Can the bonds of FRIENDSHIP overcome all odds?
The Code
The Good, the Bad, and the Eggly
Travis wasn’t a bad kid. In fact, most people would say that he was a rather respectful child.
But tonight, Travis was going to play ‘the bad kid.’
He had never snuck out before. The thought had never even crossed his mind. He stared at the ground outside of his window and gulped heavily. It was quite a ways down. Travis shook nervously.
But he climbed out of the window anyways. He had already made up his mind. He was doing this, hands down.
He stood on his window sill, one hand steadying himself against the wall, the other holding his backpack strap on his shoulder. In his backpack were six rolls of toilet paper, three hundred plastic forks, a dozen eggs and three cans of silly string. And in his mind was a horridly wicked plan.
Travis slowly inched his way across the window sill to the lattice on the other side. He got a good hold and began to climb down. Once he reached the ground, he took a deep breath. So far, so good.
He slunk down the street in the dark, avoiding the headlights of occasional cars passing by. For never doing this before, Travis wasn’t doing too bad of a job. Thank goodness for James Bond movies.
When Travis reached Bethany’s house, he stopped. He got a quick overview of what he had to work with. The light on the front porch was on but dim. There were no lights on in the house and the yard was mostly empty except for an occasional paving stone.
Travis checked the time. 10:45pm. He grinned. He felt incredibly rebellious and he loved it.
He kneeled down on Bethany’s lawn and pulled his backpack off his shoulder. He searched through its contents. First things first...
Bethany woke up the next morning, well refreshed and happy. As she was readying herself for the day, her thoughts drifted back to last night’s dinner and she smiled. Dylan was fantastic, she decided.
He was so full of energy, so full of life. Without Travis by his side, Dylan was such a cool person to talk to. So funny, witty, and even somewhat wise. She was happy that they were friends. He made middle school just a little bit easier.
Bethany was just leaving her room when she heard a scream from downstairs. Confused, she rushed to see what all the fuss was about.
When she reached the bottom of the stairs, she saw the front door hanging open and her mother leaning out of it, mouth wide open.
“Mom?” she questioned, walking over to her mother’s side. She poked her head through the gap so she could see outside, and her breath caught in her throat. “Oh geez...”
The front yard was covered in plastic forks, each stuck, prongs down, about one inch into the ground. There were probably over two hundred in total. Scattered around the forks was several yards of silly string. Bethany stepped outside and looked up at the side of her house. It was coated with raw eggs and even more silly string. The hedge lining the fence was covered in toilet paper. Bethany couldn’t believe it. “We were sabotaged...” she managed, taking a step back, trying to take it all in.
Mr. Jones appeared next to his wife in the doorway, face tight. “Who would do this?” he asked.
Bethany shook her head. “I have no idea.”
Saturdays used to be Dylan’s favorite. Every morning he and Travis would ride down to the skatepark and do some tricks. They’d get a soda and just chat, like the best friends that they were.
But now Dylan and Travis weren’t speaking, and Dylan had this Saturday morning to himself. He slid into his sneakers, grabbed his board from the garage and started on his way down the street. It had been a while since he went boarding alone.
Dylan rocketed down the sidewalk, board trembling as he hit every crack. Dylan looked up at Bethany’s house as he passed.
Wait- what?
Dylan stopped his board so suddenly he nearly flew off. He regained his footing and stared up at Bethany’s house.
There were plastic forks stuck all over her yard, silly string and eggs lining the side of the house and toilet paper all over the hedge. Somebody had gotten some sweet revenge last night, he decided. And he knew exactly who had done it.
Dylan spun around on his board and started back the way he had come.
When he reached Travis’ house, he stomped up the front walk and banged as hard as he could on the door. He wasn’t just mad. He was furious.
Travis’ dad slowly opened the door, looking completely drained. Dylan figured he had just gotten out of bed. “Dylan?” he asked softly. “What are you doing here so early in the morning?”
Dylan narrowed his eyes. “I need to talk to Travis. Now.”
Travis’ dad slowly backed away from the door. “Oh, alright. Come on in.” He yawned and stretched. “Travis is up in his room.”
Dylan pushed through the door and stomped down the long hallway. He turned to the second door on the left and pushed open the door.
Travis was sitting on his bed, looking out the window. When he heard the door open, he spun around to face it. His jaw dropped and he sat there in shock. After a few seconds, he clenched his jaw and raised an eyebrow. “Well, this is an unexpected surprise.”
Dylan slammed the door shut and stormed over to Travis. “Dude. What. The. Heck.”
Travis pursed his lips and stared at his feet. “What’s the problem?”
“You.” Dylan wagged a finger in Travis’s face. “You are the problem.”
Travis cleared his throat. “You’re going to have to explain.”
Dylan exhaled heavily. “I know what you did to Bethany’s house,” he breathed.
Travis held his breath for a moment. “You have no proof,” he finally stated.
“I don’t need any proof.” Dylan glared down at Travis. “I know you did it.”
Travis looked up. “Yeah, so what if I did?”
“This is between us, and us alone.” Dylan gritted his teeth. “Leave Bethany out of it.”
“That was my intention. Leave Bethany out of the picture, leave all girls out of the picture. We had a code. I wasn’t the one who had to get all curious. I wasn’t the one who walked her home from school. I wasn’t the one who left their best friend in science class to pair up with her.”
Dylan scowled. “Yeah. Because of you, I had no idea what I was missing.”
The two boys were quiet, the tension between them rising. Travis stood. “You broke our code. You betrayed me.” Travis shook his head and his eyes softened a little bit. “You’re the only friend that I have, and she’s stealing you away from me.”
Dylan clenched his hands into fists. “It’s not her fault. It’s yours.”
Travis gritted his teeth.
“One of these days, Travis, you’re going to have to break out of that shell, and you’re going to have to do it on your own.” Dylan looked at his friend with both sympathy and anger. “Not even I can help you.”
And with that, Dylan straightened himself and left the room, leaving Travis alone to take that all in.
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