Edd woke up from a very agitated dream to the blaring of his alarm clock, quarter past 4 in the morning. He had only slept barely 4 or 3 hours, but it would have to do. It was a small price for spending time with Kevin and quite possibly befriending him; also the opportunity of befriending his roommate. Edd was happy...but dreadfully tired.
As he stretched in his bed Edd couldn't avoid but stroke his hair, right where Kevin had done so last night. His hair, his god -so-awful hair he despised, had been accepted and not ridiculed. Still, as Edd got up from his bed, he noticed he had a sore back for nuzzling his pillow so much. What had he dreamed that he had nuzzled his pillow in such a way that it got all wrinkled (meaning he had moved) and had clear drool marks. And, he had a clear "morning wood", characteristic of agitation, extensive rest or lewd dreams (which he doubted). Such acts where so unlike him, but he had no time this morning or any morning to ponder on such thoughts and doubts. Instead Edd got up and proceeded to shower, brush his teeth, change clothes and grab his belongings. On this day, Edd had for some reason felt a need to dress...better than his usual days.
He had picked his new cacki pants and paired them with a long sleeved, tight green Tshirt and brown vest; he felt gorgeous and that gave him a slight boost to start the day. As routine stated, today he had to go open the coffee shop and proceed with the work schedule up till 12 in the afternoon, but he knew today had 2 special surprises or bonuses. Firstly, Edd was going to meet up with Kevin in the coffee shop, and though it would be a customer-worker interaction, he hoped to engage in small chat or a complete conversation. Edd was wishful that the events of last night (if he had analyzed them properly) ensured that he and Kevin where in fact friends, though he was fearful that a conversation would lead up to discussing the incident of the beanie...he wasn't ready to talk about it. Still, he was motivated this morning, which actually caused him to grow agitated, hence unfocused, and though he got ready by 4:30, he was aware he was distracted.
Edd prepared himself a coffee with his semi-barista coffee maker he had gotten last year as a gift: Double Mocha Latte with no foam and hazelnut, his favorite. It took him an additional 15 minutes to settle down, reintegrate his mind into his rhythm and daily routine, and adjusted his schedule to the prior commitments he had made last night. Edd adjusted his Schedule in his Laptop, he was quite fond of it for it contained his life, his entire career, works, projects, investigations, everything, but he also had a smartphone, Android, which held copies and updated automatically to any change he made in his laptop. It was a rig he had made to make his life easier and efficient, that way he didn't need to update both separately.
As he finished adjusting his schedule, moving projects, cancelling work groups, writing to colleagues and teachers for doubts, guidance and the likes...the usual, Edd read he had received one new Personal Message.
Edd was a very strict organized person, do to his OCD tendency and past. He was very meticulous and careful on everything he did and how he lived. Everything had a label, a name, a definition, a purpose, an order and a category; his email was no exception. Edd had divided and gone through the tedious and long job of specifying directory of emails, special folders, categories and tags for every email and every future email he would add, send or receive. They weren't much, they were ultimately condensed into the categories of: Colleagues, Laboratories, Life Plan, Companies, Personal, and Relationships-besides those predetermined by the email service.
Some of the categories were quite obvious while others were very intricate and elaborated. Of those which Edd had most priority where those in Laboratories, Personal and Relationships; Laboratories contained all mails he needed to gain access to the use of these, Personal contained folders where Edd kept copies of his works, projects and mails he received or sent which (though of a professional origin) he was proud or fond of; but Relationships, it had folders for every person Edd knew and cared for. All the members of the Cul-de-Sac were there and though it was perhaps one of the most empty folders- as no one wrote to him consistently and they had all separated when college came. Edd was always eager and diligent in answering to whom ever wrote him. That is why he was very intrigued to who might've written to him.
Edd knew he had to go to work, it was less than a quarter to 5 and so he closed his laptop and decided he'd read and answer the email later, besides surely it was Ed, Eddy or Sarah. Ed and Eddy wrote scarcely but they always wrote, the three stayed in touch the best they could despite the distance. Eddy though was quite close to Double D for which besides writing he proposed a lot of "get together" to talk, which Edd thanked. He missed them.
Once they had graduated, Eddy's parents bought the boy a car at his college, and Eddy wasn't shy to use it...he was always driving. Edd at first reprimanded his behavior, but now he was very indifferent, besides Eddy didn't drive badly. Surely the email was just Eddy proposing they drove into town or to the city to grab a bite to eat and that he'd drive Edd to and from the location so he wouldn't miss class. Despite everything Eddy did and how he was...he was very considerate and understanding with friends. Surely the email was his, and with that Edd marked his employee card for the check-in...5 o'clock, barely made it.
The coffee shop wasn't a big place, it was...normal, tidy, cozy and always had that smell of freshly burnt coffee beans and a steam which in cold weather proved to be a life saver and gave a relaxing one during summer. Edd, of course enjoyed his work at the shop- though it wasn't his dream to become a barista or the sort. He felt the coffee shop not only helped him stabilize his economy but also train his memory abilities and learn to chat and small talk with a diverse group of individuals. Guys usually talked to him while waiting on their drinks and drinking them over problems and asking advice, while girls usually either talked to him for advice or to try and get his number. He was always courteous and responded to everyone, he even dared to apply some of his class' knowledge in some situations. Edd enjoyed his work and though he had never give out his number (not one girl interested him) he did learn the name of his regulars.
Edd prepared his work station, placing his syrup bottle and sweeteners by order and size, as well as cleaning the tables, entrance and dashboard, he washed every cup and tray he would use and he restocked the shelves of inventory, the fridge, the cup dispenser for all 3 sizes and the sugar boxes for the customers. He did this quite diligently and methodically, he didn't miss a step, a place, a spot or a stain. As some habits tend to not die easily, Edd always did these procedures wearing thick rubber gloves the cleaning room had and he sanitized every table, he detested a filthy working space (the term "filthy" used strictly). 6 o'clock Edd knew classes were about to start and there were always early rising customers, in the mean time he decided to take a sip of his own specially brewed coffee, placed his distinctive black overcoat with the logo "Peachtree" at the center and his specialty menu at the counter, while he read his notes on the subject he would be seeing in classes today. Edd was never the type to slack off, he was always keeping himself busy on studying or going ahead in lectures. He was quickly made to react as he heard the characteristic chime of the door for the day's first customer.
9 o'clock: after the first customer, Edd got a regular income of clients that kept him busy. He had become quite efficient at his work space, taking 3 to 5 minutes between order as he made the coffee or drink and delivered it. Sometimes though he would take longer, up to 8 minutes as he was ordered a recipe from his specialty menu, and he was working alone.
This menu had been talked over by him and his manager extensively since most of the recipes required precise calculations and the like...it was beyond the training offered or the interest the other employees had. This meant that the recipes weren't repeatable, and couldn't become part of the menu; Edd had skillfully and brilliantly exposed how his working hours and shifts were those with the least incomes and customers, his new menu might've just given the brand an extra push.
Indeed, Edd's calculations were correct and after the first month with the new menu at only specific and limited hours the number of customers risen by a 100% and the income by 125%...Edd was given a raise. Ironically though, Edd wasn't the one who sought money and praise, he did such actions only to improve the coffee shop to increase it's potential, no second motives. Edd had always been this way, probably one of the main reasons why Eddy blamed him on their plans failing as kids...Edd was incapable of cheating, lying, hiding or breaking rules. He always wanted to do what's right. As Edd took a quick break and sipped his drink which had sat patiently in a corner of his side of the counter, he thought of Eddy, on what they would talk about and what new scam he had in mind. Sometimes, things don't change that much.
As Edd, sighed and slightly dozed off, he awoke to the characteristic chime of the door. He was a light sleeper, and he was hating it today...he was so tired, dreadfully tired, exhausted. Last night sure had taken a toll on his body, he felt how he felt stiff and heavy as lead, he was sure clear marks on his face denoted sleep deprivation, and the coffee was having little to no effect on his system- meaning exhaustion. Then again, Edd had always the human body as a mystery and a perfect machine for he was rekindled with energy when he saw who was waiting to be attended.
Lyon: Hey Double D, how did you sleep?
Lyon seemed quite lively and brimming with energy as he burst in laughter, while Kevin beside him stood with half sleepy eyes and very exhausted poise.
Kevin: Hey dork, got me my coffee?
Edd: Sure, Kevin, just as you ordered.
Edd pulled from under the counter a special thermo-isolated mug in which he had kept Kevin's drink. For some reason Edd was so eager to seeing Kevin he had prepared the drink since he had entered the shop, he didn't want Kevin to wait a single second for his drink, and he didn't want it to get cold. All this payed to fruition as Kevin smiled as he saw his coffee poured right before him and delivered.
Kevin: Thanks, Edd, i really needed this...you're a life saver.
Lyon: Yeah, the crazy bastard stayed up all night mumbling in his sleep and studying your notes. He was just overjoyed with...OW!
Kevin's face had altered from his exhausted self to a fully awake pissed of Kevin, Edd could only wonder if the boys always got along this way.
Kevin: Shut it Lyon, I want to pass that class, and i don't want Edd here wasting time tonight in explaining yesterday's stuff to me again.
Edd: Kevin, you very well know i have no problem in repeating last night's content to you. You must comprehend at it's full extent the subject, not just skim it.
Lyon: Wow, this guys is quite the teacher eh Kevin?
Kevin: Yeah, i guess so, he has always helped me out.
Lyon: And to be able to teach Kevin, just makes you a saint with a free pass to heaven.
Kevin: Cut it Lyon, i'm too tired to beat your ass up. By the way, you are coming tonight right?
Edd: absolutely, we agreed on meeting at your dormitories at 8 o'clock...i may run a little late since i am finishing my classes schedule at that hour...
Kevin: Sweet! We'll see you there then.
Kevin hadn't allowed Edd to finish his excuse, but Edd payed no attention to it as he was overjoyed seeing Kevin gulp down with a smile on his face the coffee he had brewed specially for him and sighed with clear pleasure.
Edd: Um, E-Excuse me Kevin, did you say "we"?
Lyon: Aww, Edd you hurt me...did you already forget about me?
Edd couldn't help but giggle to this response, he actually had.
Edd: Oh, excuse me Lionel
Edd: Lyon, sorry, i think my memory and brain isn't all that well this morning with the lack of sleep last night.
Kevin: yeah i know man, brutal. I actually missed my morning class.
Edd was surprised Kevin could say such a thing with a calm demeanor and uncaring tone. Classes were top priority to Edd who felt that the least one could do as respect for the individual who was giving his time and knowledge to those who could change the world was to show up. Edd didn't get pissed or mad, he was a calm and self controlled man, but he was clearly annoyed as he frowned and looked at Kevin angrily.
Edd: Kevin! That isn't right, you must not miss classes, how do you expect to pass the class if you aren't even there to know what topics and content must you study?!
Kevin: Relax Double Dork, it's just one class, besides sleep and my physical well being is more important
Edd: Kevin, dont miss class! That's the only thing i'll say.
Edd: Classes are...
Kevin: I get it! IT WONT HAPPEN AGAIN!
Kevin had raised his voice a bit over the limit as some people asked him to keep it down. Edd wasn't upset he had just had an argument with Kevin, actually he felt more his friend as Kevin had actually listened to him and his concern.
On the other end of the table, Kevin was putting up a bothered and tough front as he tried to repress and hide his emotions. He was blushing but he made it look like it was his anger, he had simply loved how Edd had gotten over such a tiny detail as skipping a class. Kevin liked the extra attention, but he knew he was never to let Edd know this, he had to act tough and be a man...though he really wanted to.
Kevin had been raised in such a way where he was always pushed into sports, doing manly stuff, reacting manly and being overall...a macho man. That part was taken over by his father, a nearly 1.90m giant who had become a successful partner of the jawbreaker company. His mother however, always educated him in being proper, respectful and to express his feelings. The last was always an issue, Kevin repressed his feelings more than he exteriorized it. He feared them...he feared what his feeling were, why he felt them, if they were correct or if they would be corresponded. Kevin had always been a hard nut to crack but he somehow always managed to let his guard down besides the Double Dork. He had no idea why that happened and so he hid his emotions from Edd every time. That was maybe the reason why he kept putting up with Lyon and his lack of a social filter, Lyon was good at talking and listening...he was his confidant.
Kevin: Any way, what would you like to eat tonight Edd?
Lyon: WAIT! he gets to pick? I've never picked once what we'll...
Kevin: I said, Edd would choose!
Kevin said this in between his teeth and clearly pissed off and, though Edd couldn't see it, Kevin had just stomped on Lyon's foot, who winced and nodded agreeing.
Edd: Oh no, if Lyon here wishes to choose tonight's dinner i have...
Lyon: no, please Double D, choose, i have no idea what we'd eat either way.
Lyon said this in between his teeth, a hint of agony in the strain of his voice. Edd glanced seriously at Kevin, and started thinking what he would have them dine. Edd knew perfectly well what balance of proteins and nutrition was required for his body, but he didn't know of theirs. He could only guess Kevin was still the meat lover he had always been, but Lyon? As Edd pondered Kevin had finished his drink, but he still clung to it. Edd was obligated to answer immediately and to choose by a voice from behind Kevin.
"Hey! are you gonna order?! We're waiting!"
In fact, a line of 6 people had already formed behind Kevin and Lyon, Edd had stalled too much.
Edd: U-Um how about Burgers? There is a neat place...
Kevin: Across the street from campus, 2 blocks in...
Lyon: Called Buffalo's, they have a mean Meat Lovers burger.
The trio laughed as they were aware of such peculiar answer each had helped to complete.
Kevin: Well, we'll se you tonight Edd, thanks again man.
Lyon: We have to go Kevin, say your goodbyes fast.
Kevin: Dont pressure me dammit...see ya Double D.
Edd: See you guys tonight, i'll bring drinks!
Kevin: Love the idea!
The last had been said as Kevin and Lyon exited the door and Edd had started attending his next customer, who was quite unhappy for the delay. Nine-thirty, wow, had they just spent half and hour talking? How long had the line been formed and Edd hadn't noticed? Edd stopped his train of thought at the instant for he had to be quick and get to his customers. 8 o'clock, burgers with Lyon and Kevin and another study session. Though the coffee hadn't helped in picking his spirits up and motivating him, that thought certainly did. First though, Edd had a prior commitment at 12 o'clock...he had agreed to lunch with Eddy.
Quarter past 12, Edd was flustered he had not anticipated the rush hour college schedule; between 11 and 12 in the afternoon the campus' coffee shop always got stacked with students and teachers as each went to get their respective drink, food or lunch. It was always the busiest of the hours and though Edd didn't mind, this time he was bothered it consumed more time than usual to finish the last customer, clean the work space and checkout. Somehow though, he still had energy from the morning talk he had with Kevin and Lyon, but more than anxiety or joy, he was now feeling uneasy and nervous.
Eddy, being the one who visited him the most and actually took him out in his car, was Edd's confidant, they had been since always. Edd told Eddy about everything going on in his life, insecurities, crushes, doubts, etc. Today though, he was feeling a bit less on the bright side of seeing his childhood friend for he knew one topic was going to rise and Edd was unsure how to handle it...Kevin.
Kevin and Eddy had a long history of being enemies, and the two just loathed each other for what Edd understood. And despite them not butting heads anymore, Eddy still asked how his enemy was faring. Edd had always dropped the subject as he had little information on Kevin, since he rarely saw him or talked to him, changing it more to himself. Eddy was well aware Edd concerned himself with Kevin, he was part of the Cul-de-Sac, but he tried to pull Edd away from growing any feelings toward Kevin and to side with him, which had proven anything but successful.
As Edd kept thinking on what would he tell Eddy about Kevin, his phone rang.
Edd: Yes this is Eddward, who do i have the pleasure to speak with?
Eddy: Jesus Double D! You keep answering like a messenger machine you doofus!
Edd: Eddy! What a glad surprise!
Eddy: Surprise? We agreed to eat at this hour! I'm hungry where are ya? Don't tell me you stayed cleaning that damn place you work at.
Edd: I was just leaving, where do we meet?
Eddy: Where do you think?! The parking lot, as always!
Edd: Don't scream Eddy.
Eddy: The hell i won't, i'm starving Double D, hurry up!
Edd: I'm terribly sorry Eddy, I'll be right...
At this, Eddy hungup, leaving Edd to start running to the parking lot. Edd ran in his old fashioned manner, elbows out, chest in front, he had never learned or bothered to learn how to avoid running this way...he was probably unaware of it too.
The parking lot was quite close to the coffee shop, just down a few stairs, a botanical garden was the only thing separating the two locations, which offered a great scenery to the coffee shop. It was cause of this that the coffee shop was also quite popular and its design so modern. Glass walls on the side of the botanical garden, with a wooden deck gave a wonderful sensation to whomever sought peace, fresh air, a study spot, or reading location. It was here where Edd usually studied, since he had such a tight schedule he optimized his time and wasted the least possible of it.
The car had been a gift from his parents, red and very sporty, it was a four seater and Eddy's baby. The car however didn't compare to the owner, the once tiny and peculiar Eddy had quite a transformation in his puberty and preteen years. Eddy had grown, a huge growth spurt, but he was still shorter than Edd in the end (172cm), but that was the least of the changes. Eddy had grown quite the amount of hair on his head, and though he still had his 3 characteristic hairs which stuck out, they had become thicker with brown hair and his head was now covered with a silky, smooth, manageable short brown hair. At the same time, Eddy's body had become quite slim and bulky as he had spent doing weights in his early years. He sure had a figure and strong arms, also lost nearly all his baby fat. His face had become slimmer, marking a distinct chin, giving him a youthful appearance. He was quite the looker, and the fact that (studying business) he always wore a suit and combed his hair back made him quite popular with girls now a days; there were even rumors he was seeing Nazz.
Edd though had seen Eddy through all his growth and change and he knew these had come with great complications. As he stayed in sleepover at Eddy's house, he had seen how Eddy battled with his bursts of acne, struggled with his first strands of hair with grew erratically, how he weighed and measured himself constantly cause his weight had been wavering through his bodily change between overweight and underwgeight. Luckily, everything helped form Eddy's character and grow quite secure of his hard worked and suffered handsome looks. Edd admired and envied him for it, if only he had been the same.
Eddy: What's the hold up Double D?
Eddy's comment had Edd fasten his steps yet again from his dazed steps as he had analyzed and measured his friend again.
Edd: Sorry Eddy, we may now lunch where you please.
Eddy: Of course we will, besides it's been a while since we talked.
Edd: Yeah it sure had, are there any new developments?
Eddy: We'll talk about it over lunch Double D, i'm starving.
Both boys got into the red sports car, and as Eddy put on aviator shades and glanced at some freshmen girls, he sped out of the campus exit. Edd was quite skiddish when safety was involved, that was why he never took up driving. Speed regulations, mortality indexes, probability of death at every corner, endless combinations of death situations, the uncontrollable variable of human and 3rd party actions...it was too much for him. Edd, if anything, rode a plain bike, which he always cared and chained carefully, hence it was only natural for him to tense up with speedracer Eddy. Luckily for Edd, the drive was only a couple blocks and turns from campus, a new bistro which had opened and apparently Eddy had already gone. As Eddy parked the car and hurriedly got out, Edd took his time, calming his shacking and rattled self.
Eddy: Jesus Edd, you're shaking more than a blender.
Eddy laughed loudly.
Edd: Eddy, do you have any idea how many accidents we could've had? We could've died, we're lucky to live.
Eddy: Oh, please mom. Edd, you gotta stop worrying about all these "what ifs" and numbers. Live a little.
With this, Eddy entered the bistro, and after a few deep breaths so did Edd. Lunch was quite fresh and tranquil, Eddy had ordered a glass of white wine with his turkey breast panini, and Edd took some soda with his vegetable panini. Edd, always kept his food intake, calorie count, and energy consumption under check and since he was gonna dine burger, he made sure he had a healthy but filling lunch. Eddy, on the other hand rejoiced in his meal. The two changed little words at the moment, commentating on the food and Eddy's new plans.
Eddy had quite successfully started an In-Campus business at his college, where he actually sold lecture copies, for a high price. Edd wasn't pleased at the idea, but he knew Eddy too well to try and change his mind. Eddy didn't mention much details on the plan either, except that it offered an easier way out as he knew and had contacts that could provide the lectures required. In the end, finished eating, the topic escalated from academic to personal where two big topics shot Edd.
Edd: Eddy, are you telling me you are seeing Nazz?
Eddy: Double D, we're close friends and i have gorgeous looks, it was only natural, besides it's not anything formal or the sort.
Edd: But, do you like her?
Eddy: Who wouldn't? Who hasn't?!
Edd: Oh my God Eddy! I'm so happy, you have finally found...
Edd had tried to reach out and hug Eddy across the table to which Eddy placed a hand to stop him and immediately cut him off.
Eddy: Save your speech Romeo, even you had a crush on her remember? It's nothing special, besides i gotta play it cool.
Edd: But Eddy, if two people are made to be together, they will be regardless...
Eddy: Double D, you really have seen too many romance movies.
Edd: You know I only watch the classics.
Eddy: And chick flicks.
Edd: Some. Scarcely. They are quite shallow and...
Edd: Ok, i am a sucker for drama. The extremes of human emotional conditions and the bodily reactions toward events or people, it's so...
Eddy: Wow, you just took the fun out of Movies.
At this last comment Edd blushed shameful while Eddy laughed loudly...Edd joined the laughter in the end. It was time well spent. But, thinking he had saved himself the bother of speaking about Kevin, Eddy touched the subject dreaded.
Eddy: By the way Double D, have you seen Kevin?
Edd: Yes, he's always the same old Kevin.
Eddy: Still giving you a hard time?
Edd blushed at the comment, Eddy had always stuck up for him. Eddy wasn't really bullied at any moment in his life, unless it was Kevin. To Edd, to know he had such a friend he could rely on regardless the situation or the problem, warmed him greatly.
Edd: Well, n-not really Eddy, I mean...i'm helping him study, mid terms are coming, b-but he has...
Eddy: So he still uses you. Tcht, the rat...you have got to stop letting yourself being used by him Double D.
Edd: Eddy, it's not like that anymore. I mean, he's been quite...
Eddy: I swear Double D, if i hear the idiot is giving you a hard time, i'll drive across town just to beat his ass.
Edd: That will be unnecessary Eddy, i can handle myself.
Eddy: Then stop slaving yourself helping him out!
Edd: I actually offered my services.
Eddy: And why the hell would you do that!
Edd: Because...friends help each other
Eddy was left mute and wide-eyed at the last comment. Double D and Kevin? Friends? Was this a joke? Or was Edd being honest and betraying him? Eddy's face and manners became much more serious.
Eddy: Are you changing me Double D? For Kevin?
Edd: Eddy...you know it's not that way.
Edd cupped Eddy's hands across the table, Edd's maximum demonstration of affection and trust. It was something gained through years of friendship and hardships overcome. Edd couldn't imagine his life without Eddy, and much less how he could've survived his early years and highschool without him. He couldn't lose him, he didn't want to...he needed him.
Edd: Eddy, we've been friends a long time...all our lives. You know all my secrets, i tell you everything. New friends will never change that. No one will ever be better than you or Ed, you two have been and will always be my friends for all my life.
Eddy: Ok, lets cut the mushiness shall we?
Edd: Eddy, Kevin is just a new friend, he's the only one i know since we were kids. Sometimes, you just need someone to talk to, someone you know...someone with whom to talk and "hang out".
Eddy: Geez, if you missed us that much you could've called, i'd given you a fun night out.
Eddy winked at Edd and both burst into laughter as Edd also blushed brightly. It was the end of the conversation, and it was nearly time for Edd to get to class: 1 thirty in the afternoon, he had half an hour. They each payed their share of the bill and Eddy drove Edd back to his university, it was a hard goodbye. Both boys hugged as they hugged since they were kids, Eddy sinking his head in Edd's neck and Edd patting his back with one arm. They agreed in weekly lunch meetings to stay in touch and to text much more frequently, and Eddy assured that he would protect Edd if Kevin was being a douche. With an "hasta luego" Eddy left to his own college, and Edd moved to his classes. Another thing off the "To Do" list and Edd grew much more anxious as the hours passed...he now had a dinner pending with Kevin and Lyon.
8o'clock at night, Edd had just finished his last class and though he chatted briefly with classmates over notes, lectures and a study group for the subject, he lost little time and quickly made his way to Kevin's dorms. It was a chilly night, and Edd (being cold bodied) felt his furry leather black jacket quite inefficient, he needed heat soon. Reaching inside the dorms gave him a quick relief, and he hurried to Kevin's room, third floor, to the left, 302. Edd was freezing, and he wanted the warmth of Kevin's room desperately, for which he hammered the door a bit too vigurously than he desired. As the door opened Edd was relieved in receiving the heat wave from the heater each room had. As Edd stood in the doorway taking in the heat, he gave out a sigh of relief and only opened his eyes to see Kevin standing in the doorway and no Lyon to be found.