One More Round
We'd just left the arcade running after playing a few rounds. The first winter following the end of high school, just me and Ted. We ran from his parent's who didn't like the fact that he asked them if he could go to college which is why such a smart guy like him was still hanging out with a big idiot like me.
As for me; despite football, I didn't get accepted to anywhere. I was just kind of bumming around looking for work at the moment. Well I was until Ted asked me to hang out with him.
It was a chilly winter night; the two of us ran down the street and they where still hot on our heels.
Ted and I dived into an alley as Ted's father ran by. He was angry as a bull in Red Square; yes I did sometimes pick up things from class. Although I don't really know where Red Square is…
Behind him was Ted's mother who was practically yelling at Ted's dad at this point.
"It's that damn Daria I'm telling you! She gave him all those corrupting influences and now our son's become a…"
"Shut up!" I could tell that Ted had never heard his father yell at his mother before. Regardless the two quickly made up and returned to their search. They where long gone by the time Ted spoke.
"Maybe I should just go home Robert." He had slunk to the ground trying to catch his breath.
I sighed and slowly sat on the ground beside him; it was cold, like the air around us. Yet inside I felt oddly warm and the my adrenaline was pumping throughout my body. I had to admit that I was never the brightest, but dodging around like this seemed stupid even by my standards. I found myself wanting some action; wanting to keep running or something else…
I looked over to the guy next to me. He wasn't really big or cute; and yet as his glasses fogged up in the cold winter air I found myself blushing.
I'd never really blushed like that before.
I never had to do this with any girl I dated.
Did I just think of dating?
I hung out with Ted, but did I date him.
Who the fuck was I kidding, we're practically dating at this point. Even if he's not totally aware of it.
I guess it's not really that big of a deal to me; knowing that I like guys and stuff. I always kind of suspected I did.
I still liked chicks, but a lot of them just used me…
Ted never used me.
And so I found myself putting my arm around him.
"What are you doing?"
He didn't sound angry, just kind of curious. Still I tried to say it was cold; it reminded me of all those times when my eyes lingered on the other guys in the showers after a game longer than I thought they should.
"Should I go home?"
I told him I didn't know. "I guess I'm just stupid; sorry man…"
"You're not stupid."
He was frowning; when he frowned I remembered I liked his smile. "Yes I am; I didn't even get accepted into college."
"That's okay; I'm not going to college."
"You chose not too." Ted said nothing in his defense. "You should; you should go to photographer school. You take those really cool pictures." Ted was still silent, still frowning although the tiniest hint of a smile almost crept onto his face. "Man, fuck your parents. I hate to be rude, but they aren't very good parents if they're telling you not to get smarter. Parents are suppose to nag their kids to be smarter; I mean mine do that with me! I don't know what's pissing them off so much, but I don't think they can make you stay if you don't want too. If they won't pay then I'll pay. Yeah! I'll get a job and help pay for you to go to college. We'll get you through photo school together!"
I noticed Ted didn't seem to know what to feel. Maybe he wanted to defend his parents or correct me on something stupid I said, but he just smiled at me.
I loved his smile and was glad I could get him to do it again…
Of course I meant every word I said.
We both got up and dusted ourselves off. I figured we could go back to the arcade and figure out what we're going to do well we play one more round…