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Just Friends

By:Billy Taylor

th himself. Ethan and I sighed in unison. The tray was full with shots, and I mean full.

“Jesus, how many did you buy, Max?” Ethan asked, analysing the tray.

“Well I made a deal with the barman and got six shots for ten pound, so I got us six each!”

He passed Ethan and I a small shot of red liquid.

“Bottoms up,” Max said, wafting his brown-black hair off his forehead and tilting back his head, downing the shot.

Ethan and I paused before clinking glasses and downing ours. The next thing I knew, Ethan was carrying me in his arms. I must have passed out, too drunk to show embarrassment, and then I was sick. Ethan isn’t my best friend, he’s more of a… guardian angel. He’s always there to guide me and look over me, or catches me when I fall. In this case, carry me home because I was too drunk to do so myself.

I woke up the next morning laid on Ethan’s bare chest in his bed. I jumped up at once, tripping and falling out of bed, dragging the bed quilt with me. It wasn’t the smartest move. I’ll admit my head felt as if it was going to explode. I gripped my forehead as a blinding pain shot through it. My head spun while I stared at the ceiling.

“Twelve years and we finally slept together!” Ethan said, rising upright after being awoken by my clumsiness.

“No!” I shouted at him in despair. “We didn’t!”

He wafted his arms at me. “No you moron, we didn’t. You kept saying you were cold, so I stayed with you, you should see your face right now!” Ethan replied, bursting into laughter.

I threw a pillow at him and returned to clutching my head.

April 26th

Just before midday, I dragged myself out of bed, forcing myself to do something productive with my Saturday.

“What are you two doing?” I asked as I entered the living room to find Ethan and Madeline sat on the floor with a couple of arts and craft boxes out.

“We’re making friendship bracelets.” Madeline replied, adding a couple of beads to the tiny tube in her tiny hands.

“Aw how cute.” I replied, crouching beside her and brushing her beautifully long ginger hair aside to kiss her freckled cheek.

“Good morning dear.” Ethan said, pushing his cheek in my direction.

I squinted at him for a moment. “Fine you can have one as well, morning.” I crouched over and kissed his cheek.

He was still wearing the new tie I had bought him for his birthday. He always has a couple of weeks after his birthday where he doesn’t take off his new tie.

“So are you making me one?” I asked, feeling left out.

“If you wasn’t nocturnal maybe you could have made one with us.” Ethan replied, nudging me with his elbow.

“I’m one step ahead of you, I’ve nearly finished yours now, August.” He added, awkwardly flapping with a bracelet in his hands.

“Need a hand there?” I asked sarcastically.

He looked me dead in the eye, “I got it.”

I noticed Mum and Dad weren’t around and since it was a Saturday they shouldn’t be working. “Where are Mum and dad?”

She tied the friendship bracelet together with her teeth. “They asked Ethan to babysit while they went shopping or something.”

I frowned, “Well why didn’t they ask me? I can babysit you. I always do.”

Her cute eyes flicked up and glanced over at Ethan. “He’s not here to babysit me.”

I rolled my eyes at them. “How long have you been waiting to say that?”

She grinned, “Like an hour.”

She giggled, then Ethan laughed. I sulked at them both.

“I get yours, he gets mine, and you get his. See,” She slid the bracelet along her wrist and raised it to my face. It was miles to big for her, but I’m sure that won’t bother her. She’ll grow into it as my Dad would say. The well-arranged multicoloured bracelet was spectacular. She twizzled it around to show me the side that had AUGUST spelt out. A different coloured plastic bead seperated each letter. Ethan lifted his wrist to show me his. It was white and black, spelling out MADDIE. Only Ethan is allowed to call Madeline, Maddie. She demanded everyone else call her Madeline.

“Finished!” Ethan shouted, holding the bracelet in front of me.

Mine was pink, hot pink. It fit perfectly, obviously spelling out ETHAN. It’s sweet now that we have our own friendship bracelets.

May 1st

“Good morning dear.” Ethan said as I opened the front door to him. We always meet before college, mainly beside the tree outside college or Ethan often popped by my house and walked me there. He was wearing one of his tartan ties today. He has a few now. They make him look quite smart. I bought him this one for our sixth Christmas together.

“What do you want?” I sarcastically replied.

“I’m here to walk my delightful bestfriend to college.”

Madeline came rushing to the door, pushing past me and cutely wrapped her arms around his waist.

“Hey you.” He said patting her head.

“Are you still wearing your bracelet?” She asked, releasing her grasp from around him.

He dangled his wrist in front of her. “Of course I am!” He knelt down and kissed her cheek. “You best go and get ready for school, you. Don’t want you to be late do we.”

She sighed, then returned inside and raced back upstairs. I adore how well Ethan and Madeline get along. He was so nervous when he first met her. She was such a tiny, delicate baby. He’s loved her endlessly since that moment.

My Mum then came to the door. “Hello Ethan, how are you? Have you two admitted you’re both perfect for each other yet?”

“I’m well Mrs. Bishop, I trust you’re well, too. As for August, she’s too… boring for me, like a cat, I’m more of a dog person.” Ethan replied with a smug look upon his face.

“Well this chat is fabulous guys. I do wish we could continue it, but we must dash,” I announced.

“Let me grab my bag and we can go.” I said to Ethan, who nodded in acknowledgement.

My Mum grabbed my wrist before I rushed down stairs. “Stop being boring.” She said, raising her eyebrows at me.

I rolled my eyes at her and laughed. She didn’t mean it because sh