“Long time no see, Book Boy.”
I knew the overly hearty slap on the back was coming before it hit, so I tensed the muscles there. Hopefully it hurt him more than it had me. Brian's usual greeting didn't have much of an impact online, but out here it stung pretty good.
I turned my head to look at him. “I got busy.”
Brian sat down next to me, making the bench jump a little. If the school still had a football team he might have been a star. Since we didn’t, he was just a fat kid who liked to play war sims.
He nodded. “Heard you got grounded.”
“That’s about right.”
“Heard you tired to run away with those two girls.” He waggled his eyebrows up and down. “Two girls, one guy. Pretty hot.”
“It wasn’t like that.”
He slid around to face the table. “Your loss, kid. Guess you don’t know what you’re missing.” He pressed the tips of his fingers to his lips and then snapped his hand open like he was flicking a kiss in five directions at once. “Tasty.”
Brian was a month younger than me and looked like an albino potato. “Guess I don’t,” I said.
Someone yelled Brian’s name across the cafeteria and he turned and waved, exposing his armpits to the air. I wrinkled my nose. Brian also smelled like a potato, with a side of vinegar. I’d never noticed it before because most of my interactions with the big guy had been in HangOut. He was a lot more buff than blubber there, usually showing up in his Cyberpunk Viking Skin no matter what game we were playing.
He shook his head. “Two girls, one guy.” He leered. “I’d sure know what to do with them. That Julie’s got some nice tits.”
I scowled. “She’s got second lunch. Stick around and tell her that.”
Brian shrugged. “Not my type.”
Meaning she was real, not a computer simulation or a Skin. A lot more chance of rejection with a real girl.
“Her loss,” I said.
He slapped my back again. “You know it, buddy.” He bypassed his tofu entrée and scooped up a spoonful of chocolate pudding. When we were kids he used to swish pudding like that around in his mouth until it liquefied and let it run out the corners of his mouth. I was glad he'd learned how to swallow.