Chapter 5 / Welcome To Chippenham
Oliver enjoyed playing practical jokes, so when he offered me a handful of m&m’s after I got into the car, I was sceptical.
‘You didn’t mix them with Skittles, did you?’ I glanced at the candies, ‘because that would be a dick move.’
‘Who knows?’ he grinned. I rolled my eyes and picked a handful of chocolates. I’d never forget that time when he offered me a bottle of coke, and after taking a sip, it turned out to be soy sauce.
Driving to Chippenham took a little less then fifteen minutes, but Oliver liked to stop at the Castle Combe Circuit, no matter where or how long he had to drive, so when we finally arrived, the shopping streets were already packed with people.
I wanted to go straight to Bonmarché, the only shop that was in my price range, but Oliver insisted on visiting Dorothy Perkins. He dragged me through the store, pulling out dresses without even asking if I liked them.
‘Why do you want me to wear a dress?’ I asked while he pushed me in one of the fitting rooms. ‘I never wear dresses.’
‘That’s exactly the reason you should wear one to go back!’ Oliver peaked through the curtains, ‘I love your underwear, by the way. Very sexy.’
‘Asshole,’ I pulled the dress up and hide my not-so-sexy underwear, ‘But why the dress? I don’t understand.’
‘And they say you’re a smart one,’ he huffed as he buttoned me up, ‘I still remember that girl that walked into the bakery two years ago. She was wearing an old t-shirt and some worn out jeans. She didn’t look like anything special: she was on the chubby side, had this stupid haircut and her face was always puffy from crying.’
‘You’re really making me feel special, you know,’ I said. He took my hand and pulled me out of the fitting room, installing me in front of the mirror. I was wearing a tailored black cocktail dress, that left my back open, giving me a sexy look. Through the lace sleeves you could see my tanned arms. The high collar accentuated my neck and made me look elegant and sophisticated.
‘But look at you now,’ Oliver stood behind me as he spoke, pulling my hair up like he was a hairdresser, ‘you’re not that little girl anymore. You have grown strong and beautiful. You shouldn’t hide behind those baggy clothes. I think it’s time you show them your confidence and your new gorgeous self.’
‘Okay, spill it,’ I turned around and put my hands on my hips, ignoring the blush on my cheeks, ‘what do you need this time?’
‘I need you to see just how great you are,’ he smiled, ‘you’re hardworking, smart, pretty, funny and you’re the greatest friend anyone can have. Oh, and could you tell my mom that I’m staying at your place tonight? I’m going out with Sam and I’m spending the night.’
‘I knew it!’
‘But, seriously, you don’t have to hide. I know some people at school didn’t always treat you right. Now’s the time to show them who you are.’
I turned around again, looking at myself in the mirror. The dress was gorgeous and I felt good in it, like it was giving me confidence.
‘I don’t have this kind of money,’ I whispered, ‘I need everything I have to renovate the house and food and school supplies. It would be to extravagant to buy a dress like this. And, no, I don’t want you to buy it for me!’
‘Oh, come on!’ Oliver frowned and turned around, ‘excuses me, miss? Could you come take a look and tell my girlfriend how beautiful she looks in this dress?’
‘Well, I have to say, you really do look gorgeous in that dress,’ the shop keeper smiled and started walking around me, ‘I would put on some heels if I were you. And you should wear long earrings, silver or gold. And put your hair up, off course. Maybe drop the glasses? Have you tried contacts before?’
'I like my glasses.'
‘Please, Kath,’ Oliver touched my shoulders and gave me his puppy eyes frown, ‘let me buy this for you. I really want to.’
‘Olly,’ I sighed but I couldn’t resist, ‘fine. But I’m paying you back as soon as I get the money.’
‘Not likely,’ Oliver grinned.
‘Excuse my rudeness,’ the shop keeper said, ‘but I just wanted to say that you two are so cute together.’
‘Thank you, miss, that’s very kind,’ Oliver said and then he whispered, ‘I’m breaking up with her tonight. So, it’s kind of like a goodbye present.’
I bit my lip to hid my laugh. The look on the shop keepers face was priceless.
‘Did you see the look on her face?’ Oliver said after we left the shop, ‘bloody brilliant!’
‘You should have your own show,’ I laughed.
We shopped for shoes and earrings and Oliver payed for everything. I kept saying I would pay him back, but Oliver didn’t even care. He kept saying that best friends take care of each other, no matter the cost.
We were back in Caste Combe around 4, which was just in time to pick up Carrie and Christian from school.