“Hey asshole! Wakeup!”
A really annoying voice interrupts my precious few minutes of sleep and I bat blindly at the hand nudging my head. “Go away.” I manage to mumble into the darkness of my arms. Whether Joe can hear me or not matters very little as long as he goes away.
“Damn. How do you get such good grades when you are never awake?” Joe grumbles as he nudges me harder. I almost want to laugh but it would take too much effort. “Wake the hell up! The bell is gonna ring.”
“Fine!” I raise my head and glare at Joe. “I’m awake.”
“Don’t give me that look. You’re so damn grumpy when you wake up.” He complains loudly and points at me. “Aren’t you suppose to meet up with your wife after school to work on the setup? If you make her wait, she’s gonna be pissed.”
“Oh please! The only one scared of Sissa is you.” Sissa, or my ‘wife’ as the idiot insists on calling her, is a tiny little bit of a girl who I have been friends with for ages. She’s cute, bouncy, and bossy as hell and there is no one she loves bossing around more than Joe. He practically cowers when she smiles sweetly at him, a sure sign that she is plotting something, and he never says no. It’s hilarious to watch this over-grown idiot being order about by someone the size of a grade schooler.
The last bell rings and everyone bids goodbye to the teacher, who gives one last reminder of the homework due tomorrow. Gathering up our stuff, Joe continues to complain under his breath about evil pixies… I assume he means his nemesis, Sissa. This is something I will, of course, store away for blackmail later. I’m sure Sissa would just love to hear how Joe refers to her. Haha
Joe, Alec, and Aden follow me out of the room and down the stairs, pushing and shoving each other to see who will fall down first. Yes, guys are weird and often do pointless, stupid stuff. It’s who we are. It’s best to just get over it or look away. As I’m about to jump on Joe’s back in revenge for a particularly hard push, someone runs into me, knocking themselves to the ground and me back a few feet.
“Hey kid, watch where you’re going.” Aden yells at the guy occupying the floor.
“You okay?” Holding out a hand to help him up, I realize it is the same guy that sat on me during break. “Slow up a bit, Riley, before you hurt yourself… or me again.”
“Sorry!” Riley grabs my hand and pulls himself up. “Sorry!” He lets go and, once again, is off and running without waiting for response. Seriously, what is with this kid?
Seeing the guys waiting for me, I head in their direction only to trip over something soft. Looking down, I find a black jacket tangled around my feet. Riley must have dropped it and didn’t notice in his rush. Picking it up, I look around and catch a glimpse of Riley’s back.
“Guys! I’ll catch up with you later.” Without explaining further, I run off in the direction Riley went. I wonder if not waiting for a reply is contagious?
“Andrew!” I can hear the guys yelling for me but they are just going to have to deal with Sissa without me for a few minutes. She won’t kill them… I hope.
I manage to just barely catch up to Riley when he bolts out the back exit of the building. He runs across the grass and into the athletics building. Following him inside, I look down the halls and into the gymnasiums but can’t find him so I sit down on a bleacher near the doors with the jacket still clutched in my hands. He must have ducked into the locker room or bathroom. Eventually he has to come out. I wave at a few of the basketball players I know who are starting their warmups before practice. A lot more wave back at me with big smiles, ignoring the exercises they are supposed to be doing. You’d think they had never had anyone watch them play before. Fine, I guess I will go wait by the doors so I can’t distract them.
After waiting over ten minutes without seeing Riley, I am bored out of my skull. My cellphone has been buzzing at me nonstop but I’m refusing to look at it after the first couple messages. It’s just Joe and the others demanding my presence, some in not so nice terms. I guess Sissa is on the warpath thinking I’m skipping out. She should know me better by now, you’d think.
Enough with the waiting, I decide to go searching in the bathrooms and locker rooms. His privacy be damned. Usually, I like to give people their space but I’m in a hurry here. There’s no need to worry about that though, the kid is nowhere to be found. Well hell, is he a ghost or something? Where the hell did he go? Guess I will keep the jacket for now and give it to him later. Next time I see him, I’m tying him to a fucking chair before he can run off.
Throwing the jacket over my shoulder, I pull out my phone as I leave the athletics building. The guys have moved on from demanding to threatening me if I don’t show up in the next five minutes. Sissa must be in fine form today. Outside, I put my phone back in my pocket and run to the common area where the guys and their little dictator are waiting for me.