*** Chapter 4
Panda avoided malls because they were too big, too noisy, too crowded and too expensive. She could never find anything that fit her in her size, and if she did, she could never stomach the price tag. Therefore, traipsing through the totally empty, well-lit and cheerful Harlan Flair Mall realizing as she went that she could have anything she wanted and not have to pay for it was a surrealistic experience.
Together, the two girls all but gutted Nordstrom. The cosmetics! The perfumes! The shoes! Oh the shoes! Dell tried on pair after pair in sheer delight. Panda helped herself to the most expensive bras and panties that she could find on the racks. They both found the perfect pair of For All Mankind jeans. Dell, who had worked retail for years, knew how to remove the anti-theft devices without a hitch.
“What about that Gucci bag?” said Panda as the two girls rode the escalator with their arms brimming over with loot. “I myself would like to get a Louis Vuitton.”
“Oh, no!” replied Dell, her eyes glistening as she spotted the prize of all prizes.
There, in a locked glass case sporting a $160,000 price tag was an Hermes Birkin Crocodile Handbag. “I think I’ll go with that one!”
Panda wanted to find the Walken Shoe store. Those 4 inch heels were fine for Dell, but she wanted something buttery and soft with great support and a decent walking sole like an Ecco or Josef Seibel. As they headed for the far end of the mall a distinct odor of charred meat began to fill their nostrils.
“What is that smell?” asked Dell with a look of distaste. “It smells like burned cheeseburgers.”
“ I think it’s coming from the food court” answered Panda. “Let’s go check it out.”