“I love you, mom.. and I miss you.” I hung onto the phone a bit tighter, clinging to the words I exchange with my adopted mother of almost 11 years now. I couldn't stand saying 'bye' to her. I hated saying 'goodbye', like it would be the last word I'd ever say to her.
“I miss you too, honey.. be safe, okay? Tell Garet I said ‘hello’.”“I will. Love you, mom.” I tapped the end button, letting my hand fall to my side with my phone falling to the floor, slipping from my grip. Wincing when I hear it thud to the wooden floor, I mutter, “Shit..” Rolling over on my side, I grab it off of the ground and set it up onto my nightstand, laying back down on my back. Staring off at the ceiling, I couldn’t help but wish my phone call with mom hadn’t been so short cut, but I knew she was busy with her new job back home. I couldn’t help it though--I missed her, like crazy. Scratching my head, I jump up out of bed and walk over to the window to take a look outside and down onto the street outside of my dorm room. It was midday, and almost everyone was wearing sweaters.. November in Southern California, and some could still say it was warm enough for swimming weather. “Fuck that,” I thought to myself with a smile. Picking the phone back up again, I dialed Garet’s number and slid the phone up to my ear, hearing the dial tone sound off.
I only hear the phone as if through a dreamy haze; the blackness of the dream fades away, as the ringing sounds through the room. It takes me a moment to realize that I’m not still dreaming, that I am, in fact, awake. I open my eyes just a crack, and shut them at once as the sun nearly blinds me. I curse my roommate for leaving the damn curtains open...AGAIN. The ringing phone, however, makes me force my eyes open, even though they are squinting in a cold glare. I’ll kill him, I think to myself bitterly. I don’t know my roommate at all, we were stuck together for space...I don’t care to either. There’s only one person I care about, and I sincerely hope it’s her calling right now, because I don’t particularly care to talk to my roomie’s friends either. Then I realize it’s my cell that is ringing, and that wakes me up right away. Unless it’s my parents saying hello (a rarity these days), it’s Stormy! Vaguely wondering what my roommate is up to anyway, I reach over to my nightstand, grasp the phone, and hit the button to answer a call. “That you, Stormy?” I ask into the phone, somewhat groggily.
It takes him nearly till the very last ring before he picks up, but he eventually does. I smirk as he answers the phone sounding tired, whispering playfully into the speaker of my phone, “D’awww, is that my sweeeepy Ferret?” I hold back a little giggle, smiling wide, practically from ear to ear.
The sound of Stormy’s vaguely mocking voice jars me awake; I can’t help but smile at her words. “Well if it isn’t Miss Deva; your little ‘Ferret’ is just fine,” I say, laughing. “I always knew I could count on my Stormy to be the best damn alarm clock a guy could ask for!”
The more and more he says, the further and further my smile spreads. “Well, ain’t that what a best friend is for!” I laugh, grabbing my backpack from off of my computer chair and my keys off of the desk, walking out the dorm door and shutting it behind me. “You have work today, huh? I kinda have a day off.. boss let me off, ‘cause I told him I’ve been seriously stressing out on school work lately--which, don’t get me wrong! I totally have, but I just feel like I’ve needed a break. Just a day off to be your everyday Stormy.” I walk down the small hallway to the stairs, taking the two and a half flights to get to the ground floor. Walking out of the double doors and heading down the street towards the boys dorms, I had high hopes to surprise Garet before he left anywhere.
I listen intently as Stormy talks about how she managed to wheedle a day off, and I chuckle softly. “You could talk a camel out of its hump in the middle of the desert,” I say brightly, peeling myself out of bed and holding the phone to my shoulder while digging around in my dresser for a shirt. I toss aside several sweaters to find a nice T, and throw it haphazardly on the bed. “Maybe I should call in sick; between classes and my part-time job, we don’t get to see each other nearly enough.” I tell her, frowning slightly. I’ve never been absent one single day, never been late one single day. I doubt I could just ask my boss for a free day off, but just maybe he’d buy that I’m sick. “What do ya think, Deva? Might be fun, eh? I tell my boss I’m sick, maybe come and pick you up, we can hang out for the day?” I throw on my shirt, toss a pair of jeans on, and walk into the bathroom to examine my beard; not too scruffy so I figure I can put off shaving it for one more day. “You do know I’m hoping you’ll like the idea, right?”
I roll my eyes in reply to the first thing he says in reply back to me, smiling as I think, “Typical Garet answer, right there! .. smartass!” I listen to what he has to say, smiling again when he suggests he skip work to hang with me today like we always used to--before all this college bullshit. It was definitely a drag on my social life, that’s for sure. “What social life?” I couldn’t help but laugh at my own thought. “You know, I think I’m starting to wear off on you, Gare Bear. Becoming quite the naughty one aren’t we? Skipping a few classes and now faking sickness to skip a day of work?” Tsk, tsk, tsk. “Shame on you,” I laugh, pushing the doors open to his dorm room, quickly taking the stairs two at a time. I stop at the second set, answering, “Well, why would you need to go through the trouble of picking me up?” I continue on up the stairs, picking up the pace a little bit, trying to catch him before he could walk out of his room.
I frown slightly at Stormy’s words, and put on my best thoughtful voice. “Oh...my...God...Stormy, you are right! I don’t think we can be friends anymore, you are such a bad influence on me! First skipping a few classes…” I let out a fake gasp of shock, “Then work--what next? We might end up the next Bonnie and Clyde, you Devil woman you!” I break out laughing, almost imagining Stormy rolling her big beautiful eyes at my words. “And why wouldn’t I want to go through the trouble of picking you up? It’s no trouble at all, you’re not that far away you know.” I suppress a yawn, shifting my cell to my other ear. “I think I’ll do it, but I’ll need to hang up to call my boss and I don’t want to do that,” I say grinning. “See what you do to me, Stormy?”
I laugh as he does, rolling my eyes at all his smartass comebacks and replies. It felt good--smiling like this again, being able to talk to my best friend. Not that we hadn’t gone many days without talking, but the excitement of being able to hang out with him was another thing. It was an epic feeling, fer’ sure. I shake my head as he talks about it not being a trouble to come pick me up due to the fact we lived so close to each other, smiling when he talks about his boss. As I come up to his dorm room, I press my back against the wall, my voice getting a bit lower so he can’t hear me standing outside. “Gare, you need to call your boss. If we wanna hang, you gotta do the responsible thing and give him as much heads-up as possible so that he can find someone else to cover your shift. Call me back when you’re done, ok?” Of course, I wouldn’t wait for him to call me back. Once I heard him on the phone with his boss, I’d stroll right in cause I knew that his roommate always left the door unlocked when he left for his daily classes or work. That boy never did anything right, I swear. I glanced down the hallway as I heard a couple of guys being rowdy in a dorm room a couple doors down, shaking my head and looking back down at my feet. My shoes looked raggedy, I needed to get a new pair soon. “If only frickin’ payroll would send me my check on-time, that would be great!”
“Oh alright, if you insist, I’ll call my boss,” I say laughing. “But I don’t know, going a whole five minutes without talking to you? I might die of loneliness, you know! Seriously though, I’ll call you back Stormy.” I smile, click “end call,” and clear my throat. Now, for a good bit of acting. I had to sound sick, it wasn’t enough to simply claim it. I had to really feel it. Wondering if I ought to have chosen drama as my major, instead of photography, I dial up my bosses phone number. I hear his voice (the guy is a real morning person, and sometimes that irks me because I have a hard time being that cheery that early--unless Stormy is around, anyway), with his very weird way of answering his phone. “Articulate,” the man says in his soft tone. Rolling my eyes and trying to hold back laughter, I answer. “Hey boss...it’s me...Gare...I umm. I’m a bit sick today; sore throat, stubby nose,” I let out a few coughs for good measure. “I think I’m getting da flu and it really sucks too.” I try to feign problems sniffing. “So I need to dake da day off ‘cause...man, dis is just bad, Boss.” There is a long moment of silence on the phone, and for a moment I wonder if he’s not falling for it. “Damn, wish you weren’t sick today, Gare--but you take care of yourself today, okay? I’ll give you the rest of the week off to recover, but you better be prepared to work your ass off when you get back, alright?” I blink, not expecting that. It pays to be a very reliable employee it seems. Grinning to myself, and even feeling a slight pang of guilt, I nod as if he can see me, then remember, DUH I’m on the PHONE! “Thanks boss, I’ll make it up to you. See you next week.” Clicking the end call button, I prepare to dial Stormy.