32: Toothbrush

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Avery's view

Ezra drags me into a Wallmart nearby and takes me to the medical supplies section. She grabs a box of bandages and opens it.

"You can't do that without paying," I blurt out grabbing the box from her.

"Relax. I'll but it, okay, but let me put the bandage on the claw Mark's that the bitch left on you," Ezra says grabbing the box out of my hand.

"Fine, but you promise to pay for it," I beg.

"Of course, I've never stolen anything," she replies while putting a few bandages on my hand.

"Really," I say raising my eyebrows.

"Fine, it happened one time, okay. I've never shoplifted again because I got caught," she says scolding me as I chuckle.

"What did you try to steal?" I ask.

"Like hell I'm telling you, its embarrassing," she replies inspecting my bandaged hand.

"Please! I'm dying to know," I beg her.

"I'm not telling you," she replies pulling me closer to her to give me a quick peck on the lips.

I crinkle my nose in annoyance. She smirks and boops my nose with her finger.

"You can look at me like that all you want, I'm not telling," she says laughing.

"Come on, let's go to the frozen food aisle," she says wrapping her hand around my waist and pulling me in the right direction.

"Why?" I ask stupidly.

"For you're bruised hand," Ezra says chuckling.

"Oh right," I answer back lifting my hand. It sure does still hurt. Sophie really squeezed my hand really hard.

"Here," Ezra says placing a small bag of frozen peas around my purple wrist.

"Thank you," I reply.

"Anything for you, my love," she says wrapping her arms securely around me.

"Good, then tell me what you stole," I tease.

Ezra sighs loudly, "You're not going to let this go are you?"

"Nope," I reply, emphasizing the pop on the p.

"Fine. I tried to steal a high school musical toothbrush that played one of the songs," she said turning her head in embarrasment.

I can't help but burst out laughing, "that's it?"

"Yeah. I was 9, okay," she replies covering her face with her hands.

"Fuck, you're adorable," I blurt out causing her to look at me in shock. I can't help but pull her closer to me so I can kiss her.

"I love a high school musical toothbrush stealer," I whisper as I pull away from the kiss.

"Shhhhh, you're ruining my street cred," she teases making me laugh.

"What street cred," I challenge.

"Ouch, that hurt," she chuckles. She softly grabs my chin to pull me in for another kiss.

After that, Ezra and I head to the check out line.

Standing before us is a mother with her younger daughter. The mom is hugging the little girl tightly and I look over to Ezra to see her with a troubled expression.

I intertwine her fingers with mine and ask, "What's wrong?"

"I saw... It's just that... well, I saw my mom in the bookstore," she replies averting my eyes.

"What happened?" I ask cautiously.

"You got hurt. That's what happened and what needs to be focused on," she replies quickly.

"Ezra, not everything needs to be about me. You're important too. You're struggles are real too, you don't need to shove them aside," I advise.

"But I'm not good talking about these things. I've never done it before," she explains.

I need to help her open up about this, she can't keep it to herself. It will tear at her and I can't let that happen.

I pull her out of the line and walk away from nearby people.

I wrap my bad arm around her waist and caress her cheek with my other hand.

"Ezra, I'm right here for you. I love you. You can tell me anything," I tell her.

"Okay," Ezra sighs, "Well, before you called for me, my mom came to talk to me."

"What did she say to you?" I ask grabbing onto her shoulder for reassurance.

"Same old things as always. She was drunk and pissed off that I quit my job," she explains.

"And...and," she adds looking away from me.

"She mentioned my dad. Not like how she normally does, she didn't blame me or yell profanities. She looked so broken, Avery. I don't know if it was real or not, I don't know," she says as her eyes get watery.

I've never seen her so vulnerable before and it makes me want to protect and comfort her even more. So, I wrap her in my arms and give her a tight hug.

"She looked so heartbroken, Avery. She looked like the day my dad left," Ezra whimpers in my shoulder.

"She made it seem like we were cursed, Avery. She said everyone would eventually leave us. Leave me," Ezra adds, now crying into my shoulder.

I let go of her momentarily to bring her attention to my face. I wiped away her tears and said, "I'm never going to leave you. I love you too much to even imagine a day without you."

Ezra gives me a small smile and asks, "Really?"

"Yes, really. I love you so much, Ezra," I say chuckling.

Ezra smiles widely and I'm so captivated by it that I'm taken by surprise when she puts her hands around my neck and pulls me in a for a kiss.

We continuing kissing passionately and then remember we are still in Wallmart. We stop and hurry back to the line to pay for our items and then head back to the car to go home.

When we finally get home, I notice my parents aren't there. I find a note on the kitchen table saying they will be back late because they want to have dinner with some coworkers.

I quickly run outside to stop Ezra from trying to climb the tree again, she can just walk through the front door instead. I find her holding onto a branch, trying to maneuver her leg around it to push herself up.

I can't help but start laughing, she looks back at me puzzled.

"My parents aren't home, get down," I yell.

"You couldn't have told me sooner. Now how am I going to get back down?" She says laughing.

It takes her a good thirty minutes to get back down safely and she is an exhausted mess.

She tries to hig me but I push her away, "Nah uh, you're a sweaty mess."

"Well no shit, I tried to climb a tree," she replies grabbing my waist to give me a hug anyway.

"Eww," I giggle and add, "Come on, let's go in. Then you can take a shower because you're sticky."

"Gee, thanks," she says following me inside.

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Author note: I finished my semester. Prepare for more random day uploads every week.

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