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Scott's Best Friend: Lunch
Sometimes days are just bad. From the moment you drag your half-asleep body out of a lumpy bed ‘til the moment you crash your head down onto a flat pillow, the day is just bad. Nothing goes right. The electricity goes out before you wake up so your alarm doesn’t go off and you find yourself peddling as fast as you can with wet hair on a rusty bike hoping simultaneously that you won’t be late for first period (again) or collapse from hunger because you dropped your cold strawberry PopTart two blocks ago, you realize once you get to first period (late) that you left all of your homework at home and surprise! pop quizzes in three classes (which you fail), the copy machine blows up when you accidentally spill Cactus Cooler all over it so your column for the crappy censored school newspaper is cut for the month (like you care), and then at lunch, not only do you realize that you’re wearing your shirt inside-out and your socks are so different that people have noticed, but there is a gaping hole in your left pocket and the five bucks you had for a Special Lunch Combo (meager turkey sandwich, plain chips, a miniature juice box, and a sugar-free chocolate chip cookie) has fallen out somewhere and someone you don’t know is mostly likely buying your lunch with your money.
Luckily, Oscar’s day wasn’t like that at all. He woke up merrily to a happy faced sun that shone on him with rays of joy. He ate a hearty breakfast of warm strawberry PopTart and passed his pop quiz (only one). No, that day, Oz just forgot his lunch money. There was no gaping hole in his pocket; he just forgot. These things happen.
So Oz went through his day as the resident cynic until lunch, when he took over Dylan’s job (who was absent) and became the resident beggar.
“Hey… Hey… Hey, Christian. Psssst… Christian…”
“Not now, I’m trying to cram for my history test.”
“…Hey… Psssst… Christian…”
“What? For Christ’s sake, what do you want, Oz?”
“Can I borrow some money for lunch?”
“Sorry, man, I used up all my cash on my lunch. And this history cheat sheet. So beat it.”
“Hey… Hey… Hey, David. Psssst… David…”
“…Hey… Psssst… David…”
“……Davi—Oh, you’re asleep.” Pause. “…Wake up.”
“Hey… Hey… Hey, Lisa—“
“I’m not giving you money.”
All right, so begging wasn’t Oz’s strongest suit. Maybe something blunter would work. Like a bat. Or just straight out telling his friends to give him money. Oz picked the latter. He wasn’t one for first-degree murder.
He stood in the center of the crowded cafeteria that smelled faintly of burnt pizza and scoped out his potential victim. His dark blue eyes scanned over each person momentarily: Heather, no; Thomas, no; Yolanda, Christian Number Two, Keith, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah… Sarah. His eyes paused. There was no way that he was going to ask Sarah for money, but he liked to imagine how something such as that would go. He would be smooth and nonchalant and absolutely wonderfully perfect. A lot like Scott, but with less flying and fighting villains. His dream sequence began. Cue the blurry camera edges and harp scale.
She would be sitting there, all pretty and done up with her long blonde hair and green eyes. She’d turn and laugh in slow motion at something that her friend said. Her hair would bounce and those eyes would turn in even slower motion and stare at Oz. Her smile would linger and she’d go back to her friends as time went back to the way it was.
He’d saunter over and would most certainly not trip over any backpacks or feet on his way over. He’d glide, he’d float. His smile would fall perfectly upon his face and he’d lean in to the table.
“Hey, Sarah,” he’d say.
“Hey, Oz,” she’d say.
“So, Sarah,” he’d say.
“Yes?” she’d say.
“How about you and I go do something later?” he’d say.
“That sounds perfect, Oz,” she’d say.
“Brilliant,” he’d say, leaning in.
“Yeah,” she’d say, blushing slightly and leaning in as well.
“Yeah,” he’d say, leaning in close.
“Yeah,” she’d say, her face close to his.
“Yeah,” he’d say, so close it was almost too good to be true.
And then Scott ran into him.
“You’re ruining my life,” Oz joked.
“Sorry, sorry,” Scott said, trying to rush past in a frenzy. Oz assumed he was on official superhero business. You know, admirably fighting crime and keeping his alter ego a secret. Well, Oz knew Scott was the kid in a mask and homemade suit going around and saving people. But it was still admirable.
You see, Scott was Oz’s best friend. Or rather, Oz was Scott’s best friend. Everything was about Scott. He wasn’t super popular, but everyone knew Scott and everyone liked him. He was on the football team and the chess team. He was good at everything except not being good at something. But Oz was okay with that because everything that Oz excelled at, Scott didn’t prefer. It was actually quite strange that they were friends, but that’s how friendships work. Sometimes the perfect football kid is friends with the lanky, awkward journalism kid.
Anyway, Oz grabbed onto Scott’s shoulders to stop him from leaving just yet. No one was going to die if Scott the Great and Wondrous was five seconds late. Well… nevermind.
“Gimme your lunch money. I assume you’re not going to be eating lunch here.”
“Yeah, whatever. Here.” Scott fished a handful of dollars out of his pocket and smacked them into Oz’s grateful hand.
“Thanks, bud. Now, go fight, uh, save, you know, do your thing.”
“You’re welcome, now get out of my goddamn way.”
Scott ran out the cafeteria door like a madman, jumped behind a ridiculously large bush and then flew away in a red suit. About ninety nine percent of the student population currently at lunch dashed to the bush and stared at the sky to watch the ‘unnamed kid’ zoom off to do whatever.
Oz mock saluted and stepped up to the now devoid lunch counter that sold the Super Lunch Combo. His belly would soon be filled with the moderately good-tasting delight of a few slices of meat between two hunks of day old bread.
He slapped the money down on the counter and smiled smugly.
“The usual, Martha.”