by Manda McNay
© 2012, Manda McNay
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“I can't believe you dragged me here.”
“Dragged us here. What did we do to deserve such torment?”
I elbow my husband in the ribs. “You knew what you were getting into. I have no sympathy.” But as I survey the mall around us, I see where he's coming from: This year seems even busier than last. Shoppers crowd the hallways, boutique bags rustling against one another as they jostle for space. The din of people talking, babies crying, Christmas music piped in from hidden speakers high above all blend together. There's a Santa booth in the middle, taking up space and causing a human traffic jam of tired parents and excited children.
My best friend, Jenna, pipes up: “Me either. The only reason we let you tag along is because we know damned well neither of you has bought us anything yet.” She grins. “Luckily, we're willing to help you. Tony, you're with me. Alex, you go with Kate. Good luck, Katie.” And, laughing, she pulls my husband away by the arm.