“Oh my god, Ashton. How did you ever afford such a beautiful necklace,” Alison blurted as she examined the gold chain and the dangling heart-shaped emerald.
“Yeah, Ashton, how did you? As I recall seeing one exactly like it, at the Huntington’s jewelry store just last week.”
Patrick grinned at Ashton with mocking eyes.
“You bought it from Huntington’s,” Alison asked, thrilled by the news. “I was there last week with Jane, and I never saw anything like this, Ashton. When did you get it?”
Ashton stood there, his lips pursed like a fish. His mind went blank. Alison thought it was real and expensive, how was he to tell her he purchased it for twenty bucks at Arlen’s Discount Clothing. It didn’t even come in a box. He grimaced at her sweet facade for several seconds, not wanting to ruin her elation over the sparkling thing.
“Ashton,” she repeated. “When did you get it? It’s lovely!”
“Oh, I just got it a week or two ago,” he said, “Can’t really remember you know. I just saw it and knew you’d like it.”
“Oh, thank you, Ashton! I really do like it,” she blurted with a wide grin. “I will show Jane right now! I can’t believe she didn’t tell me her uncle had this at the store. You know he started working there last month.”
Ashton panicked. He quickly grabbed her arm when she turned to join Jane on the front steps of the house. Alison yelped as she tripped on his toes; falling hard onto her knees.
“Ugh! Ashton, why did you do that?”
She stood, rubbing her aching knees as Patrick erupted in high-pitch laughter.
“Shut up, Patrick. It’s not funny,” Ashton said as he squatted down to look at Alison’s bruised knee. “Sorry, babe. I just thought maybe you’d want to hang out with us a little longer. You don’t have to show Jane the necklace right now.”
“Oh yes I do, Ashton. I promised I’d show her what you got me for my birthday, and I want to show her. We can hang out tonight if you want to. Sarah is suppose to come with us to the mall in thirty minutes, anyways.”
Ashton’s heart sank as he watched her run from the kitchen. He knew Jane would tell her the truth: that there wasn’t ever a necklace like that at the store because it was fake. In fact, he knew Jane would take that opportunity to throw it in her face and make Alison hate him for good.
“Too bad, bro,” Patrick said; laughing under his breath. “I really thought it would work out. But you have to admit this is going to be hilarious to watch.”
“Oh, hilarious for you–maybe–but I’m dead meat when Jane gets done with her! And it’s all your stupid fault too, Patrick. Why did you have to tell her it was from Huntington’s?”
“I don’t know,” he said with a careless shrug, “thought it’d work. I thought it’d help ya out.”
“Liar. You knew she would run off and tell Jane. She tells Jane everything and you know Jane hates me.”
“Jane doesn’t hate you, she just likes to see you squirm. Besides, we all need a little excitement in our lives.”
“Excitement? I think I have enough excitement between you and Jane–too much in fact. Now, I need to fix this. She is going to be so upset–she won’t even want to talk to me.”Ashton sighed before looking up with regret. “Oh no! She’s gonna cry. I can’t handle her when she cries. I can’t stand it! This is all your fault, Patrick. All your fault!”
“Oh shove it, Ashy. Take it like a man. If it will make you feel better, you can go on and make Jane cry with a couple of swings. It might take a awhile, but I am sure you can get a tear to come out of that coarse beast called Jane. I know it will make me feel better.” He laughed. “Ewe! Jane could be a beastie with all that hair she grows. I tell her all the time to go into town and stock up on Nair and she won’t do it. She gets mad too. Don’t know what that’s about. Girls like advice don’t they? I mean if someone told me I was growing too much hair, I’d like to know.”
Ashton stood transfixed. He never realized how oblivious his friend could be–or stupid for that matter.
“What? You’re looking at me the way you look at dumb Carol. Like when she goes on and on about rainbow-colored ponies. Like that would ever happen! I swear, her parents must of smoked something when they had her. She’s soooo stupid!”
“Oh, really, Patrick? I think y’all would be a perfect couple,” Ashton replied before turning to see how much damaged Jane had done already.
“Hey! What’s that suppose to mean? She is stupid!”