A year and a half went by, and it seemed Nick and I were well adjusted to our new lives.
Sometimes we were late on rent. The car was having more problems by the day. And I still hated Lance, but we were doing what we set out to do.
Our apartment was livable. We had a bed, a couch and a couple of TVs. We were doing it, but something always felt missing.
“I don’t get it. Aren’t comic books supposed to be about action and superheroes?” I asked.
“Not every comic,” Nick explained.
“The main character doesn’t even have powers,” I added.
It took us a long while to decide what to do with the extra room. I wanted a gym or theater, but Nick wanted an office. We decided, as long as Nick got to turn it into an office, I’d get to pick out our first couch for the living room. That was a terrible deal since, in the end, I didn’t have enough taste to pick a sofa without Nick choosing it for me. Either way, we turned the extra room into an office.
I didn’t understand what Nick used it for until that day. I’d always see him working on something in there, but he always hid it from me if I tried to walk in on him.
He was working on a comic book.
I’m not sure why he decided to unveil the book to me on the same day we had friends over, but I was glad he finally let me in.
“He doesn’t...its not ...never mind,” Nick said, taking the comic from my hands and closing it.
“Wait, babe, Nick,” I said, grabbing his shoulders before I added, “It looks cool, it does, but you know I’m not a book guy. I’m a Meat Head, remember?
“You hate when I call you that,” he grinned.
“It’s ok when I say it. But Nick, it’s good. I’m sure everyone will want to read Runaways,” I said.
“But is it good enough?” He asked, looking away from me even as I kept him from moving.
He wrote and drew a comic based on our lives. I couldn’t see why anyone else would be interested in our story until I read it in those black and white pages. But Nick was self-conscious. I let him go so he could put away his book.
“I thought you wanted to own a comic shop, not make comics?” I asked.
“I changed my mind.”
“And you think Lance will sell this?”
“I hope he will,” Nick said while I walked around the desk to hug him from behind.
It was raining cats and dogs outside but the natural gloom of the outdoors mixed well with the low ambient light of the room. Had we not invited guests over, I would have fucked Nick on his desk to cheer him up.
A year and a half went by, and I still hadn’t seen or talked to my family. I wondered if they thought about me anymore. Did they think I was dead? It helped that Nick and I finally had friends, but I couldn’t help but wonder.
“I thought you said our baseball team sucks,” Nick asked while we left the office to join everyone else in the living room.
“It does, but it’s our team,” I answered.
The Seattle Mariners was probably one of if not the worst baseball teams in America. By 2002, they had yet to win or even play in a world series, but the Seahawks weren’t playing, so what else was I supposed to watch.
“I always wanted to play baseball in Highschool, but my dad pushed me to play football,” I told Nick as we walked behind the long four-seater couch.
“They’re alive,” Dill Weed remarked.
I sat at the end of the couch, and Nick sat in my lap because I made him. Beside us was Dill Weed, the neighborhood weed guy. Beside him was Paula and her girlfriend of the week I had yet to learn the name of.
“So what was so special you too had to talk in private,” Dill asked.
“Something Private,” I said.
“Can we get another round of drinks,” Paula asked.
Most of our friends were older than us, but somehow Nick and I were the most mature.
Nick got up to hit the kitchen for us while I stayed seated.
“How bad is it,” I asked.
“They just started, but it’s already a bloodbath,” Dill Weed explained.
When Nick came back with a round of drinks, he tried to avoid sitting in my lap again, but I caught him by the waist and pulled him down.
“You know what’s going on,” I asked him.
“I know sports,” he remarked before I joked, “you know sports as well as I know comics.”
Dill weed was right, the game was a blood bath, but it was expected. Nick and I hardly paid attention to the screen while we made out. Paula and her new soon-to-be ex-girlfriend fought in the kitchen, and Dill Weed was the odd man out. Of course, he was too high to care.