“I Miss You is great but, come on, What’s My Age Again? is just brilliant. The lyrics are amazing and a great story is told and you can’t help but laugh.” I threw my argument in Calum’s face and waited for his response.
“Oh, come on, I Miss You has a story too.”
“But What’s My Age Again? has a funny story.”
“But funny stories don’t have as much meaning. I Miss You is about how this guy hurt this girl emotionally and is really sorry about it because he knows he fucked up and she won’t take him back. And he’s so emotionally hurt about that. He really wishes he didn’t do what he did and he wants to fix it but she won’t allow him and refuses to talk to him, so he misses her.”
“Yes, it’s a touching story but one of my favourite lines from What’s My Age Again? is about how he’s about to get a blowjob from this girl or is gonna have sex with her but instead he turns on the TV. That’s hilarious because how often does a guy turn down a blowjob to watch TV? Think about, Calum. If I offered to give you a blowjob right here, right now, would you turn down the offer and watch TV?”
Despite being obviously put off by my question, Calum though about it for a moment. “Probably not.”
“Exactly. That’s what makes What’s My Age Again? so great. And then he decides to prank call her mum and it goes wrong and it’s so funny."
“It’s an amazing song, yes, but I Miss You is so much better. You can’t deny it.”
I threw my hands up in the air in exasperation.
“Will you guys just give it a rest?” Michael groaned and chucked a pillow in our direction, followed by another.
“Sorry Michael,” Calum and I said in unison, in the way a primary school class says good morning to their teacher.
Calum and I were sitting on the floor of Michael’s bedroom, with Michael on his bed. He was reading a book set for English whilst Calum and I fought over our favourite Blink-182 songs. I thought What’s My Age Again?, Calum thought I Miss You. We had been having this little argument for a few minutes until Michael had interrupted us, so I decided to change the topic.
“My mum thinks I spend too much time here, Michael. I kind of have to say I agree.” I said as I twisted around to face Michael.
"So do I. You’re here every weekend and most afternoons. My mum’s surprised you haven’t moved in yet.”
“I understand why you spend so much time here, Sam. Michael’s mum is the best cook.” Calum said.
To be honest, though, it wasn’t because Michael’s mum was a good cook (though that was a plus); it was because at the Clifford household, I felt like I was actually part of a family. It had been more than five years since my dad had died and I had mostly recovered (of course I still missed him but there wasn’t an aching pain in my chest whenever I thought of him) but my mother had not. She spent most of her days sitting on the couch, watching America’s Next Top Model reruns and when we did talk, our conversations were short. My mum helped with the chores and cooked dinner every now and then but she mostly refused to leave the house. At Michael’s house I helped Mrs. Clifford with cooking, joined the Clifford’s on family day; I honestly felt like I was now an honorary Clifford. Which was slightly weird to think, considering I had only been friends with Michael for over two months, only one term of school. It was amazing they had accepted me so quickly.
“I’m gonna get a drink and one of Mrs. Clifford’s cupcakes.” I stood up and walked to the kitchen, Mrs. Clifford standing there with a baking tray in her hands.
“Hi Sam, how are you?” She asked.
“I’m good, thanks. You?”
“Oh, I’m wonderful. I love baking, it makes me so happy. Would you like a cookie?” She held out the tray towards me.
“Thank you but I was going to have a cupcake.”
“Well, you can have both.” She grabbed a cookie and put it in the palm of my hand, then grabbed a cupcake from the container on the bench and put that in my other hand. “Now, eat the cookie, I want to know if they’re good or not.”
I followed Mrs. Clifford’s instructions and ate the cookie. It was crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, with melting chocolate chips. It was delicious, and I told Mrs. Clifford so. She thanked me then left me to finish the cookie and get myself a drink. I pulled open the cupboard door and grabbed a glass. I then poured orange juice into the glass and made my way back to Michael’s room. Just before I went to push open the door, I heard my name. Curious as to what they were saying about me, I took my hand away from the door and held my breath.
“Calum, trust me on this, Sam doesn’t like me like that. We’re friends, that’s all. And I don’t like her like that.”
My eyes widened as Calum began to talk.
“But she’s always at your place and you two are always hugging and spending time with each other. Most people think you’re together.”
“Well, we’re not. Sam and I are just friends, Calum. I swear. She’s at my house a lot because she doesn’t like hers. We hug each other a lot because, other than you, she’s my best friend. We spend time together because we have fun together. I swear to God, there are no sexual feelings between us.”
“Um, oh, okay. Promise?” Calum asked.
“I promise. God, how many times do I have to tell you?”
“I think one more time should suffice, Michael.” I said as I pushed open the door. I think both Michael and Calum, Calum more so, had heart attacks.
“How long were you out there?” Calum asked tentatively. I decided to lie and spare him the embarrassment that he would feel (despite the fact that I didn't understand why he would feel embarrassed).
“I only heard ‘Okay, promise? I promise. God, how many times do I have to tell you?’ So don’t worry, your secret is safe.” I smiled then sat down next to Calum, glass and cupcake in hand.
“Oh, okay, whew. That was close.” Michael wiped his hand across his brow, wiping away imaginary sweat.
“I’d ask what you were talking about but you wouldn’t tell me, so there’s no point asking.”
“Good idea,” Calum said. “Because I’d be very embarrassed. So, to change the topic, there’s a party last Friday of term. Do you two wanna come?”
I thought about it for a second. Parties were fun but normally I wouldn’t have any friends and I’d end up leaving early after getting a bit drunk. But if I went I’d have Michael and Calum, surely that would be okay. I’d have people to talk to and I wouldn’t be sitting by myself.
I looked at Michael for confirmation and then nodded at Calum. “Sounds good.”
Hope you enjoyed. Love you, bye! <3