"Buford? Will you put me down now?" The smaller boy was being carried under the arm of the larger one.
"Nope, not yet," said the aforementioned larger boy, Buford.
"Can I at least take the blindfold off?" Baljeet asked.
"Nope. You can't see where we're going."
"That is making me feel very uneasy."
"Just calm down. You'll be okay. I'm not gonna throw ya off a cliff or anything."
This drew a loud whimper from the smaller boy.
Buford sighed and continued walking. He liked the feeling of Baljeet in his arms. Baljeet was really light, and just like a little carry-on bag, except he talked.
Baljeet, meanwhile, was having similar thoughts. I am liking this feeling of being carried. Buford was warm, and Baljeet always felt protected and safe whenever he was with him.
It was the last day of summer before their freshman year, and both boys were to go to the same high school.
Puberty had gotten a hold on both of them since they were kids. Buford, when he was younger, had been stocky, but he had since then grown and slimmed out. Years of dental work had even fixed up his uneven smile. He had, however, buffed up, and you could see the muscles in his arms and chest when he walked. Girls who were fond of the "bad-boy" type flocked toward him and he had a steady group of followers.
Puberty had also been kind to Baljeet. His voice had lowered considerably, and he had grown much taller. He had lost his old baby look and gotten quite handsome. Many girls were getting in their looks at him as well.
However, despite all this, Baljeet was still much smaller than Buford, and the bully wasted no time in taking advantage of that fact. Buford got his bullying and fun, but Baljeet got protection and safety. Theirs was a very reciprocal relationship.
Throughout the years they had even learned to enjoy each other's company. Eventually they had gained the status of best friends, or Those Two Guys, and some people had even started seeing them as more, making them Heterosexual Life Partners (or even Mistaken For Gay). However, they might've been just gay. No one who valued their life ever really dared to ask Buford
or Baljeet, since the two seemed to be connected at the hip.
"All right. We're here!" While both boys had been deep in their musings, Buford had arrived at their destination. He set the smaller boy down and let Baljeet remove the blindfold.
The fair?" Baljeet looked around and saw more rides, games, and carnival treats than he could count. He looked back at Buford, who was standing behind him, beaming. "Why did you take me to the fair?"
"School starts tomorrow! High school! We're gonna be freshmen, 'Jeet. Not kids anymore. And you've had your head stuck in the books, studyin' all summer. So I saw, screw school, it's summer! We got one more day as kids, so let's use it to play as kids
for one more day!"
Baljeet was surprised, but pleasantly so, and he quickly agreed without a moment of thought. The two entered the fair, and on Buford's treat, they went on the rides, played the games, won prized and ate more funnel cake and popcorn than was possible to stomach.
At the end of the day, both boys were exhausted but exhilarated. Baljeet carried a very large stuffed panda bear Buford had won for him, and Buford carried a much smaller but still large stuffed goldfish that Baljeet had painstakingly won.
Both boys were carrying huge ice cream cones and taking licks out of their own and the other boy's every so often.
"So? How was it?" Buford asked, taking a big chomp out of Baljeet's strawberry ice cream and then handing it back.
"It was a lot of fun!" Baljeet replied, motioning for Buford to hand over his own ice cream for Baljeet to try.
Buford sighed and handed over his chocolate cone, saying, "See? I toldja. I knew you'd love it."
Baljeet licked at Buford's ice cream, then handed it back, preferring his own strawberry cone. He licked at it, and then said, "I did like it. It's been a very great day, but I must get back to studying, for school tomorrow
"Studying? No way! We got one day, let's have fun! We got one day, let's have fun with it! We could see a movie, and then head over to my place for some sleep
or we could just go hang out at the mall, then my place
or the arcade, then my"
"Wait, I must sleep over, too?" Baljeet interrupted. "I will never get to see my books again!" He looked like he was on the edge of total breakdown.
"Relax! I told your parents you'd stay over tonight and they sent you your stuff. Books too." Buford made a face. "No fun, though." Buford leaned over and took another chomp out of Baljeet's ice cream, which was still in Baljeet's hand. He then straightened up happily. "Yum, strawberry."
Baljeet didn't say anything, just continued licking at his cone, trying to smooth over the area where Buford had taken his huge bite.
Finally, after a few moments of thought, he replied, "Let's go to the arcade."
They both walked over to the large Danville mall, where there was a huge arcade, along with a movie theatre, mini-golf, and laser tag. Along the way they stopped at Buford's house to drop off their stuffed animals and for Baljeet to check if all his stuff had been delivered.
Buford watched Baljeet go through the overnight bag his parents had packed for him. "Got your books?"
The smaller boy nodded.
"Good. Then let's get goin'!"
Upon arriving at the arcade, the boys looked around in awe at the flashing lights and darkened room. Both their eyes were bright it was a teenage boy's paradise.
They spent hours pumping quarters into the machines, playing the two-players and cheering each other on for the one-players.
Baljeet found himself surprisingly good at one of the newer first-person shooters, and the game kept giving him more free levels as he went further into the game. A lot of people wanted to play, so every time Baljeet gained a level, the guys grouped around the machine gave a loud, irritated sigh.
Baljeet had been there for some time (with Buford cheering him on) when one of the guys in the waiting crowd, a big, muscle-bound upperclassman, suddenly grabbed at Baljeet's collar and pulled him up so the two were face-to-face. "Hey," the guy said, angrily. "I've been waiting here for three freakin' hours. So right now, you are getting off the stupid machine and letting me and my buddies here play. Understand?"
Though it had very obviously not been three hours, Baljeet whimpered and nodded. Buford, however, was furious. "Don't you go talking to my nerd that way." He glared daggers at the older teenager. "Only I talk to my nerd that way. Anyone else threatens him and I send 'em to an early grave." He pounded his fist into his hand.
"Your nerd, huh?" The older guy sneered, then dropped Baljeet, saying, "You kids aren't worth the energy." He walked off, along with most of the crowd, to a different game.
Baljeet sat on the floor where he'd been dropped, breathing heavily.
"Hey, are you okay?" Buford asked.
The smaller teen nodded.
"Good. Then get back to the game. Hurry up and die. People are waiting."
Baljeet returned to the game and was promptly gunned down.
The two boys left the game and decided to call it a night. They walked back to Buford's home, talking all the way about the games they had played and the high scores they'd achieved. Neither boy was thinking about school in the morning, and when they had reached Buford's house, they were surprised to find that it was two in the morning.
"Ah, what do we do?! School starts tomorrow and I can't live on four hours of sleep!" Baljeet exclaimed as they shuffled to get ready for bed.
Buford climbed into his bed and hugged to his chest his old teddy bear and his new stuffed goldfish. "It's fine. Just get up later."
Baljeet slipped into his sleeping bag on the floor. "That's crazy! I need to get up at six!"
Buford exhaled in a huff and said, "Fine. Wake me when you get up." He usually woke up very late, at around 7:30 or 7:40, but he knew he wouldn't be able to sleep with the other boy awake and bustling around trying to get ready anyway.
Both boys were silent for some time as they thought and tried to sleep, until Baljeet said quietly, "Buford? Thank you for saving me at the arcade."
"No problem. The guy was being a jerk. It's my job to protect my nerd, right?"
Another long silence, then Baljeet said, "I'm glad we stayed up late today and spent our last day of summer as kids. It was fun."
"Yes. What is that phrase again, that you used, before we went to the fair?"
Both boys were again silent. Then