Michael didn’t know what to expect after the Squip incident. He knew that it would be naive to think that everything would go back to how it used to be. Who was he kidding a group of people going through something as traumatic as being squipped would definitely lead to some changes. He didn’t, however, know that life would change this much. His and Jeremy’s social group more than doubled in size. It’s no longer just player one and his player two and it’s no more apparent than when all of them are sitting at the lunch table.
Michael was sitting at the end of the lunch table a seat between him and the rest of the Squip gang. Jeremy is sitting directly across from him playing around with his food. Christine is sitting next to Jeremy and is leaning her head against Jeremy’s shoulder. Michael suddenly became interested in his slushy and sushi.
The rest of the gang were doing their own little thing at the table. Jenna, who is seated at the other end of the table from Michael, is too absorbed in whatever is going on in her twitter to pay attention to the rest of the gang. Brooke and Chloe are showing each other dresses that they might wear to Homecoming. Jake is too busy trying to finish up his homework before the next class period. Rich is the closest to Michael and he mostly is just pestering Jake. Occasionally, Michael sees Rich stealing a glance at him for whatever reason and every time Michael catches him Rich flashes him an awkward smile. This normally causes Michael to return his gaze back to his slushy.
Nobody in the group really interacts with him and Michael kind of understands why. He wasn’t squipped like the rest of them. Michael wasn’t really a part of their bonding. He really didn’t want to be squipped like the rest of them but he does wish that he was included in their shenanigans.
That’s not to say that the gang didn’t try to include him. It was just as more and more time had pasted the gang kinda just stopped making an effort when it came to including him.
“Hey! Mell! Mell! Michael!”
Michael quickly looks up and turns his head to see Rich waving his hand trying to get Michael’s attention. The rest of the group were all now looking directly at him. It was making him very anxious and a bit self-conscious.
“W-what? I wasn’t really listening” Michael said as he quickly slid his headphones off.
“No problem, my dude. I was asking if you are planning on going to the Homecoming game next week?” Rich said with his lisp and if Michael was being honest he sounded better than he did before. It was cute.
“Uh, I don’t know if…”
“Michael is going with Christine and I to the Homecoming game,” Jeremy said butting into the conversation while he shifted Christine off of his shoulder.
Michael inwardly groans at the thought of being the third wheel to Jeremy and Christine. However, he is getting a little anxious about Jeremy speaking for him. He doesn’t really remember making those plans. If Michael was being honest with himself, he probably had agreed to the plans during one of the many times he was zoning out during an outing with Jeremy and Christine. Michael turned his head to face Jeremy and began to fidget a little underneath the table.
“I was just thinking that I might sit this one out” Michael then flashes Jeremy a bright little smile.
“Besides I want to give my player two some alone time for his little date” Michael finishes with a little wink to Jeremy and Christine.
“Oh? If you say so? I mean we already had plans so it wouldn’t even be that big of a deal if you came along.” Jeremy said while blushing because of Michael’s mention of a date just between him and Christine.
Rich looks at Jeremy and says “Heere leave him alone he already says he doesn’t want to go he doesn’t have to go.”
“I’m not trying to make him go but I just want to know why he is suddenly changing his mind.”
Michael started to feel uncomfortable with all of the attention that he was getting. He just isn’t used to it and doesn’t plan on getting used to it now.
“I just gotta go” Michael mutters out while he sloppily grabs his belongings and slings his backpack onto his shoulders. Last but not least he makes sure to grab his slushy.
Before anyone can say anything else, Michael dashed for the cafeteria’s exit. Behind him, he can hear Jeremy call out his name but it is too late at this point. He barely made it out of the cafeteria when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Michael whips around to see Rich standing there. Rich looks a little winded so Michael got the hint that Rich probably ran after him. This caused Michael to feel more embarrassed and shrink in on himself.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to catch you off guard back there,” Rich says while he gives a small apologetic smile.
“Ah it’s no problem anyway,” Michael says while giving Rich a small smile to reassure him.
“So? Are you sure that you have no plans for Homecoming? You know the game and like not the dance? If that’s…”
Before Rich could continue with his little speech, Michael raises his hand and laughs to himself a little. “No, I do not have plans for Homecoming. I have nothing going on for the game or the dance.”
Rich rocks back and forth a little bit on his heels and continues, “Since you have nothing going on, I was wondering if you would like to go with me or something?”
‘Who in the world asks someone to go to a football game with them?’
Michael begins to look and forth around the empty hallway before settling his eyes back onto Rich. “Is this a joke? Because it isn’t funny. Are you seriously asking me to go with you to a football game?”
Michael jumps a little bit at Rich’s sudden outburst causing his sneakers to squeak a little bit on the hall’s floor.
“Oh well, I noticed that you have been hanging out by yourself and I was like why not see what Michael is up to. Like, try to see what he is up to what he’s about, ya know? What’s going on in Michael’s world? Oh, shit, I’m rambling. Anyway do you want to go or not? It’s not like you have to or anything?” Rich stammered out while he begins to fiddle with the straps of his backpack.
Ding Dong! Ding Dong!
Michael and Rich look up at the speakers while the bell ringing the next period were ringing. Students begin to quickly filter into the halls. Freshmen were darting around with their bags filled with basically their entire lockers. Michael turns his attention back to Rich and lets out a sigh.
“Why not? What could be the harm? We can talk about the details after school. I’ll probably be my car. I have to take Jeremy home today but I think he can wait a couple of minutes” Michael says while turning away to walk to his next period which to his dismay was on the entire opposite side of the building.
“Ah cool! I’ll just see you then!” Rich shouts back why Michael is walking away. “I can’t wait!”
In his peripheral vision, Michael can see Rich cringe a little bit.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid. I can’t believe I said that” Rich quietly mutters while turning to walk to his class.
Michael can not help but laugh at Rich’s antics. He cannot deny that it was kinda sweet and awkward but mostly sweet. Taking a quick sip of his slushy he can’t help but think that for the first times ever he is looking forward to seeing Rich. He hopes that this is not some elaborate prank Rich is pulling on him.