Horror and Spice
“Uh-huh. Mm.” Leo mumbled while nodding his head. His hands were folded against his chest; his legs crossed while sitting on the edge of Brandon’s bed.
It took quite some time to explain to my best friends what actually happened. Leo was the hardest to convince.
“You were sitting on him Mira. Sitting on him. Do you understand what you just did?” Leo scolded. I sighed heavily. “You’re lucky Brandon didn’t attack you. You know how much of a manslut he is.”
I snorted a bit too loudly before I burst into a fit of chuckles. Nichole followed after me. Leo was being serious, but what he said was just hilarious.
“Hi, I’m awake.” Brandon mumbled. He was still lying on his bed, his tone dripping with annoyance. Thankfully he was wearing a shirt now, Leo helped him take off his jeans earlier.
I secretly took a photo of that precious scene. I will never live this one down.
Leo shot him a look. “Stop feigning sickness. You planned this, didn’t you?”
I snorted. Leo was acting like my dad right now. Better than my dad actually, because my dad was a lying bastard.
“I’m not!” Brandon whined, sitting up - barely. “I’m really sick!”
“Sure you are,” Leo said, not at all convinced.
“Whatever man. I told you I’m sick. We joined a burger-eating contest earlier, and the last round had jalapeños on them.” He shuddered from the memory, the color on his face drained.
Leo looked at me and silently asked for my confirmation; I nodded. The judgemental look on his face slowly softened into a concerned one. He sighed before running his hand over his face. He was such a drama queen sometimes.“You okay?”
Brandon groaned quietly. “I threw up most of what I ate. And the burning sensation on my tongue is gone too. I just wanna take a nap.”
Leo shook his head like he understood why. I didn’t get it. All this, after just a few spicy burgers? Why was his body reacting like this? It makes no sense at all.
“Well, get some rest now. We’ll be outside,” Nichole said as she made her way out the door, pulling my arm so we’d go together. I glanced over my shoulder and saw Leo quietly talking with Brandon.
I’m so curious. So curious.
I sat comfortably on Leo’s sofa. His room was a lot like Brandon’s, only messier. I had a hard time finding the sofa since it was concealed by a pile of clothes and some unidentified objects.
We’ve been hanging out here for two or three hours already. I’m dying of boredom.
Nichole cleaned up parts of the mess; Leo didn’t seem to care. I glared at him, hoping he’d notice. Why the hell does he keep his room messy if Nichole occasionally comes to visit?
“I don’t get it,” Nichole broke the silence among us. “Why’s Brandon so weak against spices? I get that he isn’t fond of them. But isn’t he just exaggerating to get Mira’s attention?”
My brows rose immediately. “How’d you come up with that conclusion?”
Nichole shot me a look, as if she knew I was playing innocent. I wasn’t. I didn’t understand at all so she shrugged it off and waved an airy hand. “It’s so obvious that he likes you.”
My mind was convincing the whole of me that that wasn’t true, but my heart was a badass rebel. It punched my cage a bit too hard that the impact affected my throat and caused me to swallow hard.
I love it when I talk nonsensical science in my head.
“Nichole,” I said calmly, ignoring the weird sensation I’m currently feeling. “We made a deal, remember? Whoever likes the other first, loses. If he already liked me then he would’ve lost and stopped already.”
I repeated that inside my head and nodded, agreeing with myself. That was a fact.
Nichole groaned loudly as she threw Leo’s stuff in a basket under the table. Leo let out a short, high-pitched cry when he saw how his girlfriend forcefully pressed her hand against all his things inside the basket, stuffing it all in an unorganized fashion to save space.
I assume he had something precious in there and she probably murdered it already, but he didn’t have the heart to tell that to her.
“I never knew you were this dense. God,” she sighed in exasperation.
I released a heavy breath. I hated it when I’m being criticized, especially if the one doing it is my best friend. But I didn’t talk back. She might be right. I’m in the middle of confusion myself.
Maybe what she said was true. Maybe Brandon really did like me. Maybe he just used this game as an excuse to get close to me. Maybe. Maybe.
Maybe I’m out of my mind for considering those possibilities.
Maybe I’ll get hurt in the end.
“About his condition,” Leo intervened, probably sensing where our conversation was going. Good Leo. “You know those things associated with trauma?”
We didn’t know where he was going with this but we gestured for him to continue.
Leo nonchalantly grabbed his basket of stuff under his desk and checked if his things were still intact after its unintentional assassination by Nichole. “Something happened to him when he was a kid that involved chili, so every time he eats anything spicy, he gets weak or something.”
I was slowly sinking in that new piece information in my brain.
“What happened to him when he was a kid?” Nichole asked.
Leo shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. He never told me about that, and he looked uncomfortable with the subject so I stopped asking about that a long time ago.”
Nichole and I quietly nodded our heads. I didn’t know what to think. His weird condition. Was it serious? Was it even considered a condition? I don’t know.
As I thought. He really is weird.
“Oh yeah,” Leo exclaimed, looking like he just remembered something. He rummaged his bag for something then held out a DVD in front of us. “We were about to show this to Brandon earlier before we walked into your guys fun.”
I sent him a hard glare but he just swatted it off. Bitch.
“I want to watch this new horror movie with him and make fun of him when he cries at all the gory scenes.” He proudly announced.
I didn’t resist an eye roll. Leo was such a kid. Nichole scoffed right beside him. “Like you’re any braver.”
He put an arm around her shoulder and smiled wryly at her. “Baby, I’ll show you how much I’ve changed after watching Insidious with you.” And then he leaned closer to her face. She didn’t look affected in the slightest. In fact, she looked annoyed. Hah. “You’ll be the one clinging to me this time.”
“Right.” She said, uninterested. She took Leo’s hand off her shoulder and stared at me, motioning her head to the door. “Since we’re all here, let’s watch it together. Mira, go get Brandon.”
What? No no no.
“But he’s still resting!” Leo complained before I got to say no. Go tell her Leo!
“It’s been three hours. He’s rested enough. Now go get the manslut.”
Leo and I exchanged close-to-crying-faces. Me, because I was too awkward to see him again because of what happened earlier and of what Nichole made me think of him, and Leo, because of his concern for Brandon, maybe.
Nichole was a sweet girl. But she can be pretty demanding at times. And since she’s our best friend, we can’t say no to her. The same goes for her towards us.
I grudgingly got up from my seat and went to get him. The sooner I get this task done, the better for my health.
“Are you sure you don’t want to sit this one out?” Leo said, sounding partly concerned, partly smug. “Want me to give you a handicap?”
Brandon raised his brow at his stupid roommate. “Is that an insult?” He was better now, thankfully, but I couldn’t tear my eyes off his bed-hair. It was tousled softly and generous dark-brown strands flowed down to his forehead, framing it gorgeously.
My potato was offensively attractive right now.
He didn’t seem to notice me enjoying the wonderful view he was providing me with, and continued measuring dicks with Leo. “I’m game bro. But if you scream before any of us, you owe me lunch for a week.”
Leo opened his mouth to retort but after subtly thinking about it, he agreed. Not a good move Leo. “Fine. But if you scream first, I own your car for a week.”
It was a great loss for both parties, but since both parties were airheads, they came into agreement. Nichole and I exchanged sighs.
I tugged Brandon’s sleeve and felt my breath get caught in my throat when he looked at me. What was wrong with me lately? My period is messing with my head. “Are you sure you’re okay now?”
He sent me a warm smile, his eyes narrowed softly. Ohh man. His eyes were so pretty. “Yeah.”
Nichole jumped at my side and hugged my arm. She looked so excited. “The movie’s called Ouija. I saw the trailer. I can’t wait to see it!”
“Is it that good?” I replied with the same enthusiasm. Nichole and I shared the same love for horror movies, which was a major disadvantage for the boys we were with right now.
We were given strange looks. We were used to that now so it didn’t bother us anymore. It should be us giving them the weird looks because we had bigger balls than them.
Leo had a smug grin on his face when he led us to their living room where their flat screen was. I turned off some of the lights to set the mood and Nichole went to get some snacks.
“Dude, I can’t wait to hear you cry and scream. You’ll be begging me to turn the lights on.” Leo smirked.
My expression mirrored Brandon’s; a look of disgust. Why is my best friend such an idiot? He quickly recovered. His previous expression was replaced with a smirk. “Dude, I never knew you wanted me this bad.”
Cue in maniacal laugh here.
“See, I told you he was gay,” I whispered loud enough for them to hear. Nichole, who was making herself comfortable on the couch, laughed and set the snacks on the coffee table.
Leo, slow as he’ll ever be, realized what he just said and complained. “No! You know that’s not what I - ugh! Never mind. Let’s just watch the movie.”
Aw, our little Leo gave up just like that? I was expecting he’d put up more fight, but oh well. Maybe he’s still mentally preparing himself for the movie.
He and Nichole sat on the couch while I settled on the floor. I didn’t want to disturb whatever it was they’ll do during the movie. Last time I went with them to the movies, they snuggled and flirted the whole time. And they started playfully biting each other’s fingers too.
I had fun with my popcorn, though. My popcorn loved me.
Anyway, I didn’t want to experience that again. As much as I love my best friends, it was still weird seeing them doing those things. It was like watching your siblings flirting. Oh. Ew. Forget I said that.
Please tell me I didn’t just ruin their image.
Brandon probably felt the same, so he decided to sit beside me on the floor. Too close beside me.
He silently snorted before he stared at me, engaging himself in a quiet conversation with me about our best friend’s stupidity. Leo was stupid. But we love him.
It was slightly dim, and I don’t get why that weird sensation I felt from earlier enhanced dramatically. Dim, but I could see him clearly.
That look on his face. That playful grin. That damn mouth.
The conclusion was simple.
Brandon = Dangerous.
“Stop flirting with my best friend you asshole,” Leo said but bitterly. I held back a blush. Shit. I blush? He was just looking at me. How can Leo confuse that with flirting? “Play the movie already.”
Brandon gave me a last smile before he glared at Leo but did as told anyway. The movie started, but I couldn’t concentrate. He sat too close for my liking and I could feel his body heat radiating from his skin. I was too conscious.
Snap out of it Mira.
Okay, so at horror movies, usually the girl clings to the guy out of utter fear then the guy releases all his cool moves to get himself points, so he does everything he can to comfort the girl, right? What do guys usually do? I’ll tell you the stereotypical facts.
Cliche #1 - He’ll hold your hand.
In our case, it was Brandon and Leo who ended up holding hands. We were at the part where the kid with stitches on her mouth showed up. I criticized the lack of creativity with the make-up while Nichole complained why there weren’t enough exciting soundtracks to fit the scene.
Of course, the boys had to play it cool, so they nonchalantly let go of each other’s hands. I don’t get it though. I was right beside Brandon, and Leo was beside Nichole. Why they chose each other instead of us was a question neither of us could answer.
Cliche #2 - He’ll embrace you; make you feel safe.
Nichole probably wanted to snuggle with Leo like they usually did, but he just kept jumping at all the surprising scenes. Nichole gave up and sat down with me on the floor, deciding that I was more fun a companion than Leo in watching this kind of movie.
Brandon saw his chance and climbed up the sofa, sitting right next to Leo. Another surprising scene flashed from the TV screen, and unconsciously, the two boys were wrapped up in each other’s arms. Adorable little ugly pansies.
Cliche #3 - He’ll tell you ‘don’t be afraid’.
“This is just a movie,” Leo chanted, thinking we couldn’t hear. “This is just a movie. It’s not real.”
Well, they were pretty much in the middle of convincing their selves not to be afraid.
“It can happen in real life,” I reminded. I mean, I’ve read about this things. Spirit boards, which was what the movie was all about, aren’t to be played with. Leo was silent for a bit. Brandon made up his own chant in his best friend’s silence.
“It’s just make-up, effects and really good actors. It’s just make-up, effects - shit.”
Nichole and I tried hard not to laugh. This was ridiculous. How could they be so afraid of this movie? It wasn’t even that scary.
I released my legs from my cross position and hugged my knees to my chest, burying my chin on my knees on the process. My eyes were glued to the screen. We were finally at the climax.
“We’re not playing that board game, but we’re watching them doing it on-screen, so doesn’t that mean the same thing? Will we get cursed too?” I heard Leo ask Brandon. He wasn’t even being sarcastic. He was serious. “What if this movie’s like that one film where an Asian chick with really long hair climbs out of the screen? Fuck, why did I even choose this movie?”
I concealed a snort. I can’t take this anymore.
Remembering their deal, I thought of a great idea. Both of them got scared, yes, but none of them yelled just yet. I will not be satisfied with my night if none of them screams. So I told Nichole what I had in mind.
I said it low enough so they wouldn’t hear. My best friend laughed and agreed quickly. We had one mind when it comes to things like this.
When the movie was nearing it’s end, Nichole and I quietly crawled on the floor behind the chair. The boys were so deeply engrossed in the movie that they didn’t notice us at all.
We slowly stood up, leaning close enough to each boy’s ear so they could hear us clearly, but far enough so they won’t know what’s coming.
The last part came where the girl looked through the glass. Nichole and I took this as our cue and whispered with hoarse and scary-like voices to the boys - “Hi friend.”
It was like the tagline of the whole movie. As soon as we delivered the sentence, both boys jumped from the couch and released high-pitched screams with all their might.
Before they noticed who had done it, they both ran to Leo’s room and slammed it close. Nichole and I roared in laughter, our eyes pooling with tears.
I can’t believe those boys were such wimps. It took them at least ten minutes before they realized who had done it. I assume they thought we were caught by the ghosts, not that we were the so-called ghosts ourselves.
They were mad, yeah, but it was worth it. And they didn’t say a single thing about the bet. They both screamed at the same time.
Two grown men afraid of horror films. This was precious. Precious blackmail.
Brandon couldn’t even look at me. He was probably embarrassed with what they had just done. They just completely proved their unmanliness to us tonight.
And I’m sure tomorrow, they’re either gonna do their best to make up for it, or they’re going to plot revenge against us.
Either way though, they’ll lose.
I smiled quietly to myself. I can’t wait to see what my unmanly potato will do.
A/N: I just ate a tub of yoghurt and two cartons of milk all by myself. Guess what happened next.