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MOMENT 27: JR. RESISTANCE
Jeremy stopped talking to the girls by the halfway point of our trip. I didn't know what they'd talked about, and I didn't care. From my perspective, it looked like he had moved in on flirting with both of them. During that time, Pupper-Dog Boy sat with me on the floor, devouring each different flavor of ice cream.
By the sixth cone, I had to stop him. "You're going to give yourself diabetes."
"What's what?" he asked.
I shrugged. "A sickness, but who knows, maybe you don't have that here."
"I've never heard of it, so probably not!" He grinned and jumped up, scooping himself a seventh and eighth serving.
I glanced at Jeremy, who looked dazed. He even glanced my way. If he felt angry at me, I didn't understand why. If anything, I should be furious with him. He knew about my turmoil between Inicula and Fox-Face and had even come to my defense and saved my sorry butt. No matter how much I wanted to blame him for my lack of insight, I couldn't. I'd dug my own grave; the time had come just to jump into it and bury myself.
I cast a futile glance at Inicula, who I found staring at me, but she quickly averted her gaze, so I looked at Fox-Face, and the same thing happened.
"Crap monkeys." I sighed.
"What's wrong, Magna?" Pupper asked. "Things could be so much worse. They could both be beating you up again! Girls. I swear! I never plan on getting a girlfriend. Brothers for life!"
"Right," I muttered.
My stupidity astounded me, but still, I could justify my choices. After our fight, where that jerk had ruined our friendship, we didn't talk for months. She hadn't known I barely clung to life, that week. Even still, I considered her my best friend. That stupid idiot had to spread those rumors. If he hadn't, I wouldn't be in such a situation. I would never have formed a relationship with Inicula.
"I hate my life," I whispered, and felt tears coming on, but I bit my lip and held them back. No crying. I needed to focus on one thing; our plan. I needed to concentrate on saving Kat.
"Right, Pupper?" I asked.
Despite having had the conversation solely in my head, Pupper nodded, ice cream all over his snout. "Right!"
I reached over and hugged him, and he hugged me back.
"Thank you, Magna!" Pupper said.
"For what?" I asked.
"For being my best friend!"
His words made me grin, and I hugged him again. "No problem, brother!"
A few minutes later the driver stopped the Chill Truck. "All right, dudes and dudettes, the time has come to say goodbye! But I don't want to see any frowns, now! I want to see all smiles!"
He turned back, and each of us forced our best smile, except Pupper who smiled all on his own. He never had trouble with happiness.
The back doors of the Chill Truck opened, and Pupper leaped out first, running on all fours. He rushed up to the side of a soda pop butte, lifted his leg and peed. I held back a laugh as the rest of us disembarked and stood around in the grass. The truck doors closed once more, and off the vehicle went, bumping and rolling over the small hills.
"Now what?" I asked Pupper as he returned, fixing his robes.
"We enter the resistance hideout!" he yipped. "Follow me!"
The excitable dog boy rushed off, running on all fours again. I didn't bother looking at anyone else; I just followed. He soon outpaced Jeremy and me, but Fox-Face and Inicula walked quickly, keeping ahead by several yards.
I resisted looking at Jeremy the best I could, but finally, he appeared beside me.
"What do you want?" I asked.
"They're both pretty angry at you," he said.
"No, duh!" I grumbled. "And you flirting with them is supposed to make them less angry?"
"What?" his eyes went wide. "I wasn't flirting!"
I stopped and grabbed his arm. "Then what do you call it then? You made Inicula blush! Fox-Face didn't fall for your farce, but--"
"Dude!" Jeremy slapped his hand over my mouth. "Shut up and listen to me."
I glared. He probably could sense I'd bite him. Thus he lowered his hand.
"What?" I asked.
"Both girls seriously dig you. I honestly can't tell who loves you more." He drove a stake through my heart. "They both feel betrayed because you led them on. Each thought they had a future with you."
"I know!" I sighed. "What am I supposed to do?"
"At this point, nothing," Jeremy said. "I think if you talked to either of them right now, they'd kick you in the balls, and leave you to be eaten by Old McDonald."
"Oh, gee, thanks."
"I'm serious," he said. "For now, leave it be. Ignore both of them, and they'll ignore you."
"But I don't want them to ignore me!"
"Look, just because you're a master of two worlds, doesn't mean you're a master of two chicks or even one for that matter. Unless that's how things work in Strange World."
"No, Jeremy, that's not how things work."
"Then, let them figure out what they want to do. There's not a single thing you can do that won't drive both of them away. I would say the best thing, is decide who you love more, and then hope she forgives you, and because she loves you, she will."