The Start of Fourth Grade
It was Sunday, September 7, 2003. It was Sunday morning at Steve’s place. Steve and Kevin were at the dining room table eating cereal for breakfast.
Steve’s parents came into the dining room.
“Steve, Kevin, I and your Mom have some very exciting news to share this morning.”, Kevin Sr. informed.
“I’m pregnant!” Anna exclaimed happily.
“Again?” Kevin asked her.
Steve replied, “Wow, that’s great to hear, Mom. And I always thought Matthew was gonna be the last baby of the family before we start having children.”
Kevin added, “Yeah, and it’s been like five years since Matthew was born. Any who, we’re both glad another human is going to be added to the family.”
“It’s so nice to hear that from you guys.”, Anna spoke very happily.
“So, when is the new kid expected to arrive?” Steve asked them.
“Probably sometime in early May of next year.”, Kevin Sr. replied.
“Any more questions?” Anna asked them.
Kevin raised his hand.
“What’s the gender of the baby going to be?”
“We decided to keep that secret until the baby is born.”, Kevin Sr. replied.
“Where is he or she gonna sleep?” Steve asked them.
Kevin added, “Yeah, we both share the same bedroom. So, he can’t sleep in our room. It may get a bit crowded in there.”
Steve added, “Plus, he can’t sleep in the room where Cody and Matthew sleep. It may get a bit crowded in there as well.”
Anna replied, “Oh, we already talked about that. We’re turning the game room into the baby’s own room.”
Kevin Sr. added, “That way, he or she won’t have to share his or her room with anyone else.”
“But me and Steve love our game room.”
“Why can’t he or she sleep in the living room or basement?” Steve asked them.
Kevin Sr. replied, “Because the living room isn’t a bedroom. And I don’t think the general manager of this apartment complex would allow a kid to sleep in the basement. Therefore, there are no other options left.”
Kevin sighed. “Okay, fine. If it means that our future brother or sister gets his or her own room, I’m down.”
Steve added, “Yeah, and besides, family is way more important than video games. We support your decision.”
Anna replied, “I’m so proud to hear you two say that. That was very mature of you as well.”
“So, when do we start turning the game room into a new bedroom for the baby?” Steve asked them.
Kevin Sr. replied, “We might start getting rid of the game room Tuesday night. That will be the first night after the first day of school for you two.”
“Okay, we want to help.”, Steve replied.
“Yeah, what he said.”, Kevin added.
“Okay, you two can help us out.”, Anna replied.
Kevin Sr. informed, “And that’s all the news we had to share for now. You kids enjoy the rest of your morning.”
Then both parents went ahead and exited the dining room. And both boys continued eating breakfast.
“Hey, Kev, we all still haven’t figured out what the baby’s name should be yet.”
“Well, maybe we’ll eventually come up with a name in the afternoon.”
Then both boys resumed eating their cereal.
It was Tuesday, September 9, 2003. At Robert Burns Elementary School, some of the gang sat down to eat lunch in the school lunchroom. “Well, looks like we finally made it to our first school lunch of the new school year.”, Steve commented.
“Yeah, and I’m so glad to be part of the gang to start the new school year.”, Cody replied.
Brad informed, “Well, you earned it since Kevin is off to middle school. You were the right dude to take your brother’s place only during school hours.”
Jessica replied, “There’s still no one available to take Jamal’s place during school hours now that’s he’s moved on to another elementary school.”
“Yeah, but at least we still get to see Jamal and Kevin outside of school.”, Ariana added.
“Stacy could take Jamal’s place during school hours.”, Nathan realized.
“That’s not possible. Stacy has also moved on to sixth grade.”, Steve replied.
Nathan commented, “Another thing that’s changed this school year is the fact that Jamal and Amanda are finally together along with Steve and Ariana.”
Amanda replied, “Yeah, it’s too bad that we have to be together at different schools. I’m starting to miss him already. I can’t wait until school is over.”
“Well, me and Steve don’t have to be together from different schools.”
Steve added, “That’s right. And that’s why we’re the better couple.”
“Says who?” Amanda asked them.
“Says us.”, Ariana replied.
“Hey, how about this?” Brad asked them. “Maybe the four of you could go on a double date. It’d just be the four of you at whatever location you all ultimately decide on. And it’d be your first-ever double date.”
“I’m down.”, Steve replied.
“Count me in as well.”, Ariana added.
Amanda replied, “I’m in, but I’ll have to see if it’s okay with Jamal.”
Steve spoke, “Or you could wait until the next time we get together outside of school for band practice.
“Well, I guess tonight sounds perfect.”, Amanda replied.
“Actually, tonight doesn’t sound perfect.”, Cody commented.
“Why not?” Amanda replied.
“Because our family has another sibling on the way, and I forgot that we had to help out our parents with turning the game room into the new baby’s new bedroom.”
“Wow, we’re all so glad to hear that.”, Amanda replied.
“What’s the baby’s gender?” Brad asked them.
Cody replied, “Our parents are keeping the baby’s gender a secret until the baby is born, which seems like an eternity away.”
“Sounds pretty long the way you just described it.”, Jessica commented. “When is the kid expected to be born?”
“Sometime in early May. 2004.”, Steve replied.
“Wow, that does seem like an eternity away.”, Nathan added.
Cody replied, “Also, he or she is gonna be the first kid of the family to be born in this decade. The rest of us were born in the nineties.”
“Where will he or she sleep?” Ariana asked them.
“The game room just as we mentioned earlier.”, Steve mentioned.
“That’s so thoughtful and sweet, but so sad at the same time.”, Amanda added.
“Have you all thought of a name yet?” Brad asked them.
“Not yet.”, Steve replied.
“Okay.”, Brad replied. “Now, what were we all talking about again? It totally slipped my mind.”
“We were all talking about their potential double date.”, Cody replied.
“Oh, right.”, Brad replied. “So, is this potential double date official?”
“All of us agreed except for Jamal since he’s not here.”, Ariana replied.
“Well, since tonight won’t work to ask for my boyfriend’s opinion, what about tomorrow night?”
Steve replied, “Okay, that’ll work. We can all get together for band practice after school either in the afternoon or evening. Then you can ask him.”
“Sweet!” Amanda exclaimed.
Cody added, “And if something else comes up regarding the upcoming baby or anything else, we’ll let you know.”
“Okay.”, Amanda replied. “I hope this double date happens without any interruptions.”
“You know, another way to ask him would be to call him on his cell phone.”, Nathan suggested.
“Yeah, but not right now. It’s not long before lunch is over, and class starts again.”
“Here’s an even better question.”, Cody informed. “Who’s the better romantic couple when it comes to playing Madden?”
“Hey, that’s a great idea for your potential double date! Madden bragging rights.” Nathan commented.
“Here’s an even better question.”, Brad informed. “Who’s the better romantic couple when it comes to playing EA Sports NHL?”
“Another great idea for your double date.”, Nathan added.
Steve replied, “The four of us will decide what to do for our first-ever double date if Jamal decides to say yes.”
Nathan added, “I wonder when the rest of us will ever find a girlfriend or boyfriend.”
Ariana replied, “No worries. The time will come for the rest of you when it comes.”
Jessica added, “But you do have to give Jamal and Steve credit. Their good looks made them become not single before they could even hit puberty.”
Then the school bell rang, and it was time for everyone to head back to class and resume learning. All of them got up to head back to learning. “Hey, that’s the first school bell of the new school year after lunch.”, Nathan commented.
“Hey, no one cares.”, Cody replied.
Then Steve and Cody walked away. And so, did the rest of the kids. And as a result, learning had resumed that day.
It was Wednesday, September 10, 2003. During the late afternoon, I and Amanda were in my room. “So, what did you wanna ask me before the bad starts practicing?” I asked her.
Amanda sat down on my bed. “Sit.”, Amanda spoke with a smile. I sat down next to her.
“Is it okay with you if the four of us all go on our first-ever double date together?” “It’d be just you, me, Steve, and Ariana. I, Steve, and Ariana all said yes. Now, it’s up to you.”
“Sure, sounds cool with me.”
“Cool!” “Come on, let’s head back down to the basement so the band can-.” Then Amanda noticed something near my bedroom TV. “Is that really what I think it is?”
“It is. The original PlayStation. I finally have my own video games now.”
“Now, I don’t have to use other people’s games and game consoles every time I visit someone. Or when they visit me. Now, I know it’s not the PlayStation 2. But something is always better than nothing.”
“Speaking of something, did you know that your best friend is expecting another younger sibling next year in early May?”
“Wow, I did not know that.”
“So, what games do you have on your PS1?”
“I’ve got Spyro the Dragon, a few Crash Bandicoot games, NBA Live 2000, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Frogger, and there’s even more where that came from.
“Me and you should get together sometime and play a few of your games.”
“Okay, I’d love that.” “So, is Steve’s new and upcoming sibling a brother or a sister?”
“We’ll answer all the questions you have about the upcoming baby later. I think it’s time we head down to the basement. The rest of Two Seconds to Detroit are probably becoming a little impatient by now.”
“Alright, you head down there. I’ll be down there in a quick second after I get my camcorder.”
“Okay.” Then Amanda got up from my bed. And Amanda left.
I got up to go get my camcorder.
Amanda came back. “You know, school just isn’t the same without you and Kevin there. It’s only been two days, and three school days already feel like years instead of days from my point of view.”
“I know what you mean. I’ve been feeling the exact same way at my new school.”
“Well, I’ll see you down there.”
Then Amanda stopped talking and exited my bedroom to go down into the basement of the apartment complex. I got my camcorder. And I exited my bedroom to go down into the basement of the apartment complex.
It was Saturday, September 13, 2003. It was in the afternoon. I and Amanda were sitting next to each other at a random table on the playground near the apartment complex. We were sitting across from Steve and Ariana who were sitting at the same table.
“So, here we are on our first-ever double date.”, Steve commented.
“Yep.”, Amanda replied.
“So, is there anything on anyone’s minds lately?” Ariana asked us.
“No.”, Steve replied.
“Yeah, same here.”, I replied.
“Also, same here.”, Amanda replied.
“Come on, there’s gotta be something.”
“Here’s something. I and Ariana are better at Madden and EA Sports NHL than you two.”
“I concur.”, Ariana added.
“In your dreams. I, along with my future husband over here, can kick both of your buts any day of the week.”
“Yeah. Concur that.”, I added. “What does concur mean?”
Steve replied, “I concur that you two can’t beat us in any video game that’s ever been made in human history. And that includes future games.”
“Facts.”, Ariana added.
I replied, “You two can’t beat us in any game, in general, that has been made or will ever be made.”
“Facts.”, Amanda added.
Steve replied, “Alright, well, how about this? Me versus Jamal. Ariana versus Amanda. Madden NFL 2004. My place. My PS2. Tomorrow. Be there or be losers.”
“You’re on!” Amanda exclaimed.
“What she said.”, I added.
“Then I guess it’s settled.”, Steve replied. “Oh, and another thing. Overall, we’re clearly the better romantic couple.”
“Says who?” I asked them.
“Says who? Are you deaf or something?” Steve asked me. “It would not surprise me that you two haven’t even had your first kiss yet.”
“We could say the same thing for you two.”, Amanda replied.
Ariana replied, “For your information, we haven’t had our first kiss yet, but we’re getting around to it.”
“Well, why don’t you two kiss right now?” I asked them.
“Yeah, you said you two were getting around to it. It looks like ‘it’ has arrived.” Amanda’s hands signaled the word in quotation marks.
“Not if you two kiss first.”, Steve replied.
“Hey, this is silly. Do we really need to make this boyfriend and girlfriend thing a competition?” I asked.
“Forget video games. The first couple to have their first kiss is the better couple.”, Amanda spoke.
“Deal.”, Steve declared.
“Oh, you’re so on.”, Ariana replied.
“Deal.”, I added. “I bet you two don’t even know how to kiss.”
“Look who’s still talking.”, Ariana replied.
Steve commented, “They’re still talking because they rather do that with their lips than doing you know what.”
Then after that, our double date continued.
It was Sunday, September 14, 2003. In my lit bedroom, I and Amanda were playing NBA Live 2000 on my Sony PlayStation on a Sunday evening. Amanda paused the game.
“About our first kiss, I don’t know how to kiss. I’ve never kissed anyone before in my entire life, and I’m almost 10.”, Amanda spoke. “What about you?” “Have you kissed anyone before?”
“I’ve also never kissed anyone before. And I don’t know how to kiss.”
“Well, maybe we could try and learn together.”, she spoke with a smile.
“Okay, I’m cool with that.” “But we should both know for sure when the time is right.”
“Okay. Well, how do you feel about kissing?”
“I think kissing is a great way for a boy and a girl to express their romantic feelings toward each other.” “How do you feel about it?”
“I think kissing is a very lovely and romantic thing to do.”
“So, we both think kissing is lovely and romantic. That’s a good first step towards our first kiss.”
“I also think being in a spot alone together is the best place for us to have our first kiss. There’s no distractions, disruptions, interruptions, or anything else like that.”
“Well, we’re alone right now.”
“Yep, we sure are.”, Amanda said while smiling and playing with her hair. I and Amanda started gazing into each other’s eyes.
I and Amanda’s eyes displayed a range of emotions. We continued looking into each other’s eyes. We looked comfortable and showed no signs of pulling away from each other.
Then we started holding hands. Before going in for the kiss, we both made sure that we felt comfortable touching each other romantically. We didn’t think about the consequences. Then my cell phone started ringing before we both went in for the kiss.
“Who is it?” Amanda asked me.
I sighed. “It’s Steve.”
“Just answer him later.”
“But he’s my best friend. I don’t think I should ignore my best friend. Are you sure?”
“Hey, look at it this way. He’s the one that got this competition started in the first place. Therefore, he can wait. Just let it go to voicemail or something.”
“Okay, if you say so.” I set my cell phone back down on the floor next to me.
“Okay, so, where were we?” Amanda asked while smiling. We held hands again and started going in for the kiss. Then Amanda’s phone rang.
Amanda picked up her phone. “It’s Ariana. I’ll call her later. And she’s my best friend.” Then Amanda went ahead and set her phone back down on the floor next to her.
We held hands again. Our eyes closed as we were about to go in for the kiss. Then a knock was heard at my bedroom door.
“Jamal, I want you to go take the trash out.”, my Mom ordered. Then my Mom closed the bedroom door and walked away from the bedroom.
“Well, there’s always tomorrow.”, I commented before getting up to go take out the trash. Then Amanda was left sitting there looking and feeling disappointed that our first kiss wasn’t going to happen that night.
It was Monday, September 15, 2003. In Steve’s room (also Kevin’s room), Steve and Ariana were playing video games together on Steve’s Sony PlayStation 2. Ariana paused the game.
“Hey, do you know when the time is right for us to have our first kiss?” Ariana asked Steve.
“No. I wish I did though.”
“Yeah, same here.” “How do we know when the time is right?”
“I have no idea.”
“Yeah, me neither.” “So, how do you feel about kissing?”
“I feel it’s very sweet and romantic. That must be why it’s in books, movies, and TV shows all the time.” “And what about you?” “What are your feelings when it comes to kissing?”
“Pretty much what you just described. I think we have so much in common. Except for my red hair, of course. That’s how I knew you were the perfect man for me.” “When was the last time you saw a movie and watched a romantic couple kissing?”
“I can’t recall. But if I was able to remember, they were probably somewhere alone.”
“Well, we’re somewhere alone. No interruptions, no disruptions, and no distractions. Seems like the best place for a first kiss to me.”
“I couldn’t agree more.”
Steve and Ariana started gazing into each other’s eyes. Their attention completely shifted from the PS2. And their eyes showed a range of emotions.
Steve and Ariana continued looking into each other’s eyes. They both showed no signs of pulling away and were both looking very comfortable as they continued gazing into each other’s eyes. Ariana started putting her arms around Steve. And Steve started putting her arms around Ariana.
Before they both went in for the kiss, they both made sure that each other felt comfortable with being touched romantically. And without thinking about the consequences, Steve and Ariana were about to kiss. Then Steve’s cell phone rang.
Steve pulled out his cell phone. “It’s Jamal. I better answer this.”
“Wait!” Ariana exclaimed.
Then Steve waited.
“Jamal and Amanda are the ones that had this competition started in the first place. They might think we’re just about to kiss and try making us lose. Therefore, don’t answer him.”
“Okay.” Then Steve went ahead and put his cell phone away.
“Now, where were we?” Ariana asked while smiling and playing with her hair. Steve and Ariana started going in for the kiss again. Then Ariana’s phone rang.
Ariana picked up and checked her phone. Then Ariana put her phone away. “It’s just Amanda. Okay, back to us.”
Steve and Ariana were going in for the kiss. A knock was heard at Steve’s bedroom door. “Steve, can you go take out the trash? Thanks.” Anna spoke.
“Sorry, we couldn’t do this tonight. Maybe we’ll have a little better luck tomorrow.”, Steve spoke. Then Steve went ahead and got up and exited the bedroom. And Ariana was left there looking and feeling disappointed.
It was Tuesday, September 16, 2003. It was evening. In my room, I and Amanda were playing video games together on my Sony PlayStation while sitting down together on my bed. Amanda paused the game.
“Hey, why don’t we stop playing games for a little while and just talk instead?” Amanda asked me.
“Okay.” “You know, there was a moment last year where I almost had my first kiss.”
“There were many times in the past where you almost had your first kiss.”
“I think one of those times was last Christmas if I remember correctly. That was when one of Steve’s cousins liked me and almost succeeded in kissing me under the mistletoe.”
“I’d rather not talk about that Canadian girl. I don’t like her. Like at all.” “Can we please talk about something else?”
“Okay, sure. But I can’t think of anything else to talk about.”
“Yeah, me neither.”
“I guess we could both sit here until something pops up in our minds.”
“I’d love that.”
Then the room became silent as both of us were trying to think of something to talk about. As we were trying to think of something to talk about, I was fiddling with my socks. Meanwhile, Amanda was playing with her blonde hair. As we were doing that, it was still silent in the room.
We started staring into each other’s eyes again. I started getting nervous while Amanda started blushing. Then we both went ahead and exchanged a quick kiss on the lips. And we finally got it over with.
“So, we finally did it. Our first kiss.”, Amanda commented.
“So, how did it feel?”
“It felt amazing.” “What about you?”
“Okay, so I guess this means that we’re the better couple.”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“Let’s call Steve and Ariana.”
“I think telling the losers the news can wait until tomorrow.”
“Okay, then I guess we’ll wait until tomorrow then.”
Then after that, I and Amanda went ahead and continued enjoying our time spent together.
It was Saturday, September 20, 2003. Two Seconds to Detroit and I were back in the basement of the apartment complex. The band was getting ready to perform while I was getting ready to record. It was in the afternoon.
“Well, these first two weeks of the new school year sure have been awesome.”, Brad spoke.
Kevin replied, “Yeah, two weeks down and many more weeks to go before the next summer break arrives.”
I added, “And the best part about this school year so far is the fact that I and Amanda are the better romantic couple than Steve and Ariana.”
Steve replied, “In your dreams. You two still haven’t been able to prove that you had your first kiss.”
Ariana added, “Yeah, and we’re gonna have ours real soon.”
Amanda replied, “Fine. You want proof? Well, proof is what you’re gonna get.”
Amanda walked over to me, and we exchanged another quick kiss on the lips. “There, is that proof good enough for ya?”
“Woah, they did it! They actually did it! I can’t believe it!” Nathan exclaimed.
“Dang it, Jamal, we wanted to be first!” Steve exclaimed.
“Sorry, Steve, a win is a win.”, I replied.
Ariana replied, “Well, if that’s how it’s going to be, then I don’t mind finishing in second place.”
“What in the heck are you talking a-.”, Steve replied. Then Ariana went ahead and gave Steve a quick kiss on the lips. And they finally got it over with.
“Woah! We just had our first real kiss! I feel like I just died, went to heaven, and got kissed by a female angel!” Steve exclaimed happily.
“And you better get used to it from now on.”, Ariana spoke with a smile.
“Okay, let’s go ahead and get this music thing started, people!” Kevin exclaimed.
Then the band started getting ready to perform. They were fully ready to perform, and I was fully ready to record. “Okay, filming starts in 4, 3, 2, 1.”, I spoke.
Then the band performed She Loves You by The Beatles. And they all did an excellent job performing that song while I did an excellent job recording the performance. The band continued performing that song. And the band continued performing that song some more. And after they all finished performing that classic song, it all turned out to be just another happy ending in the 2000s decade.