The next day, Chris still didn’t get up on his own, but it was a lot easier to get him out of bed.
He also managed to dress more like a human being. Still all dark colors, but he wore black jeans and a navy blue button-up instead of an interesting collage of clothes.
I was hoping that meant he was feeling better.
The day seemed to be going reasonably better, but then Geoffry came over to us at lunch.
He sat down next to Chris, across from us. He was looking at Chris in a way that I didn’t recognize on Geoffry. It was almost a look of… Regret.
Chris scowled and said, “What do you want, Geoffry?”
Geoffry swallowed and said, “Chris, I wanted to talk to you… About last Sunday.”
As we have done many times before, Alice, Mouse, Leo, and I pretended not to listen, but all had our ears open.
Chris turned back to his lunch and ignored Geoffry.
“Chris, please.” Geoffry said, putting his and on Chris’ shoulder.
Wow, Geoffry said the ‘p’ word.
“Don’t touch me.” Chris said sharply. To my surprise, Geoffry obeyed and moved his hand.
Geoffry sighed and said, “Chris… I just don’t see why you’re mad.”
“You know what, Geoffry?” Chris said, “I’m done with you. You want to know something I never told you?”
We were all watching curiously now, wondering what crazy, deep thing Chris would say.
Chris sneered in disgust, “I have always hated your dreadlocks!”
Leo and I exchanged an ‘are you kidding’ look.
Geoffry eyed Chris questioningly and Chris nodded.
“Yeah,” Chris said, “They are tacky and disgusting! There, I said it! I have always hated your dreadlocks. Seriously, Geoffry. Perfect teeth, perfect face, perfect smile…”
I flicker of a smile crossed Chris’ lips for just a second, but quickly faded.
“But the dreadlocks just threw it all off.” He complained, shaking his head, “Terrible.”
“What if I change?” Geoffry said, taking Chris’ hand. He continued before Chris could say anything.
“I can change.” Geoffry said, “I won’t change who I am, but I can a few things, you name them. Right here, right now. What do you want me to change? I can make a list and change them A.S.A.P.!”
Chris’ glare turned into a slightly curious look, but he forced a scowl back onto his face almost instantly. He tried to pull his hand away from Geoffry’s, but Geoffry held it tight.
“Come on, Chris.” Geoffry whispered, smiling nervously, “I can change.”
Leo had lost interest by now, but Alice, me, and even Mouse were sucked into their conversation like Chris got sucked into Soap Operas.
Chris studied Geoffry’s face and said coldly, “I’m sorry, Geoffry, but you went too far.”
Geoffry’s face fell and he said, “Come on, Chris. Where’s your heart?”
“Tacky, but quotable movie line coming in three, two…” I whispered to Alice.
Chris said, shaking his head, “Not in your possession, that’s for sure.”
“Told you.” I whispered to Alice again.
Geoffry’s eyes looked sad and he let his hand drop out of Chris’.
Chris gave Geoffry one last hesitant, almost cruel look, stood up with his lunch, and left the table.
I focused on Geoffry as he watched Chris walk away. There was an unfamiliar look of sadness and guilt on his face.
Geoffry wrapped his arms around his own shoulders and put his elbows on the table, as if he was trying to make himself seem smaller. I couldn’t believe it, but for the first time as long as I’ve known him, I felt bad for him.
I exchanged an uncomfortable look with my friends and we sat in awkward silence for a few minutes.
I looked at Geoffry, who had his head down on the table.
I glanced at Alice, who shrugged. I looked at Leo and Mouse for help and they did the same as Alice.
I uneasily reached out and put my hand on Geoffry’s shoulder. My fingers brushed against his dreadlocks; Chris was right, they were kind of weird. I tried to imagine kissing a guy with dreadlocks and immediately regretted it.
Geoffry looked up and looked at me with sad eyes that reminded me so much of Chris that it was disturbing.
I swallowed and nodded to him. I smiled and said gently, “Go get him, he needs you.”
Geoffry stared at me as if I had two heads. Leo was doing the same, but soon enough he just rubbed his temples and mumbled something, shaking his head.
I nodded to Geoffry again and said, “He really needs you. I know, I’m his sister.”
Helping Geoffry win Chris over was never something I thought I would do, but Mabel was right; Chris and Geoffry needed each other.
Geoffry nodded and smiled at me.
“Thank you,” He said quietly, standing up.
Geoffry turned and walked away then.
Leo looked at me and said, “Angela, you hate Geoffry. Why did you do that?”
I shrugged, “Like I said, Chris needs Geoffry and Geoffry needs Chris.”
Mouse scoffed and said, “Have you been drinking gasoline? You sound nuts.”
I shook my head and smiled to myself.