Categories > Original > Drama
Friends are golden.
“I like the airplanes way up in the sky,” Chance groaned and flipped to face the dirt. “You know, when the birds all fall to pieces?” His voice muffled out a few more words, but none that anyone could determine. Gemini stared oddly at the guy and shook his head.
“No, I don't, man.”
“I think it's nice.” He nodded to himself and laid back down. “Whistles, I mean.” He managed to speak without hesitation, as if he had any coherent thoughts going on.
“Mm,” Gemini bit his tongue in a battle to keep from strangling the guy.
“I ate a piece of pineapple today.”
“So you're really doing this.”
“It was not your best, I might add."
“Let me confirm that this is happening.”
“But I forgive you for your sins,” Chance began to push himself off the ground and shake the dirt from his clothes. He laughed at his own 'joke'. Gemini pulled a piece of grass out of the ground. “Anyway. Fix my buddy...uh, what's your name, bub?” Chance seemed a bit embarrassed but mostly shitfaced. Gemini stared bleakly at Chance before shoving the grass in his mouth.
“Oh, right, you, man...hey, how you been?”
“Aren't you in the middle of a conversation with someone...else?” Gemini impatiently tapped his foot to the smallest peep you get from breathing shallowly. He darted his head to the sky and Chance flopped on the ground, laughing crazy as ever.
“Help my friend, Motherfucking Gem?”
“He's an alcoholic. I think he's gone batty, too.”
“I'm not an alcoholic.”
“Shh! The angels'll hear you...”
“You're the alcoholic, man. You wanna go home now?”
“Nah, nah. Nah, I'm pretty...” Chance stared at Gemini and blinked, haphazardly smiling. “Pretty tired.” Gemini sighed and grimaced. He stood up, shaking off grass he pulled and offered his hand to Chance.
“Come on, man. I'll drop you off at your mom's place.”
“Motherfudgin' Gemini.” Chance muttered in the ditzy slur you only get from chugging a bottle of very cheap wine to feel very rich. Chance squeezed his eyes shut, as harshly as any fool can. Gemini groaned and kicked Chance in the shin. He was shushed by Chance, before he even thought of telling him to move. Chance's eyes clung shut as he began to hum. It was bitter and reminded Gemini of a funeral march and then it abruptly stopped.“If I keep this minute a memory.” He opened his eyes as wide as he could in his state and glared at Gemini.
“Don't.” Gemini stated simply and offered his hand again. Of course, Chance eyed it carefully, seeming to calculate every possible corrupt outcome before deciding to accept it. Trudging on grass and dirt, Gemini maneuvered Chance back to a dull sedan that barely reflected any of the all-night superstores around.
“This your car, Gem? Hm?” Chance whistled. “Done well.” Gemini fumbled with the keys. “I like how the lights...y'know? They glow...oooh. Look at me, dude...hey, hey, what made you change, douchebag?” Gemini stiffened noticeably, but Chance hardly gave him a second look. He looked pretty fucking blitzed.
“We can talk about it over soda pops and braid each others hair tomorrow when you're sober.” Gemini sarcastically mentioned. This was fallen to deaf ears as Chance just smiled dumbly and nodded. Gemini took a moment to actually look over his friend. “You're pretty drunk, aren't you?” Chance grinned even more and nodded again. Gemini turned back to the keys and let out a flustered noise, to which Chance laughed off, stating it 'very melancholy'. “I suppose you won't enlighten me.”
“Jesus is the sun!” Chance sung, off-key and overly loud. “I don't like it when people interrogate me. Makes me feel like there's a bird rotting in my chest...or something. I dunno. It's pretty awkward. Is that really my face?” Chance pointed to the car reflection. Gemini didn't bother responding.
“What's up with you and birds?”
“They're pitifully awesome creatures and I could probably care more and should probably care less about them.”
“That was very confusing. You keep forgetting that I didn't have any tequila.”
“It wasn't...wasn't tequila.” Chance scoffed, ridiculously offended.
“You pry too much. It's one of the main reasons why...why....hey, hey, man, we should get some pop rocks.”
“Look at you...fuck are you...some kind of owl?” Chance scrunched his face up in detest as if he smelt something foul. Gemini shifted his expression to feign annoyance. “Whoooo whooo.”
“With the birds again?”
“I think God likes me so it's okay.”
“Think it'll be okay when you wake up?”
“Yeah. 'Cause I'm not going to. Oooooh, Gem, five dollar bill!” Chance knelt down, but ending up falling in the process and retrieved what was, amazingly, a five dollar bill. He waved it around crazily. Gemini sat down next to him and stopped his hand from moving. Chance frowned. “No fun, man.”
“What do you you mean: 'you aren't going to'?”
Chance scoffed. “Man, that's like...asking guitars why they make noise or something.”
“That's me!” Chance cheekily smiled and attempted to make a thumbs up sign.
“Why won't you wake up tomorrow morning?”
“If this is twenty questions...it's not very much...good...I don't like this game.” Chance eyed the ground, looking sheepish and out of character.
“Are you going to wake up?” Gemini's tone came off pissed.
“I wanna stop. Can we stop?” Chance asked semi-nervously. He leaned his head against the car and closed his eyes. “Gem. I'm not the...I'm not who...you know.” They seemed to both understand what wasn't being said and why. Gemini settled against the car next to Chance. They sat alone, hearing the vague rumble of highway cars and watching their lights sweep by in a matter of seconds. “Don't you just wanna run that fast?” Chance mentioned, hinting at the cars marking their own roads, if only briefly.
“Come on.” Gemini stood up and looked expectantly at Chance.
“Come on. You eat yet? Let's get something to eat.”
“I'm not hungry. I just want to stay here.” Chance gripped the tire and stared at the sky. “Do you think that it's okay...man...do you think that...any of it...is okay?” Gemini didn't respond. Chance smiled anyway and handed Gemini the five dollar bill. “Buy some shoes.” Gemini sat down.
“Five bucks won't buy squat.”
“Well, I think squat's a waste of five big ones anyway, chief...” Chance looked around. The parking lot was basically empty, minus a brown Juke and a rusted yellow pickup truck. He narrowed his eyes and stared straight ahead. He nodded as he spoke. “I really hope cows get into heaven.” Gemini smiled faintly and shook his head.
“I don't know anyone else like you.”
“Sure you do.” Chance tilted his head and stared a few more seconds. He looked like he had something to comprehend. He turned really fast, suddenly buzzing with energy, which surprised Gemini. “You got that thing...where the instrument goes like weeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooo oooooooooo oooo, 'cause you have to like, bend it all out and stuff?”
“I have no idea? What, the saw?”
“Hah, yes! Your saw, the singing saw, that thing dude! You have it with you?”
“Maybe. I'll look.” Gemini stood up and didn't offer his hand; this time he yanked Chance up. Chance was pretty cool with it so when the back door opened, he crawled in and curled up. He heard Gemini rummaging through the trunk and felt oddly content.
“'I do like flowers',” Drowsily, Chance quoted. He heard Gemini sigh but didn't look over. “I remember when you said, that, Gem. Gemmy-old-pal.”
“I don't think I've seen you so smashed.”
“What are you off on, now?”
“That was like, seven years before we met.”
“What's your point?”
“Maybe that's the point...that I have no point...why does it have to even have a fucking point...can't I just be pointless.”
“You're not so you can't be.”
“That's logical.” Chance smacked his lips. “You got any smooth jazz?”
“Smooth jazz.” Gemini repeated, thinking as he shut the trunk and walked to the backseat. He opened the door again and showed off a mutated instrument, in Chance's mind. Chance looked up and laughed.
“The fuck is that?”
“It's a banjolele.” Gemini strummed it and handed it off to Chance. Chance held it gingerly, flipping it over and inspecting it cautiously. Gemini turned it over and put it in Chance's hands. “It can't bite.” He buckled Chance in, who hardly noticed anything was going on.
“Do you...you think it knows I can?”
“Be an idiot, man.” Gemini smiled and clapped his hand on Chance's back before crawling into the driver's seat. He started the car which startled Chance to yelp.
“We're on the road.” He grinned lazily. “Remember that night,” he plucked at the strings quietly. “When we painted that street by your old house? I think it's gone now,” he strummed it, sounding more like a song, lightly as ever. “Mal missed you when you left.”
“I didn't leave.” Gemini huffed. Though he was practically showing hurt on his face, Chance couldn't tell and he just shook his head.
“Classic.” Gemini chose to ignore Chance's sarcastic voice and pulled out of the parking space.
Gemini was a speedy and clumsy driver, so he just searched through the mess of tapes in the front seat, with his right blinker on to pull out of the beach's parking lot.
“Smooth jazz, you say?”
“Milos Forman knows what I mean, man...”
“The hell is Milos Forman?”
“Just give me some of that damn Satchmo.” Chance muttered into the seat belt. He dozed off for a bit, and woke up when Gemini swerved the car and sped down the highway.
“Found it!” Gemini shouted. He popped the tape into the deck, pretty satisfied with himself. His speakers blared that good old Louie and his famous trumpet riffs; those ones that never tire. Gemini hummed along, Chance sung it boisterously.
“I found my thrilllllll, on blueberry hillllllll, on blueberryyy hill.” He then forgets the rest, so he just 'na na na's to the tune. He's radically off, but Gemini looks in the mirror to see his friend, he thinks that shine in his eyes was because he saw him. Gemini finds his mouth twitching into a smile and he sings off key, too.
“Gem, buddy, you ain't singing it right! It goes, one a two three four,” Chance starts off, singing to the trumpet. Gemini is paying so close attention, he misses the exit to Chance's mother's house. He's glad, though. Chance's singing dies out, so they both just listen for a while. It's only when Louis sings 'Mack the Knife', that Chance speaks up. “I wanted to go to that field.”
“Or that hill, whatever the thing is. I dunno. I wish we were there.”
“We could go there.” Gemini has no idea where the hell he's going anyway, so he kind of welcomes any suggestions. But Chance just nods absently. “So, uh, Chance...”
“Do you wanna sober up a little?”
“Gem, Gem, buddy, ol' pal,” Chance slurs. “I got a big secret to tell you.”
“I'm not drunk.” he smiles and Gemini just shakes his head.
“You do realize you're twenty five, right?”
“So?” Chance scoffs. He's obviously still smashed as ever.
“So when are you going to stop this shit?”
“You're not very nice. And after all you've put me through, tsk tsk, my friend,” Louie is still biting off tunes of his sweet jazz. Chance sighs heavily, supremely dramatic. “I just don't understand why, man. Nothing happened here to make you leave. No point, just like Oblio.” Gem starts laughing like a hyena, leaving Chance utterly confused because Gemini hasn't laughed at all since he saw him tonight.
“You used to play Bowie on my guitar.”
“Why are you laughing?”
“Because I missed hearing your whiny voice sing Rock and Roll Suicide.”
“That's fair, man.”
Gemini took an exit to somewhere he couldn't pronounce the name of and veered viciously down the road.
“Y'know...I missed you for a while. I got used to you gone, though...but when you said, when you were on that list, and you were coming home...” Chance sighed hastily. Gem held his breath, in case he could die right then and there without having to hear this story. The story. The one he 'conveniently' forgot to read. “...you'd come all this way to see all those people, not to see me.”
“I wanted to see you, too.”
Chance shook his head unevenly, his eyes closing and tiredly said, with a small and unhappy smile. “You're not serious.”
“God dammit! Fuckin' lunatic!” Gemini swerved the car and honked his horn. He rolled down the window and shouted, “Hey, asshole! I got your number, you pigheaded lousy bastard!” He promptly flipped off the speeding car and he could've sworn he heard, 'fuck you!' coming from that guy too.
“This is so you. 'Pigheaded lousy bastard' is totally...never. Nobody has ever said that.”
“What? He cut me off! Could've killed us both!” Chance nodded and closed his eyes.
“Sure, sure, but pal...I really don't give a damn anymore,” He shrugged honestly. “Though a car crash would be less painful than this.” Gemini pulled the car off on an exit and started slowing down as they entered residential area.
“What do you mean 'this'? What the fuck are you talking about?”
“I'm just sayin'. Life was good for a while.”
“Stop being such an ignorant prick and tell me what the hell is wrong!” Gemini was kind of raging, Chance had to laugh because he was starting to get all red in the face, looking more and more like a balloon. Chance thought he was going to explode when Gem heard Chance laugh. “This isn't fucking funny. Jesus Christ...you're such an asshole.”
“Then why did you come by? If you're just going to yell at me and poke and prod me like I'm an alien being autopsied...why don't you just drop me off here? I can take myself out,” Chance put the banjolele down, unbuckled angrily and threw the car door open. He tilted his head up and looked down on Gem through the passenger's window. “Mom's dead. I don't even live here anymore,” he pulled a flask out of his pocket and chucked it at the car. It made an awful sound that clanged and rattled.“I wasn't lying. I'm not smashed,” He laughed. “Just so tired of being this tired of being tired of it all. Sleep it off, right? Right?” Chance asked nervously. He turned his head and jogged away from the car. Gemini stared in disbelief, practically glued to the seat. He was afraid if he moved, at all, everything that he just heard would crash into him like a stack of bricks and he'd know the meaning of pain.
Chance was out of sight by the time Gemini got his brains in gear enough to pick up the flask outside. He opened it and was surprised to find no alcohol. He pulled out a letter, written in the tiny handwriting that spiraled out like spiders on a page. It was obviously Chance's. All it said on one side was:
You were the best friend. Remember all the things we conquered?
Written on the back, it dated itself June of 1999. There were other things in the flask, like a broken plastic ring from one of those candy ring pops, a Pop Rocks wrapper, a flattened and old lilac twig, a shard of purple glass, red thread, a mini metal soldier and a locket, of all things. He opened the locket and found a picture of a grocery store.
He remembered when he bought Chance Pop Rocks for the first time. They were kids back then, probably only nine and he remembers distinctly how his friend's eyes bugged out and he sort of screamed happily. Chance had spent all his allowance on Pop Rocks for the following three months. Gemini was shocked he even kept the junk candy wrapper.
The ring was red and fucking [/old as hell. He doesn't get why Chance put it in with all this other stuff, but it feels like it's important so he tries to remember something. Water Mellon was the worst flavor of all and that was the flavor Chance always got. But that ring doesn't smell at all like Water Mellon. It smells like old artificial strawberries, and strawberry was Gem's favorite flavor. Obviously because it was the best one. He groaned and knocked his head against his steering wheel. He should've gone after Chance.
The red thread made him laugh nostalgically. It was absolutely disgusting and twisted, but to ward off bullies in middle school, Gem brought red thread from his dad's sewing kit (his father was a tailor) to school. He brought in two needles and him and Chance sewed their skin. It wasn't like it hurt or anything, just a party trick. When their bullies saw that, they were too freaked to bother them. It was just an old prank, but it looks creepy as hell to sew your skin together, as you can imagine.
The locket was Chance's mothers'; he was positive of that. She absolutely loved grocery stores and there wasn't much here that Gem could remember, except how she used to wear it only when she went shopping. He thought about his friend's mother. How she had died and he hadn't even known. Chance could've swallowed a whole bottle of pills or something and Gem might not even know if Chance died. He shoved all the contents of the flask back in and he opened his car door, running out. He started shouting Chance's name, but got no response. It wasn't like they were even in the middle of the forest or anything. They were just in a city that stayed up late throughout dingy little bars spread across the town.
After ten minutes of running and screaming, he realized Chance probably wouldn't come even if he'd heard him. He tried a different approach.
“Time takes a cigarette,” Chance sung off, loudly. He wasn't half bad, too. “Puts it in your mouth,” He was getting more frantic in searching, but he still kept singing. “Pull on your finger, then another finger,” he sighed and turned down another street. Nobody here slept. They didn't even blink an eye when someone ran down a street singing David Bowie songs. “The watch clock is callin', it lingers,” He gasped for breath and sung quieter. “Then you forget.”
“Ohhhh no, you're a rock n' roll suicide.”
“Chance!” Gem ran over to Chance. “You're alive...” He beamed. Chance was paler and more alert. Gem didn't know if it was a good sign or not.
“Barely,” he flashed a small smile. “Your singing is killin' my poor ears, man.”
“I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm so fucking sorry.”
“Take it easy, doc. It wasn't that bad.”
“No, I just...would it bother you if I told you how much I missed you?”
“Yes, it would. Too many if's, dude. Just grow a pair...say what you mean.”
“I never wanted to leave. And when I did, I forgot where you were, y'know? I kept forgetting that there was someone that was you, y'know?”
“You didn't eat any of those old pop rocks, did you?”
“What? No! No, I'm being serious. I missed you, man. Chance.”
“Yep, that's me.” He shrugged and sat on the grass by a telephone pole. He patted the seat next to him. “Sit with me for a while?” So Gemini sat down. And neither of them spoke. They just stared and watched the street struggle its' light against the moon.
“You can keep this minute a memory.” Gemini muttered casually.
“Yeah.” Chance nodded drowsily.
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