Day 8—Lunchtime Stupidity
Nikolas had bought ramen again. Leonard was beginning to be concerned about his health.
“Why don’t you ever buy something that isn’t loaded with preservatives?” he asked him.
“Because it tastes better than most of the stuff the school sells as lunch. When did Henna die?”
“You’re obviously channeling her spirit if you’re concerned about what I, a healthy seventeen-year-old teenage boy, am eating.”
“Henna is right here,” Henna piped up from the ground, where she was sitting with Garrick. They were both eating salads, though Garrick’s was considerably large than Henna’s. “And Lenny’s right, eating too much MSG is bad for your brain.”
Nikolas rolled his eyes and set down his lunch. “This,” he said, motioning towards his cup of noodles, “is considerably less oily than that.” He motioned towards the pepperoni-laden pizza that was making its way into Leonard’s mouth. Leonard rolled his eyes in return. He calmly set his half-eaten pizza down, reached over Nikolas’ lap and snatched his ramen away before he could grab it.
“Hey! Give that back!” Nikolas protested.
“Nope!” Leonard took off running. “You’re getting something healthier than this crap!”
“If you spill it, it’s not my fault and you owe me food!” Nikolas shouted, running after the other boy. “Give me my lunch back!”
Leonard was running in circles around the courtyard, with Nikolas hot on his heels, swiping at his back and neck and missing by millimeters.
“You mad, bro?” Leonard called back.
Nikolas leaped, intent on tackling Leonard to the ground so that he could have his lunch back, and Leonard stopped. Nikolas missed, and grabbed Leonard by the neck to keep from falling over.
“Whoa!” Lenny’s free hand steadied Nikolas, who was laughing. “What?” he asked. Nikolas grabbed his lunch back.
“You ass.” Nikolas smacked his head.
“Ow! What was that for?”
“Revenge,” Nikolas replied simply.
As they walked back to their friends, Leonard was struck by a thought. “Why did you hit me for saying that you’d kill yourself eating ramen when you don’t hit Sadie?”
“Okay, one, she’s a girl, and if you knew anything about girls, you’d know that guys don’t hit girls,” Nikolas stated matter-of-factly. “Two, if you haven’t noticed, you’re a boy, so I get to hit you. And three, Sadie doesn’t steal my lunch. You do.”
“Oh my God, it’s Leonard Astor!” a girl screamed, which soon attracted the rest of her friends. Who screamed.
“Oh fuck,” Leonard swore. “I knew this school was too quiet.”
“Stop talking and run.” Nikolas pushed him, and they sprinted off. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Garrick and Rachel peeking out of their semi-private corner of the courtyard with curiosity. “Follow me.”
They sprinted into the school, turning sharply up the main staircase, where there were a few people loitering around until lunch ended, and ran up to the second floor. Nikolas ran to the row of windows that was directly across from the staircase and pushed on the latch that held one closed.
“What the hell are you doing?” Leonard gasped. “So much for PE,” he muttered to himself.
“Most people don’t realize that this window can be opened all the way,” Nikolas muttered, searching his pockets for something.
“Nik, your jeans are too tight for you to actually have anything in them without people noticing,” Leonard joked breathlessly.
“I realize that. Can’t I be optimistic for once in my life? Do you have a pocket knife?” he asked.
“You rhymed,” Leonard pointed out, searching his pockets. “Here.”
“I’m going to ignore both the fact that I don’t believe and that you just broke a law, but thank God,” Nikolas said, taking out the screwdriver function and hastily unscrewing the hinge. “And thank Him again for creating fans that are not particularly smart or fast,” he muttered when he heard the stampeding feet of the girls on the first floor. “Let’s go.” He pocketed the knife and slipped through the window. Leonard quickly followed and pulled the window partially shut behind him, just enough to look like it was still attached to the hinge. They hid directly underneath the window, hoping that the girls would miss looking there.
“So,” Leonard started when they had both caught their breaths. “I’ve wanted to ask you this for a while, but I thought you’d punch me. So, do you have a tattoo?”
“What?” Nikolas looked at him as if he were crazy.
“Tattoo. Do you have one? You know, it would really complete that emo-chick look you have going on.”
“Er, sorry. I meant just emo, but I met a lot of emo girls while I was on tour, so I kind of just…”
“Just shut up,” Nikolas said with a smile. “Take your screwdriver back.”
“Sorry,” he apologized again. “And it’s a pocketknife, not a screwdriver.”
“Pocketknives over two inches are illegal in this state.”
“Yeah, well, so is marijuana. Do you have a tattoo or not?”
“Why not? Aren’t you like a total art geek?”
“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean that I want needles poking my skin for something that I’ll eventually regret ever getting.” Nikolas scooped some noodles into his mouth.
“Then get something that you’ll never regret.”
“I hate needles.”
“But you should get one.”
“Why me?” Leonard protested.
“Because it would fit with your whole ‘I’m-a-sexy-rocker’ look,” Nikolas parodied with a smirk.
“Except I’m a wholesome sexy rocker who has to look nice for little kids, too. You know. ‘Set a good example’, and all that.”
“Really?” Nikolas asked skeptically.
“No. I hate needles,” Leonard admitted.
“Thought so,” Nikolas said with a grin.