This is a story about a seventeen-year-old man who is so proud of his distaste for relationships, and only cares about what matters to him and his only friend, Desmond. However, they quickly discover that they are both interested in the same girl and it really tests how long Leon can be loyal to Desmond for, before he gives in to his desires and puts their friendship on the line.
Sometimes we are forced to choose between two things – sometimes two people – which both hold equal value to us. It’s never an easy decision, and more often than not, the two things people must choose between is friendship or love. And no matter which you decide is more important, you will lose. This is the story of one of those predicaments; a story of a seventeen-year-old boy who must choose between his best friend and a girl he loves who happens to be his best friend’s girlfriend.
His eyelids slowly drifted apart on a cold Tuesday morning. He knew as soon as he had awoken that the holidays had come to an end and it was time for him to start his first term as a year eleven student. He heard his mother calling from just outside the room, telling him to get up. He rolled out of bed with a grunt and stumbled over to his dresser where he grabbed his school clothes. He opened the door and saw his mother just outside his room.
“Oh good, Leon. You’re up. I just wanted to make sure you actually woke up before I left.”
“Mmm,” Leon grunted and he walked past her. He dropped his clothes in the bathroom and turned to enter the kitchen. He heard his mother leave, and he had begun making coffee. After a few more minutes, he heard somebody knocking on his front door.
“Oh, for Christ sake,” he said under his breath. He grabbed his cup of coffee and walked towards the front door, and when he opened it-
“Hey, Leon. Why are you still in your pajamas?”
This was Leon’s best friend for seven years. “I don’t know, Des. Maybe it’s because I woke up five minutes ago.”
“Why aren’t you having your morning coffee like always, then?”
“I was in the middle of making it. Then you came knocking on my fuckin’ door.”
Leon stepped to the side and held door to allow Desmond entry. Since Leon and Desmond had been best friends for so long, Desmond had always gone to Leon’s house where they hung out before they left for school. Desmond walked straight in and turned Leon’s PlayStation 4 on without asking and began playing “Grand Theft Auto.” Leon walked past him with his eyes almost completely shut, and mumbled, “Coffee?”
Desmond shook his head, but Leon had almost missed it; being drowsy. He returned to the lounge room with Desmond shortly after and sat down to watch while he drank.
“So,” said Desmond, “how do you think this year’ll be?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, how eventful will it be? Not much has happened the past few years. Most that’s happened to me the past three years was getting a girlfriend and that was two years ago.”
“So you’re asking me if I think I’ll be in a relationship? Me?”
“Look, Lee, I know you always say you hate them, despise them and they – how did you put this delicately again? – Oh right, they make you want to regurgitate. But trust me—“
“No, you trust me, Des. Teenage years aren’t a time for fucking around with girls. It’s a time to focus on your school life, do well, and get a good job to provide for oneself in the future. We don’t need such interactions at such an age. It’s despicable.”
Desmond rolled his eyes in concede and resumed playing his game. After about thirty seconds of silence, Leon turned to him again, “No. I don’t think anything ‘eventful’ will happen this year – not to me.”
“Right,” Desmond said with a chuckle, “so you can focus on school. And by focus on school, you mean sitting in front of your computer, learning senseless crap about their hardware, and playing ‘The Legend of Zelda’ while you listen to metal music?”
Leon wasn’t sure how to respond. He finished his coffee and stood up, “I’m going for a shower. Won’t be long.”
After he had gotten out of the shower, he was dressed and ready to go. He walked down the hallway to rejoin Desmond.
“You ready?” Said Leon.
“Yeah. Let’s go,” and they began walking to school.
“I know you think it’s disgusting,” began Desmond, “but I think you would be much happier in a relationship.”
“Des, look, let’s say for a moment that I did want a relationship, hypothetically. I’m not very popular; you’re my only friend. I don’t know what girl would want to be with me anyway.”
“You aren’t popular because you act so pessimistic and negative about everything not to do with video games, music and computers. Seriously, and I can even help you! You just need to—“
“Shut up? Yeah, YOU do. And don’t ever condescend to me; I don’t need help.”
“You mean, ‘don’t anthropomorphise me’, right?”
After they finally arrived at school, they headed to the one place they always sat at whenever they weren’t in class. It was always just Leon and Desmond. However, Desmond was off grabbing Leon’s and his timetables for the year, leaving Leon to sit by himself. He didn’t mind being by himself, though. He just sat in the corner, listening to his favourite band, Sonata Arctica. He was almost completely lost in his favourite song of theirs, “Full Moon,” when Desmond had approached him at last. Popping out his left earphone, he heard Desmond.
“Here,” he said, handing Leon’s timetable to him, “we’ve got English first, and then music. After lunch we have…” he looked closely at his timetable, “Maths! Brilliant.”
He sat down next to Leon. “You know, I’ve always wondered how things would have turned out if things worked out between Brie and I,” said Desmond, “I mean, I was so freaking happy.”
“Mm. I kinda miss having Brie around, myself actually,” said Leon. “I’m sorry, man. It sucks that it didn’t work out. But you keep holding out and I’m sure you’ll get into another sick, disgusting relationship with some other woman soon enough.”
Desmond stood up. “Well, we should head off to English now then.”
When they finally arrived to class, they glanced around: typical, they both thought to themselves. Every class they had ever been enrolled in was full people they both hated. They took two empty seats in the back corner of the room. Leon turned his music back on and kicked his feet up onto the table waiting for the teacher.
“Do you ever listen to anything besides Sonata Arctica?”
“Ha. Why would I ever need to?”
Their first English lesson seemed to drag out forever, but in reality it had only lasted an hour. Music was a subject that Leon and Desmond both highly enjoyed, and they had that right after English. They had both been looking forward to their first music lesson; Leon was very passionate about playing the piano.
“And that’s another problem with you, Lee. You won’t meet any women if you play the fucking piano.”
“Oh, you’re right,” said Leon in retaliation, “Why would girls go for a pianist when they can get with some dumb prick who knows how to hit a few barrels with wooden sticks over and over? You know what they say about drummers. Plus, to reiterate, I don’t WANT to meet any girls for Christ Sake. Relationships are nothing but trouble,” Leon finished, as he played the same five notes in fast sequence on the third-highest octave on the piano in front of him.
“Okay, everybody sit down!” called the teacher, and Leon obeyed and took a seat next to Desmond. He begun by introducing himself to the class and running over the basics of music-
“…And I’ll assume everyone knows the difference between a treble clef and a bass clef? Yes? Okay. And how many of you can actually read music in here?”
Leon turned to Desmond, “Fuck, this is boring. I thought we would actually learn something, not sit on our asses learning about the simplest crap—Oh, sorry. I forgot you’re a drummer and don’t know any of this.” Leon winked and began to laugh under his breath as Desmond nudged him and smirked. The teacher fell silent as he heard a knock on the door. The teacher called across the room, “Come in!”
Everybody’s gaze was fixed upon the door, now. They watched the door swing open, and as it did, most people just turned back to the front of the classroom; Leon’s gaze, however, was still fixed upon this newcomer at the door. Without noticing, Leon’s jaw dropped the tiniest bit, separating his lips very slightly, and his eyes widened. He felt his nerves quickly shoot through his body as she began to speak.
“Hi, my name is Alice.”