The 00's: Year Three

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Steve's Tenth

It was Saturday, May 29, 2004. It was afternoon. I and Two Seconds To Detroit were down in the basement of the apartment complex. They recently got done playing their last song.

“So, Steve, your tenth birthday is only one week away. Do you know what you’re gonna do to celebrate?“, Brad said. “Well, there’s gonna be a party at my place on that day.“, Steve said. “By party, you mean an actual birthday party?“, Nathan asked.

“Yep.“, Steve said. “And by a birthday party, are we talking about your birthday party or someone else’s?“, Jessica asked. “I’m talking about my birthday party, Jess.“, Steve said.

“Hey, I wonder if there’s gonna be another celebrity to make an appearance just like Alanis Morisette appeared at Kevin’s tenth birthday party a few years back.“, Amanda said. “That probably won’t happen, but you never know. Maybe it could happen. We’ll see.“, Steve said. “Maybe we should do kind of the same thing we all did to celebrate Jamal’s tenth birthday. Each of us could help you celebrate your birthday the best way we know how every day before your big day.“, Ariana said.

“Hey, that’s not a bad idea, Ariana.“, I said. “Hold on a minute. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. There are seven of you all down here with me right now. So, I guess this means we all have the whole week covered. Okay, I guess I’m in.“, Steve said. “Great, now, who should get the first day?“, Jessica asked.

“I think that question should be answered by my little bro. Besides, it’s his special day next Saturday. So, who is your first pick?“, Kevin said. “Thanks, Kev. And that’s a really tough decision for me. I’m not really sure who should go first.“, Steve said. “Why don’t you pick your red-headed lover first?“, Ariana asked.

“No, he should pick me. We’re family and we’re blood-related.“, Kevin said. “I think he should pick me since we were both born in 1994.“, Nathan said. “Have you all lost your minds or something? I’m his best friend and we were also both born in 1994. He should pick me before anyone else in this basement.“, I said. Then all of us argued over who Steve’s first pick should be to help him celebrate.

“Hey. Hey. Hey!“, Steve said. The arguing stopped. “I’ve finally made my decision. Brad, you’re gonna be the first one to help me celebrate my birthday and we can start tonight.“, Steve said.

“Hey, that’s cool with me. See, I knew he’d pick me first.“, Brad said. “And to everyone else, no harsh feelings?“, Steve asked. “Well, no, I guess not. I support your decision, dude.“, Kevin said.

“We all support your decision, Steve. And don’t worry, we’re gonna try our very best to make sure you have the best birthday week in your entire almost decade of living. But it’s good to save the best for last which is why I’m going last.“, I said. “No, I’m going last.“, Kevin said. “No, I’m going last.“, Ariana said. Then there was more arguing. “I sure wasn’t planning on us making this kind of noise today.“, Steve said to himself.

***

It was Saturday evening. At Steve’s place, Steve and Brad were watching TV in Steve’s bedroom. They continued watching TV.

“So, this is your way of helping me celebrate my upcoming tenth birthday? Watching TV?“, Steve asked. “Of course. What’s wrong with that?“, Brad asked. “Dude, how in the world is television related to my birthday in any way?“, Steve asked.

“Because TV has been a big part of your life for almost the past ten years. I thought you might wanna celebrate that way.“, Brad said. “Well, since you put it like that, it is Saturday after all. What better way to spend a Saturday night than to watch some good old-fashioned TV?“, Steve said. “Great, that’s the birthday spirit!“, Brad said. Then Steve and Brad continued watching TV.

***

It was Sunday, May 30, 2004. It was evening. Steve and Nathan were in Steve’s bedroom watching Detroit Pistons basketball.

“Man, we are so close to the NBA Finals, I can just smell it.“, Nathan said. “I can smell the NBA Finals trophy just as good as Dexter can.“, Steve said. “What in the world is that supposed to mean?“, Nathan asked.

“What?“, Steve asked. “Dude, what do you mean when you say you can smell the NBA Finals trophy just as good as Dexter can?“, Nathan asked. “Because dogs have a way better sense of smell than humans.“, Steve said.

“Oh.“, Nathan said. Steve and Nathan continued watching the basketball game. “So, if I have bad breath, would Dexter be able to tell?“, Nathan asked.

“I don’t know. Probably.“, Steve said. Steve and Nathan continued watching the basketball game. “What if I haven’t showered in months? Would he be able to smell that?“, Nathan asked.

“Probably.“, Steve said. Steve and Nathan continued watching the basketball game. “What if I let out a really huge fart? Would he be able to smell that?“, Nathan asked.

“Dude, I would probably be able to smell that? Why wouldn’t the dog be able to smell that?“, Steve asked. Steve and Nathan continued watching the basketball game. “What if I come out of the bathroom after taking a really huge dump? Would Dexter be able to smell that?“, Nathan asked.

“I don’t know. Can we please stop talking about things a dog can smell?“, Steve said. “Gotcha. It’s a pretty stupid conversation topic anyway. I’ll stop talking about it.“, Nathan said. “Thank you.“, Steve said.

Steve and Nathan continued watching the basketball game. “So, how is watching the Pistons related to my tenth birthday?“, Steve asked. “Because you’ve been a Pistons fan for almost your whole life. And since we’re so close to the NBA Finals, we had to watch regardless of whether your birthday is near or far.“, Nathan said.

“Well, I say we keep watching and hope for the best.“, Steve said. “Hey, that’s fine with me. Let’s keep watching.“, Nathan said. Then Steve and Nathan continued watching the basketball game.

***

It was Monday, May 31, 2004. It was evening. At Steve’s place, Steve and Jessica were in the living room watching WWE Monday Night Raw.

“So, this is your way of helping me celebrate? Watching wrestling?“, Steve asked. “Yeah, what’s wrong with that?“, Jessica asked. “How in the world is professional wrestling related in any way to my tenth birthday?“, Steve asked.

“Because you love professional wrestling and WWE and so do I. I thought you might wanna celebrate that way.“, Jessica said. “Well, since you put it like that, it is Monday after all.“, Steve said. “That’s the birthday spirit, Steve!“, Jessica said. Then Steve and Jessica continued watching professional wrestling.

***

It was Tuesday, June 1, 2004. It was evening. Steve and Amanda were at Steve’s place watching Detroit Pistons basketball in the living room.

“So, how are you gonna help me celebrate my big day?“, Steve asked. “Hold on.“, Amanda said. Amanda went into her backpack that was lying on the floor and pulled out a tall can of original Pringles.

“Here you are.“, Amanda said as she handed Steve the Pringles. “I know how much you love Pringles, so this is my way of helping you celebrate.“, Amanda said. “Thanks. And you got the tall can instead of the short can. Impressive.“, Steve said.

“You’re welcome. So, this is game 6 of the NBA East Final. Do you think the Pistons are gonna win this game and move on to the NBA Finals?“, Amanda said. “I do think that. I’d prefer that the Pistons win this game tonight and move on instead of having to try and move on in a winner-takes-all game seven.“, Steve said. “I hear you on that one.“, Amanda said.

Steve and Amanda stopped talking and continued watching the basketball game. As Steve and Amanda continued watching the Pistons game, Steve opened up his can of Pringles and started eating them. Steve and Amanda continued watching the basketball game.

Then the game almost concluded. The final plays of the game were being announced by the game’s male play-by-play announcer. “Miller misses the three-pointer. Offensive rebound by Croshere. Croshere makes a two-point jump shot from fifteen feet. And that’s it! That’s finally it! The horn has sounded! And the Detroit Pistons are moving on to the 2004 NBA Final!“, the play-by-play announcer said.

Steve and Amanda got up. “We won? We won?“, Steve asked. “We won!“, Amanda said.

“We won!“, Steve and Amanda said at the same time. Then Steve and Amanda started jumping for joy while saying “We won!” over and over again. Steve and Amanda continued doing this and Steve’s whole place could hear it.

Anna came into the living room. “Hey, will you kids stop making all that noise?! You’re gonna wake up the baby!“, Anna said. “We won! We won! We won!“, Kevin Sr. said jumping for joy from another room.

“I guess I’m gonna have to say the same thing to the kid I’m married to.“, Anna said to herself. Anna left the living room. “Man, I’m so glad we’re finally in the final round. They better not blow it for me. I’ve been waiting ten years for this.“, Steve said.

“Yeah, me too.“, Amanda said. Steve and Amanda stood there for a moment in silence. “We won! We won! We won!“, Steve and Amanda continuously said jumping for joy.

***

It was Wednesday, June 2, 2004. It was evening. Steve and Ariana were standing in Steve’s room.

“So, how are you gonna help me celebrate my upcoming birthday this Saturday?“, Steve asked. “Hold on.“, Ariana said. Ariana reached into her pants pocket, pulled out some pink lipstick, put some pink lipstick on her lips, and put the pink lipstick in her backpack.

Ariana tried kissing Steve. Steve backed up. “What? What’s wrong? Do I have bad breath or something?“, Ariana asked.

“No, I don’t smell any bad breath here and neither does Dexter.“, Steve said. “Huh? How in the world did Dexter get into this conversation?“, Ariana asked. “Just stay with me here. Listen, I think we should save all the kissing for my birthday.“, Steve said.

“Excellent idea. I can’t wait to finally know what it feels like to kiss a tweenage boy.“, Ariana said. “Yeah, and besides, we’ve made out plenty of times before. Three days without kissing shouldn’t be a problem for us.“, Steve said. “So, what should we do while we’re not kissing?“, Ariana asked. “I don’t know.“, Steve said. “Well, I’m sure we’ll think of something.“, Ariana said.

Then there was silence as both of them were trying to think of a way to spend their time together without kissing. “Hey, you wanna play games together on my Sony PS2?“, Steve asked. “I’m not really in the PlayStation 2 mood tonight.“, Ariana said.

“How about we watch some TV together?“, Steve asked. “I’m not in the TV mood either.“, Ariana said. “How about we watch a movie?“, Steve asked.

“That’s the same thing as TV unless we were going out to see a movie at a movie theater.“, Ariana said. “How about we both read a book?“, Steve asked. “I’m not in the mood to read.“, Ariana said.

“Okay, how about we just talk?“, Steve asked. “Okay.“, Ariana said. Steve sat down on his bed. “Here, have a seat.“, Steve said. Ariana sat down next to Steve.

“So, what do you want to talk about?“, Steve asked. “I don’t know. What do you want to talk about?“, Ariana asked. “I don’t know what I want to talk about?“, Steve asked.

“So, I guess this means we’re back to doing nothing again.“, Ariana said. “Unless we sit here in silence and eventually come up with something cool to talk about.“, Steve said. “Okay, that’s fine with me.“, Ariana said. Steve and Ariana just sat there.

“So, have you watched any good sports games recently?“, Steve asked. “Well, I’ve been watching the Pistons a lot. They are playing so well this year. I think they just might win it all this season.“, Ariana said. “Yeah, I think so too. I’ve also been watching a lot of Pistons basketball.“, Steve said.

“This is great. We’re finally doing something besides making out. I can’t believe it.“, Ariana said. “It’s a miracle.“, Steve said. “I would call it more of a long shot, but a miracle is just as accurate.“, Ariana said.

“So, now that we’ve talked about sports, what else do you want to talk about?“, Steve asked. “I don’t know. Let’s sit here and think about what our next topic of conversation should be.“, Ariana said. “You got it.“, Steve said.

Steve and Ariana sat there thinking. Without Steve looking, Ariana pulled out a few Tic Tacs, ate them, and put the rest of the Tic Tacs back in her backpack. “Hey, guess what?“, Ariana asked. “What?“, Steve asked.

Ariana quickly started kissing Steve as their lips started touching again. And Ariana gave in before Steve’s big day. Then Steve gave in as well as Ariana got on top of him and started dominating him on his own bed.

***

It was Thursday, June 3, 2004. It was evening. At Steve’s place, Steve and Kevin were standing in the living room.

“So, how are you gonna celebrate my birthday now that we’re only a couple of days away?“, Steve asked. “With this.“, Kevin said holding up a Madden video game. “How is Madden related in any way to my birthday?“, Steve asked.

“Because you love football. And so do I. Therefore, let’s play some football. What do you say?“, Kevin said. “I say let’s play some football. You’re going down.“, Steve said. “Not before I take you down first.“, Kevin said.

“Oh, wait, my PS2 is in our room. Do you want us to play in our room or do you want me to bring the PS2 into the living room?“, Steve said. “We’ll do what you want since we’re celebrating you.“, Kevin said. “Right on, Kev.“, Steve said.

“But before we move any further with this, I think we need to discuss you and your two girlfriends situation.“, Steve said. “What are you talking about? There’s nothing to discuss.“, Kevin said. “Of course there is. Dude, you haven’t been able to get rid of your other girlfriend since last year. One of them might eventually find out you have two girlfriends, so I suggest you get rid of the other chick before you have zero girlfriends.“, Steve said.

“As I said before, there’s nothing to discuss. I just don’t want to hurt the other girl’s feelings. Otherwise, I’d feel terrible. I’ve been trying to find a way to get rid of her without hurting her feelings. And so far, nothing has worked. But I’ll keep trying until something does work.“, Kevin said. “You’ve been saying that for months now. What’s more important to you? Your relationship with Stacy or some random girl’s feelings?“, Steve said. “Of course, my relationship with Stacy is more important. But I’d rather not talk about it, so could we please just drop it? I thought we were celebrating you this week and not talking about the current status of my love life.“, Kevin said.

Steve sighed. “Fine, we’ll play in our room. You ready?“, Steve said. “Yeah, you go ahead, I’ll be there in a minute after I get a glass of water.“, Kevin said.

“Okay. And don’t keep me waiting until I’m 12.“, Steve said. Steve left the living room. Kevin saw Steve completely exit the living room. “Man, I gotta fix this relationship issue before I become a seventh-grader.“, Kevin said to himself dramatically. Then Kevin left the living room.

***

It was Friday, June 4, 2004. It was evening. At Steve’s place, I was standing in the living room with Steve.

“So, it’s the last day before my birthday. One more trip to bed and I’ll finally move on from single digits to double digits. How is my best friend in the whole wide world gonna help me celebrate?“, Steve said. “Well, I’ve been thinking about that question for quite a while now. And since you’re my best friend, I decided to let you decide. We can celebrate your birthday eve along with your birthday however you want.“, I said. “Wow, thanks, man. That means a lot to me. I really appreciate that.“, Steve said. “You’re welcome. Now, answer this question. How do you want to celebrate?“, I asked. “You know what? I think I know the perfect activity.“, Steve said.

Moments later, I and Steve were sitting at opposite sides of the living room table as we were about to play a game of Chess. “Okay, everything is set up. But why did you pick Chess? I’m just curious.“, I said. “Because this is the same thing we did to celebrate your birthday back in February. Do you remember?“, Steve said.

“Of course I remember. How could I forget?“, I said. “You know, we sure have come a long way since we first met each other back at the start of second grade.“, Steve said. “I know. Back then, we were just a couple of seven-year-olds. Now we’re both going to be in double digits.“, I said.

“And we’re both going to be tweenage best friends.“, Steve said. “We sure are growing up.“, I said. “We’re turning into men.“, Steve said.

“And you know what? After these past three years, it’s pretty clear to me now that you’re the greatest best friend a kid could ever have.“, I said smiling. “Yeah, right back at you.“, Steve said smiling. “Fast forward next three years and we’ll be teenage best friends. I’m pretty sure I’ll grow a mustache before you.“, I said.

“In your dreams. So, are we gonna play or what?“, Steve said. “Okay, let’s do this.“, I said. Then I and Steve started playing Chess as we were very thankful to still be best friends since the pilot episode.

***

It was Saturday, June 5, 2004. It was afternoon. At Steve’s place, Steve’s birthday party already got started as there were plenty of guests there and music being played. Yeah! by Usher was playing at Steve’s tenth birthday party.

Steve was standing near me and Kevin. “Well, I did it. I finally did it. I finally turned ten years old.“, Steve said. “Congratulations, Steve. Now, we’re both tweenagers.“, I said.

“So, how does it feel to finally be a pre-teen?“, Kevin asked. “It feels the same as it did when I was nine years old.“, Steve said. “Well, don’t worry, that will eventually change sooner or later.“, Kevin said.

“So, this is what a decade feels like. Cool.“, Steve said. Kevin’s other girlfriend walked up to Kevin. “Hey, baby.“, the girl said smiling.

“Hey.“, Kevin said. “Cool party. Is it not?“, the girl said. “Of course it’s cool. It’s my little brother’s tenth birthday party.“, Kevin said.

“So, I was thinking maybe we should both find a place to hide away so we can spend some private quality time together.“, the girl said. “Okay, that’s cool with me. And what do you plan for us to do while we’re hidden from everyone else?“, Kevin asked. “A little bit of this.“, the girl said smiling.

The girls started kissing Kevin. Stacy walked up to us and her jaws dropped when she saw another girl kissing Kevin. “Uh, Kevin?“, I asked.

The kissing stopped. Kevin saw Stacy standing there. “Oh, hey, Stacy. How long have you been standing here?“, Kevin said.

“Oh, not long. Just enough to see another girl rolling her tongue around in your mouth like there’s no tomorrow!“, Stacy said angrily. “Woah, hey, calm down. It’s not what you think.“, Kevin said. “Kevin, who is this?“, the girl asked.

“I’m his girlfriend!“, Stacy said angrily. “What? No. That’s impossible. I’m his girlfriend.“, the girl said. “Looks like you’ve got some explaining to do.“, Steve said.

“The birthday boy is right, Kevin! Explain!“, Stacy said angrily. “Okay, great. And thanks for letting me explain. Now, where do I start?“, Kevin said. “You know what? Forget it. You can have her. I’m breaking up with you.“, Stacy said angrily. Tears started coming from Stacy’s eyes before she walked away.

“You were cheating on me this whole time?!“, the girl asked angrily. “It’s not what you think.“, Kevin said. “Okay, that’s it! We’re officially over! Don’t ever talk to me again!“, the girl said angrily before walking away.

“I’m gonna go find Stacy real quick. I’ll be right back.“, Kevin said. Kevin walked away. “It sure is amazing how fast you can go from multiple girlfriends to zero girlfriends.“, I said. “Yeah, I feel sorry for him.“, Steve said.

“You think Kevin and Stacy will get back together?“, I asked. “I doubt it. He should’ve just been open and honest from the first time he met the online chick.“, Steve said. “Well, let’s head over to the punch bowl and quench our thirsts. You’ve got a birthday to enjoy.“, I said. I and Steve walked over to where the punch was.

Moments later after searching for Stacy, Kevin found Stacy sitting on Kevin’s bed while tears were coming down her eyes. Kevin knocked on the open bedroom door. “Mind if I come in?“, Kevin asked.

Stacy didn’t give a response as she was still crying. Kevin came in and sat down next to Stacy. “Look, I wanna explain what really happened to you if you just give me a chance.“, Kevin said.

“Explain?! Explain?! Explain why you were locking lips with another girl?!“, Stacy asked angrily. Stacy used a tissue to wipe her face. “I didn’t mean for it to happen. She kissed me.“, Kevin said.

“Oh, just like you didn’t mean for her to be your girlfriend?!“, Stacy asked angrily. “Listen, I first met this chick online last year. She started a relationship with me without my permission. I was going to break it off with her, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. So, I’ve been trying to come up with ways to end the relationship without hurting her feelings and nothing has been successful. Bottom line is that I want to be with you and only you. Now, come on, you don’t really want to break up with me. Do you?“, Kevin said dramatically. “Yes, I do. All those months that we’ve been together and you go ahead and do that to me?“, Stacy said angrily.

“I’m sorry. I truly am sorry for making you cry, but I don’t want to be with her. I only wanna be with you. And only you. Like I said before, she forced me into a relationship with her. I didn’t want to. And I didn’t ask to be in a relationship with her either.“, Kevin said. “Well, I don’t believe you.“, Stacy said angrily. “What?“, Kevin asked.

“You heard what I said!“, Stacy said angrily. “I think you’re lying. And you are such a terrible lier.“, Stacy said angrily. “Baby, I’m not lying! I’m telling the truth! Come on, if you were in my shoes with a couple of dudes, you’d do the same thing!“, Kevin said.

“No! No, I wouldn’t! I can’t believe I wasted my precious time with a jerk like you! Don’t ever talk to me again! I mean it! And if you do, I’ll kill you!“, Stacy said angrily. Stacy got up and stormed out of Steve and Kevin’s bedroom slamming the door shut. Kevin saw Stacy storm out of the bedroom. Then Kevin just sat there feeling very sad and depressed.

Moments later, it was evening. Steve’s birthday party was still going strong at Steve’s place. Get The Party Started by P!nk was playing.

Steve was standing with me and some of our other friends. “Well, this has got to be the best birthday I’ve ever had.“, Steve said. “And we’re so glad to have helped you celebrate it.“, Amanda said. “Yep, let’s hope that the next ten years for you are even better.“, Brad said.

Ariana walked up to Steve and started kissing him. Ariana continued kissing Steve. Then the kissing stopped.

“Happy birthday, Steve.“, Ariana said smiling. “It’s not really a birthday if you don’t do what you just did nine more times.“, Steve joked. “Yo, Steve, why is your brother sitting over there looking so sad and depressed?“, Nathan asked.

“Kevin just went through two breakups in one day on Steve’s tenth birthday.“, I said. “Ouch. That’s gotta hurt.“, Jessica said. “But look at the bright side. At least there will be plenty of new single fish in the sea.“, Brad said.

Anna got the microphone as the music stopped. “Can I have everyone’s attention, please? It’s now time for the moment that we’ve all been waiting for. It’s now time for the birthday boy to blow out the candles. Oh, and F.Y.I., there’s only one candle that will represent a full decade of living. Alright, here we go.“, Anna said. Anna walked away from the microphone.

“Well, let’s all go ahead and end this birthday on a positive note.“, Steve said. Moments later, Steve was in the dining room. The dining room light was turned off. Then Anna started bringing in the birthday cake. And we started singing Happy Birthday to Steve.

Happy Birthday To You

Happy Birthday To You

Happy Birthday Dear Steve

Happy Birthday To You

“Okay, Steve, time to make a wish and blow out the candles. I mean candle. I imagine this wish is gonna be a special one since you’re turning the big one o.“, Anna said. “Thanks, Mom. And before I do that, I just want to thank everyone here for making this birthday party a reality. And helping me celebrate finally becoming a pre-adolescence. Believe me, ten years is a very long time. And I’ll try my very best to go from double digits to triple digits if I ever get near one hundred years old. Maybe I should wish to live to a hundred. But enough talking for now. Okay, here I go.“, Steve said. Steve made a wish and blew out the candle. We clapped for Steve after he blew out the one candle. “Thank you. Thank you. You’re all far too kind.“, Steve said.

The clapping stopped and the party continued as Just Like A Pill by P!nk started playing. “So, now that we’re both officially pre-teens, I say we go to Disney World.“, I said. “Or we could both enjoy some sweet tenth birthday cake.“, Steve said.

“Well, I was originally thinking that we deserve to go to Disney World after waiting so long to become pre-teens, but that idea sounds way better.“, I said. “Come on, let’s hurry before the birthday cake is all gone.“, Steve said. And we both went ahead and enjoyed some birthday cake. We also had ice cream which made the day even sweeter. And as the song continued playing, Steve’s tenth birthday was a complete success.

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