Things My Boyfriend and I Have Argued About
For the more British-savvy among you (or the actual British...but
mostly to my fellow anglophiles) you may have gone something like:
'well that sounds like a rather familiar internet phenomenon turned
orgasmic novel, now doesn't it?' It does, no use hiding the fact. Mil
Millington is someone who (right along with being one of those twice
my age and totally impossible pseudo-celebrity crushes) is one of my
inspirations. He is...well, genius, to put it mildly. If you know
nothing of him you better be opening new tabs and windows to Google
and Wikipedia your heart out. Go on now, go on! So now that you know
who he is, know that this threeshot is mostly just fun I'm having at
putting my own fanfiction spin on his novel. To be enjoyed and
nothing more than that, unless you hate it, in which case I suppose
it will also be hated. :c
Dedication: For eksley05, the superbestfriend. Remember: Kansas has time machines.
Warnings: Well, look. It's rated T, for teen. Teens do some crazy shit, have fun.
Pairing(s): Kyle/Stan, Craig/Tweek, Christophe/Pretentious French Accent, and more to come.
Disclaimer: Oft situations in this threeshot are shamelessly stolen from Mil's original, sue me. Only don't, because ha, look, disclaimer!
I Really Hate These Days
"We can't possibly afford this. We couldn't even afford to buy enough drugs to hallucinate that we could afford it."
--from Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About by Mil Millington
Let me begin by saying this, despite everything that's happened in this relatively short time period, I still maintain that, really, it's not my fault. And that the fault really lies on a few factors. See, I could have, might have, been able to prevent some of things that occurred, but when you know the whole story you'll quickly know that I had a lot of other things going on. Not more important things when I really think about it.
But somehow, when I put all of it together in my mind - I don't know, I feel sort of justified for not seeing it all coming.
And none of it was my fault, not really.
Though, yeah, I could have done a bit better at keeping the whole French mafia thing in check, I'll take the blame there. But really, how was I supposed to have known how that would turn out? Well, I should probably get to the point. But, fuck, I repeat: not my fault. And really, the whole thing is kind of funny. You know, to someone who isn't as involved as I am. But for the record, if you so much as sneeze and it sounds like you're laughing at any of this, I will not hesitate to murder you where you stand.
Of course that's a joke though, I don't want to add even more charges to the ones I'm facing. The whole point of this thing is so maybe I can get off scott-free. Not that you care much, I can imagine. Just - listen and I think you'll see that the media has this all wrong. None of them know how this really started. With TSR, they say one day, or with my boss the next. No, no, no. It all started, with me being late to work.
"Where are the fucking car keys?"
That morning started out normally enough. I rolled out of bed, nearly fell on my face and broke several bones, got a reassuring, and muffled, 'could you be any louder' from my adoring and concerned boyfriend, and couldn't find any clothes that didn't seem to smell faintly of some sort of food. Yes, normal day so far. In fact, as it ended up, I was early. Yes, fifteen minutes ago I was so early I had no idea what to do with myself. I was wandering around, fully dressed and ready, with nothing to do.
But you see, there was a tiny problem with me being early. My life is supposed to be thoroughly discontent. I'm allowed my happy moment here and there, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. I mean, I nearly felt like smiling this morning. Can't be having that. So first things naturally coming first - as first things have a nasty habit of doing - I can't find the car keys.
More specifically my car keys, seeing as, you know, I'm the only one who actually leaves the apartment and does things. But Abraham forbid I mention this in any way, because then it would diminish the fact that Stan works at home and then I would be putting down every person ever who worked at home, which I have been informed technically includes every President ever, does it not? Yes, it does, apparently. So, as not to be rude to any government officials, they are the keys, not my keys.
Regardless I've no fucking idea where they are, so, then, I react in the only way that seems sensible to me.
"Well?" I accuse, from the living room side of the main room of the apartment, looking under the cushions of the couch. Agh, stupid me. I cross the threshold into the kitchen. Need I stress, there is no wall between these two areas, they are just that. Areas. No walls making it hard for Stan to hear me when he is a few feet away with absolutely no solid wall or anything of the kind to block his hearing. Yet, it seems, he has constructed a mental wall between the two rooms.
"Well?" I ask again. Not counting these two 'well's I have asked, well, yelled, a total of three times inquiring as to where the car keys are. And two times as to where the fucking car keys are. So, if you are, say, keeping track of things, that's five times I have verbally screamed in a two-room apartment asking this question. So, please, as you understand the situation, try to understand how I feel when Stan next speaks.
"Well what?" is what I get from him. That and, I suppose, an indifferent look from over his coffee.
"We - wh - the car keys, Stan, the fucking car keys," I sputter, much like my car engine might be doing if I had what I'm looking for. "Where are they?"
"Um, where they always are," Stan says, raising an eyebrow at me and pursing his lips.
"Oh, oh sorry," I reply. "How absolutely stupid of me. How did I not - I mean I checked everywhere. But thank you for that one. How could I have not thought to check where they always are? Thank you for that. I - I, what do you mean where they always are? I wasn't aware they were always somewhere." In the background the phone rings.
"That's where they are," he tells me with a shrug. "Oh also, could you get some more coffee on your way home? We're running out, and I have a job today and Kenny's helping, so we'll definitely be out by tomorrow."
The phone rings again. "Yeah, yeah I can get some coffee," I say. There is a slight possibility that I may explode. Literally. "Or, rather, you know, I would. If. I could. Find. The fucking. Car keys." It is quite unfortunate because while the whole 'dividing words up into small sentences' tactic might sound angry when other people use it, Stan has informed me - many times, actually - that I just sound like a retard with a speech impediment.
Stan just sighs and points across the room towards the table we have behind the couch. "They're by the lava lamp," he says, "like always."
I go and pick them up, get to the door and open it, then turn around and say, "I thought you just bought that lava lamp yesterday."
"Yeah," he says, "I put it right next to your keys. Make sure to get that coffee, right?"
"Yeah," I echo.
I suppose some of you would like a more formal introduction to the situation I'm currently in. Really, it's quite nosy of you. But I don't blame you. Nosy, yes, but hardly a problem I didn't create for myself, I admit, so I'll explain things for those of you who need to hear every little detail. Like I said, nosy.
You see, Stan and I have been best friends since about, well, ever. Honest, I don't think I can remember time when we weren't best friends. Due to psychological trauma, the fact that we're probably both masochistic and some kind of luck (good or bad, you tell me) we started dating midway through high school. And then promptly broke up. And then got back together. And then broke up. And then...well, you can figure.
You know how they say sometimes it's best to just remain friends with someone? Yeah, that's what most people think about Stan and I. Because as best friends, oh sure. We fought. But as a couple, we have battles. Over everything. We don't care if it's about the fact that one of us got Evian water bottles when they know the other cannot stand how that brand tastes (which is just silly, really, Stan, it's water, it doesn't taste like anything). But even if it's that, we will argue about it. We will also argue about things that have not happened. Things that happened years ago. Things that happened before we were born.
Anything and everything, we will argue about.
Oh, shit, I'm getting off topic, aren't I? It's easy to do, you know. But I guess I should get to the point, huh? Here goes nothing, I suppose.
I work in a library. Okay, there we go. No turning back. Sorry if I'd deceived any of you into thinking I was a fantastically famous actor or anything. No, though with my good looks, who knows. For right now, though, I'm a part-time student and part-time worker in the University of Colorado (1) library. Oh, sorry. Learning Center. You might think it's a library, it could fool you, with all the books and resources and computer terminals, but no. It's not a library.
Anyway, it's where I work. And though technically I have a staff position I still get paid the minimum wage the rest of the student workers get paid. Why, in God's name, do I have a staff position? Well, partly because apparently all you to get the position is enough knowledge to know how to turn a computer on and to say 'Windows always does this, nothing I can do about it.' If you let the guy doing the interview know, ever so casually, that of course 'http' stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, they won't even fire you for something as silly as, say, all the computers in the building not working.
But also, the guy who used to have the job has reportedly left the country avoiding drug charges. Ah, yes, probably best not to broadcast that they're looking for a replacement, just stick some kid into the place and pretend nothing's happened at all.
So, anyway, I'm sure you have friends. Those wonderful people who always make things better no matter what's going on in your life, right? Or, if you're anything like me, those wonderful people who make things monumentally harder than they should be and leave you to wonder why you even associate with them and if it's not possible to hire a hit man to get rid of them one of these days if you save up enough money. You know, friends, the bane of everyone's existence.
Yeah, my friends think that because I have an actual job in the Learning Center they are exempt from all the rules. And, okay, maybe Token and Clyde are exempt because they work under me, and, you know, actually know how to fix the computers, while the rest of us run around in circles blaming it all on Bill Gates. But in no way is anyone else exempt from the rules, no matter how long I've known them.
So, for example, when Craig Nommel comes sauntering in like he owns the place, gives me a wave and sets off to grab an empty computer, I have to run over and remind him he doesn't even go to U of C and that the computers are for students only, and if he really wants to use them so badly he can transfer his community college credits over to the university and then be graced with the sickeningly slow load time of our computers, but until then he's going to have to be without it.
Or, when Cartman (he has a first name, but please, I'd rather not give the impression I care), who does go to the university - I'm pretty sure money was involved and maybe his mother - starts looking at any websites with Nazi propaganda on it, it's me who reminds him he's majoring in journalism, and besides, whether his article is about modern Nazi groups or not, I really hate him and it would be best for everyone if he just got out of my sight before I have to murder him.
Of course, Cartman never leaves when I say that.
But you see my point, I don't give my friends special treatment just because they're, you know, friends. Well, really friends is such a relative word. I hate to sound arrogant, but I don't really like to associate with most people. I mean, besides the fact that most everyone I know is so close to being retarded it's not even funny, I'm just not a people person. People get on my nerves for the stupidest reasons, is what Stan says. In my opinion people do stupid things and get on my nerves for good reasons.
Basically, when I call them friends, that term is all relative. All it means is that I, whether I want to or not, know them and tolerate them for reasons which are often unknown to me.
It's kind of like when I say I'm going to work, when all that really means is I'm going to be a hardass to everyone and act like I'm older than I am just to get everyone to listen to me. Sometimes I even wear a tie. I'm supposed to monitor all the computer areas and make sure, you know, no one's jacking off or looking up how to make a bomb or playing one of those really addictive internet games. Because all the computers in the Learning Center are for learning. Which means when I walk by people pull up a new internet page that's always suspiciously on the Google search page.
What I'm trying to say is, when the clock tells me it's fifteen minutes past twelve, a little part of my soul jumps up happily and does a dance, while I gather my stuff to leave for my lunch break.
"Let's see," Kenny says when I sit down. "You can take one CD - and one only, to a deserted island. Which one is it?"
Without hesitation, Wendy answers, "Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love."
Both I and Kenny make faces as if we're going to puke. I'm pretty sure I can taste puke in my mouth actually, but being the gruff man I am - which, if you've been paying attention means absolutely nothing - I swallow it back down. "Wendy," Kenny says, putting a hand to his mouth. "I never knew you were a fan of...that."
"Oh," Wendy's eyes widen and she blinks. "Oh, no. I thought you meant if we take one CD to a deserted island and leave it there." She shakes her head and then carefully moves a few displaced hairs back to their original spots, then glares decidedly at the salad in front of her. "No," she says, stabbing a piece of lettuce violently, scarily, actually, "no I am not a fan of that."
Okay, as much as I love Wendy like a sister, she's a little bit insane. I mean, I ordered a sandwich with meat on it once and she began a tirade about how cruel eating meat is. But if you watch her, she devours plants. I'm telling you, she's a savage herbivore, I pity the salads she orders, they have no idea what they're in for. I also pity anyone who dates her, because Wendy is strictly structured and if you throw things out of order she will explode.
But, enough about Wendy, all I meant to say really was that she's a lovely human being who every person in the world would gouge their eyes out willingly for if it would give them just a sliver of a chance to be with her, and who would never (ever) get mad at me if she knew I was telling people things about her that she sometimes doesn't even seem to realize. No. That would not be like Wendy at all.
Really, if we're talking friends, I guess Wendy and Kenny are the closest thing to friends I have. Wendy is currently studying woman's rights at U of C Boulder and taking classes for health information technology at the university's Denver campus. Which, to put it into simpler terminology, confirms the fact that she's a little bit insane. You can tell she's pushing herself into way too much just by looking at her, with the bags under her eyes and the fact that she's wearing glasses. Which, if you know Wendy, is odd, because she doesn't need glasses.
Kenny, on the other hand, is taking the opposite route. Meaning, he gets by on looks and talent alone and gets a full night of sleep more than once a month. I would kill him for being so lucky, but he'd just come back to life anyway, so I don't bother. You see, Kenny is what you might call a delinquent. A vagabond. A lovable little scamp. Okay, maybe not the last one. But he's, well, sneaky. Devious. And, though I hate to admit it, utterly charming when he chooses to be, and sometimes even when he doesn't.
Which means he fools people into thinking he really needs money, denies that he needs it, turns down their offers reputedly, and then finally accepts and either gets a fresh check or does easy little odd jobs, collecting money from several different sources who all think they're the only one helping the desolate young man out. Doesn't hurt that he looks the part, all skinny as fuck in his ratty, old orange parka, with messy blond hair and big, innocent blue eyes. God, if he wasn't my best friend I'd probably despise him with every fiber of my being. Actually...
So they're probably my best friends, the insane, overworked vegetarian girl and the immortal, douche bag guy in the orange parka. I spend every lunch break across the street from the university, in this dark restaurant (though, if you ask me, it's more like a bar that serves a lot of food) where most of the employees and students go for lunch and dinner. And since they know everything about my life and I have no one else to complain to, I mostly do it to them.
After all, what are friends for?
"So then," I tell them, "he tells me to get coffee. Coffee, because, you," I say, motioning wildly to the blond sitting across from me, "are coming over to help him with work and it's going to be gone."
"He gave me half of what he got for the job, I wasn't going to turn that down," Kenny says in defense.
"Half?" I know I'm whining, but honestly? Don't care. "We're behind on rent already, how can he give you half of what he got? Did you do half of the work?"
Kenny shrugs. "I helped him figure out why he couldn't log onto the laptop he was fixing. He had caps lock on."
"Yes," I say, "yes, that was definitely worth half of what he got paid."
"Hey, if I hadn't told him he wouldn't of even gotten on the thing in the first place," Kenny says, putting his hands up. "I didn't ask for half the money, he just gave it to me and said thanks for the help, and I didn't argue with him about it, really." I'm not exactly listening any more, I'm trying to figure out if someone would notice if you laced their coffee with arsenic.
No, no Stan would definitely notice, he checks for that sort of thing, at least when it comes to things I have the opportunity to poison.
Now some people might be wondering: Jesus, Kyle, why are you with someone you hate so much, someone you consider murdering? First off, I don't hate him, I am actually in love with him, thank you very much. Second, yes, I do want to murder him sometimes, but no one who is in a respectable relationship can really admit to not wanting to murder their significant other from time to time. And, third, we didn't start off like this. I mean, when we were best friends, we weren't like this.
Wendy says it all stems from how Stan asked me out. She says I can't just ignore that I was asked out in a very appalling way. That I should have said no. Don't get her wrong, she doesn't object to our relationship, she just, as girls are prone to, can't understand why I said agreed to go out with him when he proposed the idea in the way he did. I don't know why either. It would be easier if I explained things to you.
Sometime at the beginning of eleventh grade, I was laying on my bed, reading a comic book (yes, a comic book, stop giggling at me, and let me get on with this) and Stan was playing some game on my computer. We were sitting in comfortable silence, I was not staring at Stan longingly and he was not stealing little glances at me and blushing or anything like that. Wendy says that's what would have - should have - been happening, but sorry, it wasn't.
To be honest, I was kind of getting a runny nose and was about to say I'd go grab a box of tissues so as not to use the comforter on the bed, because I really didn't want to do laundry and then that would have been an awkward night's sleep. I usually keep that detail out when I explain this to people, but I'm just trying to illustrate how un-romantic the whole thing was. After all, what's less romantic than a runny nose? Nothing, I tell you, nothing. So I sit up and go to use the sleeve of my jacket to wipe my nose (are you picturing this, really, please do) and Stan turns around. I proceed to wipe my nose, because, honestly, what do I care?
"Hey," Stan had said. "I was thinking."
One thing to know about Stan, is that, while he is a very emotional sort of persons if it strikes his fancy to be so, he often is just as inexpressive as that one high school teacher who speaks in constant monotone that everyone has had. It might have something to do with the traumatizing past we have together, or maybe he has just matured to the point of being able to control his emotions. Still, I'm rather fond of him being traumatized. Regardless, he sounded completely emotionless and somewhat indifferent as he said, "I think I might like you as more than a friend."
I think this is the point where I was supposed to either blush and look away or feel extremely awkward and cry at loss of our best friendship as it changed forever. Instead I said, "I think I have to blow my nose, can I go get a tissue and we can talk about this when I get back?" Stan just shrugged and turned back to the computer. I got a tissue and, no, I did not stand in front of the mirror in my bathroom contemplating what I was going to do. I blew my nose, threw the tissue in the garbage can, grabbed the tissue box and went back to my room, all while wondering, not how I was going to handle this blow to my romantic life, but instead contemplating whether I was getting the cold that was getting around.
"So, anyway," Stan said when I got back. "How do you feel about that?"
"Not too bad," I answered. "Not exactly what I was expecting, but I can't say I'm upset about it."
"Alright then, we're dating." And Stan turned back to his game and I went back to my comic book and we fell back into comfortable silence.
Oh, I know. That wasn't very romantic. I guess if I'd mentioned it felt like I was going to die because my heart was beating so fast, it would have sounded more...I don't know. Cute or something. But really, there are a lot of words to describe Stan and I, and cute? Is not one of them, thank you. If anyone ever called us cute I'd probably plan their murder or demise, whichever sounded nicer at the time.
But Wendy says, our 'problems' all come from the fact that we started going out, you know, like normal people do. That we didn't have a big romantic revelation and that we weren't - and aren't, honestly - infatuated with each other. Because we just have a regular relationship that includes fighting about everything that's ever existed. She insists that if we have enough dramatic flair for the fights we get into, we should have had more it when getting together.
Well, sorry, but I'm not going to take advice from the girl who broke up with her last boyfriend because he wouldn't cut his bangs (she wanted to be able to see his eyes more, so she came at him with scissors at two in the morning to cut his bangs. Yeah).
And besides, since when do people actually make big scenes out of getting together? Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure it mostly only happens to people on television shows and in movies and to celebrities, who have to make everything feel like a television show or movie. Normal people, we have things to do. We can't have big romantic adventures and life-changing moments. At least I know I can't.
Regardless, Wendy isn't the only one who finds our relationship a bit weird. And whatever, that's fine. Because for the most part, the rest of them, they don't try to 'fix' things. I mean, they do make their fair share of remarks to me and to Stan as well. Sometimes we discuss them, mostly during commercials if we're watching television. Just sort of throw things they've said to us recently back and forth and have a good laugh. Or sometimes fight about it, but that's besides the point.
"Yes, well, you can tell Bebe," Kenny is saying, "that I've...got a girlfriend. Kyle, dude, where should my girlfriend be from this time?"
"Uhn?" I say. Being dragged back into a conversation when you've barely been listening is hardly fun, luckily I've listened to this whole tirade enough times to know what has basically been said. Wendy's been like, but Kenny, she's my best friend, I can't tell her that you won't date her because she's a slut. And Kenny's been like, I know, Wendy, but I can't talk to her, she's insane, ah, I know, I'll make up a girlfriend, twenty-third time ought to be the charm. "Well," I begin, somewhat thoughtfully, "Last time you had one in Utah, but she quickly figured out that was a sham."
"D'you think I should say she's across the country for business or something?" Kenny asks us, with a frown.
"God no," Wendy hisses. She glowers at the blond. "Then she'll ask where she works and you'll say something ridiculous again, like Taco Bell, and she'll know you're lying."
"Canada," I finally say, snapping my fingers. Kenny looks at me skeptically. "No, no, it's perfect. Trust me. What we can do, is say she's Ike's half-sister. He has one, very definitely Canadian and all that. And she's in college right now, so we'll just say some bullshit about how she's in some program that American schools don't have yet. Besides, you know Bebe hates Canada."
"She does," Wendy offers, with a wistful smile. "No one hates Canada more than Bebe."
"It's settled then, I have a girlfriend in Canada," Kenny says, grinning.
When I get back to work, my boss is waiting in my office. Office, like friends, is a rather relative term. What is an office, really, but the place where people go to look for you when they need something? Alright, fine. The actual office for the Computer Resources Director (which is the job I technically have) can't be touched by anyone who isn't a police officer. Or a member of FBI, but that's just what I've heard. So my 'office' is actually a computer lab where half the time there are classes being held. It's nice. When there's not, you know, a class being held.
Okay, fine, it sucks cock.
But anyway, my boss is in there, so I have to pretend like it doesn't. "Hi, uh, sir," I say, trying to sound like I'm content with my office and happy to see him at the same time. Needless to say, I fail. Hard.
My boss is somewhat old, and he works at a place that is pretty much always full of young people. Therefore, he never looks very calm and always looks very sweaty. I'm going to go ahead and not say his name, ever. Because, first off, no one ever says his name anyway. Second, I'm probably going to be insulting him a lot, and I wouldn't want to get sued for slander, even if it is true. And third, he's kind of in deep shit now, you've probably seen him in the newspapers. My point is, he's just my boss and whether or not he played a hand in everything that's to come...well, that remains to be seen.
Anyway, my boss says, "Yes, hello, Broflovski," only he doesn't really say my last name right. I can't even recall how many different variations of my last name he's come up with. Just, understand, whenever he says my last name, he's really saying some fucked-up wrong version of it. "Look," he says, wiping some sweat off his forehead, "have you started going through TSR's old files?" TSR (2) is the guy who used to have my job and his files are one-quarter porn, one-quarter personal notes, and one-half useless work stuff in absolutely no order. In other words, fuck no, I haven't.
"I've started to," I tell him enthusiastically.
"Good, good," he says, nodding. His fake hair piece looks ready to fall off and I would tell him, but, well, nah. "Somewhere in there you should have picked something up about, uh, the Unione Corse (3)?" he asks, trying and failing to say the latter two words with a French accent. It's enough to make me feel a headache coming on.
"I can't say that I have, sir," I say as if I'm considering it. "But really, TSR didn't keep his stuff in great order, I'm having a hard time even finding what's work files and what's his own stuff."
"I'm sure, I'm sure." Have I mentioned he has this annoying habit of saying things twice for absolutely no reason whatsoever? "That sounds like him, alright. And you've heard that they're saying he was high as a kite most of the time he was here, haven't you, Broflovski? They keep asking me how I couldn't have noticed that, but how could I have? I have to take care of the whole library!"
"Learning Center," I say in a monotone, "sir." It's completely out of habit, I swear, I have to correct every single person who asks me something about the 'library.'
"Oh, right." He grimaces. "Well, no matter. The reason I was asking is because there's a member of the Unione Corse here to talk to you, or, well, to talk to TSR. But he's not here. You're a smart guy though, Broflovski, I'm sure you've heard of the group before." I stare at him blankly, trying to send non-verbal messages to him, that I have no idea what the hell this thing is. He does not get them. "I do believe he must have wandered off, because I wouldn't let him smoke in here, he got rather...upset about that. But I'll just go find him and send him here again, alright? Alright."
As soon as he leaves, I Wikipedia that shit. Then I stare. And stare. I do a good bit of reading as well. But mostly I just stare. Why - why - in the fuck is the French mafia here to see me? Why in the fuck would the French mafia have wanted to see TSR? Now that I think on it, I guess I sort of know about them. The French Connection and all that, but. But...I never. I mean, why do they want to talk to me?
After thinking 'holy shit' only a few thousand times, I turn off the monitor of my computer and sit back.
"Are, you, ah, somezing wiz a...I'm sorry, I cannot say your last name," a voice says from my door with a distinctly French accent.
"Most people can't," I say, not bothering to look up. Of course, about a second after that, it registers in my mind that a French accent in Colorado is about as common as...as nothing. It just never happens. Which means, there's undoubtedly a member of the French mafia standing in he doorway to my pseudo-office. Which means he's probably going to ask me where TSR hides his heroin supplies or something. Internally, I freak out and have an existential crisis, externally, I get up and turn around calmly.
There is a guy who looks to be about my age, standing near the printer and pressing the buttons. Honestly, he looks like he could probably kill me. And maybe ten other people if he really wanted to. But I mean, he's not, yet. And as far as I can see he doesn't have any guns. Of course he wouldn't need a gun to totally murder me, if he's part of the French mafia. He could use a...a...a shovel, and I'd just be, bam, dead.
He looks up from the printer, "You are not Terry." Which, for a second, confuses the hell out of me. I mean, yes, I'm not Terry, but I'm also not a lot of people. Then I realize he means TSR, who's T stands for Terry, but who didn't let anyone ever utter his first name. I guess I can see him allowing this guy to call him Terry, because honestly, this guy is not someone you would be excited to argue with.
"No, I'm not," I say, and score one for me, because it's an actual coherent sentence. "I'm Kyle and TSR is...away. He's out. He's not here anymore. I think he's running away from drug charges. Not that drug charges would be something to run away from, I mean, drugs aren't a big deal. If there weren't laws about drugs, I would be doing them all the time." I'm babbling and really, really aware of it. But I'm kind of scared he'll murder me on the spot if I even so much as say a metaphor that implies that he's in the wrong.
"Okay," he says slowly. He glances around the room as if to make sure no one is hiding under one of the desks and listening in. "You don't 'ave to pretend to be 'appy wiz zis 'ole thing. I'm not, believe me."
"Right, yeah," I say, walking past him to the doorway and looking out to see if my boss is outside. He isn't as far as I can see, but he's a creep, so I close to door, and then lean against it. "The thing is, I have no fucking idea what's going on. And you...you. Who are you?"
"Ah, Christophe," he says, raising an eyebrow. God, he could probably use his eyebrows to murder me.
"That's really original. Alright, Christophe," I continue, "you have to tell me what the fuck is going on. Because TSR - your Terry - yeah, he's not here. Long gone, like I said. And if you know TSR, then you know he never told me shit. I haven't even started going through his files. Don't, by the way, tell my boss that, he's under the impression that I have, for some reason."
"There's a very small problem wiz all of zat," Christophe says, with a sheepish smile. "I'm not - ah, how do I say zis? I do not know any more zan you do about zis 'ole zing, to be honest. You see, I 'ave been part of ze Unione Corse since I was born, but I am still not an inducted member. So to speak, zis iz my first time actually doing anyzing."
"So, you..." I trail off, surely proving my intelligent worth to him. "You honestly have no idea what this is for?"
"Well I 'ave a general idea," he replies, with a shrug. "But Terry was supposed to explain ze finer details to me."
"Yes, well, I'd have to that what the finer details are what have him hiding across the border right now," I say, leaning my head back against the door. "Fuck. Well, look, I don't know what to tell you, unless you can explain to me why the French mafia has any business with the University."
"I do know zat," Christophe interjects, dare I say, excitedly. I gesture for him to get on with it. "Well, I know American universities 'ave to keep up a good number of foreign students. So, ah, we send zem to you. Or, razer, you take zem from us. Using, you know, your own transportation. You fly zem over...along wiz drugs, and zen you educate zem. Basically, et's good for boz of us."
"We - we educate the French mafia?" I manage to squeak out.
"Well, part of et," Christophe says after a moment of thought. "I mean et's not just zis school, et 'appens all over your country." That doesn't exactly make me feel any better. "Actually, I came 'ere years ago. Zough, I didn't go to school, mostly I just ran around and 'elped during a certain war zat most people don't seem to remember."
"Oh my - fuck, that was you, wasn't it?" I had thought it might be him, but honestly, Christophe isn't exactly a rare French name. Still, no doubt, it is him. Most people don't remember the American-Canadian War, I'm sure you don't. It's mostly only people who were directly involved with it, and even then you have to have been a kid at the time. Or at least, that's what I've seen in my experience. So if Christophe remembers it, there's no doubt he's that Christophe, the Mole, and it makes sense, now, that he's with the French mafia.
"Ah, oui, zat was me," he says, with a shrug. "You should know I got into a ton of trouble because of you guys."
"What, with your mom?" I ask with a snort.
"Well, yes, considering we were forced to move after zat and zen my muzzer was killed," he says, seriously.
"Oh," I say. "Wow. You...you really know how to make things depressing."
"Do I?" he asks. "I was only kidding, my muzzer is still alive. Well, zat's debatable, actually, 'alf ze time she zinks I am my fazer, which is somewhat creepy, but at least she doesn't ask me when I am going to get married."
"Ah, well, that's nice," I say with a small smile. "My mom's still a bitch."
"I figured, no offense." Christophe returns the smile.
"Yeah, well - oh, shit, we're getting really off-topic here," I realize, running a hand through my hair. "Is there something I'm supposed to do? Or something TSR was supposed to do?"
Christophe shrugs, looking honestly bewildered. "All I was told was zat 'e would be 'ere waiting for me," he says. "Zey said 'e would know to do and zat it 'ad to do wiz ze students and drugs we send over 'ere. I did not zink to ask about anyzing else, if zey wanted me to know about et, I would know. You do not exactly ask zem for information."
"That's great," I say, haltingly. I walk over to wear he's standing and motion for him to move out of the way of my computer. "All I can really do is check TSR's computer files. I mean, if you're going to be here for a while I can start going through his actual filing cabinets, but there's no way in hell I'll even be able to sort through one drawer today. I have shit to do." Like check my e-mail and go home and sleep. Maybe watch some television.
"Zat's fine," Christophe says in answer. "Whatever zey had going on wiz Terry, zey gave me a few weeks to do it."
"Nn, alright," I say, distractedly. Luckily enough I have TSR's log-in information, since he left so quickly, most of the stuff I need for my job is on his personal account. So, easily enough, I can log in as him and look through his stuff. I've done it before, but mostly I was looking to see if there was anything about him having an affair or blatantly obvious drug references, not looking for anything about the Unione Corse. It doesn't take long to find something, which makes me believe TSR wasn't very worried about getting caught. That or he made the file while he was high or something.
"Anyzing?" Christophe asks, looking over my shoulder.
"Well, your group is all over his fucking calendar," I tell him. "Right up to this meeting, but nothing after it. Great, TSR, awesome."
"Maybe tomorrow I could 'elp you go through 'is files," Christophe offers.
"Um," I turn around to look at him, "that's not a good idea. Half of TSR's stuff is probably covered in, like, semen."
"Did 'e...really like work?" Christophe asks, looking confused.
"Almost as much as he liked drugs, apparently," I reply, straight-faced. Christophe just blinks a few times. "Jesus, how are you part of the French mafia? Did you miss the chance to come over here and go to college?"
Christophe just rolls his eyes at me and heads for the door. Once he gets there, he opens it and turns back to me, saying, "I'll be back tomorrow, zen, and I will 'ave a gun wiz me." He leaves and not a second later my boss stumbles in, looking a hell of a lot sweatier than usual. I just smile.
By the time I get home, though, I'm not smiling.
"It's like you don't even listen to me," Stan is saying, and he's kind of right, because I'm not really listening to him right now. "I mean, I told you expressly, to get coffee. I told you we would run out of it. I even told Kenny to remind you. Because I knew you would forget, because you always forget, Kyle. So now tomorrow, when I'm in a bitchy mood - "
"It won't be any different than usual," I cry, turning to look at him. "It's not even eight yet, go out and get it for yourself."
"That's not the point, Kyle and you know it," he says, glaring at me from the living room. "The point is that you never listen."
"I thought the point was that I didn't get the coffee," I say, feeling completely hopeless.
"No, no, no, that's just the result of the fact that you never listen to what I'm saying," he informs me. "You haven't listened to me since I've known you."
"Uh, no, I'm pretty sure I have, Stan," I scoff. "God, you have to make everything into this huge thing, don't you? Look, I'm sorry I didn't get the coffee. I forgot, alright? I had a lot of shit happen today. Besides all the normal shit with students and computers, I had some guy from the French mafia - I didn't even know they had one - come to tell me that U of C is in drug trafficking and that he has no idea what he's here for, but apparently I'm supposed to know all about it."
"Kyle," Stan says, shuddering slightly, "you know I don't like to talk about stuff like that."
"Oh, sorry," I say, smirking at him. He pinches the bridge of his nose and mutters something about 'not again.' "You're the one who brought it up. Sorry that any talk of anything French, not to mention British or Canadian, totally reminds you of Gregory. Which reminds you of Wendy. Which reminds me that you sure as fuck aren't getting any for, like, a week."
"Jesus, Kyle, you're such a girl," Stan whines, throwing one of the cushions from the couch at me. "Every single time, would you get over it?"
"Would you?" I shoot back. "And just so you know, remember the Mole? The French kid who helped us during the war? Yeah, it's the same guy." Stan stares at me for a long moment and then mouths a violent 'what' that I'm sure is half for me and half for himself. "Yeah, well, how many French people do you think come to Colorado? He was bound to show up again."
"Oh my god," Stan says slowing, looking at me intently. "You like him."
"Wha - what? Stan, where the hell did you get that from?" is all I can manage to sputter out. "How in the hell did I, in any way, indicate that I like him?" I'm quite sure that I didn't do anything at all. But that's the thing about Stan, as much as I love him, he totally can't stand when I have the upper hand. Because, truth be told, Stan is still and will always still be pining after Wendy in some way or another. I don't think she's a threat or anything, she's one of my best friends, but Stan grew up putting her on a pedestal and he's never stopped. The problem is, whenever I point that out he quickly finds someone I 'like,' and believe me, Christophe is not the most far-fetched theory he's ever had.
"You don't sound so upset that you have to spend all this time with him," he accuses.
"Dude, I'm going to have to spend at least a week with him going through TSR's filing cabinets," I say, franticly. "God only knows what's in there, so yeah, I'd kind of rather go through it with someone else. And then, if we even find anything in there, it's probably just going to tell me how to set up a deal with how many students we get from France and - and how many grams of heroin they bring with them or something. I'm hardly fucking excited at the prospect."
"Oh that's what you say," Stan says, standing up, all pissed off-like, "but I'm sure you're thinking about it."
"Of course I'm thinking about," I yell, "I'm freaking the fuck out about it. The guy could probably murder me if I really bothered him enough."
"Well - well then," Stan yells back, and then he falters for a second, pointing at me, poised to say something really hurtful, "I hope...he does." And he stalks off to our room and slams the door. About five seconds later he comes back out and grabs my car keys - mine - off the table and says, "I'm going to go get my coffee," and leaves.
I just kind of shrug and go to find something to put in the microwave. At the time, I'm thinking, eh, we've had worse. In reality, this whole thing, from Stan and I to the French mafia, soon enough it's going to get a lot worse. But, for the moment, I'm not too worried. I'm just telling myself - like every other person in history who was doomed to be terribly, terrible wrong - it's not like it can get much worse.
The next morning Stan and I both act relatively civilized towards one another, only because it's a Tuesday and on Tuesdays Stan teaches some computer class at our local rec center or something. He gets very vague when I ask about it and says he doesn't get paid enough for the shit he has to deal with. Yeah. He deals with small groups of 40-somethings who, sure, don't know how to turn on a computer, but at least he doesn't have to tell them to stop playing internet flash games. Or maybe he does, I don't know, like I said: he doesn't tell me anything.
And did I mention he gets paid three times as much as I do for it? The unfairness in the world astounds me sometimes, it really does.
The great thing about human beings is that they will always, without exception, act nice towards you if they want something. Operative word: act. They are not truly being nice to you. But in this day and age, acting is even more than you expect. Someone acting indifferent towards me, for example, will sometimes make my day. Just compared to how other people will treat you, it's nice to have someone pretend to be nice. And it is actually fun to not give them what they want right away just to prolong this.
For most people, and for Stan, they act nice when they want money. Because, you see, Stan usually makes more money, but he always spends more of it. More of it that we don't have. So I take care of it. Or control it and don't let him touch it ever, whichever way you think is nicer to put it.
Now, you should understand, I'm not a very extravagant person. My car is used and I'm not really too worried about the fact that the radio broke the first day I had it (which, incidentally, sparked a great argument back in the day). I don't feel the need to go to the Bahamas or anything for a vacation - I can't be bothered, I don't have the time, and besides, I sunburn like a bitch. I sure wouldn't argue with moving to a bigger apartment, but I know it's not possible right now, so I don't think much about it. Stan has said on occasion, and I have even conceded, that my jacket looks like, at best, I stole it from the Salvation Army while they were contemplating whether or not it was safe to sell.
Contrary to popular belief these days, this does not make me a bohemian individual. No one looks at me and thinks 'Wow, there is a young man with some awesome fashion sense, I bet on his free time he has a small eco-friendly folk band and all their proceeds go to saving endangered animals and planting trees somewhere in South America.' No, actually, I was once going to lunch and Stan called me and the sidewalk was rather crowded, so I had to sidestep and kind of stand near the university gate and put my hand over my cell phone so I could hear, and someone threw change at me, mistaking me for a homeless person.
So you see, I'm better than Stan at not wasting money. As they say, waste not, want not. Or something. Point is, Stan wants and he wastes. One time I came home to find our current television sitting on a new entertainment center. And I mean, like, an entertainment center you'll probably only ever see sitting on a display at the furniture store. You know what I mean. The one that makes you go like, 'Oh that would look nice - oh wow, is it leagal to charge that much for something that's made out of wood?'
Luckily we handled the whole thing with a minimum of yelling and insulting one another ('Well maybe if you had a better job,' 'Oh don't act like you could do my job,' and other such classics). In the end the television stayed, because I had to admit that it made everything look a lot prettier and Stan had already given our old one away. But the entertainment center was returned and the money was spent on better things. Or possibly not, as about a week later we inexplicably had a new lava lamp, among other things.
I'm just explaining that, so you know why I react the way I do when Stan says, "Erm, do you think I could borrow a ten or something? I'm going to need to eat lunch."
Because, if you had just heard that of course, you would think I'm an asshole for saying, "No, Stan, I do not think you could borrow a ten. Or something," I add after a moment of thought. But knowing that Stan wastes his money I hope you don't think I'm an asshole. And if you do, fair enough, that's your call as you know the entirety of the situation, now don't you?
"Oh my - are you still on about last night?" Stan asks, smiling as if he's been shot in the face. Not that I'm sure how someone who's been shot in the face would smile. It just looks like his face is in a considerable amount of pain due to his smiling. "I'm really not angry any more, I got the coffee and all, so really. It's not a big deal."
"Well I'm very happy you got your coffee," I reply, because, admittedly, I needed some coffee too after having to sleep on the couch. Stan is so the girl emotionally in this relationship. "But the fact is I don't have much money as it is. Especially not in the car. Why didn't you ask me at the apartment? You know there's money there. I'm not in the habit of keeping money in the glove compartment or anything, you can go ahead and check."
He does and, of course, it's my fault when two travel maps, several insurance guides and assorted other things (none of which are gloves) fall out of the glove compartment.
"You're the one who told me to open it," he mutters, in that voice that a person uses when they want you to hear them, but they don't want you to know that they want you to hear them, but everyone does because everyone has used that voice before.
"Excuse me for employing sarcasm," I mutter in the same tone of voice. "Stan, if I was mad at you, you would be walking to work right now. I would not be physically driving you to work." Which is not true and we both know it. I would be walking to work. "If I had ten dollars to spare, I'd give them to you, but I only have enough for my lunch and five spare dollars in case I somehow get stranded or in a situation where someone's going to kill me if I don't give them money."
"Give me that money, then," Stan demands, stubbornly. "No one's going to try and kill you. You work in a library, Kyle. You walk two minutes to get to lunch. Most of the people you encounter every day aren't guilty of any crime, except maybe wearing clothes that are far too tight for any self-respecting human being. I hardly doubt that you ever will need that money, so come on, for just one day, give me your five dollars so I don't starve."
"Stan, I'm driving," I say, when he holds out his hand for the five dollars. "I'll give it to you when you get there."
I don't know about anyone else, but in my driver's training class they told us to keep both hands on the wheel at all times. They did not say we could make an exception when we had to dig money out of our pockets to give our boyfriends. They said: at all times. And, sure, most people don't really listen to that. But I'm a bad driver. A terrible driver. I won't admit it, especially not to Stan, but I'm a horrible driver. So honestly, keeping both hands on the wheel, that kind of keeps me from swerving off the road and killing several people. And Stan knows this, too.
I think you will agree with me, then, that the fact that he mumbles about me being a douche bag for the last ten minutes of the car ride is not exactly warranted. Then, he acts as if I'm doing him a personal injustice because it takes fifteen seconds for me to pull a five out of the pocket of my jacket. When I do finally give it to him we just sit there awkwardly until he says, "Right, then," and gets out of the car.
When I get to work, my boss in my office. Due to our recent track record in situations like this, I am not entirely heartened by this fact.
"Broflovski," he hisses, "close the door, close the door." I close the door and then stand there like an idiot, thinking he needs to take some sort of class in which words to stress. It is a very good thing he chose to wore a black shirt today, or else, no doubt, his shirt would be stained with sweat. It looks like he just got back from running a marathon on the sun. Well, besides him not being dead and that being completely impossible. "I have to ask you something."
"Shoot, sir," I say, trying to sound polite. Really I'm testing out the theory that if you say a word, like, I don't know, let's say, 'shoot,' that has a connection with a word such as, ah, let's go with 'gun,' that maybe saying that first word with enough conviction might cause the two words to mentally come together an activate. Thus, 'shoot' would cause the person it is directed at to be, well, shot.
It doesn't work, but he pales, like he knows what I'm trying to do. "What have you heard?" he gasps. "What have you heard? Is that how he did it? Do you have evidence? Why didn't you tell me sooner?" Once again, the man needs a class or two, he's killing me here.
"I'm sorry," I interrupt, "but what the hell are you talking about. Um, sir?" Almost forgot it that time, but I caught it before he noticed, I did.
"Oh thank god, you weren't making a reference to TSR?" he asks quietly, glancing over my shoulder constantly, probably just checking to make sure the door isn't going to disappear into thin air for no apparent reason. I shake my head, slowly, so that he gets the full meaning. "Right, well, I'm sure you've heard he was wanted for drug charges. But those - those the university could handle. As it turns out," he says this with a nervous laugh of epic proportions, even for him, "he's apparently a person of interest in a murder case."
"I - we're talking about the same TSR who took his kids to Laser Tag against their own will just because he wanted to go, right?" I ask skeptically.
"The very same," my boss replies, sounding exhausted. I feel a bit bad for him. Just a bit. "I'm just letting you know because, as you're going through his files, it would be best if you find anything that's possibly incriminating to just...dispose of it. Somewhere. Possibly give it to the contractors. They're coming in today to start work on the new building and they'll probably want to talk to you."
"I - uh," is all I can say in response.
"Yes, you, you Broflovski!" he says with a half-chuckle, half-noise-that-makes-me-want-to-murder-him. It might have just been a plain chuckle, either way it has the same effect. "The new building is going to be partly a science building, but we're going to add computer labs in there and you'll be in charge of those too. Of course, not until they're built. And you'll get a pay raise of course. Isn't it exciting?"
I'm not sure if he means the fact that TSR might have killed someone and that I'm to give all evidence to the contractors, or that I'm going to be doing twice as much work for, probably, a two dollar raise.
"So, so exciting, sir," I say.
First chapter, done, have any thoughts? Leave them in a review, I'd
love to hear them, no matter what. I already have this threeshot
finished and I'll be posting the second part next Tuesday and the
last part the Tuesday after that. Oh a review schedule, makes me feel
all tingly. So, yeah, I'll hopefully see y'all back here next
(1) First things first, I have totally never been to U of C, ever in my life. This is based on the Boulder campus, just because Matt went there, so Kyle's there, something lame like that. But yeah, all the things the college gets involved with in this fic (which is basically loads and loads of illegal shit) I really doubt U of C actually gets into. I don't know, maybe it does, but this is all totally fictional, obviously, so don't believe a word.
(2) TSR is taken right from the original book, so I claim him in no way whatsoever. Doubtful he'll ever show up in this story but he'll be mentioned enough that you should commit his initials to memory.
(3) Yes, the Unione Corse is real. You can Wikipedia it (just like Kyle, yes, just like Kyle, folks) and read up on it. No one knows much about it, because French people are smart and they don't come over to America and broadcast themselves, which is basically why I figured most of you would go 'pfft, French mafia, she is so making this up.' Nope, although hey, sweet excuse to have Christophe in the story.
Until next time,