Kolby’s friend Cameron was disgusted at something on his phone. He had an idea of what it was about and snickered.
“Let me guess,” Kolby said. “A certain neighbor of mine is professing her love again?” He was doubled over with laughter.
“Shut up! She doesn’t like me. She just thinks she can boss me around because I’m scared of her mom!”
“Miss Pancakes? What are you scared of her for?”
“Dude! She’s a cop! She could, like, invent some excuse to throw us in jail if she wanted!”
Kolby snorted. “Miss Pancakes wouldn’t do that.”
Cameron huffed like he didn’t believe him.
“She wouldn’t! I know Miss Pancakes. Breanne is just leveraging her mom’s power to control you…and she’s been doing that since you guys were kids!”
Kolby began to laugh again at his friend’s predicament. “So, what does she want this time?”
“The spice festival tomorrow night.”
“HA! You got a date with Breanne? This is too good!” He had doubled over again.
A smirked crept onto Cameron’s face. “Correction. WE have a date with Breanne.”
“What? What do you mean we?”
“Me, you, your brother…the whole crew! We’re all going!” He was the one snickering this time.
The next night, Kolby and Kaiden met Cameron, Breanne, and another friend in San Myshuno’s Spice District. It was a beautiful night. They got there just as the sun had begun to set. The sky was like a glass of sparkly, pink tropical juice, and the sun’s golden rays bathed everything in touched in gold. It was perfect. Kolby wished he had someone special to bring there that night, but instead, he was stuck there with his little brother, crazy neighbor, and two knuckleheads he called friends. He took a moment to check the place out before he tasted the food. This was the first time he had ever been to the spice festival. The bubble blower stole his attention, and he wondered what it would be like to try it.
Perhaps another time. He went back to his group and grabbed a plate. Behind him were Breanne and the other friend, one of Shea Aldrich’s little brothers. He helped himself to a double portion.
“You like this stuff?” Breanne asked.
“Oh yeah! I can’t get enough spice!”
Cameron took a mouthful and immediately began coughing and choking. “UGH! Dude! What is this crap? It tastes like barf! And it’s so hot!”
“Uhhh…it’s the spice festival, Cameron.”
While the kids were getting their fill of the spicy dishes, Bob Pancakes was lurking in the shadows, keeping an eye on them–Breanne, rather–while trying out some of the other dishes.
The kids took seats at the benches behind them and attempted to eat their food. Kaiden was always closer to Breanne than Kolby was and sat next to her at one table, and Kolby and Cameron sat at the next.
“Are you ok?” Kaiden asked.
“I don’t like this place,” Breanne said.
“Why not? I think it’s pretty sweet.”
“It’s weird here!”
“Soooooo why did you bring us here?”
She shrugged. “I dunno.”
They took another bite of their meal, but it didn’t agree with them.
Kaiden rubbed his stomach and groaned. “I swear this stuff is burning my insides!”
Meanwhile, at the other table, Kolby was heckling Cameron.
“You’re not gonna go sit next to your girlfriend?”
“Dude! Shut up!”
“It’s not cool to act like you don’t know her,” Kolby said. “I’m gonna send her a text apologizing on your behalf.”
“Whatever! I’m going to be the one laughing when she invites me to her wedding to your brother! You know they’re into each other.”
“Mind if I join you?” a familiar male voice asked from behind.
Kolby’s spine straightened and his palms got sweaty. “Oh! Uhh, hi, Mr. Pancakes…”