“Hey man, you’re supposed to be my wingman.” Craig said to his best friend. “Instead, you’re cramping my style.”
Clearly disappointed by Craig’s assessment, Richard said, “Why would you say that, Craig? You know I wouldn’t deliberately cramp your style.”
“I don’t know, Rich,” Craig said. “Your head isn’t in the game tonight. Your timing is off. You’re flubbing your lines.”
“No worries, Craig,” Richard promised. “I got your back, man.”
Richard headed over to a corner of the tavern and waited for the magic to start. Within a few minutes, he saw Craig start up a conversation with an attractive brunette. Richard waited the designated three minutes and then headed over to where Craig and his new friend were talking.
“Hey Craig,” Richard said, “I thought I recognized you, buddy. Man, how long has it been?”
Craig mocked a surprised look. “Wow! Richard. When did you get back into town?” Craig gave Richard a man-hug. Then he turned to the brunette, who Richard saw was even more stunning up close than she appeared from across the room. “Where are my manners?” Craig asked. “Tammy, let me introduce you to Richard. He and I were best friends in high school.”
Richard reached out to shake hands with Tammy, but she moved in, pressed her body tightly against his and gave him a warm embrace. “Any friend of Craig’s…” she said.
Richard blushed and backed away a little. He knew it was his turn to say something, but he was flustered and couldn’t remember his next line.
“Oh, uh, so yeah,” Richard stammered, “Craig here was the man back in the day. He lettered in all the sports, got into the National Honor Society in his junior year, got elected to president of the student council, and was voted most likely to succeed in our senior class. He was the big man on campus.”
“That is impressive,” Tammy said. “What about you, Richard?” she asked. “What’s your story?”
“Richard hung out with me,” Craig said before Richard could respond. “I let him share my aura, you know. He was like my shadow.”
“I see,” Tammy said to Craig. Turning back to Richard, she asked, “Well, Richard, since it appears that you haven’t been shadowing Craig since high school, what do you do now?”
“Me? I’m a programming team leader over at Excelsior Automation,” Richard answered. “It’s not all that interesting, though, compared with my man Craig. He’s an actor.”
Tammy turned her attention back to Craig. “Have I seen you in anything?” she asked.
“I’ve done some commercial voiceovers and had a couple of small parts in a few indy flicks,” Craig answered. “I’m between gigs at the moment, but my agent is lining up a few things that look promising.”
Tammy looked at Craig, a strikingly handsome, charismatic young man who exuded confidence. Then she looked at Richard, who was pleasant enough looking but clearly uncomfortable.
“So you’re the wingman, right?” she said to Richard, whose face turned a deep red. She grabbed Richard by the arm and said, “Let’s get out of here, Richard. I think your friend Craig is cramping your style.”
Written for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. The prompt is “cramp.” Image credit: Ian Francis.