Okay Barbie

This might seem like a clechay and it probably is. Raven lives in a house with her aunt after her parents died in a bushfire in their old coastal town. She's been shipped off to now bunk with Aunt Stephanie in her tight villa, who isn't as pleasant as she sounds.


4. Shopping with Aunt Stephanie

I realised that it had been already two months and Aunt Stephanie had said so much as five sentences to me. No. She's not asked when it's my birthday or what I'd like for Christmas. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if she bought me an edible necklace or a matchbox car.
"Raven get you're coat!" Six sentences. "We're going shopping!" Three more words.
What was our relationship going to be like, I wondered. My shoulders were stiff from holding out trays of cheesy buiscuits all night for Aunt Stephanies guests. Aunt Stephanie and her guests were as sweetly sentimental as a hive of angry bees with needle-pointed stingers poised to strike. If Aunt Stephanie wanted me to like her, she was giving the wrong impression entirely. I jogged down the stairs in faded jeans, a pink sweater and my winter coat and almost ran into Aunt Stephanie's whetted nose.
"It snowed last night, so watch your step."
I side-stepped past Aunt Stephanie, knowing was to go out first and she wasn't going to move. The wind was raw and the driveway was slippery. Aunt Stephanie locked the house and pushed open the garage. She handed me a list. "Hold onto that."
I slid into the dense, leathery embrace of the back seat while Aunt Stephanie slid into the front. I wish I had grabbed my scarf at the last minute because my neck was numb and Aunt Stephanie was crazy and flicked on the air that was being booted right for my face. It stung my eyes and it wasn't like the day wasn't cold enough.
By the end of the car trip, my eyes were just so consumed I could hardly lift my eyelids, they were like glued shut. I used my fingers to pull them up so I could see. Aunt Stephanie had parked in two hour slot. I just hoped we weren't going to be there for that long.
"You still got the list?"
Aunt Stephanie nodded and locked the car doors.
She seized my wrist and led me inside. There were two back heaters facing inward at the doors and a welcome sign repeated in four different languages. Aunt Stephanie turned to me and stared into my eyes with her brown ones.
"You listen to me. I don't want any foolish business while I'm out. I've had my fair share of embarressing moments in this supermarket okay?"
"Yep." I slurred.
"Yes Aunt Stephanie."
"Alright." She let me hand drop by my side. I tagged solemnly behind her and she ambled into vegetable court.
Aunt Stephanie lagged around a bit, holding and smelling raw onions and fresh fruits. I wasn't having the ideal time hanging around her like a fly but I had to suck it up. I'm sure Aunt Stephanie wasn't too overjoyed to have me there either. The one thing I wanted more than air was to be with my parents again. This is like one of those James and The Giant Peach scenarios except that my parents died in a bushfire, not gobbled up by a wild rhinosorous and I have to live with one aunt not two. At least I don't have to work as hard as James but I sure am exhausted. From three things, walking around all day with Aunt Steph at the market place, humiliation from dinner last night and how freezing it is here in Longlake Harbour. Aunt Stephanie turned to me.
"What else have I got to get?"
I browsed the list.
"Beef jurkey and - christmas lights."
"What's that face for?"
"It's the middle of August and you're buying christmas lights?" 
"Who are you to judge Raven. Shut your trap and follow me to the meat section." 
"Just letting you know you won't find any lights for christmas around this time."
"I just need a bunch of cheap red and green ones for New Years and that'll be fine. Even if they last just a few weeks. No more stupid comments from you either." Aunt Stephanie gave me a quick look before whisking me away with her into the meat aisles.

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