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Help me!

“Yes!” she yelled in excitement, almost bouncing her head from too much nodding. Mom's contagious smile infected me at this point. ‌ ‌

From what I could remember, Aunt Maggie has been my mother's best friend since they were in kindergarten, possibly longer. 

Mom sent me a smile,  "She deserves to be happy after such a long time since her husband's death. And what makes it even happier is that " She trailed off, creating a suspense atmosphere. 

"Is that? What mom? Please continue!” I said, eager to know it.  I was desperate for an answer because I didn't want to wait any longer. 

"She has asked you to be her bridesmaid, Nathan to be her ring bearer, and me to be her maid of honor!" She was ecstatic. Oh..I've never been a bridesmaid before, so this will be my first experience. ‌ ‌

"Wow! That sounds amazing!" I exclaimed, knowing how important it must be for my Aunt.

"When is the wedding?" I asked. 

"It'll be about a month from now, and I can't tell you how happy I am for her!"

Nathan showed up to the kitchen, curious as to what we had been discussing with our loud voices, "Mommy, what is a ring bearer, mommy?" Nathan inquired from beside me, his eyes wide with curiosity. His eyes were sparkling with wonder as his brows raised in anticipation.

I understand him. My little brother didn't know about Aunt Maggie, nor did he know about weddings since he’s still four years old. Awe he’s so cute. He was just trying to figure out what was going on... ‌

I ruffled his hair as mom replied to his question, "A ring bearer is the one who'll take care of Aunt Maggie's ring and heirlooms." She said, “And you’re the one tasked to do that! Give the ring to my best friend on her wedding day, okay Nate-nate?” 

Nathan nodded. 

“You’re capable of doing so, aren't you?" Mom asked him again. 

"Of course I can do it! I'm a big boy now!" he exclaimed, standing up straight and proud like a military officer who has recently been assigned a new mission.

“Good job! I’ll be expecting that, Captain Nate-nate!” Mom said, ruffling his hair. She then turned to me, "Remember those times when she used to spoil you with treats when you were still a kid?"

I chuckle softly as I recall the incident. ‌"Yeah, but why did she stop visiting?" 

Mom sighed, "Sadly, she migrated to England,” Before her eyes lit up.  "But she wants her wedding here, so she's coming back.” 

Oh...fantastic; That's why I can't wait to see her." ‌ ‌I replied. 

Putting on her coat, Mom grabbed the keys of the car and started to make her way on the car, as she had night duty today. 

**‌ ‌

EION'S POV

A little boy who was about four years old ran on the sidewalk. He stumbled on a rock and fell face-first to the ground. Crying in pain, he yelled and called for his mom.

His mom came immediately to the rescue, kneeled, and carried his son to her shoulders, comforting his son. "Next time don't run sweetie or you'll slip again."

I diverted my eyes to the ground as I passed by the scene. Stupid boy, if he didn't run then maybe that didn't happen. Snorting in annoyance, I continued walking along the sidewalk, passing by some stores.

 Today's appointment with him wasn't interesting as usual, I could see his efforts of helping me, but everything was still the same. If it isn't dad and this stupid nonsense, then maybe I could try to act normal like he wanted me to. But I couldn't. I don't want to. Everything is always about him.

The cement ground groaned under my shoes as I dug it harder in irritation, my steps were getting desperate as I yearned for one thing. Hastening my steps, I watched as a few people passed by, eager to end the day. The usual small chattering coming from this small town is never strange to me. Everyone knows everyone. Typical.

Pushing back my head, I gaze at the sky. The clear blue sky and the glazing sun made no effort to hide that it’s already summer. The humid air swished. I glance at my wristwatch, it's past three in the afternoon already. After a few steps, the store I was seeking was in front of me. Pushing the door open, the bell jingled as I entered. A few customers were sitting at the booths, minding their own business.

I went to the register to order something. As I reached it, a person behind the register was asleep, he was sitting on a monobloc chair while his cap covered his face. Furrowing my eyebrows, I looked close enough and saw that the person wasn't sleeping. He was holding a phone, tapping furiously on it.

Who in the right mind plays in the middle of his shift? What a lazy worker.

I coughed to get his attention. He was still playing. Releasing another cough, he still didn't notice my presence. The anger I was holding back appeared. I clench and unclench my hand.

With that, I coughed again, this time it was louder than some customers glanced at me. Ignoring their curious eyes, I focused on the person in front of me. Instantly, his body jerked and his phone almost fell. But I was shocked to see his face. It was feminine.

She's a girl.                                                          

I look at her blankly. Her face turned pink. "If I was the owner, I could have fired you for playing in the middle of your work,"

She looked taken aback. "Excuse me?" she asked.

Does she really have any clue what I just said? Or she had some ear problem? 

"Psh, workers and their services," I mumbled in an almost inaudible voice. "Are you going to ask my order or what?" I snapped.

I was expecting her to throw a comeback but instead, she was smiling. Oh, an expression in which a person was wasting all her energy and time.

"Good afternoon, sir, what would you like to have?" She asked cheerfully, her smile was so wide it would rip off of her face. She's holding in her anger, I see.

"A strawberry ice cream," I demanded, crossing my arms impatiently.

She immediately grabbed a cone, filled it with strawberry ice cream, and handed it to me. I grabbed a handful of money from my pocket, not counting anything, and handed it to her before walking away.

I exited the shop and turned a corner while licking my ice cream. The sweet flavor engulfed my mouth as a sense of satisfaction flooded me.

After turning corners and a few steps, I sense something. Like someone following me. I slowed down my pace and halted. Turning around, I was greeted with something. It was a she.

"You again? Are you following me?" I snapped, trapping her with my gaze. My eyebrows knitted. What is she doing?

All of a sudden, she walked the distance between us, stopping in front of me with a meter in between.

"I'm not following you... I came here just to give this to you," her hands held money, a crumpled three-dollar bill.

I stood still, just looking at her and the money. She was looking at me like waiting for something to happen. I stood my ground.

After a minute when she realized that I had nothing to do with it, she opened my left hand and placed the money quickly.

"It's your change, you forgot it," she explained quickly, turning around to go back to the shop. Before she could take one step, I grabbed her arm. Her body turned to me confused.

Even I was still confused as to why I did that.

"Take it," I said in a low voice, handing back to her the money. My face softened but I masked it before she could notice.

She released an irritated sigh. "I don't take money from strangers, especially money I didn't earn and didn't work hard for."

Did she think that chasing me all the way here and returning my change is considered a heroic scene? And making me feel like it was my fault that I had left my change there?

She should feel honored. Normal people would keep it, and others need it.

I didn't notice that the ice cream on my right hand was melting, and fell to the ground. She turned around and walked in the other direction before I had the chance to stop her.

That stupid girl! Now I'm only left with an empty cone with the ice cream on the ground.

Damn it!

***

 SNOW'S POV

"Here's the list, Snow," my mother said in the morning, handing me a couple of dollars and a note while smiling apologetically. She just arrived from her night duty as she was still in her uniform. 

 "Please double-check that you have everything, okay?" She ordered. 

I nodded at that, assuring her as being the obedient daughter I am. "I've got you, mom, don't worry.”

She sighed and murmured, "If only I had the time to go grocery shopping..."

I grinned at her, "It's fine, mom; don't worry, I'll take care of it," Hopping on my motorcycle, I wore my helmet, and drove away. ‌ ‌

The sky was clear outside, as the hot sun blazed from above, glaring down on anyone who dared to step outside and get roasted by the heat. It's a good thing I wore my long sleeves because I didn't want to get burned. 

I double-checked the list my mother had given me. Eggs, meat, vegetables, fruits, and a few snacks are on the menu. When I walked into the mall, I was greeted by a blast of cold air. ‌ ‌

I rushed to the grocery store, grabbed a basket, and walked towards the vegetable stall, where I grabbed everything on my list, paid at the cashier, and bought myself some treats. I was sitting on the bench of a stall, enjoying my gummy bears when I noticed something….it was a heat of stare. 

When I looked behind me, I noticed three guys staring at me. I gulped, my hands trembling in sudden fear. 

I bit the insides of my cheeks in nervousness. After finishing my treats, I clutched the grocery bags I'd placed beside me. ‌ ‌

I looked behind me again, and I quickly regretted it as they approached me. 

My eyes widened, and my whole body shuddered nervously. The creepy smile they gave me sent me rushing out the door as quickly as I could without breaking into a run. 

The closer they got to me, the more the colors on my face faded. 

"Hey, babe, are you by yourself?" One of the guys started to speak up, wiggling his eyebrows. 

I ignored them and continued walking, hoping to get past when I was stopped.

"Not so fast," the same guy said, blocking my path with his towering presence. He had nose piercings and tattoos all over his arms. I could smell their vile beer stench. 

Is this group of guys inebriated? Why are they even permitted to create shambles in the middle of the mall? Worst of all, where is the security?

Some people passing by were staring at us strangely. I wanted to scream for help but couldn't find the right words. When the other guy noticed it, he told the other two, "Let's bring this outside, mate. People are staring." 

"Whatever. I'm not concerned with the people. Plus, we're not doing anything to this lovely face. Not unless she expresses a desire for us to do something to her. Do you agree, sweetie?”

The same guy who was in my way said, smirking at me. My heart was pounding so hard in nervousness, and my hands trembled in fear, that I was literally stopped in my tracks. I have to get out of here! I only have myself to rely on! 

“Do you want me to perform some sort of action on you?” He inquired. While the two guys were looking at me, the other one, who was wearing an orange bonnet and a black coat, was rummaging through my grocery bag. What the hell is happening? I was screaming at myself in my mind to move and stop them, but I couldn’t. 

That's it for now. I can't take it any longer! 

If they steal from me, Mom will kill me. That is my mother's hard-earned cash! I mustered the courage to confront them and yelled, "What do you want? Please leave me alone. I've got a boyfriend!” 

I realized that was too lousy but I didn't care. All I could think of right now was to get away from them. I looked to my side to see if anyone was still watching, but they weren't even paying attention to what was going on! Where has humanity gone?

The man in an orange bonnet who was rummaging through my bag turned to face me, "So, where is that boyfriend you are talking about? In your mind?"

Yes, Snow, where is he? I palmed myself mentally. I should have gotten a boyfriend so I wouldn't have to worry about things like this! 

Never mind, I'm a strong and independent woman, and when things get this bad, there's only one solution…

Lie to them. 

I mean, I know lying is wrong, but if it means saving myself from situations like this, I'll do it. "He'll be here in a moment," I said, holding my head high.

 Now get out of there before he notices what you're doing. You'll never be able to get away from him! I snatched my shopping bag from the guy rummaging through it and hugged it tightly against my chest, glaring at the three grown men sneering at me.

 I swear I could fight back, but when compared to these 6-meter giants, all I could do was yell at them.

When the second went by, they just laughed at me and continued to mock me. I gulped and looked behind me, where the mall was still packed with people. ‌ ‌

I was contemplating an escape strategy when I noticed a familiar figure dressed in a black hoodie. 

marshmallowssprinkle

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