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Back in the apartment, Joe began taking the trash out of the trashcans and headed outside, only to see Mike walking back with a big smile on his face.
“Hey!” he called. “What are you smiling about?”
“I have a mission for you and I, my friend,” he beamed. “We’re catering for Rainie’s engagement party!”
“Engagement party?” Joe repeated. “What do you mean?”
“Seems like Rainie’s dad ran out of caterers and the only one he knew of was me so he hired me to work,” Mike explained as they both walk back into the apartment.
“But, they’ve been engaged for months now, why are they having their engagement party now, so near the wedding day?” Joe asked a bit puzzled.
“Who cares!” Mike shrugged. “The point is I have a chance of a lifetime to convince Ron that I’m meant for Rainie!”
“What!?” Joe screamed. “I thought you already gotten over her!”
“Nope,” he smiled. “Actually I’ve been meaning to tell you something.”
“And that is?” Joe inquired.
“We’re back together!” Mike yelped excitedly. “So, all I need to do now is have Ron fall in love me…now that will be a challenge.”
“And…you need me because?” Joe scratched his head.
“I need you for back up!” Mike nodded. “If I need someone to take a hit for me, it’ll be my best friend!”
“I’d rather stab myself a hundred times,” Joe nonchalantly answered.
“HEY!” Mike screamed after him. “Are you or are you not my friend!?”
“I am not a friend,” Joe said, turning around. “I am your guinea pig!”
“Well as long as you know,” Mike joked, only to have Joe throw a shoe at him. “I was kidding!”
“Whatever!” Joe yelled back as he headed to his room.
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out!” Mike solidly reiterated.
“That is a bunch of bull!” Joe hastily replied as he stomped his way to Mike.
Suddenly Joe grabbed Mike in a headlock and he refused to let go.
“Joe, what are you doing?!” Mike tried to say.
“When have you ever been such a friend to me?” Joe yelled. “You have never been there for me!”
“JOE!!” Mike choked out. “You’re not being a very good friend right now!”
“I have never asked anything of you!” he continued to rant.
“That’s because…you never asked!” Mike spat out.
“That’s beside the point!” Joe groaned. “You’ve always had me around to help you! Where were you when I needed you?!”
“BAH!” Mike shouted, trying to loosen Joe’s grip. “Did you see a therapist or something? What’s wrong with you?!”
“You had everything in your grasp and yet you did nothing about it!” Joe continued to fume.
“What did I do? Why are you so mad all of a sudden!?” Mike moaned.
“Because you got the girl!” Joe yelled. “I thought I did everything right, and yet I get nothing out of it besides a broken heart! But you? You were a jerk, a cold blooded monster, and yet YOU STILL GET THE GIRL!”
“Oh hell no!” Mike suddenly shouted.
Out of rage and jealousy, Mike grabbed Joe’s arm around his neck and twisted it with all his might.
“Don’t tell me you’re in love with Rainie!?” Mike screamed. “Not MY Rainie!!”
“Give me a break!” Joe hissed as he used all his strength to pull Mike back into a headlock. “You never had to go through my pain; just like everything else, you always get what you want!”
Using his upper body, Mike takes himself out of the headlock and both Mike and Joe begin to wrestle out their frustrations from the floor, to the couch, to the floor, to the kitchen, to the floor, to the bathroom, to the bathroom floor…
“No pain?!” Mike shouted. “I never felt pain!? What is it that I’m feeling now?!”
“Damn mama’s boy!” Joe screamed as he put Mike in a choke hold.
“Math GEEK!” Mike gasped out as he had Joe in a hold of his own
“Stupid, childish, will-never-get-a-woman-because-he-still-wet’s-his-bed, mama’s-boy!” Joe yelped.
“Will-never-get-a-woman, period!!!!” Mike continued to scream.
As they both continue to fight, neither of them knew exactly how weak they both were; having never been anywhere near a gym in 5 years could make even the strongest body builder into a pile a flab nowadays.
“Lazy…careless…moron…” Joe slurred to Mike as he felt his limbs tire.
“Overconfident…emotionless…meanie!” Mike muttered out of breathe as they both fall onto the floor, gasping for air.
“Air…air!” Joe inhaled deeply.
“Get it…yourself!” Mike motioned to Joe as they both lay lifeless.
“You’re really stupid you know that?” Joe abruptly spoke. “You had Rainie waiting for you at the palm of your hands, and yet you chose now to say how much you’re in love with her. If she had any mind at all, she’d refuse you right there and then.”
“Get it yourself!” Mike repeated as he tried to catch his breath.
“Are you even listening?!” Joe yelled as he sat up. “Don’t you understand anything?”
“Joe…” Mike whispered as he struggled to get up. “I understand, I understand.”
Mike slowly sat up and put an arm around Joe to help him stay up and not fall back on his head. He shook himself awake and sighed deeply before speaking.
“You think I don’t feel pain. I do, and probably to a different degree, but I can feel it. I know you’re hurt; for what, I have yet to hear about. But that’s the difference between you and me; I don’t want to feel the pain. All I know is that she’s the one for me,” Mike finally said aloud. “And I really need your help, whether or not you want to help me.”
“I don’t want to,” Joe selfishly said.
“HEY!” Mike sighed. “…you’re jealous of me aren’t you?”
“Jealous?!” Joe asked in shock. “HA! Jealous? Me?? Pssshhh!”
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Mike said, comforting him. “Well not for me at least.”
“Again, this isn’t helping me,” Joe sighed.
“Joe, you’ll understand when you find her” Mike said calmly. “When you meet that girl whom you can’t decide whether you love her or just like her, keep in mind that you’ll know you are in love when you see the world in her eyes, and her eyes everywhere in the world.”
“Uh-huh, I’m going to shoot myself now, if you don’t mind,” Joe indifferently shook his head. “But you’re right. I am jealous of you; for being able to refuse pain. How I wish I were you.”
Joe took his final breath and got up with a shaken body and goes to his bedroom, leaving Mike by himself on the floor. Shoving his hands into his face, Joe groans deeply before falling into his bed. He couldn’t take how Mike’s life was seemingly so simple and his own was so bad. Why did he have to fall in love with a woman who was so wrong for him? She was betrothed, she was in love with someone else, she was nothing he ever wanted in a woman…and yet everything he ever needed.
“Damn it!” he groaned as he socked the bed.
“Holy macaroni!” Joe heard Mike say from the other side of his bedroom door. “Joe?! Are you in love with someone?!”
“No!” Joe lied apathetically.
“You are, you stupid moron!!!” Mike yelled. “How dare you yell at me for being so passive and yet you hypocritically lay on that bed like a king?!”
He was right, Joe thought. What was he doing? Wasn’t he doing everything he yelled at Mike for doing? Did it really make a difference whether or not the girl was getting married, or in love with someone else? Everything was up to him to control…no one else’s. If he really liked her, then he’d fight for her…right? With that thought in mind, Joe sat up with a quizzical look on his face.
“I’m gonna marry that girl.”
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