"This really isn't my thing." Actually, the river scared the willies out of me, most times. What in the world was I thinking when Will said we needed a bit of fun before school became massive? Bored, I suppose.
So there I was, thinking it was going to be the originals. Well, the original five that started elementary together. Where were they?
"Bex, relax." Will kept up his endearing smile. "Its just us.. by the way." He was in his saggy tan trousers and a scratchy thin sweater over his wife beater. At least he was in hiking boots.
"What?" I must have looked like a crazy person. Except, it was Will who was insane. We were seldom alone. He did silly things in the hall at school. Always running around. Slapping your bum, occasionally. He stayed in some silly character that I usually didn't quite get, but it was far better than his farting days of elementary. Could I really take him seriously? "Are you, mad?"
"No, I hate them all." He rolled his eyes with a silly laugh. "I mean, Simon's got Pippa now. He kept it from me.. so freak'n long. Did you know?"
"No." I said quick enough hanging on to my backpack straps. I'd suspected, a few years back, but that was when they were warming up to each other.
"Bex, you knew, didn't you?" We started off down the wooded path before I even realized it. I'd wanted to wrap my dark braids up in my slouchy beret to protect my hair from the sun, but I didn't have to chance. Instead I pulled the beret closer to my eyes wishing I'd worn shades.
"Not, actually." I was even lipped about Pippa and Simon. Instead I was thinking my boots were just too thick for all these stones to stumble over. What had gotten into me to wear my cutoffs, rolled up to show off my very pale legs.
"You knew, and you didn't tell me." He looked back at me as if I were a liar.
"I didn't think it was any of our business." I sighed as I kept on, trudging over another stone here and there while Will's nimble body kept going like some scarecrow with a bit of life.
"None, our our business?" He looked back with a frown, waiting for me to catch up. I kept walking, wishing I could take in the lovely nature around me, but he was in a tizzy. Birds flew as if they knew he was in a bad mood.
"Well, they can just have each other, for all I care." He was in a huff. I knew Simon was Will's best mate. Still, couldn't he just get over it?
We forged on in the quiet of the woods. Sunlight was slowly laying low. I really wasn't sure why we were doing this, but maybe it was best I didn't know. It was best to keep quiet. Perhaps, any second Will would return to his happy self.
He was a bit manic at school. Running the halls like a ninny at times, but it was all in good fun. He loved a laugh. He was a laugh and it was contagious around him, but at the moment it was such a horrible silence. It was as if someone turned the off switch, and he seemed to be depending on me..for something.
We found a clearing near the huge tree stump. In the old days, he would have crawled on top and performed a one man show of some kind, either swinging his hips about doing a silly dance routine or shouting God Knows What to the trees.
"Is this really about Simon and Pippa?" I asked. Sure, she was gorgeous and on the dance team. She was a high kicker and strutted her swag to the fullest, but she just wanted to be on a dance crew in some huge concert hall. She was serious about her studies. And Simon was such a nerd, but he loved mimicking lines from old 007 movies. It was great to see those two (Simon and Will) compete on who said it best.
Meanwhile, Will flung the tent out as if this was not the time to discuss it. He was stewing about Simon. I guessed.
I got out the sandwiches I brought. Tuna. I'd made extras because I thought there would be more of us. He got out his thermos as the campfire finally caught on. I made a place for us on the old quilt.
It was not tea, exactly in the thermos. It was laced with whiskey.
I couldn't believe it. Will barely liked hard cider.
"Really!" I made a face of disgust. "We came all this way to get shit faced. Is that it?"
He grabbed it away from me and took a drink.
"I found Liza in my brother's bed." He finally fessed up.
"Liza?" I almost laughed. "She's with Gus?" Maybe it wasn't what he thought it was. I wouldn't tell him, but she did have girl crush on me. I sighed, but I almost laughed when I bit into my sandwich.
"What's so funny?" He looked at me as if I knew a secret.
"You." I reached for my bottle of water while he ripped open the bag of crisp.
"Bex? Do you, think we could? You and me?" He asked between mouth full of crisp.
I looked at my dear friend out of the corner of my eye. What was he really asking?
"I dunno. I know so much about you." I shrugged nibbling back at the tuna diced with green onion. I really didn't think we'd be snogging any second. Especially, if I breathed on him.
"You, do not.' He begged to differ.
"I do." I'd seen his scrawny ass the time he ran through the girl's dressing room in his black briefs. Not that I minded. But he was such a clown.
His head bobbled a bit. It was then I'd figured out that hair style of his was only bed hair on a good day.
"I hate my brother so much. What if..he decides to have a go with you? I couldn't bare it, you know." He sounded as if I was his last hope.
"As if I would have nothing to do with it?" I winced wondering if he knew what he was even discussing.
He sighed and let me have some crisps. He took my sandwich and ate on it. We watched the sun go down and the fire grow brighter.
I put down the bag of crisp and he tossed the bits of the sandwich into the fire.
Well, we'd come this far. Hadn't we? But I had feeling I just might be the man in this relationship. Because he was waiting. So I leaned in, thinking he might get the hint. Of course not. I had to kiss him first.