The front door slamming shut and sudden giggling aroused Frankie from her sleep, and she rubbed her eyes. She could faintly hear the giggling and the sound of squeaky shoes, sounding like the steps were completely out of rhythm, the noise being made out of random, sometimes right after the other, or several seconds after. The slightly cringing giggling belonged to only a voice she had known for too far long to not know who it belonged to. She lay back down upon her bed again for a few moments, hoping that he would just go to bed soon.
After a minute she finally made a groaning noise as she forced herself to slink off her bed, tiredly yawning and stretching. Afterward she went to her closet and pulled out her robe. Pulling on the fluffy, purple robe, she slipped on her slippers quickly and headed for the door. She hoped beyond hope she wouldn't have to confront him, but from the way it was going, he was going to get himself in trouble and then not even know why in the morning.
Exiting her bedroom, Frankie then quietly made her way down to the main staircase, to the foyer. Sure enough, the noise was coming from there, and grew increasingly louder as she got closer, but not because she got closer, but because he was becoming increasingly careless and noisy. By the time she was down the first set of stairs and could see him, she already had the pieces picked together. She had never seen (or rather, heard) him like this before, but she was smart enough to know how to tell these things. After all, she had a "Frankie is Right" jar, and even since the Goofball thing, already by now had been filled three quarters of the way with quarters.
Slurry, random movement, inappropriate or too loud noises, carelessness, and basically making a fool of himself as the seconds passed...
Wilt was drunk.
Wilt had been gone for several hours, doing who knows what in that time. He left soon after his talk with her, so she knew why he left in the first place, because of something she said, and it now was hanging over her head like a hungry vulture since. She had hurt his feelings, although not intentionally, but he wanted her to be honest when he had asked it. She wanted to make things right and apologize, but now isn't the right time, for he'd be too drunk to remember it, and most likely still hurt from it. Or take it as the truth, whichever came first.
Even more signs pointed straight to it as she observed him, his insistent giggling, his tottering movement, his lack of care for the residents sleeping. Sometimes he would randomly start singing some part of a song that he somehow knew and she didn't, purposely off-key and mumbling words he didn't know, it was slurred and for some reason, in a southern accent she couldn't recall him ever sounding like; but he said them with such joy, not to mention it was loud enough to wake up the whole world.
Enough was enough. She had to stop him before her worst fears were confirmed.
She went down step after step down the larger set of stairs, as quietly as she could, and slowly approached him, trying to not alert him too much. Finally, when she felt she was close enough to him, the smell of liquor was strong enough for her to pass out, but she did her best to ignore it. She then reached out and tapped the back of his leg softly, just enough for him to notice. She did not expect him to however, let out a scared cry as he turned her way dizzily.
"Wha-oooow!" he looked down with his half-shut, dilated eye at her, then seemed to recognize her, "Oh hi'ya F'ankie! What'cha doin' up at dis hour?" Then he giggled again like a first grader. On crack.
Frankie would not be intimidated, drunk or not. "Wilt," she whispered, "I should ask you the same thing. Where the heck were you?"
Wilt only grinned and took his hand and cupped it where his ears would've been if he were human and lent down near her, but almost falling over. Then he shouted singsongly "AH CAN' HEAR YAAA!"
Frankie was starting to lose her patience for sticking up for this guy she almost didn't want to call her best friend at the moment, but pulled his arm and himself down lower, enough to cover his mouth, no matter how much she didn't want to. Then sternly she shushed him. "Everyone's asleep," she continued, "WHERE. WERE. YOU?"
Wilt erupted into another fit of laughter although it was muffled, but smiling broadly around her small hand. Then he pretended to think about it for a moment, and after that pointed to the front doors. "Out," he muffled.
Frankie face palmed, but kept her other hand over his mouth. "Out WHERE?"
Wilt shrugged and looked at her. "Sum'place," he answered, "All 'round town. I went to toooown!" Another chuckle. Frankie sighed and pulled him even more down, so that now she was sitting upon her knees, and Wilt went and sprawled himself, his head on her lap and laying on his back. He didn't even seem to know what was going on, or maybe he just wasn't sober enough to care.
She wanted to ask why he was drunk, but she wouldn't get the answers she was really looking for, plus he was drunk, so he could just say something else. So instead, she asked, "What happened to you?"
Again with the fake, child-like thinking face. He didn't seem to answer this time, however, even when he cracked another grin. Frankie knew what he wanted. So she groaned slightly again and then said, "If I uncover your mouth, will you tell me? QUIETLY?"
He paused a moment then nodded. Slowly, she removed her hand from his mouth, allowing the stench of liquor to fully engulf her, his drunken breath easy to detect as he started his story.
"Well ya saw me runnin', right? Well I ran off, an' wus purty down in da dumps 'bout... purty uch ev'ree-thang dat had been happenin' fo' da past few days now. I den lat'r came up to dis place 'round town, y'know da place ya a'ways pass when ya go shoppin'? An'e'way by da time I go' dere I guess I wer' too depressed ta car' what happened ta me, so I went on in. Lots o' friendly faces in dere, lots and lots. Da person servin' beb'rages saw 'ow sad I wus, an' said he coul' cheer me up. He gave me a right an' fine dere beer, I'll tell ya dat much 'bout it. Be'fo' I knew it, I wus so happ'eh I stopped carin' 'ow much I right dere drank. Den da next time I looked at a clock I noticed i' wus dam' nea'uh midnight! So I decided ta come back on home, evuh doe I knew in mah 'eart no 'un wus missin' me. I guess i' wus juz dat I had no wher' else ta go, so I left."
"Wait wait wait," Frankie started, "So you went and got dru-" Then it was Wilt's turn to slap his hand over her mouth, but he did so softly.
"Hey hold on now, missy," he giggled, "I ain' dun' yet!"
Frankie rolled her eyes and slowly removed his warm hand from her lips. Although no matter how hard she tried, but when he grinned at her again, even though he was still drunk, she couldn't help but grin a bit as well.
"An'e'ways aft'r a bit aft'r I left da place I rea'lized dat I fo'got wher' Fostuh's wus!" he let out another laugh, but kept his promise and kept it quiet, "So aft'r a whil' o' wand'rin' 'round town, wund'rin' wher' ta go, I wus 'bout ta ask sum'un when I rea'lized dat Hey, I'm as tall as a STREETLIGH' fo' Christ's sake! I shoul' be ab'ul ta see da flag wavin' in da dis'tanc' fo' fifty miles!" he started all-out laughing now, kicking his legs in the air and banging on the floor tile with his hand. This laughter was too loud this time and Frankie had to muffle it, yet Wilt didn't stop. He brought his hand up and gently placed his fingers over her hand, but didn't try to pull it down.
Finally, he finished and looked up at her again, then half-closing his eye and putting on a flirtatious face. "Say F'ankie... Yer purty cute ta'night. 'Ow 'bout a kiss fo' da Wilt-man?" He then started puckering his lips and reached up for hers. Frankie looked at him, a bit disgusted, and got up, causing Wilt's head to fall on the ground.
"N-no!" she whispered as he started to get up, "Why would I want to kiss you?"
By this time he was on his feet again, although he was wobbling around a bit. He tilted his head at her and frowned. He then nodded, as if knowing why, crossing his arms as well as he could even with one real arm. "Ahhh, I get it. Ya won' kiss me 'cuz I'm ugly, huh? Gee, dat makes a lotta sense."
Frankie winced a bit at his suddenly serious tone, save for the fact the accent was still there. She mustered her courage, approached him carefully and replied, "Who has ever told you that you were ugly?"
Wilt then untilted his head, and looked at her straight in the eye. "Ya did." When Frankie couldn't think of what to say in response, he continued, raising his voice with every word, "An' yer F'ankie, right? Da F'ankie 'o is a'ways right. Da F'ankie 'o keeps a ja' an' i's a'mos' filled up wi' qua't'uhs. So if da a'ways right F'ankie says I'm ugly, she mus' be right, an' i' mus' be true, be'cuz F'ankie is nev'uh wrong!"
It hurt Frankie like thorns in her heart, but not because of his words, but because she had said something she shouldn't have several hours earlier, and his statement had rather unhappily reminded her. He had asked her to be honest with him when he asked the question. Deathly honest if she had to. On one hand, if she didn't say what she did, he probably wouldn't have believed her, or thought she was just being nice to him. On the other, she did say what she thought would be the more honest answer, what he probably half-wanted to hear, yet it turned out it wasn't at all what he wished for. She knew, as soon as he ran away, it the opposite answer that he wished he heard.
"Wilt, you know I didn't mean-"
"Naw naw, F'ankie," he responded, sure of himself, "I ain' mad at ya o' an'e'thang. I' only h'rt ah tiny bit, bu' what do ya expect? Da truth h'rts. An' da soon'uh I accept i', da happ'eher I'll be."
Frankie knew that just wasn't true, though even if she said so, he probably wouldn't think so. She even knew that if Wilt was like this here for much longer, or was sent to bed like this, chaos would erupt sooner than a sunrise. She had to get him away from here, at least until he was sober enough to go straight to bed and not cause a ruckus. But how? It was one-thirty in the morning, and she was already losing a lot of sleep as it is. If this kept up she would be crying out for a nap by noon. Herriman would be all over her about it, too.
But Wilt was her best friend. No. Wilt meant more than that. Much more than that.
He was like a father to her. A brother, maybe. Not just a best friend.
A brother. A father.
This was enough to convince her that this time, it was Wilt who needed help. To be repaid for all he's done to help her, and everyone else too. Thinking of something at the last minute, she decided it was the best idea (or just the only idea for this situation) she had in her life.
"Wilt, stay here. I'll be back in a sec."
Wilt only seemed to half-notice, murmuring what sounded like a noise of awareness that he heard her. She practically flew up the stairs and to her room again, glancing at him again only when she made it to the top of the flight. She got to her door, opened it and went to her computer desk. Ever since Bloo joyrode the bus, she never left the keys in the lock anymore. Instead, she kept it in a secret place, where only she, Herriman, and yes, Madame Foster knew about. It's such a secret place that it will not be explained even here to you, reader. You know you wanna joyride the bus too, so forget it.
She got the keys and again, flew down the hall and down the stairs, and by the time she got back, Wilt was back to his drunken self, tottering steps, random giggling, and this time he was singing... Funkytown. Frankie, under any different circumstance, any that involved Wilt being sober, would've raised an eyebrow and let her jaw touch the floor. If anyone who was anyone knew Wilt, they knew one thing:
Wilt would NEVER sing a Disco song. EVER.
She approached him again and pulled on his arm, to lead him out the front doors. Wilt only continued singing the chorus of the song, again off-key like all the other songs he defiled thus far, and pretty much let her pull him along, not caring in the least where they were going. Frankie made her way to the Foster's bus, dragging Wilt along and opened the door, letting herself in then urging him in too. By this time the song had come to a finish and he finally realized where they were.
"Hey F'ankie, a' we goin' on a roadtrip o' sumthin'? Cuz ya gotta invite Bloo ta these things!" Then he giggled.
"No Wilt, we're not going on a roadtrip," she responded as she seat belted herself in, looking back at him for a moment, "It's just us two."
Wilt looked at her for a moment then pulled the flirtatious grin again, laughing slyly. "Ooooh, I got'cha now! A romantic get'away, ah?"
Frankie face-steeringwheeled, groaning in annoyance. God, was he always this dirty when he was drunk? Not to mention he was completely missing the fact that they weren't the same species. "No Wilt, it's not a romantic getaway, either."
Wilt chuckled as he watched her, but then finally sat in a bus seat right behind her. "Oooo-kay, I'm outta guesses. Wher' a' we goin'?"
Frankie let a sly smile bloom on her face, raising her head up again, another idea forming. "Out,"
Wilt blinked. "Out WHER'?"
Frankie mmmed to herself, putting on a fake thinking face of her own, then replied, looking right at him, "Someplace."
Wilt looked back at her, then crossed his arms again, but only could repeat it. "Sum'place?"
She faced the road again, starting up the bus. When it roared with life, she put her foot on the petal. "All around town," she answered, then flooring the petal, "We're going to TOOOOWN!"
The sudden speed of the bus caught Wilt off guard, grabbing the back of the seat for balance, but Frankie quickly slowed down to the speed limit. Then he blinked at her again. After a few seconds, he began to laugh. While driving, Frankie couldn't stop herself and laughed with him. They laughed loud, they laughed proud, and they couldn't stop, even when their sides hurt and they were crying. Not even when they were running short of breath. Wilt even opened a window, shoved his face out of it, and kept laughing, even when the drivers around them stared or made faces. He laughed at their faces. They should be laughing too. The whole world should be laughing over this. To them, even Frankie, at the moment of laughter, it felt like it was that funny. If everyone in the world was laughing too, this would just make this even more enjoyable. Every good joke will make you laugh, but it's even more funny when you're laughing together.
You hadn't lived until you laughed this hard.
Eventually, they did calm their laughter and Wilt shut the window, and Frankie kept driving around town. As the time passed, Wilt became increasingly quiet, a sign either that he was becoming sober or that he was getting sleepy. But Frankie, even though she was getting tired as well, didn't stop. Not until she was sure he was either sober or out like a light. They traveled around every nook and cranny of town, then the nearby ones that took five minutes to get there, to town that took twenty. Wilt would look out the window, gazing at everything, taking it all in, and a few times glanced at Frankie. By now he had long since stopped flirting with her or begging for kisses. Rather, he left her alone, didn't disturb her. He was starting to come to his senses at long last.
Frankie, as she was driving around the towns and minding the road, couldn't help but think about the last few days that went by. About three ago Wilt had asked if he could talk to her. He felt ashamed, like he had done something wrong and wanted to turn himself in to the crime, but what he wanted to talk about wasn't that at all. He talked of having dreams lately where he was kissing girls, sometimes girls he didn't seem to recognize, sometimes imaginary girls he's seen around the house, and he even admitted that one time it was Frankie herself. But that was only once, he tried to say, even though he was embarrassed enough about it as it was. However, she didn't seem to mind it, it was only a dream, it never happened.
She had told him to simply forget about the dreams he's been having, convincing him that nothing may be "wrong" with him, like he put it, that the dreams would simply leave him if he ignored them and moved on. But every day after that, he would report his next kissing dream, nothing had changed. Finally today (or in this case, yesterday), Wilt decided he couldn't take the dreams anymore and talked to her again. Something had to be wrong with me, he said to her. He reported his next kissing dream, and Frankie finally started to think maybe he was right, in a sense. There really wasn't anything wrong with him, but something was happening to him. After a while of thinking, she finally told him that maybe it was time he found someone.
Then he started hurting himself, exaggerating the physical flaws like no tomorrow, saying he'd bet twenty dollars that if he asked someone, anyone that if he was ugly, they would say yes without any hesitation. Frankie accidentally walked herself into the challenge, eager to prove him wrong, wanting for him to not feel bad about himself, and told him to ask her. He stared at her for a moment and told her that he didn't want to lose twenty dollars to someone who'd give him false compliments. He wanted the truth, the dead-serious truth. Ask anyway, she said to him. Even if you lose twenty bucks, you'll know that you're not ugly.
All right, he said at last, do I look ugly to you?
Then the mistake happened. The truth was Frankie didn't think so, but if she said that Wilt probably would've taken it as a false compliment. So she said what she thought he wanted to hear. Yes.
Then it wasn't until later until she realized he wanted to hear No. He wanted to lose twenty dollars. Just to hear her say no. Just to prove another time that Frankie is always right. Always right. Always. After all, she has a Right jar for a reason. Besides, one dollar made four quarters. So twenty would make eighty. Enough for her to need another jar.
Just to hear her say no. Just so he could know that at least one person doesn't think he's unattractive. One person. Out of six billion humans and god-knows billion imaginary friends.
Jordan's mama didn't count. One person who realistically wasn't family.
Because of such mistake, he went out and got drunk. He was having kissing dreams on a daily basis, and to tell the truth was starting to even feel the loneliness, even though he'd never admit it, and the Great and Always Right Frankie goes and tells him he's too ugly to get someone. She felt so damn bad about it, it was all her fault he had killed a bunch of braincells just to try to relieve the pain. She knew what she had to do, but only when he's sober enough to remember.
Frankie went to check her watch and the digital numbers read 3:17 AM. Wow, had she been out with Wilt for that long now? Apparently it was so. When she had to stop at a traffic light, she looked back at him, directly, not from the mirror. He was still staring out the window, trying his very best to not fall asleep, but was starting to fail. She smiled at him softly, sympathetic. All this time she was thinking, he had been dead-quiet, wasn't randomly giggling, or defiling songs, not even - heaven forbid - Disco songs. His eye was still dilated, but Frankie started to think it wasn't because he was still drunk, but because it was just so dark. She bet if she shined a light in his face, it would shrink down to normal then twice normal for a split second before he'd shut it in reflex to the sudden bright light.
If he was still drunk, he would then start giggling and complain about seeing spots. If he was sober he'd start rubbing his eye and softly ask why she did that in the first place.
She glanced at the gas gauge, and it was running low. Before they were to head on home, she would have to fill it. She got a third idea right then and there.
A few minutes later she pulled up to a gas station, and stopped the bus. She searched around for the mini flashlight, and pulled it out. She then very quietly came up to Wilt, who was still nodding off, and flashed the light right in his face. Sure enough, his pupil shrunk swiftly, but he let out a yelp of surprise, shutting it with a small jump. She couldn't help but chuckle at his reaction.
Wilt was starting to rub his eye, trying to make the spots he was now seeing go away. "Ah, Frankie," he said softly, not angry in the least, but a bit confused, "I'm sorry but why'd you go and do that?" He wasn't speaking with slang, he wasn't giggling, nor being loud.
She finished her chuckle and replied, "Just wanted to see if you were still awake."
"Okay, okay," he said back, yawning a bit and reaching up to scratch his right lobes. "Where are we?"
"A gas station. The tank's starting to run out so I stopped here to get it filled again. I just wanted to ask if you had to go before we head home."
"How far away is home?"
"About a half hour, forty-five minutes at most. Will you be able to hold it that long?"
He thought for a moment then sheepishly smiled. "Ah, no...But I'm not so sure about-"
"Then just go then! I'll wait for you, okay?" She smiled at him, placing a hand on his shoulder for reassurance.
Deeply he was afraid the drunken side would reveal itself again and he would make a fool of himself, even though he realized that he was more himself than in the last hour. Frankie was letting him go, she was trusting him. If he was still out of his mind, she probably wouldn't have asked him. So he grinned again, but this time his grin was more of a happy one, and he got up to leave the bus. "O-okay Frankie. Whatever you say."
It didn't take Wilt more than five minutes to go inside, get the key to the restroom (even though it was tied to a cinder block), do his business, give the key back, and come back to the bus. Even in the dark, Frankie could see that he was even more happy than before, and this happiness wasn't tied at all to the alcohol, no. This was his true happiness showing. She wondered why he was suddenly this happy. For a moment she assumed it was because he had to go that badly, but then she thought there was a deeper reason behind it. However, no matter how badly she was tempted to, she didn't ask. If he wanted her to know, he would mention it.
The ride home was quiet, Wilt was more awake than he used to be, but still quite sleepy and his body just about had it with being awake, what with the day he's been through. Nevertheless, he stayed up the whole way home.
"Frankie?" he asked her when they were halfway there.
"What is it?" she responded, looking at him through the mirror.
When he saw her looking at him through the mirror, he smiled widely again, although it was a bit of a sleepy one. "Thanks," he said, although a tiny bit shyly, hiding the lower half of his face.
"For... Well, all this. All this for me. So I wouldn't, you know..." he paused a bit, "Make a fool of myself and get in trouble for uh..."
Even though he trailed off at the last word, Frankie grinned back at him knowingly. "It's no problem, Wilt. I'm sure you'd do the same for me, or anyone else."
Wilt had always been modest, and even this time he let it show, but not in words. Possibly because he had something else on his mind. He took the words in of course, but didn't question it. "And er... I'm sorry about the things I said when I was... out of my mind, I'll put it that way. I didn't mean those things, honest."
"What, so you DON'T think I'm 'purty cute'?" she giggled.
"Uh...!" he blushed. "No- I mean yes of course- Wait wait I mean...!" Then he sighed over his stuttering, he didn't know what to say. No, he knew exactly what he wanted to say, but it was quite awkward. Frankie was pretty, attractive and beautiful in his eye... Even though she was a human. He didn't know if it was genuinely okay for an imaginary friend to think a human is or more attractive than another imaginary. Confusing as it is, he didn't know how he could put it without insulting her, or others of his own kind. Even though it was only him and her.
Frankie was laughing. "I'm KIDDING, Wilt! You know that!" A few moments later her tone became sly again. "Remember my Senior Prom, when we approached the high school and I asked you how I looked, and you said...?"
He looked up at her again, scratching the back of his neck in slight embarrassment. "'Beautiful',"
"Then the question is, do you still think that?"
He looked down again, trying to think of what to say. Finally, he thought of it. Screw what others may think, it's true! "Actually... I think you're even more beautiful now, Frankie. I-If you don't mind me saying," he said, letting out a small, nervous chuckle.
"Then would I make my future husband glad he married me?"
"Very, if not forever glad."
By this time, they passed the "You are entering" sign for the town they lived in. "Say Wilt, we're almost home. Think you can stay awake enough 'till we get there, or will I have to carry you to bed?"
This time, Wilt was the sly one. "You'd have to take me kicking and screaming,"
"Pffft. Wouldn't you be asleep?"
"Sorry, but I only said that to see if you were paying attention!" Then he broke out into a fit of laughter, Frankie quickly joining in. This time, the laughter of his wasn't drunken in the least bit, it was the laughter Frankie had heard millions of times, the one he's always had.
"Ha ha, Verrrry funny, mister!" she responded in her laughter, then doing some sort of voice imitation, "Gee, it's three forty in the morning! How hard can it be to pay attention?"
This only made Wilt laugh harder, both at Frankie's comeback and the voice imitation. This one was much longer, and even more enjoyable than the first one, because Wilt was sober and himself again. However, when it did quiet down, they did a sigh to end the laughter altogether, but their smiles remained.
"Say, Wilt. We're just about home, and you're pretty good at songs, could you sing us a song?"
"Oh, you mean from earlier? Frankie, you know those were horrible, I don't think I was even trying. I... I even sang FUNKYTOWN for goodness sake! Ugh... I... I don't even know WHY."
"Not Disco, Wilt! Geez, don't even joke about that. You know I wouldn't make you sing something like that. Sing something you like."
"Oh, okay. Something I like... Something I like..." Wilt thought for a moment, then finally found something good. Something he did like, although not many people would've thought he did. This time when he sang, he sang with grace, more professional, never off-key and like he was trying his very best to do the song right.
"In the town where I was born, Lived a man who sailed to sea. And he told us of his life, In the land of submarines..."
Frankie listened to the song intently, having heard it before but didn't remember quite what it was called.
"So we sailed under the sun, Until we found a sea of green. And we lived beneath the waves, In our yellow submarine..."
Yellow Submarine, of course! But why something like that? Frankie pondered this a moment, but dared not to interrupt Wilt.
"We all live in a Yellow submarine. Yellow submarine. Yellow submarine. We all live in a Yellow submarine. Yellow submarine. Yellow submarine..."
Frankie would've thought he would sing something that was Funk, his pretty much all-time favorite music genre, but she decided that he had more tastes than even she thought.
"And our friends are all aboard. Many more of them live next door. And the band begins to play..." He then imitated the band playing sequence.
Or a closet Beatles fan.
"We all live in a Yellow submarine. Yellow submarine. Yellow submarine. We all live in a Yellow submarine. Yellow submarine. Yellow submarine..."
By this time they were pulling up to the street where Foster's lie. Frankie listened as Wilt imitated the entire instrumental sequence, none of the sound effects going unnoticed, even though it wasn't perfect, the beat and attempts were perfect enough. Then this one part of the song, Frankie knew, was partially a duet. She didn't know all the words, but she did know when to start, and that it was to repeat the lyrics.
"As we live a life of ease, Every one of us-"
"Every one of us!"
"-Is all we need-"
"Is all we need!"
"-Sky of blue-"
"Sky of blue!"
"-And sea of green-"
"And sea of green!"
"-In our yellow-"
"In our yellow!"
As this went on, Wilt smiled at her, but continued on with the song, trusting she knew the parts. Even when the final chorus came on, it wasn't just Wilt's voice, it was Frankie's too.
"We all live in a Yellow submarine. Yellow submarine. Yellow Submarine. We all live in a Yellow submarine. Yellow submarine. Yellow submarine..."
They together sang those lyrics until they were out of the bus and heading to the front doors, side by side. Then as they neared the doors themselves, their voices quieted into whispers, and by the time they were inside, they had stopped altogether. But neither of them showed regret of singing it. As they were heading up the stairs and to the hallway, they stopped at Frankie's bedroom door.
"The Beatles, huh? I never really pictured you with Beatles," Frankie whispered jokingly.
"Yeah well..." Wilt whispered back, "It's just Jordan always liked it as a lullaby and..."
"Wilt, it's okay to like them, you know."
"I know, I know! But..." he sighed a bit, still embarrassed, "Still..."
"Pfft, just forget it, okay? And I'll forget that you sang Funkytown."
"Er, Frankie? May I talk to you?"
It was the next day, after the whole incident, and luckily no one seemed to know about it, just Frankie and Wilt. Today, like the previous days before, seemed like it was no different, in terms of sleep.
"Of course, Wilt. What is it?"
Frankie had to be the most patient person on earth if she's had to deal with this for days now and not even be slightly irritated. There was no hint of it in her voice, it was caring and kind as ever.
"Uh... I kinda had another kissing dream. Well, not exactly just kissing. You see..."
"In the dream, the girl and I were saying marriage vows in front of a priest and stuff, in Wedding clothes and everything. The day was sunny and cloudless and all... Then after all the vows were done..."
"...Then we kissed. But um, French kissed."
Wilt was sitting upon Frankie's bed, while Frankie sat kitty-corner in her computer chair. By the time Wilt was done telling about the dream, he was blushing like mad, and he was nervous, like he couldn't tell something else in the dream that was also important. Frankie took a breath.
"Well Wilt, I still think it's time for you to find somebody."
"But I can't, Frankie! That's the problem!... Who would love someone as broken and ugly as me? You said so yourself yesterday."
It was time for the truth. "Wilt, I didn't mean what I said when I said that. I didn't know how to answer you without it going the wrong way. We aren't the same species, so whatever we answer would feel equally awkward... But Wilt, I'm going to say what I really think this time, and I'm sorry I deceived you into thinking the wrong answer was true."
Wilt was looking at her, stunned. She didn't lie to him, really, but didn't know what to say and mean it. Just like how he struggled for an answer for Frankie when she asked him. Almost immediately he understood what she meant, and listened intently to whatever she was going to say next, no matter what it was.
"Let's make this perfectly clear here. I am not going to lie to you. I'm not going to deceive you. I'm not just trying to be nice. I'm being as honest as you wanted me to be. You want the truth. So here it is." She paused, taking another, yet a bit nervous, breath. "It doesn't matter if your arm is a stub or if your eye is wonky, or that you have stitches on your face. None of that distracts how handsome you really are, inside and out. Your kind and polite personality and caring for others especially makes you handsome inside, as well as your voice, your smile, your laugh, your sense of humor, your good eye, all those things and even more, make up for anything you call a weakness or a handicap or a disability. All of that make up for anything you see as a flaw. Everything you are inside, and whatever we can see outside, makes you lovable and yes, handsome. You ARE handsome, Wilt, you have no idea." Then Frankie grinned widely, meaning every word, like she poured her entire soul into saying it all.
Wilt however, was now completely stunned out of his mind. Man, did she really mean all that? Did she really think he was...? Then, in a fit of emotion, he flew at her and brought her into a gentle, yet firm hug. Unhesitatingly Frankie held him back, cherishing it for all it was worth. Wilt was trying to hold back tears of pure joy, and edged his lips towards her ear, and whispered "Thank you!"
They shared the hug for quite some time, and it may have even turned into a cuddle, but the only reason they broke away at last was when Wilt needed to bring out something from his sock. He reached in for whatever he was looking for and pulled it out.
A twenty dollar bill.
With the widest, happiest grin on his face, he handed the bill to her confidently, with complete sportsmanship.
"Aw Wilt, you really didn't need to give me that,"
"A bet's a bet. But I can tell you one thing, Frankie, but promise you won't get mad."
"The girl in my dream was you."
"Well, in a different way, we're closer than ever, so I guess it made sense."
"...So I'm like your twin brother?"
"Oh ha ha."