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Camaraderie (Short Story)

“We should get out at the next stop,” Becky suggested.

While trying to control my laughter I turned to Wizard and asked, “You think so too?”

Clearly showing signs of nervousness, he nodded.

“Guys come on, it isn’t that big of a deal. Just act natural and when they ask you, say that you are eighteen,” I said.

“Easy for you to say.” Becky lowered her voice furthermore. Wizard intervened when we came to the next bus stop, “Now is our chance.”

We got off the bus and I burst into laughter after hearing their loud sigh of relief. I started walking towards another bus stop that I knew would take us to our destination. As they followed, Becky mentioned how that was a close call and Wizard agreed. They then continued to talk about how weren’t ready to go to prison and I added that I did not have enough money to bail both of them out. Becky proceeded to tell me how she was a close friend to me than Wizard, to which wizard looked very offended.

Here’s the thing, I am a weird person who has weird friends. You probably figured that out considering that one of my friend’s name is “Wizard.” We are on our way to meet our friend Athena and Jeremy but during our commute, the transit police were checking everyone’s bus pass. Becky and Wizard happen to have a “minor” bus pass like me but unlike me, they are over eighteen. So, you can see where the issue was. I asked them to play it cool and act natural but the way they started sweating, you would think they are trying to sell the fake Mona Lisa to an art collector. Trust me when I say this, they are the best people to play “bluff” with.

In every friend group, there are certain roles that each person plays. Wizard’s name is perfect for him as he is always disappearing. In five hours we once lost him six times. One minute he is there and the next minute, “Poof” and every time he would reappear out of the blue. Athena is the wise and intellectual one. Jeremy is the quiet one who throws in the best punch lines in the most unexpected times. Becky is the naïve looking friend who will depend on your sense of direction to not get lost, but in times of need will play the opposite role. And me? I am the “mom friend.”

To be honest I can get irresponsible regarding myself sometimes but when it comes to my “children” I am always there to remind them of things they might forget. From warm clothes and umbrellas to reminding everyone that we need to catch a bus.

I remember the first time we bonded, the five of us were on a 140m long suspension bridge. I won’t say that I am terrified of heights. However, I am terrified of falling to my doom and the bridge is 70m high. As I gripped onto the railing for my dear life while cursing vigorously, I was glad that they were there. However, later, I didn’t feel the same as I came to realize that Wizard was the one swaying the bridge.

That day we enjoyed the Christmas lights, hot chocolate and a scavenger hunt for lighted owls. Things got better from there as we made our way to Church’s chicken. With somewhat greasy fingers, amazing gravy and really tasty chicken we ended up talking about the more serious aspects of life. And I hope that the unexpected camaraderie was just the beginning.

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