The
Underachievers
CHAPTER
19
Sawyer’s Gamenight
It was fairly dark out and just a little cold. I finally had everyone over for a Saturday game night. We played on the long folding table on my screened in back porch. We had pizza, chips, a veggie tray, pretzels and soda. We were three hours into our role playing game and having a blast. My friends Eleanor, Chris and Toby came over as well as my new friends from detention. Naturally I was Dungeon Master and ran the game.
“That’s good for you, when you are flanking you get to do your sneak attack damage on him. Go ahead and roll.” I explained to Zoey. “Now you’re attacking and if you hit don’t forget to role your extra D6 damage. Okay even with plus two that is not enough for flanking… Alright he deflects you as well.”
“Okay,” said Zoey.
A dog howls loudly and we all look up.
“Is that a wolf?” Asks Savannah.
“A werewolf,” said Eleanor.
“Yeah right,” said Ben. He laughed but it was one of those nervous laughs.
“Could be. We have this mean dog across the road that Sawyer calls Monster. I swear I have never seen the owner and the dog at the same time. He could be a werewolf,” said Eleanor.
“Got any silver bullets Sawyer?” Asked Tyler.
The dog started barking.
“That’s definitely Monster. Annoying dog,” I said.
“Should we go chase him home?” Asked Braeden.
“No trust me, it’s better to stay away from him,” I said.
“Hey! Why do werewolves howl at the moon?” Ben asked.
“Why?” Asked Eleanor.
“Because no one else will do it for them!” Ben answered.
“Oh jeez,” I said shaking my head.
“That was so funny I forgot to laugh,” said Braeden.
“How are you kids doing? Do you need anything?” Asked my Mom. She put some more napkins on the food table.
“Were fine Mom,” I said.
I think some of the girls said, “No thank you.” Thank goodness my Mom went back inside.
“Your Mom is really nice,” said Savannah.
“Moms are embarrassing. I’m glad she went back in the house,” I said.
“Trust me your Mom is nice. You should be nice to her,” said Savannah.
“Seriously! What’s wrong with you Sawyer?” Asked Zoey.
“My Mom would have sent everyone home by now,” said Eleanor.
“My Mom wouldn’t let me have so many friends over on a Saturday night. Or probably any night,” said Chris.
“My Mom would sit down and play this game with us!” Said Toby.
A bunch of us laughed.
“Fine, I’m sorry I said anything. Back to business now. Braeden roll.”
“I’ve got 26 total now,” Braeden said.
“Okay he has taken 26 points of damage. He’s still standing and he’s going over to…here now. And coming around the corner is the boss. He’s different from the others, he has black fur and glowing red eyes. He looks at you and says, ‘Ah what have we here? A Halfling? I love Halflings.’ He yells for his mutated monkey slave to fetch him a Halfling quickly. The slave uses taunt. The mutated monkey slave starts waving a weapon that looks like a banana and saying, ‘Come to me, come to me now. You want the banana. I won’t hurt you much… and he rolls a 13.”
“I’ve rolled a 16,” said Chris.
“So, he steps toward your character and knocks you to the ground with the banana-like weapon.”
“Can I jump down on top of the mutated monkey slave?” Asked Tyler.
“Yes but there could be consequences to that action,” I said. “It could provoke an opportunity attack. You need to roll a ten for an acrobatics attempt.”
“I’m going for it,” said Tyler.
“Good luck.”
“Can you pass the chips Savannah? Asked Braeden.
“Yup,” said Savannah.
“What are you doing for the school art show Zoey?” Asked Eleanor.
“I’m thinking about painting a vase. I made one a while ago with metallic silver and copper painted flowers. It looked pretty cool. Then again I saw this wicked tattoo of a dragon and it inspired me to paint a dragon of my own.” Said Zoey. “Are you entering?”
“I’m thinking about it. I’ve been working on a piece made with small pieces of scrunched colored tissue paper. It is a tree with the sunset behind it. It sounds kind of lame but it looks really cool.” Said Eleanor.
“That sounds really cool actually,” said Zoey.
“What are you creating for the art show Tyler?” Zoey asked as she smacked his hand for stealing pretzels off of her plate.
Tyler smiled and said, “I don’t know yet. I’m painting it blind folded so I will be as surprised as everyone else.”
“Seriously?” Asked Ben.
“Ben you banana,” said Zoey.
“Sawyer won’t say what he is doing either!” Said Eleanor. She gave me a mean look.
I stuck my tongue out at her. She thinks because we are best friends I am obligated to tell her everything. Maybe it’s a girl thing, I don’t know. I don’t have to tell her anything unless I want too though.
“I get it. I’m not telling any of you what I’m doing,” said Braeden.
“So you don’t know what you’re doing yet either Braeden, huh?” Said Savannah in a teasing way.
“No comment,” said Braeden.
“I bet you’d tell Callahan’s daughter,” I said nudging Braeden.
“Shut up computer nerd,” said Braeden in a teasing way.
“OMG, you like the principal’s daughter?” Asked Savannah.
“Our friend here is in love with her,” I said.
“Ha-ha, our principal’s going to be his mother-in-law one day! Priceless,” said Ben.
“I’m not in love losers,” said Braeden. “She’s in high school anyway.”
“Wow, an older woman,” said Toby.
“One day the age difference won’t matter my friend,” I said.
“I am not going to date Callahan’s daughter, so drop it!” Said Braeden. I’m pretty sure he was starting to get annoyed so I let it go. For now.
“Hey Braeden, if you want a girlfriend closer to your age, my friend said she likes you,” said Zoey.
“Oh my God! For a minute I thought you were offering to be his girlfriend,” Savannah said to Zoey.
“Pfff, as if. No offense Braeden,” said Zoey.
“None taken. I know all you girls secretly want me but can’t admit it here,” said Braeden.
Everyone laughed.
“Yeah you wish,” said Zoey.
“You know I’m cool,” said Braeden. He winked at Zoey and she threw a waded napkin at him.
An hour later we were getting close to ending the game for the night. The girls disappeared into the house for a while. Somehow we got to talking about which girls we liked. Of course Braeden likes Callahan’s daughter as well as a few other girls in his class. Ben has a crush on his neighbor Felicity I guess. Tyler has a crush on his neighbor Lauren and likes a couple of the cheerleaders at our school. Apparently my friend Chris now has a crush on Savannah. My neighbor Toby has a crush on, no surprise to me here, April from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And then all eyes went to me like burning lasers that would not turn off until I gave my answer. Why do friends need to know stuff about me! It’s my business not theirs. It is so annoying. I don’t like the pressure. I finally said if I had to pick someone it would be my friend and neighbor Eleanor or Eli as I call her. She’s a good friend although pushy sometimes. She’s pretty and cool.
Then the guys started pushing me into asking her out! What the heck. They were giving me cheesy pick-up lines, telling me to get her flowers, write her a letter, and ask her out. I told them I didn’t want to date yet. I’m happy just being friends. Besides if we became a couple that could lead to complications, hurt feelings, breaking up, and losing my best friend. No thanks. Then I reminded them that I wasn’t pressuring any of them to ask out their crushes.
Thankfully the girls came back out putting an abrupt end to the stupid conversation. I felt my whole body relax. We continued the game for another twenty minutes. Then we wrapped up our adventure. Hopefully we can do this again soon.
We cleaned everything up and the girls helped my Mom in the kitchen. Toby and Chris walked home. Braeden’s brother picked him up. Then Tyler’s Dad came for him and Ben. Leaving me alone with three girls. Zoey wanted to see my figurines so I took her upstairs to show her. She seemed genuinely impressed which was cool.
“Do you like Eli?” Asked Zoey.
“Of course, she’s my best friend,” I said. I was afraid that haunting conversation was about to come back and Zoey would pressure me to ask Eli out.
“She likes you, you know,” said Zoey.
“Yup,” I said feeling uncomfortable.
“I mean more than a friend,” she said quietly.
“Why do you think that?” I asked.
“She told me,” said Zoey.
“Oh,” I said. That was nice to hear and freaked me out at the same time.
“I just thought you should know. Don’t tell her I told you though,” said Zoey.
“Oh, yeah, I won’t.”
“You could ask her out sometime. Maybe go to the art show together?” Suggested Zoey.
I explained about not being ready and not wanting to risk losing my best friend for the second time. Zoey understood and was cool about it. We went back downstairs. Zoey’s Mom pulled up just as we went out on the front porch. We said goodbye and then Savannah’s Dad pulled up.
And then there were two. Eli was shivering a bit. I gave her my coat. I suddenly felt a little awkward around her. A motorcycle raced loudly down the street. Eli yelled at him to slow down.
“What an idiot,” she said.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “Can I walk you home?”
“I live twenty feet away,” she said.
“Well, goodnight Eli. It was fun,” I said. What a stupid thing to say.
“It was a blast. See you tomorrow,” said Eli.
We said goodbye and I watched her until she went through her front door. I noticed some very familiar glowing eyes from the porch across the road. Monster ran across his yard barking. I ran inside and locked the door.
I went into the kitchen to get something to drink.
“Did you have a fun game night?” My Mom asked as she started the dishwasher.
“Yeah, it was really fun,” I said.
“Your new friends seem very nice,” said my Mom.
“Yeah. Um, Mom.”
“Yes?”
“Hey, thanks for everything. I know I don’t say it much, but that was nice of you to let my friends come over and feed us and all. You’re a great Mom.”
“Why thank you Sawyer,” my Mom said. She gave me a hug and we said good night.
I headed upstairs. I felt something new. I liked knowing Eli liked me as more than a friend. I liked having more friends. I liked thanking my Mom and making her feel good. It made me feel good. Somehow I felt like I changed a bit tonight and I like it. I really liked it.
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