Trial & Error

by Maverik

Part One

Mike's day started as any other weekend. He woke up, had breakfast, showered and brushed his teeth, put on his scarf, and got ready to go wander around town looking for something to do. Reaching out, he grabbed hold of the doorknob and twisted it, pulling the door open, and revealing an unexpected sight...

"Lucy?" He stared, slightly stunned as the white cat stood with her fist raised as though she had been just about to knock. "What are you doing here?" He asked with a confused look. They hadn't really spoken much recently, and there had been no plans made for them to see each other that day.

"Oh! Ummmm..." Lucy fumbled over her words a little. Mike's look of surprise slowly melted into that of disapproval.

"Just say it and get it over with..." He looked away, clearly annoyed that she was still acting like this around him, even after so long had passed since that fateful day. Lucy looked hurt for a moment. But only a moment.

"Hey! I was just surprised ok! I wasn't expecting the door to open as I knocked on it." She furrowed her brow angrily. Mike tapped his foot somewhat impatiently, not really believing her excuse. "Look. I got some free tickets to go see that new movie today from some stupid radio contest dad entered. He didn't want them so he gave them to me. I thought you might like to go see it." She crossed her arms and looked away.

"Why don't you just go see it with your brother or something?" Mike asked, blowing her off casually as he walked past her and shut the door. She turned to face him, getting more pissed off that he had simply ignored her like that.

"Jordan's already seen it." She replied through grit teeth.

"Well what about Paulo?" He asked, stopping and looking around, pretending to decide which way he wanted to go.

"He's busy..." She responded, her fist clenching a little.

"What about-"

"Do you want to see the movie or not?" She shouted, causing the Korat to cringe and grab his ears in pain. Lucy took a deep breath as she recomposed herself. Mike let his ears go, his arms dropping to his sides.

"Is this really just a friends thing?" His voice was deadpan, and he still refused to turn around. Lucy looked at her feet.

"Is that so hard for you to imagine?" Neither of them wanted to make eye contact. "Now that you have her back in your life... Is there no room at all left for me?" Mike winced a little, feeling the sting of her words.

"It's not that Lucy. I just keep worrying that you're going to become too attached to me again. And I can't let you go on thinking like that. It isn't fair. To either of us..." Lucy's expression became blank. She walked past Mike.

"Forget it." She said simply, walking away from him. The Korat sighed softly.

"What time does it start?" Lucy turned her head to catch his gaze.

"About an hour."

"We should hurry then if we're going to walk." He casually strolled up and began walking along side her, looking slightly disinterested, trying to seem like this was no big deal. Almost like they just happened to be walking in the same direction.

They walked for a block or two in complete silence. Neither really knowing what to say to the other. It was such a strange situation. They had been friends for most of their lives. They'd played together, fought each other, talked about all manner of topics, talked about nothing in particular. But they had always talked... The awkward silence between them was just so... Alien...

Most of the time they just stared straight ahead. Blank faced and focused on their path. But every now and then, one would steal a glance at the other... 'This shouldn't be so hard! I know we haven't really spoken much since she confessed, but...'

"Look I-" They both began speaking at the same time, causing them to stop in their tracks and look at each other. A moment of silence passed as they stared at each other, before Mike found himself unable to help it. He chuckled a little, smiling. Lucy followed suit with a slight grin and giggle.

"I'm sorry for being so hostile..." Mike rubbed the back of his head.

"I'm sorry for not treating you like a friend..." Lucy absent-mindedly crossed her arms and thumbed her elbow, looking slightly sheepish.

"Still... I bet you can't beat me to the cinema." A grin adorned the Korat's face as his eyebrow rose, officially signing the challenge. It took a moment to sink in, Lucy hardly able to believe her luck. Things were finally starting to go back to the way they were.

"Oh you are so on." The Khao Manee gave a competitive stare, readying herself to dash off with her friend. But even as she pulled her leg back to prepare, Mike had already taken off ahead of her, looking back and sticking his tongue out.

"Catch me if you can slowpoke!" He called back light-heartedly. Lucy was taken aback a second, but shook her head and launched after the Korat. She had no time to be shocked, the blue cat already had the head start.

'When was the last time we raced like this?' Mike's thoughts distracting him only slightly. He remembered the field day, and all her attempts to beat him in every event he entered. It was kind of annoying... But at the same time, he didn't really mind.

"Who's the slowpoke now huh?" Lucy called out as she whipped past Mike, his thoughts having caused him to fall back a little. He grit his teeth and started to run faster, but he knew that, while he could over take her, they would be at the theatre before he managed yo do it. It was time for a little strategic thinking.

"We'll just see who wins!" He shouted as he took a sharp left down an alleyway, leaving Lucy on the main road. She turned heel and bolted after him, swerving down the same way, waving her arms about.

"Shortcuts are cheating!" She yelled angrily at her friend who had the cinema in his sights.

"I never said what path we would take!" He shouted back, tauntingly pulling an eyelid down and sticking his tongue out at her as he ran out the other side of the alley and made a beeline for the cinema.

A loud horn caught his attention. The screeching of breaks. Lucy screamed. And then... Silence...

to be continued...