Monday, August 13, 2012

Cool With A "K" PART 31 - CHAPTER 4

"BAHAHAHAHA!" I cracked up, smacking my leg with my hand. 
Chris walked into the room, holding a glass in his hand. He sighed and walked over to the couch. "Angie, are you watching that show again?" 
I glowered at him. "Yeah. So what?" 
"You have been watching way too much 30 Rock." Chris said, "It's not healthy." 
"Yes, because it's completely healthy for you to watch sixteen consecutive hours of Pretty Little Liars." I said, my eyes on the TV. 
Chris' lips tightened. 
"That's different." He said stiffly. 
Watching the TV, I busted out laughing again. I covered my mouth and laughed hard, tears welling up in my eyes. I looked at Chris and he gave me, if possible, a look of even bigger disapproval than the time I laughed at one of Leo's poop jokes in first grade. I laughed harder. 
"I'm sorry!" I squeaked, rolling over on the couch. 
Chris rolled his eyes and groaned, bringing the glass in his hand to his lips, "You're ridiculous." 
My laughter finally slowed and I sat up. 
"What the hell is that?" I asked.
Chris wiped the corner of his mouth with his finger and answered cheerfully, "It's a smoothie. I found recipes for all of these super healthy drinkable foods online." 
I grimaced. "Ew. Why?" 
Chris gave me a look. "Because, Angela,"- Oh, great. -"Modern society is driving us into the ground! People in power are making crazy decisions and if we don't act soon, we're going to end up swimming for our lives in the melted ice caps because of global warming!" 
He paused, then added, "Either that or we'll be living on this festering planet in what was formerly the United States, surrounded by idiots and savages and we'll be forced to turn to cannibalism for survival." 
Chris stared off into the distance, dazed. He noticed me staring at him and he smiled. 
"So... What does this have to do with your nasty smoothie?" I asked slowly. 
Chris sighed, "Well, Angie, I just want to be around to help make good decisions for our planet once I'm old enough to actually do something. If I die before I can have a say in how we're going to keep our people and our planet from taking a nosedive into a distopian world out of a science fiction novel, I'll have to get past all of the horrible, greasy junk food society pushes on us. I have to stay healthy." 
I stared at Chris. "Okay... Where's all this society business coming from? Since when do you care about the government?" 
"Since always." Chris said, looking at me, "It's important. Don't you want your children to live in a world where it's safe to go outside? Where they can breathe freely and drink clean water and not be surrounded by illiterate lunatics?" 
"First of all, Chris, just because people are illiterate doesn't mean they're lunatics." I said, "Second of all, you're gay. You can't have kids." 
Chris looked shocked. He hissed, "I can adopt. What's wrong with you?" 
"Okay, geez, I'm sorry." I dismissed the conversation, not wanting to start an argument. I shook my head and turned back to the TV. I glanced at Chris. "What did you put in that?" 
He looked down at his smoothie, then back at me and he smiled again. "Well, I put in some fresh fruit that Mom and I got from the Co-op, some kale from the garden outside-" 
"Never mind. I don't care." I grumbled. 
Chris looked me up and down. He stood up and snapped, "Fine. You know who'd love to hear about eating right and my plan to save the world?" 
"Alice." Chris spun on his heel and walked out of the room. He poked his head back through the doorway and said, "This is exactly the kind of thing that eccentric college professors would be interested in." 
"Then it looks like you have a shot." I called back to him, "As long as you don't bore them with your Glee trivia knowledge." 
Chris scoffed and disappeared back into the hallway. I grinned to myself and picked up the remote, un-pausing 30 Rock. "Burn.

Chris stepped out the kitchen door and onto the back step, locking the door behind him. He held his cell phone to his ear and waited, walking through the yard. 
"Hey, Alice, it's me." He said, opening the gate and stepping out, "Do you wanna do something today?... Okay, awesome... We could go to the mall or something... Cool, see you there." 
Chris smiled and hung up, walking down the block to the bus stop. 

Chris got off the bus and walked away from it as quickly as possible. He didn't like public transportation. A woman with a stroller was standing near the bus stop. Chris glanced into the stroller. A chubby baby sat inside, staring at him with wide eyes. 
"Aww..." Chris said under his breath. He made a silly face at the baby. It stared blankly at him. Chris smiled at the baby and it scowled. Its mother looked at Chris uncomfortably. He smiled at her and she grimaced, pushing the stroller away from him. Chris' face fell. 
Was it my smile? He thought. Feeling troubled, he walked quickly up to the mall's front doors. A woman held the door open for him and he nodded to her, his lips together, "Thank you." 
Chris walked through the mall quickly, being careful not to open his mouth. 
Oh, God, it's my teeth. He thought, People don't like me because of my stupid teeth. 
Just then, Chris passed a clothing store with a big sign with the words "Sexy Kitten" written in pink cursive. He studied the mannequins in the window, dressed in tight, glittery skirts and lacy undergarments, and grimaced. 
Uch. Look at those stupid outfits. He thought bitterly, I can't believe people actually go to this tacky store. 
"Chris," Said a voice. 
Chris' face turned hot. Oh, no. He turned and saw someone standing at the entry to the store. 
"Geoffry," Chris said uncertainly, "Hi." 
"Hi." Geoffry said, smiling. He walked up to Chris and asked, "How are you doing?" 
"Fine." Chris answered, looking back at the mannequin display, "Just waiting for a friend. Alice." 
Geoffry smirked (with his stupid perfect smile that Chris knew was perfect without him flaunting it around like that) and asked, "Oh. Here?" 
Chris glared at him and said sharply, "No, not here. At the mall. Elsewhere." 
Geoffry nodded and Chris asked coolly, "So, what are you doing here?" 
"I work here." Geoffry replied. 
Chris gave him a look. "You do?"
Geoffry nodded. 
"I thought you worked at the theatre in uptown?" 
Geoffry shrugged, "I do. On weekends. I work here Mondays through Thursdays." 
"Wow. So, you only get one day off?" 
"Yeah, but it's not so bad." Geoffry said, "At least I have company." 
Before Chris could ask what he meant, a girl came out of the store and squeaked, "Babe, this chick wants to try on the merchandise, what should I-" 
The girl, Mabel, stopped talking and turned her head in Chris' direction. She smiled and said, "Chris Harper, is that you? I didn't see you there!" 
She laughed. Chris sneered and began, "Well, I didn't expect y-" 
Geoffry gave him a hard look. Chris stopped and he smiled sweetly, "Yes, it's me, Mabel." 
"Well, what a coincidence that we run into you in the women's underwear store." Mabel giggled, wrapping her arms around Geoffry's neck. She was wearing the same pink and black Sexy Kitten t-shirt that Geoffry was. She worked there, too. 
Still smiling tightly, Chris remarked, "Just as much of a surprise as seeing you here." 
Mabel frowned. Geoffry's eyes widened and he looked at Chris. After a short pause, Mabel giggled and turned to Geoffry. 
"We better get back to work." She said, twisting Geoffry's collar with her finger, "Our boss won't be happy with all this-" She turned to Chris, "-socializing." 
Chris frowned and Geoffry said, "Right. Sure thing." 
He looked at Mabel and added, "I'll be right there." 
Mabel scowled, not loosening her grip on Geoffry's arm. 
"Just a minute." He said softly. 
Mabel hesitated. She kissed him on the lips and Chris' stomach lurched. Mabel leaned back and said, "See you in a minute." 
She slinked back inside and Geoffry looked at Chris, looking slightly embarrassed. Chris wasn't sure he had ever seen Geoffry embarrassed. Geoffry chuckled and didn't say anything. Chris stood stalk still. 
"That was just..." Geoffry said, "Mabel-" 
"Works here." Chris said flatly, "Got it." 
Geoffry nodded and looked down at the floor. "Um... I'll see you around, Chris." 
Chris nodded back, "Yeah, whatever." 
Geoffry looked up at him. Chris looked back, his face unsmiling. They held their gaze for a moment before Geoffry turned and ducked back into the store. Chris stormed away, a new heaviness in his chest that hadn't been there before. 

It made him angry. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cool With A "K" PART 31 - CHAPTER 3

"Good morning and gooood niiight, I'll wake up at twiiliiight..."
I turned and glared at Chris as he sang along to his iPod. "Chris,"
"It's gonna be aalriiight!" He sang.
"Chris, shut up."
"We don't even have to try, it's always a good time!" He started dancing in his seat next to me.
I rolled over on the couch and kicked him in the side.
"Ow!" He cried, yanking out his earbuds, "What the hell, Angie?" 
"Stop singing." I said, turning up the volume on the TV, "I'm trying to watch 30 Rock." 
Chris looked at the TV.
"We've seen this episode like four times." He said.
"Yeah, because it's the best one." I said, snickering, "It's the one where Kenneth licks Cerie's face." 
Chris stared at me. "Which was funny the first time."
I looked at him, then at the TV and I muttered, "It's still funny."
There was a knock on the front door and I yelled, "Come in!" 
The doorknob jiggled and there was another knock.
"It's locked, Angie." Chris said.
Still watching the TV, I said, "Oh. Go get the door, Chris."
Chris rolled his eyes and got up. He walked across the room and opened the door. "Hey, Alice."
"Hey, guys." Alice said, smiling at Chris and walking in. 
"Hey." I said, watching the TV. 
Alice set her bag on the table and sat down on the couch with us. "How's it going?" 
"Pretty good." I said, "Watching 30 Rock."
Alice nodded, "Cool. Hey, Angie, did you do the Physics homework?" 
I glanced at her, "No."
Chris looked shocked. "Why not?" 
"Because. We only have like two weeks of school left." I answered. 
Alice gave me a disappointed look. "You still have to do your work. It's really important that you keep your grade up until the end of the year."
I groaned, "But I hate Physics."
"We all do." Alice said.
"I don't." Chris said.
I ignored him. I looked at the TV again and said, "Oh, the part with Kenneth and Cerie is coming up." 
Alice looked at the screen. "Angie, are you watching this episode again?"
"It's the best one." I said, "Now, be quiet a second, it's the scene where Kenneth licks Cerie's face."
Chris rolled his eyes again and got off the couch. "Oh my God." 
He left the room. On the TV, Kenneth licked Cerie's face and I started laughing my ass off.
"What's wrong with you, Chris?" I called down the hall, "Of course that's still funny."

"Hey, guys." Tae-Hyun said, smiling brightly as she walked over to our table at lunch. She sat down next to Leo. He smiled at her and she said, "Did I tell you that I get to have my braces off in a couple of months?"
Leo nodded, grinning, and blurted out, "Sweet! Now, when we make out, we can try that tongue thing I saw on cable!"
Tae-Hyun looked shocked and we all groaned with disgust.
I wrinkled my nose. "Oh, gross."
"Leo, we don't need to hear about that." Chris said, waving his hand at him.
Mouse commented, "And by cable, he means porn."
Tae-Hyun blushed furiously and Alice said, changing the subject, "So, braces. Congratulations, Tae-Hyun!"
Tae-Hyun smiled awkwardly and said, "Thank you, I'm really excited."
She looked around the table and asked, "...Have any of you guys had braces?"

Chris nodded, "I did in middle school. For two years.
He frowned and said flatly, "In seventh and eighth grade. Two of the cruelest years of everyone's education."
He shot Mouse a deadly look. She furrowed her eyebrows and crossed her arms.
"What's with the stink eye, Carissa?" She asked suspiciously.
"Carissa?" I asked.
Mouse shrugged, "I got sick of Christina."
Chris' eyes narrowed and he said icily, "You know what I'm talking about, Tiffany." 
Mouse's eyes flickered. Chris turned to Tae-Hyun. "See these teeth?"
He lifted his upper lip with his finger, revealing his pearly white, crooked canines and rather large front teeth.
Tae-Hyun nodded and Chris said bitterly, "I had braces for two years and once I got them off, my teeth were perfect."
He scowled at Mouse. "Like a movie star."
Mouse scoffed, "Chris, give it up. You're never gonna look like Tom Cruise."
"Hey, maybe I would if I had straight teeth, but we just don't know because you ruined them!" Chris yelled, standing up.
"Sit down, Chris." Alice and I said together. 
Leo laughed, covering his mouth with his hand when Chris shot a look at him.
"Oh, I remember that." Leo snickered.
"Doesn't Tom Cruise have buck teeth?" Tae-Hyun asked. 
"So does Chris." Mouse said. 
Chris looked at her, alarmed. He opened his mouth like he was going to say something, but he closed it again. He frowned and, straining to keep his tone level, said, "Don't insult the prince, Tae-Hyun." 
Chris turned his attention to Mouse again and the scowl returned to his face. He crossed his arms and pursed his lips. Mouse raised her eyebrow at him, then she smiled widely. For the first time, I noticed that Mouse had perfectly straight teeth. I knit my eyebrows and asked, "Hey, Mouse. Did you ever have braces?"

Mouse beamed at me and said, in that special making-Chris-angry voice she has, "Nope. These babies are natural."
Chris flared up, but before he could say anything, Tae-Hyun interrupted, "Chris, what did she do?"
He looked at Mouse, not a trace of a smile on his childish face.
"It was May 13th, 2009." He said flatly.
"Oh, geez." I said, putting my hand on my forehead. 
Chris continued heatedly, "It was a Tuesday. I had just gotten my braces off and I had perfect, straight, white teeth."
"I thought they would've been gay." Leo commented. Alice gave him a look.
"I was so worried about keeping track of my retainer." Chris went on, "The day after I got it, I announced at lunch that my retainer was really important and everyone should be careful to not accidentally throw it away."
Tae-Hyun raised an eyebrow and asked uncertainly, "You announced that to the whole lunchroom?"
I answered flatly, "It was just our table, I'd remember if it was the whole lunchroom."
"So, where Mouse comes in," Chris continued, shooting a dirty look at Mouse, who smiled toothily, "Just as lunch was ending, when one of the staff members brought a garbage can around for us to throw our trash in, Mouse picked up my retainer and threw it right in."
At that moment, Leo busted out laughing. Almost as if expecting this, Chris rounded on him and shouted, "It's not funny!"
A couple of kids turned their heads. Then, I lost it, laughing my head off. Mouse joined me.
Alice and Tae-Hyun bit their lips quietly, restraining themselves while they watched us laugh. Chris scowled around at us and turned back to his lunch, picking his food quietly with his fork.
Leo snorted with laughter. He pointed at Chris and cried, "You thought you'd look like Tom Cruise!"
Chris shot him a look, then he turned to glare at Mouse. Chris picked up his tray and said through clenched, imperfect teeth, "I've been told we have a stunning resemblance."- He looks nothing like him. -"But that was when I had straight teeth!"
With that, Chris got up and stomped away from the table. Mouse called after him, "Braces can't fix buck teeth." 
Alice laughed, covering her mouth. "Oh, poor Chris." 
"I know." I said, snickering, "Guys, we're bad." 
Mouse shrugged and I added, "But mostly you." 
"Yeah, I am..." Mouse said. She smiled at the thought.