Lover Boy Meets His Doom

So, will you do it?” I pleaded with my buddy, Tom “Tomahawk” Stiles. We were between classes, and time was short.

“Why don’t you just do it yourself?”

“Just . . . because,” I responded.

“Oh, that explains it! Why didn’t you say so before?” Tomahawk was in prizewinning sarcastic form.

“Look,” I said, “it’s not like I can just stroll up to Sonia and say, ‘Hey, baby! I am crazy in love with you and wonder if you want to have the wedding this Sunday or next.’ Come on, just help me out here, OK?”

“Oh, whatever,” Tomahawk mumbled with a sigh of resignation. He always did that whenever he was thinking of resigning as my best friend. I hated that thought, because I liked hanging out with this part-Blackfoot Native American. Sharing the occasional Wham sandwich with him didn’t exactly make up for stealing his country, but it was the best this seventh grader could do.

“So let me get this straight,” my friend said. “I’m supposed to tell Heather to tell Sonia that you’re the one whose been going ga-ga over her—is that right?”

“No, no!” I cried. “Just tell Heather to bring Sonia to the English classroom door right after class. Then Heather can just point to me and say to Sonia, ‘That’s the one.’”

“Ah, and your stunning good looks and captivating wit will take over from there.”

If it weren’t for the fact that Tomahawk’s biceps were the size of bowling balls, I would’ve formulated an appropriate response to his prizewinning sarcasm.

“So why don’t you just skip the ‘middle person’ and go right to Sonia?”

“It’s more romantic this way,” I explained.

Tomahawk knew I was actually freeze-dried with fear, but he didn’t say anything.

Rrriiiinnnggg. The fateful moment had arrived. For the first time Sonia would learn the true identity of her secret lover. Exiting the English room, I spotted Heather whispering into Sonia’s ear. Heather pointed in my direction, and I smiled.

A weird look crossed Sonia’s face.

I smiled again.

Sonia screamed, quite loudly as I recall. The events of the next few moments are hazy, because I’ve tried really hard to forget them. I do remember seeing Sonia flee in the opposite direction at somewhere around warp speed. It may have been that there was a tarantula on my head, but I doubt it.

“So I guess this means the wedding is off,” Tomahawk wisecracked later that afternoon.

“Some day she’ll regret missing her chance,” I commented, searching for fragments of my busted ego.

“There’s a piece over there by the drinking fountain,” Tomahawk said. Blackfoot Native Americans have eyes like eagles.

Tomahawk went on. “You know, you could always look at the bright side.”

“And that would be . . .”

“You still have me.”

Somehow my friend’s sympathetic look told me that he wasn’t being sarcastic. And that made a great deal of difference given my current state of mind.

Over the years, my buddy and I had lots of adventures together, some of which would likely end my employment at Guide if I were to share them with you. But other exploits reflected borderline valor, such as when we saw a guy chasing his runaway riding lawn tractor and dashed to the rescue. Nothing runs like a Deere, except a Blackfoot Native American on a critical mission.

But the one thing that really bonded Tomahawk and myself was our uncanny knack for getting our hearts broken. Some of us are just gifted that way.

Today Tomahawk wields a construction hammer for a living. He’s also the fire chief for a small Michigan town. But most important to me is that he’s my friend. (Admittedly, his other jobs pay better than I do.)

So I urge you to take the time to make a great friend. You might need one if your heart ever gets broken . . . or if your house catches on fire.

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Lover Boy Meets His Doom

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