Liam took a long last sip out of his slushy as he and Chris left the theatre. It was eleven, the sky was dark and looked like it could rain at any moment.
The smart thing to do was call a cab to take them back to the house.
“Let’s walk back,” Chris suggested. “It’s not that far and we’ll get home quicker than a cab.”
Obviously they were not doing the smart thing.
Liam sighed, tossing his drink into a trashcan. Normally five minutes would be wasted arguing in a cab or walking, but it was too late for that.
Liam sighed. “It’s a bad idea, but I’ll go along with it.”
Chris smiled. “Thanks! I’ve got work tomorrow and it really is quicker than calling a cab.”
Lies! Chris had the sense of direction of a blind bat, but without the echolocation!
“Fine, but I get twenty bucks if you regret this.” Liam mutters.
The corner’s of Chris’s lips quirked up, and his eyes went alight with challenge. “Bet!” He squared his shoulders and began to march forward.
“You know it’s not going to be quicker!” Liam grumbled as he jogged to catch up. “You will get lost!”
Chris led them both down the streets taking lefts and rights going even further away from their target of home. All that would have been fine if it weren’t for the “This way seems like a good direction.” from Chris and all the, “I know we take a left here!” and his faux cheeriness to keep up the pretense that he wasn’t regretting anything.
Nearly a mile later Chris was still holding tight onto that smile. “Right down this alley and we should get home!”
Liam stopped dead in his tracks aghast. “Did you forget the movie we just watched?!” He asked incredulously. “Let me enlighten you. It was ‘The Joker’!” He snapped. He was tired, his feet were sore, he had an English test the next day but looks like that wasn’t turning out well. This alley practically had a neon sign with big red letters that said. Turn back you nitwits, not safe! “Remember where the Joker’s from?” He continued with a drawl. “The Batman universe, do you recall how Batman’s parents died?”
His complaints and extremely sound reasoning went unheard as Chris grabbed his wrist. “It won’t be that bad!”
“Look, let’s just call someone.” Liam sighed as Chris pulled him though the muddy sketchy alley.
“Put your hands up and give me your wallet!” Someone shouted. A guy in a typical black hoodie and ripped jeans stepped out of the shadows. The intimidating factor was the shiny knife he held.
Liam sighed. Goodbye safety! See you some other day! Arrivederci! Sayonara! All those other nice languages! “I said that you would regret this.” He growled slowly, raising his hands.
“Who says I regret anything?” Chris scowled. He then proceeded to smile at the mugger. “Hello, sir. Give me a moment and I’ll give you my hard earned money!”
Liam’s hand connected to his face before he could think.
The mugger lowered his knife for a moment , seeming confused, he shook out of it and pointed the weapon at Liam.
“You too!” The guy shouted at him.
Liam sent the guy a look. He didn’t have much to live for this late at night. “I am a college student. Do you think I have spare cash?”
“Fair point.” The guy winced before turning back to Chris. “Hurry up!”
Chris fiddled with his wallet and opened it with a riiip.
“Is that a Velcro wallet?” The guy asked Chris, seeming confused.
“I told him to get a new one and he kept that thing for five years out of spite.” Liam mumbled
“Can I just give you all the cash and keep the wallet?” Chris asked the mugger.
The knife was lowered again in confusion. “...Sure?” He shook his head. “Just hurry up!”
“No problem, man!” Chris smiled.
“What are you doing?” Liam hissed.
“I’m taking out all my cards.” Chris responded. He held up a blue and yellow one with fascination. “Oh, my old blockbuster card!”
Liam’s mind was not working. There was a guy with a knife and Chris was treating this as though he misplaced his library card.
“How did we even get in this situation?” He asked God.
God did not answer.
Liam didn't blame him.
“Why do you even have that?”
“It could come back.” Chris said getting defensive. Out next came a library card, a Chuck E. Cheese card. A few receipts also came out of the Mary Poppins carpet bag wallet.
Liam noticed that the mugger had put the knife down and began to tap his foot impatiently. Chris finally emptied his wallet. “Here we are, five bucks is all I’ve got left.”
The mugger snatched it sulking off muttering about how hard it is for muggers these days.
The two trudged down the alley coming out the other end, still lost. Liam kept his mouth shut even as the night began to rain.
“You know the rain is actually really relaxing.” Chris began rattling off. “Maybe it will let up soon.”
Lightning struck somewhere nearby causing a loud crack of thunder to boom through the air.
He looked over at Liam, whose face was bathed in blue light from his phone.
“What are you doing?” He asked quietly.
“Calling. A. Cab.”
Chris was about to object when another lightning bolt illuminated the sky.
Once the car pulled up, the two piled in soaking wet and shivering cold. The car ride was silent, but Chris could feel a glare from Liam the whole way.
No words were exchanged when they arrived at the house and it remained that way till the next morning.
Chris came down the stairs a little sleepy, but he woke up when he saw Liam glaring at him over a glass of tea. He was wrapped up in a blanket with a rudolph nose.
“I’b sick.” He stated the glare intensing.
Chris sighed. “All right! You were right, I should have taken a cab at the beginning!”
“And I regret the whole thing.” Chris sighed, kicking the tiled floor.
Liam nodded, taking another sip of tea. “I exbect my twenty dollars tobborow.”