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The First Mistake; Open
Topic Started: May 10 2015, 11:35 PM (2,066 Views)
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((Pregame Start: Barry Banks))

As Barry stood in the lunch line, he pondered over the series of events that had brought him into this situation. First, he forgot to pack a lunch from home. While this normally wouldn't be much of a problem, Cochise High was not exactly known for high-quality lunches. Now, he could have gone off-campus to find somewhere else to eat, but he didn't really see the point in going through all that trouble and wasting even more of his lunch period than he already had. So for now, he was stuck in the line.

He was still optimistic, though. The last time he had forgotten his lunch, it wound up being taco day in the cafeteria, and the tacos were surprisingly good, especially for Cochise High's usual standard. So Barry kept hope that there would be something really good in store for him once he reached the front of the line.

It didn't take long for his hopes to be dashed. It looked like someone had opened a bunch of really bland TV dinners and decided to serve them to high school students for lunch. He could have sworn that the mashed potatoes and corn looked like something he had seen from a Hungry Man dinner, and the pizza just had to be straight out of the freezer isle, since he'd never seen anything like it anywhere else. At this point Barry was pretty sure that this wasn't going to be one of the better meals of his young life, but he pressed on. Something was better than nothing, after all.

Barry didn't usually eat in the cafeteria, but since he was going to have to toss the tray at the end of the meal anyway, he might as well stick around. Most of the tables were pretty full by the time he got his food, but there was one that still held only a single occupant. However, with the state of the cafeteria being what it was, he wondered if she was saving that table for someone. It would make sense, given the situation. But on the other hand, he really wanted to just sit down and eat, and it was the first open table he saw. He walked over to the near-empty table and talked to the lone girl sitting there.

"Hey, is it okay if I sit here, or are you saving this table for someone?"
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"Thank you." Barry nodded as he sat down at the table. He couldn't remember the last time had had eaten in the cafeteria, so it was a pretty new experience for him. The table felt sort of like something that he would find at a fast food restaurant, to be perfectly honest. He wasn't totally sure how to feel about that, though.

Barry decided to take his mind of that by joining in the conversation. "Well, I sorta forgot to pack a lunch today, and I didn't really have time between classes to pick up anything else. Plus, I was sorta hoping that it would be taco day in the cafeteria again." He then held up his pizza, which limply hung from his hand like a wilted flower. "As I'm sure you can see, that wasn't the case."

He chuckled to himself a little bit as he put the pizza back on his tray. However, despite joking about it, he knew that he would have to start eating his food at some point if he didn't want to go hungry. Unfortunately, as all of it was equally uninviting, he had no idea where to start. He hovered his fork around the plate, considering each piece of food before committing to it. Finally, he stopped over the pizza and looked up at his lunch companions.

"Hey, is the pizza any good?"
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After hearing what he could best describe as a partial recommendation, Barry took a bite of his pizza. As he expected, it was floppy and felt like it had been sitting out for a while. It was also bizarrely bland. He honestly didn't know that it was possible for marinara sauce to have such little bite to it. It was almost disappointing, actually. He'd give it about... a 90% chance that it was frozen twenty minutes ago. Hopefully the rest of the food would be better.

Barry swirled the potatoes around his tray with his fork, still a bit apprehensive about eating them. He figured that there was about an equal chance of them either being blander than the pizza or oversalted beyond belief. Either way, it didn't really translate to something good, so he decided to stall for some more time. Fortunately, there was still a conversation going on for that purpose.

"Eh, not really much happening for me." He said, still twirling his fork. "I've got soccer practice this afternoon, but that's about it for now."
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Barry continued to move his potatoes around the plate, still trying to calculate the odds of whether they would be bland or salty. At this point, he had started doodling little pictures in the potatoes for his own amusement. First a smiley face, then a stickman. He then started working on making a crescent moon, sort of starting to fall out of the conversation. He missed what Jeremy had said, so he didn't really have the time to come up with a response to it.

Once the crescent moon was finished, Barry finally bit the bullet and scooped up a bite. His face shifted through a few expressions as he chewed. First curiosity, then disappointment, then relief. As he had half-expected, the potatoes were bland, almost to the level of TV dinner mashed potatoes. But still, at least being bland wasn't as bad as being inedibly salty, so that was a plus. With that in mind, he kept on eating. Hey, might as well finish it now that he knows it's not completely horrible.

As Barry continued, he started to clue into the conversation again at the most awkward possible time. BB had started talking about some apparent plans of hers, seemingly involving orgies and a drug dealer. Barry choked on his potatoes briefly at the mention of that. As he coughed his lunch out of his windpipe, he began to wonder if he had just walked into something that he'd rather not have known about. Once his throat was clear, he responded in a rather unsure voice.

"I, uh... what did you say?"
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((Sorry for taking so long to post. I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have.))

Barry just sat and watched the conversation continue to unfold, unsure of what exactly he was bearing witness to. Every time the speaker changed, things just seemed to get weirder and weirder. Jeremy started talking about orgies too, then a third guy, Jerry, came in and said that Jeremy was actually a virgin. In a way, it was almost like watching a soap opera. Heck, even the delivery of some of their statements was pretty theatrical. Barry was almost expecting a crowd to gasp at every new detail.

It turned out they were all joking, though. Well, at least BB and Jeremy were. He still wasn't 100% sure about Jerry. Still, Barry breathed an internal sigh of relief. He thought that there was something crazy going on right under his nose. He didn't really have any interest in joining in, but finding out about something like that sure would have been quite a shock.

Barry chuckled in response to the joke. "You guys really had me going there. Now I'm kinda embarrassed." He brought his fork down to scoop up some more potatoes, only to hear it hit the tray with a clinking sound. He looked down to see that somehow, he had cleared his entire plate of potatoes during their conversation. He knew that he was a fast eater, but it still surprised him. He nonchalantly put his fork down and picked up his pizza.

"But really, do you have any plans?" Barry said before biting into his pizza. "And I'll know if you're joking this time. Probably."
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"A band?" Barry said between mouthfuls of pizza. "That's cool. I never was much good at music myself. I could play the heck out of a triangle in first grade, though." He chuckled at his own joke before taking a bite out of the crust.

Things really settled down after everyone stopped joking. The air seemed to get more chill, and they all just seemed to be appreciating the moment. Or maybe Barry was just doing that, and he liked to imagine that the others were as well. Either way, it was relaxing. A pretty nice moment, all things considered.

... A nice moment that faded away all too soon, and the last piece of pizza crust disappeared into his mouth and began its long journey through his digestive system. Faced with a clean tray, he now ha a decision to make. Stick around and chat, or walk out and get ready for his next class. He checked the clock. He still had enough time to get everything in order with a few minutes to spare. Yeah, that seemed like a good plan.

"All right, I think that's it for me." He said to the group, getting out of his seat. "Thanks for the chat. It was pretty fun." He brought his tray to the return area and walked out of the cafeteria, off to prepare for the latter half of the school day.

((Barry Banks continued elsewhere...))
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