I answered my door, surprised to find Eli. I hadn’t seen him since he helped me move. With midterms coming I hadn’t thought much about it, but his grinning face was a welcome diversion. “Hey, Eli. What’s up?”
He fidgeted in the doorway for a second before holding up couple tickets. “Wanna go to Comic Con? I got two passes.”
“Yeah, man! Sounds cool. We should see if the guys want to go. It’ll be a blast.”
Eli dropped his head and stared at the floor.
“Eli, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I’ll catch you later.” He turned and took the first step to his room when I grabbed his shoulder.
“Eli, please. What’s wrong?”
“Nothing, just me being stupid. A bunch of us going to Comic Con would be fun. Sounds like a plan.”
His disappointed told me a different story. His knotted brow and drawn lips looked anything but happy. Ah, shit. How stupid could I be?
“Did you want to just you and I go?”
Eli’s eyebrow flicked upward, and a smile twitched one corner of his mouth. “Yeah, something like that.”
“Sure, sounds fun. We can bach it. Make a day of it.”
Eli stared at his Van’s, scuffing them across the floor. He spoke almost in a whisper. “No.”
Confused, I tried to decipher an increasingly confusing conversation. “What’d you mean, no?”
Eli slowly let out a long breath before answering. “Not as two bud, Nate. I wanted to ask you out. I thought the Comic Con would be fun. I got us passes to go.”
“You didn’t win the tickets or something?”
“You’re asking me on a date?”
“To Comic Con?”
“Good God, Nate! If you don’t want to, just say so. The fucking Abbott and Costello routine is stupid.”
I shook myself from the shocked stupor. “Sorry, Eli! Of course. I’d love to go. I think it would be a blast.”
The smile returned to Eli’s face. “We can leave Saturday morning. I’ll drive. Sounds fantastic. They’re going to premier some games for the newest Xbox.”
Finding Eli’s excitement contagious, I grinned and tried to recall what I’d seen of the convention. “I hear the panels are kickass too. The latest Hobbit previews should be cool to see.”
Eli chuckled. “You don’t even know the name of the latest one. Admit it.”
“I admit nothing, but I’ll be ready.”
“Come on, Nate. I’m starved! Let’s grab some food before you drag me into another panel discussion,” said Eli.
I spun and danced backward just in front of Eli. “Oh come on. Fess up, you’re as big of a fan geek as I am. You loved the FX panel. You asked more questions than anyone else.”
Eli swatted my shoulder and spun me around. “Okay, okay,’ he said, “I’ll agree with you, if you’ll let me eat.”
I chuckled and dropped back beside Eli. “Okay, whimp. You can’t stop for chili dogs when we’re killing trolls.”
“Whatever. Feed me!”
A little bit later, we both had a styrofoam plate filled with food truck eats. We found a place to sit after a few minutes and took over the table. Seconds later we were digging into the dogs with gusto.
A little surprised at how much I’d enjoyed being with Eli, I’d discovered he was smart and kept me laughing. We had a lot of common interests, beyond gaming. He seemed to be having a good time too, if his non-stop chatter and enthusiasm was any indication.
Eli bumped me with his elbow. “Hey Nate, look. That looks like that dumbass from from Duck Dynasty.”
I glanced over and snickered at the convention goer. It was obviously not a costume, the guy would have fit into the cast with his huge beard and camo clothing. We both cracked up once he’d moved out of sight. It became a game between the two of us to point out the most elaborate cosplay folks as they made their way past our seat.
During the time we watched there was a very unhulky Hulk, a Wonder Woman that could have been a hooker, and a cheap one at that, and more Power Rangers than you could imagine walked past.
Eli stuffed the last of the super Chicago mega dog into his mouth and gulped it down. “Okay, I’m refueled. Where’s the program? We need to see what panels or previews we’ve missed.”
“I have it. Let’s go.” I pulled out my phone and flipped through the list events I thought we might like.
“There’s one in 30 minutes, on the other side of the building. I think it’ll be good.”
“Well, hell. What are we waiting on?” asked Eli.
The day had been a total success. Eli had insisted we go to a restaurant for dinner, and he paid. We were still talking about the convention as we stepped off the elevator and headed to our rooms.
“I’m telling you. That new Xbox is kick ass,” said Eli.
“There’re no good games yet. It’s not worth the money.”
“Yeah, yeah. They say that every time a new system comes out.”
We stopped in front of my door, and Eli grinned at me. “Thanks for going today. I had a great time.”
“Me too. It was a blast.”
“Good.” Eli rose on his toes and gave me a soft kiss. “Night, Nathan.”
I was unable to do anything but nod as he walked down the hallway.
If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.