When I told Lionel I was too busy to do stuff I was telling the truth.
I was still a bit afraid that if I hung out with him bad things would happen. He didn't want me to be his friend. He told me that himself. He may not have known he was telling me but... isn't that what honesty and character is? What you do and say when you think no one is there?
So I was avoiding him. Subtly.
Although I wasn't telling the full truth however, I was kinda busy. I was hanging out with Claudia, playing sports, getting ready for the Drama Club show, and I was considering joining the Mock Trial team.
This was a rare weekend. One where I actually had time to myself. Or not entirely myself. I had some tentative plans in line... nothing major... just... you know. Claudia.
But then of course it is this weekend that Lionel decides to be friendly.
"Hey Daniel, I was wondering if you wanted to do something with me and Charles tomorrow?"
"As much as I'd like to I have something going on... I may have time... what are you guys planning and when?"
"We were planning on hitting the arcade at the mall... maybe some mini-golf... a movie... and the time doesn't really matter... sometime tomorrow afternoon..."
"Afternoon huh? Could we do it in the morning?"
"Nope. Not a chance. You know Charles... hates the mornings..."
"Actually I didn't know that... never had over to my house yet... so anyways... sorry but I guess I wont be able to make it. I have the usual craziness tomorrow."
"Ok. Well if anything changes... let me know ok?"
A few minutes later I was at home, in a chair, typing away at the keyboard.
"So we on then for tomorrow?"
"You bet! Of course... I don't know what tomorrow is exactly... seeing as you haven't told me anything."
"Right lol... well just as long as you are ready to go by two o'clock ok?"
Ever since Lionel's accident I hadn't been sure as to my relationship with Claudia. She hadn't really helped me out with that confusion either. So tomorrow I was turning things up a little. I had a great day planned. It would be fun.
"Daniel where are we going?"
"Calm down Claudia! Sheesh!"
I pulled into the mall parking lot, turned the car off and opened Claudia's door for her.
"Well Daniel, quite the gentleman I see... is this what I think it is?"
I gave a nervous laugh, "Depends... what do you think it is?"
She flashed a smile, "Oh I don't know... hmmm whatever could we be doing here?"
She started to reach for my hand, but to my disappointment she stopped suddenly and pulled back. Now she was the one with the nervous laughs.
I had planned to take Claudia to a movie, do a little shopping, and maybe golf. Somehow parts of that plan sounded familiar... hmmm... I'd planning it for a while so that's probably why it rang a bell.
"So where do you want to go first?"
Claudia's eyes widened as she realized the implications of my question.
"You're going shopping with me?"
"Umm... yeah? why? Is that... a bad thing?"
"Well no... it's just... kinda odd... No- I don't mean like, odd odd... its different. Guys don't usually like to go shopping."
"Ah." Claudia looked happy, but I could have sworn there was a mischievous glint in her eye.
I soon figured out why most guys don't like to go shopping. If I didn't know Claudia, and I think I know Claudia, but if I didn't... I'd swear she'd tried to make parts of it a little awkward.
"So" she said, now laden with about 11 bags, "Where to now? It's your turn to pick."
"Yeah umm, you hungry? We can go grab some food, and then go catch a movie."
"Oh so you get to pick twice?" Claudia teased, just as her stomach grumbled.
"Yeah well it looks like you second my motion anyway." We laughed and went for the food court.
That's when it all clicked.
After ordering some chinese food I was headed back to our table, when I caught sight of a face that looked kind of familiar.
Oh no. It was Lionel. And right next to him, as always, was Charles.
I tried to sneak back to the table, but my James Bond impression must have needed some work because:
"Afternoon mate! Thought you said you were busy!"
That awkward moment where you have to account for why you blew your friends off. That was the moment I was living through right now.
"Oh... well I was bu- I mean... you see it was just a-"
Lionel cut me off by opening his mouth, and I winced in anticipation of the explosion that was sure to-
"You having a good time?"
"Are you and Claudia having a good time?"
"Yeah... I guess so... you aren't ma-"
"Well that's good. And no I'm not mad. I figured you were... taken." He said with a grin.
"You mean you reall-"
"NO! Daniel! LISTEN TO ME! I. Do. Not. Care. If. You. Want. To. Spend. Time. With. Claudia. Period."
He punched me lightly on the arm then he and Charles walked away with a:
"See ya later ol' chap!"
And that was that.