“Woah,” Lea said, in awe as they stepped through the doors of a shop called Dreamy Designs.
There were clothing racks everywhere with signs that advertised their 50% off sale. Her mouth hung open as she took it all in. “I’ve never seen a store like this!”
“Pretty cool, huh?” Kanani asked, watching Lea’s reaction.
“This is actually one of the smaller stores,” Jamie said, acting like it was no big deal, “You must have not gone shopping much.” She pulled a dress out from the rack and held it up to herself.
Lea took a few more seconds to look around, and said, “I don’t usually go shopping.”
“Why not?” Isabelle asked, flipping through a clothing rack filled with tops.
“I just don’t,” Lea shrugged, hoping her answer would satisfy them. She pretended to pick at something on her messenger bag and remembered that her lightsaber was still in it.
“Did you say you were looking for cold-weather clothing?” Kanani asked, appearing from behind a rack of skirts.
Lea nodded. “I mainly have sleeveless dresses.” She felt her cheeks get warm. “I didn’t know how cold it would be here.”
“It’s fine!” Kanani reassured her. “I’ll help you look. Do you have a budget?”
“I have $100, but I only want to spend $50,” said Lea.
“That’s great. You can buy quite a few things with that amount and a few accessories too,” Kanani said. She took hold of Lea’s hand and guided her through the racks to one stocked with sweaters and winter gear where Jamie was.
“Hey, I’ll help too, I know what’s in style.” Jamie offered, immediately taking a white jacket off the rack and holding it up to Lea, who spread out her arms. “Too boring,” she muttered and put it back.
Next, she held up a multicolored sweater with heart shaped elbow patches. “Hm, looks okay…” said Jamie, hesitant, “What do you think?”
“I really like it, and it’s soft,” Lea said.
“Oh, it is. I have my own at home.” Jamie told her, “So would you like it?”
“I might, but is there anything else?” Lea asked. She wanted to see everything.
“Anything else?” Jamie exclaimed, “Look around you!”
Isabelle came up from behind them with a coral dress in her arms. “Guys, this is just like the dress Darica has! Now we can match!”
“Who’s Darica?” Lea asked.
“She’s one of our neighbors. She has red hair and loves clothing. Jamie and Darica hang out a lot, so you’ll probably meet sometime soon.” Isabelle said.
Lea went back to the clothing rack. “I like this one,” She said, holding up a pink sweater tunic.
“I have that sweater too,” said Jamie.
“She’s owns everything in this store,” Isabelle whispered to Lea with a mischievous smile.
“I do not,” Jamie protested.
After a bit more browsing, Lea picked out the pink sweater, some jeggings and a pair of tennis shoes. Near the checkout was a display of random accessories.
“Here Lea, you should get this!” Isabelle suggested, pointing to a creative journal. “You could write all about your adventures! It’s only $10. ”
“It’s nice, but I don’t have enough money for it.” Lea said.
“Then I’ll buy it for you,” Isabelle announced, placing it on the counter with the rest of their items.
“Thanks,” Lea said gratefully. She wondered why they were all being so nice to her, but she didn’t say anything. After all, she was their new sister. Weren’t sisters always fighting about everything? A moment later, she thought, then again, what do I know about sisters? I’ve never been in a family!
The cashier checked everything out for them and put their purchases in shopping bags. Taking their bags, the dolls walked out of the store back into the mall.
“Jamie, actually I don’t want my purse. Can you put it back in the bag?” Isabelle asked.
“Why? Is it too heavy already?” Kanani joked, and everyone laughed.
“Where should we go next?” Jamie asked.
Kanani pointed to a small store behind her. “Look, there’s a smoothie stand! Let’s get smoothies!”
“Uh, it’s almost lunch. We don’t want to ruin our appetite,” Isabelle insisted.
Kanani elbowed her playfully, “You sound like Mom,” she said, pretending to pout.
Lea liked how playful and fun her new sisters were, but she felt it would be a while before she actually fit in. She was pretty different.
Suddenly, her messenger bag started vibrating, and Lea remembered she had packed her phone.
She pulled it out and looked at the screen. The phone number looked unfamiliar to her, but she felt the urge to answer it.
“Sorry guys, I gotta get this,” Lea said, hoping they would understand. The other dolls nodded and began looking at their recent purchases while they waited.
After walking a few feet away, Lea pushed the answer button on the screen of her phone and held it up to her ear. “Hello, this is Lea Clark,” she said.
Though there was no answer, Lea could hear someone breathing. “Who is this?” She asked.
“Bring it to us,” A hoarse voice demanded. It gave Lea the chills. “The lightsaber. Bring it to us or you will pay.”
They hung up.
“Hello? Hello?” Lea asked. Her fingers were shaking and she felt weak. She didn’t know who it was or why they wanted her lightsaber, but she wanted to go home. Now. Lea turned back to the other dolls who were still going through their shopping bags.
“Are you ready to go to the jewelry store?” Jamie asked.
“Um, actually, I’m not feeling well,” Lea replied truthfully as her voice shook. Her stomach was beginning to hurt.
“It’s almost time for lunch anyway,” Kanani said, “We should probably go home.” She shrugged and picked up her shopping bag from the floor. Isabelle, Jamie and Lea followed her to the entrance of the mall.
Lea took one last look at the mall behind her, half expecting someone to leap out at her and grab for her messenger bag. How had the fun trip turned so awful? With a million questions swirling around in her mind, Lea followed the other dolls outside and down the street towards home.
Stay tuned for Part 7!