The Perfect Wingman

Wayne took a few more steps toward the kiosk. She wasn’t tall. Her pale face was framed by long straight black hair that curled slightly at the ends; presumably from the humidity. She was chewing on the end of a sucker stick, the candy having long been stripped from it. She was, without a doubt, breathtakingly beautiful.

“Afternoon. It’s three tokens for ten minutes.”

“Hi. Get a lot of business here?” Wayne asked.

“Yup, bumper cars are the big thing this summer.”

Wayne looked over at the empty queue. “Really busy.”

She smiled. “We entertain ghosts here at Harvey’s, didn’t you know?”

“How long have you worked with the circus?”

“Few years, on and off actually. I tend to stay in one town for a little while and get back with the crew when they come around the next year.”

“Oh? That sounds interesting. Guess life on the road is a little difficult. I wouldn’t know I’ve basically lived here all my life.”

“Yeah? How is it here?”

“It’s pretty good I guess. I have no big complaints.”

“You got a lot of mutes?”

“Sorry?”

She points toward Shane with the chewed end of her candy stick.

“Oh.” Shane said awkwardly. “Hi. My name is Shane.” He said, extending his hand.

She shook it. “I’m Autumn.”

“That’s a nice name. I’m Wayne, pleased to meet you.”

“Shane and Wayne huh?” She said, smiling.

“Yeah, we know.”

“So are you two like… together?”

“What?” Wayne was legitimately confused.

“Um.” Shane poked him. Speaking loud enough for her to hear but from only the corner of his mouth, he explained. “I think she thinks we’re an item.”

“An item?”

She started laughing. Even her laugh was beautiful, not annoying or too loud. It was also contagious and soon all three were in chuckles.

“No but seriously.” Wayne continued, stifling the laughter.

Shane spelled it out. “She thinks we’re gay.”

“Oh.” Wayne’s face was flush.

“Hmm, you’ve got good circulation.” She said, smiling at him.

“A part of my physiology I’m not exactly fond of, unfortunately." He said, trying to will the redness away.

“I take it you’re not gay.”

Shane shook his head slowly. “No ma’am. Matter of fact, my friend here’s not a fan of bumper cars either.”

“What are you doing?” Wayne asked, staring at Shane with a ferocity that could melt steel.

“I’m being your loyal and unwavering friend and wingman.” He said plainly to him.

“Heh.” Wayne laughed awkwardly, as red as ever. “Real funny.”

“See.” Shane continued, turning his attention back to Autumn. “My friend here was at the carnival with me yesterday and we weren’t going to come back until he happened to see you from across the fair grounds. He was so enamoured by your beauty that he dragged me out here to be his moral support as he tried to win over your heart. Now unfortunately I had one too many corn dogs yesterday and I’m not feeling so well. So in the hopes of getting this over with as quickly as possible so that I can go and hurl my guts a few more times before passing out for the afternoon; I thought I’d just lay it all out on the table.”

“That you sure did.” She said, a little shocked.

“Excuse me for a moment would you?” Wayne said, grabbing Shane and pulling him into the crowd. “What the hell are you doing?”

“You know earlier Wayne when I was asking how it is that you always got the girl? I figured it out.”

“What?”

“It’s me. You always bring me. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason I’m the only reason you get your girl. “Shane and Wayne”. I’m the perfect wingman.”

Wayne stood there, shocked once again. “But-”

“No but. When’s the last time you tried to pick up a girlfriend without me? Huh? Can you even think of a time I wasn’t by your side?”

There was silence, Wayne had let his arm go. “No actually, I can’t.”

“So my fate is to support your bad habit like you buy me cigarettes.”

“Bad habit?”

“I am sorry for being so blunt earlier, but I still stand by my conviction. You need to take a break from girls.”

Wayne was startled suddenly by a tap on his shoulder. When he turned around, Autumn was standing just a few feet away. “Hi.”

“Here.” She said, passing him a folded piece of paper. “Call me tomorrow after four, we‘re closing early.” She smiled and walked away.

“Wait!” Wayne reached out and took her arm, letting it go immediately as if he had grasped a fragile crystal. “I um… this is a little embarrassing but I don’t actually have a phone right now.”

“Well then.” She made direct eye contact until Wayne looked at her nose in avoidance. She smiled. “Come and meet me here.”

“Alright… after four?”

“After four.” She confirmed. “See you then.”

“Yeah.” He said, a little dumbfounded at what just happened.

Shane was standing behind him, shaking his head slightly. “And it begins again.”

“Shut up.”

“So, now that you got your princess, can we go find me a bridge troll?”

“What?”

“I’m serious, you’re coming out with me tonight and we’re getting wasted.”

“But I’ll be hung over for work, and my date tomorrow.”

“So you can feel what I felt like today.”

“That’s an evil plan.”

“You deserve it for dragging me out here.”

“Hey wait. If you’re sick, how come you want to drink tonight?”

“Wayne, you know me. Alcohol is my elixir.”

Wayne nodded. “Yeah, I suppose that’s how your bridge trolls become princess’ ”

“Precisely.”

The End

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