Hello Kitty? Why in the hell would I want a USB drive that looked like Hello Kitty? The fact I had to pull off its head to plug it in was a step in the right direction though. Stupid, just really stupid. I flipped through the other USB drives and found a Great Pumpkin drive. God, I loved Charlie Brown and the whole Great Pumpkin thing. I drove Mom nuts with my obsession over it when I was eight. I was determined to wait for the Great Pumpkin. It didn’t matter to me that the nearest pumpkin patch involved a twenty mile drive out of Chicago. As I stood grinning over my mother’s moment of realization of what a stubborn child she had, I noticed one of the store employees had walked up beside me.
“Can I help you find something?” he asked, tucking his dark shoulder length hair behind each ear.
“I need a USB drive. I was headed to the library and can’t find mine.” I smiled and shrugged my shoulders. “I can’t seem to keep up with the things.”
He chuckled, and I caught his name tag. Jamie. “Yeah, I have the same problem. I buy them, and they disappear. Somewhere there’s an orc with a huge stash of USB drives.” He glanced at the rack I’d been going through and his smile broadened. “You want to see some that don’t look like skateboards and barbie dolls?”
I let out a sigh of relief. “God, yes. I’m having an over-dose of cute with these.”
“Yeah, and they’re about twice as much too. Come on, the serious ones are over in this corner.”
Following closely behind, we quickly entered hardcore gamer heaven. They carried assessors and attachments for every game system I could think of, and some of them I’d never heard of. I almost plowed into Jamie when he came to a screeching halt in front of me.
“Here you go. The smaller ones are down lower, and the eight and sixteen gig are toward the top of the display. We’ve got a few big ones too, up to one-twenty-eight, but they’re in the locked case cause they’re a little pricey.”
I pulled one of the bubble packs from the display and checked out the drive. “This one should work fine. I don’t need the high dollar ones since I lose ‘em constantly.”
“Cool. I can check you out if you’d like?”
When he tucked his hair back again, I noticed the two captive-bead rings he had in the top of each ear. For some reason the glimpse of his piercings sent a little tingle through my body. “Yeah, sure. I don’t need anything else.” As we walked to the counter, he glanced back at me and flashed a set of pearly white teeth.
“So, what system have you got?”
“Alienware notebook. My folks got it for me for a graduation present. It’s a sweet little computer. Has a phenomenal processor time.” I grinned and let out a laugh. “I told them I needed it for my major.”
Jamie laughed as he started writing out the ticket. He slowed until he stood tapping his pen against the counter. I started to worry something was wrong when he started talking.
“So, you busy tonight?’
I gave him a confused glance, then remembered I was banished from my room and shook my head. “Nope, I was given marching orders actually.”
Jamie stared at me and then started laughing. “Please don’t tell me your roomie was dumb enough to believe the girls at the end of Rush were going to be easy.”
“Yeah, all he’s gonna find are Rosie Palmer and her five sisters.” Jamie snickered.
I thought a second before I got the connotation and cracked up laughing. “It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”
Jamie continued to laugh as he spun the ticket on the counter and handed me a pen. “Anyway, I’m meeting up with a few friends at our room for a little Halo. If you’re interested. They’re a pretty cool group.”
I signed off on the charge to my university account, and the parents. “Yeah. Sounds like fun. Where should I meet you?”
Jamie checked his watch. “I get off in about an hour. You can head back with me if that works.”
His fingers slid his hair back again, and I nodded. “Sure. I’ll get some stuff done at the library and then come back.”
Other Wednesday Briefs stories for Oct 30: