Holly laughed so hard that she had to fight to keep coffee from shooting out her nose.
Instead, she placed her coffee cup next to her on the bench where it could not cause any trouble, and laughed at her best friend, who was across the path on his own bench.
“I take it you’re not a fan of college basketball?”
“Why would I be?” he snapped in reply. “This tournament is on every channel. I don’t have anyone to root for since my alma mater is Division III, so I have no reason to care.”
“My college isn’t in the tourney, either, but I still enjoy watching it,” she countered.
“The only was the Maine Black Bears will ever be in the March Madness tournament is if they change the sport from basketball to hockey.”
Holly shrugged, took a sip of her coffee, and then returned her mask to the ready position. There was no sense in arguing with Aaron on that one because he was absolutely correct. The University of Maine’s Men’s Basketball Team had never made the big dance, and probably never would.
Aaron visibly cringed on his side of the path.
“That’s a bit of a low blow, don’t you think?” he asked through clenched teeth. “It’s not like you even care about UMaine Basketball.”
Then he took a long sip of his Snapple to wash the bad taste of his best friend’s comment from his mouth. Before replacing his mask, he stuck out his tongue at her to both show his disdain, and to remind her of his maturity level on this sunny Sunday morning.
“I couldn’t exactly pick on the NYU Violets!” Holly countered. “Only a horrible person trash talks a flower. Then again, what kind of school chooses a plant as a mascot?”
“Hey, this was supposed to be a rant about my hatred of college basketball, not a defense of those things I hold dear,” Aaron complained.
“I’m sorry,” she replied sincerely. “I don’t know why I get so defensive when you pick on my college. I guess I’m jealous I didn’t get to go someplace cool like NYU.”
Aaron nodded like he understood. “That makes sense. You are forgiven.”
They both chuckled and enjoyed the silence for a moment.
“I still hate March Madness,” he finally broke the silence. “I mean, these kids are supposed to be in college, right? So how do they have all this time to travel around the country to play in these games? Are they doing their homework? Are they taking tests? Something tells me they are not doing their required reading!”
“Only you wold think of such thing!” she accused.
“I will take that as the compliment I’m sure it was intended to be,” he shot back. “There’s a pandemic going on. Think of all the college students who aren’t allowed to attend classes in person, but these guys get to hang out and shoot hoops like life is normal.”
Holly rolled her eyes. “You never cry pandemic when you’re watching your beloved Yankees.”
“That’s right,” he agreed. “Because they Yankees are professional athletes, not college students. They’re out there making a living, and spreading a little joy to those of us who have been housebound because of the killer virus.”
“Not in my house!” Aaron declare angrily. “All it brings is dismay and boredom.
“You really can rant and rave about anything,” Holly acknowledged with a hint of jealousy in her voice.
“I know,” he answered without a trace of humility. “It’s a talent I’ve honed over the years after I realized I much prefer the sound of my own voice to that of others. If I don’t shut up about something, it makes it impossible for anyone else to annoy me with their opinions.”
“I’ve never noticed,” she said without bothering to wipe away any of the sarcasm that was dripping from her words.
But she wasn’t really complaining. Why else would she spend every Sunday with the guy if she didn’t enjoy listening to him ramble?
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