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Just Friends

By:Billy Taylor

e thought I was boring, she said it because she wants us to be a couple.

May 16th

Since it’s the weekend, Ethan asked if I wanted to stay at his since his Dad is hardly around. He’s occupied by travelling constantly to gamble. Apparently he’s been doing well lately, but drinking has now become a big problem in his life since the end of last year. Ethan claims he said it helps him make risky decisions he wouldn’t when sober. I’m not sure why he’s drunk when he’s home then, if that’s the case. Ethan’s Dad is only home once every two or three weeks. The image I am painting of Ethan’s Dad isn’t pleasant, I know. It wasn’t always like this. It’s only been over the past year or so that he’s become a proper gambling addict. He’s gambled for a long time, but not like this. I’m not sure what caused him to become this way, maybe he doesn’t even know. All that concerns me is that Ethan is ok. As long as he’s ok then I’m ok.

Ethan ordered pizza, and it was delicious. I only eat plain pizza. Ethan’s favourite is pepperoni. Since I hated the smell of pepperoni he decided to join me in eating the plain pizza. We sat and watched an episode of Patrick Miller’s chat show. I live for his show. It is my dream to appear on it. He always interviews the coolest people and he has a great sense of humour! I love how Patrick is always smiling, too.

“Do you want something else?” Ethan asked, passing me the last slice.

“No, thank you.” I replied, nurturing my stomach and flopping out along the sofa. I shouldn’t have accepted the last slice of pizza.

May 22nd

Ethan, Max and I ate outside at lunch. The sun was shining so we ventured out to make the most of the rare warmth. The only decent empty seating area was the rickety old wooden bench near the tree I meet Ethan at each morning if he doesn’t meet me at my house. As we sat down, Ethan pulled an apple out from his rucksack. He shut his eyes and looked up towards the sun, allowing it to shine upon his face. Today he was wearing his hilarious dog tie. A springer spaniel tie if we’re being exact, which I bought him for his fourteenth birthday. His tie has a black background and at the bottom is a cartoon sketch of a dog sitting on grass outside its kennel, smiling at you.

“So last night I came up will a simple, yet clever new trick to show you my dear.” Ethan said, holding the apple up in front of me.

“Oh, I see. What happens in this one may I ask?”

I snatched the apple off of him, biting into its succulent core. Wildly chewing it directly in front of him and cheekily grinning afterwards.

“Well… one will require the apple back first to perform one’s trick.”

I rolled my eyes at him and passed him the apple back while maintaining a sarcastic look. He frowned at me before holding up the apple. Showing the side that had the bite mark, as if I’d never seen it before. Then casually launched it a few feet into the air, reclaiming it in his hands as it fell. He paused before spinning it around, to reveal the bite mark had disappeared.

“Not your best work, but, I shall admit I am impressed. Am I going to be shown how this one is done?” I asked out of repetitiveness. The secrets to his tricks are kept a secret, as they should be really. Ethan squinted at me for a second, “Ah all right, I can part with the secret of this one, since it’s so simple,” He took a second to gather his explanation. “It helps if you have two identical apples, good slight of hand, and voilà, the apple is replaced.”

I remained puzzled. “So what happened to the other apple?”

He took a bite out of the apple in his hand. “Check your lunch container my dear. Then all shall become clear.”

I looked at my lunch container anxiously. I opened the lid with one eye open, squinting with the other. And there it was. The apple I had bitten. I looked back at Ethan, smiling in bewilderment. “Well played Mr. Knight. Well performed might I add? You set me up. You knew I’d ask for it to be explained as I always do.”

Ethan tilted his head in acknowledgement.

When I got home I thought the trick over, while watching TV with Madeline and platting her hair. I realised that the trick was actually very clever. Simple, but clever. How he got the apple into my container I’ll never know.

May 23rd

I met Ethan outside college by our tree this morning. He stood with his back against the trunk as I approached.

“Good morning dear.” He said as he gave me a firm hug.

“Good morning to you, too.” I replied.

Today, he wore his elephant tie. A white tie, covered in a pattern of tiny miniature grey elephants. I bought it him for our eleventh Christmas together. It surprises me how well I remember each one I buy him. This tie is ranked in his top ten favourites. It may not sound like a big deal, however, if you knew Ethan and his tie collection, you’d understand it’s a big deal. We’d not taken five paces into the college before calls of Breakfast from Verity came our way. Verity is a girl from college who has a massive crush on Ethan. She calls Ethan Breakfast because he’s so delicious, she doesn’t need anything to eat in a morning. Embarrassing, right? After a while we had gotten use to it. Most of her friends call Ethan, Breakfast, too. As he walked me to first period, which he insists on doing, they walked by checking him out from head to toe with no level of discretion. It doesn’t seem to bother him.

As much as I love performing arts, I lacked the energy to take part with any enthusiasm today. I wanted to go home, return to my bed and sleep. It’s very rare for me to say otherwise. Ethan and I fist bumped as we arrived outside my PA class.

“Catch ya later dude.” I said before entering.

I’d just placed my bag on the back of my seat when a junior student walked in, explaining that Ms. Andrews, my performing arts teacher, is off sick and our replacement teacher will be along soon. This news saved me. I’d never been happier. Not about Ms. Andrews