Emo Kid stared ruminatively into the depths of his coffee mug and thought about love, life, and the state of the cosmos. A sudden finger to his ribs startled him and he glanced around wildly, his bangs whipping painfully across his forehead.
“See anything in that mirror of yours?” Kimberly asked, sitting down next to him and throwing her arms around him affectionately. He ignored her embrace and gazed gloomily back into the mug: a cheap, gaudy affair sporting some obscure cartoon character and a cliché quote about Monday mornings.
“My soul is as black as this coffee,” he announced to the world in general.
Kimberley hissed in mock sympathy. “I’ve got some Ajax and a scouring pad in my car. We’ll soon get you scrubbed up. Oh, and have a donut before they all get squished.”
Emo Kid took the proffered pastry with a brief lightening of the soul. “I will not dignify your sarcasm with an answer,” he announced.
“So what were you thinking about that got you all down?” Kim asked, perching on his desk with one argyle-stockinged leg crossed over the other. “Did you get a bad grade on the English quiz or something?”
“Well,” Emo Kid began, nibbling his donut meditatively, “Do you remember the Incident I had a couple weeks ago with a member of Homo Jockus in the alley?”
“How could I forget? You came out of the sewer like a fifth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, your blue eyes crying in the rain…” Kimberly trailed off as Emo Kid gave her his blankest look. She sighed theatrically. “Sorry, I forgot you’re too indie to know any Willie Nelson. It’s a song,” she added unnecessarily. “Anyway, isn’t that when you took the raccoon as your totem animal or something?”
“Totem nothing,” Emo Kid scoffed. “I did experience a spiritual connection with the animal, yes, which was only natural, considering how long I was faced with it.”
“Literally, as I recall,” Kimberly nodded. “What was that about the Incident?”
“I was thinking about my earrings,” Emo Kid explained, one black-nailed hand fidgeting with an empty earlobe. “I never did find them down there. It left a scar on my soul. And my bank account,” he added, thinking about the $30 price sticker on those Ring of Darkness earrings.
“Oh Lord, heal this boy’s wallet,” Kimberly intoned, holding her hands out over him. “We can go to the alley and look for them, if you want. It might help give you some closure.”
Emo Kid brightened slightly. “You’d do that for me?”
Kimberly tousled his hair fondly. “Of course I would. You’re my favorite mascara-wearing loser. We’ll go after school.” She hopped down from the desk, grabbing her pastry box, and began to walk away. A thought struck her and she turned back.
“By the way…Don’t ever let that Jock hear you refer to him as Homo Jockus. I think he’d take it the wrong way.”
“Call if you want, but there’s no one at home, and you’re not gonna reach my telephone,” Kimberly warbled cheerfully, kicking aside an empty coffee can. Emo Kid fixed her with an icy glare.
“I can’t believe I’m friends with someone who voluntarily listens to Lady GaGa,” he muttered. He picked up a rotten apple by the stem and glowered at it with black-rimmed eyes. “This brings back too many memories,” he announced, throwing the fruit aside.
“Yeah, and I don’t think we’re going to find your earrings,” Kimberly admitted. “We should probably just—Oh! Ew! I think I just stepped in dog poop!” She performed a little dance as she attempted to stand on one foot and view the bottom of the other.
“Allow me,” Emo Kid said gallantly, steadying her foot with one hand and grabbing a stick with the other. As he looked at the fecal matter smeared across the sole of her shoe, distant memories stirred within him; memories of a simpler time, a time of camping trips with his father and of Boy Scouts…
“This isn’t dog poop, it’s raccoon poop,” he announced, scraping the specimen off his friend’s shoe in one easy swipe. It fell to the ground with a faint “klink”. Something sparkled amidst the bits of plant matter.
Emo Kid deftly plucked a bobby pin from Kimberly’s hair, ignoring her protests, and gently fished an item from the remains of the turd. He held it up for Kimberly to view.
Dangling from the end of the bobby pin, $15 worth of a pair of Ring of Darkness earrings glittered cheerfully.