Something Stupid

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    Something Stupid
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    Something Stupid

    Post by Something Stupid on Wed Apr 14 2010, 23:39

    It was the middle of a Friday afternoon in the small rural town. Many of the businesses were closing for the night, though it was only about four in the afternoon. The same applied to the small grocery store at the corner of Swift and Mare. Two young clerks stood at the entrance, one lazily untying his dark green apron while the other locked the door.

    “Going over the Babs’ to pick up Riley, John?” the taller of the two said, throwing his apron over his shoulder. He threw a wink at his friend as he brushed an unruly strand of his dark hair out of his face. “You said something about you two going on a date this afternoon, right?”

    John shoved the store key in his pocket and nodded as they began to walk down the road. “I guess Luna told you about it,” he smiled then shrugged. “Well, she deserves to be taken out often. She’s the most amazing girl I think I’ve ever met, Chance.”

    Chance winced slightly upon hearing his name. “T-Rex, man. Call me T-Rex! But I’m glad you’ve found yourself a good girl.” He grinned and elbowed John, then pointed in the windows of the building they were now standing before. Two young women were inside, one behind the counter looking both bored and annoyed. The other was leaning on the counter talking enthusiastically, seemingly unaware of the time.

    “Look, Luna, I need to close up. If you could get off my counter or something, that’d be great,” the first said. She waved a dirty rag in Luna’s face with one hand and brushed her short brown hair out of her eyes with the other.

    Luna, a shorter girl with long black hair, smiled and backed away a few steps. “Sorry, Miss Business,” she said, stifling a small giggle. She giggled again and wildly waved in the two boys outside. “Aw, look who it is, Riley. It’s your two boys!” Luna said, her Australian accent especially thick as she watched John and Chance enter.

    “They’re not ‘my boys,’ Luna,” Riley sighed as she returned her cleaning supplies to their shelf. “Chance is my best friend. Only John is ‘my boy.’” She smiled tiredly at each in turn, her gaze lingering longer on John than it had on Chance.

    “It’s T-Rex,” Chance muttered under his breath.

    “Whatever, Chance,” John said as he patted him on the back. “Riley, are you ready for our date tonight? I’ve got a full night planned. We’ll go to the theater and hit that new movie that just came out. After that, we can go out for dinner; we can decide what we want after the movie. Then after that I figured we could–”

    “Um, John,” Riley interrupted, reaching for the necklace around her neck. “I’m sorry, but I don’t think tonight is the best night for a date. I’ve got a nasty headache and just want to go home. We can do that all tomorrow or something, okay?” She smiled apologetically at him and shooed everybody out of the store so she could lock up. John lingered a moment longer than the others before turning and exiting the store.

    * * * *
    Riley watched as Luna, Chance, and John waved and turned away, probably to get something to eat. She surveyed the store as she rubbed her temples. She regretted not having any Advil or anything to take for her growing headache, but decided that it was a good excuse for postponing her date with John. She really did love John and enjoyed being with him. They had been on a date nearly every night for the past few weeks and, when they were not on a date, they were together, sometimes with Luna and Chance. She was starting to feel somewhat claustrophobic.

    Riley closed up the clothing store and returned home through the nearly empty streets. Home was a small apartment on the second floor of a small building. She dumped her backpack on a chair near the door and collapsed heavily on the sofa. She was asleep almost instantly.

    Several hours later, Riley sat up suddenly and gazed around wildly, awakened from her sleep by some strange noise. She finally found the clock and realized it was late in the evening. She finally found the source of the strange noise and, somewhat groggily, she answered her ringing cell phone.

    “Hey, Riley,” a quick accented voice said. “Hope you’re feeling better. You know that John had been looking forward to this date all day, right? He had been planning it for quite a while.”

    Riley made a mental note to roll her eyes when she was able to open her eyes. “Luna, I’m sure he was upset that I had to cancel; I was exactly thrilled either, but I couldn’t have enjoyed it with this headache. John wouldn’t have had fun, either. I’ll make it up to hi—um. Sorry, I’ve got another call. I’ll call you back later, alright?” Riley quickly clicked the red button on her phone before waiting for a response. She was more awake now, but was still longing to go back to sleep.

    “Hey, sweetie! Feeling any better?” John’s voice rang out from the device in Riley’s hand. She managed to open her eyes enough to roll them this time.

    “Yeah, I’m feeling a little better, though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want more sleep,” she said, trying to sound happy or even awake. She knew she had failed when John replied.

    “Oh, okay. Sorry I disturbed you,” he muttered. “Tomorrow we’ll have to go on a super date or something, okay? I’ll even postpone my trip to the gym tomorrow for it. You just wait, it’ll be great!”

    “Yeah, it sounds great,” Riley said, attempting to smile. She knew he could not see her, but she did it anyway. “Oh, John, someone else is calling. I’ll see you tomorrow. Love you,” she said quickly and hung up before he could respond. She sighed before answering her phone once again.

    “I know John just called; did Luna call, too?” Chance asked quietly, as though he were whispering into the phone. Riley heard him chuckle when she confirmed that she had. “I’m with John right now. I figured that if someone else called, you would be able to hang up on him and get back to sleep.”

    Riley smiled at this and even managed a small laugh. “Yeah, I’m glad you did. Should I assume you’re going to let me go back to sleep, now?”

    “Yup!” Riley could see him beaming on the other end of the phone. “Have a good night,” he said and hung up without another word. Riley smiled again as she closed her phone. She and Chance had been friends long enough to know when the other just wanted to sleep. She stretched and got up to move from the couch to her bed, thinking about whether she would be up to yet another date with John the next day.

    * * * *
    When Riley woke up the next morning, she felt wide-awake and full of energy. However, she could not repress a strange sense of dread at the thought of spending a full day with her ever-present boyfriend. She stared blankly at the piece of bread in the toaster, as it turned a light brown under the influence of the wires glowing orange that surrounded it.

    “Without a doubt, I love him,” she said to the slice of toast. “I really do. It’s just that he’s been wanting to be together practically every second of the day. He’s gotten Luna in on the act, too. She pesters me any time I’m not with him. ‘Why aren’t you with John?’” Riley did her best impersonation of an Australian accent as she could then sighed. “Well, I did fall in love with him, didn’t I?” she said. Looking back at toaster, she added with a groan, “Mr. Burnt-to-a-Crisp Toast.”

    Not long after she had rescued her toast from the grips of her over-zealous toaster, Riley found herself in a firm grip of her boyfriend in the form of a hug.

    “Feeling better this morning, I hope?” he grinned at her. His grin grew large when she smiled and nodded. “Good! I’ve got a full day planned for us, sweetie. First, we can go to the early showing of that new movie. After that, we can have a picnic out by the lake; Duke told me she was going to be practicing with her band out there around lunchtime. When we’re done with that I figured we could…”

    After a short while, Riley stopped listening to John as her mind began to wander. “How is it there are still things to do in this town?” She wondered lazily, nodding and smiling as required. “We’ve done practically everything this town has to offer. The only new things are the movies that come out; you can only go to the theater so many times before it gets old. This constant stream of dates is making everything seem rather dull.” She stopped her contemplation as John stopped speaking.

    “Sounds great, honey,” she said, smiling and looking as thrilled as she could manage. “I think we’re in for a pretty awesome day.”

    Everyone walked everywhere in the small town they lived in; it took half an hour to get from one end of town to the other if one were to walk. Hand in hand, Riley and John walked the five minutes from Riley’s apartment to the theater. Riley allowed John to do most of the talking; she paid little attention to what he was saying, nodding and agreeing when it seemed appropriate; her thoughts turned elsewhere.

    She watched absent-mindedly as they passed other couples out for the weekend. A dog raced beside the lone car driving down the road, barking happily at it and trying to take a bite out of the black tires. The sight caused several smaller children out with their families’ to point and laugh. The little old lady who owned a small fruit shop put up a sign advertising a special on her strawberries. Riley made a mental note to go buy some later if she had a chance. By the time they had reached the theater, Riley was certain John had covered more than a dozen topics and she had not heard even one. She gave one long continuous nod as John pointed at various signs advertising the movies and explained the general idea behind each of them, hoping for Riley to pick one for them to watch.

    “Riley,” John whispered. A hint of worry hung in his voice as he waved his hand slowly in front of Riley’s face. She blinked rapidly as she returned to reality from her mental journey.

    “Huh, what?” she stammered, disoriented slightly. “What’s wrong?”

    “I was just going to ask you that. Are you still feeling bad? Do I need to take you back so you can sleep some more? Do you have a headache?”

    Riley stared at the boy in front of her in some confusion. It took a moment for her to realize that she had said nothing for the last ten minutes and that John was worried she was still feeling ill. “No, I’m alright. Why don’t you pick the movie?” She smiled the sweetest smile she could and hoped John would just go buy them tickets. John cast her one furtive glance, then smiled and made his way to the ticket booth.

    The movie John chose was about pirates and seemed like it would be straightforward, but Riley found herself so confused by it that she stopped paying attention halfway through. After it was over, John wanted to talk about it. Because she was confused by what she watched and had not paid attention to the rest, John became increasingly frustrated.

    “Captain Crow only seemed to switch sides in order to help Becky Duckling and Bobby Spinner. He was doing it for himself, really. Becky and Bobby didn’t know that, though, so they fell for his trick,” he explained for what seemed the millionth time to Riley. His explanation of the movie continued and Riley was getting a headache trying to keep characters straight and understanding who was betraying whom under what circumstances.

    “Oh, I get it,” she said finally, cutting John off mid-sentence. “That’s what I missed.” She smiled in thanks, though she really had no idea what had happened. “I thought pirate movies were simple,” she complained mentally.

    “You see? I told you it wasn’t as complicated as you thought.” John was beaming with pride as he led her to the lake for their picnic. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders as they walked, causing Riley to stumble along, tripping over her own feet. When they reached the lake, Duke and her band were tuning their instruments for what they called a concert.

    An hour later, Riley was sorry she had ever agreed to go on the make up date. The food was good, but John talked nearly nonstop, asking questions that she did not feel like answering and pointing out things that would have normally seemed amazing if it were not for the major distraction of her clingy boyfriend. She was especially sorry for Duke and her band; she could hardly enjoy their music, as she would have under any other circumstances. Finally, Riley gave up and said that she wanted to go home.

    After several inquiries as to her health, John finally packed their picnic and they began the trek back to Riley’s house. The entire trip consisted of John talking: offering to carry her home, suggesting that he buy her some medicine, proposing that they take a break and sit every block corner. By the time they had arrived at Riley’s apartment, Riley was fully prepared to just slam the door in John’s face and hide from him for a week or two.

    “I’m sorry today didn’t turn out as spectacular as I had hoped it would, Riley,” John said as Riley unlocked the door. He was silent a moment, then stuck his foot in the door as Riley attempted to close it. “I know; I could make you something hot to drink. Maybe we could have a movie night. Oh! We could also–”

    “Good night, John,” Riley said abruptly. Without another word, she shoved the door shut and locked herself in the room lit by twilight. She dumped the contents of her pockets on her nightstand and slept the night through.

    * * * *
    The next day, Riley found herself walking along Main Street without any purpose in mind. She wandered up one side and down the other, looking in the shop windows and greeting those out with the same purpose. As she rounded a corner, she literally ran into John who had been going the other direction around the corner. She smiled at him and began to greet him, then stopped herself. The events from the previous day play briefly in her mind and her smile vanished.

    “John, I’m sorry about yesterday; I sort of ruined our date.” She paused a moment, then rushed on. “I was just sort of annoyed; we’ve been together every moment possible for the past few days and I’m starting to miss some of my alone time; I’m also starting to miss being able to hang out with just Chance. Luna, too. I want to be your girlfriend, but I’d really like it if we could have a few less dates.” She ended quietly and staring down, suddenly finding the pavement beneath her shoes the most fascinating thing in the world.

    John put his arm around Riley and smiled. “It's fine. Let’s just have a nice day, with or without each other. Up to you.” They walked down the street into the sunset.
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    Something Stupid
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    Re: Something Stupid

    Post by Something Stupid on Wed Apr 14 2010, 23:39

    Saved for use at a later date.
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    mrssabakunogaara
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    Re: Something Stupid

    Post by mrssabakunogaara on Wed Apr 14 2010, 23:51

    pretty good so far. :D

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    Re: Something Stupid

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