“Dude, you totally left me alone with him,” Diego said.
“I had to go and get some new clothes,” Antonio said.
“You should’ve been here, Tony. You left me hangin’,” Diego said.
“Hey, I told you to wait till later. You didn’t listen to me. Not my fault,” Antonio said.
“Anyway,” Diego continued, “I think I’m gonna talk to him after PE. Talk to him a bit about maybe trying to make more friends and all.”
“You guys trying to help that Richie kid?” Sergio asked as he sat down.
“A little,” Antonio said. “He’s acting like he doesn’t get life and we’re tryin’ to help him figure it out. He’s a cool kid, but D and I can’t be his only friends.”
“Well, you and D do what you want to do. Let me just say that this plan could backfire. He likes you two. He trusts you two. I don’t know him that well, but if I were him and my friends were trying to get me to make more friends intentionally, I’d be pretty upset about that. So, you could wind up losing him as a friend,” Sergio said. “Unless that’s what you two want.”
“Dad,” Diego said, “No, that’s not what I want. I don’t think Tony wants that either,”
“D’s right,” Antonio said.
“Then, why not, just invite him out with you and your other friends. Maybe he’ll naturally make new friends,” Sergio said.
“Good idea,” Diego said. “I’ll ask him to hang out with us on Saturday when we go to see Simception.”
“Dude, I hope he doesn’t talk the whole movie,” Antonio said. “He never shuts up.
Valley High School
“Richie,” Diego said.
“Hey D!” Richie said with a smile. “I see you shower after everyone else, too.”
“Actually, I usually do it as quick as I can, but I kinda wanted to ask if you wanted to go see Simception this Saturday,” Diego said. “I have……”
“Oh, hell yeah,” Richie said interrupting Diego, “I was going to wait until my father got us a private screening, but it would be really cool to hang out with you on Saturday. I mean, like, going to see a movie with my friend D. Ha! I’ve never been to a movie theater before. Are the floors sticky? If they’re sticky, I’m going to have to wear older shoes because I don’t want my new kicks to get sticky.”
“Well, it’s not just….” Diego said.
“Hey! I’ll buy the snacks! This will be real fun!” Richie said.
Diego continued to smile, “Richie, I want you to know that it’s gonna be me, Tony, and some other guys from school.”
“Oh, that’s cool!” Richie said. “I mean, to hang out with the guys” he deepened his voice on the last part. “You know, you’re really a good friend. You bring me to soccer games and we see movies together and you showed me your room. Hey, do you work out?”
“Yeah,” Diego said. “My dad taught me. Looks like you work out a bit, too.”
“Oh, haha!” Richie said. “A little bit. My dad has a personal trainer, but he never does what the trainer says. But I get 30 minutes a week with him. Just try to look good, you know.”
Diego stood up to walk over to the locker to get his clothes, Richie stood up behind him and followed.
“So, be at the penthouse around 5. We’re all leaving from there because the theater is right around the corner.”
Richie smile, “Yeah, D, I’ll be there at 5.” Richie stood there for a moment just kind of staring at Diego.
“Yes, Richie?” Diego asked
Then, Richie decided to do something no one could have ever expected…