The 00's: Year Three

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Back To The Flat

It was Saturday, January 17, 2004. It was morning. At my place, I and my Mom were getting ready to head out.

A knock was heard at my door. I went to go see who it was. “Who is it?“, I asked.

“It’s me.“, Steve said. I opened the door for Steve. “Hey, Steve. What’s up?“, I said.

“Hey, I was wondering if it would be alright with you and your Mom if I could spend the night at your place tonight.“, Steve said. “Oh, sorry. We are getting ready to head out and spend the night somewhere else.“, I said. “And where are you both spending the night?“, Steve asked.

“At my old house. You know, the place where I used to live before we met.“, I said. “Well, maybe I can spend the night with you while you’re spending the night at your old address.“, Steve said. “Hold on.“, I said.

“Hey, Mom, is it alright with you if Steve spends the night with me while we’re spending the night at my grandma’s house?“, I asked. “Sure, he can come along.“, my Mom said. “My Mom said it’s okay.“, I said.

“Cool. Then I guess it’s gonna be another fun night spent.“, Steve said. Steve bought all of the things he bought with him into my place. I closed the door.

Steve sat down on the living room couch. I sat down next to Steve. “Man, I have so many memories of when I lived at my old address. I haven’t been at my old address in such a long time.“, I said. “Speaking of that, how long has it been since you first moved here?“, Steve asked. “About two and a half years now if my math is correct. I’ve had so many great memories of my time spent there.“, I said.

***PILOT FLASHBACK***

It was a nice sunny late summer afternoon on the west side of Detroit, MI. The time was the Summer of 2001. It was early September, and school was shortly about to start.

I was hanging out in the basement with some of my other friends. Two girls, and two guys that I’ve known several years before. The blonde-haired girl, named Amanda, was only several months older than me.

The red-haired girl was 8 and turning 9 in the fall. Her name was Ariana. And then there were the two other kids who were my gender. Both of their names were Nathan and Brad.

We were all playing video games and talking at my grandma’s house. It was my last day at my grandma’s house before I moved to my new address. I and my mom were about to move to an apartment complex.

We were taking turns on one of my friend’s Sony PlayStation 2. We were playing Madden NFL 2002 and competing against each other. Then after we got done playing, we just talked.

“Hey, we all heard you’re moving tomorrow.“, said Amanda. “Yep.“, I said. “We’re moving to a two-story apartment complex not far from where I live.” “I am gonna miss my old two-family flat though.”

“Yeah, I have a lot of good memories here of all of us hanging out.“, said, Ariana. “Yeah, it all started when we all met at a daycare center four years ago.“, said Nathan. “Good times.” “Hey, Weaver is your mom ok with us hanging out with you at your new apartment?“, said Brad. “We already discussed that, and she said it will not be a problem.”

“Awesome”, replied Brad. “Guys, it’s getting late in the day and I need to take my PS2 back home with me before dinner.“, said Nathan. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.“, I said.

“We can still do this again at my new place?” “You bet.“, said Nathan. “Sweet.“, I said.

“Yeah, and I gotta get home and study this new thing called multiplication before school starts.“, said Amanda. “So do I”, said Ariana. And as the two girls got up and started to leave, Ariana said, “Peace out you guys.” “Peace”, said the other three guys including myself.

“Yo Jamal, I think Amanda likes you.“, said Brad. “I agree with him, dude.“, said Nathan. “Why would you say that? You think we’ll eventually be husband and wife someday?“, I said. “That, and she’s been showing obvious signs that she’s into you.“, said Brad. “I don’t know. You might be right.“, I said.

“I thought you guys had somewhere to be? Instead of being interested in my love life.” “Holy crap! It slipped our minds. We gotta get home A.S.A.P.“, said Brad. “I’m right there with you my man.“, said Nathan. And as the two guys rushed out, they said, “Peace out bro.” I just held up the peace sign as they rushed out of the flat.

***PILOT FLASHBACK***

“And it turns out, Nathan and Brad were right about Amanda liking me once we both hit third grade.“, I said. “Yeah, now, they probably weren’t right when they first said it. But I could be wrong.“, Steve said. “I still remember the day we moved.“, I said.

***PILOT FLASHBACK***

The next day, I and my mom were preparing to move out of our old address. Grandma was there as well. I was making sure I didn’t lose any precious belongings. And there were some U-Haul trucks outside.

“Jamal, it’s almost time to go. What are you still doing in your room?.“, my mom asked. Her name was Brenda, and she was 40 years of age. “I’m making sure I have all of my belongings with me before we leave.“, I replied. “Well, you need to hurry it up.“, my mom said. “Sure thing mom.“, I said.

And as I finished gathering all my belongings we went outside where my grandma was standing. She was 68 years of age. “I hope both of you will be able to still come and visit me.“, said, grandma. “Don’t worry, we will grandma.“, I replied. “Thanks for all that you’ve done for us mom.“, my mom said.

“You’re more than welcome.“, said, grandma. And as we got in the car after seeing my old residence one last time, my grandma was standing there. She said, “Call me and tell me about the new place.“, said, grandma.

“We will”, said my mom. And then we drove away. It was only a five-minute drive from the old flat to the new apartment.

And then we made it to the apartment. As we walked inside our apartment door, my mom tried to unlock it. It wouldn’t open. Therefore, we knocked on the door of the apartment’s general manager.

“Hey, can I help you?“, said the apartment GM. “Yes, we’re your new tenants. Remember? You showed us around several months back before I decided to move me and my son here for good.“. “Oh, right. You need to get a new set of keys that unlock different areas of the apartment complex.” “You’ll have a key for the basement, washing machine, dryer, apartment number, etc.” “That’s great!“, said, my mom.

“Hold on for a quick second while I get them for you.” “Thanks a lot.“, said, my mom. “Not a problem.“, said the apartment GM.

And as we got the keys, the apartment GM said, “Enjoy your new place of residence.” “If you have any problems, questions, or concerns, you can always just come to me.” “Thanks. We appreciate it.“, said, my mom.

As my mom used the new set of keys that unlock different areas of access in the apartment complex, it finally opened. We entered our living space for good this time. We still had a lot of unpacking to do.

***PILOT FLASHBACK***

“Okay, you two, the cab is here. It’s time for the three of us to head on out.“, my Mom said. “Alright, let’s do this.“, Steve said as he got up. I got up as well. We all were on our way out the door and out of the apartment complex. Then we all left.

***

At least several minutes later, the three of us arrived at our destination. All three of us got outside the taxi. Then the taxi drove off away from my old address.

The three of us walked up to the old address. Once we were at the front door, I rang the doorbell to my old place. We started waiting for my grandmother to arrive. “So, what do you wanna do first once we’re inside?“, Steve asked. “Since you’re our guest, I’ll leave that decision up to you.“, I said.

My grandmother opened the front door. “Hey, grandma.“, I said. “Hey, you two. Long time, no see.“, my grandmother said as she was hugging me and my Mom.

The hugging stopped. “I missed you two so much. It’s nice to finally see you again.“, my grandmother said. “It’s nice to see you too. Oh, and Jamal bought one of his friends over to spend the night with us.“, my Mom said.

“Not just a friend. My best friend. His name is Steve. We first met shortly after we moved.“, I said. “Hi.“, Steve said. “Hey.“, my grandmother said.

“Well, come on in everyone.“, my grandmother said. We all walked into the living room. “Wow, this sure is a nice place now that I’ve seen the inside of it for the first time.“, Steve said.

I and Steve sat down on the living room couch. “Hey, are you hungry?“, my grandmother asked me. “Well, I already had breakfast. But I do want some lunch now that it’s close to Noon. What’s for lunch?“, I said.

“Grilled cheese sandwiches.“, my grandmother said. “Okay, yeah, sure.“, I said. “Count me in as well. I absolutely love grilled cheese sandwiches.“, Steve said.

“Okay, I’ll make four and you two can each have two.“, my grandmother said. “That’s cool with us.“, I said. “Yeah, totally.“, Steve said.

My grandmother left the living room. Then it was just I and Steve sitting in the living room. “So, how big is this place anyway?“, Steve asked.

“I’m not sure.“, I said. “You mean to tell me you lived here for seven years and you don’t know how big it is?“, Steve said. “Well, what am I supposed to say? I don’t know how to describe how big a home is.“, I said.

“Well, do you know where the TV is?“, Steve asked. “Over there in the dining room. There’s also one in the basement, my grandmother’s room, and my former room which is where I will be sleeping.“, I said. “Where am I gonna be sleeping?“, Steve asked.

“I’m not sure yet. But you can sleep in my room if you want.“, I said. “Hey, thanks. I’ll consider it.“, Steve said. “And maybe I can take you on a tour of the whole place after everyone is asleep tonight so you can know how big it really is. Would you like that?“, I said.

“I’d love that.“, Steve said. Moments later, my grandmother came back into the living room and sat two plates of grilled cheese sandwiches on the living room table. “Thanks, grandma.“, I said.

“Yeah, thanks.“, Steve said. “You both are welcome. Enjoy.“, my grandmother said. My grandmother left the living room.

I and Steve started eating. “Mmmm, these are the greatest grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve had in all my nine years of living.“, Steve said as he was eating. “Yeah, my grandmother is a great cook.“, I said as I was eating. Then we both continued eating.

***

It was evening. I and Steve were already in our pajamas in my room sitting down with the bedroom light on. “So, have any of our friends visited you here just like they do at your current home?“, Steve asked.

“They sure have. But keep in mind that we all first met in daycare. It took a little while before I asked my Mom if it was okay if one of my daycare friends could visit me and hang out. I was three back then.“, I said. “And who was the first kid to hang out with you? Amanda, Ariana, Nathan, or Brad?“, Steve asked. “My current girlfriend.“, I said.

“Hey, Ariana was the first one to hang out with me.“, Steve said. “What a weird coincidence.“, I said. “Yeah, tell me about it.“, Steve said.

“Well, what was that first memory like of hanging out with Amanda here?“, Steve asked. “Well, of course, there was nothing romantic at that time. That was when we started being just friends.“, I said. “Okay, tell me more about the first time you hung out with Amanda here.“, Steve said.

“I’ll tell you what. Why don’t I take you on that tour of the house first? Then I can tell you the rest after that.“, I said. “Deal. Now, do you think the adults are asleep yet?“, Steve asked. “I’m not sure. We both should probably wait until after midnight just to be safe.“, I said. “Gotcha. We’ll wait until then.“, Steve said.

Then we waited without saying a word. “I wonder what Kevin, Cody, and Matthew are doing back home.“, Steve said. “Well, I bet we both know pretty well what Kevin is doing.“, I said.

“Yeah, juggling two girlfriends. Now, I’d never cheat on Ariana, but I wonder what that feels like.“, Steve said. “Beats me. I bet there’s a lot of that on TV though.“, I said. “Well, let’s continue waiting for the overnight hours to arrive.“, Steve said. Then I and Steve continued to wait some more without saying a word.

***

It was Sunday, January 18, 2004. It was after midnight in the overnight hours. I and Steve were sitting in my bedroom with the light still on.

“Okay, I think it’s safe now. Let’s go.“, I said. I got up and left my former room. Steve got up and left my former room.

“Well, where is this tour gonna start?“, Steve asked. “You’ve already seen my room, the hallway, the living room, and the dining room. That over there is my Mom’s former room where she’s sleeping right now. Of course, we don’t wanna go in there because we might wake her up. And over there is my grandmother’s room where she’s sleeping right now. And over there is the bathroom, but you’ve probably seen the bathroom already as well. Come on.“, I said. I walked away and exited the hallway. Steve followed me.

I and Steve were in the kitchen. “And here is the kitchen. This is the place where all the food comes from.“, I said. “Um, I know what a kitchen is. I wasn’t born last week.“, Steve said.

“Oh, sorry. Come on down here, I’ll show you the basement.“, I said. I started heading down the basement stairs. Steve followed me.

“And this, my friend, is the basement.“, I said. “You know, this would’ve been a great place for Two Seconds To Detroit to perform if you still lived here.“, Steve said. I and Steve walked over to the second bathroom.

“And this is the second bathroom.“, I said. “Okay, and I think that just about covers everything. Let’s head back to my former room.“, I said. I and Steve started walking back to my former room.

***

Back at Steve’s place, Kevin was sleeping peacefully in the bedroom he shared with Steve while Steve wasn’t there. Kevin’s cell phone rang. “Hmmm?“, Kevin said in his sleepy voice as the cell phone woke him up.

Kevin checked his cell phone. He decided not to answer the call and started falling asleep again. Then Kevin’s cell phone rang a second time.

Kevin picked up his cell phone and declined the call. He sat his cell phone back down and started falling asleep again. His cell phone rang for the third time.

Kevin sighed. “Okay, okay, you win.“, Kevin said. Kevin answered the call.

“Hello?“, Kevin asked. “Hey, baby.“, the second girlfriend said. “Hey.“, Kevin said.

“So, whatchu doing?“, the girl asked with a grin on her face. “Sleeping. And you?“, Kevin said. “I tried the sleeping thing, but I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking about you all night.“, the girl said.

“Yeah, listen, there’s something that you need to know about me.“, Kevin said. “Would that be how many kids do you want?“, the girl asked. “No.“, Kevin said.

“Where you want our wedding to be?“, the girl asked. “No.“, Kevin said. “What flavor our wedding cake should be?“, the girl asked.

“No! Now, would you just listen to what I have to say for one second? Is that too much to ask?“, Kevin said. “Oh, I’m totally sorry. Go ahead. What did you want to tell me?“, the girl said. “You know what, nothing. Forget it.“, Kevin said.

“No, go ahead. You can tell me anything.“, the girl said. “No, forget it.“, Kevin said. “Come on, spill those beans.“, the girl said.

“Okay, here it goes. I’m really tired. This is not a good time to talk right now. Maybe we’ll talk another time. Okay?“, Kevin said. “Oh, okay. I’m sorry for waking you up. Now, I feel terrible.“, the girl said. “No, don’t feel terrible. I forgive you. Now, if you’d let me catch some more Zs, I’d really appreciate it.“, Kevin said.

“Oh, no. Of course. Anything for you sugar bun. But can I give you a goodnight kiss through the phone? Please?” the girl said. “Okay, fine. Go ahead.“, Kevin said. The girl kissed her cell phone and Kevin heard it.

“Okay, bye handsome. See you when the sun is back in the sky again.“, the girl said. The girl hung up. “Sugar bun? Now, I definitely need to get rid of this chick.“, Kevin said. Kevin shook his head, sat down his cell phone, and started falling asleep again.

***

Later in the overnight hours, I and Steve were still awake in my former room. Steve started dialing a random number on his cell phone as we were both sitting down. Steve was waiting for someone to answer the phone on the other end.

“Hello?“, a random man asked. “Hello, is Mr. Wall there, please?“, Steve asked. “There is no Mr. Wall here. Sorry.“, the man said.

“Can I speak with Mrs. Wall then, please?“, Steve asked. “Mrs. Wall does not live here.“, the man said. “Well, can I speak with Harry Wall, please?“, Steve asked.

“There is no one here with that name either. Sorry.“, the man said. “Are there any walls there?“, Steve asked. “No, there are no walls here. Sorry.“, the man said.

“Then may I ask what’s holding up your house?“, Steve asked before I and Steve started laughing. The man hung up. I and Steve continued laughing. Then we stopped laughing.

“That was a good idea for a prank phone call. You hit it out of the park with that one.“, I said. “Thanks. Who knew prank calls was going to be a typical activity every time we spend the night together?“, Steve said. “Not me.“, I said. “Yeah, me neither.“, Steve said.

“Alright, my turn.“, I said. I got my cell phone. Then I started dialing a random number. After I dialed the number, I was waiting for someone to pick up the phone.

A random man picked up the phone. “Hello?“, the random man asked. “Hello, is Mister Wall there?“, I asked.

“I think you have the wrong number.“, the man said. “Oh, no I don’t. What about Misses Wall?“, I asked. “There are no walls here sir.“, the man said.

“Then what’s holding up your building?“, I asked. The person on the other end just pretended to laugh. “I got you good!“, I said. “Yes, you did. Now, bye.“, the man said. The man hung up the phone.

I and Steve started laughing again. Then we both stopped laughing. “Okay, let’s ditch the wall thing and try something else.“, Steve said.

Steve started dialing another random number on his phone. “Hello?“, Steve asked. “Yes?“, a young woman asked.

“Ah, yes. I ordered a pizza like an hour ago. I just want to know when is it coming.“, Steve said. “Oh, sorry. It has already been eaten.“, the woman said. Steve started laughing hard.

“Dude, I am not the pizza company.“, the woman said. “You’re kidding. Stop lying.“, Steve said. “Bye, weirdo.“, the woman said.

The woman hung up. Then I and Steve started laughing some more. We both continued laughing until our lungs got tired of laughing. Then we eventually stopped laughing.

“That last one was really funny.“, I said. “Yeah, but I think it’s about time we both catch some Zs.“, Steve said. “Yeah, I’m with you there. I’ll turn the light out.“, I said. “Okay, you do that.“, Steve said.

Steve started lying down on the floor where he was going to sleep. I turned off the bedroom light and walked back to my former bed. I started lying down in my former bed.

“Alright, good night.“, I said. “Okay, good night.“, Steve said. Then we both fell asleep.

***

It was early in the afternoon. I and Steve were standing outside the door of Steve’s home inside the apartment complex. “Hey, I sure did have fun at your old place yesterday and today.“, Steve

“Yeah, me too. I wish the fun would’ve lasted a little longer though. I sure do miss my old place.“, I said. “But now you get to get to hang out at my place on a Sunday.“, Steve said. “Well, that’s another positive.“, I said.

Steve knocked on the door. Inside Steve’s place, Kevin’s second girlfriend was making out with Kevin on the couch while the living room TV was on. Kevin heard the knocking and stopped kissing the girl to go see who it was.

The girl wiped her mouth and sat up on the couch. “Who is it?“, Kevin asked. “It’s us, Kev.“, Steve said.

Kevin opened the door and saw me and Steve. “Hey, you two. Come on in.“, Kevin said. I and Steve entered Steve’s place.

After I and Steve put away our winter gear, we both sat down somewhere in the living room and watched what was already on the TV screen. “So, Kevin, have you figured out a way to get rid of-“, I said. Steve quickly covered my mouth with his hand before I could complete my sentence.

“Get rid of what?“, the girl asked. “Kevin, what are you trying to get rid of?“, the girl asked. “He’s trying to get rid of, um, his bad grades. Yeah, that was what my friend over here was gonna say. But I stopped him right there because Kevin doesn’t want to get reminded of or talk about it.“, Steve said.

“Oh, well, I wish nothing but the best for you in school baby.“, the girl said. “Thanks.“, Kevin said. “So, have you two been playing tonsil hockey again for the millionth t-?“, I asked.

Steve quickly covered my mouth again. “Dude, will you please shut your yap?“, Steve asked. Then no one there talked.

Kevin’s cell phone rang. Kevin looked at the screen of his cell phone. “Oh, no. Stacy.“, Kevin said to himself inside his mind.

“Well, aren’t you gonna answer it Sugar Bear?“, the girl asked. “What?! Oh, no. It’s just another telemarketer. That’s all. I’m just gonna let it ring.“, Kevin said. Kevin sat his phone down somewhere. The phone stopped ringing.

Everyone continued watching TV. “Hey, is it okay with you guys if I and my baby start swapping spit again?“, the girl asked. “Alright, I’m out of here.“, Steve said. “Yeah, me too.“, I said.

I and Steve got up and was standing. “You two can swap spit as long as we’re not in here.“, I said. “See ya.“, Steve said. I and Steve left the living room.

Then it was just Kevin and the girl in the living room. “Hey, why don’t we just watch some more TV instead. I personally think kissing is overrated in my o-.“, Kevin said. Then the girl quickly got on top of Kevin and started making out with him again. “Or you can just attack me like a wild animal.“, Kevin said in his mind. Then the two continued swapping spit.

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