Solace for Sale

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: Don't own these characters. R/R because you love Jubilee.

They come here for different reasons. Some of them come simply to acquire things, sometimes things they didn't even know they needed till they stepped foot on the tile floor and let the glass doors close behind them. Others come here to fulfill their hearts' desires, to find the one thing that will make their lives have more meaning. Some of them come out of boredom, hoping to kill the hours with a little self-indulgence. And some people come here because they honestly have nowhere else to go. It takes all kinds in America, in the land of the free. And within these hollowed walls, all people are free and equal so long as they have the cash to play the game. Because if there's any land of the free, it's the mall. Malls don't discriminate against age or sex, against race or genetics. As long as you've got bills in your wallet and change in your pocket you're in.

I lean back against a bench. It's fake wood but it's comforting in its familiarity. I sip my drink, purchased from the food court for $1.75, and listen to the sounds of pop radio weaving themselves in and out through the hustle and bustle of the citizens of the land of the free. It is an odd feeling to watch these people as they come and go, their attention spans lasting as long as the commercials for the products they're buying. Because it wasn't so long ago that I was on the other side of the fence. I take another sip of my drink and watch as a group of girls around my age exit a clothing store. Girls' night out, all ready to go with cellular phones and credit cards no doubt belonging to their fathers. Their speech is the usual teenage slang, trendy to boot because they're the type who keep up with things like that. It's not exactly like looking in a mirror because I'm definitely not that type anymore. It's more like looking into a window, a window to a part of my life I forgot about. Yeah, I guess it's something like that. It's weird the places life can take you. You can go up one end and down the other and up a completely different end, like a roller coaster. The girls move onward, the bubble letters of a sign notifying them that they should take advantage of a sale while there's still time left. Time left? Sure, there's always time left. Yeah, right.

I'm getting bitter now and it ain't my style. I was raised a whole lot better than that. But it's hard not to be bitter in my supposed old age of fifteen years. I look around this place and I see home staring back at me. But it was easier back then when I was out for kicks and thrills, easier back then when I just had myself. But even that's not quite right. The truth is that my life only seemed easier back then. People say ignorance is bliss. If that's true then this is one happy place, lemme tell ya. It's not that people are stupid, just that they ignore a lot of things. People don't like putting effort into things. Life gets hard and they whine and cry and wanna go back home where it's safe and they don't have to deal with things. But some things get shoved in your face whether you want them to or not.

So why am I here? I am here because Paige said that I should get out more. So what better place for me to go than home, right? True, it's not like the mall back in L.A. but, really, aren't all malls the same? But being here reminds me of how much my life has changed and who I've lost along the way. My parents, Everett, Angelo. But the world just keeps on moving. Day after day people just keep searching for the thing that will finally make them happy. But day after day they come here with their hopes held high that maybe today their lives will be complete and they don't find any solace. The world doesn't care though. The world doesn't care that I lost one really good friend and then someone I loved. God, I miss Ange sometimes. If he was here right now we'd be having so much fun. If he was here right now I'd be more like myself. We could sit here and laugh at something stupid someone was buying or how someone's haircut or fashion sense was so tacky and horrible. We could be irresponsible and cause mischief and be what kids our age are supposed to be. He could always make me smile. Sure he was annoying and a pain but, hey, people have said that about me for years. I should've told him how I felt. But there's always time right? Wrong, very dead wrong. Figures, the one time in my life that I'm cautious and it backfires on me.

This place was home once. I used to be a queen here and I used to feel so free and alive. But that was back when I was a kid and I was ignorant about a lot of things. Freedom's not really free. Some people have to die for it sometimes and if you're really unlucky it'll be people that didn't even deserve to die. I sit on a fake wooden bench and sip my $1.75 drink and listen to the pop radio as it plays over the speakers. People come here all the time always looking for something to make their lives complete. A new TV, a new set of clothes, some CDs, anything really. So what am I looking for to make me happy? I scan the crowd of happy shoppers, trying desperately to find it. If I can just see him one more time then maybe I can really be happy for a while. But I can't find a Hispanic boy with saggy, gray skin and a lopsided grin on his stupidly cute face. Just like the rest of the people here, I can't find what I'm really looking for to make myself truly happy. But the sad part is that, unlike most people, I know I never will. Maybe life was a lot better when I was ignorant.