Writing Prompt: What would you call this shade?

Good morning one and all. I woke up from a dream about running late, so even though the clock tells me I am still on my normal schedule, I feel like I am running late. So this morning I am not going to dawdle and just jump right into the morning prompt. Are you ready? Fabulous. Let’s begin.

That is really not where I was expecting that to go. I’m going to have to think about the group with the allowances for a bit and figure out what their situation is before continuing with this, but I am semi-interested in this. So it might take a while for me to circle back to it.

Thursday, January 6th: What would you call this shade?

“What would you call this shade?” She asked holding the dress up to herself and studying the image in the mirror’s reflection.

“Expensive,” I replied after glancing at the tag.  She frowned at me.

“I think it might be cherry apple,” she said.  Her frown cleared and she turned back to the mirror.  She was swaying a little so the dresses skirt could swing. 

“I think those are two different colors unless you are making a fruit salad,” I replied.  “And it is out of your price range.”

“I can afford it,” She told me.  She rolled her eyes and pulled the dress away from her body/  She stared down at it, ignoring the tag hanging off of the hangar.

“No you can’t,” I reminded her.  “You over spent your allowance every month for the last three months.”

“So then it will be expected,” She said.  “And if it is an expected expense then it isn’t overspending.”

“That’s not…” I began.  She didn’t listen and instead flounced off towards the register.  There was a line waiting and she veered off into jewelry and accessories.  I hoped the wait would give her time to think and decide against the purchase.  The hope was a slim one.

I sighed.  Grace had yet to realize actions had consequences.  She believed others would pay the consequences for her. 

‘The problem is that she is right,’ I thought. 

Each of us was given a small monthly stipend out of which we were expected to pay for what we needed or wanted, Grace included.  When she went over budget, the over spending was made up for by looking at everyone else’s budget and seeing what monies remained.  The ‘extra’  anyone else hadn’t spent yet was taken to make up for the lack.  Last month it left a couple of us in some tight spots.  Grace was merely told to try harder to stay within budget.

Deciding that I didn’t want to be in another tight spot just so Grace could have a new dress, I slipped my cell phone out of my pocket.  I pulled up a message to Ian.

‘SOS.’ I typed, ‘She isn’t listening to me about an expensive dress.’

I waited, keeping an eye on the line.  It wasn’t moving very quickly.  There was only one person at the register and there was a customer trying to make an exchange.  As this store was notoriously recalcitrant to honor either exchanges or refunds I wished her luck. 

My cell phone beeped. 

‘On It,’ was Ian’s reply.

I had no idea what that meant. 

‘Explain’, I texted back. 

There was no answer. 

I eased myself towards the front of the store.  Just so I could keep Grace in view.  She was modeling a pair of sunglasses in one of the mirror.  The dress was still in her hand as was a pair of matching earrings.

I felt something churning in my guts.  I had several bills coming due soon.  The money was in my account for them but if Grace’s spending came to light before the money left my account I could be in serious trouble. A car pulled up to the curb in front of the store.  Ian got out and raced into the building. 

He looked at Grace and walked over.  I could see him stop say something to her.  I moved closer.  His tone was urgent, but I couldn’t make out the words.  Grace nodded reluctantly.  Ian looked up, saw me and waved me over. 

“It’s an emergency, we need to go, now,” he told me. 

“But I haven’t paid,” Grace whined. “And I really want this dress.”

“You’ll have to get it some other time.” Ian told her. 

She sagged visibly but after a glance over to the still unmoving line, she put the sunglasses, earrings and dress back on the rack.  I hoped the emergency was made up because I felt nothing but relief as we walked out of the store emptyhanded.

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