Kimberly Gould’s Picture Choice: Both
“Cassy, I know Converse are in, but really?”
I slipped on the soft shoe and flexed my toes, happy with the fit. “Really, Julie. I’m done with heels.” Standing, I jumped up and down a few times. They were springy, too. Nothing quite like a pair of new shoes.
Julie just sighed and tossed her head. “Fine. It’s your reputation.”
I couldn’t help it, I snorted. That got me a shocked expression. “I highly doubt a pair of shoes are going to ruin my reputation.” I could think of a few things in my past that would, but probably for the better. I carried my old shoes up to the till, planning to wear the new ones out of the store. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him. “Heph!” I shouted without thinking.
The pimply faced boy turned to me and blinked before lifting a hand to wave. He didn’t stop walking away. I briefly considered sprinting after him but changed my mind. He didn’t know me like I knew him.
“Who is that? Charity case?” Julie asked looking at Heph’s back. He didn’t have friends with him, walking alone but purposefully through the mall.
“No, just, someone I knew.”
Julie shrugged. “Whatever. Hurry up, I want to get my nails done before you go to work tonight.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I muttered, finishing the transaction with the clerk. “Thanks,” I told her, taking a bag with my old shoes in it.
I walked Julie to the day spa, but didn’t stay. “Oh! I forgot. I need to get a new skirt for work. I’ll catch up,” I lied. I did need a new black skirt to work at the ice cream shop, but that wasn’t why I was ditching my friend. Trotting through the mall, I found him. My converse made a great squeak as I skidded to a halt outside the electronics store. He was looking over gaming keyboards, the kind with easily programed keys. I walked in casually and picked up one of the many tablets, pretending to check the weight.
“That’s pretty hardcore,” I murmured, nodding to the panel in his hands.
“Yeah, well, I like to play.”
“Me, too,” I said, putting down the tablet. “What do you play?”
“Nothing you’d have heard of,” he muttered.
“Try me,” I urged.
“It’s a shooter.”
“I play some shooters. What’s your handle? Maybe I’ve run into you.” I had run into him. I was one of his favorite people and he had friended me on every game I knew he played.
“No way!” I gushed. “I’m Seeress2016.”
He dropped the keyboard. “You’re Seeress?” he asked looking me up and down and settling on my shoes as red filled his cheeks.
I wiggled my toes. “Like them? They’re new.”
“Yeah, they suit you.” They clashed horribly with the sequined top and jeggings I had on. “I mean, they...oh man.”
“Don’t worry about it, KnightRider. My real name is Cassy, by the way.”
“I’m Heph,” he said offering me his hand.
“I know,” I whispered. He was Heph, the man of my future, of my survival, my hero. Or he could have been, once upon a time.
This is written as a follow up to my latest release, Never Say Die. If you’d like to read about those other futures, find out why Cassy is ditching her ‘cool’ friend to hang out with a pimple-faced geek, check out the novel and the excerpt on my website: http://kimmydonn.com/node/5
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Kimberly Gould is the author of Cargon: Honour and Privilege, and it's sequel Duty and Sacrifice. She can be found most places as Kimmydonn, including Kimmydonn.com