Finn sat in the small break room in the back of the bookstore, hovering over a tray of microwave Pad Thai and staring at the clock. It was around 1 PM, and business was slow. Mr. Graham, who owned the bookstore, was minding the counter. Finn was thinking about the hockey game later; the Bruins would be facing the Canadiens, and he was hoping to watch the game with some friends.
None of my friends are really into hockey. He thought about it for a moment. Kieran! He likes hockey. And maybe I’ll see if Liadan’s interested, too.
Finn took his phone out of his pocket and hammered out a message addressed to Kieran.
“Bruins game tonight. We should watch it! Thinking of inviting Liadan.”
“ok. we can watch it at my place?”
“Okay! I’ll bring snacks.”
He looked at his phone, checking for Liadan in his contacts. He sent her a message, as well.
“Do you like hockey?”
“Canadiens at Kieran’s later?”
Finn laughed and shut his phone, then tossed his tray in the trash and went back to work.
Finn knocked on Kieran’s apartment door, a bag of snacks in one hand. After a moment, Kieran opened the door.
“Hi! Is Liadan here yet?”
“She’s been here for an hour,” Kieran responded, pointing to her from the door. “Been watching the pre-game stuff, sitting, what… five inches away from the TV.”
“Hahaha, I didn’t know she would get that excited about it.”
“Neither did I. She practically busted the door down, coming in here.”
“Well, this should be fun…” Finn said with a laugh. He walked into the apartment and greeted Liadan, who remained focused on the TV (despite the commercial playing).
“Where should I put these chips?”
“Oh, hang on,” Kieran said. He went over to the coffee table in front of the TV and cleared off some sketchbooks and tools. “Here’s good.”
Finn stuck the bag of chips on the table and set a jar of salsa with it.
“The game’s starting!”
“Aaargh!” Liadan shouted. “I can’t believe we lost again.”
“Well, hey, that was a pretty good game. We came really close,” Finn said.
“Yeah… I gotta admit, I did enjoy it. It just sucks! We were almost there.”
“We’ll get ‘em next time,” Kieran said.
News anchors chattered quietly on the TV about the hockey game.
“Alright… I’m gonna head off. I’m tired!” Liadan said.
“Okay,” Kieran responded.
“Ahhh, I’m still really hyped from that game,” Finn said.
“Do you want to hang out, still?”
“I’ll see you guys tomorrow!” Liadan said, heading for the door.
The door quietly shut behind her. Finn and Kieran sat, stationary.
“Hmmm, do you watch much TV?” Finn asked.
“There’s this show I started watching recently, it’s pretty funny. If you want to watch it, I can get my laptop and we can watch it on the TV.”
“What? You can do that?”
“Yeah! I just hook up this cable to your TV and it will display my computer screen… and then I can just play the videos.”
“Is that like… legal?”
“Hahaha, yeah! I’m using this website I subscribed to.”
“Oh, okay. I don’t really get it, but, sure. Let’s watch it.”
“Alright! I’ll go get my laptop!” Finn said, leaping out of his seat. “Be right back!”
He quickly went out the door. Kieran arched forward in his seat, staring unfocused at the television screen. For once, he was feeling content. It had been some years since he could recall when he last felt this way. But, it pushed apprehension forward in his head. I shouldn’t get too comfortable…
The door clicked open again, breaking Kieran from his thoughts. Finn came in, a silver laptop under his arm and a cable in his hand.
“Is it okay if I move the TV?”
“Yeah, go ahead.”
Kieran quietly watched as Finn hooked the cable up to the TV, and then to his laptop. He messed with the settings a bit until the image appeared on the television.
“Here we go!” Finn said. “Where should I start? Oh, there’s this one great episode in the second season that I saw recently… but I don’t want to show you them out of order. But the first season isn’t as good…”
He thought for a bit.
“Okay, I’ll show you that episode, then the first season.”
“Alright,” Kieran answered. Finn stood up and sat next to Kieran, setting his laptop on the floor in front of him.
“The audio doesn’t play through the TV, I don’t know how to get that to work quite yet. So we’ll have to listen to the laptop.”
As the show played, Finn would point out things and explain the show. Kieran watched quietly, hearing more of what Finn was saying than the show. Finn laughed, and Kieran smiled. Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing.
By the time the next episode started, Finn was already starting to lose his steam. His commentary slowed down, and Kieran started to focus on the show. It felt like time was moving more slowly, tired as the night stretched on. He felt a weight against his shoulder. He looked, and noticed Finn had fallen asleep.
Argh… what do I do? Kieran thought. I don’t want to wake him up.
He stared at the television. I guess I just… stay here?
In the morning, Finn awoke as the sun shined on his face. For a moment, he was unaware of where he was. Ahhh, I fell asleep! He looked to his side and noticed Kieran, still sleeping.
Oh no, that’s… really embarrassing.
Kieran stirred, waking up as well.
“Errr… hi,” Finn said.
“Haha, I guess we passed out.”
“Yeah,” Kieran responded, half-awake.
“I should head back to my apartment.”
“Okay,” Kieran said, stretching and yawning.
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