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    Zach
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Rule the World - 4. Chapter 4 - A Bridge

Filler is my favorite necesary evil.


"Alright, Cone. Spill the beans! Just what DO you do after class?" Zach was pressing his index finger on Connor's forehead, as he tried to concentrate on reading.

Connor's frown got frownier, as he smacked Zach's hand away. "Don't call me Cone."

He did it again! Connor would always find something to nitpick, but he'd never talk about home.

"Give the guy a break, Zach. You've been nagging him about it since last week! It's a miracle he still talks to us." Addy flipped through the pages of her own book. If they were going to spend every lunch at the library, she might as well get some use out of it.

Zach scoffed. "Hey, I'm awesome. That ain't a miracle. The miracle's you thinking I'd like this book! It's been 15 pages of the guy staring at the waves. Like, he sees his entire life on the waves. It's kinda awful, you know?"

Addy felt absolute indignation, and her hands met the desk with anger. "Excuse ME. That book is a perfect example of meditation and introspection! You could learn a bit of that!"

Zach puffed his cheeks and crossed his arms. "I meditate all the time! I run the fibonacci sequence in my head every time I shower, you know." Addy groaned. If she kept going, Zach would begin spouting numbers. Some fights weren't worth it. And Zach would always smile wide when Addy gave up, and pat her on the back.

And then Connor would groan. "I don't get you two. You seem to fight all the time, but you're still friends."

Zach grinned. "That's literally what friends are, Connor! Wacky banter, fun memories, and a relaxing enviroment."

Connor tilted his head. "One out of three. I don't know. In the books, friends always seem to agree on everything."

It was Addy's turn to tilt her head. "Oh, Connor. If life was like a book, we'd be fighting dragons and shit, you know?"

Connor shrugged. It had been nagging him since the day they had officially tied the knots around their friendship. "I...I don't know. They always think of the same things, share goals or dreams...We three have different opinions on so many subjec-OW!?"

Zach was pulling on Connor's ear. The librarian had pretty much given up on the trio since Monday. "Aww. Come on, dude. You're overthinking it. Life's funnier if you roll wit-OW!?" Connor flicked Zach's nose with his fingers, freeing him from his vicious grasp.

Addy giggled as the two guys entered a glaring contest. But then...she received a text. This wasn't unusual by any means, as she was subscribed to a surprising amount of social media. But, even if they didn't know it yet, that text would change everything-forever.

"Ugh. They're advertizing Halloween already! And October's like days away, jeez."

Zach's eyes flew wide open. "Girl, did you say Halloween!?"

Heads were scratched. "Um. Yeah?" Connor swore that Zach sparkled at that moment. Like a child opening a present. For reasons he didn't yet understand, he blushed a little.

"Duuuuuuuuuuuude. Dude! DUDE! I bet there's going to be a sick costume party! I gotta start working on mine! Damn, there's so many things I could dress as. What are you guys going to be?" He had spoken way faster than usual. In fact, following his speech proved a little tough. The librarian brought herself to shush them.

Addy chimed. "Uh, I don't know yet. Ask me in two weeks?"

"I've never celebrated Halloween." Connor stated. He got stares of disbelief.

Mostly from Zach. "No way, Conway. Are your parents like, scared of wizards and stuff?"

Connor was running out of reactions. So he just grunted. "Don't call me Conway. And they aren't. It's just...I've never been invited to any costume parties, or anything alright?"

Zach patted his shoulder, in a very understanding manner. "My son, you can stop worrying. I'm going to dress you up like a damn fine ballerina doll."

Addy snorted. "You're supposed to make him WANT to celebrate Halloween."

It was true. Connor did not take well to the idea. "People already avoid me enough. I doubt a tutu would help that."

Zach let out a loud hmph. He thought he knew Connor better than that. "Wow, like, fuck the police. Who cares about the haters?" Connor stopped to think about those words.

Zach was right, for once. He couldn't care less. He still wasn't going to wear a tutu, though.

"Laying down the truth, Zach! Really though, Connor would look god-awful in a dress. How about a cowboy? He's got that tan and serious attitude."

"Um." This was getting weird for the poor redhead.

"Oh god, girl. We can dress him like a tomb raider! He can pull off the stoic adventurer so well." Embarassment turned to sheepish blushes. Some positive comments work wonders when you're used to being ignored. Suddenly, Zach and Addy gasped in unison.

"Holy shit!" The two stared at each other, and high fived at their synchronized cursing. The librarian got fed up and started threatening them. Connor was confused.

The duo went on. "You smiled, Connor! I almost forgot you have positive emotions!" Zach was giggling, and Addy seemed satisfied. Connor felt even more confused. He hadn't even noticed it, but they made such a big deal out of it.

He struggled to find what to say. "You guys are so weird." But they kept being happy. Having friends was beautiful, but made absolutely no sense.

Lunch would end soon, so they all went their separate ways. Later, they made small talk as they walked Connor home, and the other two made their way back.

"Zach. During class, I made up this list. You gotta read it!" Zach grunted.

"Pay attention in class. Damn it, Addy."

"Look, whatever! Just read it." She placed the folded piece of paper on Zach's palm, and he began to skim through it.

"Resentful Zombie? Stone-Cold Doctor. Vengeful Policeman...Angry cat? Addy, the rest of the page are just doodles of cats."

Addy nodded. "Can't you see Connor as all of these? I can't pick what I want him to dress at!" She was taking it surprisingly seriously.

Zach was impressed. And curious. "You don't have a fetish for costumes or anything, right?" Addy blushed. Hard.

"What? No! Me? Nonono. No. Never. No!" Bingo.

"Aww it's alright, Addy. I dun' judge. You can dress me up whenever you want, you know?" Addy smacked him.

And then, she pondered. "Do YOU have a costume fetish?"

And then Zach made that one face. She hadn't seen it since Zach commented on Connor being 'his dad'. She felt shivers.

Zach nodded in his best ghetto girl impression. "Uh-Huh. You betcha. Oh man. Can I get some Connor in tight spandex?"

Addy shook her head no. Many times.

"When are you telling him, anyways? That you like him?"

Zach stared off into the distance. That was one hell of a question. He had caught the weird blush and glance here and there, but the kid was too hard to read!

"I...I don't know. Dad always said you should get it done and over with quickly, but it isn't that easy."

Wow. Addy actually got a little worried, there. "I was expecting some sass, you know? Are you alright?"

Zach giggled. "Well, duh! Maybe I'll just tell him during Halloween. If he likes me I get to make out in a costume. It's perfect!"

Addy sighed out a noise. Zach wasn't too sure what it was. But it was a noise. "You do know that for all our talk, it's still like a month till that happens, right?"

But to Zach, it's all about turning boring things into awesome things. "Hey. With how slutty everyone is nowadays, patience is super hot. It's like I'm a chaste saint waiting to be corrupted." Addy groaned.

They had to say goodbye after that, since they had finally gotten to the steps of Zach's house.

_____

"Mother?" Connor and his parents sat at the dinner table. Barring the explanation of his black eye, it wasn't often that he spoke up. He just never felt the need. Dinner was a moment of peace and reflection for them.

"Yes, darling?"

Connor gulped. He didn't know what made him so nervous. "What is your opinion on Halloween?"

His mother looked at him in awe. Was there a smile on her lips?

"Why, I'm fond of it! Back in highschool, my friends and I covered people's houses in toilet paper if they gave no candy to us! I even went to jail once."

She giggled. Connor was bewildered, as his father chuckled.

"It's how I met your mother, son. I was a green cop starting out, back then..."

Connor jolted. He would have smacked the table, if not for the respect he held towards his parents. "What? You've never spoken of this!"

All these years, he assumed his parents to be a paragon of discipline and high values. How could they have met in prison?

"Oh, Connor. You never asked! I was such a delinquent back then." And that was a whole can of worms opened. Connor learnt more about his parents that night than in the last five years of his life.

_____

"Oh wow. She taped WHAT to the fan? That can't be safe." Addy's mother would have hung her for that.

Connor's face was buried into the desk. This may have been the first day of his life without opening a book.

"My whole life is a lie."

But there was no time for his existential crisis! Zach took out a scroll, God knows where he got one, and handed it to Connor.

"Lord Connor. With those matters out of the way, this must be brought to your attention."

Connor rolled his eyes as he opened the scroll.

He scowled. "Um. What is this for?"

Addy and Zach beamed at him. It was uncanny, actually.

"It's a list of Russel & Oaks approved costumes! Pick one so we can dress you up, come on!" Connor looked through the list. His face made expressions Addy didn't know existed.

He wasn't amused. "Okay. These are all stupid. Especially the cat one. SPECIFICALLY the cat one."

"Hey!" It was her favorite option, alright?

The librarian just didn't give a shit by now. For real this time. It's not like there was anyone else in there. Once, the librarian actually sat with them to whine about her job.

Connor blushed a little, recalling last night. "Besides, my parents got excited and said they'd help with my costume."

Oh?

Zach looked utterly destroyed. "T-They did?"

So much for making Connor his pretty princess.

Addy whistled. "Your parents are pretty cool, Connor. Mom just tells me to dress as a nurse, since it's easier for her." She really wanted to try something different this year. Connor took the compliment.

With Connor out, Zach would have to settle for Addy. "You should totally go as a cop. Beat them up and then send them to your mother's office!" Zach kept making sound effects, as he finger gunned in Addy's direction.

"Zach, I don't think that's how cops are supposed to work."

_____

After their dreams of dress-up were completely obliterated, talks of Halloween died down. It wasn't even October.

Okay. We can skip some weeks. It was the second week of October when Addy got the fateful call.

"Hello? Addy h-"

"ACHOO!" Addy jumped in her seat. That was like seven puppy sneezes combined into a vicious audiomissile.

"H-Hello?"

The blowing of noses was heard. "A-Addy. It's the Zach. I don't think I'll be going to school tomorroCHOO!?" Ah shit.

Addy smiled to herself. "You caught a cold? I thought your inmune system was the hidden Eighth Wonder."

Addy mentally replaced Zach's groaning with his coughing. "It IS. I'm not sick, I'm just renting out the lungs for some homeless virus, okay!? I jus-cho!? I...notes. Homework. You know."

Addy felt a great need to run to his house and record his most vulnerable moment, but whatever.

"Alright. Alright. I've got ya covered." She grinned, even though Zach couldn't see her. Telepathically, she knew Zach was smiling too. Or coughing. Both.

"You're the best, girl. Peace out."

Now, it actually took him six sneezes to get out that sentences out. But does anyone really want to hear that?

Seriously, though. That phonecall marked the start of a weird week. A week without Zach.

_____

"..." Pages were flipped.

"..." Pages were flipped. Again. It was very redundant.

Without Zach in the picture, Addy and Connor were actually getting some reading done.

Addy was feeling pretty triumphant. "Man. We're fucking cultured." Connor raised his eyebrows.

But he was feeling it. "Yup. Incredibly cultured."

"..." Man. Reading's boring to watch. No wonder it isn't a sport. More minutes passed, in utter silence.

Addy broke eventually, though. They all do.

"This is weird. How did you LIVE like this?"

Connor didn't know. "I don't know. This IS getting weird." And then nothing else was said. It was a cold air.

Addy groaned. "Ugh. I get it now. Zach's the bridge!"

"Pardon me?" Now, you have to understand, in Connor's mind that sentence literally meant Zach serving as a bridge people stepped on.

"He's the reason we two ARE friends. When he's gone, it's just weird."

Connor nodded, understandingly. "He IS the one that wanted to talk to me, right? Do you know why?"

Addy flinched. If she recalled correctly, Zach's first words regarding Connor were about his admittedly amazing ass. She couldn't tell him that! She had finally gotten wingman points and she deserved them, damn it.

"He liked your head and I agreed. I mean hair! Your hair. He liked it. We liked it, okay?"

Connor's understanding was gone. "...What kind of a reason is that?"

Addy shrugged. "Hey, I don't understand him either. We're totally in that boat together."

He wasn't satisfied by that, though. "Let's take Zach out, then. Why do YOU talk to me?"

Damn it. Why was he doing this? Addy never signed up for this. Then again, her mother's wise words echoed in her head.

_____

"Mom, did you love Dad at first sight?" Back in Seventh Grade, their English teacher had suddenly fallen for some Veterinarian, and all of his assignments had to do with love.

They did get married, but still.

The result of that was Addy trying to compose a love poem, something she sucked at.

And Addy's mother smiled wide. "I did, Honey! He was just so handsome."

Addy found it unhelpful. "So you loved him without ever talking to him? What if he was a jerk?"

Lauren sat down next to her daughter, and played with her hair.

"Oh, sweetie. Sometimes you don't need a reason, you know?"
_____

Addy felt weird. First of all, Connor wasn't her type at all. But then again, what her mother said made sense.

"I don't know. Sometimes you don't need a reason, you know?"

Addy felt the slow passing of time as Connor pondered. It took him a while before he spoke again.

"I think I do know. It's just...fun. Being with people you can talk with. I've never had that before."

Addy felt bad. They'd been in the same grade for so long, but she'd never noticed him. And if Zach wasn't there, no one would have broken up that fight. She wouldn't have.

"Well. I may not have a main reason. But you're cool. Zach's too much of a spaz to read the books I lend to him." Connor smiled. It was a rare sight, becoming more common by the day.

He continued. "He IS kind of a spaz, right?" Addy raised up her hand. Connor stared at it for a moment, before letting out a 'oh!'. He high fived her.

That marked the true start of Addy and Connor's friendship. With books at it's seams, and Zach as the wrap. They agreed to leave out academical readings, though. Shit wrecks friendships.

Addy giggled. "We're the worst friends ever, bonding over his flaws."

Connor brought his thumb to his lip. "I wouldn't call it a flaw. It's definitely part of his character."

Addy poked him. "Geez, don't defend him! You're making me look mean."

Connor looked straight into her eyes. "You ARE mean...girl...No. Never mind. I can't pull that off."

_____

"Well, Zach is in an antibiotic induced coma. So I was thinking...would you play some chess with me?"

Addy had just gotten off the phone with Zach, and found her evening surprisingly free.

Connor scratched his head. "I...would love to. But it proves difficult over the phone."

Addy chuckled. "Don't be silly! Just turn on your computer and stuff."

Silence.

"I don't own a computer."

More silence. Addy's jaw hung low.

"You poor child of God. I will never let you suffer again."

And Addy was a lady who stuck to her word. For the remaining time Zach was sick, she introduced Connor to the wonderful world of puppies doing cute things on video.


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Reviews are appreciated! Constructive criticism over anything, yeah? Good
day everyone!

Copyright © 2016 Zach; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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I'm still trying to get the vision of redheaded Connor in a tutu out of my mind. LOL This was another fine chapter seeing Addy and Connor bond. And I loved these lines:

"My son, you can stop worrying. I'm going to dress you up like a damn fine ballerina doll."

"Hey. With how slutty everyone is nowadays, patience is super hot. It's like I'm a chaste saint waiting to be corrupted."

That was like seven puppy sneezes combined into a vicious audiomissile.

"I'm not sick, I'm just renting out the lungs for some homeless virus, okay!?"

One thing I couldn't figure out was why Connor thought it would be hard to play chess over the phone. He hasn't heard of chess notation? Knight to Queen's Bishop three. A digital age thing I suppose. :)

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I loved this chapter on so many levels. Of course you managed to make me laugh and smile more than usual, but I also loved the deeper side. I like seeing more insights into how the three teens think. Can't wait for more.

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On 05/01/2015 01:55 AM, drpaladin said:
I'm still trying to get the vision of redheaded Connor in a tutu out of my mind. LOL This was another fine chapter seeing Addy and Connor bond. And I loved these lines:

"My son, you can stop worrying. I'm going to dress you up like a damn fine ballerina doll."

"Hey. With how slutty everyone is nowadays, patience is super hot. It's like I'm a chaste saint waiting to be corrupted."

That was like seven puppy sneezes combined into a vicious audiomissile.

"I'm not sick, I'm just renting out the lungs for some homeless virus, okay!?"

One thing I couldn't figure out was why Connor thought it would be hard to play chess over the phone. He hasn't heard of chess notation? Knight to Queen's Bishop three. A digital age thing I suppose. :)

He probably finds the idea inneficient and ridiculous

 

Phone chess, I mean :V

 

He could win like 30 matches in the time it'd take him to finish one phone match.

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