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Sadness Augmentation; I have no clue what grocery stores exist over in America (open!)
Topic Started: Feb 15 2016, 01:02 AM (1,257 Views)
Yugikun
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((Alvaro Vacanti, continued from Bad Days, Bad Moods, Bad Burgers))

And there was the ice cream, in lane two. Alvaro opened the freezer door and grabbed it, taking it out and closing the door as quick as he could. He slowly lowered the tub into the bottom of the trolley, grabbing his shopping list and moving it out of the way. That was another item off the list, although he still had a considerable amount more to go. He was about halfway through, but it seemed that most of the stuff he still had to get (fruits and vegetables, for the most part) was in one section of the grocery store. He took the pen out of his pocket, and ticked ice cream off the list, before heading out to the main section of the store. It was cold here, even with the freezer door closed, so Alvaro decided that he was going to figure out his plan of action somewhere else.

He walked through the aisle, looking at the other people who walked past him with their trolleys. Nobody he knew from school, nobody he knew who worked at the cafe. It was a little surprising, to be honest, but today was his first time shopping for the family so he wasn’t really surprised that something he thought would happen didn’t. The Vacanti’s didn’t go shopping that much, mostly because they didn’t cook that often. It was a little surprising, them owning and working at a cafe and all, but when it came to all of them sitting at the dinner table, nobody really wanted to cook after a day of either cooking or working. They generally ordered take-out instead, and they shopped for only the basics that they couldn’t take from the cafe; salt, pepper, fruit, and other desserts.

He was at the front of the store now, close to the counters. He wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen when he had to leave the store with his things. Was he allowed to take the trolley home with him? He wasn’t quite sure; again, he hadn’t gone shopping before and he had no real idea of what the procedures were. He tapped his pointer finger on the handle of the trolley. What would happen if he did something wrong? Would he be laughed at? Reprimanded? Were there fines he had to pay for not following the right grocery etiquette? He looked around, partially looking for where he had to go next and partially trying to figure out what he had to do when he had finished.

He started taking a couple of steps towards the fruit and vegetable section of the store, feeling the trolley reluctantly going with him. He still wasn’t quite sure what he had to do, but he had a faint idea, at least.
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TwelveFourtyFive
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((Darius Van Dyke continued from Nants Ingonyama Bagithi Baba))

One might wonder why Darius took a picture of a pineapple with his phone. The reason is the irony of spamming a douche with a picture of a pineapple where a hand revealing the middle finger is shown. That douche was called SpongeBot in the IRC and linked him to this virus he managed to prevented from harming his computer. Hopefully.

Besides, he had to buy stuff. Not a pineapple, but bananas and apples, for example. Kingman's shops were favourable.

Putting the phone back into his jeans, he was walking with his shopping basket, where bananas, apples, but also ham were in it. And energy drinks, of course. Darius noticed a known face.

"Whoa, you and food together? I did not expect that", Darius said, before laughing at his own joke. He approached him and pat on Alvaro's shoulder, adding: "You're the opposite of Bart. You should really eat. It's healthy." Darius had to keep a big grin on his face while saying that.
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Yugikun
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Alvaro hummed along to the music as he walked towards the fruits and vegetables section, his eyes looking elsewhere, trying to see if he could find any other people he knew. Even outside of school he knew a couple of people through the cafe (although they were far less regular customers and didn’t really talk to him that much), so he figured that he’d find someone if he looked hard enough. He questioned a little bit how much people went shopping for groceries, he knew that his mom usually went around every two weeks, but they didn’t need to buy food that much, and food seemed to comprise most of the shelves here. Hmm, maybe he’d ask one of his cafe friends next time they appeared, he was interested enough in the question to ask it. Plus, as someone studying how to run a business he should probably know about customers a bit more. Maybe study demographics a bit more.

He also noticed that most of the people shopping were much older than he was. Was he the only kid who was doing their parents shopping for them?

The arm of Darius Van Dyke suddenly patting his shoulder answered that question for Alvaro. Alvaro was… not that fond of Darius. He was a jerk, and while him and Alvaro usually didn’t interact much it was pretty clear that Darius liked to pick on him. And other people too, apparently, judging by his comment about Bart. Alvaro looked around, trying to see if there was a way he could get out of here, but he doubted that there was any escape here. It seemed that he had to enter conversation with someone he really didn’t want to talk to.

Okay Alvaro, you can do this. Breathe in, breathe out, then:

“I… probably shouldn’t. I should probably eat a little healthy, being on the soccer team, and all.” He didn’t turn around, mostly because Darius’s hand was still on his shoulder.

“Oh! Hi, by the way.”
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TwelveFourtyFive
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Darius released his hand from the shoulder of that blonde boy. "Glad that you told me that you're currently high", he enthusiastically spoke up while grinning. "That was a necessary information for the well-being of everyone around here", he said with a rather bored tone.

What the fuck was going on with the Alvaro kid anyway? 'Hi' after already talking? Who does that? Maybe he was really high.

"Playing soccer requires energy, though. Is your blood sugar level a basement?"
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Primrosette
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((Scarlett McAfee continued from A Most Worthy Quest))

Scarlett had to accept that she didn't eat of lot of healthy food and now she was standing in the fruit and vegetable section, hoping to get some food that would be healthy for her. She was trying to figure out what to get. She was a bit of a picky eater so she would either love something she had or the complete opposite of that. She had already got some strawberries and green apples as she really enjoyed having them. Now she was gazed down at some mixed vegetables. She could have that for tonight. Well, not the whole lot of it. She didn't want to be too greedy.

Her train of thoughts were disturbed when she saw that Alvaro Vacanti was coming towards her with a trolley. She thought that he was a sweet guy, but maybe a bit quiet at times. She had been to the café where he worked a few times and they had some delicious food there. She had tried try to talk with him there but he seemed too busy to have the time to have a conversation with her. Maybe now was her chance to get to know him better.

Before she could even say hi to Alvaro, Darius Van Dyke popped up behind him and Scarlett stopped herself from speaking for a few seconds. Darius was the sort of person that Scarlett wasn't really that fond of. He was the type of guy that Scarlett would try to avoid at all costs. Scarlett had many reasons for not liking a person like him. She should at least try to intervene as she could see that Alvaro didn't seem to like having Darius there. The poor guy looked really uncomfortable and it was making Scarlett feel sorry for him. She had to do something at least.

Scarlett approached the two guys with a small smile and she stopped just at Alvaro's side. She hoped that she wasn't invading his personal space. "Hi, Alvaro!" She nodded to him and then she shot a serious glare at Darius. "Darius isn't bothering you, is he?"
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“...Excuse me?” What did Darius mean when he said that Alvaro was high? Was that a good thing? Was that a bad thing? He wasn’t quite sure. There were a couple words that his classmates liked to use that he still had no idea about the meaning of. What did Cadeyn mean when she said that she “shipped” two people together, for instance? He didn’t know, and he wasn’t going to ask anytime soon. Knowing Cadeyn it probably wasn’t something he would like. Another word he wasn’t quite sure what the meaning was was “high.” Was Darius mocking him? Alvaro looked around. Again, there wasn’t really any route of escape. Even if there was, Darius would mock him for taking it. Even if it was behind his back, he knew that he’d do it, and Alvaro didn’t like that. No. He had to get out of here in a way that was natural and wouldn’t result in Darius mocking him.

Luckily for Alvaro, a third person came down the aisles, saying hi to him. He looked up, and it was Scarlett! She was someone that Alvaro knew from school, and she went to the cafe, but he had never gotten the chance to talk to her, much. He either had to work at the counter that day or he had more customers whenever she arrived, it seemed. But still, she was a good presence. She was nice, and while he didn’t know much more about her than that, it was good enough for him, especially with Darius behind him.

As she approached both of them, she said hi (to which he responded with a wave) and asked if Darius was bothering him. Alvaro looked behind him, before looking back at her? Should he tell the truth? That Darius said that he was high and he didn’t know what that meant? Wait, no. If he did that then she’d likely knew what it meant and then she’d likely laugh at him for not knowing, so he couldn’t say that. He had to lie, as much as he didn’t want to. She was nice, she deserved the truth, but it was better for him to lie.

“Um… No.” He replied.
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Cicada Days
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((Ben Fields continued from Sam's Town))

Shopping for the produce was always the awkward part of a grocery trip, as far as Ben was concerned. Lana didn't really like her greens, he didn't really like his greens, heck even Mom tried to discretely keep her portions of the fresh stuff vanishing. But health was one of the basics of any household, and thus it was one of Ben's top priorities. Even if he didn't really know which vegetables needed to be cooked versus being served raw. Ditto for the type of cooking. Boiled or mashed or stuck in a stew, Ben usually just did whatever and hoped it tasted passable. He was learning though, slowly. He'd managed a decent stir-fry sorta deal the last time he'd had some carrots and cabbage on the burner, and he was pretty proud about that.

Ben was at that time gingerly poking around a basket display of zucchini. He swore the damn things essentially just looked like cucumbers, trying to figure out the deal with the different name was his halfhearted struggle of the moment. This really was not worth the time; he could try to get fancy about his purchases at a time when he wasn't in danger of running out of fucks. He rolled his eyes, forced them up and away. That's how he saw the others.

Appraised the girl first because why not, looking at girls (in a non-creepy fashion) could brighten any moment. Ben didn't recognize her by name, she was one of those passing faces. Next was blondie. There was a recognizable face, Alvaro Vacanti, or however that last name was supposed to go. A pretty cool guy at school, and Lana's number one choice when they had the cash and time to eat out was the Vacanti cafe and 'that cool guy who teaches me how to play chess when I ask'. Essentially an ace dude in Ben's books, though their conversations in the past had hinted there was maybe some faulty wiring under the surface. Nothing quite Henry Spencer 'holy fuck what is this' level, but enough to stand out. To make him a target, unfortunately.

Hence the presence of the third person, who didn't really need or warrant any proper introduction. Okay, that wasn't fair. Darius wasn't that bad, some of his more 'nope' affiliations aside. In theory this wasn't what it looked like, but Ben's suspicions were perked all the same. Just a healthy bit of watchful concern prickling the hairs on the back of his neck. Warranted or not Ben quickly rationalized that this would be a chance to observe Darius in the wild, see if he was actually playing nice or not. What was that saying? Old habits died hard.

Not too long, he told himself, just a few couple minutes before he got back to his other business. He hunkered down, tucking his lithe form against the sturdy arm of his cart. Pretended he was silently vibing out to whatever generic shit was playing over the store radio while he kept his eyes casually scanning about with semi-regular glances at the cluster of dorks. He tried to keep tabs on the mood in case his presence at any point would be welcome.
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TwelveFourtyFive
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More Cochise people coming to this section of the mall. Great. And the newcomers probably have the intention of trying to defend the poor, innocent Alvaro from the evil, criminal Darius.

Scarlett, defending Alvaro as if Darius tried to get his lunch money. Darius wasn't that kind of guy. He wasn't like Michael.

And did he even need to mention Ben "Spikey" Fields? He's watching them from the back. Maybe Ben Affleck wasn't the next Batman. Ben Fields is. Watching Gotvegetable City.

If they want to play cop and undercover cop respectively, they should go to the fucking donut section, dammit. Geez, was it a donut station for cops? No it wasn't, it was a vegetable section. That's like the opposite of donuts.

"I'm the least bothering person! We were having a civil discussion about how cucumbers can be used as..."

Did he want to finish it that way?

"...eye pads."
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Primrosette
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Scarlett had a feeling that Alvaro would say no. He was obviously lying but she wasn't going to push it. If Alvaro wanted Darius around then she guessed that was okay with her. Although, she was sure that Darius said something bad before she approached the both of them. Oh well. If Alvaro didn't want any drama then that was good for her to know. Shouting at Darius in a grocery store wasn't something that she would like to do. Ever.

Scarlett raised an eyebrow at Darius when he just told a joke. She wasn't even sure if it was a joke because it just sounded really bad. She should laugh, right? No, no. She couldn't laugh at that. It was just one of the worst things that Darius could say. Maybe she could just try to be polite to make things less awkward for Alvaro. The poor guy looked really confused anyway.

Scarlett showed Darius a small smile. "Was that a joke? It sounded kinda.... terrible, Darius...." She said a bit too honestly. Well, so much for being polite. "....Uh....Got any other jokes I could laugh at...?" She was now trying to be kinder. Oh, well. If Darius didn't want to talk to her again then she would be happy.
Edited by Primrosette, Mar 1 2016, 05:13 AM.
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Yugikun
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“...No we weren’t?” Alvaro had no idea what Darius was talking about. Darius just kinda came up to him while he was shopping and tried bothering him, they didn’t choose to do… whatever he said they were doing together. Was this another way of mocking Alvaro? Was this a joke or something he shared between himself and Scarlett? He didn’t really interact with them much in school, so it was entirely possible that they were super close friends or something. He hoped that wasn’t the case. If the person he thought was going to help him out here was actually in on the joke that would make getting away from Darius that much harder.

But apparently Scarlett wasn’t in on the joke. She apparently had no idea what Darius meant. Of course it was still possible that this was a trap meant to lull Alvaro into a sense of false security, but that seemed unlikely. Well, Scarlett was smart enough to think of that, but… he didn’t know. He didn’t want to insult Darius, but there was something about him that made Alvaro doubt his abilities. He wasn’t dumb, or anything, but Alvaro didn’t know. There was a word that he could use but it just wasn’t coming to his mind.

He looked and turned his head between the two until he noticed someone hanging out near the zucchini. Hey, another person he knew from school! Ben was someone he shared a few classes with, and the fact that he was on the anti-bullying committee meant that he could be trusted. He also came to the cafe with his sister, occasionally! He didn’t talk to Alvaro much, but his association with his sister (who wanted Alvaro to teach her how to play chess, not the best way to learn it, but Alvaro still liked it nonetheless) meant that he could pretty easily be called a friend. He called out from where he was.

“Hey, Ben!”
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Cicada Days
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Darius said something and judging by the blank faces and awkward smiles it had fallen flat. Pretty much in character.

But then two of the three had somehow noticed him. Discrete eyes be damned. At least Ben could stop pretending he had any faith in the store tunes. He raised his hand, a single sharp wave, and began to wheel his cart over. About as quickly as he needed to be sure he didn't miss another killer line. Would have been a tragedy. Just check out the heads of lettuce, those were looking real nice and crisp through the plastic. Maybe some of those shriveled up mushrooms that looked like the next coming of the Cheryl's 'incident', those would-

Okay. He couldn't exaggerate this shit out too long, that would be rude to Alvaro and his lady friend (?).

"Hey guys." No names since he didn't have the girl's on retainer. Just an easy and distantly kind smile and a couple of nods each. The mood was definitely tense in a vaguely pathetic kind of way, and Ben wondered how his appearance was going to change that. If at all. "If we're forming some kind of study club here I'm down to mooch off whoever the smart one is." With any luck nobody was actually going to take that one seriously, but with the characters assembled the possibility was unfortunately real. Ben tucked his cart's worth of vittles out of the way, somewhere in plain sight. Gotta show off those Cheerios.
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"Shuddup", he quietly and quickly said in response to Alvaro's fun ruining, before turning to Scarlett again. Scarlett wanted a joke? Scarlett will get a joke.

"Okay, so a joke. Where did soldier John hide after a bomb attack?"

Ben came. "Any ideas? You, Spikey?"

Darius then turned to Alvaro, asking him for the answer.

"Any calls, Alva-"

Darius jumped back, with a surprised face.

"Fuck! I thought there were suddenly ropes hanging from your torso...But it were just your arms."

Did Darius point out enough already, that Alvaro should eat more? There's no too much, until it was too much, though. Anyway, Darius had a smug grin on his face again.
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Primrosette
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Scarlett realized that things were getting uncomfortable between the three of them. She could surprisingly sense it. Oh, she didn't even know that someone was watching the drama and they came over to her, Alvaro and Darius. Oh, it was actually a student from school. Ben Fields. He was a nice guy who likes baseball and he was against bullying. Which was great. She was sure that they never talked but she knew a little about him.

Then Darius made things much more worse by making fun of Alvaro. Scarlett was not okay with that and Darius had a stupid grin on his face. Ugh! She really did despise this guy. She also wanted to kick him in the family jewels because he was such a complete jerkass.

But Scarlett stay calm and she didn't laugh at all. What Darius said was just insulting. She and Alvaro weren't that close but she felt like she wanted to stand up for him. "Hey, that's not funny at all, you jerk. Just leave Alvaro alone. He doesn't need this crap from someone like you!" She snapped at Darius in an irritated tone and she was now giving a death glare to Darius. ".....You went too far."
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Yugikun
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...What?

Darius had just told Alvaro to shut up. He had just told Alvaro to shut up. It was true then. Darius hated him. He hated him and thought that he was annoying and thought that he was an idiot and didn’t even want to make fun of him, just wanted to say outright how much he hated Alvaro. There was no escape now. He had to face what Darius had to say. If he tried to move away then Darius would mock him and even if he couldn’t hear it it’d still be terrible. Getting insulted right in his face was bad, but the idea that someone could be mocking or making fun of him without him knowing about it just scared him. He knew that they were doing it as well. Darius did it, Isaac did it; but it was a matter of who else did it, who else did it behind his back. What was Scarlett actually like? Was Ben as nice to him at home as he was at school? He didn’t know, and that was the scary part.

And then Darius made the joke about his arms and he legitimately wanted to be anywhere but here. He took a step back, and turned his head away slightly so that he couldn’t see Darius. He could feel his hand start to quiver. He wanted to say something back, tell Darius how that wasn’t right and how he didn’t appreciate his bullying, but he couldn’t form the words. Why were things like this? What was wrong with him? What did he do to give Darius the right to insult and demean him? He didn’t know. He didn’t know and he hated that because he knew that people didn’t like him but not why or how he could change himself so that they liked him. What was wrong with him? Was he too outgoing? Did he not sound right? Was it because he didn’t have to shop for things that they didn’t have to? He didn’t know, and it was racking his head. There were so many possibilities for what was wrong with him and he didn’t know which ones they were and he just needed to get out of here but he couldn’t because then Darius would mock him and he’d have to go past one of the three so he couldn’t do it without being unnoticed and maybe once he they knew he couldn’t hear they’d laugh at him and why why why was he here why was he doing the shopping why did he stay when he first saw Darius and there were so many things stacking up in his head and he didn’t know how to go about them and he just needed to get out of here and go to the cafe and see Lily or Adelaide or Barry or someone. Yes. Good Idea. Not something he could do, though.

He heard Scarlett defend him, but he didn’t notice it. He was too busy in his own mind to notice what was going on.
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"Any ideas? You, Spikey?" Hell no. There probably wasn't even a punchline. Maybe if there was one it was the sort of punchline with the emphasis on 'punch'. As in, 'punch Darius for his sins'. Ben couldn't even try to get anything reasonably witty in response before Darius was wildly taking another shot. Pretty much firing blanks, which was probably a particularly mean way to describe the dude's love life. Oh damn, now there was a mean comment Ben would probably do well to never riposte with in civilized conversation. Jury was still out on what this four-car wreckage of a social interaction counted for.

Well okay, things weren't just cruising along. Alvaro seemed to be genuinely upset somehow, his eyes were kinda somehow getting blank. That sort of blankness Ben knew well, the universal distress call tapping out 'please please please stop it' in frantic Morse. Wait, had Darius even really done anything that was that bad? That cinched it, Alvaro definitely had some loose gasket somewhere in his poor innocent brain. Fried as his cafe's grease traps. It all meant... fuck it if Ben knew. Nuance wasn't something Ben felt comfortable with. A bully was a black and white kinda deal, but when it fell along not-so-obvious lines like this situation then it was like: what the heck was Ben supposed to do? Nobody was really clearly the wronged party as far as Ben was concerned...

Okay, there was clearly a distressed party. Really warranted or not Alvaro needed some of the heat taken off his shoulders.

However the hell Ben was going to manage that. Fuck it. He was going to take a shot in the dark. Blind kinda intervention, sans exit plan.

"Yeesh, Darius, you're really flailing for them aren't ya?" Was Ben supposed to actually address Alvaro directly? Would that just set him off further, delicate as he seemed? "Don't think the current audience is really so receptive man." Ben spread his arms, a peace offering in Jesus shilouette. "What is it they say? Pick on someone your own size?" Shit, was that gonna insult Alvaro and Scarlett through proxy? Too fucking late to take it back, whatever. Just keep firing until the clip was emptied, that was the only way now. "Why don't you just leave 'em alone man?" And what about the girl? Like, Ben even got the sense that Scarlett was being overaggressive about it all. Kinda bullish herself. "At least lay out the dumbass punchlines on me, you know? I'd actually enjoy them... Well okay, enjoy is stretching it."

Ben gestured down an aisle. "Leave the innocents alone and fight a real fight for a bit, huh?"
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