“Roy! Roy! Roy! It’s starting! Roy!”
Moss’ voice practically echoed through to the kitchen. Well not really echoed, but it at least sounded slightly muffled. The new flat was definitely a success for DVD night. It was almost a cinema.
“Coming,” he called, shoving the bottles of coke in his pockets and carefully balancing the popcorn on top of the boxes of nachos and pizza. It was a challenge as he tottered back through the doorway into the living room and had to shield his eyes with the boxes against the glare from his new 72” screen.
“You almost missed it, Roy.”
“I’m here. Here.” He deposited the food about on the floor about them and then sitting down, looked back up at the screen, his eyes finally adjusted enough to see the image. Roy groaned. “Awww.... it’s just the trailers.”
Moss turned to look at him with a sharp gasp. “They’re the best bits.”
“How? How can they be the best bits of a DVD of a film you have chosen to buy?” He reached for the remote control. “I bet they’ve made them unskippable.”
Moss hit the remote from his hand, sending it skidding across the room.
“You will not skip the adverts.” He made it sound like breaking one of the cardinal sins. “They are like mini movies, Roy.”
“Fine, fine,” Roy slumped back grumpily, glaring at the screen which had gone black, white writing beginning to appear.
Roy leaned forward slightly.
“Ooh... he’s good too,” Roy said.
Moss had started bouncing slightly on the couch, his excitement already too much for him.
“I love her,” Roy said with a moan. “It’s going to be the best action movie ever!”
IN THE PERIOD DRAMA OF THE DECADE!
JANE AUSTEN’S SENSE & SENSIBILITY
Roy deflated. “It’s a date movie. Awww...”
“I’ll go with you, Roy.”
“No, not again. They judge you with their eyes at that cinema. I’m not going to another date movie with you Moss.”
“Maybe you should take Jen.”
Roy was silent for a second, surprised. “Jen? No... No... I couldn’t take Jen. Could I? No, me and Jen it’s not like that.”
Moss straightened on the couch, his face lighting up. “Hmmmm...”
“Moss, whatever you’re thinking, just don’t.”
“Morning,” Jen called, one of her arms already out of her jacket when she spotted what they’d done to the office.
The centre of it had been filled with a massive notice board, covered in photos and scraps of paper and a weird assortment of bits and bobs. All the other furniture had been crammed against the wall to make room for it, except for two chairs facing it. One of which Roy was sat in, arms crossed and his expression grim. Moss was stood by the notice board, hands clasped in front of him.
“What on earth?” Jen started, freeing her second arm and dumping the jacket on one of the relocated desks.
“I tried to stop him,” Roy told her.
“Welcome Jen, I’m glad you could join us,” Moss said with a smile, gesturing towards the second chair. “If you’d like to take-”
She spotted a familiar photo. “Oh my god, that’s me and Norman.” Looking along the board she could see photos of her with other boyfriends and photos of Roy and his girlfriends. She noted, with some pleasure, that there were at least less of them – even if it did look like Moss had finally crossed the line into serial killer tendencies.
“Jen, if you’d like to take a seat.”
“What’s going on, Moss?” She asked as gently as possible, sitting down beside Roy. She could feel him almost shaking with rage. Moss pulled some cards from his pocket.
“You may be wondering what this is about,” Moss read out and then looked up at them expectantly. After a long moment, Jen nodded.
“So let me tell you – I have brought you here today to prove unequivocally that you, Roy, points... err... no sorry, that should be – You, Roy,” he pointed dramatically, “Are in love with Jen.”
Jen recovered first, laughter bursting from her, whilst Roy was still frozen in horror. “What. No-”
“And that you, Jen, are in love with Roy.”
“What?” She managed through her laughter, which was still uncontrollable and was starting to make her side hurt. Roy was staring at her, his mouth opening and closing like a goldfish.
“Here,” Moss’s dramatic finger swung back to the board. “I have collected the evidence and now I will present it to you. Evidence A. Every time Jen gets a boyfriend, Roy gets upset.”
“What!” Roy practically leapt from his chair, though once he was up he seemed to have no idea what to do. Jen fought down her remaining giggles so she could hear his answer.
“I get upset because when she’s got a boyfriend, because she gets so annoying. Do you remember Peter? Do you remember the stories, the endless, inane stories? Do you remember the cheese story? Twelve times, she told us that story twelve times! I counted.”
“Oh yes,” Moss agreed, “The stories were awful. And do you remember when she was singing all the time?”
“If you could call it singing.”
Jen turned slowly to look at him.
“And what would you have called it?”
Roy froze. “Errr…”
“Maybe we should move on to Evidence B,” Moss said loudly. “Roy, whenever you’re dating someone you do something wrong. Like with the Sea Park girl.”
“She had a name, Moss.”
“I think you subconsciously sabotage the relationships because really you want Jen,” Moss finished with a proud smile, though it rapidly retreated in the view of Roy’s glare. “Ummm… Evidence C… ummm… you spend hours playing Guitar Hero together.”
“We do play quite a lot of-” Jen started at the same time as Roy began to speak.
“Because she’s terrible at it. I like to play with somebody I can beat! Do you remember World of Warcraft, I loved that game, I lost entire weeks to that game and then everybody got into it and...”
“They were better than you, so you went on a virtual killing spree,” Moss finished for him. He risked a glance in Jen’s direction; she could feel rage building, slow and insistent. “Ummm.... Evidence D. You argue constantly.”
“Exactly,” Roy agreed.
“I have seen hundreds of romantic movies-”
“I have seen three romantic movies and if I know anything about romance... and movies, it’s that any two people who argue constantly are in love. Or possibly they are involved in some sort of war. Or a quest...”
“Alright, alright,” Roy said, interrupting what looked like being a long list of exceptions. “Fine. Jen would you like to go with me to a movie?”
She looked up at him slowly, gathering her thoughts.
“Are you sure – even though I’m annoying and tell boring stories and can’t sing and can’t play computer games and-”
“Don’t know anything about computers,” Moss suggested.
“Thank you, Moss. And don’t know anything about computers.”
“Alright,” she told him.
Moss was counting his paperclips the next morning, when a strange crunching noise caught his attention. Moments later, Roy limped into the office with a slightly wild look.
“I don’t want to talk about it!”
“Did the date go well?” Moss asked.
“I said I don’t want to talk about it!”
Moss watched as Roy moved to his desk and gingerly, sat down, each movement accompanied by more crunching.
“Do you hear crunching?” He asked him.
“I told you I don’t want to talk about it, Moss!”
“And can you smell popcorn?”