Elliot sat in the diner, in one of the booths, slouching down so that the back of his head rested evenly on the top of the cushioned seat. He watched the rain fall against the glass and wondered how many people have sat in this same spot.
The waiter took his order: tall glass of chocolate milk. That’s what his mother would give him as a child whenever he felt sad, but he’s grown now and so, a waiter will have to bring him that chocolate milk now.
Josh arrived thirty-seven minutes later and about three glasses of chocolate milk.
Elliot looked annoyingly at him as he plopped down in the seat across from him. The seat made a weird rubbing noise as denim met leather and a slight gust of air came out through a tear in the seat.
“‘Sup, sunshine? Been waiting long?” Josh offered.
“Bro, it’s been an hour. If you meant eight o’clock, why did you say seven?”
“Well, I meant seven is when I’d leave. Come on, man, I thought you’d have figured this out by now.”
“I thought, given the circumstances, you’d have rushed over here.”
“Well, you thought wrong. It’s not even that important, bro. She’s not that important.”
Elliot looked puzzled at this comment. Not important? Yes, Janelle wasn’t exactly Josh’s best friend, but she and Elliot had been together for half a decade. Surely that was enough time to make her important.
“She was important to me!” Elliot exclaimed.
“That’s just it, bro, she was important to YOU. No one else gave a crap about her. Nobody wanted to see you two actually make it. You wanna know why?”
“I don’t, but you’re going to tell me anyway, right?”
“Damn right! Just like you were going to invite her to everything we invited you to, right? She didn’t care about you. She just wanted to make you a freakin’ puppet. There wasn’t a life there for you, bro, just follow the leader and be a good little slave.”
“Just shut up, man. You don’t know anything. Just leave me alone.”
Josh was fed up. He watched his best friend slowly become a different person through the years. Janelle had sapped him of all things good. Transformed him into a shell of his former self, and now, in this diner, he realized there was no saving his friend.
“Fine! You know what, Elliot? You’re right about that. I don’t know anything. I’ll give you your privacy. You’re on your own from now on.”
Josh took a couple of tens from his pocket and dropped them on the table. “Chocolate milk is on me, you little bitch. Have fun! Oh! And if she does take you back, and she will, no one else fits the role of bitch as much as you do, do yourself a favor, grow a set of man-sized balls.”