Deborah Boydston Deborah Boydston
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Are Ryan and Guy the same person?

Justin Campbell Justin Campbell
Recommendations: 6

Yes. Brent calls Ryan "Guy" which is a nickname.

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Justin Campbell Justin Campbell
Recommendations: 6

The Party Sequel #1

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She had a friend.

      “Guy, what’s going on?” Brent asked again.

       Ryan didn’t answer. He just sat, miserable, against the curb next to his friend Henrietta – a girl who was paradoxically three years older than him, yet born a year and a few months after him. 2 comments

       The three were on Arthur Street, a one-way in the city’s Chinatown. A highly unusual vehicle stood nearby, partly crushed and absolutely useless. Other than the circumstances faced by the two and not enlightened for Brent, it was a beautiful summer evening.

       Brent picked up the flyer that rested on the crazed window of the vehicle, which had been parked there seven hours past the bylaw’s 1-hour limit. Not surprisingly, the removal of the paper had released a previously unseen ticket that had also been stuck to the windscreen wiper. It fluttered neatly into Ryan’s lap.

       “Why does this dog look like you?” Brent asked as he glanced over the paper at Henrietta.

       “Never mind that,” Ryan said. “It’s just a stupid side-effect of the party earlier.”

       “You’re going to be so mad,” Henrietta said gloomily. “I mean, in the future.”

       Ryan found himself having a difficult time imagining a scenario where he’d be angry with her. She was a girl he was intensely attracted to, except that she was, and had always been, out of his league. She knew that, and in return she always offered warm-hearted friendship. Ryan was a genuinely nice person – just not her type. And thankfully, he never hinted at anything, like so many other guys usually did.

       “I don’t see how I could get angry at you,” Ryan said truthfully.

       “How was the party?” Brent inquired again.

       “Look on YouTube,” Ryan suggested. Evan Mochizuki had since uploaded the whole thing online, without knowing whether or not it was public. “I think we should clean this mess up, and then figure out what to do next.” He said this to his companion on the curb. “I’ll get the, uh, present-day, version of my desk, and we’ll get this moved to my workshop.”

       Out of nowhere, Ryan’s half-brother Nelson popped into being in front of them. He gasped, out of breath. Ryan rolled his eyes.

       “Ryan, Dad is looking for you, he wants your help cleaning up the breezeway.”

       “Right now? Let me just deal with this quickly. I’ll be there.”

       Ryan told Brent and Henrietta to stay there while he ran around the block, in a mild daze, to get his current desk device. Upon arriving at the mostly destroyed breezeway, he entered the vehicle, enabled a few perimeters, and hovered up and away. Thanks to the protocols he enabled, all the trash had been cleaned up immediately, and the breezeway gave the superficial appearance of an instant clean order. His father should be happy with that look for now. In an arc, he rose up over the block and came down upon the street where his two friends remained. Brent appeared to be trying to help Henrietta feel better about the situation.

       “Peter was battling Stewie and Lois and Megan were yelling about Quahog being on fire…hehehe, it was funny.”

       Henrietta didn’t respond.

       Ryan touched down. “Brent, talking about Family Guy won’t help.”

       “Why not guy?”

       “Just get in.” Ryan set the hand brake and got out. With a measuring tape, he took a quick look over the ruined device’s dimensions prior to movement. With all the measurements quickly calculated, he was ready to input the numbers into the machine when he noted that his friend still hadn’t moved or perked up from the curb.

       Mentally repeating the numbers in his mind, he walked over and sat down next to her.

       “Are you okay?”

       She looked at the ground. Ryan smiled to himself. Where was Doug Elliot when you needed him?

       “Henrietta, look, didn’t I tell you to park here? In the future?”

       “I don’t remember.”

       “Of course you can. You have great memory.”

       “I think I proved today that I don’t.” She picked up the missing dog flyer. “These posters are so humiliating.”

       Ryan shook his head at the paper. He gently took it from her and crumpled it up. “You know today is in your past, right? I think you were a very convincing dog. Past you, anyway…hey, if you can do all the maths in that bio…chem or med or whatever it was, I can’t remember, then you must be great with logic.”

       “What does that have to do with this?”

       “Well, logically, would you have decided where to park, or would I? You were on perfect time today.”

       Henrietta finally brightened. “You always notice details like that. Okay, I was on time because you calculated exactly how long I would take to get to the house at a brisk pace. You even had me walk ten feet with a timer to make it precise.”

       “Exactly! I would have done that, wouldn’t I? That must mean I decided you had to park in this spot.”

       She perked up. “It was right to the centimetre. That’s right. All I actually did was hit the big red button on the gear stick and initiate all the…everything. You set it up.”

       “Which means I’ve got to be to blame. And Kevin for that matter. Kevin’s probably 98.973% to blame. I don’t have the desk’s calculator with me to help make it precise.”

       From inside the device came Brent’s voice. “Guy! Why’s this door locked? I can’t get in to this room!”

       “Which room is it?” Ryan called back.

       “I don’t know, it has a weird symbol on it, like a crooked ampersand.”

       Ryan tensed up. “Shit. I still have the present version of you in there.”

       Henrietta looked downcast. “Is that going to be okay? I really don’t remember anything from today.”

       “I think it will. Nothing has happened yet.” He got up. “Brent, stay away from that door.”


       “Because I said so! Come on,” he said to Henrietta. Holding out a hand, he helped her up.

       “Don’t beat yourself up,” Ryan said. “Let me give you a hug.” She grinned, and as they moved closer, they were almost knocked apart thanks to Nelson spontaneously appearing in between them. Henrietta and Nelson both cried out.

       “Damn it!” Ryan exclaimed. But Nelson was already gone. It would have been a nice, reassuring moment.

       With the crooked ampersand in mind, Ryan directed Brent to the room with the pound on the door, and Henrietta the room with the upside-down H. Both asked him why such symbols demarcated the doors, and Ryan shrugged. Why not? Numbers could be so boring.

       “And that H is also mirrored,” Ryan added, to what looked like a severely confused expression on Henrietta’s face. “My room is the one with the Nazi symbol.”
       “Really?” Henrietta asked.

       “Nah, just kidding. It’s the room with the flat sign.” They walked towards another door. “That room is the diving pool that’s currently on. I think Jamie’s still in there.” An audible splash could be heard, along with Jamie screaming that he felt like $1538. Ryan’s eyebrows rose. “Wow, he’s still going slow, he’s usually up to the hundred thousands by now.”

       The desk suddenly rocked a little. A car had just driven past outside, a little closely, on the street. With that in mind, Ryan put the numbers he’d memorized into a calculator, enacted the hydraulic movement apparatus, and had the ruined future-version of his desk carefully and quickly loaded into the desk’s trunk. It was big and bulky, but it fit thanks to the fact it had been made smaller thanks to Kevin. With all the glass shards and bits of twisted metal vacuumed up into the device off the street, Ryan could now focus on more urgent matters.

       “I need to go look at the licence plate on the future machine to verify the ticket,” he mused.

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