Teri hesitated before making the group stop and standing in front of them. Speaking to her three friends, mainly to Ace and Brittany, she said,
“Hey, um, guys.. I have a boyfriend now. I’ve had one for months, really.. Sorry for not telling you.. I mean, we’d dated in the past and whatnot but yeah I was just wondering if I could invite him out here today.”
Ace and Brittany replied at the same time.
Brittany exclaimed it in a more enthusiastic way, while Ace just seemed cool with it. Haylee simply gave a smile and said,
“Yep. Definitely no problem here.”
Within about fifteen minutes of Teri’s text, Michael’s car pulled into the parking lot. Teri had to refrain from charging towards it, caught up in her own excitement. A tall, skinny guy slipped out of the car and glanced around. Spotting Teri, he smiled and walked at a fast pace toward her. The two met in a happy hug, and he lifted her a bit before setting her back down, both releasing each other afterwards.
“Nice to see you..You look nice.”
He smiled and gestured to her body as he checked out her clothing in a sincere way. Of course, she didn’t know whether she wanted it to be sexual or not. Either way was nice. Turning toward her friends, she nudged Michael to remind him to wave. They waved back, finally catching up a moment later.
“Everyone, this is.. Michael,” Teri said, smiling politely. It was good that everybody was being introduced. She couldn’t disclude her boyfriend from her friend-time. They always had an abundance of fun when together, whether it be goofing off or actually playing a game with an objective. Michael continued to smile before Teri finally grabbed his hand and tugged him toward the park, turning her head back to her friends to motion them to follow. Immediately snapping out of their “polite” mode and switching over to more of a “I’m going to mess around” mode.
Sitting down at a picnic table, they all contemplated out loud what they should do. Arguing on about it for about ten whole minutes, Teri finally just stopped talking. Out of the blue, Ace shouted.
“We should pull pranks on random people!”
It was probably the best idea any of them had come up with while arguing.
“That sounds like a terrible idea,” Haylee said.
Leave it to her to say that the actually fun stuff wasn’t something worth doing. We all glared at her at the same time. Realizing that what she had said was probably the wrong thing to say, she corrected herself,
“What? I didn’t say you couldn’t. If you guys want to get in trouble, you can.”
Protests echoed throughout the group.
“But Haylee, nothing is fun without you,” whined Brittany, while Ace interjected,
“We won’t get into trouble! We all know the plan in case someone calls the police,” he paused, “Wait, does Michael?”
Teri looked thoughtful for a moment, trying to recall if she had ever mentioned it to her boyfriend or not. He gave her a questioning gaze, telling her that she hadn’t.
“I don’t think so. Well,” she turned the whole way toward Michael, “if someone in some way hints that they’re going to tattle on us, we run into the near woods and back to Ace’s house.”
Teri finished by pointing her finger toward the woods she was talking about. It was thick with brush and undergrowth, allowing for decent cover in case of an emergency. It had only happened once before, and afterwards they had come up with the plan. They finally decided to return to the park about a week after the incident occurred.
Ace was now giving Teri an evil smirk, telling her that he had already found someone to prank. He probably enjoyed being evil towards others “jokingly” the most, for he was the most guy-ish one here.
“Guys. See that lady on the bench over there with the fruit smoothie from McDonald’s?”
Everybody tried to hide looking at her the best they could, only glancing for a moment before turning their gaze away.
“Yeah?” it was Michael who spoke.
“Well, I wonder if she’ll believe how great fruit smoothies are for your facial pores and scalp.”
Everyone joined his evil smirk besides Haylee, who was obviously being her usual self: a bit slow. Teri quickly leaned herself over and whispered to her friend,
“We’re gonna somehow get her to rub it on her face or something.”
“OH!” Haylee exclaimed, laughing after everyone had just finished. Her slowness happened on a daily basis, so everyone was already used to it, not minding it at all.
“Yeah,” Brittany said, “but who’s gonna do it and how?”
“That’s what I was just getting to,” Ace replied, “You see, one of us could walk up to her and ask if she wanted to see a magic trick. Then we’d ask for her smoothie. We’d say, “this stuff can ‘magically’ make your acne and face-skin problems go away, along with your dandruff,” then dump it on her.”
Haylee frowned, “That’s just mean.”
It definitely wasn’t what Teri was expecting. She thought someone was just going to get the woman to put it on herself.
“Yeah..” agreed Teri, and Michael didn’t look too excited about it, either.
“Well,” it was Brittany who spoke, “Michael just joined our group. He should have a test to see if he really wants to be our friends. He should do it.”
For a moment, Michael looked scared. He obviously didn’t want to do it. Though, he always wanted to please everyone, so of course he’d agree to it. Teri felt so sick that she couldn’t even speak up for her boyfriend’s feelings.
He stood up from the table, as did everyone else. They couldn’t all watch from the same spot, or the lady would know it was a prank. Ace sat under a tree and pretended to study the ground, Brittany sat at a nearby bench to the woman and opened her book, while Teri sat at the same picnic table they started at, as did Haylee.
“This upsets me a lot. I wish I could have spoken up about it,” Teri said lightly, and Haylee simply nodded in reply.
By the time Michael had reached the woman, she was already looking up from her book. Haylee and Teri were sitting close enough to hear the entire conversation.
“Yes, young man?”
“Would you like to see a magic trick?”
“Can I see your smoothie?”
The woman handed it over. Michael just stood there for a few moments, staring at the woman. After a while, she started to look a bit nervous. Teri could tell that it was killing Michael to do this, for he let out his breath visibly shakily. She couldn’t stand watching anymore.
“Michael!” Teri called, standing up to start toward him and save him from doing something he really did not wish to. “I’ve been looking for you all over! I have something cool to show you.”
He glanced over, obviously flummoxed by her intermission.
“Come with me,” she pleaded with her eyes for him not to do this.
Seeming to get her notion, he handed the smoothie back to the woman.
“Creep,” Teri heard the woman mutter under her breath. Looking around, she could see the rest of her friends grouping back at the picnic table.
“Chicken!” Ace yelled at her and Michael as they approached. “He shouldn’t be allowed to spend time with us.”
Brittany was simply glowering at the two of them, obviously angered by not being able to see someone be pranked today.
“No,” Haylee said firmly, “it was a cruel so-called joke to pull in the first place. If you two don’t want to spend time with him, leave.”
Her cold words smacked a shocked expression onto their faces. Neither said a word besides glancing at each other and getting up to leave together. Teri couldn’t say she was elated that they were gone, but she wasn’t exactly going to be upset about it either. They had both acted like jerks. Sitting Michael down before plopping herself down beside him, she apologized,
“I’m so sorry..” she half-whispered to him, “I should have recognized that you really didn’t want to do it, then I should have stuck up for you..” Teri trailed off at the end.
Michael replied by simply placing a finger at her lips and smiling. It was alright.
“I’ll make it up to you somehow.”
“Yeah, you owe me,” it wasn’t said in an unkind fashion, though. More like he was hinting at something.
Raising her eyebrow at him, she queried,
“Oh? Do I, now?”
He pressed the same finger into her side and she squirmed, letting out a giggle as she did so.
“Guys. I’m here, remember? I got the jerks to leave? I know, it’s so fun watching you two be all romantic and stuff, but seriously. Cut it out,” Haylee said, being her typical third-wheel self.
Teri glanced over Michael’s shoulder at Haylee. Of course, she’d now have to do anything to make it awkward for Haylee, make things up to Michael, and at the same time prove what she had told Haylee at breakfast to be true. She gave him a half smile and he seemed to get it. Leaning in to her face, he gave her a soft kiss. It didn’t last longer than a few seconds, but it was nonetheless nice.
“Wow,” Haylee exclaimed sarcastically, “what a greatcouple you guys are, ignoring your best friend’s wishes and all.”
From what Teri could hear, she didn’t upset at all. Actually, there was a happiness to her voice. The two lovers chose to continue ignoring Haylee, though they both smiled at each other.
“That’s it. I’m separating you two,” Haylee said as she squeezed her way between the two before sighing and flipping her hair over her shoulders. “Better. Much less sexual tension.”
They all had a laugh at her comment before spending the rest of the day together in the park, having an actual good time. Haylee and Teri even thought of inviting Michael to the concert, who replied with saying that he had the money to buy a ticket. It was going to be great.