As Jeremy walked out of the food court, sucking the last thick remnants of chocolate shake through the narrow straw, he shook his head as he maneuvered his way around the snaking line that was partially blocking the front of the Chick-fil-a.
He whistled in disbelief as he investigated where the line was heading to. The starting point for the queue was to the side of the new Devious Majik store that had opened up recently–although currently its gothic iron gates were sealed shut.
“Hey Germ!” he heard a familiar squeal utter and unwelcome nickname–one he hadn’t heard in at least six months. “Germ! Germ! Over here!”
“Great, Bekka….” he sighed as he chomped back down on the straw and started to suck, moving rapidly, looking down at the tile floor and attempting to ignore the voice, but, unfortunately, he moved in the wrong direction.
“Jeremy! Didn’t you hear me calling for you?” a hand reached out and grabbed his arm.
Crap. Jeremy thought to himself. This was going to be awkward.
“Hey Rebekah.” he said as calmly as he could, trying not to make eye contact, giving her only the most cursory of sideways glances. He kept walking, hoping a simple greeting would be sufficient, but her tightening grip on his forearm said otherwise.
“C’mere. Give me a hug!” she giggled as she reached her arms up and around his neck, forcing him to swing around facing her.
As she pressed her body into his, he couldn’t help but notice her chest pushing against his. ‘Damn, college has been good to her!’ the fight side of his brain bellowed out, while the flight side of his brain just wanted to get the hell away from this agent of chaos in a miniskirt as he could.
“So, Germ, looks like you’ve been working out!” she said pushing away slightly, poking a tiny finger into his firm chest.
“Yeah, a little bit. And I don’t really go by that name anymore.” She was in quite good shape herself. And her skin was now flawless–no trace of the acne that once littered her face.
“No more Germ?” she teased.
“No. No more Germ.” He finally made eye contact. He didn’t remember her eyes being blue before. “Never liked that name in the first place.”
“Aww, but Germ is so cute!” she pinched his cheek.
He blushed at the attention. “Jeremy.” he corrected. He didn’t remember her being this cute before.
“Howabout Germie?” she smiled at him, touching his face with her fingertips. “It’s close.”
“Jeremy is closer.” His flight instinct was quickly forgetting all of the many reasons she had annoyed/stalked him in high school.
“And this is even closer.” she said kissing him on the cheek which was still red from the pinch/blush.
“I… umm… wow… I… have to… um… y’know… go…” he wasn’t even convincing himself.
“Or you could stay. Keep me company while I’m in line.” Rebekah grasped both of his wrists and swung slightly back and forth, mainly towards her spot in the line. “C’mon stay.” she bit her lower lip and gave a mischievous grin. “I promise to call you Jeremy.”
“Okay, but just for a little bit.” he followed her back to where her coat was laying and made sure the people behind her in line were okay with his cutting in line. No one seemed to mind his intrusion at all. “So what’s this line for anyway?”
She handed him a large black matte card with print in gloss black. The words “Devious Majik Black Friday: Sleep in. Come late. Open @ 7pm” could be seen when reflected off of the mall’s ceiling lights.
“That’s weird. Most stores open at 5am or earlier the day after Thanksgiving.” Jeremy said after examining the card.
“Well DM isn’t most stores. I think it’s brilliant. They get everyone AFTER they’ve shopped everywhere else. So smart. So cool. Plus it’s the best store ever!” She was spazzing out and he was quickly beginning to remember why she was to be avoided at all costs. It helped when she wasn’t so hot.
“What makes is so great?” he asked.
“Wait! You’ve never been to Devious Majik??? No way! Get out of here!!!”
He really wanted to get out of there. “I think I saw a shopping bag for them that my sister had in her room. They sell clothes right?”
“Not just clothes. They sell everything that’s cool!” she started talking more and more rapidly as she rattled of a list: “I got my bra…” she flashed a bit of a fancy black lace bra that held her generous breasts, “my shoes… not this skirt, but one just like it, my lip piercing, my color contacts… ” she pointed at her baby blues, “acne cream, shampoo, some board games…” she paused to think for a minute before grabbing her purse and digging through it, “and, oh yeah, I got these elf ears on Wednesday! I practically live here! It’s so awesome!!!” she was nearly hyperventilating from talking so fast.
“Yeah… that’s a lot of stuff…” even cute eyes can’t hide crazy, he realized, making a mental note to find a quick and painless way to extradite himself from her presence and soon!
“They even sell boy stuff. I’ll buy you something cool when they open up. You’ll love it too.” he expected her to start foaming at the mouth any moment now.
“Yeah… well, my mom wants me back for family time, so I don’t know if I can stay till seven…” he maneuvered the minefield carefully.
“Oh, nonsense.” she said flashing the screen on her iPhone at him with the time. “It’s only 12 minutes away. You have time.”
“Yeah, but, by the time the line gets to the front…” he fished for a different excuse.
“You need to get into the holiday spirit. Here, you can wear my elf ears!’ she placed the pointy plastic ears over his own. “So cute!”
This girl was definitely having a weird effect on him. His brain was as annoyed as ever at her hyperactive ADHD psychotic personality, but his body was loving ever single moment of attention she paid to him. Even when her fingertips brushed the tips of the fake ears, he could feel them as if they were his own, a slight tingle surged through his body. His flesh won the battle. It usually did. “Alright, I’ll stay until the store opens.”
“Awesome!” she looked at him oddly, as if in anticipation for something.
“What? Are the ears making me look weird?” he asked uncomfortably, starting to reach towards his ears to pull them off.
“No… no… not at all” she swatted his hands down, redirecting them instead to her narrow waist, resting them on nice hips. “You look really good with them. You’re making a natural elf.” she giggled strangely at the last statement.
“A six foot tall elf is a natural? Okay, if you say so…” he joked back, enjoying the warmth of her body underneath the palms of his hands.
“I do. And you’re not six feet tall.” she giggled strangely again. “I’m five foot one and you’ve only got a few inches on me.”
“Yes I am.” he stood straight up instead of leaning against the wall, and to his own confusion, she was actually correct. “Wait. Something’s wrong here…” he said, his voice sounding strange in his ears–almost helium like.
“In fact, I think you’re even shorter than I am.” she said with equal parts mischief and menace in her voice, using her hand to demonstrate how the top of her head cleared Jeremy’s by a good two inches.
Jeremy looked around in terror, his jeans slipping down his reduced thighs. “This isn’t possible!” he said in his lollypop guild voice as his height settled in at just under 5 feet.
“If you were a regular shopper at Devious Majik, you’d know it was possible.” Rebekah grinned down on him.
“And probable.” the girl in front of them in line said as she chuckled at Jeremy.
As he scanned the line, no one seemed particularly bothered by his predicament. “What happened?” he squeaked out at Rebekah.
“You know, Jeremy, that’s exactly the question I was asking myself back in May. You know, when I asked you if you’d go with me to the prom. And you gave a lame excuse as to why you wouldn’t be going.” she said in a serious tone.”Except there you were.”
“I apologized.” he protested.
“Yeah, but you had no idea how much that hurt.”
“But I said I was sorry!”
“Yeah, I get that. but you didn’t really understand. You don’t understand. You can’t understand. Guys have no idea what a girl goes through when she’s rejected.” she started to see the secondary signs start to manifest themselves within the elf “And that’s the main reason I love this store.”
“Me too.” the girl beside them in line gave Rebekah a high five in support.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Jeremy had a very bad feeling as his already chipmunk voice starting rising to yet another high tone. He brushed the dark hair that had grown in front of his eyes.
“You’re turning into an elf.” the stranger assisted him with the first clue.
“Oh god! The ears… the ears!!!” he reached up and tried to pull them off, only to encounter pain because what was once plastic, was now full flesh. He felt the pointy tips and could feel little tiny surface hairs and everything, just like real ears because they were real ears. he also felt a small number of pierced holes in the lobes.
“Not just any elf though.” Rebekah added “See, now you CAN know what a girl goes through. Because those ears were elf girl ears.”
Jeremy felt the front of his extremely baggy shirt and found a couple of mounds growing rapidly underneath. “No, no no no no… you… you’ve got to stop this. Please get these off!”
“I will…” Rebekah offered up some hope “All I have to do is say the secret words and the magic ears will release…”
“Thank you! Thank you!” Jeremy gratefully pleaded as he felt a pulling sensation in his groin that matched the pushing sensation in his chest.
The crowd started to chant the countdown to Black Friday opening together “Five…”
“So as soon as I’m satisfied that you truly understand what a girl goes through, magic words, then *poof*, you’ll be back to normal.”
“Shouldn’t take more than a semester or two as ‘Jenny’ for your to figure things out.”
“Now let’s get you some clothes for that sexy body you’re in!
“You’ll be so much fun as my little elf dress up doll!
“The best gift ever!”
And the crowd started to filter inside, including an extremely lost elf.
(to be continued…)