October 10th, 2008
Miro sat on the swing set waiting for Seth to show up. He scanned the area, impatient.
It was a cool afternoon. The sky was cloudy and threatened more rain. Maybe using the swings hadn’t been a good idea, Miro realized. He had wiped them down, but not enough. The seat of his pants was a little wet, which meant his wallet was probably ruined. He wanted to ask Cass to make him a duct tape wallet, but the one he did bring home was immediately thrown in the trash by his father. Miro frowned. He didn’t want to think about that. Instead, he wanted to think about how this fun game was about to go.
Everyone was in place. Except for Seth. Miro knew the guy worked, and often worked overtime, so that was a reason to be late.
But it was still annoying. Why did his boss have to be such a jerk? Why couldn’t the guy see that Seth needed time to himself and to his friends? It wasn’t fair to make Seth work so hard.
Miro’s muscles buzzed with excitement. If he could pull this off…
“Yo,” Seth’s deep voice came from the left.
Miro’s head snapped around to see Seth standing there, at the edge of the sand. He wore his raggedy hoodie, the one that had patches all over it. He looked tired and he still wore his work pants. Good. That meant no chain.
Miro smiled and hopped off the swing. Sand, still wet, let out a muffled crunch under his shoes. “Heya!” He said. “How was work?”
“Eh.” Seth shrugged. His black scarf hung limply around his neck and shoulders. “How was school?”
Miro waved his hand. “Well, I’m here.”
“Which means you bailed on your study group.” It wasn’t a question.
“Yup!” Miro put his hands on his hips and grinned. “I sure did.”
Seth looked at him, eyes blank and exhausted. “So…what’d you wanna talk about?” He asked after a moment.
Miro shrugged. “Cass’s birthday is coming up.”
Seth nodded. “Yeah, it is.”
Miro tugged at his own scarf. It was purple and had been made with more flair than Seth’s. If memory served Miro right, his scarf had been one of the last ones made, hence why it was a slight bit fancier than the rest. Instead of a solid rectangle, much like Seth’s and Raphael’s, it had lacyish ends. They were useful for storing pens sometimes, Miro had found. Though they were also a pain sometimes, as if he wasn’t careful, he’d get his fingers stuck and become a tangled, flailing mess. Icarus often found it funny, though it always worried John.
“I wanted to talk about what we could get her, maybe.” Miro answered.
Seth’s lips thinned. Of course he hated talking about this. He didn’t have much money, but that never bothered Miro–he never thought less of Seth for it, so why did he have to get so bristled anytime it was brought up?
“I’m making her a dice bag.” Seth replied.
“Oh, okay, cool.”
“I saw her eying a really nice jacket at the store the other day.”
“Problem is, well,” Miro stepped closer. “I don’t know her size.”
Seth looked down at him, raising an eyebrow. “And you expect me to tell you?”
Miro shrugged, stepping closer. He had his hands behind his back, clasped and innocent looking enough. “Well, not really.”
Seth frowned. “Miro, what’re you doing?” He took a step back.
Miro advanced. His hand shot out, grasping Seth’s wallet from the back pocket. “Hold him!” He yelled and twisted away from Seth.
“Miro! What the–”
Raphael, Liridon, and Icarus launched themselves from the bushes. Liridon wrapped Seth into a bear hug from behind. Meanwhile, the other two boys kept their distance as Seth kicked and began to shout profanities.
Miro darted for the redwood with the lowest branches. He stock the wallet in his mouth and jumped, scrambling up the tree. Once he was a good twenty feet off the ground, he waved to Liridon, who released his hold on Seth. He grinned at then and opened it, looking for the prized information.
Seth was the resident tailor of the group. Whatever he wanted to sew, knit, crochet…anything, it came to life. Given how little money he had, he often turned his attention to upcycling what he could find at thrift store. The problem was, given how their friend group consisted of many people, there were a number of measurements for Seth to keep track of.
So he kept them all on an index ard in his wallet.
Everyone knew this, and everyone also knew he kept the secret of their measurements.
Unfortunately, Miro really needed to know Cassandra’s. Asking got him nowhere, and going through her closet was a no go given how her siblings always prowled about. Raphael had permission to go through her closet, as did Icarus, but Miro was tired of relying on others doing the dirty work.
It was okay for them to hold Seth, though. That was different.
Miro looked. He pulled out his phone and took a picture–now he could buy anything for all of his friends.
With the paper back in the wallet, Miro held it between his teeth again and climbed down.
Seth marched over.
Miro held the wallet out, grinning. “Thanks!”
Seth snatched the wallet from Miro’s hands. He stared at Miro, eyes hard and sparking with rage.
Miro blinked. His smile fell. But only a little.
“See you guys later.” Seth spun on his heel and stormed off, wet grass crunching under his boots.
Miro’s smile fell completely. He looked to the others.
“What’s gotten into him lately?” Icarus asked, rubbing his nose. He looked to Liridon.
Liridon shrugged. “Hasn’t told me anything new.”
Miro frowned and looked back to Seth’s shrinking form. Why didn’t he find it funny? Miro pick-pocketed them all the time. He returned the item, of course. Seth was used to these antics.
So why didn’t he find it funny this time?