“I thought I told you not to wear lavender to work,” Bob said as he ambled down the sidewalk toward the bus stop.
“And I thought I was old enough to dress myself,” Cecil countered, walking beside him. His button-up work shirt was starched and freshly ironed and – as Bob had observed – unmistakably lavender.
“Well yes, but LAVENDER? Of all the things in your closet, I would never have expected YOU to come out.”
Cecil rolled his eyes. “Ha-ha, Bob. Another gay joke at my expense. Brilliant as ever. And for the record, this particular shade is called lilac.”
Now it was Bob’s turn to roll his eyes. “Out of the closet and into the fire.”
They reached the bus stop just as Cecil chose a suitable change in subject. “Five bucks says the bus is going to be late again,” he said as he sat down on the bench.
Bob settled beside him, unfolding his newspaper. “Are we talking fashionably late or obscenely late?”
Cecil thought for a moment. “Ten minutes minimum.”
Bob glanced at his watch. “It’s eight after one, so that will be twelve minutes from now.”
Cecil nodded, setting his lunch box on his lap. The 1:10 bus NEVER arrived at 1:10. In fact, it never arrived before 1:15. He would have ample time for a snack or three.
Bob heard the metallic click of the lunch box being opened, followed by something in plastic being unwrapped and the sound of liquid pouring. Without looking up from his paper, he knew Cecil was eating a sandwich and drinking home-brewed tea from his thermos.
“Are you sure you have time for that?” he asked, addressing the Arts and Entertainment section rather than his brother.
Cecil tried unsuccessfully to scoff through a mouthful of tuna and bread. “Pffft! I could finish lunch and write an entire symphony before the bus arrives!”
“Pride goeth before the fall,” Bob muttered boredly, turning a page.
A minute or two later, the familiar sound of a large diesel engine came roaring up the street. Bob glanced up from his paper, raising a brow in disbelief.
“Well, if that isn’t a sign of the Apocalypse, I don’t know what is!” he exclaimed, checking and re-checking his watch. “Only three minutes late! Looks like someone owes me –“ he trailed off when he turned to look at his brother.
Cecil, in his lovely lavender – ahem, LILAC – shirt, appeared to be deep-throating a banana. Upon hearing the bus approaching, he’d attempted to cram the entire thing into his mouth and was now gagging on it. To make matters worse, the hand that wasn’t gripping the banana was holding the thermos lid like a china teacup, his pinky poised daintily in the air.
The bus pulled up to the curb and the door opened just in time for the driver to watch Cecil slowly withdraw the yellow fruit from his mouth with a blush. Bob smirked, tucking the newspaper under one arm as he stood.
“You’re quite right, Cecil,” he said. “You’re not gay at all.” He checked his pockets for bus fare. “Oh, and you owe me five dollars.”