"AGH!!" Bird Bones moaned out loud. "I HATE SHORT DAYS!!"
Eric looked over at her with a cocked eyebrow.
"I thought you liked short days?" He asked proddingly. Bird Bones leaned over and rested her elbows on her knees; propping up her head with her hands. They were at her sister's elementary school, sitting on a bench, looking at all the children play on the playground equipment after the final bell had rung. BB and Eric had gotten out of school early that whole week because Thanksgiving break was close approaching.
"Well, I do, if it means we don't have to pick my stupid sister up from school." She complained. Eric leaned back against the bench and sighed out loud. Sometimes, BB's rivalry with her sister made Eric want to gag. Having no siblings himself, he simply could not understand their family dynamics.
There was a long pause between them.
"GAHH!" BB finally exclaimed. "What is taking her so long?!!"
"Maybe she's out there somewhere playing with her friends?" Eric asked.
"Probably! Little Social butterfly..." BB mocked in a high-pitched goofy voice. "This sucks. It's cold out here, and we'll never get home in time to watch 'When Animals Attack!'"
Eric was less than excited to watch animals mauling other people, but any time spent with BB was a lot better than going home to a cold, empty house....his parents were delaying themselves from coming home for the thanksgiving holiday...
They stared out into the elementary school kids, laughing and screeching, jumping around and hanging on monkey bars. The cold didn't seem to affect any of them, they acted like they were on a prolonged recess.
"Hey, BB.." Eric began to say. "How was it like for you in elementary school?"
BB looked up at him and sighed.
"Yeah, it was alright." She shrugged.
"That's it?" Eric asked. "Come on. We didn't meet until last year. I never got to know you as a kid." He nudged her arm.
"Well shoot, how was it for you then?" She asked, her anger towards her sister starting to calm down. Eric shifted in his seat.
"I had a few friends..back then life was easier." He said, half grinning. "Or, maybe I was just oblivious to problems."
"I bet you had bleach-blond hair." BB said, poking his arm. Eric deflated.
"I hate you sometimes..." He said, blushing. BB stuck her tongue out playfully.
"Come on!! Did you do anything cool as a kid!? Or were you always a little bookworm!?"
Eric twitched an eyebrow and cleared his throat. Folding his arms in, he formed a cocky smile.
"It just so happens that I DID do cool things, and that I DID have friends." He said puffing out his chest.
"Ohhhhh I'm so scared~" BB said teasingly before scrunching her face up in a playful sneer. "So? What kind of games did you play?"
"Well, I was the best at hide and seek!" Eric boasted. BB began to laugh.
"That figures...I can totally see you being the best at hiding away from everything and everyone."
"HEY!!!" Eric said, poking a finger at her. "I wasn't as much of a scaredy cat back then!!" By this time, BB had seemed to have forgotten about her sister completely.
"I also liked to play baseball a bit.." he continued. "But, back then I wasn't much of a runner either." He scratched the back of his head.
"Back in fourth grade, My friends and I had a really mean teacher. His name was Mr. Vic, and we hated him with a passion." Eric began his story. "He would play in the infield, or as the pitcher each time we played. So when we would play baseball, we all would purposefully try to hit the ball close to him to make him jump, or to scare him or something."
BB was fully intrigued.
"Too bad we weren't all that great at batting. But one day, My friend Johnny was up to bat, my other friend Michael was in the dugout, and I was on first base. Johnny for whatever reason, was actually swinging on time, and as my friend hit the ball, It smacked the teacher in the head!" BB and Eric shared a hearty laugh.
"But the amazing thing was," Eric stuttered between laughs. "We weren't even trying to hit near him anymore! It had been too many failed attempts that we gave up and then the very next time we played, he ended up not only hitting the ball in his direction, but actually hitting him in the head!"
BB could hardly believe Eric's ridiculous story, but she was laughing all the same.
"And since we were the only people laughing in the class, he ended up giving us all detention for it!" BB laughed even more.
"It was the only detention I ever received, mind you." Eric said, straightening himself out. BB smiled up at him.
"Wow! Way to go Johnny!" She said, pumping her fists in the air as if she were dancing.
"Well?" Eric asked, nuding her in the arm again. "What about you? Were you good at any games?"
"Yeah. My favorite game was tag!" BB said enthusiastically.
"How did I know?" Eric thought to himself as he chuckled.
"I bet you were always a fast runner." He remarked. "I bet you were the best at tag."
"Damn right I was!" BB yelled. "Except, the kids stopped playing tag with me cause Instead of just touching them, I'd punch them to tag them instead."
Eric's face paled. Seeing his expression change, BB rubbed her arm nervously.
"Well, It's only cause they used to tease me..." she said half-smiling.
Eric knew that pain all too well. But he was curious.
"Why on earth would they tease you for?" He asked. BB's smile went away.
"There were lots of reasons," she said lowly. "But I think the one that hurt the most was they used to make fun of my hair."
"Your hair?!" He asked surprised. "But, why?"
"Back then I had long hair, and because I would always throw a fit with my mom, I didn't exactly comb it out all the time..so it had a little bit of knots..." She blushed, feeling exposed by telling him this touchy story.
"Oh..." Eric said sadly. "Well that's stupid. A lot of kids don't comb their hair when they're younger."
"Yeah, but also because my hair is black like my dad's, they used to call me 'creepy crow girl.'" She sighed and held her head in her hands again.
"Awww..." Eric said, rubbing her back without realizing he was doing it. "That's mean..."
"REALLY MEAN!" BB said angrily. "They were the reason why in 7th grade I finally chopped all my hair off and had short hair til now..."
Eric stopped rubbing her back and leaned over to her.
"I'm sorry that happened to you, B. I was bullied a lot, you know. I still get it now, even in high school! But you know..?"
BB looked over at him.
"I think your hair looks good." He smiled. "I think black hair is kinda cool on the right person. It suits you well."
BB's face suddenly flooded with blood as she turned red. She turned her face the other way and tried hard to stop feeling her heartburn. She hadn't packed any tums! Eric wondered if he had said anything wrong, and became concerned.
"I-I'm sorr-" He started, until he was interrupted by some school kids singing.
"...K-I-S-S-I-N-G!!" The kids chimed nearby. Eric jumped and turned red and looked at his situation with clarity. Sitting on a bench with a girl, telling her that she looked nice; He was only being a good friend, but now the kids were making it awkward! He looked at how red BB's face was and then back at the kids.
"B-BUT!!" He yelled at the kids. "W-WE'RE JUST F-FRIENDS!!! DON'T JUDGE PEOPLE Y-Y-YOU D-DON'T KNOW!!!" The kids suddenly looked over at him confused. BB, not hearing what had happened, overcame her "heartburn," and turned to look.
"What's happening?" She asked. He jumped and looked back at her.
"I-I'm sorry BB, they're..." He began to say. "I don't mean to give the impression that we're-"
"Hey dude!" One of the girls said. "We weren't talking about you!!!"
Eric's face sobered suddenly. He looked closer and saw another little girl whose face was really red as she was standing next to an equally embarrassed little boy.
"So, BUTT-OUT!!" The little girl said, poking her tongue out.
Eric blushed and collapsed in his seat. He grabbed his head with his hands and hid his really red face. BB seeing this, stood up and got angry.
"Hey You!!" She pointed her finger at the girl. "You making fun of my friend?!" The girl's face paled along with her other friends. "YOU WANNA START SOMETHING?!"
Eric just held his face in utter embarrassment. He couldn't muster a single word and just sat there, averting his eyes and hiding his face. The girls and the one boy began to flee, as BB threatened to chase them and give them all a bump on the head.
She looked back at Eric and blushed slightly, remembering his endearing words to her. She sat back down next to him.
"Hey don't feel sad about what they said!" She told him, slapping him on the back. "Just like you said to me, they are just bullies and will make you feel bad about stuff that isn't true!" BB blushed deeper and patted his back until she was downright slapping him, to which he finally jerked around.
"Y-yeah..." He said sheepishly, looking at BB in a different light than before...
He shook his head and forced any thoughts he had of the matter out. BB and Eric looked back at the elementary school yard again and noticed a lot of the kids had been picked up already.
"WHERE IS SHE?!" They both yelled in unison.
An hour later, BB and Eric walked into BB's house, frozen from the cold November day. Their faces were pale and their noses bright red. As they stepped inside, Their jaws practically dropped to the floor as they saw Brianna with her friend at the table working on a jigsaw puzzle. They stared in silence, shivering from the cold they had endured, as BB's mom entered the room.
"Oh how are you two?! How did your movie go?" Brenda asked.
"W-w-w-w-w-what...m-m-m-movie?!" Bird Bones asked, angrily as she shivered furiously. BB's mom tilted her head and looked confused.
"Brianna told me you two were going to a movie today, so I had her friend's mother pick her up instead. Why? What did you two do besides the movie?"
BB and Eric shared gasps, and then looked over at her sister. Her sister's face darkened in fright and she slowly got up from the table. Eric and BB jumped up and screamed, then charged for her Brianna angrily. They ran all the way outside and chased her sister down a couple of blocks before collapsing from the cold.
Later on, Eric and BB shared a nice hot soup dinner as Brianna was being scolded by her mother. In a way, both Eric and BB felt as though they were little kids again, sharing childlike experiences together that they never did before. Even though misunderstandings happened, They seemed to grow closer as friends than ever before.
THE END!! >