Here lies the third chapter in my gum-related twin story. For the first two chapters, click here for the first one and here for the second. They’re basically the equivalent of reading three to four pages of a book, so if you hate the first few chapters, it’s not like you’ve wasted a large section of your life.
In this chapter, Adrien has an encounters James, a crazy, violent gum-dealer who might end up being the main antagonist, depending on the polls. I’m so glad most of you didn’t pick the boring “Nothing happens in the bathroom” option. I’m not sure what I would have done then.
I was just finishing washing my hands when someone else walked in, who I’d never seen before in my life. “Hey, Wyatt,” he said, smiling. I was going to respond with the usual “Actually, it’s Adrien,” but I stopped at the first word when I noticed two things.
First, his eyes. Nothing was wrong with them, per se; they just didn’t match the rest of his face. His mouth was smiling but his eyes were completely humorless.
Secondly, he was locking the bathroom door. “What are you doing?” I asked, but he didn’t seem to hear.
First he looked behind me, towards the open window above the furnace (we were on the first floor) and then clicked a button on his expensive-looking watch, and started talking fast, “Okay, 10:25. We have five minutes so make this quick. What’s your counter-offer?” I didn’t know how to respond.
“What?” I studied him, trying to figure out who he was and what he wanted. He dressed in flannel and had taped together the rim of his glasses with scotch tape. Apart from his eyes, he had a mostly harmless appearance.
“I said,” the bottom half of his face smiling, the top half looking furiously demented, “What is the counter-offer?” He said it slowly, as if I would have trouble understanding.
When I responded with a very intelligent “What?” he began to explain, irritated, “I called you last night asking you to raise our commission to eighty percent, and you said to meet me here so we could properly discuss it. Well?”
“Look,” I explained, watching him like he was some sort of rabid animal, “I’m not Wyatt. I’m his identical twin brother.” Only after saying it did I realize how much of a lie that sounded like; this guy—whoever he was—must’ve thought the same thing.
In fact, he found it hysterical, and only stopped laughing once I tried to move past him towards the exit. He shoved me to the floor with an amount of force that didn’t seem possible for his stick-like body. “NO MORE JOKES!” he yelled, while I stumbled back to my feet.
“What the fuck, man?” I shouted at him. “That was not a joke!”
“Oh, so Wyatt just happens to have an identical twin brother he never mentioned before, who ends up in the bathroom at the the exact time I’m supposed to meet him? You expect me to believe that?”
He chuckled at this, although his eyes were still furious. I knew Wyatt was stupid, but I didn’t think he was dumb enough to be making business deals with Satan’s nephew. I needed to get out of there as fast as possible.
“I can prove it,” I said, pulling out my phone. “Call Wyatt’s number, and I guarantee this phone won’t ring.”
Looking at the time on the phone, he shrugged and said, “How about a counter-offer?” He snatched my phone and chucked it full force into one of the urinals. I stared at him for a few seconds in disbelief.
Then I punched him in the face.
The rest was all a blur. I remember the guy grinning at me, like he was glad I’d struck him, and then someone was knocking on the door—I heard Mr. Donahue talking—and as I was about to shout back for help, someone pulled a bag over my head. I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breathe. All I could do was blindly shield my body with my hands from the punches and kicks landing everywhere, all while suffocating to death.
The light-headedness started kicking in as the banging on the door grew louder. Eventually I blacked out.
I woke up in the back of a van with my mouth taped shut and my hands cuffed behind my back. I tried screaming, but of course it just came out muffled. Whoever was driving made a sudden sharp turn, causing my already bruised body to roll into the side of the van, face first.
I heard laughter in the front seats and grinded my teeth. Wyatt is probably behind all this, I thought. Wyatt was an idiot, but he wasn’t stupid enough to do business with this psychopath. For a second I thought this might just be some messed up, really late April Fools joke.
But this was way too far, even for him. And there’s no way he could have known I was going to go to the bathroom at that exact time.
I tried reaching into my pocket with my handcuffed hands, to call Wyatt, or Kathy, or the cops, and remembered it being thrown into a urinal. I wanted to kill this kid, but I was in no position to do that.
I lifted up my head and looked at the doors, every inch of my body working against me. The doors were probably locked, but I figured I could kick my way through them. Of course, if the escape plan failed, God knew what they would do to me.
Also, on the last poll, someone came up with the title “More Than I Can Chew,” which I think is extremely clever. So kudos to whoever came up it. And since I want it to have a fair chance, I created a new poll.
I realized I should also give credit to the people who came up with the titles in the last poll.
The Legendary Miko: Gum and War and The Chewing Tales.
The Mathmaster: The Doublement Twins
Unknown Clever Person: More Than I Can Chew