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She’s sitting at a table that had only one seat because all the other tables were occupied. She was too nervous to ask someone could she take an extra chair for her friend that was coming.
He walks over. “Well, I guess I’m not wanted! No seat for me,” he says.
She zaps out of her thoughts and turns to him. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking! I should’ve just asked somebody!” She explains to him.
"Wasn’t thinking!? Gosh, I asked a girl with no brain for a brunch date?" He shakes his head and walks away.
She smiles a little and watches as he goes over to a table of four and ask for their extra chair. He comes back over and sits across from her. “I’m sorry. I just have things on my mind.”
"Me?" He smiles.
She smiles but shakes her head. “No. Political science class.”
"I like the professor! The class is really interesting, but I don’t test well at all. I’m only taking it because it sounded like the best option for a requirements class. It is interesting, it’s just I don’t test well. I got a 71! Barely made a C!"
"You made it over a C by 1 extra point!" He tries to give her a reassuring smile. "But I took that class last semester. You have Professor Carter?"
"Yeah," she says.
"I’ll help you study. I passed with a B."
"Thanks so much! That would be great!" She smiles.
"Now that that’s dealt with. Is it time to think about me?"
She laughs and bites her lip. “Yeah. Now it’s time to think about you.”
He smiles wide. “Finally!” He presses his hands on the table.
She giggles. “You’re so quick with answers.”
"Just my charm!" He shrugs. "You know_"
She quickly says, “I don’t.”
Now he’s the one to smile. “Let me finish!” She smiles as she takes a sip of her orange juice. “I learned something new today.”
She sits back interested. “Enlighten me.”
"Barney! Barney!" Megan says as she jumps up and down and watches the show.
Uncle Mark groans as he walks into the living room and flops down on the couch. “Not the dinosaur!!! Kids actually still watch this show?”
"Barney," Megan says as she sits down on the floor in front of the tv.
Kyle walks in. “Yes, kids still watch these shows…when they’re…I don’t know, kids,” Kyle teases his brother.
"But times are changing. Shouldn’t she be on your ipad or something."
Kyle shakes his head. “You don’t know me bro, do you? Don’t own an ipad. Even if I did, she’s not using it until she’s 10 or 12, if that!”
"Wow. Sucky Dad alert," Uncle Mark says.
"I don’t see you winning a best dad award!"
"I’m not a Dad!"
"My point exactly! When are you going to stop being a sucky person!"
Uncle Mark laughs. “I’ve got this princess.” He sits on the floor and picks up Megan and sits her on his lap. He kisses her and she giggles. “All I need.”
"I’m watching tv, Uncle Mark!" He begins to tickle her. "Nooo!" She laughs. "Stop." He stops and pats her stomach.
Kyle smiles. “Then visit more often. Stop making it seem like you’re a ghost.”
"I have to keep my distance! I still look young, if I keep visiting you I might end up looking…old, like you!" Kyle shakes his head. "Can’t have that," Uncle Mark says as he cracks a smile. Uncle Mark looks at Megan. "Right, princess. I look so handsome! Don’t I?"
Megan looks at him. “You’re beautiful!” She kisses his cheek.
"Daddy, it’s raining really hard," Emma said.
Pete nods and tries to see through the windshield. “I know, sweetie.”
"I’m scared," she said as she hugged her doll and looked out the window.
A horn blew and Pete swerved around a car and then pressed on the breaks as the cars stopped at a red light. “Almost home,” he says as he looks back at his daughter.
The sound of thunder crashes and Emma shrieks. She squeezes her doll. “Daddy.”
"I know," he says softly. He looks at the light, begging for it to turn green. When it finally changes the cars move slowly. "This is dangerous," Pete says.
Instead of continuing he pulls over and parks. He unbuckles his seat belt and turns to Emma. “I don’t want to risk anything happening, so we’re going to wait until the rain calms down.”
"No," Emma says as tears fill her eyes.
"We’re going to be okay! It’s safe if we wait. We don’t want to crash, right?" Emma swallows and just stares at him scared. "Right?"
She nods and says in a tiny voice, “Right.” She wipes at her eyes.
Pete shakes her leg. “It’s going to be alright.”
All of a sudden they hear a horn being blown right next to them in a red car, but just as fast a van slams into the car and the car hits the car in front of it.
"One, two, three," Susan whispers.
All together, the three of them shout, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JANE!”
Jane wakes up startled and sits up. She looks around and sees her friends standing over her and groans. She lays back down and presses her face in the pillow. “Nooooo,” she whines.
"Wake up!" Katherine says.
"Come on, birthday girl!" Carly says as she shakes her.
"I just want to sleep," Jane mumbles.
"No! There’s so much we’re going to do today, Katherine says.
Susan pokes at Jane’s sides and she squirms. Then they all begin to do it and Jane tries to push them off but they’re attacking her. She quickly stands up and says, “Fine! Fine, I’m up!”
They smile. “Good morning,” they all say.
"You all suck," Jane says.
"We made breakfast," Carly says.
"We? Kath and I did most of the cooking! All you did was hand us utensils and set the table," Susan.
"I cut the fruit," Carly adds.
Jane laughs. “I bet you the fruit will be the best part.”
He comes back into his room with a bowl of popcorn. He climbs on the bed and sits beside her. “Pick a movie yet?” He puts popcorn in his mouth as he looks at the laptop screen.
"Oh, kind of got distracted." She laughs as she’s on Facebook.
"Wow! Come on, we’ll never watch a movie at this rate!" He tries to take the laptop from her.
"No!" She steals some popcorn and replies to a message. "Hang on."
"Unbelievable," he says. He eats some more popcorn.
She smiles and clicks a video she sees her friend shared and it’s of a little girl dancing really well. “Whoa!” He watches with her. “I can’t even dance like that.”
"I know," he teases.
She flicks popcorn at him. “Like you’re any better.”
"I got some moves!"
"The sprinkler and Michael Jackson thrust doesn’t count."
He chuckles. “You doing the running man doesn’t count either.”
She laughs and looks at him. “Shut up.”
He smiles and kisses her cheek and then he kisses her neck. “Love you.”
She smiles and pecks his lips. “Love you too.”
"It sucks," Wilson says.
"What does," Paul asks?
"Letting others get to you! You have friends, and family, and people you love…people you hate…people that are just there and some say they don’t judge you and some clearly do! The problem is…everybody judges," Wilson says.
Paul nods. “And why does that suck?”
Wilson laughs. “Why? Because you can’t…you can’t just be honest! You’re scared! I’m scared to tell someone that…i’m not okay, because they always see me smiling! I don’t want to tell someone off, because they might change their whole idea of me and then i’m losing a friend over being honest! Judgement sucks because…because who do I turn to and tell i’m actually hurting? That yeah, you see me smile and it seems I’m doing a lot with my life…That having a job, getting an education and finding a hobby is all good and fun…but I still fall apart. I truly rarely have plans. I’m stuck on the computer or watching tv…or just…stuck with my thoughts!” Wilson scratches his head. “My stupid thoughts and feelings! I think about my parents! My friends that I thought I could talk too…but…I don’t know how to! I think about her! How…i’m so messed up I can’t be with her! I think…I think how fucked up our world is! How…” Wilson shakes his head. “It sucks!”
"I just want the easy way out! I want out!" He looks away from Peter. "I’m so done," he says in a soft voice. "So done with it all."
"Don’t say that. Carl, don’t say things like this!" Carl shakes his head and looks down, with his back still to Peter. "Look at me! LOOK AT ME, CARL!" Peter calms down, not meaning to lose his temper.
Carl turns to Peter with tears in his eyes. “I’ve had enough. Look at me! I’m so messed up! I just make it harder on everyone.” He cries. “I suck!”
Peter shakes his head. “No, life sucks! You don’t suck! Life sucks, Carl! Life sucks right now! Things are messed up! People are stupid! Things aren’t easy.”
Carl presses his fist to his head. “No…things aren’t easy,” he says through tears. He sniffs. “No.”
Peter swallows. “But, don’t talk about ending it! Don’t…Don’t…” Peter looks up at the ceiling not finding the right words. “UGH! GOD!” He looks at Carl. “Carl you are strong! You are stronger than this!”
Carl shakes his head and backs up against the wall. He presses his hands to his eyes. “No…Not anymore. No!”
"Yes!" Peter walks up to him and grabs him at the back of his neck and looks him in the eye. "Carl, I know it hurts! I know…But I’m right here for you. And you’re not alone. You aren’t!" A tear falls from his eye. "Please…Please…" He presses his head against Carl’s as Carl looks down and cries.
"I got one," Erik says! "You say you love the feeling of sand under your feet, but you love to wear flip flops on the beach! But…that’s none of my business!"
"I got one. You say you’d smack a bitch if they try to flirt with your man, but I see you checking out other guys. But, that’s NONE of my business," Brandon says.
They laugh. “You say you think animals are so cute, but don’t think I didn’t see you chomp down on those hot dogs and hamburgers! That’s none of my business, though,” Keke says.
"No, you say you’re interested in me, but the next day you’re flirting with other girls! BUT, that’s none of my business right? You say you can talk to me and I listen and that you feel comfortable with me, yet you go around cuddling and opening to other people too. But, that’s none of my business either!" She sits up. "I mean, you say that you want to hang out, yet you blow me off for your fake friends! Is that none of my business too? You say you want to be with someone right, but you keep looking and surrounding yourself with all the wrongs. That’s none of my business!" She folds her arms.
"Damn, Kelsey! Breathe."
Kelsey nods. “He said he wanted to change, I didn’t know changing meant turning into an asshole.” She sits back. “That’s none of my business,” she whispers.
"You can’t stand seeing me sad? How do you think I feel? I don’t want to be like this! You say you’re sick and tired of me being depressed or not doing much and seeming so distant and no fun…? WOW! REALLY, WOW!" She pushes hair out of her face and looks at her friend. "I don’t want to be like this! I’m not choosing this! I want to smile! I don’t want to only listen to sad music…not have the energy to hang around people…lose the want to even do things I use to love!" She slams her hand on the wall and then does it again. "God, Marissa! This sucks!" She looks at her friend. "It sucks! THIS SUCKS! I WISH IT WOULD GO AWAY! I WISH IT WOULD JUST STOP!"
Marissa looks down and plays with her fingers. She tries to hold down tears. She looks back at her friend. “I don’t know how to help…and I want to be there for you…It’s-It’s just I don’t like being around you. It’s not….fun. I’m worried…I am.”
Tears build in her eyes. “I wish someone could help me.” She screams, “AHHHH!” Tears fall from her eyes. “JUST…PLEASE…STOP!” She says as she slams her fist in the wall. She then presses her forehead against the wall. “I want it to stop.” She’s breathing heavily. “I want to be ok.” She cries, “I want to be ok.”
Marissa slowly stands up and walks up behind her. She doesn’t know how to comfort her. She reaches out her hand to touch her back but she pulls it away. She then wraps her arms around her and hugs her from behind.
They’re lying in her dorm room bed and he kisses her neck. She smiles and puts down her phone.
"Who were you texting," he asks?
"Ashley. She wanted to know if I wanted to go get dinner. I told her I already had some with you." She smiles and pokes his nose. He smiles. She touches his arm and traces his tattoo. "I never asked you. Why two arrows going in the same direction?"
He shrugs. “To keep it short, it keeps me going.”
"Can I know the whole story?"
"Another time." He looks at her.
She nods. “Ok.” She swallows and stares at his face.
"Do you want a tattoo," he asks?
"I don’t know. Thought about it at some point…but it’s not calling me to get one."
He nods. “I get ya.” He touches her side. He rests his head against hers. “Thanks for chillin’ with me all day.”
"I’m glad you wanted to spend it with me." He nods. She smiles and he slowly leans in and kisses her.