Timeline - Current
Clarice bounced along the floor happily, slurping on a slushi and ignoring the stares with the air of one praticed in doing so, "-So, would me wearing a headscarf like the ones you wear be offensive? 'Cos I really liked that blue one you wore the other day but I'm not muslim, and like ... that last thing I wanna do is offend anyone," she asked her companion.
"I would not find it offensive." Sooraya shook her head, glancing around the mall they had drifted into. "Just because you do not share the reasoning behind wearing one should not keep you from wearing something you like."
"Yay!" Clarice grinned around her straw, "Though I'm not sure I'd be able to buy one today," she tapped the pocked of her faded jeans that contained her allowence, "I'm so excited, I've never been proper clothes shopping before!"
"I will have to say, it is a different experience here." She chuckled, glancing around and observing some of the eyes that Clarice had been ignoring. "Odd but fun. I can get used to having a slushie each time I believe as well."
"Do you have malls where you're from ... I forgot where you said you were from exactly," she flushed a little at admitting that, "Um ... was it a city or were you like, in the middle of the countryside, and slushie's definetly need to become a thing for everytime we're out!"
"There are malls in Herat, yes. The city center mall looks a good deal like this. So it's similar but different all at the same time. I believe that might actually make it stranger."
Clarice thought about this for a moment, then nodded, "Yeah, the familiar being unfamiliar is more unsettling then the just plain weird," she concluded, "so I guess all the shops are different for you, no Claire's Accessories or anything?" She pointed at shop in question as they went past.
"No, no. I cannot say as that looks familiar. We have stores sort of similar, of course...though if I do say so that looks a bit...cheap?"
"It's for like .... teenybopper types off to spend thier allowances," Clarice shrugged, "I think their target shopper is like .... fourteen year old girls?" They walked past it and Clarice peered into a few of the shops, "Maybe we should try that one?" She pointed at a JC Penny's, "It doesn't look too expensive."
"That makes sense then." She nodded, glancing over at the store Clarice was pointing out. "Sure, it looks okay. Is there anything you're looking for specifically?"
"Umm, just some basic things, all the clothes I have are from charity or thrift shops ... and that includes underwear," she pulled a face, "yeah ... I think new undies are like ... top of the list!" She made her way inside.
"That should be easy enough then." She looked around though, biting her lip. "I suppose the first question is where in here are they."
"Erm ..." Clarice spun on the spot, looking around, "Oh! I see socks over there, they should be with the socks in theory," she made her way into sock territory, "Do you need anything while we're here?"
"I should look for coats and boots. Winter will be a new thing and I figure I should be sure to be prepared for it."
Clarice smiled, snagging a basket and starting to toss multi-packs of underwear and socks (all brightly coloured and horribly girly) into it, "Yeah, I can still remember my first winter in the US, it was definetly new ... and cold."
"I do not think I will like the cold too terrible much. Snow should be an interesting thing, however." Sooraya eyed the clothes around, picking up one of the nearby pairs of underwear out on the table, a little imp in her mind tempting her to see how far they would sling-shot.
Clarice was staring at the bras, conplicated creations of lace and wire with strange sizes ... she had no idea what she was, and generally she stuck with sports bras anyway due to her active lifestyle ... maybe an adventure for another time ... possibly with Jean-Paul, she had the feeling dragging him along bra shopping would be hilarious, slingshots and bra earmuffs would probably be involved.
"I did like snow when I first saw it, it was like ... magical ... the snowballs with stones in not so much." She grabbed a few new sports bras that she knew were her size.
"...snowballs with stones?"
She looked up, concerned, the underwear snapping haphazardly back to the table.
Clarice giggled at the undies pinging across the table, "Yeah, some of the other kids at the homes were really mean," she lifted her hair up to show a small scar going across her left ear, "I got that from a loaded snowball when I was eleven, but you shouldn't have to worry about that here, everyone I've met is really nice so far, you just need to worry about the cold when one hits you."
Unsure if she could manage to not wonder if each snowball contained rocks, Sooraya pulled a little face. "Yes, it would not seem we need to be concerned here." Hopefully.
"Stone in snowballs is mean and stupid, you can really hurt someone with them," Clarice let her hair fall back, "I don't think there's anyone that malicious at the school ... when the snows come we could make snowmen too ... or should that be snowpeople in this day and age?" She wondered, changing the subject to something a bit more happier.
Sooraya was fairly certain it wasn't the school's inhabitants that they should worry about. "We will have to try sledding as well. That is the word, right?"
"Oooh yeah!" Clarice clapped, "I'm sure they'll have sleds at the school, and if not we can always ask Ankka about it, he knows all about sledding," she did a quick mental calculation of how much she'd spent on underwear, "Okay, I should have enough to get myself a new jacket, I desperetly need one, can you see where the jackets are?"
"I think they're down the other way." She pointed down the opposite asile they had come. "I hope they have some coats out all ready. Do you think it's too early?"
Clarice nodded, "Should do, it's nearly the end of september after all," they started to make thier way through the racks of clothes, Clarice seemingly deaf to the whispering going on, "I'll get myself a winter coat next time my allowence comes through, the one I've got at the moment is still holding up," she started to browse the jackets.
The whispering was making Sooraya a bit nervous on the other hand as she wasn't used to it. She tried to tune it out, though, looking through the coats. "Durability is a very good thing, especially when it is warm."
Clarice nodded, picking out a dark green faux leather jacket and double checking it really was faux, "Wow ... this looks fancy, never had a fancy coat before," she grinned and slipped it on, "What do you think?" She lifted her arms up and down to check it wasn't too tight, "it fits okay."
"I think it looks very nice, it goes well with your skin and everything." Sooraya nodded appreciatively, trying on a coat and stepping up beside Clarice.
"Yeah, one of the downsides to my fantastic pigmentation, you tend to stick with what works," she smiled, slipping it off, "Oooh, that one looks comfy, is it?" She asked, admiring Sooraya's choice.
"It is a very lovely colour, but I can understand how it would be difficult to work with." Sooraya looked down at her own coat, running her hands over it. "It is definitely comfortable. I think I quite like it."
Clarice smiled, "Thanks, I'm actually kinda lucky when it comes to colour, at least my hair doesn't match ... I once met one girl, lime green skin and orange hair and eyes, no joke, poor girl, she said she was a goth out of self defense, black was the only thing that worked in any sort of way for her," she put the jacket in her basket, "Are we done here then, you think?"
"Yes, I believe we're done." Sooraya agreed, hearing more whispers from behind them and glad at the prospect of being finished. "I am not familiar with goth, though. I'm afraid you might have to explain that to me."
"Oh ... goth is like ... people who dress all in back with like ... spikes and piercings and stuff, and they listen to death metal and stuff, sometimes they make themselves up really pale and like to pretend they're vampires," Clarice said, leading the way to the cashier, "generally they like depressing and angry stuff."
"Oh, that sounds...interesting." she looked very confused at the last portion, not sure how one went about liking depressing and angry things all the time.
"I think they're a bit wierd, but if it keeps them happy who are we to argue," Clarice dropped her basket onto the counter and gave the cashier her most winning smile, "I'd like to buy these please."
The woman looked down her nose at the mutant, "I'm sorry, but we reserve the right to refuse sale," she said, not sounding sorry in the least.
Clarice's lilac eyebrows shot up, "Huh?" She asked in a hurt voice.
Sooraya arched an eyebrow high at that, giving the sales girl a look over. "May we ask why?"
"Isn't it obvious?" The woman gave them both a filthy look, however Clarice only noticed the look she gave Sooraya and the totally wrong penny dropped.
"Oh ... Ooooh, I get it now," Clarice said in a tone of great offense, "And personally I think that is absolulty disgusting!" She raised her voice and pointed an accusatory finger at the girl, "And don't think I won't be complaining to my supervisor about how you're refusing to serve my friend just because she's a muslim, we could get you fired for that!"
That was not the conclusion that Sooraya had come to...but Clarice seemed to be very set on her assumption being correct. "Um, maybe we should just go?"
"No! You shouldn't be forced out of a store just because of the religion you chose to follow, I'm buddist, are you going to kick me out?" Clarice demanded, her voice loud and full of rightous indignation, "My friend has only just arrived in this country, you're doing the US a terrible disservice, you should be ashamed of yourself ma'am!"
The cashier looked a mixture of stunned and non-plused, this was not how she imagined that conversation would go, "Wait! I meant-" Clarice was drawing quite a crowd, a very unhappy crowd when they heard the accusations of racism against a young girl. The cashier hunched her shoulders with a hunted look, "I ... I'm sorry, please I-I didn't mean-" Oh God, her superviser was comming over to see what all the shouting was about and the mutant was likely to make thngs very bad and very confusing very, very quickly.
A part of Sooraya really wanted to get out of this store. After all, why should she give her money to a place like this. Another part, however, another everso slightly naughty part, really wanted to see how this played out. "I think perhaps we had rather speak with your manager."
Oh yes, and there were people watching. She was sure she shouldn't enjoy this half as much as she was.
"Oh I don't think that's-" She started, but was interupted by her supervisor, "Just what seems to be the trouble here?"
Before the poor cashier had a chance to say anything, the angry pink mutant cut her off, "Your cashier has refused to serve us because of my friend's religion!" She accused.
"Really now?" The man looked around at the crowd, and while he was pretty sure that wasn't the whole story, he could see which way the wind was blowing and perhaps discression might be advisable here to avoid an even larger scene, "Well I must appologise to you young ladies, we have a zero tollerence policy when it comes to discrimination," he said loudly to appease the audience.
"Please, we are happy to serve all colours and creeds, perhaps I might offer you both a twenty doller voucher for our store by way of appology?"
Clarice arched a thin eyebrow before turning to Sooraya, "Are you okay with that, or do you wanna take it further?"
Sooraya bit her lip, reminding herself to not be greedy about it...but how perfect was that? "I believe that I will be okay with that." She admitted, sounding somewhat relunctant.
Clarice frowned at the tone, but nodded, "Okay, thank you." She told the superviser.
The man smiled in obvious relief and shooed the cashier out of the way, "I'll hand this, you go take a break or something," he told her. She didn't need telling twice and pratically scurried away as he rang through thier items and handed them both thier vouchers, "Thank you, once again my most sincere appologies."
Clarice shrugged, taking her bag, "It's okay, come on Soo, let's get out of here," she said as the crowd started to disperse since the entertainement was obviously over.
Sooraya swept out of the store alongside Clarice, a smile growing bigger and bigger despite her attempts to hide it the further away they got from the store.
"I believe I may have done something wicked."
"What?" Clarice looked horrified, "Oh nononono! You did nothing wrong there! It was that mean racist lady who was mean to you! Don't let her-" she caught the expression on Sooraya's face, "... Why are you grinning like that if you feel bad?"
"Well...I do not feel so badly about what happened as it was well deserved." She admitted. "But I do not believe the woman at the register was turning us away because I am muslim or Afghani."
"Really? But I saw her giving you a dirty look-oh ... it was 'cos you were with me, wasn't it?" The correct penny dropped this time.
She nodded, smile slipping a bit. "But, you know...that should teach the store a lesson, yes? If they have such an anti-discrimination police they should stick to it."
Clarice managed a small smile and shrugged her shoulders, "You gotta point there, I guess I've just gotten so used to it that I don't notice or let it bother me when it's aimed at me," she swung her bag and tossed her empty slushie cup into a trash can, "and karma paid us back by giving us those vouchers huh?"
"Though, seriously Sooraya," she said carefully, "I know that some people ... well, some people don't like the attention that being seen with me brings, and I don't hold it against them ... so if you'd rather .. you know, I'd understand totally ... heck even without looking the way I do I'm a crowd puller," she laughed lightly.
"...I think we should find out what other stores will try to do that to you and bring justice and vouchers...is that wicked of me?"
Clarice looked at her, then laughed a little harder, "I think that depends on how you look at it, it's a big of a morally grey area really, one the one hand we're being con artists ... but on the other we can warn all our friends which shops to avoid."
"In any cae I say we shall shop together often...just in case it happens again."
"Awesome!" Clarice flashed her a wide grin, "So in that case, wanna go check out how racist the people working at the salad bar might be?"
"I believe I do."
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