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Go About Your Business...; Open
Topic Started: May 8 2018, 12:07 AM (171 Views)
Polibyss
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[ *  *  * ]
Ron had made a mistake.

((Ronald "Ron" Kiser: Pregame Start))

It was taco day in the cafeteria. That meant there long lines, and it usually also meant that Ron would be stuck standing around for ten minutes before he'd be able to get his food. He had thought he'd hit a stroke of luck when his calc class was let out a minute early. He bounded for the cafeteria, hoping to get in before the crowd built up. He was able to his tacos without having to wait at all, but as he turned back to the lunchroom, he realized his miscalculation.

He had arrived too early; the cafeteria was barely populated. Ron couldn't see any of his friends sitting around. This left him in a difficult position. There weren't really established lunch tables in GHHS, at least in his experience, people just sort of gathered in groups and sat wherever they felt like. For the upper crust of the social hierarchy, the top dogs would decide where to sit and the rest of the clique would form around them. Ron... well, he usually joined an already-established table. Coming in early and staking out a table by himself was a roll of the dice. Sometimes, he'd be able to flag down some of his friends as they entered and everything would turn out alright. Sometimes, they wouldn't spot him and they'd establish themselves at a different table. Ron would have to gather up his stuff and move to them; it was a little frustrating, but no big deal.

Too often, though, sitting by himself was immediately seen as an invitation for every friendless loser out there to come sit with him. If they were the quiet sorts of losers, it wasn't too bad, Ron could easily ditch them without any hassle. Sometimes, though, sometimes they'd actually talk to him. That was the worst. Ron could remember a number of unpleasant lunch periods where he'd been resigned to listening to some pimply underclassman regale him about Pokemon or Magic cards or whatever fucking minutae they felt like tormenting him with. And the whole time, Ron would be able to see his clique chatting away at their own table in the distance. He'd sit there wishing he could just tell the freaks to fuck off so he could leave and go join his friends, but he'd always be too nervous to actually do it. God, he was still such a pussy when he was alone.

Of course, Ron would make himself look like a retard if he just stood around in the middle of the cafeteria with his tray. He'd have to sit somewhere and roll those dice. Ron wished, as he had many times before, that his calc class had some cool kids that he could walk to lunch with. Sadly, the class was full of dorks he wouldn't be caught dead with and nobodies whose names he couldn't even remember. So, he was left to fend for himself. Ron settled into one of the tables at the edge of the room, choosing a seat where he had a good view of the entrance. Hopefully some friends would show up soon.
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Ramsey Cortez, start))

Ramsey was up in the cafeteria looking iced. He wasn't out wearing too much detail but just enough. The jacket was Rocawear. Clean slope on the shoulders with extra textile cut to smoothly contour over his firm deltoid. Looked heavy with the fabric being canvas-like thick and the pockets irregularly hemmed with gray. No button up so folks could peep the plain and tight white tee underneath.

He'd found the jacket on Amazon and refurbished the sagging hems with Mom's help. Several days job to blot out the faded spots with art store dyes and chemicals. Back breaking work under the hot sun to keep the chemical clouds out of the house. Worth every second and Ramsey was grateful for the time spent and Mom's wisdom and hardiness.

Routing from English Room 5 to the cafeteria was down a flight of stairs and past a set of flags Ramsey didn't recognize. His ass was ignorant but priorities were what they were.

Wasn't much people out still by the time Ramsey had cleared the lunch line and had his brick of baked pasta. Not homecooking but Ramsey appreciated the food. On him to be earnest when it came to his free lunches. To be grateful for the fuel and energy.

Ramsey glanced about. Most tables still empty. Few bustling at the center but that was a clique Ramsey didn't know much about. Señor George was a huge school and the drama seemed bottomless sometimes. Like galaxies onto themselves.

Ron Kiser had taken a table to himself in one corner. Ramsey nodded as their eyes met and started to walk over. Ron was one of the better kids on the basketball team and flexed positions decently when he wasn't on bench. One of their better kids this season so far. Definitely on the ups. Ramsey knew that besides the court Ron was big on hanging out somewhere adjacent to Ivy Langley's expansive aura.

Ivy wasn't a person Ramsey was all that fond of. He didn't fancy himself wishing ill on anybody but que le den. He avoided her nowadays because he happened to like avoiding toxic drama.

But Ron was cool. Ramsey saw through dude's shit of course. But kiss ass or not it wasn't like Ron wasn't worth hanging out with from time to time.

"Hey." Ramsey approached from a side angle since he'd come from deeper within the cafeteria. He took a seat directly opposite Ron. Took his fork and started stabbing at his meal to pick out the better looking bits. "Coach talk to you about practice being moved two hours late on Friday? He just mentioned it when I saw him near the staff lounge. Says the weight room's being rented out. Didn't even know that was possible."
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Ron's eyes scanned the crowd until they locked with those of one Ramsey Cortez.

Oh. Oh God, he was coming to sit with him. This was bad.

Ron and Ramsey didn't have any issue with each other. Ramsey was a decent enough guy, possessing that sort of relaxed charisma that the girls liked. He was also one of Ron's teammates, and Ron liked to keep up a good working relationship with all of his teammates. Even the useless ones.

The problem was that Ivy hated Ramsey. They had dated back in middle school, and rumor had it that their break-up was explosive. Ron didn't know the full story; it had all happened back in a time when Ron couldn't care less about his classmates' love lives. Whatever had happened, Ramsey had gotten himself a spot on Ivy's shit list. So it wouldn't be good for Ron to be seen with him. When they were hanging out as part of the team, that was fine, but if Ivy or Myles or whoever came into the cafeteria and saw the two of them sitting together and chatting it up like they were best buds, well... it couldn't end well for him.

"Hey, man" Ron said as Ramsey approached, trying not to betray any sings of nervousness "Decided to try your luck with the pasta block, eh?"

His eyes darted back to the entrance. Shit, he might need to come up with an escape plan, and fast.

"So uh... wait, what?" Ron was a bit startled by what Ramsey said. "Practice is being moved? No, Coach didn't tell me anything about that." Why hadn't Coach told him? Ron couldn't stand the idea of being left out of the loop. Well, the plans must have just changed, and Coach hadn't had the chance to tell Ron yet. Of course, that had to be it.

Ron allowed himself another glance at the door. "Did he tell you what it was being rented for?"
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Homeboy was spending glances by way of looking entrance-side. Waiting for someone if Ramsey had to guess. Ramsey couldn't guess who. Simple fact of the matter was Ron was pretty bland flavor. Didn't date and actively seemed to avoid a good amount of people who might've been friendly. It was an entire life lived like that Facebook classic. 'Fishing for likes'. But Ramsey was being unfair.

Luke 6:37.

"Literal block. Like a damn brick."

Ramsey coolly ignored the slightly antsy energy Ron was hyped on anyways. Got on with his own damn day and his own damn life. Got on with the conversation natch. Thirdly got on with shoveling down this food. It was no type of home-cooking but it was paid for by taxpayer dollars and Ramsey owed them back their investment into his education.

"Senior outreach event, maybe teach them basic fitness tips or something." Ramsey nodded earnestly. "I like it, you know? That's doing our community right."

Dude was glancing the way of the door again like it was his hot date pulling up for an afternoon shack up.

"Haven't mentioned it to the other team dudes yet but I was thinking we could help out if they need volunteers. Y'know, cause that shit's right after school anyways. Two hour block between school and practice is awkward, might as well use it all meaningful." Ramsey stared at Ron evenly. Back to his food the moment he was sure dude was actually still involved in the conversation.

"You hear about Swift Ball? Hosted by that one DJ Girl, what's her Soundcloud... Taipei, something. Supposedly going to be breaking down social walls, that many people are invited to crash."
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Ron gave Ramsey the warm smile that he'd tried so hard to perfect over the past few years.

"Yeah, man. That sounds like a great idea." Ron didn't want to waste his time teaching some grandmas how to do stretches, but he didn't have much choice in the matter. Ramsey would bring it up with the other guys, a bunch of them would agree, and Ron couldn't be one of the few assholes who'd refuse to help out.

Shifting in his seat, Ron found an angle where he could comfortably sit and look at Ramsey while also having a view of the door over his shoulder.

Ramsey then brought up the Swift Ball. Or the #SwiftBall, as it was properly called. Of course Ron had heard of it, Mikki had covered every goddamned surface in the school with those fliers. Every student in the school crammed into one house with shitty dance music blasting in their ears... Ron could hardly think of a worse place to spend an evening. Shit, he'd rather deal with the grandmas. Once again, though, Ron couldn't refuse to go. If it was going to be the event of the year, he had to be there. Plus, it was BYOB, and Ron had to keep up his reputation for quality service in that area.

For a moment, Ron let himself brood over how much of his time was now spent on excruciating social obligations. But he swatted those thoughts away. When he was younger, he'd chosen to do what he wanted and he'd chosen wrong.

"Yeah, sounds like it'll be pretty insane. I wouldn't miss it." Ron said. "I haven't listened to her songs, though. Don't know what to expect. Hey, you like that sort of music, right? D'you know if she's any good?"

Ron actually had heard her DJ at a few parties, and he'd hated it, but the question would be a decent conversation starter. Ron made sure to remember peoples' interests and bring them up in conversation every so often. It showed them that he was really listening. Plus, if he got someone to start talking about their interests it meant that he wouldn't have to say much.
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Ramsey had figured Ron would be down. Dude always was. And sometimes Ramsey wondered if dude even had a life off the team. Seemed all Ron ever did was hang out with the cool kids but not really do actual cool kid things.

Ramsey didn't even know what cool kid things was supposed to mean. Loaded term for something that didn't even matter that much.

Ramsey nodded quietly. Smiled like usual and got on with talking all convo-like.

"Eh, I mean." When Ron asked Ramsey had to answer. Also had to remember and that was never the easy part. Ramsey was at those parties often enough that he forgot individual ones. There had been one where he'd gotten pushed into a pool a few months back. Besides that he had nothing. Just any old haze of faces and places.

"Wouldn't call Mikki the type of shit I bump. She's more like that underground European dance thing. Forrest and Charelle have better tunes if I had to pick, y'know what I'm saying man?" Ramsey tried to remember some of the titles. Got a bit too into it but it was rare he got to talk his Spotify up. Usually he handed his friends the aux when it was time to soundtrack a scene.

"Purple Lambo by Skrillex and Rick Ross, Forrest bumps that one and it's a fave. Didn't even watch the movie, just like the song. There's also this song she has with some girl rapper and the beat pops collars, man. Shit, I can't remember... It sounds weird though, I'd know it if I heard it. There was this one line, 'skirrt skrrt in the benzo, box of food, bento'." Ramsey had a pretty gnarly screeching tires impression. "I mean it's kind of corny but it's still slick, the flow was ice."

Ramsey shrugged.

"I'm surprised you don't remember though, you've been to some of the parties the Zoo girls have DJed. Maybe you just don't like what they spin. Doesn't stick in your mental any." Ramsey curtly tapped his temple with that emphasis. "I mean, what kinda tunes do you listen to in your free time?"
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Ramsey let out an incomprehensible string of nonsense that sounded vaguely like it was about music. Ron smiled and nodded.

He snapped to attention when Ramsey asked him what he listened to. Shit. He should have expected that. Ron wasn't much of a "music" person, really. He liked old rock songs, popular stuff mostly. The type of stuff you'd hear on any classic rock station. Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Queen, whatever. He didn't dig into their discographies or anything, he just liked listening to them when they came on the radio. But could he just say that to Ramsey? Ramsey took this stuff seriously. He'd just think Ron was some sort of tasteless conformist. Well, he also liked listening to anime openings on repeat, but obviously he wasn't going to mention that.

"I, uh..." Ron scratched the back of his neck. He couldn't think of an alternative, so he just went with it. "I just like classic rock mostly. Not the type of stuff they play, obviously. so that's why I didn't, uh... remember."

Ron gave a stilted laugh. Shit, he was losing it. Over such a simple question, too. Another thing that Ron had learned was to change the subject when he was in danger of making himself look like a fucking idiot.

"...Still, though, it'll be a pretty crazy party. Like she's trying to invite as many people as possible. An event to remember, yeah." he paused. "If you need any drinks, man, you can come to me as always. They're not supplying themselves."
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Sometimes Ramsey thought the pauses were a little off. Like dude was putting on a show of some sort. Ramsey was pretty sure Ron wasn't a theater junkie.

"So like, Aerosmith or something." Ramsey wasn't too into that more oldies sound. He only knew a few names when they had overlap hits with rap-types. Aerosmith was the only name that really came to mind. Probably not an accurate response. But Ramsey threw it out there anyways. No reason not to because he wasn't too concerned about being wrong.

Conversation was changing around anyways.

"She's the ambitious type I think, so yeah. I'm thinking a ton of people show up. At least some stupid crazy things go down, y'know?" Ramsey nodded solemnly and chuckled. "Hope no one gets up to anything they regret but it's like... live fast, live like it's your last day. That kinda shit."

Ramsey shrugged.

"Not for me though."

He'd spoken on for a bit too long. He just silently shrugged at the idea of needing drink. He wasn't exactly sober but usually all Ramsey needed for a good time was one beer on hand. Easy enough to scrounge those up without RSVPing for a personal reservation. He didn't even know the brands or anything. He just drank a bottle of whatever people bothered to stock up on and called it a night.
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