The sun shone brightly overhead in the noon day sky, causing both young men to wipe the sweat from their brows.
Moving boxes upstairs from the moving van to the second story of their new apartment was hard work, and the young men, while healthy, were not used to such strenuous activity.
“We should,” gasped Dan, “have gotten a place with air conditioning.”
Dan Howell, a 26 year old young man with dark brown hair and sugary warm brown eyes, lugged a suitcase full of paper-wrapped plates up the stairs behind him with one hand as he balanced a box of kitchen utensils in the other.
Phil Lester, 30 years old with striking black hair and greenish-blue eyes, pulled an empty trunk up the stairs and felt his heart pounding in his chest.
“Yeah,” Phil replied to Dan,”we should take a break and hook up the window unit before the next trip.”
“Good…idea,” Dan managed, as he rounded the corner to the next set of stairs.
Their old apartment had been plagued with more stairs than this one, so the two men were used to ascending and descending steps multiple times a day, but carrying heavy objects for repeated trips was something with a higher degree of difficulty.
When he reached the kitchen, Dan dropped off his load and then turned back and helped Phil to take the trunk up the final set of stairs to Phil’s bedroom. Dan took to the lower end and began to push, while Phil pulled.
“Are you sure this is empty?” Dan complained as he pushed.
“Pivot!” Phil yelled suddenly, and the two friends started giggling helplessly at the “F*R*I*E*N*D*S” reference.
“PIVOT!” Dan hollered back, and the giggles turned to full out laughter.
One upstairs, they both fell backwards onto Phil’s bed.
“Let’s put the A/C in here,” Phil suggested.
“Good try,” Dan grinned, “But we should put it in the living room.”
“When we get our forever place,” Phil suggested, “it needs to have central heat and air.”
“And glass in every window?” Dan teased.
“Yes!” Phil agreed with a big smile.
“Next time, though,” Dan began, “we are hiring professional movers. This is too hard.”
“They are too expensive, they don’t care about your stuff, and you sign away all rights to sue them if they do break your things!” Phil declared.
“Thank you, Council,” Dan said mockingly, “And since when were you an expert on law?”
“I did all the research, remember?” Phil said, turning on his side and facing Dan, “None of the moving companies would reimburse you for broken items.”
“That isn’t the same thing as not being able to sue, Phil,” Dan patiently explained, “Besides, you just didn’t want to spend the money, Capital Lester!”
“Hey! Neither did you, as I recall!” Phil retorted.
“Phil, I’m saying ‘next time’. And I don’t feel like debating. Let’s hook up the air conditioner unit downstairs so the building will be cool when we come back with the last van load.”
“Okay,” Phil agreed, and both boys continued to lay there.
“You know,” Phil said after a few minutes of silence,”we could call the movers now and have them finish up. I have my phone in my pocket. “
Dan laughed. “Come on,” he said, sitting up then turning back and pulling Phil up by the arm, “let’s finish this.”
The two men went downstairs and dug through the boxes until they found the window air conditioning unit, then quickly set it up. They stood in the cool breeze and wiped the sweat from their foreheads.
“Now this is better,” Dan said.
“Yeah,” Phil agreed.
“When we get back, the apartment will feel great!” Dan enthused.
“Dibs” Phil said suddenly.
“Dammit!” Dan said. “Phil, I don’t want to die on the way back there. Let me drive, okay?”
“I called dibs!” Phil said, holding out his hand for the keys to the rental van.
Dan deposited them into Phil’s palm, and Phil ran down the stairs to the street and hopped in the driver’s seat.
Though Dan was gripping the dashboard the entire time, Phil was actually a good driver on the straight-a-way. Parallel parking was another story, though, and after three tries, he acquiesced and let Dan take the wheel.
“It’s easy, Phil!” Dan said as he straightened out the wheels after his successful first attempt.
“Apparently for SOME people!” Phil said with a grin. “Come on, there’s only a bit left and I want to get back to that air conditioning.
After making the trip back and unloading the van, Dan volunteered to drive the van back to the rental company.
“No, we should go together,” Phil said, “What if we need to sign something?”
“They just want their van back before five, we don’t have to sign anything,” Dan said, “and besides, you look paler than usual, mate. Take a shower and then stand in front of the AC until I get back.”
“Aww, thanks, Dan,” Phil said, beginning pull him in for a hug.
“Eww, no!” Dan said, stepping back. No offense, Phil, but we both stink to high heaven. Shower now, hug later!”
Phil laughed, “Okay. Be careful. Do you need the checkbook, just in case?”
“Yeah, let me take it in case they find a ding from your botched parking attempt,” Dan teased.
“I didn’t hit anything, Howell!” Phil asserted, pushing Dan out the door.
Once Dan was gone, Phil lay in front of the air conditioner for a full five minutes. After he cooled off, he jogged upstairs, dug the towels and toiletries from the boxes marked, “bathroom” and took a long, cool shower.
Refreshed, he changed into a dry shirt and shorts and paddled down the stairs of their new apartment. He made his way into the kitchen for a snack, then realized that Dan would be famished as well. He rummaged through the boxes and found some seasonings, then pulled some veggies from the fridge and began to prepare a stir fry for Dan’s return.
“Hey Siri,” Phil said, “Play Muse”. Siri responded and Phil began to dance around the kitchen as he rummaged through boxes for a skillet.
Once he had mixed all he ingredients, he turned up the heat and stirred as the steam rose, filling the kitchen with a delectable aroma.
“I didn’t realize how hungry I was,” he thought to himself as he stirred. “Dan must be starving as well. We should have stopped to eat lunch.”
He plated the foot then realized they had no table to eat from. Their new dining room table was to be delivered the next day, so all he had was the coffee table in front of the sofa.
It would have to do. He sat the plates out and then went back to the kitchen to mix some Ribena.
When he returned to the living room, he was surprised to find a huge bouquet of yellow flowers in the middle of the coffee table. The vase was sleek and clear, rectangular in shape, and about eight inches tall, and it barely contained the stunning arrangement of daisies, yellow roses, and sunflowers.
Phil smiled. Yellow was his favorite color for flowers. When had Dan gotten home? He listened closely and heard the shower running upstairs.
Phil was setting down two plates of salads and dressing when Dan bopped down the stairs.
“Hey!” Phil said, “The flowers are lovely!”
“I’m ready for my hug now, Mr. DeMille,” Dan said, referencing the famous movie line.
Phil took Dan in for a long, warm embrace. Dan smelled of cucumber and melon, and his wet curls dripped cool water down Phil’s back.
“I can’t believe we did it!” Phil said, as they leaned back.
“Another move!” Dan declared. “Here’s to NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN until it is for the final time.”
“Our forever home is next,” Phil agreed, leaning in to peck Dan on the lips.
Dan rubbed Phil’s back and gently pulled him in for a deeper kiss.
“How did you get back?” Phil said as they sat down on the sofa to eat.
“I took a Lyft,” Dan said.
“And did the lift come with free flowers?” Phil grinned.
“Ha!” Dan said, nearly spitting out his Ribena, “No, you buffoon! I had him wait as I ran in to the market for them. I just thought you’d like them since we aren’t going plant shopping until tomorrow.”
“That was thoughtful, Dan, thank you,” Phil said.
They both stared at the arrangement, then Phil yelped, “Oh my God! There’s a bee!”
“What?!” Dan said, bolting up off the couch and dashing to the side of the room. “Get it!”
“I’m not going to get it!” Phil said, “It might sting me!”
“Well, open the window and through the flowers outside then!” Dan ordered.
“No!” Phil said, “I love the flowers! I’ll just open the window and the bee will fly out on her own.”
“His own,” Dan corrected.
Phil glared at Dan in mock-anger. “Don’t correct me while I’m saving your life, Howell!”
“Sorry! Just get it!” Dan begged.
Phil ran to the window and opened it, letting the air conditioner vent fall inside the apartment.
“Come on, Sally,” Phil began in a sweet voice, “come outside now.”
“You’ve named him Sally, then?” Dan asked, whipping out his camera to film the excitement.
“It could be the Queen!” Phil said, “You don’t know.”
Bravely, Phil picked up the vase and slowly walked it towards the window. “That’s a girl, Sally. Hold on there. I’m taking you to some fresh air.”
Dan walked behind Phil at a safe distance, filming and giggling.
Phil reached the window and gave the flowers a little wiggle. The bee kept crawling around.
“OMG, it’s never leaving,” Dan said. “Pitch the flowers, Phil!”
“No,” Phil declared to Dan. Then, in a softer voice, he said, “Now, Sally, you can’t make your home here. Just fly away outside and…
Suddenly, Sally lifted off from the daisy and flew straight at Dan.
“Aaaah!” Dan screamed and turned and ran around the corner and up the stairs. “Get it off me! Get it off me!”
“It’s not on you!” Phil called up. “I”m looking at it right now!”
The confused bee was flying around, buzzing loudly.
Phil put the vase atop his head.
“Here Sally,” he said sweetly, slowly walking towards the bee. “Right here are your flowers. Just don’t sting me, okay? Come on, Sally…”
“Oh my God, Phil!” Dan said, peaking around the corner after having crept back down the stairs, “You’re crazy! It’s going to sting you!”
“No it’s not,” Phil said calmly, “You’re not going to sting me, are you Sally?”
The bee was clearly getting agitated at being in such unfamiliar surroundings. It flew quickly from one surface to the next, seeming to bounce off one before darting towards another.
“Phil,” Dan warned in a serious voice, “Put the flowers down and get over here.”
Phil backed towards the window instead.
“Phil!” Dan called, “it’s going to sting you!”
Phil reached the window.
“Phil, I swear to God, I’m serious, drop the flowers and get out of there!”
Phil held the flowers outside of the window, turned his face away from the bee, and squeezed his eyes shut.
The bee, for reasons neither man could ever explain, suddenly bolted towards the flowers.
“It’s coming right for you!” Dan yelled.
Phil opened his eyes and saw a blurry bee headed for him, threw the flowers and vase out the window and dove to the floor.
The bee flew out the window and Dan ran over and slammed it shut.
“Is it on me?!” Phil yelled.
“OMG! I thought it was going to land on my eye!” Phil said.
Dan grabbed the camera and turned it back onto Phil. He had forgotten it had been recording the entire time.
As the blurry shot came into focus, the YouNow audience chat was full of questions.
“What the hell is going on?”
“Why is Phil on the floor?”
“Is Phil dead?”
“What was all that muffled screaming?!”
“Who is Sally?”
Dan glanced down to line up the shot and realized he had somehow started broadcasting.
“Shit!” He said aloud.
“What?! Is it back?” Phil cried, curling up into a ball.
“Shit, shit, shit!” Dan muttered as he quickly tried to, then successfully ended the broadcast.
“Oh my God,” Dan said. “Oh shit.”
“What?” Phil asked, lifting his head up from the floor.
“I accidentally broadcast that entire episode onto YouNow!”
“What?! Erase it!” Phil said, bounding up from the floor and grabbing the phone from Dan’s hand.
“I already deleted it, but the chat was full, Phil. People saw it. Or heard it, mostly.”
They both stared at each other, then dove for their laptops to check Tumblr.
The site gave an “Over Loaded, Please Try Again in a Minute” error.
“We just broke Tumblr,” Dan said.
“Shit,” said Phil.
They kept hitting refresh in silence, their hearts still racing from the bee drama, trying to remember what they said and what their audience might have heard or seen.
Five minutes later, the site slowly loaded.
OMG! This girl Sally hit Phil over the head with a vase then jumped out the window because of her unrequited love for Dan! Gif coming asap!
The two men grinned.
TRENDING: Dan and Phil in Lover’s Quarrel: Who is Sally?
Dan laughed and Phil smirked.
RIP Phil Lester. :( :( :(
Phil laughed aloud.
Phil caught Dan upstairs with a fan called Sally and they got in a fight and Dan knocked Phil out!
“Ooo, nice one!” Dan said.
Wait a minute. That floor looks different.
“Shit,” Dan and Phil said in unison.