Ponies are cool yet, p4
Feb 13th, 2013
- On any other day, the traffic would have made the trip last far longer than it should have. Luckily, today was the first day of the time of the year when most people planned their holidays, so much of the city was a lot more empty than it normally would have been. For me, that meant my earlier estimate of how fast I'd be at Peter's was spot on, for a change.
- Pressing the button for the bell, I paced in front of the door leading to Peter's apartment. Barely a minute later, the door swung open to reveal a faintly smiling Peter. "Hey, Anon. Thanks for dropping by!"
- Entering the hallway I nodded. "Thanks for letting me in. Still, about yesterday-"
- Peter raised a hand, cutting me off. "Look, I think it's better if we talk about that in my room, 'kay? The Neighbors always complain if I try to chat in the hallway, claim I talk too loud."
- I nodded, following him as the two of us entered his humble abode.
- One of the first things I noticed was that, for a change, Peter had apparently tried to clean up. Rather than having to climb over a pile of old newspapers, the path from the kitchen block to the corner of the living room reserved for the large bench was mostly unobstructed for what had to be the first time in years. "Wow, never thought I'd see the day you would clean up in here."
- Peter chuckled. "Good to see ya are back to unfunny jokes. Joke's on you, though. Jason got up a while back, and has been cleaning ever since. Claims it's therapeutic or something," he said with a shrug.
- I couldn't stop myself from raising an eyebrow. "Doesn’t sound much like him. Ok, he can be a little obsessive about organization sometimes, but to call it 'therapeutic'..."
- Peter gave a small sigh. "Hear ya. Thing is, whenever I even hint at yesterday, he gets all tense. Like he's recalling something nasty. Can't blame him, but I don't wanna be the guy who keeps digging up painful stuff like that."
- I nodded, some of the determination I had before slipping from my posture. "I see. Well, with you taking care of Jason, and Jason trying not to think about what happened, there still has to be someone to dig up the past. Might as well be me, right?"
- Peter gave me a deadpan stare in response.
- "Dude, you don't have to be 'that guy.' Really, we don't need anyone to be 'that guy.'"
- "Fine, but I still treated you like- like shit yesterday. The least I can do is apologize, right?" I said as I put away my coat on one of the hooks in the hall.
- Peter chuckled while he shook his head. "Still the same old Anon, aren't ya? Fine, apology accepted."
- I smiled back at Peter. "Thank you. For listening, I mean."
- "Are you two done over there?" Jason suddenly shouted over from the living room. "Peter said we had a lot to discuss, and there is still a lot to do before this pig sty is fit for human habilitation, so I would like to get done with it already!"
- If the hall of Peter's apartment had changed due to Jason's sudden interest in cleanliness, then the door to the living room might as well have been replaced with a portal to another dimension. Truth be told, I found myself checking the windows to confirm that yes, I didn't get teleported to someone else's house, despite how the floor alone had taken on a completely different hue due to Jason's diligent removal of several years of dust and other, hard to identify substances.
- I only noticed I had stood in the doorway for almost half a minute when Peter poked my shoulder. I snapped out of my cleanliness induced confusion, much to Peter's amusement judging by his barely restrained snickers. "Oh, shut it!"
- Jason, still with a broom in one hand and a mostly-clean cloth over his shoulder, raised an eyebrow. "What? Did something get in my hair?"
- I shook my head. "N-no, it is just... I almost didn't recognize the room!" Then I took a second look at the floor. "Hold on, the floor wasn't always green? And where did the carpet go?"
- Peter's snickers stopped abruptly, an awkward chuckle taking their place. "Well, when my parents helped me move in, the floor looked more like this, yes. Guess I never really learned to mop the place."
- "So, each time you told us to leave our shoos by the door...?"
- Peter only nodded, as one of my eyes started to twitch a little.
- "That is just- How come you weren't ill all the time!? How can ANYONE survive that kind of thing!?"
- Peter awkwardly scratched the back of his head. "Well, my parents always said that strong immune systems ran in both sides of the family, so-"
- At this point, I just raised a single finger, as my other hand found its way to my face. "Stop. Right. There. I don't want to know any more about the sanitary state of your place, even if only to preserve a little of my sanity for now." Taking a deep breath (only vaguely noticing the absence of certain smells I had come to associate with Peter's appartment,) I continued. "That, and we have something else to talk about, don’t we?"
- "Sorry, I do not know what you are talking about," Jason said as he returned to his cleaning work.
- I gave Peter a quizzical look. "You didn't ask him?"
- Peter shrugged. "No, man. He's been so busy with cleaning, that I haven't really talked to him yet."
- Sighing again, I turned back to Jason, who was now cleaning around the main table. "Jason, I understand if you don't want to talk about yesterday, bu-"
- "Nothing happened yesterday," Jason abruptly interrupted me.
- "Sure, but still, I wanted to ask-"
- "I am fine, no problems here at all."
- "Sure, and I trust you'll talk to me if anything is up, but-"
- "I said, nothing is wrong."
- At this point, I was getting seriously fed up with Jason's constant interruptions. "Cut it out! Do you have any idea how bloody annoying that is!?"
- I expected another interruption, or at least some verbal response. Instead, Jason suddenly froze dead in his tracks, his back turned to me as the broom clattered to the floor.
- "J-Jason?" I softly asked after a few seconds, walking closer to him. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to-" my breath got stuck in my throat as I saw the sheer look of horror on his face, his pupils shrunk to pinpricks as a constant stream of soft muttered words spilled from his mouth.
- "Jason? Jason! Snap out of it, man!" I said as I waved my hand in front of his face.
- "t-too m-much... s-so much... c-c-can't escape..."
- I tried to put my hand on his shoulder, but the moment I made contact he jumped away, shrieking like a banshee.
- When I got over the shock of having someone shout in my ear at a volume and pitch usually reserved for professional Opera singers, Peter had put Jason on the bench, the latter heavily breathing. "Calm down, you're safe here, no need to worry..."
- I still stood there, more than a little shocked by what happened, when Peter looked at me again. "ya know Jason doesn't like... hold on," he said, as he reached for a nearby notebook and wrote down a single word before passing it to me.
- One word, but it did explain a lot. A few years back, during our last trip, I got a little cut on my finger. It didn't hurt much, but Jason looked more than a little uneasy when he saw the few drops of blood coming from the wound. Later, he admitted that he had a strong dislike of blood, but never quite as bad as this. Then again, with what happened yesterday...
- "I- I'm sorry, I didn't mean to-" I started stuttering out a reply, only for Peter to interrupt me.
- "Shh, he'll be back in a while. Just avoid the word, and he'll be fine."
- I nodded mutely, pulling a chair over and sitting down.
- Peter finished putting Jason down on the bench, before turning back to me. "Let's stay here, for when he gets back to talking. But you said you wanted to discuss something about my dream?" he said, some skepticism echoing in his voice.
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