Parties. Never again would Johnny attend a party, or talk to anyone who has been to a party within the last 48 hours. Sure, he hadn't screwed up his social life, but pretty much everyone around him had. It was Bea's big damn miss that really stressed him out. He talked to her a little, but didn't feel the need to bring it up. But honestly, he was mostly worried about what this meant for the rest of the year. After all, it was garbage like this that split apart friends. On the upside, it was garbage like this that sparked good ideas.
Johnny had spent the rest of the weekend at his laptop, typing until 4:00 A.M., Monday morning. His eyes went red and his finger looked bruised, but his face bore the kind of satisfied smile that only a writer has, knowing that their writing their Magnum Opus. This certainly was a magnum opus: a screenplay, feature-length, about a party. No frills, just a party. He liked that, a long movie with a small scope. It would probably have minimal dialogue, maybe Enter the Void
style visuals. The very thought of it made him giddy with excitement.
Class was nary but a swirl of ideas. He tried to concentrate, but it was fun to watch the electric tension in the room. From what he gathered, everyone had kissed everyone, blows were traded, and he watched his classmates glare at each other with pleasure. He didn't judge them- well, he did, but didn't think of it as such. It was just helpful critique, that's all.
It was at lunch that he decided he'd had enough. He was sat on the hood of his car, tearing into a packet of crisps when it happened. Marisol Castillo walked across the car park with a baseball bat. Oh, damn. He sat up a little, anticipation swirling inside him. When she raised her baseball bag at Victoire Bailey's car, however, he began to feel the anticipation turn to dread. He quickly pulled out his camera, hoping to get a good couple of shots of the incoming carnage. Truly, it was a spectacle. As soon as the baseball bat swung down, he clicked his camera. The cat-fight that ensued was enough to make him put down his camera. The teachers wouldn't appreciate it. He watched from his vantage point, but as the situation unfolded his attention was stolen away. "Poor bloke!"
He mumbled as he watched Archer Diedrikson slip out of the crowd, hurrying towards the teachers.
Archer was the nicest misfit there was. It upset Johnny that he happened to have such terrible friends. Johnny had always thought he was a nice guy, but there was something else there. Archer put him on edge, he felt like his words ran all over the place whenever they talked. It was weird, but kind of nice.
The poor guy was probably a bit stressed out by all of this car-wrecking business. He shook his head, deciding that he would maybe talk to the guy later. It was when he saw Archer leave the building that he decided he would seize his chance. "Hey, Diedrikson!"
He called, jogging over. "Listen dude, I, uh, I guess I wanted to 'check in' on you. Not very manly, I know, but, uh, I'm kinda worried about you, kid."
He put a hand on Archer's shoulder, unsure if it was weird or not. "It's just that, I wouldn't be doing so well being friends with someone who is clearly undergoing a mental collapse, so I guess its not fun for you either. I don't know what I'm talking about, ignore me."
He put his hands in his pockets, awkwardly laughing. "Just, if you want to, I don't know, chat about it or anything, we can hang out. Weird request, I know. But if you want to, say, grab lunch or whatever, I'm cool with that. Right now, if you like."
He smiled, trying to figure out if he was being nice, or asking the guy out.