A Duck

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"It's a duck!"


"You're definitely
a duck!
Come on, Seth,
don't lie to me."

Both Seth and I
throw a frown in
the direction of
our blonde friend, who is
currently seated beside me
on the couch.
Seth is standing
across from us,
in front of the TV.
He stops his impersonation
long enough to
heave a long sigh.

"You're horrible at
charades, Natalia,"
he tells her.
"You may as well give up."

"Am not,"
she huffs, crossing
her arms over her chest.
"It's so obvious that
you're a freaking duck.
Why won't you just
give it up, Seth?"

"Because I'm not
a duck,"
Seth mutters irritably.
"I'm Superman."

Natalia stares.
"Have you ever
seen Superman before?"
she asks him.
"You're really, really
bad at charades.
Superman doesn't flap his
wings like a bird."

"I'd like to see you
do better, considering
your impression of Santa
consisted of wrapping
your face with your hair and
laughing like a maniac."

"He's jolly,"
Nat protests.
"Of course he laughs -
or chuckles, as
the case may be-"

"Do you even know
the meaning of that word?"

"Calm down,
both of you,"
I finally put in, sighing.
"If you guys would ever
stop arguing, I think
it would be a miracle."

"See, that should
be your New Year's resolution,"
Natalia smirks at
the boy across from us,
who only glares back.
"Come on, it's
my turn now."

These two, I realize,
are completely hopeless.
I don't think anything I
could say to them will
get them to stop fighting
like a bunch of
crazed maniacs.
It's been happening
all evening, too -
no matter what we do,
I can only watch as they
break out into arguments
over who is the winner
or other trivial
game-related topics.

We'd played a game that
Nat had pulled out of somewhere
called Dutch Blitz earlier,
something she said that
her parents had gotten when
she was younger, after a
business trip somewhere
in Amish country.
It basically involves
slapping cards down into piles
in numerical order,
and after figuring it out,
Seth had gotten rather violent
with it, and Natalia
hadn't been much better.
Before long, it had
dissolved into a huge argument
over who had gotten
their card down first,
and after laughing at them,
I'd suggested that we play
something a little less violent.

Next had been
some dance game on
Natalia's Wii, which I
had opted out of because
of my notoriously awful
coordination and dancing ability.
They had been content to
dance against each other
(which had been a little
funny to watch -
graceful Nat versus
clumsy, awkward Seth)
until it, again, got
out of hand and they
started trying to
push each other and
mess each other up.

And now we've moved
on to charades -
and I'd thought it would
be less likely to provoke
unnecessary arguments,
but I guess I was wrong.
I let out a yawn as
Natalia, grumbling all the way,
slides past me to
take her place in front of us.
Seth flops down beside me,
his knee knocking mine
momentarily as he lands.
It makes me a little
uncomfortable how close
he is to me -
discomfort, rather than the
prickling nervousness I
often feel when I'm
too close to Nat -
but I don't say anything.

She's about to start
her impersonation when
she gives a sudden start,
pulling out her phone to
check the time.
"You're late,"
Seth drawls beside me,
probably thinking that
this is part of her act.
"Your ex is calling
and wants his car back."

Nat frowns, momentarily
distracted from her phone.
"No, no, I was just
looking at the time.
The ball's gonna drop soon;
it's nearly midnight!"

I hadn't realized just
how quickly the time
had passed.
Sure enough, as I
pull out my own phone,
11:47 flashes out at me
from the screen.
"Turn on the TV,"
I tell her.
"We're gonna miss it."

Wordlessly, she spins
to find the TV remote,
her hair streaming out
behind her as she moves.
After a lot of
searching through channels
and Seth insisting that she
let him try locating
where they're supposed to
be showing the celebration
in Times Square,
"since you're obviously
incapable of it,"
she hits the correct channel
to the sound of them about
to begin the countdown into
the new year.

"This is it!"
she squeals,
grabbing her glass -
which, thankfully, is
filled with soda rather
than an alcoholic beverage.
"Aren't we supposed to, like,
clink or whatever when
the ball drops?"

"Who told you that?"
Seth asks, frowning.
"I've never heard that one."

"Well, it isn't like
there's anything else
we can do."
Nat seems a little put out
by the realization.
"Besides screaming like
maniacs, of course.
But that's not exactly
my style.
Probably not yours,
either, Matty."

Seth just shrugs -
and then the countdown
suddenly begins on the TV.
Natalia squeals again and nearly
drops her glass on the couch
as she plops down on
my other side, grinning
as wide as anything.
I don't see why this
is anything to be
so excited for,
even if there is
so much hype for
a silly ball falling down.
It's just another year,
after all.

Well, I guess it is
at least a little exciting
as we count down
the final seconds of
2014 together, just
me and my two friends.
Last year at this time,
I think, I wouldn't
have expected to end
the next year like this.
I probably wouldn't have
expected to have friends at all,
considering the luck I've had
making any in the past.
This was a good year,
all things considering.
I certainly
can't complain.

In unison,
the three of us say one,
and then Natalia yells out
a "Happy New Year!"
and lunges to the side to
find her phone to
take a picture of
the three of us.
I have no doubt
in my mind that she'll
want to post it to
her social media -
that's just the kind of
girl she is.
But as I turn to
shoot Seth one of those,
can you believe her?
kind of looks that
we usually exchange, I'm
met with him smiling
rather strangely
down at me instead.
Momentarily, I frown
about to ask him
what's going on.

And then, the world
all around me seems
to freeze in place as,
in his first act of 2015,
Seth Hunter leans down and
places a kiss
square on my lips.

Distantly, I can hear
Natalia squealing some more
as she fumbles to take
a picture of us.


casually stABS MYSELF BC METH--

This was probably slightly cliché and stuff because I mean what else do you do on new years eve besides kiss? Stupid Seth. Who needs him, anyway.

If you guys liked this chapter, I'd love if you would vote and leave me down feedback!! It would be very much appreciated. <3

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