The Secret Lives of Heroes

Valentine, part 1

February 7th, 2016, 2pm(ish)

“Oh, my head!”

Flow sat at a booth at the King’s Crown Arcade and Diner with her friend Trina, rubbing her temples as she stared into the Omurice she had just ordered. It had the audacity to look delicious, while she felt gross.

“Well, if you hadn’t drank so much, your head wouldn’t hurt, am I correct? You let your family bully you into drinking again?”

Trina, Flow’s rather straight and wooden friend, was drinking a malted milkshake while going over her budget for the student council as she chastised her friend. Flow was an exchange student whose host family was notorious for throwing wild parties. The girl was no stranger to drinking, but she just couldn’t keep up with them, resulting in hangovers.

“Well, I can’t say no…”

“Yes, yes you can, that’s the whole point of saying no. In fact, consent is…”

A loud group of girls, The Gaggle, walked into the Diner, interrupting Trina’s lecture, and introducing another noise to cause Flow to see spots. The Gaggle was made up of Jenny, Minney, Misty, Charda, Sally, and Kelly. As there name indicated, they made a large bit of noise as they walked in, talking about the upcoming Valentine’s Day dance.

“Ohhh…my head…”

Flow gripped her temples once more, massaging them as she complained about the noise. Trina, for her part, rolled her eyes as the girls went on and on about boys, dresses, the works. What a waste of time. If they only knew what was coming in a week…


Red.

The joyous color of luck, cherries, tomatoes, and Jenny’s face.

The 16 year old glowered and shook as she stood, a chocolate milkshake all over the front of the dress she had purchased for the school’s Valentine’s day dance. She hadn’t seen the upperclassman, Zack, carrying a chocolate milkshake, until she had run into him and caused the stain that now appeared on her dress.

Sidney Warner, the owner of the establishment and Zack’s best friend, leaned out from behind the counter, assessed the situation, taped his friend on the shoulder and gave him a key bit of advice.

“Zack, one word: Run,”

Unfortunately, Zack, foolish man that he was, chose to stand his ground, as he cocked a cunning smile. He pointed a Jenny’s front.

“You, ah, got a little something on yo…”

BASTARD!”

Jenny screamed at the top of her lungs, stomping her feet and clenching her fists in rage. Zack smiled and chuckled a little as he reached for some ice water and a napkin.

“Whoa, whoa, I’m sorry, let me get that for you, although, in all fairness, it was you who ran into me, and why are you wearing something like that anyway?”

Flow clapped her hands over her ears as she hunkered down in the booth she sat in, knowing that this was not the correct thing to say.

WHAT! YOU RUINED MY NEW DRESS! WHO CARES WHY I WAS WEARING IT?”

Zack scoffed as he looked the dress over.

“I mean, if I’m honest, I may have improved it…”

An audible oohh fell over the room. Minney and Misty began chanting Jenny’s name, while Charda Snapped the whole thing, Kelly smiled in delight, and Sally began grabbing things that Jenny could throw at Zack and moved them away from her friend. Jenny, somehow, turned from red to white, looking devastated.

“You…you…you…”

“Cat got your tongue? Or is it just me?”

Charda shook her head.

“You know, you’re only making this worse for yourself,”

Zack nodded. “Hey, Jenny, I was just kidding with you, trying to lighten the mood!” Zack claimed, trying to keep his composure while in the midst of the monsoon that was Jenny. “Why don’t you just cool down, and…”

“Cool down!? COOL DOWN!? Hey, I’ve got an idea, why don’t YOU COOL DOWN? Here, I’ll help!”

Jenny grabbed Trina’s milkshake directly out of her hands and splashed it all over Zack’s treasured suede jacket. Now it was his turn to get angry as Jenny immediately snickered. Minney, Misty, and Charda proclaimed victory while exchanging high fives with Kelly, and Sally had now slowly walked away from the Gaggle, sitting on a nearby stool at the counter while muttering a thousand apologies to Sidney.

And Zack?

He let his mouth hang open while making small noises that let everyone know his anger. However, within moments, Zack, again, being the foolish, silly, ignorant, and sorely deceived man that he was, did something that no one in the group expected, nor would have ever dare to attempt themselves.

He laughed.

Yes, a little chuckle escaped from the man’s lips, and the effect it made on the individuals in the group was quite varied greatly. Charda’s eyebrow went up in mute confusion. Minney and Misty, began once more rooting for their friend, chanting, "Jenny. . . Jenny. . . " in low, but encouraging tones. Sally peeked momentarily between the fingers that were covering her eyes, and then went back to her random muttered apologizes , and Sally’s face now had the absolute biggest grin on it. As for Trina and Flow, they decided enough was enough, and tried to sneak out of the arcade quietly, like many of the other patrons witnessing the unfolding events were attempting to do.

Sidney sunk low behind the counter, telling people that they no longer had to pay their bills as long as they didn’t leave bad yelp reviews.

“Zack? Buddy? You okay? I mean, that’s your favorite jacket, isn’t it?”

Zack nodded as he laughed, now hysterically.

“Didn’t it belong to your now father? The one who, you know, is dead?”

Zack nodded again, laughing even harder, as the faces of the girls changed to pity and horror at what their friend had just done. However, for her part, Jenny had lost her grin, and was now even angrier. A growl was developing in her throat, and growl that would have put even the most rage induced lion to shame.

She took a step forward, and put her hand in front of Zack’s laughing face, allowing four fingers to fall, leaving all but one standing.

FUCK. YOU. ZACK,”

With that, Jenny span around and stormed out of the diner. Her friends, shocked, followed, muted in their response, save Sally, who take out a few hundreds from her wallet and placed them on the counter, still muttering apologies and refusing to take the money back, and Misty, you complained about wanting to get something to eat.

Zack had slowly stopped laughing, as he wiped the tears of laughter from his eyes and took off his jacket.

“She. . .she just flipped me off there, did you see that?!”

“I did, and I’ve seen her when she’s angry at the arcade machines. You should be glad she didn’t deck you. I have to get a machinist to buff out the dents she leaves in them!”

By now, Sidney had grabbed a mop and was cleaning up the now desolate diner.

“So, are you still going to go through with this silly plan of yours. . . even after all of that?”

Zack glanced up at his apron-clad friend with a sparkle in his eye.

“Of course. Why wouldn’t I?”

“Well, first of all, Jenny now hates you. And second off. . . geez, I don’t even need a ‘second’. She hates you, Zack!”

“You underestimate me, my good man,” Zack remarked.

“We shall see,” Sidney commented, deciding to humor his friend.

“Yes, we shall.” Zack said, with a smug look on his face.

“And when does the first part of your ‘brilliant’ Valentine’s Day scheme come into effect?”

“This afternoon. She’ll find it when she gets home actually,” Zack announced with a satisfied smile. “Do you think she suspects?”

“Not a chance.” Sidney laughed. “Not a chance in the world,”

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EugeneGM

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