Pockets laid Gum down on the red couch that used to belong exclusively to Corn. The girl winced as her injured leg pressed against the cushions. Slowly, she relaxed her leg and the pain eased away. Pockets stood up and stretched his stiff muscles. He didn't have much upper body strength to begin with, his arms would probably sore for the next few days. He arched his back and he could hear his spine crackle as he did.
Gum leaned her head to face Pockets and said, "Hey. thanks."
Pockets glanced back at her and for a split second, they made eye contact but it was quickly broken. He fell onto back into the chair next to the couch and responded, "Alright..."
"I wanted to ask you something," Gum requested permission to ask.
"Okay..." Pockets thought it was strange of her to dance around a question like she was doing. It had to be something important.
"Where'd you go?" Pockets answered with silence.. This only seemed to annoy Gum. "I know this has something to do with that girl. Why don't you just tell me?"
"'Cause it's my business."
"Then could you at least tell me her name?"
"I knew it. I knew I recognized her."
"What do you mean 'you knew it'?" Pockets asked in a surprised voice. "Do you know her?"
"Yeah I know her. What I want to know is what you have to do with her." Gum spoke in a demanding tone now.
"Do you have something against her?" Pockets asked, sensing the tension in Gum's voice. He wasn't even looking at her and he could tell she was glaring at him now.
"Candy is a liar. She's deceitful and I wouldn't trust her."
"What do you have against her?" Pockets repeated, ignoring what he hoped was just Gum's blind aggression towards Candy.
"Nothing... But if Corn was here, I'm sure he'd say something different." Gum stated with, what sounded like, a frown on her face. Pockets didn't want to know what Corn would say. Partially because he felt it was invading Corn's privacy but mostly he wanted to uphold the positive image he had of Corn. Besides, he doubted Gum would tell him even if he asked. "Could you turn the T.V. On for me," Gum said, breaking the silence.
"Sure." Pockets lifted himself off of the couch and walked over to the television set, inspecting it. After a second he found the power button and pressed it but nothing but static came through. He shrugged helplessly in Gum's direction.
"Can you fix it?" Gum asked. Feeling as though he was being taken advantage of, Pockets turned back around and proceeded to bang on the top of the television with his wrist. "Hitting it is not goin' to help," She explained.
"Well what do you want me to do?" Pockets asked with more than a little frustration creeping into his voice. Gum looked around.
"You could get Rhyth," Gum suggested. "She knows how to fix it." Pockets gave a heavy sigh and rolled over to the stairs to retrieve Rhyth.
He made his way over to the small dog house where Gum and Rhyth lay next to each other. The little dog Pots looked happy so them. He was resting between them with his head lying on Rhyth's stomach. She picked up the gray dog and stroked his head gently. As she held him, she realized Pots had lost a little weight.
Yoyo was laying face up next to the doghouse. He seemed to be staring up at the stars but none were visible. It was a very cloudy night. He was wondering if Yoyo was feeling alright, but he didn't ask. Better not to trouble them.
"Gum says you know how to fix the T.V.," was all Pockets needed to say before Rhyth got up. She followed him back upstairs to where the buzzing television was. She looked it over for a second, then smacked the side of the box making the image return. Pockets threw his hands in defeat.
"There you go," Rhyth said rolling away.
"You said that wouldn't work." Pockets barked at Gum. She just rolled her eyes.
"But you never answered my question," Gum persisted. "Why did you leave that day?"
"Why are you so worried about it?" Pockets shot back defensively. "Can't you worry about Yoyo instead."
"Yoyo's fine. He's just on his period. The mood swings should end shortly." Pockets hoped she was joking. Gum hopped right back on subject. "You know I'm gonna keep asking until I get an answer."
"I left because I felt like it." Pockets responded, hoping it would at least get Gum to stop questioning him. It did buy him a minute or so of silence before she spoke again.
"You know what? I was hoping what I said about you was wrong, but I can't tell because you won't give me a straight answer to a simple question." She let the last sentence hang, giving Pockets a chance to respond but he remained silent. His eyes were fixed lazily on the T.V. Finally, Gum gave up and flipped over so that she faced away from the television and her injured leg rested on top of the other one.
Downstairs, Rhyth returned to Yoyo who was still frozen in that same position she left him in. Pots licked at his face a couple times to cheer him up, but Yoyo just pushed the dog away. Rhyth laid next to Yoyo, pulling Pots off of him and into her arms.
"So what are we going to do tomorrow?" She asked him, trying not to sound too despaired. Yoyo seemed to think about the question for a moment.
"I don't wanna think about it. Let's just go to sleep." He suggested.
"I can't sleep." Rhyth stated quietly.
"Why not?" Yoyo asked, flipping over to face her.
"I don't know. I guess it's the stress." Rhyth didn't seem too worried about what she was saying, as if it was normal. She simply continued to rub Pots head as the dog rested on her stomach.
"it's gonna be okay," Yoyo said in a reassuring voice as he scooted closer to Rhyth. He wasn't sure what he would do to make anything better but he had to tell Rhyth something to calm her nerves. "I'm gonna start looking for a job tomorrow so we can have food to eat. Maybe I could even be able to buy Gum some crutches."
"You don't have to do all this," Rhyth told him as she reached over and grabbed his hand. It was cold.
"We gotta eat," was all he said in response. He was set on helping Rhyth and Gum but he didn't want to have to go back to stealing food. He felt Rhyth squeeze his hand tighter.
"Tai..." Rhyth said in a soft voice. "Thank you." That was all he needed to hear.