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Just Another Day in the Life huh?
"Well it's apocalypse year," I said nonchalantly.
"Yep 2012, woo!" said my friend Andres.
"This party was a stupid idea and you know it"
"Yep," he replied. He knew.
“Who has a party for 2012 during a snowstorm?” I thought. I repeated that exact same question to him.
"Well, you came didn't you?" he questioned.
"One, I'm your neighbor and two, I was just leaving." I got up and looked at him. He looked so pathetic, I almost snorted from trying to keep the laughter in. Clad in blue footsie pajamas and a gray party hat (yes gray). I'd known this guy for five years, and yet I stood there wondering if I really knew him at all. We had ordered Chinese take-out the day before. The boxes lay before me sprawled across the floor. Mentally sighing, I began to clean up the mess. Next time I won't stay up till 5 am watching Lord of the Rings. I heard him moving behind me, slowly following suit. Another day in the life, huh?
"Andres that was uncalled for!" I yelled. I saw nothing. My eyes were clouded with red fury. I lay rolling in pain on the ground. After not seeing me for six years, Andres decided it would be a good idea to tackle me on hard cement. The dumba**. I hated surprises. I knew he'd be in the area, but if you'd told me I would have been used for football practice, I would have brought the proper equipment. Like a helmet. He lifted me up and apologized. Still rubbing my head, I got a good look at him. Tall, stupid, yet handsome; I wanted to kill him, but at the same time, I wanted to greet him as an old friend would. "You’re still a garden gnome compared to me" he said smiling
"And you still don't make any damned sense" I said swatting at him but missing. "Seriously, I'm a garden gnome compared to you. Midget would have made more sense." But no. Andres could compare butter to a rock. Anyone who's sane couldn't see such a comparison, but Andres could. All in all, I was glad to see him.
"So... how ya been?" he asked with a sheepish grin. Pushing my irritation aside I smiled back.
"Good, second year in college is tough but it's going by so fast" I said.
"Oh yea, I joined that army!" he exclaimed. I attempted to smile at that too, but this time it just came out as a flat out frown. He saw it too. We both knew that the United States was having shaky relations all around with countries in the UN. Still, war hadn't come and hopefully, it never would.
The sound of wedding bells filled my ears. No they weren't mine. Thank god. They were for my old compadre, Andres. His wife was beautiful and I wasn't just saying that. Unlike the people who call all babies cute. His grin was wider than the San Andreas Fault. A happy man made me a happy friend. I would have cried if I had been born with a little more emotion. He looked over at me and gave me a thumbs-up. I just smiled. His wife was just as familiar with his weirdness as I was. I never thought he'd find someone to understand him. Fortunately I was wrong. His wife approached me, beaming just as much as Andres.
"Congratulations" I said smiling.
"Dank you," said Alva. Her English was a still a little off, but better than it was three years ago. Andres had met her in Taiwan on some army expedition. As it turned out, he brought back more than just trinkets for souvenirs. It was amazing how quickly they got over the language barrier. Andres who spoke Portuguese and English and this women from far across the world who had spoken strictly Mandarin, came to love a foreign man. I guess there is someone out there for everyone.
"So are you planning to have children with that noob?" I questioned with a sly grin. Alva and I were close, so she didn't mind such personal questions or my use of the word noob to describe her husband.
"Yah, he won’t have kid soon" she said smiling. Of course he does I thought. Even as a kid, he always talked about how he wanted to grow up to be a good father. Unusual, but it was something nice to aspire to.
I waited outside of the delivery room. Andres stood next to me sweating and having silent seizures. His wife was about to give birth to their first child. The only reason Andres wasn't in there was because he was too much of a sissy to go in. He was literally biting his nails. My god! I went to the hospital vending machine to get some bottled water. When I returned, he was still in a sad state. So naturally, I opened the water bottle and splashed some on his face. He snapped out of it and went wide eyed like a drug addict on the first day out of rehab. "Dude, calm down, it will all be over soon." I said calmly. He nodded and continued to stare at the delivery room door. In a few minutes, the nurses came out to give us their "okay to go in". Andres nearly ran into the room; I strode in after him. An angelic light seemed to shine down on Alva as she held their newborn son. Andres merely stared, while standing in a silence that I could only take as pure amazement. He slowly made his way to his wife's side. I left the room quietly, not wanting to disturb such a peaceful moment. Three years later Andres was called off to war, leaving Alva and their baby of three years without his father.
Alva, her son Nasir and I sat watching the TV as images of war in Alva's home country flashed across the screen. Andres was in Taiwan, and America, for the first time, was losing. Multiple countries had laid ambush to the United States. Even some countries in the UN had plotted betrayal. All Americans could do was hope for some sort of back up because our troops were getting their a**es kicked. I slept at Alva's house most nights. I couldn't bear to leave the small family alone. Nasir was only eight. I had a government contact notifying me of soldiers who died each day. No news of Andres came. Good or bad. I was confident though. Andres's dream was to be a father before it was to be a soldier. Sure, some would say that by fighting for his country he was fighting for his son, but if he died out there then his son would no longer have a father to fight for him. Andres wasn't the type to leave his family alone; I reassured myself. The next day I got a notification from my contact. Andres was dead.
If you were to look at now Nasir, you would be looking at a fine young man as many would say. He was twenty-three, healthy as a horse and was already on his way to starting a successful business. I still can't bear to look at him though. He's the spitting image of Andres. I never told Alva about Andres’s death. She found out a year later when letters from the war were actually able to reach America. I bore the pain of Andres’s death alone just to be selfish. Fifteen years since he died and I can still vividly remember the time he knocked me to the ground after six years of not seeing him. He was so stupid. I was glad to hear from one of his comrades that Andres died a hero. He saved his entire dispatch of soldiers by sacrificing himself even though they all protested because he had a son. Man he was so stupid sometimes. I joined the army after Andres died. As if to go with him and die in battle like he did. I lived though. The war ended when Japan, the French and the Czech Republic decided to join in on the side of the United States, giving us the back up we needed. It was too little to late because Andres was already dead. Now I sit wasting away remembering the "good ole days". Alva died in 2045 on Nasir's birthday. Some drunk asshole decided to run her over while she was returning to her car after buying Nasir's cake. The frosting was red when they found her head smashed in it although the baker distinctly remembered it being white. In truth, I was in love with Andres. I let him get married without objection though. Even if he were alive today, I still wouldn't have told him. Sometimes the relationships we have should be the ones we keep. Ha, it wouldn't have worked out anyways, he was just too stupid.