35 of 183

Day 35—Shopping for Presents

            Sifting through racks of jewelry, Leonard picked a necklace with a large and heavy-looking red pendant. “Look,” he said, holding the pendant up for Theo to see. “If a girl is mad at you and you want her to stop being mad, you buy her an expensive present or a heart-felt gift. And, it’s perfect timing—you need a present for Sara’s birthday tomorrow, anyway.”

            “Ooh, shiny!” Nikolas exclaimed, ever the person to be easily amused. He stared avidly at the light glinting off the pendant before turning to look through all of the other pieces of jewelry.

            Theo nodded. He looked fairly depressed and disinterested in the jewelry, the separation from Sara obviously detrimental to his concentration. He took the necklace from Leonard and fingered the pendant absentmindedly.

            Nikolas hummed amusedly. “How do you know this for sure?” he asked, crossing his arms. “How many girls have you made angry at you? Actually, scratch that. How many girls have you been with?”

            “Um…I don’t know the exact number, but…” Leonard scratched his head. “A lot?”

            “Christ, man.” Nikolas shook his head, causing his earrings to jingle quietly. “You’re quite the player, aren’t you?”

            Theo chuckled wanly. “I was, too, before I started going out with Sara. Do you think she’ll like this necklace?” he asked hopefully.

            Nikolas shook his head in disbelief again. “I can’t believe you two,” he stated. “And, don’t get Sara that necklace. The flashy-ness of the necklace that Lenny picked might appeal to girls that are his type, but Sara is more minimalist.”

            “Isn’t there a stereotype where all gays are sluts or something?” Theo asked with a smirk, evidently feeling better about being without his girlfriend now that things were looking up for his prospects of getting back in her good books.

            “Shh,” Nikolas hushed with a smile and a finger to his lips. “Dan Savage won’t be too happy if he hears you say that.” His fingers flicked through the jewelry rack, returning back to the task at hand. “You know, if you want to, you could get our Metal Designs class to make something special and unique for you,” he said thoughtfully. “Girls like sentimentality, too.”

            “Then what are you doing for Sara’s birthday?” Leonard asked, curious as to what Nikolas had planned, hoping that it was something he could easily jump on. He still hadn’t gotten Sara’s birthday gift for her, though he could always pay for the cake.

            “Who’s Dan Savage?” Theo asked.

            “I made her a painting,” Nikolas said simply. “No, you cannot put your name on that present to her.”

            “Oh, so that’s where you always disappeared to sometimes!” Leonard exclaimed with sudden understanding. Then he processed Nikolas’ second statement. “Damn, you read my mind.”

            Nikolas nodded condescendingly. “Yes, and you just contradicted yourself.”

            “Whatever. What about this for Sara?” Leonard asked, brushing off Nikolas’ comment. He held up a small chain with a small gold circular pendant, inset with dark blue stones and gave it to Theo.

            “I think she’d like it,” Theo said after examining the necklace for a few minutes. “But you never answered my last question—who’s Dan Savage?”

            “Google him,” Nikolas said.

            “Guys…what should I get for Sara?” Leonard whined.

            “Um…a card?” Nikolas asked rhetorically. “I don’t know—buy her another striped sweater, or something. Pay for the cake.”

            “Well, I was planning on paying for the cake. Then I realized that I would feel guilty and that Sara would hate me forever for just getting her cake,” Leonard said morosely, getting lost in his own convoluted thinking.

            “Then make her a cake, goddammit, so we can go home,” Nikolas said, frowning.

          “Nikki, you are a genius!” Leonard burst out dramatically. “I would kiss you if you didn’t have a boyfriend!”

            “Good thing, too, or I’d have to punch you,” Nikolas deadpanned.

            “Do you even know how to make a cake?” Theo asked.

            “No,” Leonard said blithely, “but I have time to learn! Who do you know knows how to bake a cake?”

            “Um…you mean like Pinny Torres?” Nikolas asked.

            “Uh…does he make cakes?” Leonard asked.

            “No, but he looks like Jesus.”

            Leonard almost slapped himself. “What. That does not help.”

            Theo laughed again. “Why don’t you just ask Sue? Doesn’t she always come to school with giant Tupperware boxes of cookies all the time?”

            “She uses those to bribe her English teacher, doesn’t she?” Nikolas said mildly, examining the bracelets that were next to the necklaces. “Hey, these are cheap. I could get them for my mom and my sisters on their birthdays.”

            “Yup. I’m gonna go ask her.”

[Next Chapter ==>]

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