Laughter came from the Jamesons’ garage. This was a typical Thursday afternoon in the household, the schedule of The Hamsters’ rehearsal. The only difference is, the laughter was a bit quieter, maybe because three out of the five band members haven’t arrived yet.
“I still can’t believe you did that,” Joanna said, laughter in her voice. She and her best friend and co-founder of “The Hamsters”, Marco, were killing time as they waited for their bandmates. As usual, they’ve ended up swapping stories of their favorite childhood stories - usually when they’re together. And, as usual too, they’re arguing about who remembered what happened better - usually trying to make the other appear as goofily as possible.
“Yeah, well, we were eight and you dared me to scale Mrs. Roberts’ fence,” Marco said just a bit defensively, but the twinkle in his eye betrayed his enjoyment of their pseudo-debate.
“Not my fault you did that,” Joanna said, sticking out her tongue at him playfully.
“Yeah, and you knew her pitbull was right down there,” Marco said, laughing at the ridiculous expression on his best friend’s face. “I almost got my leg torn off!”
“Pitbull?” Joanna raised her eyebrow in mock anger. “It was a teensy chihuahua! You ran away screaming from a rat dog!”
“Well, that rat dog of yours took a large bite out of my pants! I had to walk home with one hand covering a distinct portion of my back, or else be arrested for indecent exposure.”
Both of them guffawed again.
“Hey Marco,” Joanna said suddenly, while wiping the tears from her eyes, “Would we still be like that 10 years from now?”
“What, that I’d still fall for your stupid dares?” Marco said sarcastically.
“Oh, shut up! That’s not what I meant, and you know it!” Joanna exclaimed, slapping Marco’s arm playfully.
“Well…” Marco said slowly, pretending to think about it. “The Hamsters might still be together, as long as we make a huge hit that would make us filthy rich for the rest of our lives. I’d still be playing drums until my fingers fall off, and you… You’ll probably be disgustingly happy married to Tom,” referring to the lead guitarist of “The Hamsters” and Joanna’s boyfriend of two months.
“I don’t think so…” Joanna said, also slowly. Catching the surprised look on Marco’s face, she hastened to explain. “It’s not that I don’t want to be with him. It’s just that, well, our relationship happened way too fast, and I’m just learning stuff about him right now, and, um, not all that I’m seeing is good.” When one of Marco’s eyebrows raised in question, she explained further. “It’s not that he’s treating me wrong. He’s a perfect gentleman. The problem is, well, he’s not really… What I’m trying to say is, he…” Joanna fidgeted.
“That he can be duller than a sack of bricks?” Marco asked.
“Oh, you!” Joanna said, slapping Marco again. “But yeah, spoken like a true debate king that you are, yeah, Tom isn’t really the smartest dude on the planet.”
“Then why are you still seeing him them?”
“I don’t know… Maybe a part of me is kind of scared that if I break up with him, we’ll lose a�great guitarist.”
“Come on, Joanna. The band isn’t as important as your happiness. There are tons of guitarists out there, but I only have one best friend,” Marco said, with surprising vehemence.
Joanna blinked. To cover her confusion, she asked Marco, “What do you want me to do then?”
Silence, and then, “I just want you to be happy, of course.” Marco exhaled. “How about you? How do you imagine yourself ten years from now?”
Joanna’s eyes turned dreamy. “I want what you said a while ago to come true. I want to be really happily married to my dream guy and have a family, and…”
“Dream guy?” Marco leaned forward interestedly. “You have a dream guy? Is this guy for real? Have you met him yet?”
“I think I have,” Joanna said truthfully. “Maybe it’s him, maybe it’s not. All I know is that, whoever he is, I want him to be smarter…”
“Than a sack of bricks?” Marco quipped.
“Will you let me finish? I want him to be smart, but not in a know-it-all way. I want him to be intelligent and is comfortable with it, that he won’t feel the need to prove himself. He’s someone who cares enough about others and anything and everything around him and not so focused on himself. He’s sweet and protective, but not to the extent that he’ll end up suffocating me. He loves and accepts me for who I am, but at the same time will help me to become a better person. He’s caring and gentle, but also with a twisted sense of humor that completely goes with my psycho wavelength. Come to think of it,” she said,giggling, “He has to have a wicked sense of humor, otherwise, he’ll soon get tired of me or go insane because of…”
“No, I wouldn’t,” Marco said quietly.
Their eyes met. Silence followed.
Finally, another short story! It’s been a looong time since I was able to come up with a new “lite,” and I kinda like the way this flows, even if it is shorter compared to the other ones.
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