|That's What Friends Do
Author: L Zaza PM
A short buddy story from the Academy days.Rated: Fiction K - English - Friendship - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,499 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 6 - Published: 10-11-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6391214
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
That's What Friends Do
By Lisa Zaza
How does a nice, practical guy like me find himself freezing his astrum off on a gloomy, damp, blustery day during Autumnal Equinox at the side of a Caprica City road? Well, apparently that's what friends do. Believe me, otherwise I'd be back at the Academy tucked in my warm, inviting bunk. Yeah, that slab of lumpy mattress is looking damned fine in comparison to this brisk wind coming in off the Caprican Bay, cutting through my jacket and chilling my hands to the point that if I slap them together one more time, they may just shatter into a million fragments.
But hey, at least I'm dressed for it. The poor fools I'm here to watch are already soaked to the skin, equally so from the sweat pouring off of them as from the foul weather. I have to admit that when Apollo first told me about this ambition of his to compete in the Caprica City Slog, I thought he'd been smoking plant vapours. After all, a guy has to be under some kind of mind altering influence to even think about running forty-odd kilometrons, carrying a twenty kilon pack on his back, all because of the challenge! But then my thinking shifted ever so slightly when he said he was raising cubits for underprivileged kids through some organization his mother championed. Forgive me if I'm a little hazy on the details, but for four sectars he's been droning on in my left ear about all this while he's been training, and my natural preservation instinct took over, feeling a mind-numbing boredom set in. Instinctively, I blocked a lot of it out in favour of pretty girls, fast fighters and shady card games.
Just look at them out there. A long endless line of people jogging along, all shapes, sizes, age groups, most of them here for some kind of charity or personal fulfilment. I'm trying to imagine any part of self-imposed endurance, pain or suffering being in any way satisfying, but to be honest, it's escaping me. However, I've been told more than once that I'm selfishly motivated, so maybe it's beyond me. Hey, let's take that theory and run with it . . .
"You're doing great! Amazing! Looking good! Excellent! Good effort! Keep up that pace! Awesome!"
It's that guy on my right again. He's appointed himself as a one man cheering squad and seems to know every tenth person out there. I must have heard that same combination of words about three hundred times now. But one in three runners will smile and grin in return, some even taking the breath to thank him. I guess when you commit to this kind of exercise, it's nice to have people out here recognizing your efforts. Hey, it's even inspired me to slap my ice-cold hands together a few times, usually when some poor sap is looking ultra miserable. But mostly, I'm wondering when Apollo will pass by so I can get the frack out of here. I told him I'd be waiting around the ten or eleven kilometron mark. It was easier to get down here and I wanted to avoid the mayhem in town at the starting line. Thousands of people gathered together, pumped with altruistic adrenaline; it was downright scary and to be avoided at all costs.
Okay, my fingertips are officially numb. Even blowing hot air on them doesn't do much. Meanwhile, some guy just ran by barefoot. I can't even contemplate what that's all about. Yeah, it's official. These people are crazy. Which means I'm a couple cards short of a deck myself for being out here watching them.
Holy frack, I just about didn't see him! He looks stoked. A big ole silly grin on his face that makes me realize that he's glad I'm out here. And weirdly, this sudden rush of excitement hits me, and I'm whistling, whooping and shouting his name, throwing my arms in the air and telling him he's looking great. It all floods out of me before I even know it. I make the one-man cheering squad look like an amateur with my sudden attack of enthusiasm.
He gives me a thumbs-up, jogging by, and then he's gone. I'm suddenly off the hook and I can get my frozen astrum to a java shop to warm up. Maybe—if I'm not doing anything later—I'll come see him on the way back. There's a part of me that's a bit inspired by his feat.
But with a little effort, I think I can get over it.