I think we're ready."


"Did you find everything okay?" The clerk asked as she started taking the clothes off of the hangers.


"I found everything perfectly fine, thank you," Shayla smiled that oh so beautiful smile of hers.


"I'm glad someone is finally buying that cute hat," the clerk said as she pointed at the clown hat in my hands.


"No one wanted to buy it?" I asked.


"Nope. I was thinking about buying it myself after a while. It's such a cute hat."


"I know right! He looks so cute in it too!" Shayla smiled.


"Your total comes to twenty dollars and forty cents," the clerk said after scanning the last item.


"That's what I like to hear," Shayla pulled out her wallet. "It would have been so much more if I had gotten something from Macy's."


"You all have a nice day," the clerk smiled at Shayla.


"You too," Shayla smiled and took her bags. The clerk rang up my hat. I paid for it and we left. "That was fun!" Shayla said as we headed to the car. "I've still got money left over too," I helped her put the bags in the back seat.


"What do you want to do now?" I asked her.


"it's up to you. I don't want to shop anymore. I've only got forty dollars left and I don't plan on spending it."


"Let me think of something we can do. Remember, I don't want you to mess up that pretty dress you've got on."


"Michael, I'm not a girl-girl. I could care less if this dress gets dirty or not. I can always wash it," she laughed.


"Yeah, but..."


"But...? Let's go to a water park! Are there any water parks open?"


"A water park?" I laughed. "I highly doubt that there are any open. It's still winter over here, ya know?"


"Yeah, but it's not snowing. They still close them?"


"I'm pretty sure they do."


"Darn. That stinks. You know what?"


"What?"


"We can go to a drive-in."


"That'll be a great idea. I didn't even think of that."


"Are they closed too?"


"Maybe. I'll check."


"Yay!"


"Wait," I paused. "We should saw a movie earlier this week."


"You're right. Let's do that another time. What else is there to do?"


"We could always do my favorite thing in the world."


"What's that?"


"We can go visit a children's hospital."


"I've never done that before. I've always seen photos of you visiting hospitals though. I would love to go with you," she smiled.


"Do you mind if we go now?"


"Of course not!"


"Perfect. You do know I don't do this for publicity, right? I honestly do it from the kindness of my heart."


"I know. I know you're not a selfish person who just does stuff like that for the cameras. It's just you. I'm the same way. I mean, I'm not famous, but I do a bunch of stuff from the kindness of my hear too. Not to look good, ya know?" I looked at her and smiled. At that moment, I just knew, she out of all people, understood the real me. Could it be love?

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