One day, my tag-along friend, Andrew, was over at my place playing video games with me. My wife, Laryssa, was doing her own thing in the kitchen. I was doing most of the talking, mostly about what I had been up to recently. Andrew seemed to laugh at times as I spoke, then interrupted me to call Laryssa over.
“Eh…does he talk about Rob this much all the time-ah?” he asked her.
With Andrew still sitting down, my wife walked over behind him, put her hands on his shoulders and rubbed them, making Andrew exhale and smile. She was smiling too.
I hadn’t realized I was bringing Rob’s name up so often, but Andrew caught on to it. My wife agreed with his observation – I talked about my buddy Rob as if I looked up to him, fawning like someone infatuated with a celebrity or professional athlete.
“You okay with your little husband being a little wimp for Rob-ah?” Andrew asked Laryssa, who smiled back at him. They were sharing a moment at my expense.
Laryssa sat beside Andrew, causing him to move his arm around, which made her sit closer to him, his arm finding it’s way around her shoulders. She told Andrew that I was an eager beaver when it came to Rob.
“He’s trying too hard.” She laughed, Andrew laughing with her. I started to get upset, throwing a tantrum, causing Andrew to laugh at me even harder. Laryssa turned her body to me, her hand falling on Andrew’s chest, and told me not to worry, that it was okay to accept my inferiority. At this point, Andrew was in hysterics laughing.
I got even angrier, telling Andrew that friends help each other out, taking a jab at him by saying how he “wouldn’t know what that was like, since I was his only friend.” But he didn’t get upset at all, smiling when my wife whispered to him, “well, you got me too if you want me.”
I rolled my eyes and turned my head to the TV, giving my sidekick and my wife the silent treatment. They couldn’t have cared less, making small talk with each other while I pouted and played the video game by myself. They were not interested in my coddling me. Suddenly, I got a text, and Andrew noted to my wife how excited I got when I looked at my phone.
“Let me guess-ah.” Andrew said to me. “Rob’s got you running around again, eh?” He wasn’t wrong. Rob was the one who texted me.
Without meaning to insult myself, I told him he was coming here now to chill, and had asked me if I wouldn’t mind washing his car while he was over. My wife and my sidekick looked at each other and broke out laughing. I felt like an inside joke between them.
Andrew, clearly pushing the issue for more laughs, asked me what kinds of things Rob has me do. I felt insulted that he had thought I was under Rob’s thumb. Speaking like I was bragging, I blurted out several things I had recently done for Rob, like washing and folding his laundry, washing his jock, scrubbing his toilet, buffing his shoes, picking dirt out of his cleats, ironing his clothes. When I saw Andrew looked at me like I was some kind of joke, I stopped talking.
“Does your wimp of a husband kiss Rob’s feet when he comes home too?” he asked my wife, non-rhetorically. Without thinking, I shouted out, “no, I just massage them while he watches TV.” Andrew looked at my girl with his eyebrow arched. She shrugged her shoulders while smiling at him.
Rob arrived and asked what was going on. Laryssa filled him in, and I saw my tag-along friend and my best friend man-shake, both of them laughing about me, right in front of me. Rob told Andrew he knew how to utilize my skills effectively.
“He’s not completely useless.” Rob chuckled, fist-bumping Andrew.
Rob handed me his car keys, telling me to bring my hand-vac, because he wanted his interiors “new car-clean”. He also handed me a bag, telling me he bought everything I needed to “wax his car right this time.”
“Eh…geez, you think he would say thank-you.” Andrew joked to Rob, making him smile. The laughter continued when I actually did thank Rob a second later. I’m not sure why I did, I just felt suddenly uncomfortable around my best friend, my wife and my sidekick, who Rob didn’t even like before this day.
I scurried to put my shoes on, eager to begin work on Rob’s wheels. Rob grabbed a video game console and took my seat.
“Off he goes.” Rob said to Andrew, grinning and giving me the thumbs-up.
“Eh…you mind if I get in on that-ah?” Andrew replied, nodding my way. They both looked at me like I was a product instead of their friend.
“I think we can work something out, buddy.” Rob said, looking at my wife, who was biting her bottom lip.
Rob and Andrew grinned at each other once again, and this time, not because of me.