Aristotle and Dante

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  We lay in my truck in the desert, like usual. Legs was laying across our stomachs, a comfortable spot, she learned. We watched the sky, clear as ever. It was entirely silent besides the shuffles of the wild around us. My thoughts were already starting to close in on me. It wasn't unlike us to lay silent out here. It happened most of the time. Only today, I was anxious to get up and move. We had spent the last week reading and swimming, then sleeping at either of our houses. It usually happened in that order.

  I was anxious to move, to make something of myself. "Let's do something." I proposed.

  "Like what?" Dante asked, not looking over to me.

  I shrugged. "I just want to do something. We've done nothing all week."

  "Nothing is okay."

  "I know it is, but it's one of those time I actually feel motivated," I sighed.

  "Fine. Let's do something."

  We sat up and pushed Legs off us. We climbed into the front of the truck and I started driving back towards the town. "Where do you want to go?"

  "The grocery store." He answered, giving no explanation.

  I nodded and started on the road to the store.

  We sat in silence, which was comfortable. Sometimes Legs would yawn or shuffle in the back.

  When we arrived there, I turned off my truck and looked at him. "What do we need here?"

  He grinned mysteriously and climbed out of the truck. I rolled down a window for Legs and hoped we weren't in the store for too long.

  I caught up with Dante. "Ari, have you ever raced with grocery carts?" He asked, pulling a cart from the corral.

  I shook my head, "Never had the chance. Have you?"

  He nodded, "Back in Chicago, once or twice."

  "Are you going to show me how?" I asked, a small grin on both our faces.
  He nodded. "Get in," he told me, gesturing to the cart.

  Dante held the cart still as I climbed in, facing away from him, my knees to my chest. He started pushing the cart toward the store, increasing his speed with every step. We were halfway to the store before I felt a heavier weight and looked back to see Dante's feet on the cart, riding and barely holding on. His laughter escaped into the air around us. That experience only last a few seconds before he hopped off and pulled the cart to a slower speed. We entered the building with wind blown hair and large grins.

  The store was empty besides a cashier and some other staff stocking shelves. Dante grabbed another cart and pushed both to a corner of the store where the isles were wide but nobody would see us.

  "First rule when cart racing: no letting go of the cart. You can't push the cart to the finish line. Okay?" Dante said, holding up a one with his fingers. I, still in the cart, nodded.

  "Second: you are encouraged to bump and push others out of the way. Extra points if you knock a display down."

  I nodded and climbed out of the cart, grabbing onto the other. We established the end line and placed our carts in position. "One... Two... Three!" I counted off before taking off down the isle, trying to push ahead in front of Dante.

The wheels rolled along the floor as our feet hit the ground. I was just barely in front of him, and I was already gasping for breath. I turned the cart sharp and hit his, buying a second of time for myself. He retaliated, of course. He sped up and crashed his into mine, breaking my concentration. We were both so close to the finish line, neither of us could give up now.

With a final push, I jumped on the cart and flew by the finish line seconds before Dante. I jumped off and slowed it down before turning around to see Dante's grinning face.

"Congrats. I'm surprised you didn't fall over." He laughed and walked closer to me.

I laughed. I hadn't had this much fun in months. My smile grew just before it fell. Dante turned around and his face fell as well.

"You boys need to get out," the worker said bluntly. "Just because it's the middle of the night doesn't mean that's appropriate behavior."

The worker started pushing us out the door, leaving the standing carts behind.

We exited the building with a, "You better be glad I'm not calling the police," and started walking back toward the truck, laughing hysterically.

We leaned against truck and caught our breaths. I looked over to see Dante smiling at the sky. I smiled.

Dante's thoughts were broken by Legs whimpering. I stood up and opened the back. I let her jump out go to the bathroom. I closed the door and leaned against it, waiting. Dante came over and slung his arm around my shoulders. "Hey." I said
"Hey," he said. He leaned over and kissed my cheek. His head rest on my shoulder.

I wasn't necessarily surprised, he had kissed me before, if only a few times. Once when we had started dating, once when he left my house one day and right now. He was always the one to initiate it, too. It's not like I didn't want him to kiss me, or I felt comfortable. I just never really felt like I had to.

I wrapped my other arm around him and kissed the top of his head. I could feel him smile and move closer.

"Yours?" I asked. He nodded.

Legs came back and we all got in my truck and started toward his house.

"I've decided I want to be more affectionate with you," I told him.

"Okay," he said. "Any reason why?"
I shrugged. "I feel like you always start it. I want to return the favor."

He nodded, silent. I reached over for his hand. His fingers twined with mine.

We got to his house and Legs ran inside. It was like a second home to her. And me.

We greeted Sam with a kiss and went up to Dante's room. He laid down on his bed and closed his eyes. I kicked my shoes off and laid next to him. He shifted closer to me and rest his head on my chest. I ran my hand through his sandy red hair and closed my eyes.

We fell asleep just like that.

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