Definition of the Perfect Moment
It all started innocently enough. But then again, what doesn't? If I knew how this day was going to end up, maybe I never would have brought it up. Maybe I would have just ignored it and pretended that everything was okay. But I didn't. I wanted to be a good friend, and this is what happened.
It all started with a sigh...
Clyde and I sat on a park bench after school; me reading a book, him playing Grand Theft Auto on his PSP, when he sighed. Normally, I would ignore this and think he'd been arrested by the cops or killed again, but this particular sigh was the last of fifteen straight in three minutes – I started counting them after a while- and there's no way he could have lost the game that many times.
I closed my book, which had been boring anyway, and turned to him. "Okay, what is it?"
He didn't look at me, still pressing buttons on the small console. "What?"
"You know what I'm talking about." I faced him fully, one leg folded on the bench. "What's with all the sighs?"
Clyde turned off his game, not bothering to save it; stowing it in his pockets, he shoved his hands in there too, face sullen. His tone matched it perfectly. "I hear Red hooked up with Kevin."
"You heard, or you know?" I asked him, completely aware of the difference between rumors and the truth.
"I know." He said grudgingly. "I heard Red talking about it at lunch today."
"Okay, so what?"
"What d'ya mean, so what?" Clyde turned to me, whining. "You know I wanted to ask her out!"
I rolled my eyes, picking up my book to try and find my page again. "Then you should have just asked her. Why'd you wait so long?"
"I was waiting for the perfect moment." He muttered.
"Jesus, not this again." I sighed.
Clyde was outraged. "Come on, there is such a thing as a perfect moment!"
"No there isn't. That's just romantic crap."
"You're just saying that 'cuz you're rich and popular and you can get any girl you wanted with a phone call." He prodded me ruefully. "You've been deprived of any sentimental ideas, my friend. Your money has sucked it out of you."
"Oh, shut up." I chuckled. "I don't have time for that kind of mushy crap." I found my page, scanning down it for where I'd left off. "Besides, Kevin's a geek and Red's a shopaholic. I give them a week. Then you can ask her out."
Clyde sighed. "Nah, the urge is gone now. I don't want Kevin's sloppy seconds."
I laughed. "Well then, anybody else you're waiting for the perfect moment for?"
"Eh." He shrugged. "I dunno. I mean, there's this guy I've kinda had my eye on, but I don't think it's gonna go anywhere."
I didn't even blink at what some people might have called a potentially awkward revelation. Clyde had already told me he was 'bi-curious' a couple of years back; his genius idea as an excuse if I ever saw him a guy. Still though, it was the first time I'd heard him bring up an actual person of the male gender as an object of affection, but I shrugged it off. I wasn't a homophobe or anything.
I merely turned the page of my book, saying, "Well, how do you know that?"
Clyde stuck out his bottom lip, shrugging morosely. "I just do, okay? I don't think he's interested."
"It's not going to go anywhere if you don't try."
"Ehnn..." he whined, looking down.
After a pause, I looked at him, waiting. He glanced at me, obviously puzzled, and I nudged him. "You gonna tell me who it is?"
"No." He said defiantly, crossing his arms like a small child. Classic Clyde.
"Alright." I turned back to my book, reading in the silence that had descended on the both of us. A couple of minutes passed as Clyde fidgeted next to me, then glanced at me apologetically.
"It's just really embarrassing, okay?" He mumbled. "If it was anybody else, I'd tell you."
"It's fine." I chuckled, then stopped as a thought hit me. "Oh God, it isn't Craig, is it?"
"Ew, no!" Clyde made a little cross with his fingers, as if to ward off evil. "He's my friend, not my—urgh, man, can you imagine if we went out?"
Laughter burst out of me at the thought. "Do you want to scar me for life or something?"
"That's what I'm saying!"
"You'd be acting all traumatized, going, 'Oh, Token, Craig treats me so bad! He's always flipping me off! Oh, what ever shall I do?'"
Clyde snorted. "Yeah, and you'd be all like, 'That's the price of love, kiddo. A man's gotta flip people off, you know.'" He shook his head. "Nah, it's not him anyways. Eww."
"I don't get to know who it is?" I chuckled, letting out the last vestiges of my mirth.
The brunet shook his head again, eyes going down to the ground. I looked at him carefully. My best friend looked a little down, although I knew that he knew that I wouldn't think any less of him for liking a guy. We'd still be best friends and all. Well, maybe not if it was Cartman or something. Then I might have to stick him in a mental hospital, for his own sake.
I closed my book for the second time, shoving it halfway in my jacket pocket and thanking God it was only a small paperback and I hadn't brought along anything bigger. "Hey, you know Funland opened up that new rollercoaster, right?"
"Yeah, so what?"
"You been on it yet?" I asked.
"No. I don't have the money to go."
"Well, I do, and I haven't been on it yet, so let's go." I stood up.
Clyde looked at me warily. "You'll pay for everything? Candy and rides and everything?"
I sighed. "Yeah, everything."
"Sweet!" He jumped up off the bench, almost bouncing up and down in his excitement. He seemed to almost instantly forget his depression of two seconds ago. "Aw, cool we have to – we have to go on every single ride, and eat tons of junk food, and I'm gonna win me a stuffed shark!"
I walked forward a little, laughing. "A stuffed shark? Why a stuffed shark?"
"Dude, that thing's been there since forever, for years; I've wanted it ever since I was nine! The game's so hard, though, I can never get it!" He stomped his foot as he trotted alongside me.
"You stomp your foot like a girl."
"No, I don't. I stomp my foot like a man." And he did it again, for emphasis. I nodded shortly, making sure to roll my eyes when I knew he could see me. He huffed in almost silent protest.
The amusement park/year-round carnival was only a twenty minute drive from where we were, and Clyde passed the short time by singing to every song that he knew on the radio. Which was a lot. And me, being the good friend I am, only told him to shut up once.
The line for tickets was long, but eventually we got inside, and Clyde was acting like a little sugar-deprived kid and his first time inside of a candy shop.
"Okay, okay, we have to go on all of the kiddie rides first!"
Clyde looked at me like I was insane. "To build up to the better rides, duh!" He looked around. "Hey look, the teacups! I love those! Let's go on those!"
Now it was my turn to look at him like he was insane. "No, man, I'm not going on any kiddie rides. And the teacups are lame. I have dignity, you know."
The brunet cocked his head thoughtfully, glancing off toward the mentioned ride. "But everyone goes on the teacups. Like, seriously, even adults go on even if they don't have kids. Couples too. The teacups are for everyone, that's what's great about them." I was almost stunned at this infrequent showing of simple reason, when Clyde adopted a sad, fake-pitying look on his face, slipping back into his normal, careless self. His words were spoken in a mock-baby tone, and he grinned. "Aww, did the money suck the fun out of you too? Did it, Token?"
"'The money' is paying for this, so shut up." I looked at the spinning cups, finally relenting. "Alright, let's go on. But the other kiddie rides you're going on yourself."
"Yes!" He raced off toward the line, me following, albeit slower, with much less enthusiasm. "We have to spin ourselves really fast, alright? As fast as we can!"
We managed to snag a solitary cup, and Clyde spun the wheel until the world was a blur of color, me taking over once he was too dizzy. He threw up in the nearest trashcan was soon as we got off.
I waited patiently until he was done, ignoring the people who were walking by and pointedly staring. I had long gone past the point where I was embarrassed by simple things like that. I raised an eyebrow. "I told you we should have stopped spinning it when you got too dizzy." I passed him a tissue from my pocket, and he wiped his mouth on it gratefully.
"Nah, I-I think I just ate too much for lunch." He tossed the used tissue into the trashcan, perking up instantly. "Alright, what's next?"
I just sighed and steered him toward the caterpillar rollercoaster.
A couple of hours, gallons of sugar, a stop at a hamburger place and who-knows-how-many rides later, I was getting the beginnings of a sugar-stomachache, and Clyde found the shooting game and stuffed shark that had eluded him for so long.
"There it is! There it is! Oh my fucking God, there it is!" He was actually jumping up and down, pointing at it madly.
I gave him a twenty. "Yes, we all see it. Go win it or something."
Clyde gave a whoop and ran off to quickly pay and grab a gun, and in the minutes that followed, I learned something. The real reason why he'd never won it. Not because it was totally hard and rigged, or because he'd never had enough money to make it.
No. It was because Clyde sucked.
Really, there was no other—or frankly, kinder—way of saying it. He just really, really really sucked. He missed all the stationary targets, even the biggest ones, and there was more of a chance that snowballs would survive in hell than Clyde hitting a moving target. I found myself fearing for the life of the stall owner, that's how bad he was. I don't know, maybe it was because he closed his eyes at the last second before he pulled the trigger. Maybe he had some bad depth perception, although I'm not entirely certain what that might have to do with anything. Clyde whined and moaned and whimpered with every missed shot, so it was like listening to the soundtrack of a dying whale.
The first twenty and ten more dollars went into his mission, and then I finally decided to take a crack at it. Because, really, this was agonizing. But this isn't a perfect world, and I'm not a crack shot. Obviously. I lost. Obviously. But at least I managed to hit every stationary target and at least two of the ten moving ones. I got a fat, stuffed crab for my troubles, with long arms and big claws and weird bug eyes attached to the top. It was very strange-looking. If it was supposed to be cute, I wasn't sure if it had succeeded or failed epically. I offered it to Clyde, one, because if I kept it in my room, I might just have nightmares, and two, Clyde looked depressed and almost close to tears.
He always was a bit of a crybaby.
Clyde kicked at the ground miserably, shoulders drooping, and tried to surreptitiously wipe his eyes with a careless hand. It failed. "N-nah, that's okay...I'll get it next time, I know I will." He looked to his right. "Hey, look, i-it's getting pretty late. We should probably go on the Typhoon before it closes or something." He turned his back on the game, shuffling away.
I looked back at the game stall, then at Clyde's back, and finally to the strange, fat crab I held. Jesus, I really didn't want this thing. But I ignored myself, turning back to the man at the stall, pointing to the shark. "Hey, how much is that?"
He peered at me. "If you don't win a game?"
"Yeah. How much for it?"
I felt like laughing. Seriously, so much effort for one damned toy, when I could have just as easily bought it with no sweat off of my brow? For ten measly dollars? "Damn." I muttered. "Forty dollars for a shark. Okay, gimme the thing."
So I bought it, and it joined the crab in my arms as I went in the direction Clyde had gone. The shark was bigger than it had seemed, fat and plushy like its brother. It could almost have been actually cute, if it wasn't for the pitch-black tiny eyes it had and positively demonic toothy grin it wore. Really, this thing was kinda creepy. What kind of kid would actually want this in their room?
I caught sight of Clyde walking in front of me, hiding the shark behind my back; it didn't work out that well, the fins peeked around my side. I sort of found myself wondering if it would try to take a bite out of me. "Hey, Clyde!"
He turned. His eyes were dry now, if a bit red. "Yeah? What're you being all slow for? The line's probably really long."
I ignored the last part, pulling out the stuffed grey creature of my next forty nightmares. "Look what the guy gave me."
There was a moment in which Clyde did nothing. I was worried that maybe he didn't want it unless he had won it himself; manly pride or something. Then the tears came. I mean literal goddamn waterfalls, like just plain-out bawling. And I remembered that this was Clyde and he was a rollercoaster of emotional crap.
He grabbed it, hugging it tight. "He gave it to you?" Came the watery squeak.
"Yeah. Guess he must have been impressed by your determination to spend my money. Just gave it to me and told me to give it to you."
Clyde bawled harder, if possible. Luckily, it was getting late, and people were starting to leave, so we were in relative privacy. I know he hated to let strangers see him cry. "You're a crappy liar." He sobbed. "The money sucked the ability to lie from you! J-just sucked it right out!"
"Okay, okay." I patted his back awkwardly. "Yeah, I bought it. You're welcome."
He managed to calm himself down a little, staring down at the shark toy. "Y-you know, I've wanted th-this for...so long, and, you know what?"
"It's really creepy-looking." He laughed, a sob turning it quavery. "Really, really scary-looking. Like, I don't—don't even know why I w-wanted this thing!" He hefted it higher. "And it's heavy! What if it tries to eat me when I'm asleep?"
"Well," I patted him on the back again. "You're just gonna have to deal with that if the time comes. Now come on, we still have to go on the Typhoon before this place closes."
"Alright." Clyde blubbered, wiping his tears on the shark's tail. I handed him another tissue. You have to learn to carry these when Clyde's involved.
We walked on, and very soon the view of a large stretch of metal loomed over us, its shadow enveloping us as the setting sun highlighted it front behind. The newest, and possibly the greatest rollercoaster that would ever come to South Park.
Two hundred and sixty feet straight up in the beginning, ninety degrees straight down. And that was only the entree, delving into a combination of seven loops—three of them backwards and consecutive—two corkscrews, lots of nasty little dips, and another hundred-foot drop as a finale. It reached speeds of 150 mph at its fastest, and up to 4 G's of pressure. People had actually passed out in their seats. The prefect ride for all of the crazy rednecks of South Park. Which was pretty much all of them.
Seeing as it was almost time for the park to close, the line wasn't nearly as long as we'd thought, so we stowed our prizes in an empty locker easily. The line inched forward and soon we were being loaded into the very front, while a voice blared out over the speakers.
'This is the last ride of the day, people, so sit back and enjoy your ride on the Typhoon. Make sure to drag your passed out friends out of the vehicle once the ride is over. Thank you!'
The harness came down over our shoulders, as well as the seatbelts, and Clyde was looking a little nervous as the employees came around for the final check before the ride started. "Hey, um, I didn't tell my mom I'd be here, so...she'll probably be worried now, maybe I should get off and call her." He fumbled with the restraints, but they wouldn't budge.
"Dude, calm down. I'm pretty certain you'll be fine. Your mom'll understand." I looked around. We were part of the last group of people to come on the ride, and half of the seats were empty. Which might explain why we were all alone in the very front. But in all seriousness, the aloneness was a little freaky. Not to mention night was rapidly falling outside front the open doors in front of the cars, casting a dim ambiance on all of us, even with the lights inside here.
The final check was completed, and the ride bucked forward, hooking onto the chain that would take us up. I could see Clyde's face whiten as we started the slow climb up to a very high distance. I started feeling butterflies in my stomach, y'know, that anxious sensation you get when you're on a really dangerous rollercoaster that makes people pass out? Yeah, that.
We went up, up, until we were peeking over the very top, over everything else in the amusement park. Our car went over the edge, and now all of the others would follow into our desperate plunge of exhilarating terror—
And it stopped.
Right there, with our car barely over the edge, everyone still looking up as me and Clyde looked down to the amusement park floor, so very very far down, and it stopped. This hadn't happened with any of the other plunges I'd seen outside, they all just went over and down. After a moment, a tiny voice crackled to life in the speaker of every car.
'Uh, excuse the interruption, we seem to be having some technical difficulties. Don't worry, we'll have the ride up and running in a second.' The guy must have thought he'd shut off the speaker, because you could hear him yelling at somebody in the background. 'What the hell do you mean you don't know? I don't care if your ass has to go up there and connect a fucking wire, get this thing fixed! Those are sixteen fucking lawsuits up there just waiting to happen! What? What do you me—oh.' The speaker shut off.
I could hear the other people muttering worriedly behind and below us and I sighed, looking down. It was a very long way down to the floor. "And here's another ride I'll never go on again..." I muttered.
Clyde made a sort of strangled noise, and I glanced at him. The brunet was crouched—I kid you not, he was huddled in a seat that had restraints on it; don't ask me how but he was—eyes wide open and staring at the empty air in front of him, quivering from head to toe, actually trembling. His knuckles were turning white from the force of the grip he had on the restraints over his shoulder and stomach.
This guy looked absolutely terrified.
"Clyde?" No response. "Hey, Clyde, hey!" He jerked, his head snapping over to look at me. "Dude, you okay?"
"Yeah!" His voice could only be described as squeaky. "I'm totally fine!"
I raise a skeptical eyebrow at him. "You don't look like it."
"No, no, I'm okay!" I'm really, really okay!" Yeah, he totally wasn't. I looked at him carefully, then took in our situation. I sighed.
"You were watching Final Destination yesterday, weren't you?"
"You know I love the third movie!" Clyde whined pathetically. "And I didn't know we were going to Funland today!"
"Why did you even get on?" I asked, exasperated.
"I didn't think about it until this thing stopped!" He squealed. Tears came to his eyes again; dear God he was crying. Again. "Holy crap, we're gonna die, aren't we?"
Somebody below yelled for Clyde to shut the fuck up, and I took a leaf from Craig's book, turning my body in ways I didn't know it could to hang and arm far back enough over my arched body to flip all the other cars off. Believe me, it was way harder than it sounds. I turned back to look at Clyde. "We're not gonna die, alright? It's just a crappy movie. Here," I extended my hand toward him. Thankfully I was secure enough in my own masculinity to do this. "Pretend you're at the doctor's and squeeze my hand if you're nervous."
"But I hate doctors." Clyde bemoaned, latching onto my hand as if his life depended on it. Which to him, it might have, I don't know. Tears still streamed down his cheeks and he sniffled pitifully. I sighed and gave him another tissue. I was probably financing the tissue business single-handedly.
Clyde sniffled and sobbed and shook for a couple more minutes until he calmed down, and in that time four more people told him by varying degrees to shut up, one even going so far as to demand of me whether or not I could control 'that fat pussy'. That warranted a good cussing out, which I have to say, I did very happily all the while my right hand was being squeezed to death. But finally he stopped shaking and his grip on me loosened somewhat, at least enough for my circulation to resume flowing normally.
"I-I'm okay now." He mumbled, wiping his eyes with his free hand and on his fourth tissue. Of the ride, not the day, mind you. He still didn't let go of my hand. "I'm good." His watery eyes looked at me apologetically. "I'm sorry, Token, for making you do all this."
This actually made me laugh a bit, although not unkindly. "Dude, it's fine. Just think about what Craig would have had to do to keep Tweek calm if they were here; you don't see them getting pissed off at each other for it. They're best friends, and so are we, right? So, it's fine."
"Yeah..." For some reason, Clyde looked depressed at my words. "We've been best friends for a long time, haven't we?"
I chuckled at the question. "Since like, third grade, man."
"Well, what if I don't want to be best friends anymore?"
I stared at him incredulously. "What?" He wasn't actually talking about us stop being friends, was he? Jesus Christ, how do two people suddenly stop being friends, and best friends at that? What had even brought this up in the first place?
Clyde looked down at his lap, his voice dropping until only I could hear it. As if anybody else wanted to hear our conversation anyway. "What if I don't want to be best friends anymore? What if…what if I want to be m-more?" He stumbled over the word, but he gamely pushed through it.
I couldn't say anything, in shock as my mind tried to force upon me the meaning of his words and I tried to reject them. Clyde still didn't look at me as he continued, but his hand still continued to squeeze mine, desperately, anxiously. "You know that guy I mentioned earlier? The one I…had my eye on?"
One word managed to escape me. "Yeah?"
"Well…" The brunet's voice lowered even more until I was straining to hear it, just a couple of words wrapped in a truly miserable tone as he confessed what I already knew, as of three seconds ago. "…it was you."
I was so shocked, the words left my mouth before I could stop them.
"This isn't really your idea of a perfect moment, is it?"
Clyde's head shot up to look at me in a mixture of incredulousness, protest, and what could even be hopefulness, when we were suddenly jolted forward, as the chain that hooked our cars threw us onward, then two hundred and sixty feet straight down.
A/N: Okay, so but with anther one, and this one's alot more slow-paced. But I like it all the same. Anyway, thanks be to Trulybliss08 for all her amazing help, and go look her up or something.
No, I don't know the name of the amusement park in South Park, but whateverzzzz.
Umm, for those of you coming from the dark alleys of Tension and Bloodbath, welcome back and no, not nearly as much angst in here. Sowwy. For those who absolutely loved TDTF, this is kinda like it, not much, but I WILL be doing another Dip soon, so woot! More to look forward to! Anyway, welcome back and enjoy the Tyde goodness!
P.S. I don't own South Park. That's my disclaimer.