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Kyane leaned her head against the cold hospital wall, Desmond stood next to her. They crossed their arms and scowled at each other in unison. Kyane opened her mouth to say something, until a doctor rushed by with two nurses pushing a bed with a patient in it. They barked orders at each other to try and save the patient. The ordeal was underscored by the consistent beeping of a heart monitor.
The group passed, and a sense of calm followed behind them. Every problem after a person clinging to life is meaningless. They could argue, bicker, and glare until the world ended, which was closer than Kyane wanted to admit, but it would mean less than doctors and nurses scrambling to save the patient’s life.
“I’m sorry. This is all my fault,” Kyane said. She waited for Desmond to say something. He didn’t. “Not gonna make me feel better at all?” She chuckled at her own bad joke.
“No, you’re right. It kind of is,” he said. He leaned and looked at her. Her hair shined in the overblow light, making her shine more. He smiled. She looked at him, he quickly tried to change his expression but was a bit too slow. “But I didn’t really help at all.”
Kyane snickered. “No, you didn’t.” She turned and looked at him. His brown eyes glowed in a way she thought looked like the top of freshly cooked brownies, or chocolate frosting or syrup perfectly layered on a dessert in some baking show. “Though I deserved it.” Desmond’s phone buzzed. He checked it. “Another call you’re gonna blow off?”
Desmond laughed. His teeth were perfectly straight and white. “No, it’s a text from Harry.”
“What ahh… what did he say?” She leaned to sneak a peek at his phone.
Desmond rubbed the top of his shaved head. “He’s askin’ if I found a date for our Baseball Formal?”
“Have you?” Kyane asked. “Or was that the date I avoided going on?”
“No. I mean yes, but no.”
Kyane leaned in further. “Did he send a picture of this mystery girl you’re taking?”
“I didn’t say yes yet, but…” Desmond raised his phone to show a light-skinned girl with an afro.
“She looks pretty enough for you.”
“Not the problem,” Desmond said. He turned his phone back on himself. “I ahh… I kind of… may have… no, totally slept with her friend.” Kyane punched him in the arm. “Oww!” He rubbed the arm. “That actually hurt. Like geez.”
“I work out.” Kyane pulled her sleeve up and flexed her bicep. “My grandfather is a karate sensei and he moved in and is teaching me some stuff.”
“Very cool,” Desmond said. He ogled her arm as she recovered her arm. “But… ahh, yeah. So, I don’t wanna go with her.”
“Right, right,” Kyane said. She knocked the heel of her boot against the wall. “Who do you want to go with then?”
“I mean you’re okay.”
“You are pretty absent and a jerk a lot too. Those are some massive strikes.”
“What does it drop my like score to?”
“From a ten to an eight.”
“You’re desperate. There is no way I’m a ten, or an eight. I’m like a six at best.”
“Okay you’re a four then since you’re still a jerk before, and suck at texting back.”
Kyane raises her punching hand up. “Take that back! That makes me a five at least.”
“Okay, okay!” Desmond raised his arms. “We’ll split the difference and say you’re like a seven.”
Kyane laughed. “You’re like real pushy, and stuff for a dude. Most guys are like aloof and try to be all distant and cool and stuff.”
“I’m distant and cool and stuff. I also was taught that if you want something you should do everything to get it.”
“Get it? Yeowch, that sounds gross.”
“Not like it, it, but like, do my best to get something I want.” Kyane did not seem to like that phrasing either. She scowled and cocked her eyebrow up. “Look, I like you and just want to hang out with you.”
“Even after the giant jerk I was before?’
“Yes, even after all that.”
Kyane laughed. “If I’m like a seven with being a jerk and all previous whatever you said, what does a girl have to do to be a three and below?”
Desmond looked up at the lights. He tapped the back of his head on the wall. “Not go out on a date with me even though they said yes before-ow!” He felt the solid thump of Kyane’s fist against his bicep.
Kyane moved in front of him, crossed her arms, and blocked him from going. “Fine! We will go out this tomorrow! That’s Saturday. We can go to the mall and whatever date stuff you had planned. There, happy?”
He tried to hide his smile. “Okay you were right, you are like a 6 at best.” He shot his hands up. “Joking! Joking!” he said. “That sounds great. Just don’t make it sound like a chore or something. Not making me feel great already.”
“I mean it’ll make my parents think I’m like a normal person, and not like a bed burrito in training or something.”
Desmond smirked. “You’re like a natural at this sweet talk thing. You’re almost there.” He put his thumb and forefinger two or three inches apart, he couldn’t tell. “This close,” he said.
Kyane smiled at him. “I’ll make probably make it there on the actual date then.”
Desmond returned the smile. “I can’t wait.”