Tory and Mike hadn’t spoken to me for the rest of the day. My mom even said she didn’t blame them, with my attitude and all. ATTITUDE? I was being my best self.
But mom wanted us to play nice because some of her friends in the area were coming over for dinner tonight. Arthur grilled burgers and hotdogs for us all to enjoy as a “family.”
But worst of all, she wanted ME to say sorry and take them out for ICE CREAM. There was no way I was going to partake in their ingesting of death food and risk sullying my efforts at a herculean body, but I also didn’t want to get left out. I decided to tag along but figured I wouldn’t get anything.
On the car ride, Mike and Tory were discussing which flavors to get.
“Why do you care what flavors the other person gets?” It came out sounding a lot more aggressive than I anticipated.
“Because we’re sharing a sundae,” Mike responded.
Sharing already? These two barely knew each other and they planned on sharing without me?
“You’ll ruin your dinner!”
“Lighten up, Johan. Mike and I are just having some fun.”
That really brought my anger to the next level. Have you ever watched two annoying people share the largest sundae on the menu? Well I did. They ate so slow that I felt my beard growing. They took about fifteen minutes to even agree on the flavors. Then, they savored every friggin’ bite together.
The only thing that could make them more annoying was if they came up with some stupid cathphrase to repeat to each other.
“Isn’t it crazy?” Mike asked.
“How we finish each other’s…”
“Sundaes!” Tory cheered.
Dear Lord, I was trapped in a movie. The Tory and Mike movie to be exact, where neither had any concept of reality, at least not my reality.
“Can we go home now?” I said when Mike took the last bite of mint chocolate chip.
“Sure, Mike was just telling me that we should watch a movie tonight.”
“Which movie?” Knowing them, it would be lame.
“High School Musical!” I couldn’t believe they said it at the same time.
Out of all the movies that I could think of, that one would never cross my mind. I mean, what? Were they trying to piss me off as much as humanly possible? Maybe it was a psychology experiment to see how much someone could take before a mental breakdown.
“Ha..ha… you guys are joking, right?”
“What? No, why would we be joking?”
“Because that’s a childish movie and I don’t want to see it.”
“Oh, sorry. Is it not MAN enough for you?”
“Why do you think that everything I do has to be manly?”
“We’re just kidding. What do you want to watch instead?”
“I don’t care. You guys can pick?”
“Cool, High School Musical it is!”
After dinner, they made me sit there while they giggled throughout the movie. And even worse, they made POPCORN! But I couldn’t complain too much because I took some and it was delicious.
Another day and more time with Tory and Mike. I finally got to sleep in, which put me in a much better mood. Well, until I went on the porch and saw Tory and Mike already up and walking along the beach. The turquoise waves gently crashed against their sand-covered feet.
And, of course, they were laughing. I thought at some point they would run out of stuff to find funny. How much funny stuff is there to find funny even, especially with someone you’ve just met.
“Hey guys, I’m making kale smoothies. Want one?”
“No thank you, those sound terrible.” Tory HIGH-FIVED Mike this time.
“Fine, I was just asking,” I said. I walked back into the kitchen and got all the ingredients out for my breakfast of champions. A bowl of oats and some toast on whole wheat bread with all natural chunky almond butter and sliced banana. I would wash it all down with my delicious green smoothie. I felt ready to face the day and all the stress that would come.
This time I would lead Mike on his run.
“Alright Mike, we’re going running now!”
“Oh, okay. I didn’t realize you wanted to go. Do you even have any running stuff with you?”
“No, but I don’t need it. Unlike you I can just run in anything.”
“I’m sure you can.”
About two miles in I was already feeling quite winded. Plus I was chafing all over and I thought my nipples were going to come off if they kept rubbing against my white cotton shirt. I thought my feet were swollen too and I was definitely not looking forward to running all the way back home.
I tried to get Mike to slow down, but he wouldn’t because he was in training for a marathon happening at the end of summer. So the only thing I could think to do was pretend to fall, although I tripped over a real rock in the process and felt my left knee give out.
“OW,” I screamed and cried. The pain blurred my vision and the world started to spin. “Carry me, Mike!”
“You’re bigger than me,” he said. And more muscular, I thought. Instead of helping me up, he ended up calling Tory, who told my mom what happened. Within a few minutes, the four of us were in the car speeding toward the hospital.
The dreary urgent care center had no one else to take care of, so the doctor saw me right away. Dr. Tootie wore round glasses and had her short dark hair pulled away from her face. She had to be at least in her mid 30s, but that didn’t dissuade me. That made me more turned on because she probably had experience.
“So, what kind of patients have you had today?” I asked. I didn’t have vision back completely, so the pale walls and floor started to blend together. They really need to hire a decorator.
“Well, I’ve had two kids with birth disorders come in. One had a predisposition for alcoholism and the other refused to wear clothing.”
“That’s fascinating,” I said, while giving her a wink. But she thought I got something stuck in my eye and checked on it with a magnifying glass.
“It pays the bills,” she said.
“How is my knee?” I asked.
“Your knees look like the ones I’d find on my senior patients. You should wear a brace for six weeks.”
I almost started to cry because dance camp started next week. A voice in my head said that the problem was ME! So I had to start changing my lifestyle. A date with Dr, Tootie would help. But she kicked me out as soon as the brace went over my left knee.
When I came out of the office and walked into the waiting room, Mike and Tory burst out laughing when they saw me. They sat close together on the black chairs and each held one end of a magazine.
“What’s so funny?” I asked.
“You’ve gone pretty far with this fake knee injury,” Mike said.
“Fake! I tripped over a real rock!”
“But I saw you hesitate and throw yourself to the ground. You should go to theatre camp instead of dance camp because that was quite the performance. You’re not that coordinated though.”
I tried to run over to him so I could punch him in the face, but I forgot about my injury and collapsed on the floor. Dr. Tootie ran out when she heard my body collide with the tiled floor. “Jeez Johan, stop making a bigger idiot of yourself.”
At that moment, my mom came back from the cafeteria with fruit snacks for everyone. “Oh, hi everyone. Thank you so much for being here for my Johan. He needs people who are willing to include him.”
That was when I totally lost control of my body. “Include me?” I stomped my leg so hard on the ground, but I forgot the injury and collapsed for the second time in the span of a few minutes.
“Just give it a rest Johan,” Mike said.
So, he and Tory carried me back to the car and eventually tucked me into my large comfortable bed. After everything that happened, for once I had nothing to say.