Calvin had long outgrown taking Hobbes places. Or at least, that's what Mom said. He was in high school now, but even so, he hadn't fully outgrown his best friend. He wished Hobbes could be a part of his photo, and had promised the tiger that they would both be in his senior photo, the one that counted.
He was in line behind Susie. He had to resist not poking her with his pencil. She'd spent hours getting ready for the photo, and wore a pretty purple dress. But she was still his worst enemy. He intended fully to tease her about her braces later in the day. As she sat on the stool and smiled he wanted to shout something, but she looked right at him and giggled before blowing him a kiss. "What the f--"
"Next!" called the photographer.
Calvin got in the chair an bared his teeth. His spiked blonde hair stood straight up and just before the photographer said three, he corntored his face into the strangest expression anybody had ever seen. With only one chance to take the photo, he was sure to get his way. He hopped down from the chair and made his way to lunch.
He sat down at a table and Susie slid in next to him. "Hi Calvin," she said in an exaggerated manner. "Is it bologna again?"
"Nope," he replied cheekily, trying to get her to leave. "It's cross-section of dachshund, remember?"
"Silly," she giggled.
"Did you sit next to me just to get my sandwich or what?"
"No. And you don't have to be a rocket scientist to find out why."
"I've lost my appetite," he grumbled as he pushed his meatloaf around on the plate. If it wasn't Cocoa Frosted Sugar Bombs, it wasn't edible.
"The food is actually good today," she said encouragingly. "If you don't eat your sandwich, at least try the meatloaf for me. Pretty please with a bright red cherry on top?"
To his horror, his hand suddenly had a mind of its own. It grasped the fork, cut a sizeable morsel of the brownish-red loaf, and slowly lifted itself to his mouth, which hung open in shock. And even worse than his taking her suggestion was that he acknowledged she was right. Something sinister was afoot, and he was determined to get to the bottom of things.
When he got home, Hobbes was lying in wait for him. The tiger leapt from behind the sofa and tackled him in a flurry of orange and white. Now that he was older, Hobbes didn't do as much damage as he used to, but the tiger still had claws. "Hey Hobbes," Calvin greeted.
"Good day at school?" Hobbes asked.
"Weird day at school," Calvin replied. "Susie blew me a kiss."
"Seriously, what the heck is going on? I don't even like girls." They walked up to his room and he booted up his computer.
"Are you actually going to do homework?"
"Heck no." He opened up his favorite internet TV site and began watching something mindless.
"So when Susie blew you a kiss, did you return it?"
"I don't like girls," he snapped. "That's weakness. We must survive."
"Can't survive without 'em."
"So?" He blocked Hobbes out until Mom called him down for dinner. He was mad that Hobbes was no longer welcome at the table, but the tiger had learned to accept it. After dinner, he brought a plate back up to the tiger, who devoured the meatloaf, peas and potatoes.
"So when are you going to make a move?" Hobbes asked through a mouthful of food.
"I said I don't like—"
"What if Zooey Deschanel blew you a kiss?"
"Then I would have blown her one back."
"I thought you said you didn't like girls."
"She's not a girl—she's a chick. And a hot one at that."
"You don't like Susie is what you mean."
Hobbes jabbed him in the rib. "You like Susie."
"I DON'T LIKE SUSIE, DANGIT!"
"What if she heard you say that?"
"It'd settle things once and for all. I…do…not…like…Susie!"