July 20th, 2016
Parker was at the end of his rope. He needed to stay awake and Starbucks was expensive so he had to opt for a more homegrown option. And that required a dangerous quest to Walmart to retrieve commoner's coffee because that's where poor people shopped and that meant nothing he could've afforded as a not poor person would be found there. It was upsetting considering he had never set foot inside the establishment, Parker had only heard whispers of the unspeakable horrors that took place here. Sales and discounts existed here. He didn't know if he liked that or if it was the green light to run the other way. He laughed at kids that shopped at Walmart as a kid and now he had to actually go inside and try not to touch anything but what he came for.
It was going to be a valiant effort. He may not even come back alive. Steeling his nerves, Parker slowly got out of his porsche, let out a breath and marched towards the building with his chest puffed out with gusto and his ball cap worn backwards. Like he was a frat boy here for a beer run. Soon he was inside the establishment, glancing everywhere with a furtive of expression. He would not be touched, that was rule number one. People here probably had diseases and their perpetual poorness could rub off on him. So far though they looked normal, but perhaps that's what they wanted him to think. Then they'd leap in for the kill and drag his carcass back to their lair under a dumpster somewhere. it was his theory and he was going to stick with it.
The only problem with his plan was the fact that he had no idea where he was going in here. There was like a billion aisles and despite the plethora of people to choose from, which one was safe? Was there a safe zone here? What if his family never heard from him again? Letting out a breath, he balled his right hand into a fist and pounded on his chest. No. He was Parker Price. Destroyer of worlds and king of games, he would not be defeated by mere peasants of the common bred variety. He would succeed at great lengths to achieve his goal of acquiring mediocre coffee of the acceptable brand. He would live on, he would be a legend! He needed to move from where he was standing because he was blocking traffic.
Right. Letting out another breath, Parker shuffled forward, glancing anxiously at the aisles. Dairy. No. Chips. No. Where was the end to this madness? Finally he simply glanced about, feeling rather trapped, like he was in a box with no air. Parker Price would not suffocate in here, he would purify the air just by existing! Okay…maybe not that last one, that actually sounded kind of weird. He just needed to corner one of the peasants and receive information. Simple as that. After spotting one of the lone ones, he walked up, his expression of serious business before he acknowledged them. "Hey…so I'm new to this Walmart and I was wondering if you could tell me where I could find the coffee aisle?" There it had been said, now he just needed to wait for an answer.
Emerson Lively wasn't a huge fan of grocery shopping, but if she wanted to eat, she needed to shop. Her parents having split up and moved into separate houses, she and Teddy essentially gained their own houses in the process -- each parent couple had a guest house. Emerson didn't know about Teddy, but she'd opted for the guest house at their dad's for herself. If there was anyone she despised less, it was her new stepfather -- even though she refused to consider him anything on the fatherly scale. Just because he married her dad didn't mean he was her new dad.
As long as they funded her living headquarters and let her do her own thing, she would be fine with it. Even though Emerson had plenty of grocery allowance to shop at some health food store, or at least Target, Walmart was the only place that carried a special kind of junk food she liked: Pocky. If she was feeling adventurous, she'd travel out to Indianapolis, but most days, Emerson preferred to stay in the town of Evergreen, because driving long distances had a mean way of making her tired. Plus, if she ever got too desperate, all she needed to do was hop onto Amazon and order away what she wanted. She could have done that this time, but she wanted her Pocky now, and even Amazon Prime's Next-Day Delivery couldn't satisfy that need.
The plan was simple: enter the store, go straight to the international aisle, grab several boxes of Pocky, checkout, exit the store. But her plans were interrupted by some guy walking toward her, and wow, was he cute. Emerson was tempted to offer him her number until he asked her about coffee. Coffee. Of all the things that were bad for the body, he had to be into coffee? An internal eye roll and groan was immediately transmitted from Emerson's brain to the rest of her body. Of course: guys were so hopeless these days, filled up on all the toxic things possible to do x and y, and was it too much to ask for just one guy in the universe who wasn't all about flooding his veins with such toxic substances?
"Coffee is usually near the cereal," Emerson replied, seemingly uninterested in the topic. "Do you want me to walk you there? It's kinda on my way." Do you need to be babied? is what she was really asking him.