Three gunfights in one week. But I guess East’s fight wasn’t really a fight. He’d diffused it before a shot was even fired. But still, this was crazy. I figured I was next, regardless. It only seemed logical. Would this time be different? I wasn’t sure. It was great having brothers as good as East and as sloppy and immature as West. It gave me a chance to learn what mistakes not to make and what moves I should make. And truth be told, I’d need all the skills I could get to handle my target.
“You want more popcorn?” she asked, getting up from the couch.
“Sure,” I said. She got up and came back with a refilled bowl of popcorn. But before she sat down next to me, I caught a glimpse of the butt of her gun under her shirt.
“So you got a gun?” I asked her.
“Yeah,” she replied, taking a handful of popcorn. She popped them into her mouth then stared back at the screen.
“Is it loaded?” I asked, grabbing some popcorn for myself with one hand. But I slipped my other hand behind my back, gripping the gun under my own shirt.
“Yeah,” she replied in that same tone. She kept staring at the screen, but there was no sign that she was nervous about the questions.
“You planning on shooting somebody?”
She smirked and glanced over at me. “Only if he shoots first.” She popped another into her mouth then turned back to the screen.
“Huh,” I said. That was new. I looked back at the screen and we kept watching Stranger Things for a few seconds in silence.
“You know,” I finally said. “I don’t like loose ends.”
“Really?” she said, chewing.
“They’re too risky.”
“Is that so?”
“It is so. And so…when I see things that might come and bite me in the butt somewhere down the line…”
“You get a prostate exam,” she suggested.
“Well, that’s good to know,” she smiled at me. “I can recommend a good doctor. Just say the word.” Then she looked back at the screen and popped some more popcorn into her mouth. “I really like this episode because—”
I whipped my gun out and was on my feet with the barrel aimed at her face before she could finish the sentence. But to my surprise, she was on her feet with her gun aimed at me a millisecond after, like we’d rehearsed this scene beforehand.
“You gonna shoot me?!” I shouted.
“Not unless you shoot first!” she shouted back.
“You don’t know what’s in my gun.”
“You don’t know what’s in mine,” she said. And she winked at me.
“What?” My hand shook slightly. What was in hers? Was this a trap? Was I about to shoot at her only to get three shots of rejection in my heart? “What’s in your gun?”
“I asked you first.”
“No you didn’t! I asked you!”
“What’s in your gun?”
“What’s in yours?!”
“The same thing that’s in yours!”
“That doesn’t make sense!”
We both fired at the same time and the feelings ripped into our hearts. I dropped to my knees and felt the emotions rush through my system like adrenaline. I took a breath and looked up at her. She was on her knees too, smiling with her gun still in her hand and my feeling lodged in her heart.
We laughed, dropped the guns, and said the line at the exact same time.
“I like you.”