“Damn it, Squared! I need you to do this! I don’t have a freaking job because you killed my boss, remember? Would it kill you to hold still for a few minutes for one lousy little photo shoot? T-shirts, remember? Posters? You said you would do this for me…” I pleaded with my sorta sister, pulling on her arm to get her into the Sears photo center… with absolutely no effect.
I didn’t even know there were any freaking Sears left, but when I googled the cheapest photo studios, this was it!
I mean, just look at my last sentence there. Should it be “Any Sears left?” Or “Any Searses left?” Or “Any Sears’ left?” I didn’t freaking know. They were probably going out of business because their name was weird. Served ‘em right I guess. Names that end in “s” are a no-no. Marketing 101 stuff. What idiot started that freaking company anyway? Oh yeah. Sears.
“Freaking I do not want to go,” said Squared.
“Why did you get to be the one who’s so freaking strong, Squared?” I said, pulling her arm as if I were playing tug of war now. She was winning.
Finally, I gave up and slumped to the ground. I pulled my knees to my chest and looked up at her.
“Why don’t you want to do this? It won’t be so bad. Promise!”
“I do not want my picture taken freaking.”
“Why? You’re freaking gorgeous! I mean, if I looked like you, I’d be looking for modeling gigs and stuff.”
“What is modeling?”
“Modeling is when you get professional makeup done and wear weird clothes and get your picture taken a bunch of time. Then they put the pictures in magazines or online ads.”
“You mean Instagram?”
“Instagram? No way! That’s like amateur modeling and random photography. I’m talking professional, baby!”
“Yeah… wait… not like ‘a professional!’ I mean… wait… you probably don’t even know what that means, do you?”
“I do. A freaking professional does something for a living. I studied the dictionary in the library.”
“Yes, you’re right. And you even used the word freaking correctly this time! It’s a miracle. As is the fact that there is still a library! Seriously? You went to the library?”
“What is wicked? Am I wicked?”
“Well, yeah, you are. But I meant wicked in a good way. I was talking about the library.”
“Why do you feel that the library is evil in nature?”
“I guess you can’t learn everything in the library. Like slang. Probably why you have so much trouble with freaking!”
“I rest my case.”
“I do not understand.”
“Library. Existence equals cool.”
“The temperature of the library is low.”
“Geez, Squared! For being a beautiful, super-powered genius, you are really freaking dumb, you know that?”
“I can speak.”
I dropped my head and let out an exasperated breath.
“Okay. So. Pictures. I’ll let you listen to my new Halsey album if you get your picture taken so I can finally make those Heart Stopper t-shirts and bumper stickers made…”
Before I could finish, she was gone.
“What the freaking hell?”
I looked around. There was no sign of her. Had she left? Gone into the studio finally? She was so fast that I couldn’t tell.
Well, since I was here…
I walked into the picture studio.
Squared was there having her picture taken.
When she was finished, I walked over and hugged her.
“Thanks, S. What finally changed your mind?”
“You said I could listen to the new Halsey album. I like that.”
“Holy crap! Seriously? How do you even know about Halsey?”
“Everyone knows about Halsey.”
“Email?” Asked the pimple-faced eighteen-year-old photography professional. No wonder it was cheap!
“What kind of email is that? Hiker Angel? Lame.”
“Hey! Screw you, buddy!”
“That’ll be $27.95,” Mr. Pimple said.
“$27.95! On the web site, it said $9.95!”
“I don’t know, lady. I just work here.”
“Not for long, probably.” Reason #2 that Sears/Sears’/Searses are going out of business.
“Look, lady, do you want the pictures or not?”
“Squared? Tear his freaking heart out!”
Squared smiled evilly. Mr. Pimple’s eyes went wide.
“Okay, okay! No need to get violent! $9.95 it is.”
I smiled. Poor negotiation skills on his part. Reason #3 that Sears/Sears’/Searses are going out of business. I suppose I was cheating a little with a superheroine/villainess on Team Louisa. Still, if you’ve got a nuclear weapon in your back pocket, might as well use it, right?
Okay, playing that last line back in my head doesn’t sound so good. Strike that.
“Remember… firstname.lastname@example.org, kid! You better freaking send those pictures. Remember, I’ll sic Squared on your sorry ass… er, heart!”
“Okay, lady. Sheesh. They’re already sent. Check your phone!”
“I, uh, ran out of data.”
“Seriously? Who doesn’t have unlimited data these days?”
“Screw you, buddy?” Wait! Hadn’t I said that already? Oh, well. Who cares. I’m done with this guy anyway.
“May I have the headphones?”
“First off, no one says may. It’s freaking archaic, Squared. That’s the kind of stupidity you get from a freaking library.”
Squared gave me a threatening look.
I handed her the headphones.
“Okay, Squared. Halsey away.”
“Thank you freaking.”