Flash: Lonely Teddy Bear

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“One teddy bear and a sad bunch of roses.”

The three friends looked at each other, Bobby holding the drooping roses as Douglas took the stuffed toy off the otherwise barren shelf. Only glitter and lost ribbons from other toys remained.

“It’s our own fault waiting until Valentine’s Day to go shopping.” Rashawn shook his head. Not that they really had a choice between writing the English papers due Monday and studying for the big Science test Tuesday which they couldn’t fail or they would be kicked off the team. The snowstorm rolling in Tuesday night and buried everything Wednesday under eight inches of wet icy slush, including their rides, put the final nail in the coffin.

Douglas spoke again. “We got three girlfriends and two gifts.”

“One gift.” Bobby pointed out, his shoulders drooping further than normal. He towered over the other two by more than six inches and was uncomfortable with how people constantly stepped back since his growth spurt two years ago. “These roses ain’t worth anything without something else. And I’m not talking just chocolates.”

“I don’t got money for no chocolates. Not enough to make Ami happy.” Spreading his hands wide, Rashawn took a step back. “You guys can duke it out.”

“Nah, I got it.” Douglas’ dad and mom owned their own company, and Doug worked weekends for them. “But fifty bucks isn’t going to go far.”

“Not with Ami and Stephanie in the picture.” Bobby muttered. “I got twenty which will cover the roses.”

“Okay, huddle.” Douglas grabbed Rashawn with his offhand, pulling him back into the conversation. “Which of the girls are we going to keep? Because this is make it or break it time.”

“Stephanie has been dating you forever Doug. She won’t drop you over a lousy V-Day.” Rashawn considered. “Probably.”

“Right.” Doug rolled his eyes like he already could hear her tirade.

“Maybe you could scrap her off this time.” Bobby shifted his feet. “If you want to.”

Switching the bear to his left hand, Douglas pressed his right to his chest and rubbed it a bit. “Scrapping off the Barnacle. Hmmm. But we are already on for the Senior Prom…”

“You’re going to different colleges.” Rashawn pointed out. “It’s not going to last. And it isn’t like you want to get glued to the bitc…girl.”

The bear’s big black eyes had no answers when Douglas looked down.

“Eve is okay, but I guess I can take one for the team.”

“Shut your pie hole Bobby, she is the only one with a car.”

Bobby reared back at Douglas’ quick reaction. He had only started dating Eve over Christmas break, after the other two arranged to go out for pizza with him and ditched him with her.

“She stays.” Douglas decided.

Rashawn nodded. “Yeah. Who needs a girl who will put out anyway?”

“Ms. Palm is much less hassle than DramaQueen.” Doug agreed. “And cheaper than the Barnacle.”

“But…but you guys have been dating Steph and Ami forever.”

“And you’ve been mooning over Eve since middle school.” Douglas pointed out. “And she, you.”

Bobby blinked. “Wait, what?”

“Yep, totally Romeo-Juliet window scene.” Rashawn smirked, his head bobbing agreement. “So sweet, it’s frigging sick.”

“If any of us has a keeper, it’s you, Eiffel.”

“But, wait…”

“Chocolates?” Douglas asked.

Rashawn took the roses from Bobby’s limp hands. “Chocolates!”

The two took off toward the grocery section of the store with their excessively tall friend stumbling behind.

Series – Lonely Teddy Bear

    1. Lonely Teddy Bear (2/16/2020)
    2. A Single Rose (3/1/2020)

(words 576; first published 2/16/2020)