Twenty Eight Minutes

4:30 PM

I took my headphones from my bag as soon as the class was dismissed, I wasn’t in the mood to deal with the afternoon buzz for I have more important things to deal with it. First on the list was to think of how to respond to the thread of text messages I received from my friend, Andrew, asking me where the hell I was. I was supposed to cut two of my classes to accompany him on this short trip on a nearby town, he didn’t particularly explained why but I agreed anyway because he’s my friend. His younger sibling Nicholas, whose class was held directly opposite our room, stood waiting in the corridor nearby, looking for me.

“Hey, sorry you have to take the responsibility for me. I’ll take it from here, do you know where Andrew went?” I asked.

Nicholas quietly handed out a small piece of paper to me, on it was Andrew’s rushed handwriting. The address written on it was pretty lengthy and detailed so there was no trouble getting there five minutes later. I just took a taxi and handed the same thing while The Heavy blasted on my headphones. The short trip made my afternoon more manageable as the taxi took a route walled by old trees; everything became peaceful, there was less bullshit.

As I said, five minutes later I arrived at the place and was standing in front of grumpy-faced Andrew, which caused me to snap out of my tranquil bubble.

“Where the hell have you been? You didn’t even respond to my texts.” He said while taking a flight of stairs spiraling up to a rustic inn. The lady inside the lobby on the first floor looked at me through the opened window, chewing her gum slowly while staring at me as I quietly took the same flight of stairs. I didn’t know what was on her mind, what I only know is that I want this to be done so I can go home.

Apparently Andrew was still talking even though I was a number of steps behind. “D’you get the address?” he asked when I caught up. “Obviously, I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t.” I bluntly replied, he wasn’t able to unlock the door yet so I took the keys and yanked the knob. I wasn’t that bad, it opened. I heard Andrew rub both his hands as we entered the stark dark room, I bumped on something on the floor and almost fell face down.

“Unzip it.” He said.

I reached down and did what he said. There were rustles from the paper scattered on the floor as movements went through the room, “Move fast but don’t be too loud, okay?” he added. I didn’t need to respond, I just did as he said. He was my friend anyway. He opened the blinds a bit to give a little light to the room, but made sure nothing inside would be exposed.

After unzipping, I slipped my hands inside and stopped as I held onto what I was looking for. I didn’t notice Andrew already started busying himself as he stroked up and down. And then I started to pry.

“Why didn’t you just ask Carol to do this? She was the one who wanted it anyway.” I asked sarcastically. I wet the tip with my tongue and started moving my hands.

He just smirked and continued stroking up and down, “Me.. gan.” He slowly muttered under his breath while he moved. I figured that there’s no turning back since we already started, so I let out a moan as I ran my fingers through its length, my palms catching the wetness that drips down the surface. I sighed and repeatedly told myself that we’ll be finished anytime soon, and besides, Andrew’s my friend anyway.

Ten minutes later, my hands were already moist and we were almost done, when someone knocked on the door. At first I thought that it was Nicholas, the constant awkward presence of Andrew’s younger brother could be of help for me, I’d be instantly sent home if he would be here. But I sweated twice the rate I already was when I saw that it was Carol who was outside as I looked at the peek-hole.

“Shit.” I said, Andrew was next to me in seconds and asked what it is. When he saw who it was at the other side of the door he immediately shushed me and told me to hide in the comfort room. I compliantly did so, I trust him, and he was my friend anyway. He opened the door the moment I entered the comfort room.

“Hey Carol! What’s up?” Andrew casually said, I peeked through the slit and saw him nervously running his hands through his hair. I didn’t clearly hear what Carol said and only figured some words like Megan and something about being pissed off. Andrew’s voice was crisp and clear as my eyesight though, his nervousness was pretty obvious when he said that Megan wasn’t here, almost too loudly. Five minutes later he closed the door and gave out a big sigh of relief.

I went out of the comfort room and rushed back to what I was doing, Andrew was sweating profusely and moved his hands faster when his phone rang.

“Shit my ass, can’t these people calm the fuck down?” He stopped and answered the call. I continued what I was doing and just focused on getting the job done.

“Hey, is it done?” I heard someone asked through the loudspeaker.

“Yeah, I’m almost close.” Andrew answered while he breathed heavily as he continued. Rustles of paper became louder now for we started moving at a faster pace.

“I want everything done, I’ll be there in three minutes.” Andrew wasn’t able to answer back for the call already ended. We started doing faster strokes. Exactly three minutes later we sat on the bed, panting.

“You owe me this one Drew, you sonofabitch” We both chuckled and the door flew open.

A girl, who I assume to be the Megan whose name Andrew was saying earlier, was with Carol when they both entered the room, Carol’s hands were intimately wrapped around Megan’s waist when Megan removed Carol’s blindfold. Megan gleefully shouted “Happy Anniversary!” to Carol and pointed at the wet, and still dripping, wall painting Andrew and I created. Carol gave Megan one passionate kiss and hugged her real tight, Andrew gave me a bro fist.

“Thanks Tyrion, I can always trust you man.” He smirked, I gave him a pat in the back and grabbed my bag, I handed him the now-worn-out pencil I used and cleaned my hands in the sink. The water ran through the streaks of colors that dripped on my palms, my hands are finally as clean as my thoughts wanted to be. I can finally return to the solitude, blank slate my mind was when I’m away from the haste and rush of things around me.

I didn’t need to say anything back or say goodbye to Andrew, he was my friend anyway. I went down the same flight of stairs I took when I went up and hailed a taxi. I heard laughter as Megan and Carol went on with their small and exclusive celebration, Andrew needs to give me some sort of talent fee for helping him finish these kinds of sidelines. The taxi arrived when I put my headphones back on, by then I was able to return to my tranquil bubble and let the wall of trees envelope me, my tiredness, and my thoughts.

4:58 PM


Update: I would like to thank a friend (whose name is the same with one of the previous characters) who gave me a list of names as a prompt for me to make this short story. I asked him to do so because it’s been a while since I’ve “creatively” written anything. I just hope that my love of plot twists isn’t too apparent here.

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