What Lies Beyond the Eyes

Chapter 10: The Arcade Part 1

ted between us and gradually separated us saying, ”Calm down, we just got here. The fighting happens at the end of the trip. ”

I stood back up to my full height and ignored the look Gia gave me as I turned towards Danny. ”Heres twenty-five bucks. ” I told him as I handed him a two crisp bills, ”I realize you and Gia probably want to do your own thing, so you can go get you both some tokens with that. ”

I pulled him closer to me, ”Try to keep it PG! ” I whispered.

He yanked back away from me and gave me a look that every teenager has that said, ”Gah! Im not an idiot that needs constant supervision and orders! ”

He should be thankful I let Gia and him be alone after this afternoon, but I shrugged, Teenagers will be teenagers and he and Gia left with her grabbing his arm to pull him into the pit of lights saying in an excited voice, ”Cmon lets go! ”

A feeling of relief rushed over me as the whirlwind of teen angst left with Gia and Danny. ”They
e perfect for each other. ” I thought to myself.

”Wheres our cash, my ATM? Well go get the tokens! ” Sandy asked while leaning into me. Rom stared longingly at the inside of the light filled room. I raised my eyebrows at Sandy before say snarkily, ”The ATM is going to get us thirty-five dollars worth of tickets. Lets see if thats enough for you to beat me once. ”

Her mouth dropped open as she asked aghast, ”What you don trust us to handle your money and get the tokens ourselves? ”

”Nope. ” I said as I took the plunge into the sea of lights, ”I don trust you to get the tokens. Rom seems responsible enough though, lets go Rom! ”

Sandy rushed to my side. She puffed out her face in anger. Damn, her angry face is so cute! Its like a hamsters face with food in its mouth. ”But weve been texting a lot, haven we? Why don you trust me?! ”

Walking in and out of the different aisles of racing games, shooting games, and randomly assorted gotcha arcade games, I instructed myself, ”Keep it together! Keep it together! ”

I steadied myself with a calming breath when I reached the token machine, and told Sandy, ”True, thats why I suggested we come here together in the first place. I don do this with just anybody you know. ”

I would break if I looked at her cute expression, so I focused on the machine in front of me and putting the cash in. I felt Sandy do a theatrical bow to me as she stated mockingly, ”Well, its an honor to be in your presence my lord haha! ”

I smiled at the sarcasm, but its true though I don do this often or with anybody. Actually, I don do this with anyone at all except family nowadays. Ever since the series of incidents back then, I stayed to myself.

I put the thirty-five dollars into the token exchanger, and Rom watched in awe as the fifty tokens started to pour out of the machine into an empty cup being held by Rom. Sandy started to have her gaze wander into the games around her as she started to plan her attack on me. Her eyes were full of nostalgia, though. I let out a slight giggle as I told her, ”You look like a kid in a candy store haha! ”

As she was still looking around the building, she told me in a nostalgic tone, ”I am…Its been sooo long since Ive been in one of these places. I used to love these kinds of places as a kid. I used to come her all the time with my mom. ”

Her eyes saddened a bit when she mentioned her mom, and I realized that something had to have happened to her since her dad remarried. Whether they got a divorce or not, its still painful no matter the situation. I quickly tried to rectify the situation because the whole purpose of this trip was to help her out. I grabbed for the tokens in the cup, and I counted out twenty-five and put them in a separate cup. I gave one cup to Rom and one to Sandy.

”There! They
e all divided up evenly, and you both have twenty-five each! Sandy, you and I will share since we are the adults of the trip. ” I smiled to myself as I said adults, and Sandy commented, ”Youve always wanted to say that haven you? ”

”No! ” I said defensively, knowing damn well she was right.

”Umm…I don mind sharing with you guys. ” Rom interjected with her small voice.

I smiled, admiring her charitableness, as I bowed to her level and patted her head, ”Only if you want to. You
e the kid here, so this place is made for you. ”

She looked back at me with a fire in her normal calm blue eyes, ”I want to have fun with everyone. I don really want to go with Danny and Gia because being a third wheel is never fun, but I don want to be alone either. So, what do you guys want to do? ”

I smiled bitterly because I knew that exact feeling of just wanting to please everyone no matter the cost. ”Well, you heard her! ” Sandy exclaimed while hitting my back, jolting me back up to attention in pain, ”What you want to play first?! ”

”Ow ” I complained to Sandy. She gave a meek smile and muttered to me, ”Sorry, I got caught up in the moment. ”

”Well… ” I started to say while looking around the arcade while thinking aloud, ”We need to have a plan our route for going around the arcade. Do we want to start on the left corner with the normal arcade games, the right corner with the digital ones and make our way left, OR… ”

”Stop, stop, stop. ” Sandy interrupted me before I could finish my train of thought, ”You aren serious, are you? ”

”Serious about what? ” I objected defensively.

She looked at me critically and asked, ”Are you really trying to plan an itinerary for the arcade? ”

”What? It never hurts to have a plan or schedule, so you can do all the things you want to do. ”

She put her right hand on my shoulder and looked me directly in my eyes more seriously than Ive ever seen her before and stated, ”You overthink things too much. ”

Rom, not hearing anything that was going on, had her eyes drift to a shooter game that was off by itself. It had green guns and had jungle design on the sides of it. Noticing her averted attention, I steered away from the rapidly losing battle with Sandy and asked Rom, ”That the game you want to play? ”

Surprised at my question—I don think she thought I would notice her—she stammered out, ”I…Uhh…I don really care where we go first. ”

Sandy followed our attention over to the action game, and her eyes lit up at the sight of it and excitedly asked her, ”You wanna play that one first? ” When Rom hesitantly nodded her head in affirmation Sandy let out a ”Yes! ” before she started to drag me to the game with Rom matching her stride for stride.

”Relax! Its not going anywhere! ” I implored to get the both of them to slow down.

But Sandy and Rom just continued with me in tow with Sandy arguing back, ”We gotta get there before someone takes our spot! ”

I sighed at the childlike enthusiasm. I could be in bed right now…

”Alright! ” Sandy exclaimed as we began walking to the desired attraction. Her child-like smile was as bright as any light in the arcade.

…But maybe this isn so bad either.

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