It was a Wednesday, and my friend and I were going to the grocery store for lunch. She was walking behind me as we wandered around the isles with chocolate and chips.
"I need something for my mum," I told her. I couldn't see her as she was on my right side and a bit behind me, and I was wearing my hood. But I assumed she nodded. Mic tended to do that a lot.
"You could get those chips she likes so much," she said. At first I was a bit surprised she could remember what kind of chips my mum liked, but then again, it was not the first time we bought stuff for my mum. I was still amazed that my friend wanted to follow me through this boring stuff, instead of staying in class like most of the other students did in lunch break. But maybe that's what's friends did, I wondered. Followed you around, through thick and thin and boring grocery stores every day.
We picked some stuff for my mum and walked towards the check out.
"Aren't you gonna buy something to eat?" I asked, more because I felt I had to than because I wanted an answer. I knew what she'd say. And, sure enough, she just shook her head and continued the walk. As we got in the queue I put the chocolate and my mum's favourite chips on the check out disk and realised how incredibly unhealthy it seemed, like I was going to eat that for lunch.
"Do you ever," I started, again knowing what Mic's answer would be, "get really nervous about what you buy and assume that someone will judge you for it?" I saw the understanding in her eyes, and she almost looked relieved.
"All the fucking time," she said.
"Yeah, it's like, you just wanna say," - and my voice went high pitched, as it always did, - "I'm sorry, I'm buying it for my mum, she's sick, okay." I mumbled the last part, as I also always did, and Mic laughed. Like she always did. Then she looked serious all of the sudden.
"Jackie, your mum's been sick a lot lately. Does she have like a fever or something?"
I couldn't help but chuckle loudly before she was even finished, and I shook my head and stared at the ground, still awkwardly chuckling.
"What?" she asked, confused.
"I just.. Nothing," I said and the lady at the check out saved me as she interrupted our conversion with a "that'll be 37,50 kroner." I paid and the smile was still on my face, but it didn't reach my eyes. I started to feel my stomach turn and the nausea was suffocating. I took our stuff and hurried towards the exit, feeling Mic's confused look on my back.