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Rick & Gen

McKinnon sat there, staring at me in awe. I sat across from him, contorting my face in a multitude of silly ways in an attempt to snap him out of it.

“Hellooo! Earth to McKinnon!” I waved my hand in his direction through a mouthful of laughter.

“Chanti, I-I’m lost for words...That was.. a- amazing!” he exclaimed, the words barely escaping his mouth.

“Yeahh, I am really nice widdit, feel me?” I said, smugly, nonchalantly shrugging my shoulders and dusting them off with the tips of my fingers on corresponding sides.

“Where’d you learn to write a - and, - think that way?” McKinnon asked in an amazed tone.

“Well... when I was younger, I’d keep journals and whatnot..” My voice trailed off as I paused, smiling at the memory. “In highschool, I took African American studies and a few creative writing classes. realized I actually had a knack for ’dis whole spoken word thang.” I shrugged, smirking gently.

’“Have you ever considered performing?” he inquired.

“Oh you mean like at an open mic? Nah.. I jus’ haven’t gotten around to it yet.” I looked away, my voice quieting as I responded.

“I see now..” Gary paused, nodding his head slowly - his eyes narrowing. “Someone’s a lil scaredy cat.”

“’Xcuse me?” My eyes went wide as I laughed at his revelation.

He pierced his hooded eyes in my direction. “It’s okay! Your secret’s safe with me.” Gary continued to tease me playfully.

“Whatever!” I exclaimed, hiding my face in my hands, allowing only my eyes to peek through.

“If you were to ever get past your nerves -”

“Boy, what nerves?” I interjected sassingly, getting on one knee, making me square with his face.

“The ones you work up when trying to prove me wrong.” he said, smugly.

I chuckled slightly, my mouth agape as I positioned myself to sit square on the floor as I was before.

“I do have a knack for that - if I do say so myself.” I remarked, nodding at McKinnon assuredly.

He proceedingly nodded his head in laughter. “As I was saying, if you were ever to get past them, I’d love to be there to support you.” He smiled at me perringly and reassuringly.

“You would be.” I said, definitely.

We sat there for a few moments, our focuses shifting between the project and gazing into each other’s eyes adoringly as McKinnon’s phone began to vibrate in his pocket. He took it out and looked at the screen, then back at me guiltily.

“Go on babes, take it.” I lifted my chin up in the direction of his phone, nodding my head reassuringly.

“You sure?” He mouthed the words to me as I nodded my head once again.

By the way the phone rang, I could tell it was a FaceTime call, causing me to scoot myself further away from him than I already was. McKinnon answered the call, holding the phone a few centimeters back from his face.

“What’s up Rick?” Gary said cooly.

“Hey Gar.” The husky voice on the other line spoke.

I continued to work on the collage while casually listening in on their conversation.

“So… Gen and I are heading to the bowling alley tomorrow…. Wanna tag along?” the voice asked.

“Oh yeah sure! One thing though, I do have a special someone that I’d like to bring with me. “ I looked up and smiled in McKinnon’s direction, him smiling back at me in return.

“Ooooh, a lady friend! Getting back on the horse aren’t we bud?” Rick said in a playful manner. I bursted out in laughter, aware he wouldn’t have stuck his foot in his mouth like that if he knew I was present.

Really man?” Gary empathically inquired, looking displeased and uncomfortable with his friend’s no-filter revelation. He then flipped the camera in my direction which took a second to register as I was still meticulously concentrating on my project on the ground. When I did look up, I made eye contact with a brown- haired, green eyed man with pale skin and a sculpted face structure through the screen. Rick looked understandably flustered as he greeted me.

“Hello Ms... “ he began, his face still painted red from laughter that occurred just moments ago.

“Chantelle, but I go by Chanti.” I softly giggled, blush painting itself onto my face.

“Sorry about the - y’know earlier…” His voice trailed off in embarrassment, a gentle smile forming on his face.

No worries kid! I’ss all good, I dig the wingman energy! I chuckled as I nodded my head in reassurance.

“Of course you do.” McKinnon revelled, eying me adoringly.

“Ay! I sense that judgement sir! You ’ont know! Maybe I’ve served as a great wingwoman to a lot of folks in my time!” I exclaimed, playfully and defensively - getting all in his face.

McKinnon only nodded his head gently, eyeing me piercingly in response.

What, wanna fight me on that? Whatchu gon do, huh huh huh?” I interrogated playfully, squaring myself up to him. McKinnon simply lowered my hands down, kissing me softly in response.

I like this one, Gar!” Rick exclaimed laughingly. “Has quite the fire in her doesn’t she?” he inquired, knowingly.

“And you know dis!” I exclaimed self-assuredly and humorously.

“So bowling tomorrow?” Rick inquired, the screen still turned my direction, me putting weight on McKinnon’s knee.

“I’m down!” I revelled excitedly. “Di thing is dough," I began to explain, my vernacular canceling out the "th," in the last word of my sentence to sound like the letter "D" as in "doughnut, "I don’ really’ do sports and ’dis an ‘nat so if I, y’know jus’ stick to the sidelines and whatnot - jus’ letting you know beforehand..”’ I explained, semi-awkwardly as they both gently laughed.

“Uhuh..” Rick nodded in understanding yet I could tell he was amused by my honest admission that bowling is not necessarily my strength.

“Bowling is not a sport, CeeCee.” McKinnon said, semi assertively, waggling his index finger in my direction. My eyes widened a brief moment, darting away from him as I thought of what to say in response.

“Y’know what I really wanna know is how you be comin’ up wit’ these nicknames right off the top of ya pretty little..head!” I joked, hitting the side of his forehead with the tip of my finger, slipping into my vernacular.

“Stop trying to deflect from the topic at hand, Chanti!” Rick whimsically exclaimed through the wirelessly communicative box. I assertively took the phone from the palm of my boyfriend’s hand.

“You jus’ got here and ya already makin’ demands? I’ve been dating this one for a lil over a month and he knows I’m not one for backtalk!” I lifted my chin up in McKinnon’s direction, then playfully stuck my tongue out at Rick.

“She’s right!” Gary held the phone a few centimeters away from the both of us, widely enough for his friend to get a look at his laughter filled expression.

“Besides, you know I’m a psych major. It’s not like I’m tryna be... Sereena!” I asserted jokingly, briefly turning to McKinnon. He proceeded to chuckle as I noticed Rick’s face take on a more serious expression, narrowing his brows in confusion.

“You mean you were - when you were in college?” he inquired, in need of clarity.

“Oh no, I’m still there now. Workin’ towards my master’s.” I clarified, nodding my head as I spoke.

“Interesting..” Rick said, as he was pondering on what I’d just declared, his brows still furrowed.

“Hey babe! Who ya talkin’ to?” A husky yet inviting female voice inquired Rick, out of view of the camera.

“Oh it’s just Gar’... a-and his new girlfriend, Chanti..” his voice trailed off with a smile as he pulled the woman onto the left side of his lap. I smiled at the ground blushing due to the word he’d used to describe me in relation to his best friend.

Oooh I wanna meet her!” she said excitedly, ducking her face into the camera and waving. “Hey, I’m Genevive - my friends call me Gen for short.”

“ Gen, whuss good sis?!” I responded emphatically. “I’m Serenity. but you’re welcome to call me Chanti for short -

“Ya know, it bugs me that ya forgot to mention all the various nicknames I’ve bestowed upon you!” McKinnon playfully interjected. “Including Ren, CeeCee, Ren-Ren…” his voice trailed off as he looked in my direction laughingly and adoringly.

“Boy…. you jus’ a trip...” I remarked as I firmly mushed his face with the palm of my hand gently, glancing back at him adoringly as he laughed inaudibly.

“Aren’t you two jus’ the cutest couple of lovebirds on this here Earth?” Gen inquired endearingly.

“I’d have to agree with you on that one Gen.” I nodded my head. Gen possessed very delicate features - strawberry blonde hair and complementary caterpillar filled eyebrows, with pink painted, full lips that further accentuated her wide, grass hued orbits.

“You’re surely coming along to the outing tomorrow..?” Gen’s voice trailed off, her eyes filled with inquiry and simultaneous hopefulness.

“I’ll be there.” I said, self-assuredly.

“Yay!” Gen clapped her hands quickly and energetically. “Sometimes being around all that testosterone is rough ya know?”

“I feel you sis!” I exclaimed, further excited by her energy.

“Hey!” The two men exclaimed simultaneously as Gen and I tittered so hardly that it was practically inaudible.

I caressed Gary’s face adoringly for a brief moment, smiling gently.

“Before you guys get all nasty we’re gonna go..” Rick semi jokingly, yet uncomfortably remarked.

“Oh leave ’em alone honey, let the kids enjoy their cupcake phase!” Gen declared playfully tapped his shoulder with the bass of her hand.

I only smiled proudly at the camera in response, my hand still caressing the line of Gary’s jaw.

“Tomorrow at 11?” Gen inquired as Gary and I nodded each of our heads in confirmation going in for a passionate smooch.

“That’s in the case that they haven’t swallowed each other by then!” Rick exclaimed, teasingly his sentence cut off by his whole-hearted laughter.

I playfully flipped him off, Gary and I still not cut off by our kiss the phone line cutting off with us continuing to do so.

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