DRABBLE: Crop Tops

Crop Tops

Nadia & Jasmine

Sundays at the mall were always a toss-up, but Nadia’s scheme had never failed her. Three weeks after Christmas is the prime time to go on a Sunday with minimal interference. Kids and adults were back in school. Everyone who had to exchange or return their gifts got it out of their systems. The only crowd in the mall in the middle of January came from the novice ice skaters lining up for their classes on the ground floor, but they were easily avoided.

“Wow.” Jasmine looked around the store, awed that there wasn’t anyone else shopping in their corner. “This place is empty. Think it’s going out of business soon?”

Nadia glanced at their piles of shopping bags. Every so often, they dumped their bags off with the poor shopper assigned to trail them all day. The woman thought she would get to have fun with two people attached to some of the wealthiest assholes in the county. Instead, she played bag girl. Every hour she ran out to Jasmine’s car and dumped everything in the trunk, only to return to find her clients filling up another bag of the latest looks for themselves and their friends who couldn’t come.
“I don’t think this mall is in any danger of closing soon.”

Jasmine examined a rack of factory-made clothes. For their excursion to the downtown mall, they had both dressed in their middle-class clothes of yore, back when putting on brand-new jeans and a nice top from a department store was both fashionable and let them fly beneath the radar. This wasn’t the place for their designer outfits and shoes that cost more than semesters at some colleges. Besides, both Jasmine and Nadia were long past needing to dress up to shop in high-end boutiques. Everyone who cared knew who they were. All it took was one glance at Jasmine’s dark, curly hair and Nadia’s bold red locks to know that they had a billion dollars in their back pocket. When was the wife of businessman Ethan Cole and the long-term girlfriend of heiress Eva Warren not in the society pages?
Poor personal shopper. She really thought she would put her skills to use today, huh?

“Is it just me,” Jasmine began, studying the racks of club-wear and everyday college collections as if they were in a fine-art’s museum, “or are these the same looks they had back when we were in college?”

“You make it sound like that was years ago.”

“Getting closer to thirty is fucking me up, Nads.”

Nadia rolled her eyes. “You sound like my girlfriend.” She plucked a sheer, canary yellow top off the rock. “Think I could get away with wearing this to work?” Nadia answered herself before Jasmine had the chance. “Actually, this color would look way better with your hair and complexion. It would totally wash me out!”

“Ooh, this is cute.” Jasmine grabbed a hanger and pulled out a blue, long-sleeved top. Her face fell once she realized the cut was much shorter than she initially assumed. “Damnit! Another crop top! Is that all these places sell these days?”

These days? The whole reason I had a collection of crop tops before working in an executive office is because I had no other choice.” Hadn’t helped that Nadia was curvier than most crop tops could accommodate. She had to wear a thick cami beneath every one, and then she had to deal with her breasts flopping around!

“Blah.” Jasmine put the top back on the rack. “It’s not fair. I think I’ve totally aged out of these stores.” She ignored the middle-aged woman shopping in the petites section. No one could argue she shopped for her daughter, for she held every shirt up to her body and admired it in the mirror.

“You know…” Nadia grabbed the shirt Jasmine had just hung up. The sheer nature of it was what took it from tacky to hilarious. “I’ve got an idea.”

Jasmine raised her eyebrows. “Go on.”

“We grab a bunch of these and try them on. Grab some mini-skirts, too. C’mon! We’re not thirty yet. This could be our last great dressing room hurrah.”

“Excuse you. I plan on looking this great at forty, too.”

Nadia grabbed the yellow crop top and added a sparkly black one on top of it. “We’re doing this. And you bet your ass I’m sending pics to my girlfriend.”

“Hmm…” While Jasmine didn’t turn down the offer to play dress-up with clothes they never intended to buy, she also didn’t stop Nadia from forging a path to the fitting rooms. “I kinda wanna see Eva in a crop top, I bet with that figure she could…”

Nadia had a picture up on her phone and shoved in Jasmine’s face before she could say another word. “Last Monday. Dinner.”

Damn!” Jasmine whipped her sunglasses off the top of her head. Apparently, the blinding white of Eva’s exposed Scandinavian abs had blasted them away. “How did you sneak this photo? She’s slumping down to eat and she still has no rolls! You didn’t shop this, huh?”

Nadia shrugged, arms laden with hangers and clothes. “She’s in her late twenties now. It’s only a matter of time before the hormone gremlin gets her.”

“So not fair. I really don’t wanna try crop tops on now.”

“Pussy!” Nadia called. She had been loud enough to catch the attention of more than one customer in the store.

Fifteen minutes later, she and Jasmine shared the largest stall in the fitting room, their rainbow-colored collection of fashionable crop tops hanging from every hook and the back of their locked door. Nadia was the first one to rip off her blouse and approach this pointless endeavor with gusto. Jasmine whimpered behind her.

“I’m doing it.” She sat down on the bench, proving how many stomach rolls she had compared to her girlfriend with the superheroine genetics. Jasmine didn’t have a full-time job and spent way more time with a personal trainer than Nadia ever would. She ain’t got no room to complain when it’s just us! “Join me or die.”

She pulled a black top with gold glitter over her head. The shoulders were so tight that she almost couldn’t get the first arm through. Didn’t help that her hair was caught on the tag, and Jasmine was called over to help blinded Nadia before she ripped the top in half, Hulk-style.

“You’ve got the smaller stomach, and…” the bottom of the shirt sucked to Nadia’s breasts, “the smaller boobs. Do it.”

Nadia turned to the mirror while Jasmine unbuttoned her plaid shirt. Sure enough, Nadia looked like the saddest woman in the club, with her poochy stomach hanging out and her breasts acting like two oranges in a banana hammock. Even her hair was limp after that ordeal with the shirt tag.

“If I die right now…” Nadia began, “will my ghost be wearing this outfit as it roams the earth?”

Jasmine had her top off, but remained in her bra. “That’s a look, Nads.”

“And I ain’t taking it off until you join me in this misery.”

Jasmine tightened her bra straps before wiggling into the canary yellow crop top. Nadia attempted to help her friend into her shirt, but lifting her arms was next to impossible thanks to the tight shoulders and her breasts threatening to burst through the fabric like Porky Pig at the end of a Looney Tunes cartoon.

“Oh my God, shoot me!” Jasmine was in, but her reddened cheeks claimed she could barely breathe. 

“Who designed these things? Are we trying on corsets or some sick shit?”

“Wow.” Nadia leaned against the wall while her friend gaped at her unfortunate reflection in the mirror. “I told you that color would look better on you. But I’m not sure your shoulders agree.” She whipped out her cell phone and took an unflattering selfie, complete with peace sign and puffed out cheeks. “Your turn. It must be done.”

“Fiiiine.” Jasmine took a picture of her reflection, but made sure to make the most pathetic face she could muster.

“All right. Now, for the palette cleanser…” Nadia sidled up next to her best friend and attempted a cute smile and seductive pose. “We’re sending the best ones to our lovers, to prove that they love us!”
“That’s twisted.” Jasmine scratched her naked stomach. “And diabolical.” Her grin said she was game to catfish her own husband with unflattering crop top shots.

They huddled for an over the top, overhead selfie that was destined to become Nadia’s phone background as soon as they were back in Jasmine’s car. The only thing left for Nadia to do was to touch up the makeup that was smeared when she put on this ridiculous top – and to take the most seriously sexy selfie possible. With angles. Lots of angles.

“You gonna send yours?” Nadia already had her photoshoot attached and ready to go.

Jasmine finished punching in her strings of emojis. “I’m doing this. But if I regret it later, I’m coming for your ass.”

Nadia hit send and dumped her phone in her bag. She wasn’t checking for a response until she had real clothes on again.

They ended their shopping spree with foot massages and soft pretzels from a kiosk. Nadia checked her messages and wondered what the hell Eva was doing to not immediately reply to those embarrassing photos. She didn’t glance up twice when the personal shopper zoomed by with a bag from the ill-fated teen store.

Night had long fallen by the time Nadia reached her apartment a few minutes away. Her sore feet carried her to the elevator and up to her floor, but all she could think about was the lack of a response on her phone. Where the hell was Eva?

Apparently, Eva had been home all day.

“Why hello there!” She leaped up from the couch, her leggings and baggy T-shirt an instant delight to Nadia’s fatigued senses. “Have a good day shopping?”

“Yes. Did you check your phone, by chance?”

“Hm? Oh, no. I left it charging in the bedroom. Sometimes it’s good to unplug, yes?”

Nadia sighed on her way to the bedroom. “Never mind, then.”

She opened the door and found the black crop top from the shop spread across the bed.

“Put it on!” Eva called from the other room. “And never take it off again!”

Nadia soon received a text from Jasmine saying she regretted everything. Some sights were never meant to be shared.


Ethan & Jasmine
Eva & Nadia