I could use somebody, thought Kenny, and not just a friend.
He watched Kyle and Stan together and what they had made him jealous. Sure, he didn't actually know what the Hell it was that they had, but it was sure something more that just friends. Kenny was their friend. What those two were was something different.
Kyle would come to school some mornings with his hat on backwards or his shirt on inside out because he was so tired he couldn't think or see straight. When this happened, Stan would pull him quietly over to one side, rearrange him, smooth him down and quietly scold the boy for over-exerting himself once again needlessly. Why would you stay up all night, Stan would whisper, When you wrote that essay a week ago, and it's not due for another two? Kyle would murmur something about proof-reading; Stan would bat him gently on the side of the head (and sometimes if nobody was looking, quickly stroke his cheek) and tell him that he expected more from somebody so sensible. Then, he'd help Kyle to function for the rest of the day, and Kyle would always turn up for the rest of the week looking well-rested and calm, like maybe there was somebody phoning him at night to make sure he went to bed.
Sometimes after football practice, Stan would head over to Kyle's place and Kenny would be there, smoking cigarettes or a joint or whatever he had in hand - sometimes Kyle would join him, paranoid but eager to do something risky for once, break the rules for the kick Kenny promised it would give him. When Stan would arrive, however, Kyle'd stop listening to Kenny. He'd drop the smoke on the ground so fast it put itself out, crushing it with his foot and kicking it convulsively towards Kenny just as the other boy would walk in the door; and when he'd hover round Stan's head and fuss over the mud and the scrapes and the cuts that Stan insisted were all a part of the game, dude, Stan would sometimes inquire why Kyle smelt like smoke, and Kyle would wrinkle his nose and point at Kenny. And Kenny, because he appreciated Kyle's need to make Stan happy and because he had no reason not to, would nod, shrug and sometimes even apologise, willing to take the blame for smoking excessive cigarettes because it meant that Kyle would let him keep coming round, and because when he got to stand there and watch them around each other it would make his heart beat a little faster even though he couldn't quite figure out what exactly it was about them that made them not quite right - or too right, if you looked at it that way.
Wendy and Stan had dated on and off since they were eight years old - Kenny could tell that Wendy loved Stan because every time she looked at him her eyes would light up like fire; Somewhat similar to when Stan touched Kyle, except in that instance it was so obviously reciprocated. Kenny once asked Stan why he did it - those words only, just, why do you do it? Stan had looked him straight in the face, raised an eyebrow and asked what he was on about. Because Stan was not and never had been a very good liar, Kenny had been forced to accept that this was his genuine answer, which made him think that maybe he was just seeing things and they really were just normal friends, just normal Kyle and Stan with nothing else going on. But did friends look at each other like that? Did friends really take every opportunity just to touch the other like that, just the briefest brushes that might even pass for accidental were it not for the sudden, excited spark that would appear in each of their eyes? It wasn't quite normal and it was a mystery to Kenny, but sure, he thought. Sure I could.
I sure could use somebody like that.