Tech Crew

January 10, 2010
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Bzzt, bzzt. Two quick buzzes and then the radio clicked on.

“Good morning Boston! It’s a bright shining day and all of our bright MIT students have a special trea-,” James slammed the button hard.

“Darn that Kyle knows how to push my buttons, and on the air too.”

“It’s ‘The Spike’ now, remember?”

“Oh, you’re right. Excuse me!” He quickly threw on an undershirt and the first thing he grabbed then went back to his phone conversation.

“I don’t see why it’s such a big deal. It’s just a competition,” the smooth voice on the other end said realizing he was back.

“It’s not just a competition, it’s THE competition. This could get an amazing job if it goes over well. He knows that I’m nervous.”

“James listen to me, you’ll do fine. I’ve seen your project and I can’t match it, and I’m a legal genius!”

“Heh, thanks babe, listen, I gotta go. I’ll call you when I get back.”

“Bye James, good luck!” He put away his cell phone and practically ran out the door since he knew he was late. Luckily he was within walking distance of the institute and he could just jog to the backstage prep area, which was where he met up with Dean.

“Dude, where have you been? We’re up in ten!” He said this with what little breath he had at that moment and he looked just as shabby as James did, of course they weren’t known for looking professional.

“You worry too much you know that?”

“Of course I worry; I have to. If I didn’t nothing would get done,” Dean followed James back into the prep area so that they could make the final preparations. They flashed their badges and walked through the entrance. The air was electric as most of the attention among the fellow competitors was focused on their project, the largest thing in the room covered in a black velvet sheet. The crowd dispersed with their entrance relieving their third partner, Kim, of her guard duty.

“Where’ve you been ya jerk?” Kim sputtered in the same sarcastic tone they were used to.

“Talking to Lisa, that a problem?” James asked trying to fix his outfit so that he looked at least a little presentable. Kim just smiled and shook her head silently.

Dean intervened, “Yes it’s a problem; we need to get this done!”

“What do you mean? It’s done,” Kim hissed at him. They kept arguing like they were known to do. James just grinned and moved the stragglers away from the machine reminding them that they should finish up their respective projects.
He spun still wearing that stupid grin and calmly called out, “Guys,” They both paused their bickering and looked at him silently, “I’ve made up my mind.”
“About what?” Dean asked instantaneously.
Kim gently tapped his shoulder and without looking away from James answered, “Lisa.”
James nodded and kept talking, “If we take first place here I’m going to ask her to marry me!” The room went silent, even the other competitors stopped and stared in amazement. After what seemed like forever he gave a quick gesture signaling the congratulations.
“I’m so happy for you!” Kim shrieked in excitement.
Still in shock, Dean could only let out a quick “wow” before the organizers rushed their team out onto the stage. Without a second thought Kim wheeled the machinery out to the stage leaving the boys to talk amongst themselves. Still finishing final preparations Dean couldn’t help but think, “Things have changed so much since elementary school.”
“Still hard to believe we’ve known each other that long,” James stared off into space trying to listen for their cue. “Back then I was so chubby and shy.”
“Now it’s the other way around.” James gave dean a quick little punch, their way of saying not to beat yourself up. Dean took in a deep breath, looked at him and finally said, “I’m happy for you, I really am.”
“Thanks man,” after that they got their cue. The both walked on stage beaming with pride at where they’ve come in life. After a brief introduction James found himself thinking that all this was a dream; that he’d wake up back in his dinky little town working on the farm. But once he unveiled their project and heard the crowd roar he felt all of his success, pride, and happiness well up inside of him and he knew it wasn’t a dream. This was real life; life was good and getting better.

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