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Life and Times of Harper Bailey 6
Published Feb 17, 2012


Written By

orlov

Storyteller
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THE TOTALLY UNREMARKABLE ADVENTURE OF A WORLD-CLASS UNDERACHIEVER

THE TOTALLY UNREMARKABLE ADVENTURE OF A WORLD-CLASS UNDERACHIEVER
It came as quite a shock to everyone when Zach abruptly moved out; everyone except Taylor.
Taylor knew why; she had always known one day it was going to happen. Zach might have been able to keep his secret from the rest, but not her.
It wasn’t like she was a mind reader or anything; although, that would have been nice. . .well, maybe. . .does anyone REALLY want to know Everything people are thinking. . . But, Taylor had eyes; she could read the signs, even if no one else could. . .
The Night Before. . .

Zach wandered into “Pit” without pausing at the door like he usually did; (you know, that posing thing he does when he enters any club); he didn’t scan the bar for potential one-nighters; he didn’t even look at his reflection in the mirror behind the bar when he sat down. He just waved down the bartender, ordered a drink and sat hunched over until it arrived. His head ached, his chest felt heavy, and if he hadn’t been a very young man, he would have sworn he was having a heart attack.
His heart DID hurt, but it wasn’t medical; it was that stupid, stupid Harper Bailey! The weekend they had spent together at Harper Bailey’s parents’ house had been the limit. . .Zach just couldn’t go on anymore with Harper Bailey without it leading Somewhere. . .and it was Never going to lead Anywhere. . .He was constantly bailing Harper Bailey out, constantly buying him things; . . .and where did it get him?. . .forget making love. . .he’d never even gotten a kiss. . .in all that time. . .not even a little kiss. . .and yet, every night Zach could find an excuse to do it, he climbed into bed with Harper Bailey just to be close to him. . .
Zach gulped down his drink, ordered another; and while tossing that one back, he waved for one more.
“You ought to take it easy,” a voice said from behind him; Zach turned around and let out a groan.
“Ah. . .Crap. . .it’s you. . .what do you want?”
Taylor leaned closer and said, “Zach. . .we’ve been friends for 12 years. . .don’t you think you ought to finally tell someone?”
And to her astonishment, Zach turned back around to the bar, buried his head in his hands and started to cry. ‘Zach Reynolds knows how to cry?’ Taylor thought, amazed.
“You know you can tell me,” she said, reaching her hand out to stroke his head, but he brushed her off, downed the drink that the bartender had placed in front of him and snarled, “If you’re not going to leave, then I will.”
But Taylor stopped him from leaving by taking him by the arms and leaning in to make eye contact. “You can tell me.”
“No I Can’t---how do I know I can trust you?”
“Because we‘ve been friends for 12 years! Because I already know---” Taylor coaxed, and she watched the heartache surface in Zach’s eyes.
“No you don‘t---” Zach said, angrily wiping away his tears.
“But I do,” Taylor said quietly. “I’ve known for years---”
“You can‘t!. . .Nobody knows. . .”
“If that’s what you think, then please, Zach. . .isn’t it time Someone did? How can you stand it?”
With that, Zach heard himself say, “But, that’s just IT. . .I CAN’T Anymore!. . .I’m in love---” but he couldn’t bring himself to say the name.
“With Harper Bailey. . .“ Taylor said, filling in the blank. “I know.” Without missing a beat, Taylor pulled him into a tender hug and said, “Come on. . .let’s go to my house; you need a rest.”
That night, the vain, arrogant, conceited Zach Reynolds, the boy who no one could snag, crawled up into Taylor’s bed, wrapped his arms around her and fell asleep crying his heart out.
Back at the garage the next morning, without saying a word, Zach gathered up his stuff and went to stay with his parents.
Back to the Present. . .

“I‘m confuzzled,” Harper Bailey said, trying his best to figure it out. “Lookie here. . .uh. . .he done got us a brand new TV and games. . .got us everythin’. . .then. . .uh. . .then. . .Poof!. . .he powders. . .uh. . .Why?” and to the groans of everyone present, Harper Bailey opined, “Maybe it was Thing Somebody. . .Thing Somebody makes people disappear. . .”
Josh shrugged off any ‘Thing Somebody‘ explanations, but being just as confused as Harper Bailey was, wondered aloud, “You think it’s the band? Maybe the band made him all frustrated. . .maybe too much responsibility. . .”
“Maybe it’s me,” said Kirby, feeling a little guilty; he hadn’t been very nice to Zach lately.
“Maybe it’s me,” said Barry. “Do you think he’s angry about Kirby and me getting together?”
“Maybe it’s me,” said Monica, primping in front of the mirror. “I was one of his great loves, you know--”
At that, Taylor burst out laughing. “He couldn’t stand you,” she blurted out, but Monica was too busy to hear. “Look,” Taylor said to the group. “Maybe he just needed some space. Look around. . .this place is stuffed Full Of US. . .how could he get any private time here? Hey, he didn’t quit the band; he’ll be back. . .just give him a minute--he’ll be back.”
“Well,” said Harper Bailey. “I still don’t get it. . .HEY!. . .who’s gonna take care of ME?. . .OH NO. . .Wait A Minute!!!. . .Do I gotta get me some dumb job?. . .I don’t want some dumb job. . .”
“Maybe He Left cuz of You!’ Josh sniped at Harper Bailey and decided it would probably be best if he just practiced his drum rolls and stayed out of the discussion. Harper Bailey was getting on his nerves.
“ME!?” squawked Harper Bailey. “ . . .uh. . .ME?. . . Not Me, Dude. . .Zach and me. . .uh. . .we be. . .uh. . .we be like. . .like. . .This!” Harper Bailey cried out, but got the gesture wrong.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Josh asked. “Are you trying to cross your fingers. . .cuz. . .all you’re doing now is ‘I’m number One’. . .and maybe that’s the problem. . .you can be a selfish little jerk, you know . .You First. . .that’s all you think about.” And with that said, Josh sat down and pounded away on his drums to drown out anything Harper Bailey might have to say.
“I’m gonna call him,” Harper Bailey declared.
“Please don’t,” said Taylor.
“Why?” asked Harper Bailey, even more ‘confuzzled’; Zach would Want him to call; Zach liked it when Harper Bailey called him.
“Just don’t, that’s all.” and Taylor meant business.
“Well. . .uh. . .Don’t see why not,” Harper Bailey whined, but put his phone away.
“Do you know something about this, Taylor?” Kirby asked.
“I don’t know a damned thing,” Taylor lied, pulling out her phone. “Who wants Pizza?”
“I do!. . .Ooh. . .Ooh. . .Ooh. . .I do!” shouted Harper Bailey, his worries forgotten. “Get a real big one. . .with. . .uh. . .with. . .cheese. . .no, no, no,. . .extra extra cheese. . .and. . .uh. . .green stuff. . .and. . .uh. . .“
“What exactly is ‘Green Stuff’?” Kirby asked, afraid of what Harper Bailey had in mind.
“You know. . .uh. . .that green stuff. . .Green Stuff?” Harper Bailey always believed if he said a thing twice, and said it louder the second time, people would understand what he meant; they rarely did. “Okay. . .uh. . .forget the green stuff. . .Hey!?. . .what that brown crumpled up thing called. . .you know. . .Brown Crumpled Up Thing?. . .Dudes?. . .need me some help here. . .uh. . .Ooh. . Ooh. . .I know. . .hamburger. . .yeah. . .hamburger. . .and. . .meatballs. . .and. . .uh. . .
“Meatballs Are Hamburger,” Josh pointed out with a chuckle, not mad at Harper Bailey anymore.; you can’t stay mad at an idiot. . .it just didn’t seem right.
“Uh. . .dude. . .No they Ain’t,” said Harper Bailey with a perplexed look on his face. “ . .uh. . .meatballs be round. . .hamburger be all crumpled. . .they different. . .See?” and thought it was fairly evident.
“Only to you,” Josh shrugged and went back to playing.
Having turned up her nose at pizza, Monica left to find something better to do with her night. ‘What a bunch of losers.’ she declared, but called out to Harper Bailey, “Call me, muffin! Miss you already!” Nobody knew it at the time, but she was Not coming back.
“Why do you go out with her?” Barry asked.
Harper Bailey shrugged. “Uh. . .I dunno. . .Thing Somebody wants me to, I guess. . .uh. . .but she be pretty damn agritating. . .Hey!. . .when’s that pizza comin’. . .Oooh. . .Oooh. . .Dude Barry. . .uh. . .uh. . .Oooh. . .I know. . .you think you can gimme a job?. . .like. . .uh. . .I could listen to your CD’s. . .you know. . .uh. . . tell you which ones be jammin’. . .which ones suck?. . .Huh?. . .You think maybe?. . .it only cost you. . .like. . .30. . .no. . .no. . .50 bucks. . .HUH?. . .Maybe?”
“Well, kid. . .“ Barry said, startled. “That’s not Really a job. But, I could ask if they need any more help at the Banzai Club. Would you like that?”
“Dude Barry!. . .You do that for me?. . .Dude. . .uh. . .Barry. . .you sure am sweet!. . .Hey, Taylor. . .you hear?. . .uh. . .uh. . .Dude Barry got me a job at Banzai!”
“Well, No, I didn‘t,” stammered Barry, “I said I could ‘Ask‘---just ‘Ask‘.”
Josh shook his head and said, “Doesn’t matter, Barry, It’s the same thing to him. ‘Asking’ means ‘Getting’ as far as Harper Bailey is concerned.”
“UH. . .WHAT?!. . .” asked Harper Bailey; pretty certain that Josh’s statement was meant as a nasty dig. . .
“Nothing,” said Josh, hearing the pizza delivery calling at the back grates. “Dude!. . .Pizza’s Here---”
And Harper Bailey forgot all his worries once again.
Asking and Getting WERE the same thing to Harper Bailey; always had been. All his life, if he asked, he got; he just knew Who to ask, and When.
He knew to Never ask his Dad for anything; to always ask his Mom; he knew (for some mysterious reason) Zach always helped him out, even when Zach was really, really powerfully mad at him; he knew if he whined enough (or kissed enough) Taylor would give in; and now, he didn’t know why, Dude Barry was picking up where the missing Zach left off.
So, of course, come the following Tuesday night, Harper Bailey found himself standing next to Barry at the “Banzai Club”, ready to help out.
“Dude Barry. . .this here be Freakin’ Awesome!. . .Hey!?. . .you think. . .uh. . .like maybe. . .I can make me like a thousand simoleons tonight. . .Oooh. . .Oooh. . .that’d be sick. . .Huh?. . .you think?”
“Well, kid. . .probably not. . .” Barry said, wondering what world this kid lived in. Then he realized he should have said, “No.” because the next thing he knew, Harper Bailey was saying---
“Dude. . .uh. . .Barry. . .if it be ‘Prob’bly‘. . .then it be ‘Prob’bly So’ just as easy as ‘Prob’bly Not‘. . .Oooh. . .Oooh. . .I ain’t gonna have to work for like. . .uh. . .the rest of my freakin’ life. . .Hey!?. . .uh. . .where all the people?”
“It’s a Tuesday night, kid,” Barry said, by way of explanation.
“Uh. . .Okay. . .so. . .uh. . .where’re all the people?” Harper Bailey asked with that “Ain’t Life Somethin’” smile on his face.
“Like I said; it’s a Tuesday Night; it’s always slow on a Tuesday night.”
“Uh. . .how come?” Harper Bailey Really, Really wanted that thousand bucks.
“I don’t know,” said Barry, beginning to worry about Harper Bailey again.
“Well. . .I guess I just gotta wait . . .maybe some millionaire gimme my thousand bucks---Hey!?. . .do millionaires come here?”
“I suppose so,” Barry said, pretty sure by now he shouldn’t be saying anything but “No” to anything Harper Bailey asked.
“Cool. . .Hey!?. . .when that millionaire gives me my thousand bucks. . .do I gotta. . .like. . .split it with you?. . .or do I get to keep it all myself?”
Finally frustrated, Barry said, as forcefully as he could without actually shouting, “Kid, you aren’t getting a thousand dollars; there is no thousand dollars---” Damn. . .Barry thought, seeing Harper Bailey’s eyes grow all round and puppy-dog sad. There’s that look. . .like I ran off with his candy. . . and Barry felt mighty bad he had raised his voice.
“DUDE!. . .Geez. . .“ Harper Bailey said in his best “Dontcha like me no more” voice; “I thought you. . .you know. . .was my friend. . .why you don’t want me to have my thousand bucks?. . .what’d I do to you?”
With a heavy sigh, and a huge heap of regret, Barry said, “Kid, I am your friend; look. . .if someone comes in here and gives you a thousand dollar tip, you can keep every single penny of it.”
“Sweet!!!. . .oh man. . .uh. . .Barry. . .you be. . .like. . .uh. . .so sweesomastic it be like. . .you know. . .dude. . .like Stupid Awesome. . .Dude. . .You want I should give you a hug?”
“Maybe later,” Barry said, feeling a headache coming on. “Why don’t you wipe down the bar, you know, just to seem busy; don’t want you being sent home early because there’s nothing for you to do.”
“Okie-Dokie!” Harper Bailey said with a grin, and picturing that thousand dollar tip, scrubbed away. . .(for a few minutes, at any rate).
“Okay. . .uh. . .now what?. . .I’m bored,” Harper Bailey whined, wondering if it would be okay if he made himself a drink. “Hey!. . .you think. . .uh. . .like maybe. . .I can have me a drink?“
“Maybe later---we usually don‘t have a drink until the end of the night,” Barry cautioned.
“Okay. . .uh. . .I know. . .you think them manager guys want for me to sing?. . .I could sing. . .I sing you know. . .you think maybe?”
“No,” Barry said flatly; no use getting into some wandering ‘philosophical’ discussion over the words, ‘doubt it’.
“Oh. . .uh. . .Dude Barry?. . .you think you show me how to make me ‘Madness Thingy’s’. . .you know. . .’Madness Thingy’s’?!. . .you think maybe?”
“I don’t know what that is, kid. . .Is that something new?. . .Where do they serve them?”
Feeling frustrated, wondering why people had to be so dense all the time, Harper Bailey raised his eyebrows and then raised his voice, saying rather slowly; “ ‘Madness Thingy’s’!. . .You Know. . .’Mad-Ness-Thing-Y’s’?!” and then with his best smile, hoped for an answer. But, Barry’s face remained a questioning blank.
“He wants a ‘Big Mistake’.” said Kirby, taking a seat at the bar. Kirby liked to visit Barry on the nights the bar was slow; they had a chance to hang-out, something like a date, but without the need to try to be romantic.
“No I don’t,” said Harper Bailey in a snit. “Hey dude. . .I want me a ‘Madness Thingy’. . .Oh. . .I don’t Want one (big lie). . .uh. . .uh. . .I want Dude Barry show me one. . .”
“But I told you, kid; I don’t know how to make them. . .I never heard of them,” said Barry in a panic; he seemed to be upsetting Harper Bailey and he really didn’t want to.
“Make a ‘Big Mistake‘, Barry.” Kirby suggested, and Barry did as he was asked. “Now. . . taste that, Harper Bailey----See?. . .same thing, ain’t it?”
Harper Bailey took a taste; maybe. . .maybe. . .he drank some more. . .hmmmmm. . .maybe. . .he drank the rest. A warm little “fuzzy” started to form. “I don’t know, dude. . .uh. . .you make me more?. . .then I see. . .HEY?. . .how you make that there thing, anyway?”
“Well. . .watch.” and Barry prepared another one. “Like that.”
“Okie Dokie, Dude Barry. . .now gimme. . .” and Harper Bailey lapped it up like a kitten. “Oooh. . .Oooh. . .’Madness Thingy’. . .yep. . .that there be a ‘Madness Thingy’ alright. . .“ and then the full force of them wafted through his brain. “Oooh. . .Oooh. . .Fuzzy. . .Oooh. . .Oooh. . .Hey Kirby!. . .When you get here?. . .HEY!!!. . .where here be?. . . .Oooh. . .Oooh. . .uh. . .uh What?. . .”
“Kid!? Is something wrong with you?” Barry asked, alarmed.
“Uh. . .What?. . .Hey Barry!. . .whattcha doin’?. . .Hey!. . .HEY!. . .You wanna dance?. . .I know me this song. . .uh. . .Hey. . .no I don’t. . .Hey?!. . .wanna dance with me?”
“Kid?. . .you okay? “ and then turning to Kirby, Barry asked, “What’s the matter with him?”
“It’s the ‘Big Mistakes’. . .they make you crazy for a while; but it‘s okay, they wear off and you don‘t remember anything. . .Hey, Harper Bailey?. . .why don’t you go dance by yourself?. . .Huh?. . .that would be fun, right?”
“ Yeah. . .yeah. . .that be fun. . .come dance with me. . .Hey!?. . .Why these clothes all over me?”
“Keep your clothes on,” Barry warned. “Kid, you’re supposed to be working---”
“Pffft. . .working?!. . .WORKING?!?!?. . .I don’t gotta work. . .got me a thousand simoleons. . .gonna give me some to Zach. . .Oooh. . .Oooh. . .let’s dance!”
Of course, when Harper Bailey started to dance, clothes always managed to start coming off. . .he lost his tee shirt almost at the start; Kirby had to retrieve it from off the shuffleboard table. . .when he kicked his shoes off, one flew over the bar and nearly whacked Barry in the head, the other ended up under the arcade game and Kirby had to shove himself beneath it just to get it back. . .But Harper Bailey just kept on dancing. . .
“Maybe we ought to hire him out for bachelorette parties,” Barry suggested to Kirby. “HEY. . .KID!. . .keep your pants on. . .I hope I don’t get fired. . .Harper Bailey. . .KEEP YOUR PANTS ON!. . .god I hope I don‘t get fired. . .”
His dancing blocked the door, so when the pretty blonde tried to make her way into the club, she had to nearly push Harper Bailey out of the way; every time she moved to one side or the other, so did he. She couldn’t have known he Thought he was dancing with her; she only knew some little pest was blocking her way.
“Hey. . .HEY!. . .Girly. . .Hey. . .GIRLY. . .I Know You!” he shouted in her face.
“I doubt that,” she said, and finally managed to get passed him.
“Yeah. . .Yeah. . .uh. . .uh. . .you be. . .uh. . .HEY!. . .WHO you be?” he asked.
“Please to not bother me,” she said; she knew she shouldn’t have gone out alone. . .her brothers had warned her that nice girls should never go out without a companion.
“But. . .uh. . .uh. . .Hey. . .ya know somethin’?. . .I got me a thousand bucks. . .yeah. . .uh. . .yeah. . .a milli-naire gimme it. . .Girl. . .Hey!. . .HEY. . .I’m Harper Bailey---”
And the pretty blonde stopped; Harper Bailey? She remembered that name. . .why, he was the pretty little boy that went out with. . .Zach. . .that horrible, cheating Zach. . . “Harper Bailey; yes. . .yes, I do know you; I’m Bella---”
“No you ain’t. . .you tryin’ to fool at me. . .you be. . .uh. . .uh. . .that Zilian girl. . .you know. . .Zilian Girl. . .what?. . .”
Isabella had no idea what he was asking her; what was a ‘zilian’?
“Isabella!” Kirby called out, excusing himself from the bar. “What are you doing in town?”
“Kirby! Oh my little Kirby! Did you not get my letter? I wrote you---”
“I didn’t, “ Kirby said, giving Isabella a hug. “You mustta sent it to my parents---I don’t live there no more. . .Hey, Harper Bailey, you remember Isabella from school?”
“SURE. . .uh. . .mmmm. . .she that Zilian girl. . .she say she be Bella. . .but that ain’t her name. . .”
“I am now called Bella at times. . .Perdoe-me por favor. . .”
“Hey. . .uh. . .Perdoe. . .what that?. . .what you call me?” Harper Bailey asked. . .this chick be wreckin’ my fuzzy. . .why for she got to call me names?. . .
“I do not understand,” said Isabella, looking to Kirby for some help. “What is it that I said wrong?”
“That’s Portuguese,” Kirby said to Harper Bailey. “You remember, she’s from Brazil. . .Oh. . .I get it. . .Zilian. . .you mean Brazilian. . .”
“Uh. . .okay. . .if’n you say so. . .uh. . .Hey. . .I’m Harper Bailey. . .Hey. . .you know Dude Barry?“ Harper Bailey asked Isabella. “He from Casa Mi Su. . .that by you?”
Isabella wasn’t sure what he had just said, but he sure looked cute when he said it; so she smiled and said, “I don’t think so.” and thought that answer covered both question she didn’t understand.
“You come say ‘hey’ at Dude Barry,” Harper Bailey said, tugging at her arm. “He be him. . .uh. . .a awesome sick dude. . .got me a job made me a thousand bucks off some milli-naire. . .Hey. . .Hey. . .You know Zach?. . .You seen him?. . .I. . .uh. . .I. . .don’t know where he be. . .You Know Where He Be?. . .Where he at?. . .HUH?. . .You know Zach. . .him be a piece of eye candy. . .HUH?. . .I don’t know where he gone. . .sure do miss him. . .”
“Yes,” said Isabella, with a sharp look of disdain on her face. “I know Zach. . .Oh, you poor thing. . .did he break up with you?. . .or has he run off with someone else for the night?. . .Now, bebê, everything will be just right. . .come, Bella will buy you a drink; I will make all feel better.”
“Uh. . .What?. . .Who broke up with me?. . .uh. . Oh no. . .not again. . .oh man, bummer----how come nobody likes me?. . .” Harper Bailey said, suddenly feeling very alone. . . People. . .people. . .just keep dumpin’ me. . .don’t ‘member it. . .must be that stupid Thing Somebody. . .
“I don’t think you oughta get him anymore drinks,” Kirby warned. “He’s had him a few already. . .and he is Supposed to be working---”
But Harper Bailey was pulling at Isabella’s arm, dragging her off to meet Barry.
“It is very nice to meet you, “ Isabella said on being introduced. “I hear you are sick---I am sorry you do not feel well; may I ask; where is this place Casamisu that you come from?”
“Oh, I see you’ve been talking to Harper Bailey---I am not at all sick. . .when Harper Bailey says I’m sick, he means I’m cool. . .and I come from right here in Bridgeport. . .Casa Mi Su just some confusion of Harper Bailey’s . . .you’ll have to learn a whole new language if you’re going to talk to Harper Bailey. . .”
“Oh, I see,” she said. “What languages does he speak?” Isabella did not realize that Harper Bailey was a foreigner, too.
“Well; not English,” Barry joked. “. . .at least not any I’ve ever heard before. . .but you’ll learn. . .Hey, I‘m learning. . .and I’m a ‘square bear’. . .isn’t that what Zach calls me?” he asked Kirby.
“Among other things,” Kirby mumbled, not wishing to repeat the other things he’d heard Barry called.
“I should like to buy my new friend a drink; do you know what he likes?” Isabella asked.
“Oh. . .he’s had few already. . .maybe a nice juice will do---” Barry warned.
“Madness Thingy. . .Madness Thingy!” Harper Bailey cried, excitedly bouncing on his heels. His “fuzzy” was wearing off and this chick was cute. . .he was a whole lot better at talking to chicks when he had a “fuzzy” on.
“No, you‘ve had enough. . .“ Barry barked. “Juice for you. . .Now, remember, Harper Bailey; you’re coming home with Kirby and me, so don’t go running off anywhere---”
“Isn’t he supposed to be working?” Kirby asked.
“Forget that,” said Barry. “Wasn’t anything for him to do anyway; I’ll slip him a 20 in the morning. . .he’s not going to remember any of this anyway.”
“I am sorry Zach broke up with you,” Isabella said, sliding onto a barstool at the table she had taken the drinks to. “He is a very mean man.”
“Uh. . .girly. . .uh. . .Zach di’n’t break up with me. . .me and Zach. . .we just friends. . .he am my Very Best Friend---”
Oh,” said Isabella. “Then you are no longer dating him?”
“Uh What?. . .uh. . .what you say?. . .I di’n’t never date Zach. . .uh. . .uh. . .” Confused, Harper Bailey thought. . .Did I?. . .lemme have a think on this. . .uh. . .seein’ me somethin’. . .uh. . .Nope. . .Sure Di’n’t!. . . “Nope. . .Never Dated Zach. . .he a piece a eye candy. . .but. . .I don’t date dudes. . .never have.”
“But Taylor said----” Isabella began, and then she realized something; No Wonder Taylor made it a point to keep Isabella away from Harper Bailey the whole time she was in school with them. . . "Aquela bruxinha malvada!" Isabella said to herself. That evil little witch! WHY?
“Uh. . .Say What?. . .you cursin’ at me again?. . .what’d I do?. . .” Harper Bailey asked. Chick sure be cute. . .she gotta stop callin’ me names. . .I ask Dude Barry what she say. . .they from ‘round them same places. . .”Hey!. . .you sure am pretty. . .uh. . .uh. . .Oooh. . .Oooh. . .I know. . .if’n you stop swearin’ at me. . .you wanna Come Home With Me?. . .Huh?. . .you think maybe?. . .”
“Oh, Harper Bailey. . .Você é muito fofo! . . .but I must go home. . .Qual o número do seu celular?”
“Uh. . .Hey!. . .uh. . .why you be mad at me?. . .What you say?. . .all them words?. . .uh. . .uh. . .they be bad?”
“I’m sorry, I forgot. . .I said, ‘You are very cute’ and I asked, ‘What is your cell number?’. . .give it to me and I will call you. But now I must go home. . .” Why had Taylor lied? Isabella wondered. I thought we were friends.
Just as Barry had predicted, Harper Bailey didn’t remember anything about the night before; except, that is, his belief that he had made a thousand bucks and now couldn’t find it. He’d looked everywhere! When he started looking in parts of the apartment he hadn’t been to, tossing things around, Kirby finally asked him what he was doing.
“Lost me all my money,” Harper Bailey said. “Hey. . .you got it?. . .Huh?. . .I give it to you?”
“What money?” Kirby asked, searching Barry’s refrigerator for something quick to eat.
“My thousand bucks! Oh man. . .Crap. . .when I gonna find me a millionaire again. . .Huh?. . .Huh?. . .When?. . .Hey. . .where I put it?”
Kirby forgot about breakfast for a minute and went to wake Barry.
“Barry. . .Harper Bailey thinks he lost a thousand dollars last night. . .he’s tearing up your pad lookin’ for it.”
“That silly kid. . .where are my clothes?. . .Go stop him before he wrecks my whole place. . .I’ll get dressed--”
There was no talking Harper Bailey out of his notion that a millionaire had given him money; they tried reason, but. . .how does anyone reason with Harper Bailey? Finally, Barry just gave up and said, “Thing Somebody Took It!”
And that was enough.
“Dammit!. . .I just Knew It. . .That stupid Thing Somebody!. . .gotta wreck everythin’ I do. . .now I don’t got me no money----”
“Yes you do,” Barry said. “I made 80 dollars last night, and we always split tips, so you still have 40 ---”
“I do?!. . .Sweet!. . .uh. . .Where?”
“Don’t you worry, kid. . .I have it in my room; I was keeping it safe for you.”
Back in Barry’s room, Kirby asked, very confused, “Why are you giving Harper Bailey 40 bucks? Last night you said 20. . .why‘s it 40 now?”
“You see the poor little guy. . .he really thinks he lost a thousand dollars. . .I’ll just give him a little extra money and he won’t feel so bad.”
Kirby raised a dubious brow. “I don’t get it. . .why do you care if Harper Bailey is such a big dope that he thinks he lost money he never had? You have a thing for him or something?”
“Well. . .no. . .no. . .” Barry stammered, caught out. “It’s not that. . .it’s just. . .well. . . he’s a good kid. . .hey. . .if you thought you lost money, I’d give you some,” and hoped this particular conversation wouldn’t go any further.
“Yeah, but I’m your boyfriend. . .Harper Bailey’s just a dope who makes crap up in his head and then wants everybody to believe it. . .you sure you’re not crushin’ on him?”
“Don’t you trust me?” Barry asked, hoping to ‘flip the script’ ( as Harper Bailey would have said.)
“Oh, yeah. . .yeah. . .sure. . .Sorry. . .course there ain’t nothin’ with Harper Bailey. . .he’s not into dudes---” Kirby said, and felt mighty bad for thinking what he had been thinking. . . And yet. . .
Harper Bailey’s 40 bucks didn’t last any longer than his walk home; he bought a new CD, stopped for a soda, and then passing by the neighborhood pizza shop, dropped in for a slice, but ended up eating four.
While sitting and staring at the lights, trying to make spots happen, he pulled out his phone and dialed Zach. It went to voice-mail. He stared at the lights until he couldn’t see anything and then hit redial. . .voicemail again.
“Dude,” he said to the kid behind the counter. “My freakin’ stupid phone’s all jacked up. . .can’t make no connection. . .can I use yours?. . .gotta make a really important call. . .like. . .life and death, dude. . .”
“Uh. . .yeah, sure,” the counter kid said, scratching at his scalp. “But, don’t walk off with it. . .I can run really fast, and I punch Really hard---”
“Dude. . .I ain’t no freakin’ crim’nl. . .” Harper Bailey said, snatching the kid’s phone and dialing Zach. Three rings. . .
“Who’s this?” Zach asked.
“It’s me. . .Harper Bailey---”
The phone went dead. Harper Bailey dialed again. . .voice mail. . .”Dude, your phone’s jacked too. . .” he said, tossing the phone back to the counter boy.
On the way home Harper Bailey stopped at the Thrift Store and spent the rest of his money on a pair of new used sneakers. . .they were red. .
“Lemme use your phone,” Harper Bailey said to Taylor as he walked into the garage. “Mine’s all jacked up.”
“Well. . .make it quick; I have to go to work. Where have you been, anyway?”
“Stayed at Dude Barry’s with Kirby. . .Oooh. . .Oooh. . .Thing Somebody stole a thousand bucks from me. . .Dude Barry gave me money. . .Hey. . .you like my new sneaks?”
“Harper Bailey, they’re just as nasty as the last ones you had,” Taylor said, handing over her phone.
“No they Ain’t! They Red!” and he dialed Zach’s number, again.
“Yo Taylor,” Zach said.
“It ain’t Taylor, dude. . .it’s me. . .Harper Bailey---”
Silence.
“Hey. . .you still there?” Harper Bailey asked.
“What is it?” Zach finally asked.
“Oooh. . .dude. . .you sound angrivated. . .you mad at me?”
Taylor turned around, reaching out for the phone. “Who are you talking to?” she asked.
“Zach,” Harper Bailey answered, and then said into the phone, “Dude. . .you ever comin’ home?”
Silence. . .a very long silence. . .”Yeah. . .later. . .just not now. . .”
“Okay, Dude. . .hey. . .I had me a thousand bucks. . .I was gonna give you some, but Thing Somebody stole it----”
“Oh. . .that’s too bad. . .but that was real nice of you, Harper Bailey,” Zach said, but his voice sounded all funny. “Look, I gotta go.” and the phone went dead.
Harper Bailey frowned and gave Taylor her phone back. “Dude sound all weird. Guess he just be missin’ us. . .Oooh. . .Oooh. . .girl. . .he say he’ll come home; see?. . .everythin’ just Fine!. . .Hey!. . .Hey!. . .I met Isabella. . .you know----Isabella?”
Taylor raised her eyebrows in surprise. “When?”
“Uh. . .mmmm. . .last night?. . .I’m jus’ guessin’. . .Hey. . .maybe she know where. . .uh. . .you know. . .Thing Somebody took my money. . .maybe she seen it happen. . .hey?. . .you think maybe?”
Taylor frowned and headed for the door. So. . .Isabella had met Harper Bailey. . .‘Oh. . .‘ Taylor thought. ‘That was so long ago. . .she wouldn’t remember my little joke. . . besides. . .what’s the likelihood we’re all going to start hanging out together anyway‘.
Josh was stretched out on Kirby’s cot when Harper Bailey came in and turned on cartoons. Josh gave a yawn and grunted; “Dude? You said Zach’s coming home?”
“Yeah. . .that be what he say. . . But his voice was like all messed up. . .Hey. . .maybe he got him a cold or somethin’. . .Oooh. . . Oooh. . .I met Isabella.”
Josh chuckled; “So I hear. . .that can’t make Taylor any too happy.”
That only made Harper Bailey wonder. . .”Dude. . .Why?. . .Di’n’t they hang?”
“All the time,” Josh said, and then gave his deep chuckle again. “Few years back Taylor did something she probably shouldn’t have. . .had her reasons. . .but still. . .”
“Oooh. . .Oooh. . .like What dude?” Harper Bailey loved a little bit of gossip. . . He always got it wrong when he repeated it, but that didn’t stop him liking to hearing it the first time.
“She told Isabella-----Oh!. . .You probably shouldn’t know that----”
“Oooh. . .Oooh. . .Hey. . .Why?. . .I won’t tell. . .I won’t tell. . .HEY. . .you can trust ME dude----”
Josh laughed out loud; “No I can’t. Anyway. . .Dude!. . .You say you got your money yoinked?” and Harper Bailey forgot all about what Taylor did and launched into a stream of babble that gave Josh a headache but kept the particular story of Taylor and Isabella a secret for a few more days.
Okay. . .this ain’t the whole thing. . .something gone all wonky tryin’ to get me here. . .got me powerfully confuzzled, dudes. . .but, got real flusterated tryin’ to figure stuff out, so I’ll tell you the rest in just a little while. . . Sorry. . .you ain’t mad at me, are you?

(Had problems uploading the rest of the story, will put up a part 2 in a day or so, just in case you needed to have what he said translated.)

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#1spitzmagicFeb 18, 2012

What an awesome little chapter this is. I loved all of it. I don't need no translator. OMG I understood all of it....hahaha... What's in the world does that mean...LOL ...I am so looking forward to the next one.\:rah\:

#2spladoumFeb 18, 2012

"Agri-tating ..." The English major side of me just wants to strangle this clown. \:P I am strangely glad that Zach moved out, despite the long-standing friendship that he and HB have, they don't bring out the best in each other. Poor Barry, getting sucked into this maelstrom of foolishness ... and Taylor, huh, I think you're going to have some explaining to do, and sooner rather than later! ...

#3martoeleFeb 18, 2012

This was one of the chapters I actually liked. 1. Because it was shorter than the others; 2. Because HB wasn't the only one talking; 3. Because of Zach; 4. Because of the interaction with the 'zilian' girl and 5. Because I really start to understand HB's character... I had a brother like him and nobody understood him either.... \:\( Congratulations on the feature, my friend! \:\)

#4GusluckyFeb 18, 2012

Awesome chapter and congrats on being featured! \:\)

#5fruitopiaVIPFeb 18, 2012

Madness Thingy luv it.  HB has made my day.

#6fabrizioammolloFeb 18, 2012

Another awesome chapter, My Friend! By the way congratulations on the feature! What a naive silly simple-minded you created! Harper Bailey is so uncunny unfit to life! The little unwary thing is just totally negative for himself and his friends... I agree with Margo: same distance would be good for Zack, but I guess it won't last. It's kind of weird how everyone feels she has to help him out...\:wub\:  

#7Feb 18, 2012

Congratulations on the feature, I loved it.

#8isarpgistaFeb 19, 2012

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!! Harper Bailey!!! \o/ I loooooove him!!! He's soooo funny! \:D Randall, congrats on the feature, my dear friend!!! I LOVED this chapter!!! "Zilian girl"! Huhauhuahuahuhaua... Great, great!!! \o/ But I have just felt because of Zach... It's soooo bad to suffer because of a love int he heart... \:\( I hope he come back soon, and feeling better! Oh, I can't wait to read the next part! LOVED it!!! Biiig hug and kiss, my friend!!! \:\)

#9fredbrennyFeb 22, 2012

HB should stop sniffing glue...
\:P The Zillian girl... He is really not someone to have any form of converstion with. Hugs for the cast. \:rah\: They are doing a great job! And you Randal are SUPER!!! \:wub\: I actually read almost all of the text in one time without freakin' out. :P

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