Tag Archives: Fiction

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 17

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 16

CHAPTER 17

My plan had been: to head home, grab a travel bag, and start driving up to them; but Dad stopped me.

“I’ll buy the tickets. Fly instead. So that you will have time to talk, but also time to get back,” Dad pulled out his phone to purchase the flights. “Do you want to leave now?”

I looked at Jeremy and he just nodded. “Yes, now.”

“I’ll book it. Go shower and then I’ll drive you both there,” Dad left the room, to probably use his laptop.

I didn’t move at first. ‘Jenny.’ “Go shower in the guest bedroom, Jeremy,” I dashed to the stairs to use my own bedroom’s shower.

“Jeremy,” Dad suddenly said on our way to the airport.

“Yes, Mr. Matthews?”

“Can you put in some ear buds. I need to discuss something with George,” Dad was focusing on driving but I could see a look of concern in his expression.

“Of course. I need a nap, anyways, after that practice. Dude,” Jeremy swatted at my arm before sprawling out on the back seat, “wake me when we are close,” and Jeremy was out.

‘What does Dad want?’ “What’s up Dad?”

Silence. Then Dad sighed, “I understand your confusion from yesterday. Finding out you have pretty much been living as a zombie, and also finding out about Jenny…” Dad paused. “But I need you to hide those feelings for this trip.”

It took me a minute to register what Dad just said. ‘Hide?’ “What are you talking about. This is the whole reason I’m going on this trip. The whole reason I am acting like a crazy person on a mission. What do you mean by hide?”

Dad pulled to the right, all the way to the slow lane, “Son…Jenny is still broken…”

‘Broken?’

“Brown called and told me that she was home, but that she was still hurt. He descirbed her as faking a smile. She is smiling, but he could still see the pain…” Dad grabbed the back of his neck. “I hope she will listen to Jeremy’s apology and hopefully it will help her to move past it; it was already a pistol to get Brown to understand that Jeremy is not to be blamed. That just his name was used to start the fire, and that he had no knowledge of this happening.”

‘I get it. Jenny needs to heal before her heart can accept anyone…’ “I understand. I’ll just be there to be the barrier between her and Jeremy. I don’t need Jeremy exploding at her if she triggers him.” ‘I understood, but I wanted an answer.’ “Dad…did you know that Jenny liked me? Did you ever suspect it?” We were pulling off
the highway. We were maybe fifteen minutes from LAX. ‘Big question to ask in fifteen minutes, idiot.’

“Yeah.”

‘Yeah?’ “Yeah, what? Yeah she likes me? Yeah you suspected it? What!?!”

“I knew she liked you,” Dad’s body seemed to slump. “I told her not to persue her feelings. It was that day I drove her home. You offered to do the dishes and I took the chance to talk to her.”

Shock. Disappointment. Anger. Everything I thought I would never feel for my old man came rushing forward. “HOW COULD…”

“Let me finish,” Dad pulled into the parking garage across from our terminal.

I glanced at the clock and we had arrived about thirty minutes early. “Talk.”

-Sophmore Year (Before Qualyfing Champs)-

“Thanks for the ride Mr. Matthews. I would have asked George for a ride, but he seemed quite determined to finish those dishes,” Jenny chuckled as she buckled her seat belt.

“No problem at all, Jenny,” Dad too buckled up and started towards her house. ‘How do I bring this up?’ Dad glanced at Jenny who was smiling while looking out the window.

“Jenny?”

“Yes,” Jenny’s head turned back, her expression was innocent.

“Do you have feelings for my son?” ‘Point blank is always the best option,’ Dad thought to himself.

…”I…uh…” Jenny’s face went flush, her complextion almost mimicked her hair color. “I…”

“Don’t worry. This is not an unhappy father. Whatever your answer you will always be my daughter in my heart,” was the truth.

Jenny turned back to the window, “I do. I…I love George.”

“Love!?! I asked if you liked my son, not if you loved him,” Dad exclaimed suddeny making Jenny jump out of her skin. “Sorry. But I think you are a little too young to know if you love someone.”

“I…I…” Jenny started to tear up, “I thought you would be happy?”

‘Great.’ “I am happy. Over the moon to be exact, but I am also conflicted,” Dad pulled into her driveway. “Wait a moment Jenny,” stopping Jenny from exiting the truck. “I am happy you like George. I hope your feelings can continue in the future, but also after this request. Know that it is a favor from a loving father,” I looked at
Jenny who seemed nervous about my request.

“Favor?” She inquired but I stopped her.

“I need you… to keep your feelings… to yourself,” the last words stung Dad as he said them. ‘How could I ask such a thing. Of a girl I saw as my own daughter.’

Jenny was shocked. Stunned. She didn’t answer. Didn’t move. She just stared at me, mouth gaped open, in shock. “Keep it to myself,” she was confused. “How is that even
possible?…”

“George’s life is at a critcal stage right now. He has poured everything into his swimming. He has changed drastically after his mom’s and I’s divorce. He seems to be hiding his pain from that by becoming an emotionless zombie. I know you have seen it,” Dad dug some tissues out of his door, because tears were starting to stream down her face.

Jenny accepted the tissues and wiped away her stained cheeks.

All the color was gone in her face; Dad could feel her defeat. “I just want my son to thrive in his goals. His dreams. I…I’m sorry for interferring in your feelings.” I…‘I don’t know how to explain how I felt in that moment.’

“I understand,” Jenny cleared her throat and whispered out those words. “I want him to thrive as well…” Jenny wiped away her last tear. “If that means I need to just
be a friend to him and motivate him to his goals…I can do that,” Jenny faced Dad once again, the color and radiance began to glisten from her. “My feelings won’t falter. I will be your daughter at some point in the future; just you wait,” Jenny giggled as she gathered up her belongings and quickly exited the truck.

“I’ll be looking forward to that day, Jenny,” Dad yelled from his window. Jenny turned and waved before she entered her house. ‘I pray to God, that her feelings will stay strong. God, watch over her.’

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 16

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 15

CHAPTER 16

‘Really? Was I really like that?’ I glanced at the four faces around me, “was I like that during sophmore year?”

Nobody talked at first. But then Jerry cleared his throat. “Yeah, Dude. How you responded to the situation, to Jenny, you became emotionless. You laughed, and smiled, but it never seemed like you actually meant it. Like you were just doing the actions required to be a living human.”

“Yeah. I thought you would break at some point,” Ken interjected; “I thought you would either emotionally crash or explode.”

Matthew nodded in agreement.

‘Really? I thought I was doing just fine. I was swimming my best, I always had a good mood, my sleep was not a problem; I don’t see what they see.’

“You are probably saying to yourself…”I’m fine. I don’t see what they see.” Am I right?” Jeremy asked.

I head shot up looking at Jeremy. ‘How did he…’

“Based on your expression, I am right again,” Jeremy read me like a book. “That is why I brought it up. Because I knew you would have kept living the same. Believe me. I only said something because I was concerned.”

“I was too,” a voice came from behind us.

I turned and there stood Dad, bowl in hand.

Dad sighed. He walked away and continued to the kitchen.

I could hear him rinsing his bowl. ‘Is he just going to leave after saying that?’

Dad came back into view and he continued until he was sitting in the chair across from me on the left, oposite of Jeremy. “I knew something was wrong. I didn’t realize the culprit was Jenny, but I knew you were fighting some mental battle. Or at least trying to cover something up.”

‘What?’

“Son. You were positive everyday. You were a sixteen-year old boy; you should have been…what’s the word I’m looking for?” Dad pondered.

“Gloomy,” Ken said.

“Obnoxious?” Matthew added.

“Ansty…?” Jeremy said.

“Maybe all of those rolled into one. But you weren’t; you were upbeat and almost peppy,” Dad raked his fingers through his long hair. “I didn’t connect the dots that Jenny was the missing factor. I should have because you began to change after that situation. Personally, I thought it was that your mom, biological one,” Dad corrected himself, “might have left you a mental scar.”

‘She did; but it was mended with Mom.’ “Only my true mom has been the perfect healing for me.” ‘Now that Dad was the one saying these things I had to think back. Was it really true?’

“I will say though,” Dad pulled me out of my spiraling mental black hole, “going away has probably been the best thing for you. You have grown so much; physically but also in maturity,” Dad stood and walked over to my seat. “I am one proud Dad,” he squeezed my shoulder.

‘Thanks Dad.’ “I guess I will start to work on my robotic state. I thought I was doing just fine, but seeing all of you, and you dad, being concerned is a big eye opener,” as I glanced around.

“Don’t change too much. Just be more aware of your’s and other’s emotions. I’ve got to get back to the studio,” Dad straightened himself out and started to walk away.

“Dad,” I called to him before he was completely gone.

He stopped and turned back to me, “Yeah, Son?”

“Thanks. I’m mean for…” trying to put a label on it, “…everything.”

“No problem. You have a great group of friends here. Hold on to them,” and Dad disapeared around the corner.

‘Yeah I do, don’t I?’

It is Wednesday. A few days have passed since I found out I have been a robot. ‘I will say, I have noticed what they were talking about occasionally; but I don’t think it as sever as they were saying.’ But I am picking up on other’s emotions; at least I should say I pick up on them now.

We will be leaving Friday. I’m am bummed I won’t have another weekend with the guys, but my future is calling. Between their crazy schedules, the guys have been
coming to swim with us occasionally. Jerry works part-time at Dominos; sweet gig as the deliverer. Matthew has been vertually tutoring any moment he can find. Since, his altercation at school, his parents have cut him off of fun money. Ken, on the other hand, has a full time job. He is currently working as a paid intern at my dad’s label. He actually gets to help my dad a lot if he gets the chance. It doesn’t really surprise me; Ken has always been a people person.

So Jeremy and I are the two weridos that have never had a job and will continue to not have one through college. We will not have the time for it. ‘It feels weird. My friends are moving on in their lives and I feel like I am glued to my current position. I know I’m moving forward, but it just seems stopped sometimes.’ The hard
work it takes to make it as an athlete is unimaginable. I still amaze myself, at how much my body can take before it breaks.

“What’s your plan for the rest of today,” Jeremy had his towel draped over his head as he packed up his gear.

“Nothing much. Probably just going home and chilling with Mom and Dad. Why? Did you want to do something?” I too was drying my hair with a towel.

Jeremy didn’t speak at first…”Your dad told me this morning that Jenny is visiting her parents until Friday.”

I dropped my towel. ‘What? Jenny.’ I looked at Jeremy. He just nodded and I knew he was being serious.

“I wanted to drive up and apologize to her,” Jeremy looked away, “for my past mistake and all the fake crap she had experienced.” He looked back up at me, “Even if she won’t hear me out, I need to do this for my own inner peace. Are you coming with me?”

“When do you want to leave?” I shoved my gear in the bag and grabbed my keys.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 15

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 14

CHAPTER 15

“Wow…I wish I could find my old buds and shove my so called legacy down their throats. I can’t believe they used my name to ruin her life like that. I can’t imagine what she must think of me. At least…” Jeremy paused to take another bite, “for me, nobody new about my grief. I could cover it up; yes, not in the best ways
sometimes,” Jeremy said before Jerry could say his wise remark. “But at least I could still function and live in my home town. I don’t know if I will be able to go home, or even be out on the streets,” Jermey looked down into his bowl of a melted chocolate mess.

“Don’t worry about it too much,” Ken slapped Jeremy on the back almost causing him to spill his bowl, “since it was just a rumor that spread; there was never a picture or description of you. No one will know it was you unless you go, “I’m the guy they used to create this horrible rumor that ruined a poor girl’s life.” Ken laughed
for a second, and then probably thought about what he just said. “Sorry about that.”

“Yeah. And now Jenny is in Europe. I don’t know if there will even be a chance to apologize to her,” Jeremy got up and took his bowl to the kitchen.

“About that. Dad said she might try and make it? Do you think she actually will come back?” I asked as I too took my bowl to the sink. As I came back to the living room, I came face to face with the reality. ‘Jenny was probably never going to come back. Probably not until the nonsense is gone or resolved.’ “Oh.”

“Yeah. There was talk about her visiting Coach and her mom for a couple days, but I don’t know if she would take the time to come down here,” Ken looked up at me. “Especially if she has somewhat moved past it; it would be awful if she came back and it stirred up again.”

“Yeah. When I came back I was slapped across the face with all this news, and I was unable to do anything for her,” Jerry said as he stared into his hands. “I felt like we abandoned her when she deperately needed us. Then I was unable to do anything for her because she was gone. Then when I found out you were the source of the issue,” Jerry looked up at Jermey. “I mean the fake source,” Jerry corrected himself before Ken could jump down his throat, “I couldn’t understand how you never said anything about it. You knew about George and Jenny’s relationship. You were playing off the innocent person perfectly. I thought you had ruined Jenny’s life and then
were manipulating George. I apologize again; I really thought the worst of you.”

“Hearing everything now, I can understand. It’s not cool, but I can understand,” Jeremy nodded but shook his head at the same time.

Everyone was done with their ice cream, so there was no longer any absence noise. It was silent.

“Can I ask a question?” Jeremy raised his hand like this was a classroom.

“Of course, Student Jeremy. What’s with the hand,” Jerry busted out into laughter.

We all followed pursuit, “Oh. Shut it,” Jermey tried to slack off the embarrassment. “Can I ask now?”

We all stopped laughing and waited…

Jeremy perched his elbows on his knees and leaned forward, “Why didn’t you date her? Jenny. She was totally into you. Anyone could see it.”

Silence.

‘Great. I should have know this was going to be brought up.’

Still silence…

“Is anyone going to answer the question? Why did it become like a ghost town in here?” Jeremy looked from Matthew to Jerry, to Ken, and then ended on me.

I couldn’t look him in the eye. I didn’t realize this still bugged me. ‘Let me be honest; at least in my head…I still like her. Feelings never seem to go away unless you give yourself closure. I never got that; so my feelings just seem to be bubbling and burning in my gut.’

Silence…

“Dude. Just tell him or I will,” Jerry called me out. “We have heard all of his baggage, why can’t he know some of yours?”

‘That was the truth. Why am hiding? being a coward. Liking someone is not something to be ashamed of. You idiot.’ I looked up the guys around me. “I tried. I got shot down before I could even confess to her.”

“Really?” Jeremy was shocked. “Did she actually say the words, “I see you as a friend.”

“No,” I stopped to think back on that night; not a night I really wanted to relive. Especially now as I realize my feelings for Jenny are not at all as a sister. “But we were talking about the whole situation and we were about to discuss the part of me “confessing” to stop John, and before I could say anyting she stopped me.”

Jeremy wasn’t saying anything. He seemed to be zoning out.

‘Probaly trying to think…haha.’ “What?” still, my tone was annoyed.

Jeremy came out of his glazed over stare, “I don’t have much experience with girls, but,” Jeremy waited until he got my full attention, “unless she said the words, “I see you as a friend” it is not indefinate. And I am telling you, she is into you. How do you three not see it?” Jeremy called out the guys; who had been just sitting and listening to the conversation. Probably because they knew this was a sore subject for me.

“The only experience we have is from George and Jenny’s moments, and when Jerry attempts to get a date,” Matthew dodged Jerry’s aggressive slug, “and Ken’s various inputs
from the chick flicks he watches,” Matthew laughed at Jeremy’s expression after he said Ken’s input.

Jeremy looked at Ken like he no longer knew the person in front of him.

“What? My mom said I wouldn’t understand what a girl is thinking if I didn’t have some knowledge. I’ll admit though,” Ken chuckled, “some of them are really quite hilarious.”

Jeremy still seemed confused at his new best friend’s choice in movies. “Okay whatever you need to do to understand them,” still questioning Ken’s decision. Then Jermey turned his attention back to George, “I am not lying to you, and I am never wrong about this. You should try again if you get the chance,” Jeremy crossed his arms behind his head and relaxed into the recliner.

“What’s the point,” Jerry sat up, “he sees her like a sister now. He has moved past his feelings.”

“Has he?” Jeremy turned and looked at me dead on.

I could feel his gaze. ‘There is no way he knows. I never talked about this these last two years. Because these last two years she has been my sister. But now I’m discovering I was naive and I couldn’t just cover it up.’ I looked up to meet Jeremy’s gaze. The gaze was fine, but the all knowing smirk was
abnoxious. “What?”

“Yeah. He probably just said that to move on; there is no way he would give up a stare with me if he was being honest. This one,” Jeremy thumbed at me, “never gives in
to anybody. Own up to it George,” Jeremy leaned back, “You still totally dig her as a girl.”

‘Nothing. I had nothing to say because I didn’t want to admit to what Jeremy said. Because he was right. This was not something I needed in my life at the moment.’ I was going to focus on swimming and start my career before finding someone. And to me that someone always had to be someone other than Jenny. Because in my brain Jenny was labeled as unattainable. “Why? Why did you have to do this to me?” I shoved my face into my hands.

“What?” Jerry, Matthew, and Ken all shouted at once. Jeremey was still smiling as he leaned back in his recliner; relishing in his victory of being right.

“I had moved past it. I was seeing her as a sister. My feelings were coming back, being back here,” I snapped my head up and glared at Jeremy. “I was doing a good job at keeping them at bay, but no…you had say she likes me and my heart blazed alive at the hope. Why?”

“Dude? I thought you had moved past it?” Matthew asked breaking the silence, while I continued to glare at Jeremy. “You told us to never bring it up…” Ken and Jerry both nodded
in aggreement.

“I did. Or at least I tried. After being regected or whatever happened,” I silenced Jeremy with a no nonsense stare, “I needed to mend myself. So seeing her a sister was the only way to move past it. I really thought I had. Honestly… My feelings were gone; or at least manipulated into something else. It wasn’t until I came back here,” I gestured to the house. It had been two years of not hearing her name, not seeing her face, or not having anything to do with her; but the
moment I stepped in the house and Dad said that Jenny would try to make, my heart got excited. Then he said it was a long shot and my heart sank. She still had complete control over me…” I ran my fingers through my hair. ‘I’m frustrated. I have not missed this feeling.’ “You happy now?” I almost yelled at Jeremy, but kept the tone controlled.

“Yes. Actually I am,” Jeremy leaned back towards me, smile gone. “You have been an emotionaless robot these last two years. Something was going to go terribly wrong if
you didn’t start to feel things. You were going to become an empty shell. Proably to the point that swimming would become meaningless. So you can hate me all you want, but I did this for you. I want to see you make it all the way. But to do that you need to feel emotions.”

Silence…

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 14

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 13

CHAPTER 14

Finally…Home…I sat, more like fell, down on the porch. My eye sight was blurry and my limbs stopped working. ‘Jeremy the jerk has a nice ring to it.’ I will never bet that idiot ever again. This was too much. I tried to pull my body back up, but I was stuck. ‘No. like actually stuck.’ I couldn’t move anything. I also couldn’t feel anything. I really didn’t want to do this, but I really had no choice. I pulled out my phone and tapped the name. “Dad?”

“Hey son. Jeremy told me you are running. Did you get home yet? I don’t see you,” Dad’s voice rang in my head like he was screaming at me.

I could hear Jeremy, Mom, and a few more voices in the background. “Dad. Could you come help me…I…” the humilation will begin in, “can’t get up. I’m on the porch out front,” three…two…one… Dad threw open the door, but there stood Mom, Jeremy, Matthew, Ken, and Jerry. Mom and Dad looked worried, but the rest of them were all trying to contain their laughter. ‘Jeremy is so dead.’

I got so much grief from the guys. Jerry asked Dad if this was similar to that day in Sophmore year where he had to help me out of bed. Dad did not look worried anymore; he laughed and told everyone about that day, like it was the best piece of new gossip. Remembering that day I couldn’t help but laugh along with them. I was feeling better now. After food, and a hot shower; I am beginning to feel my limbs again. ‘Tomorrow will be a whole other story.’

Jeremy told me that when he got back to the house Jerry and Ken were both there already and relayed my offer of the pool. So with his Dad’s permission he picked up Matthew and took the three of them to the office to get their names on the list.

But I also found out that they saw me on their way back to the house, and had no intention of stopping. “It was the best kind of revenge,” Jeremy chuckled as he relaxed into the sofa.

‘Pushing it.’ I glared in his direction.

“George,” Mom yelled from the upstairs. “George…”

“Yeah mom. I’m downstairs with the guys. Do you need something?” I walked over to the stairs. ‘If I don’t have to climb these stairs I am not going to.’ I could hear murrmering coming from my parent’s bedroom.

“Oh, right,” Mom said suddenly. Mom’s body rushed out of their bedroom and she almost skipped down the stairs, “I forgot all about you being sore. I was just going to tell you that I have a last minute baby shower party to go to tonight. Will that be okay, or should I just cancel?”

I knew mom really hoped to go because she already looked stunning. “All good mom. Is Dad going too?”

“No. He is going to be in his studio though. He has just a few more things to fix on his newest single. Will you five be fine?” Mom was attempting to put up her hair while standing in front of me.

I turned Mom, and started to push her back up the stairs. ‘Man these stairs hurt. I don’t know if I will be able to get back down.’ “No problem Mom. We’ve got stuff to talk about anyways. You just go back upstairs and finish getting ready. Your…umm…hair looks a little crazy from the back…” I was trying to be helpful.

Mom giggled as I helped her back up the stairs, “thanks for the input George. I will fix it before I head out,” Mom scurried back into their bedroom.

Dad exited the room at the same moment. “What are you doing up here? Do you need help back down?” Dad offered me his arm to lean on.

“No I should be good…” I took that first step and it felt like…I don’t really know what it felt like. Instead I latched onto my dad for support, “On second thought, I do need help.” It was going to be a slow decent. I was only able to move a leg at a time. “By the way Dad, thanks for taking care of Jenny while I was away,” I thought
I might as well bring this up while I had a chance alone with him. “The guys told me what has happened, and I am so happy you took care of her.”

Dad stopped. He sighed before talking. “I wish I could have done more. When the rumor continued to grow and be manipulated, I wanted to crush everyone who said anything.
I also…” Dad stopped.

I waited for him to continue…”Dad?”

“I was surprised that you had invited Jeremy to our house. I never believed anything they were saying about Jenny, but after your sophmore year I assumed Jeremy was like the rumors. But since you had decided to bring him; I realized that I had been misjudging him. My son would not be friends with someone who would do those things to Jenny.”

Dad’s grip loosened on my arm; I could feel his guilt. “Don’t worry about it Dad. You like the guys only had one side of the story. Jeremy has forgiven the guys so I am sure he would for you as well.” We both stopped and looked at the guys sitting in the living room. Jeremy was laughing with the guys, “I actually feel bad for Jeremy. He already had a crappy childhood, and now he is having to defend himself against being labeled as a bully. He is in the same boat as Jenny. They both had to leave home.” Thinking more about this made the whole ordeal more frustrating.

We had been standing on the stairs too long, because here came Matthew and Jerry.

“Do you need some extra help for the broken one,” Jerry pointed and smirked at me?

“Yeah, Mr. Matthews. We can help relieve you of your current duty,” Matthew started up the stairs to me.

“No thanks. I’m good with my…” I started, but Jerry and Matthew seem to not be listening to me; because they each grabbed an armpit and lifted me down the stairs. It
wasn’t so bad; but seriously the jokes and mocking is going to be unbarable.

Dad just chuckled and walked down the stairs into the living room; he pulled Jeremy aside as Jerry and Matthew finally made it into the room. ‘I know he is doing. He is
probably apologizing.’
“Thanks guys. you can let me down now.” THUD! ‘Ouch. They just dropped me on the floor.’ “Maybe next time aim for the couch. Geeze,” I crawled to the nearest couch.

“Sorry dude,” Jerry was rubbing his arms, “you are just a lot heavier than I remember. Right Matthew?”

“Yeah. What are they feeding you at that school?” Matthew rubbed the back of his neck.

‘Haha. Serves you right.’ Jeremy walked back into the living room. I caught his eye and gestured towards Dad, “you good?”

Jeremy nodded. He relaxed into the recliner, “Could you recap and tell me what all I missed from last night’s discussion. All I remember was…Derek and Trevor on the floor. Nice job Matthew with the smack down.”

Matthew’s head snapped to Jerry and Ken, who completely ignored his eye line. “Yeah, well my parents let me have it after that day. Even though I did not reiceve a blemish on the school record; they saw it as a red flag from a college’s points of view. So they have tried to keep me on a tight leash until now,” Matthew collapsed
into the arm chair behind him.

Matthew looked like he just gained ten years of exhaustion. ‘His parents are super strict; I am surprised he is still allowed to be my friend.’

“Okay George. I am off,” Mom came down the stairs.

She looked stunning. ‘Dad picked a good one.’ I got up from the couch and walked over to grab Mom her coat and purse.

“Thank you,” she kissed me on the cheek. “Your dad in his studio?”

“Nope. I’m right here,” Dad came around a corner, “I’m not about to let you leave without saying goodbye. Dad kissed Mom on the forehead, “Love you. Have fun, Hon.”

Mom smiled and she sweetly giggled, “I will. You boys don’t have too much fun. There is ice cream in the freezer. Bye,” she yelled as she closed the door behind her.

‘My mom is great.’ I looked over to Dad, and he was still looking at the front door. He smiled, but I could see the longing for her to be back. ‘I want that. A love like my parent’s have.’ Relizing what I was think I shook my head to clear it of non current issues. “You hanging out with us, Dad? Or are you going back to the studio?”

“Oh,” Dad seemed to jump and my talking; he must have still been thinking about mom. “Yep. Going back to the studio, but first,” Dad walked to the kitchen, “I’m going to
have some of that ice cream she mentioned.” He opened the fridge and pulled out the tub of Chocolate Brownie Fudge. “Since your Mom is no longer here, I am going to
serve myself a normal sized bowl. And no one here,” he pointed the serving spoon at each of us, “is going to tell her. Right?”

‘That’s Dad.’ I laughed but still nodded. The guys followed my example.

“Should I leave it out?” Dad pointed to the carton on the counter.

I looked at the guys and I could see their answer, “Leave it out. Also take all you want. I don’t know if there will be any left when you leave.”

Dad laughed and shoved the serving spoon back into the tub, “No worries. I’m already having way too much. Your mom would kill me if she knew,” Dad picked up his bowl and walked past the living room, into the hallway, and to his studio. “All yours,” Dad walked away without seeing the mad dash to the kitchen.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 13

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 12

CHAPTER 13

‘I think Jeremy died.’ He was breathing, but it seemed like he would stop soon; I should say he is wheezing and gasping for air. ‘Haha. Is it a bad thing that I am happy?’ I was tired too, but I think after that run, Jeremy’s legs are gone.

“You okay? Do I need to call 911?” I said tossing a gatorade to him.

The gatorade landed directly in front of him, bobbing in the pool.

I didn’t know if he was going to grab it, or if I was going to have to swim after it. “…Dude? You going to grab that or…”

Before I could finish; Jeremy grabbed the bottle, swung himself up on the deck, and downed the entirety of the bottle. “I’m okay. But did we really need to do that awful kick set? You do remember I ran fifteen miles this morning, right?”

Jeremy chucked the empty bottle at me; I ducked just in time as the bottle sailed over my head. “Just think of it this way,” I chuckled and slipped back into the pool, “you are in better shape than me. Coach Jones would be proud.” I muffled my laughter because of the death glare I was receiving. ‘I guess Jeremy is not accepting my resonings.’ “Okay. Fine. Let’s race an all out fifty. Whoever wins gets to choose the other’s next workout. Deal?”

“Sure. But you have to do butterfly,” Jeremy winced but still smiled.

‘What are you up to?’ Jeremy would never easily accept a chalenge; especially being so dead. “Why? Are you assuming…”

Jeremy cut me off, “Are you afraid you will lose to me?” Jeremy gestured to himself. Then he slowly pulled his body out of the pool. “You never used to question Coach Jones. Are you worried you won’t be able to beat me this time?”

“Oh shut it Jeremy,” I pulled myself up out of the pool. I started to actively jump, waking up my limbs. ‘There is no way I’m losing to him; he looks like he is about to fall over.’ “So, you good on the terms of the bet? Loser does whatever set the winner chooses?”

“Deal.” Jeremy extended his hand to me.

We shook on it. Digging my phone out of my bag on the bleachers behind us, I prepared a ten second timer. “When the sound goes off we go; got it?”

Jeremy nodded. He got up on his block and took his mark. I started the timer and also went to the stance.

……..Beep, beep, beep! We dove into the pool.

“You…big…liar,” I was hanging onto the wall gasping for air. I didn’t realize how much my limbs were hurting before that race. But what I more importantly didn’t realize was that Jeremy was perfectly fine. Once we dove in, I expected an easy win, but instead off went Jeremy. It was a catch-up race for me. He only won by maybe a hand, but he still won. ‘That liar.’ Jeremy was gasping for air as well, but he was also dying of laughter. ‘I didn’t know that was possible.’ “What do you…have to… say for…yourself?”

Jeremy was still chuckling, “I’m good. It’s your fault you trusted your competitor. Remember what Coach Jones always says, ‘Always assume your competitor is faster.’ You just failed. This is my favorite practice so far,” Jeremy slipped back into the pool and started to float away on his back. He lifted his head suddenly, “Let’s start our cooldown. I’m starving after today’s workout,” he laid back enjoying his victory.

He was enjoying it a little too much. ‘He deserves this.’ I left the wall, swam under him, and popped up just in front of him. With his body facing away from me, I shoved his shoulders down and submerged his head underwater. Then instantly after, I swam back into my lane and continued with my cooldown. Swimming away, I lifted my head just enough to hear Jeremy spewing and coughing out water; while he was attempting to talk.

“You…idiot. You…are…the only…one in the…pool. I…know it was…you,” Jeremy just put his head back down in the water, sometimes that is the only way to stop choking on water, and he started his cooldown.

‘Probably not the smartest thing to do since he gets to choose my next workout, but it was so worth it.’ I laughed and continued the cooldown.

“No way! I said next workout. As in next day,” shaking my head at what Jeremy was saying.

“Nope. You said next workout. You never specified the date. Give me your gear and get to it,” Jeremy was standing by the driver side door; extending his hand out for the key.

“You…” Jeremy’s choice was I run the fifteen miles home. ‘What a…’ I dug out my running shoes and ear buds, and threw the bag at Jeremy; I also tossed him the key. “Next time, remind me never to make a bet with you. Was this your plan all along?”

“No. I was actually not really thinking of anything. If anything I was going to save it and use it later in college; but then you shoved me underwater, and I had a change of heart. Also I had time to think during that long cooldown,” Jeremy unlocked the door and threw my stuff in the back seat.

‘Now I’m regretting my descion from earlier… only a little bit. Let’s be honest, I’m not regretting it. It was awesome!’

“I’ll leave the door unlocked at the house for you,” and Jeremy drove off.

‘That punk.’ I shoved my ear buds in and started the long and grooling run. ‘Man, this is going to suck.’

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 12

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 11

CHAPTER 12

I had a dreamless sleep. Still, echoing noise woke me up. ‘What time is it?’ I rolled over an looked at my phone. Dead. ‘Crap.’ I forgot to charge it last night. First plugging it in, I swung my legs off the bed, and sat there until my head stopped throbbing. ‘Man I wish I could have slept more. My head is killing me.’ Instead I pull myself up and head towards the meaning of life… the kitchen.

“Hello?” I yelled into the silent house. ‘Really?’ “Again I am home and no one is here,” I shook my head and continued my way to the fridge that held… food. There were three sticky notes plastered on the right handed door. ‘Smart. They made a point to stick them on the side with the milk.’

“Son. Had to go to the studio for the morning, and then I’ll take the rest of the week off. -Dad”

‘Okay. I assumed as much; especially since my trip was a spur of the moment.’

“George. I had some errands to do this mid morning to late afternoon. Text me what you would like for dinner. -Mom”

‘Sweet. I know what I want. I want her six layered mac n cheese dish!’ It’s heaven. Each layer has a different cheese and crumbled bacon… my mouth is watering just thinking about it. And the last note…

“Dude. Went for a fifteen mile run. Left at eleven fifty-nine. Come pick me up at the high school once you wake up. -Jeremy”

‘Wow! Jeremy is exercising without being told…weird.’ I put my breakfast dishes in the dish washer and glanced at the clock. Twelve ten…Jeremy only left ten minutes ago. Sweet! I ran upstairs grabbing our swimming gear. ‘Haha Jeremy thinks he is being good, but I’m about to give him a surprise.’

I did see Jeremy jogging to the school as I drove by, but I didn’t acknowledge him; instead I continued to the school and waited for his tired butt to get there.

Finally, the exhausted looking Jeremy arrived. I hopped out of the jeep and walked towards him. “You good dude?”

“You…are….already here?…” Jeremy was wheezing and coughing every other word. “I didn’t even see you drive by…”

“Of course. I wasn’t about to stop your one man endever. How was it?” I tossed him a gatorade as a reward.

Jeremy guzzled down the bottle before answering, “Not too bad, but man, it’s hot!”

“Glad you said that; I have a special surprise for you,” I turned and walked back to the jeep.

“Cool. Didn’t know you were this type of guy,” Jeremy followed me with a little pep in his step.

‘That pep is going to disapear in…three…two…one.’ I pulled out our bags of swimming gear, and threw his bag at him.

Jeremy spazily caught the bag but looked quizically at it, “What does this mean?”

I didn’t answer him; instead I locked the jeep and started walking towards the front building of the school.

“What are we doing?” Jeremy followed me out of curiosity.

‘Wow, he is slow today. I’ll wait for the oxygen to reach his brain again.’ I pulled open the front door, and I followed Jeremy inside.

“Ahhh…this feels amazing,” Jeremy hung his arms out to let the sweat dry from his armpits.

“Dude. You stink,” I shoved his arms back down to his sides, “keep your arms down!”

“Whatever. But seriously bro, what are we doing here?” Jeremy begrudgingly put his arms down, but continued to enjoy the freezing AC.

A petite mid fourities older woman approached us, “Do you need any assiastance?”

‘I know who she is. What was her name again…’ “Yes. Whom do I need to ask about renting out your swimming pool for the week?”

Jeremy let out a low groan; she looked at him before answering, “Umm…I don’t know if that is a possibility. I will have to ask my supervisor. One momment please,” and the woman disappeared through the door she had entered.

“Seriously!?! I just ran here, and now you want to kill me even more!?!” Jeremy sank to the floor.

“Stand up will you,” I yanked Jeremy back into a standing position, “Running is fine, but we need to swim. If this doesn’t work we will be heading back to the house, and we will die there,” I stopped talking just as the woman was coming back. ‘Who is she?’

“Well, I asked my supervior, and he said that you must be eighteen or older, show ID’s, one driver’s license, and prove you can swim unsupervised. Then we can talk numbers and proceed with renting. Do you approve?”

“Yes Mam. Do you want us to hand you the ID’s here? Or…” I started to dig my wallet out.

“Oh. No. Let’s head into my office; it will be better that way,” she turned and walked back through the door, and paused enough to wave us to follow.

Her office was more like a cubicle. It had photos of her grankids and I assumed kids. She had a small potted daisy plant next to her… and then, there was what I was looking for. The
plack on her desk with her name. Mrs. Bradey. She was the older office worker that was there that day when Jenny was cornered my John. ‘Wow! That was so long ago.’

“Now. Your ID’s please. Whomever will be presenting their driver’s license, be last please.” Jeremy handed her his ID first. She quickly placed it on the copier and then
handed it back to him. “Please sign and date this paper for me. Thank you. Now you,” she sretched out her hand for my ID.

‘I wonder if she will remember me?’ I placed the ID in her palm.

She didn’t seem to notice; instead she was in her efficient office mode and repeated the same steps as she did with Jeremy. “Okay. Since you are the driver license, I will need to see the bank card you will potentially use if you choose to rent from us, Mr. Matthe…ws…” She stopped talking and her head snapped up. “Are you really the George Matthews that went to this school?”

“Yes, Mrs. Bradey. I didn’t know if you would remember me or not,” I smiled, happy that I was remembered.

“Of course, I remember you. You are a celeberity here,” she was proudly smiling like she had something to do with my celebrity status. “Did you go to this school as well?” She doubled checked Jeremy’s name.

“No Mam. I went to the rival school. But I’ve been George’s roommate up in Montana these last two years,” Jeremy slapped my shoulder, trying to take credit as well.

“Wonderful. I am so happy to know that our pool will still be useful for you. Now let’s talk numbers,” Mrs. Bradey open her second drawer and pulled out a notebook. Flipping throught the pages until, “Alrighty…the normal price would be fifteen hundred for the next five days, but seeing as you were a student here…I’ll drop it to one thousand. I dropped it a bit more because it’s you George,” Mrs. Bradey smiled and giggled as she stowed the notebook back in it’s place. “Is it a deal?”

Jeremy whistled behind me; only loud enough for me to hear. ‘He was right. That was a bit steep for the five days.’ “If a few more old students would also like to come and swim, would they be allowed?”

“Yes. As long as they come into the office and give me their ID’s. But they would have to do it today. No later than six o’clock. Is it a deal?”

“Sure let’s do it,” I pulled out my wallet and settled the bill.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 11

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 10

CHAPTER 11

-Present Day-

“Don’t even speak; I’m going to continue. But dude, calm down; you are going to cut of the circulation in your arms if you don’t let go,” Ken paused briefly.

I looked down and my arms were indeed turning purple, and my knucles were white. I relaxed enough to regain a feeling in my limbs. But only enough for that. Instead of
asking anything, I nodded to Ken to make him continue.

-After The Mall Incident-

The only reason we knew of the mall incident was because Brit heard it from Jenny a few months later. That summer was not a happy one. We would visit Jenny as much as we could, but she seemed like a zombie whenever we showed up.

She, along with her parents, agreed she should be homeschooled. She would not be continuing her senior year with us. It hit Brit really hard; she no longer had, her words, a ‘sane girlfriend’. We didn’t know she left until one day we came to visit.

-.-.-.-.-.-

“Ding-Dong” Matthew, Ken, and Brit stood at the front door of Jenny’s house. We knew someone was home because of the sound of footsteps.

“Coming!” Mrs. Brown answered the door. “Oh. Hello you three,” Jenny’s mom just stood there, like a deer in headlights.

“Mrs. Brown?” Brit waved her hand in front of Jenny’s mom’s face.

“Oh. Sorry. Come in,” Mrs. Brown stepped aside letting us enter into their home…

Everything was in boxes. “What’s going on?” We three yelled unexpectedly together.

Mrs. Brown jumped back from our explosive voices. “Wow! Did my husband not tell you? That man,” Mrs Brown sat down in the only avaliable chair.

“Mrs. Brown?” Brit went towards Jenny’s mom and crouched down to look up into her face. “Where is Jenny?”

“Jenny left,” Mrs. Brown brushed away a tear. “She accepted the offer from the Fine Art Insitute in Belguim. She will be finishing her senior year there, and then continuing into college.”

Brit gasped and looked up towards Matthew and myself. Her expression was identical to mine, and when I side glanced Matthew it was the same. Shock morphing into
sadness. ‘She just left.’

“She just left us. Without saying goodbye?” Brit turned back to Mrs. Brown, and she was tearing up. “Why…how could she…”

Mrs. Brown reached down and embraced Brit into a hug. “She was depressed. You know. You saw it the last time you were here. She just kept staring at the walls…” Mrs. Brown pulled away from Brit and wiped her own tears away. “Until…one day she painted a beautiful painting on her bedroom wall. It took my breath away. I… would you like to see it?”

We all nodded. Brit stood up from the floor and followed after Mrs. Brown. Once we stepped into Jenny’s room we understood what Jenny’s mom meant. It was the six of us. Matthew stood next to Brit with his arm around her waist. Ken was next; one of his arms draped over Brit all the way to Matthew’s shoulder. While the other arm draped over Jerry who stood next to him. Next was Jenny, and beside her was George; George also had his arm around Jenny’s waist. It was like a memory was captured on the wall. We all pulled out our phones and took pictures of Jenny’s creation.

“I never knew Jenny was so artistic,” Brit said into the silence.

“Yeah. She painted me exactly. Where did she learn?” Matthew also asked.

“I knew she loved to doodle, but I never knew she could do this. It was impressive enough, that I sent a picture of it to my friend at the insitute and maybe a week later we recieved her acceptence letter in the mail. It was a God’s send,” Jenny’s mom ran her hand over the image of her daughter. “This is how I’ll remember my baby; radiant and carefree. After everything that happened I was not about to say no to her escape. Mr. Matthews helped expentially; we would not have been able to send her without his help,” Mrs. Brown stepped back to us, “so I hope you three can understand her descion.”

“Of course. I am excited to see what she will accomplish when she learns some new skills,” Brit said walking up to Mrs. Brown, pulling her into a hug. “Come on, you two.”

Matthew and I walked over and joined into the group hug before Mrs. Brown could protest. We stayed there until the front door opened.

“Dear? Are you home? Who’s car is out front?” Coach yelled from the living room.

“We are in Jenny’s room,” Mrs. brown yelled but stayed in her current position. As soon as coach came into the room, he too joined into the group hug.

-Present Day-

“Wow. I didn’t know Jenny was an artist; I thought I knew everything about her,” I was shocked that I never knew this. “Can I see the picture?”

Ken pulled out his phone and showed me.

It was fantastic. She captured us perfectly. I knew what day this day was. It was way before the almost confession; back when we had no concerns, and I loved her. Looking
at this painting, I remebered why I loved her. She was and probably still is as beautiful. She was radiant just as Mrs. Brown said. My old feelings were trying to resurface; so I pushed them aside and went back to the conversation at hand.

“Did Coach and Jenny’s mom move?” I asked remembering the part where they said everything was boxed up.

“Not really. They didn’t sell their house, but they did move into a rental in Northern California. Your dad really helped them out; they are actually renting from your dad,” Jerry had chimmed in now. “That’s why we said they were on a trip earlier; because we had to tell you the back story first.”

‘That’s just like Dad. I’ll have to tell him thank you tomorrow.’ “What about Coach and coaching?”

“He did finish coaching for our senior year; he stayed with your Dad for those six-ish months,” Ken looked away before continuing, “but he quit.”

‘Coach quit. No way!’ “Seriously!? Coaching is his life.”

“Well after what the vice principle said to him about Jenny, I was surprised he lasted his last year. The guy pretty much told Coach that he was a horrible father and that
he needs to discipline Jenny more so that she will make better lifestyle choices.”

‘I’m surprised that Coach didn’t slug him.’ “Coach has some good self control; if it had been me, the vice would have been on the floor.”

“Oh believe me. Coach said he wanted to slug him, but he thought of it this way… if he leaves on his own terms he could always return after all the nonsense dies down. Only unless the vice principle is no longer at the school. Coach said if he had to see his face again he would…,” Jerry smirked and I knew exactly what would happen to the vice. “So now Coach, Mrs. Brown, and Lily are just living their lives in Northern California.”

“Right. How did Lily take all of the nonsense and change?” Remembering about my important little helper. ‘I wonder how big she is now?

“Well…Lily is now almost a teenager, so she was and is in her abnoxious stage of life. She complained about leaving, especially after Jenny had already left for Europe. She didn’t understand why her life had to end just beacause her stepsister’s did. Man she is a pain,” Ken was beginning to yawn. “Well Jerry do you want to give your input or…”

I could tell that they both were exhausted. I totally forgot that Ken also had to wake up, to get to LAX, early enough to pick us up. “Let’s finish tomorrow. I’m exhausted, and you both look awful. I guess you and Ken are using the other rooms, beacuse,” pointing down at the still totally passed out Jeremy, “he is out, and I have no intention of moving him. You?”

“Nah. Leave him there,” Ken said standing.

“Wow. Not caring about your new best bud,” Jerry jabbed at Ken who did not avoid it because he was so exhausted he couldn’t move fast enough.

“Ouch… I’m too tired to care. Let’s go to sleep. I need to look somewhat human by tomorrow afternoon,” Ken almost left the room. “See ya tomorrow George, or I guess later today.” Ken left to find his room.

“Yeah, see you, George. If I get a call from my boss and I have to be on shift tomorrow, I will stop by at night and recap things,” Jerry gave my shoulder a squeeze and he too left my room.

I thought I would lay there restless because of all the new knowledge I had gained, but instead my brain shut off and I was out.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 10

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 9

CHAPTER 10

-Back to Present-

I don’t know when, but Jeremy was passed out next to me. I guess he will be staying in this room tonight. I really can’t blame him; it’s…midnight. Wow, midnight…!? No wonder, we got up at three-thirty this morning. I would probably be out too except I was fuming. I got a surge of energy, hearing about what happened to Jenny. Now I understand their misunderstanding towards Jeremy. But I also feel bad for Jeremy; these past two years he has been labeled as scum without even knowing.

“So? What happened?” I questioned Ken. Looking to Jerry, who was just looking down and away.

Ken glanced at me, “You sure dude? You look awful. When did you wak…”

“There is no way I’m sleeping now,” I clenched my fists but sat there calmly.

“Just continue Ken. It’s almost to my part…” Jerry interuppted.

“Okay…” Ken began again…

-Six Months After The First Day Of School-

We thought that was the end of it. Jenny almost dropped out of school after the first day; she was planning to be homeschooled. However, Coach talked her out of it. He assured Jenny that, “No one will bring it up again; if they do they will deal with me.” Coach was pretty awesome. So Jenny decided to trust her stepdad and stay in school. All was back to normal. We went to classes, went to practices, swam at few invitational meets; just our normal everyday lives. Until…

The whispering began. I wouldn’t really call it whispering…it was more like hushed discussions; that would always seem to stop the moment Jenny came into a room. We as a group decided to just ignore them. The worst they were doing was being stupid and spreading gossip. So again we lived our normal lives. Then…

The whispers made it to functions, the grocery store, the outlet shops, etc; everyone would talk about the nonsense. But I think that day…is when it broke Jenny…

-.-.-.-.-

“Did you hear about that girl from the local high school,” a worker said to another.

“You mean the one that cheated on her current boyfriend with ten other boys?”

“Yeah, that one. But I heard it was twelve boys. But who cares about the number. She is a disgusting person. I am surprised she has the nerve to stay in this town… Where did you hear it from?”

I heard it from my sister, who heard it from her neighbor, who heard it from a newcomer at church. It seems like it has spread past this city’s limits.”

“Good. We need to get rid of the trash in our city. I hope she leaves.”

“Yes. But don’t you wonder what she looks like? She must be pretty for being able to date all those guys.”

“You never know. She could look like anything; she could be horribly ugly,” she laughed.

“All the more reason to throw out garbage,” she chuckled along with the other woman.

“Excuse me?” a small voice broke up their conversaition.

Both women returned to their upright positions, “Oh yes, what can I help you with?”

“I…would like…” Jenny was trying to form a sentence.

“Are you all right? Do you need anything?” The women quickly handed Jenny tissues once they saw the tears.

She had been in the dressing room, next to the women talking. Jenny wanted to confront the women at the start, but she was also curious about what the rumor actually was. Brit, Matthew, and Ken had made junior year possible because I had not heard any of the nonsense being spread. It was great to have such awesome friends. So being in that dressing room, hearing the beginning of the rumor that was about her; she wanted to know. She was now regretting her decision; mostly because she now knew she could not, and would not stay in this city another year. But here she stood in front of the women that broke her, and they didn’t care one bit. ‘They even scoffed at my pain.’

“I….I…” the tears were coming tenfold. “No….thank you…” and Jenny turned to leave the store without buying the dress she loved.

Opening the door and hoping to disappear quickly and quietly, instead she heard another customer say, “You do know that was the girl right? I am happy she is gone. She was ruining this place with her presence.”

Jenny left. She could hear the gasps from people around her. She weaved through the crowds, and finally made it to the elevator. Tears burned on her cheeks. The doors opened, she was hoping it would be a safe haven; instead the elevator was full. Also the whispers began as soon as she stepped through the doors. However, this time it was crystal clear what they were saying about her. “That’s the girl…the cheater…the female… I heard she…she did this…this is what happened…” she couldn’t drown out the noise any longer.

‘Just make it to the car. You will be alone at the car.’ The elevator opened and she dashed out before everyone. ‘Get to the car. Get to the…car…’ Words of profanity were plastered all over her car. Red paint spilled down over the windshield. ‘My car…’ The tears came, and they were not about to stop. Quickly she walked away from her car. Instead she made her way to the stairwell and started to climb.

Digging out her phone and trying to regain her composure, “Mom. Do you think you could come pick me up?”

“Sure honey. What’s wrong with your car?” Mrs. Bailey seemed to be distracted.

Jenny couldn’t hold it together and started balling. “Mom…I…” Jenny just sobbed and was unable to talk to her mom.

“Honey. Honey!?! Okay…you can’t answer. Go to the fifth floor of the parking garage. Do you hear me?”

“Mmhmm,” was all Jenny could muster between to sobs.

“Don’t do anything rash. I’m coming my darling. Stay strong! I’ll stay on the line, I’m here. I’ll just listen…I’m leaving now!”

“Mmhmm…” the sobs were subsiding as Jenny finally made it to the fifth floor. Thankfully it was not the roof; knowing from experiences that many teenagers hang out up there. She sat in the empty stairwell and waited for her mom to come.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 9

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 8

CHAPTER 9

-Same Day-

Jenny was still in the nurse’s office. Whereas, Matthew, Ken, and Brit stood in front of the Vice Principal’s desk. They were getting a thrashing for their behavior. The video evidence from various students were apprehended. Thankfully it was, because you were able to see what happened, but also hear what was said. Derek and Trevor were in the corridor outside. They would be on the chopping block next.

“I understand you were defending Miss Jennifer, but violence is never the answer; why is there always
violence within your group.” The vice principal just looked down at his desk and the various forms he would have to sign due to this altercation.

Matthew, Ken, and Brit showed no remorse, they did not falter and continued to look forward. ‘I would have, and I’m sure they would too, done the same thing again,’ Ken thought to himself as he side glanced his two accomplices.

“Of all days for him to take a day off,” the vice president looked to his superior’s desk. “I’ll have to punish you three, you understand that don’t you?”

“Yes, Sir,” all of us said collectively.

The vice looked up, “Do you regret it at all? Like you,” he pointed his pen at Matthew, “if I make this a bigger deal Mr. Matthew’s you could lose your perfect record. Are you so willing to do that for Miss Jennifer?”

“I would. Bullying should never be allowed,” Matthew answered without hesitating.

‘I was impressed,’ Ken thought to himself, ‘I forgot about Matthew’s scholarships…’

“Yes, yes. Bullying is awful. Alright. Since we have evidence that the fight was somewhat expected based on what the new students said, you three will recieve the same punishment that George had recieved. Volunteer in other clubs for one month. I will now deal with those two. If they stay here, they will have a pretty awful two years. Now leave my office, and get to class,” the vice shooed us to the door. “You two,” he pointed at Derek and Trevor, “Come in.”

Glares were exchanged between us three and them two. But their face changed to fear as soon as the vice started yelling at them.

“You two go to your classes, I’ll go check on Jenny,” Brit yelled over her shoulder as she skipped away and off to the nurse’s office.

We watched her until she was gone. I turned to Matthew, “Matthew, I agree with you a hundered percent; I would have reacted the same way, but you have worked so hard to go to a great college… would you have done the same if you had a chance to undo what happened?”

Matthew just stood there silently. He wasn’t responding as quick as he did before. “I would,” Matthew said calmly. “My goals for life should not just be based solely on academic achievement. I should have morals and take care of the people around me. So yeah, I would have acted the same; no matter the consequences.”

‘Wow.’ Ken was amazed at Matthew’s confidence.

“My parents are going to kill me, though” Matthew quietly stated as he started making his way to our next class.

‘True.’ Ken sprinted to catch up to him.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 8

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 7

CHAPTER 8

“So…about Jenny,” I said loud enough to end all other discussions.

Everyone was showered and just hanging out in my room. Jerry would be sleeping on my futon, while Ken and Jeremy were in the other guest bedrooms.

Silence. Jerry’s face changed from the laughing exprssion to seriousness. Ken just looked downward. Whereas Jeremy and myself just sat waiting for the big reveal.

Jerry cleared his throat first, “Well…where do you think I should begin Ken. If I don’t give enough back story it doesn’t quite make sense?”

Ken finally lifted his head, but only to ponder looking at the ceiling. It really seemed like he was attempting to make no eye contact. “Hmmm…maybe just start on the first day of school… maybe I should tell it since I was actually there. You can pick up when you came home. Deal?”

“Yep, all good,” Jerry gestured to Ken to continue.

“Okay…”

.-.-.-.

First Day Of School

“Hey Jenny,” Ken called to Jenny who was across the yard with Brit.

Jenny and Brit came running over, “Hey Ken! How is the first day being back without George and Jerry? Are you missing them terribly,” Jenny and Brit hugged each other and pretended to be sobbing.

“Not cool. But yes. I am missing them. It’s going to be a long two years if I’m stuck with just this one,” Ken pointed at the slowly apporaching Matthew.

“Hey Jenny. Hey Brit,” Matthew called to them as he approached, “You ready for these next two years?”

“Wow…no acknowledgement for your only friend here,” Ken tried to punch Matthew but missed and toppled forward; he was sprawled on the ground because Matthew had swiftly dodged it.

Matthew started to walk away, but paused by the girls, “Do you two hear anything? No? Okay, let’s head to our classrooms.” Matthew reached over a grabbed Brit’s wrist starting to pull her along with him. Jenny followed.

“Sure just ignore me; me on the ground. I know, you know I am here, or you would not have dodged me,” Ken picked himself up and ran to catch up to his leaving gang. “No love for me. Matthew only cares about Brit I guess…” Whack! Ken almost fell to the floor again. “What do you mean by…” Ken started to say but Matthew cut him off.

“Sorry you too,” Matthew apologetically waved to Jenny and Brit, who were quite shocked by Matthew’s sudden hit, “I was swatting away a giant bug. I really do hate bugs who keep pestering me,” Matthew carefully glared in the direction of Ken without actually looking at him.

Laughter erupted from Jenny and Brit. Matthew also chuckled. Ken did begrudingly, but he did laugh more as they continued to their own homeroom classes.

“What do you know… I was hoping to see her, but I didn’t realize I would meet her on our first day,” a voice came from behind us.

Ken paused, “Why does that voice sound familiar?” Turning around, he realized why. There stood Jerk Jeremy’s two best buds. ‘What do they mean their “first day?”‘

Matthew and the girls also turned.

“So…Jenny, right? How have you been? Now that your guard dog George is gone, do you think I could, you know…” Derek, the backstroker, walked towards Jenny with a smug smirk. Before anyone could move he was next to Jenny attempting to put his arm over her shoulders.

“What’s your problem?” Matthew shoved Derek away from Jenny; he took up his spot in front of both Jenny and Brit. “Don’t touch her!”

“What’s it to you? Jeremy told us about how she is…” the other one spoke, his name was Trevor.

“Shut up,” Ken had Trevor by the collar and was ready to retaliate if need be. “That was just a stupid rumor that died the day we schooled you at that swim meet.”

Other students who were originally ignoring what was happening, had changed their plans, and were now creating a mob around our exchange. We could see phones all around us,
probably trying to capture, what was happening, as a viral video. Jenny was silent and cowering behind Matthew. Brit was somewhat stronger; she was trying to support Jenny, as Jenny was beginning to falter.

“How about this, you can date her first and then I will…THUD!” Derek was sprawled on the floor.

Matthew had done the honors. Derek wasn’t moving, but he was breathing.

Trevor threw Ken off of him, and ran over to the almost unconsious Derek, “Are you crazy!?! What’s so wrong about speaking the truth. Jeremy gave us all the facts before we switched schools. I don’t know why you are protecting her anyways.”

Matthew walked up to Trevor and squatted down to his level, “Do I need to silence you too?”

Trevor hesitated and seemed to lean away from Matthew.

“Good. Then shut up,” Matthew stood up just as Brit called…

“Help!” Jenny had collapsed into her arms; Brit was craddling the unconscious Jenny in her lap as she sat on the floor.

Both Ken and Matthew rushed to Brit.

“Give her to me,” Matthew quickly placed his backpack next to Brit and scooped up the limp Jenny, carrying her to the nurse’s office.

Brit grabbed Matthew’s backpack, and then both Ken and her ran after Matthew, weaving between the onlookers. Leaving Trevor and Derek still on the floor…