|Cristobal Rodriguez ♦ Coyote (coyoti) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-03-31 13:18:00
|Entry tags:||coyote, maui|
someone caught us in the kitchen
Who: Chris & Kal.
What: Backdated; Chris and Kal during high school.
Where: Chris and Kal's high school, then Panns.
When: Way backdated; click through for wee bb Chris and Kal. Well, not that wee.
Chris shouldered his backpack strap, trying to stop it from slipping as he texted Kal. Finally one hand detached itself from the Nokia 3310 to resituate his bag, his converse coming to a slow halt in the empty school hallway.
out of class, u ready?
They'd each taken part in this particular caper; Chris had drafted some fake detention notices, Kal had done the signatures. Overall, they were fine pieces of work, mailed to each of their respective parental units. Chris's own mother had had several lengthy conversations in their native tongue, all but burning Chris's ear off with the heat of her tone. It'd been worth it, though; now they had a free hour after school with no expectations. Instead of being headed home for chores and dinner, they were headed to Panns.
fuck yeah. c u outside
Kal pocketed his phone and made his way past empty classrooms until he reached the doors to freedom. He didn’t have his car for the day--a form of punishment that kuku had thought of for getting into detention again--but it didn’t matter. The sun was bright, it was warm, and Panns had the best food that their meager budgets could afford. He waited near the parking lot, hands shoved into his jeans and smiling up at the sun. It was a good day.
Chris appeared moments later, pushing through one of the exit double doors. He raised his hands up, looking victorious as his backpack hung from one shoulder.
"So am I good, or am I good?" He strutted up to Kal, his form all but dwarfed by the taller boy but his confidence clearly not taking a beating at the fact. Chris slapped Kal's back, and turned on his heels, walking backward. "So we goin'? Not too far to walk. How mad was kuku because I can't even count on one hand the number of profanities my mom ended up dropping."
“Note that my car isn’t here, for one,” Kal began, opening his arms to the otherwise empty parking area as he followed his friend. “She said under no circumstances can I take the car out for a week at least. But she didn’t curse. She just gave me that stern Hawaiian stare. Like she was going to smack me upside the head any minute and I’d just have to take it. She’ll probably have words with you next time you see her, too.”
They walked side by side along the sidewalk, weighed down by backpacks with the mix of school supplies they both needed for their various classes. A smile was fighting to appear on Kal’s lips until he finally glanced at Chris. “So, beside your mom cursing you out, what’d she do? Are you grounded?”
Chris made a psh sound, his face reading of course. "Hell yeah, for two weeks. Whatever, it's worth having some free time between all this school nonsense and the crap they want us to do at home." He shoved his hands into his pockets, falling into an easy step alongside Kal. "Definitely need you to help me out with algebra again, though, swear to God who needs algebra? I can count!"
“You sure you want me to help? I’m just trying to pass the classes so I can graduate. You know a hell of a lot more with algebra than I do,” Kal replied with a smile and a playful push of Chris’s shoulder; Chris did his best to make an attempt to shove back. “And the last time I helped you with that English paper you never paid up. So fat chance I’m helping you again.”
But he probably would. Kal had that tendency to help Chris wherever he could.
Swinging his bookbag off his shoulder, Kal reached into a pocket and pulled out a bag of chips that had already been opened. Shoving the strap back up his shoulder, he opened the bag, offering it to Chris as they walked. “I got two at lunch, you want?”
Chris shook his head. "You're like a vaccuum cleaner, dude, I don't know where you're putting it all away. Then again, you keep getting taller, so maybe I better start shoveling food in." Hands patted his stomach. "Feel like I might just grow out instead of up, though." The thought brought vague wonderings about his father into the periphery of his mind; he shoved them back, well remembering how Kal would react.
"You sure you're gonna have room for some of Panns fried chicken, Mountain Man?"
Kal frowned, his mouth filled with chips, and nodded as he licked at his fingers. “Fried chicken, fries, soda. Maybe some of their pudding, too. It’s so damn good.” He dropped the now empty bag of chips into a passing trash bin and stretched his hands overhead. “Kuku said I’m going to eat her out of house and home. She thinks I’m going through another growth spurt. It’d suck, I like these pants.”
He kicked out a foot, his dark, relatively new jeans seeming crisp in the sunny light, but already the pants legs didn’t quite end where they should. “Hopefully I can find another pair like this at the Salvation Army.”
"Too bad you can't just let jeans out," Chris commented. His own clothes were threadbare, clearly worn, procured from Goodwill and friends of friends whose own children had outgrown their clothing. They crested a hill, the spinning, futuristic sign for Panns coming into view. "Maybe if you stopped Hoovering everything in sight into your mouth, you'd be able to keep a pair of jeans on for longer than a week." He hopped forward a few steps, trying to stay out of reach of his friend, in case Kal took his comments as anything other than their light teasing, which was an accurate assumption as Kal swung his backpack at Chris but unfortunately missed him.
“You should come over for dinner once you’re done being grounded. Kuku would love it and you can go through what clothes I got that I need to get rid of.” It was an ongoing thing for Kal, every few months the clothing he and his grandmother so carefully chose would have to be brought back to Goodwill or the Salvation Army for what measly money they would give--if anything. But Kal couldn’t seem to stop growing, although he hoped he would. He already towered over most of the people in his class and particularly his younger friend.
Breezing through the doorway of Panns, the boys stood awkwardly and scanned the diner. “Same booth as always?” Kal asked, nodding in the direction of a booth way in the back and under a flickering light that they had yet to change the bulb for since the last time they had been there.
"Yup," Chris supplied, heading forward to slide into the booth in the far corner. The reasons they took it were twofold; they had relative privacy until one of the waitresses came by to check on them, but could still see much of the diner despite such cloistered placement. Chris's backpack came off his shoulder and he bounced along the seat for a moment until he was well situated. He grabbed one of the four menus scattered out across the table, though he already knew what he wanted.
"Afternoon... hang on. Shouldn't you two be in school?" The twenty-something waitress in a loose fitting, powder blue dress put one hand on her hip as she arrived at the booth. Chris smiled widely.
"After hours, ma'am. It's three oh one. But a pretty little thing like you shouldn't concern yourself; we can pay." He pulled crumpled bills from his pants pocket, tossing them onto the tabletop. The waitress rolled her eyes.
"Just don't make a mess like last time. Whadda want?"
Chris folded up his menu. "I'll take a thigh and a leg with a hot biscuit. A root beer to drink," he replied, holding it out for her to take. She scribbled on her pad and turned to Kal.
"An' you, handsome?"
“The fried chicken meal, but fries instead of mashed potatoes. And a large soda,” Kal rambled off, not even looking at the menu. He paused then gave a large smile. “Please?”
The woman seemed to barely contain herself from rolling her eyes again. They all knew each other well enough--she seemed to always be working when they’d show up and they had a rather memorable quality. Kal liked to think it was due to their good looks, but he also suspected it was likely due to the mess they always made. “I’ll be a couple minutes,” the waitress replied and shuffled away.
Kal looked at Chris with a grin and slumped down into his side of the booth, his feet already across and kicking the bottom half of Chris’s booth from under the table. He reached for the packets of sugar and dumped them onto the table, grabbing one at a time and gently building them up into a little house. He furrowed his brow before casually mentioning, “So I had to talk to Mr. Levner today.”
Chris was already pulling the paper napkin dispenser toward himself; he pulled one free, laid it flat on the tabletop and started to roll it into...something. His brows shot up, and he glanced back at his friend.
"You're seriously still considering college? Why? Why do more of this crap than you have to?"
Kal shrugged sheepishly and knocked his little sugar packet house down. “Kuku wants me to apply, like really wants me to apply. You know I can’t say no to her. I mean, it sucks but I could find some type of an easy major and just glide through it, get my bachelor’s, make kuku happy, and be done with it.
“Mr. Levner kept going on and on about how much more money I’ll make if I have a degree. And I mean...money does sound nice. It’d be cool to go to a store and buy some clothing no one else wore before. Or, like, not have to save spare change for a month to be able to come eat here with you.”
"There're jobs you can do that don't need college," Chris scoffed. He made a circle out of his rolled napkin, then started picking off pieces of it to roll into smaller balls. "Why, what do you wanna do?"
Kal shoved again and regathered his sugar packets. “I don’t know. But you know I can’t say no to kuku, you know that. And she brought up that one of my uncles works at the university in Honolulu, which sounds pretty nice. You know I love being there and being able to live there for four years? I could surf every day.”
Chris's hands slowed, his gaze fixed on the table as he digested this information.
"Hawaii's a hell've a long ways away," he offered, making no other comment. "There're schools here, too, you know. All kinds of shit. UCLA, whatever." He flicked a ball in Kal's direction, aiming for his face. "How're you gonna pay for it?"
Kal lifted an arm, barely moving it in the way in time to block the paper ball. He picked it up and flicked it back at Chris, the barest smile creeping onto his lips before vanishing. “Loans, I guess. My mom… she actually went to the school… my Uncle said I might be able to live with some of our relatives and that’d help with the cost. Plus I could maybe get some money from the school since my mom went there.”
The waitress came back with their drinks, and Kal fell silent, looking at the waitress with a smile that caused her to roll her eyes again before she walked away. The interaction seemed to breathe some life back into Kal and he directed his smile to his friend. “Kuku said if I got in and I went, she wouldn’t have to pay for two plane tickets there and back, so...” He picked up a sugar packet and flicked it across the table at Chris with his finger. “You could go with her. Sort of like helping an old lady through the airport slash getting a free vacation to Hawaii. Then we could go surfing and hang out on the beach!”
"Thought you said she wouldn't need two," Chris replied teasingly. "Yeah, maybe. I dunno. Abuelo needs the help at the restaurant. They can't afford to hire another person and I don't know if I could leave for that long. But I can ask." The idea seemed to brighten him, warming him to the idea of Kal attending college. "Dunno if I have your balance, but it'd be fun. Not sure I'd wanna come back," he laughed, pulling his drink toward him. "So, seriously though, you'd have to have a plan. You'd study surfing or something?" His words were back to their teasing lilt, eyes fastened to Kal's face before clicking another paper ball at him.
“If I could, that’d be great,” Kal replied with a grin. “And you could come out, become a pool boy. I’m sure people would love seeing you deliver their drinks, you’d get all the tips.” It was too easy to imagine the two of them in the other state; then again, Kal often imagined the both of them taking the world by storm together. It would be odd to not have Chris in the equation.
Chris grinned, leaning back in his seat. "Yeah, I could see us working that system. Though I won't lie, I'd much rather be lounging by the pool rather than working by it. But yeah. Let me know what happens with you and Mr. Levner. For all you know, he's one of those pervs they're always warning us away from and all his fancy talk about college is just to get in your pants." Chris lifted his drink, saluting Kal with a brow bob, and took a deeper sip.
"I don't know what I'll do with myself while you're gone, though. I guess just work at the restaurant full time." A hand rose, fingers grasping the straw and circling the glass.
“Email me, work at the restaurant, go to school, have Mr. Levner bother the shit out of you about going to college, visit my kuku, come visit me,” Kal ticked off on each finger before pinching his straw and bringing it to his mouth for a long drink of soda. “I know I brought meaning to your life and all, but what the hell did you do before I came here?”
"Worked at the restaurant," Chris laughed. "I'm not going to college, Kal. My family's in enough debt as it is, and they need me there." He shrugged. "I'll figure something else out; hey, food's here." He sat up, sliding his drink widely to the side as he was delivered his ordered chicken, and Kal his meal. Chris grabbed a new napkin and set it across his lap. Again, thoughts of his father reared up again. He started to pick at his food, wondering how to bring up the next subject without accidentally making Kal send a bite down the wrong windpipe. He at least waited until the other boy had swallowed.
"So I got my dad's full name outta my mom. And an address." Innocent eyes watched Kal, lips wrapped around his soda straw.
Kal paused, a chicken wing half eaten and between his teeth. Slowly, he pulled the meat away and chewed quietly until his mouth was empty. The remainder of the chicken wing returned to the plate and a hand reached for a napkin to wipe his fingers clean. “And what are you going to do with his name and address?” Kal asked quietly. He didn’t often get angry, but deadbeat dads who didn’t care about their own children certainly got under his skin.
"I dunno, drive by and sit outside his house like a creep?" He picked up the chicken thigh on his plate, though did not bring it to his lips. "I'm just curious, Kal. I mean, maybe it'd be a good thing? You know? You wanna go to Hawaii for more than just school, don't even deny it."
“I want to go back to Hawaii to be closer to my mom’s family. You can’t compare the two. If you did, you’d be heading back to Mexico.” He lifted the piece of chicken again, only to sit it down a moment later. Obviously not ready to let the topic go quite yet. He looked pointedly at Chris, his dark eyes burrowing into Chris’s and continued to lecture, “I met my father, remember? He was an asshole. He wanted nothing to do with me. And if he did want something to do with me, it’s too little, too late. He should’ve been here helping to raise me the entire time, same for your father. There’s no fucking excuse for what your father did or mine. They both should’ve been here the entire fucking time. He should’ve helped your mom, my dad should’ve helped kuku. And when you meet your dad and you realize that he doesn’t want you as a son, it fucking hurts.”
Chris's head bobbed and he filled his mouth with chicken rather than another errant comment that would only invite more anger and judgement from his friend. He wished he could be as certain as Kal was, but there was no way to know unless he went to that address and rang the doorbell.
"So anyway," he started, abruptly and pointedly changing the subject, "surfing. You think I should start practicing here? Pretty sure I could get some foam board or something out of the garbage and glue something together."
Kal eyed his friend for a moment then accepted the offering of subject change and grabbed his chicken again. Speaking with his mouth full, he happily went back to relaxed, happy, fun Kal. “You can borrow my board. We don’t have to both be surfing at the same time while you learn.”
His board was beloved and given to him by his relatives in Hawaii; his grandmother certainly couldn’t afford one otherwise. She worked hard and spent her money wisely so that the two of them could return to Hawaii to see family when they could, so when Kal found a board delivered to his door a few years ago, he ended up in tears. “Maybe once we’re done being grounded? We can go to the beach one Saturday. It’ll be fun.”
"Heck. Yes." Chris shoveled some of his potatoes into his mouth, pleased that they'd avoided an all-out fight in favor of more pleasant topics. "We'll head down to Malibu, just chill for the day. I'll get abuelo to cook us a lunch we can take with."
“Yes!” Kal growled, throwing his head back with excitement, as if he wasn’t already actively eating fried chicken. “Your abuelo’s food is fucking awesome. I can’t wait. Man, I wish I could have some now. You need to bring me some.”
"OK, no, maybe not," Chris laughed. "Or maybe I'll make sure he makes double portions. Knowing you, you'd just eat the whole thing." He shook his head, gratefully sinking into their easy banter as they continued with their meal.