“Front butt. Vagina, man. All women got it. Like, it’s not an actual butt, but like, LOOK at it. It’s a fucking butt.”
My eyes glaze over as I stare at my incredibly crude best friend. I don’t know why I ever feel surprised when he acts like this. You’d think I’d be almost callous to his obnoxious nature by now.
In case you were wondering; I’m not.
“I’m never going to be the same after this conversation.”
Austin scoffs, picking up his haggard metal thermos from the table.
“Shit, I wasn’t the same after I made the correlation. It was scary. Like embracing death as a kid or seeing your Dad get a handjob from your nanny. All bad, man. All bad.” He punctuates his statement with a long slurp through the bent straw of the thermos.
I don’t know what I find more disgusting. The fact he considers a woman’s vagina to be a “front butt” or the fact he drinks his hot coffee through a fucking straw.
Even though I’m not callous yet to his insane remarks, I do have to admit that I’ve become too used to these conversations by now. It’s not like we get a lot of traffic in here, so we have to entertain ourselves somehow.
When Austin and I started this business, we had this idea that because “vintage was in”, a VHS and video game rental store would boom. Wrong. We banked on the tourism picking up. Also wrong. We really didn’t account for the sad truth that behind all the hopeful positivity that we had for this venture, we were ignoring the cold reality that nothing in Beldam Cove ever truly works out for anyone. Some blame it on the “town curse” and some say that tourism never returned because of the accident at the water park years before.
But that’s Grimewood for you.
Everyone has their reasons for something. I don’t know if I agree with any of them but that’s just how it is in Grimewood. Everyone has their own reasons for everything. Even us in our little ghetto by the sea. Despite all of that though, somehow “Two Palms Video & Arcade” manages to stay open. Even though we aren’t actually an arcade, (instead we rent vintage video games) and 3/10ths of our foot traffic are people searching for an actual arcade… we do okay.
All in all, we love the store, so we just keep pushing forward. As long as the bills are paid, we keep the doors open.
The front door swings open, flooding the colored LED lit store with the warm sunlight of the day. My eyes burn as they attempt to focus on the entering patron. The only time natural light ever enters this room is when someone comes in. Which isn’t very often, but that kinda comes with the territory of working at a video store in any year after 2008.
The door closes behind the entering person, finally revealing their identity.
Incoming cliche love for the girl next door.
Since seventh grade, I’ve been in a constant battle with being in love with her and accepting our inevitable friendship. The latter stance in the battle is typically only present when she’s in a relationship, but with a girl that looks like her; that’s more often than I’d like. Every time she’s in a new relationship, I’ll convince myself that she’s happy and I need to just let her be happy and then… she’s single again. And once more, I fall head over hills in love with her and never act on it. Because with every cliche girl next door story, it always has a cliche roadblock.
She’s Austin’s younger sister.
“What are you two up to?” Kylie asks, walking towards the counter of the store.
“How a pussy looks like an ass.” Austin quickly remarks.
Kylie stops walking, nearly staring a hole through her older brother.
“This is NOT because of my lingerie.”
“IT’S A FUCKING FRONT THONG… TAYLOR, DUDE. It’s a G-String for the pussy. I fuck you not, it’s like a shoe string for her pussy lips.”
Oh no. This isn’t going to be good.
“Ew, seriously Austin? Don’t talk about my pussy.”
“No one here gives-uh fuuuuuck about your pussy.”
She waves him off, taking a seat at the counter. Leaning forward onto the glass, she shoots me a look I’ve become far too familiar with.
The “my brother is a total ass” look.
“I’m sorry, Taylor.” She says to me, flashing me a sympathetic smile. “He keeps opening my Amazon packages and then giving me shit for them.” She cuts her eyes at Austin. “Twenty-seven years and my brother has yet to learn what the fuck boundaries are.”
Austin chuckles to himself.
“To be fair, two of those years you weren’t even born yet. So you sure as shit can’t count those.”
“You had a two-year head start on me and oh, look, you’re still behind in maturity. It’s like talking to a fourteen-year-old.”
“Says the girl that was grounded when she was fourteen for using all the cucumbers in the house as—”
And this is why pursuing a relationship with your best friend’s little sister is damn near impossible. With thier constant back and forth bickering, you’re forced to see them from one another’s eyes and that isn’t a very flattering perspective. I think one thing that’s always helped me see her from another point of view is that she looks nothing like her brother.
It’s best to just accept that we are all friends and that life is easier that way.
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