The gathering storm clouds stared down angrily at the best friends, who simply ignored them and settled in on their favorite bench overlooking the river. It was Sunday, and the threat of rain wasn’t going to keep them from weekly get together.
“Aren’t you going to gloat?” Holly asked the moment they were seated.
“About what?” Aaron replied innocently as he subtly adjusted his Yankees cap and then took a long sip of his Snapple.
Holly rolled her eyes. “Don’t insult my intelligence.”
“Then don’t insult mine by expecting me to engage in such Neanderthal behavior,” he countered with a smug smile.
She wanted to hurl her coffee at him, but then realized she’d be tortured by the smell of coffee on him as she agonized over not having any to drink. So she took a deep breath and sipped her beverage instead.
“I thought the whole fun of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry was holding it over your friend’s head when your team won,” she challenged.
“Perhaps that’s how Red Sox fans think and behave, but please don’t drag Yankees fans down to that level,” he insisted as he flashed a mischievous grin.
Holly growled. She rarely allowed Aaron to get under her skin. In fact, she took great pride in the fact that she was the one person on the entire plant who could put up with virtually any of the nonsense that constantly flowed out of his mouth.
However, it got to her whenever he was able to claim the moral high ground in an argument.
“You act like you’re all high and mighty, but we both know this is really just about superstition,” Holly pointed out.
Aaron allowed the comment to hang there in the air between them. Instead of replying, he took another sip of his Snapple and stared out at the river. All the while, watching her slowly simmer in his peripheral vision.
When he wouldn’t take the bait, an agitated Holly continued. “You think you’d be messing with karma and tempting the fates if you rub it in. So this isn’t about being classy or whatnot, it’s just about not wanting to jinx your beloved Yankees.”
“You know me so well,” he agreed. “I never said this was about my being better than you, or even about Yankees fans being superior to those of the Red Sox. I just don’t want to gloat.”
“You really suck sometimes,” she said accusingly. “Now I’m going to feel like an ass if I gloat when the Rex Sox beat the Yankees.”
Aaron shrugged. “I can’t make you feel any particular way. You are my best friend, though, and I care about you more than anyone else in the whole world. Am I sad that you root for the Red Sox? Of course I am, but I never hold that against you. No one is perfect, Holly.”
Holly’s beautiful face turned a shade of red similar to that of her favorite team’s uniform socks.
He just stared at her with a sly smile on his face, which only made her more aware of her blushing, thereby turning her face an even deeper shade of red.
“Only you could creatively insult someone in the same breath that you tell her you care about her more than anyone else in the whole world,” she remarked as her skin tone slowly returned to normal.
“That’s why you love me,” he reminded her with a wink.
She let out a low grunt and took a sip of her coffee.
“Still coming over for the game tonight?” Aaron asked. “Remember it starts at seven.”
“Are you still making chicken parm?” Holly asked as a slight smile formed on her lips.
“Of course I’m making your favorite,” he replied as if offended by the question. “The night doesn’t have to be a total loss for you…”
Her eyes widened at the comment, and they both broke out in laughter.
“That counts as gloating!” she declared.
“Not at all,” he disagreed.
They continued to debate the point, but their words were drowned out by the laughter.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Does someone you love or care about deeply root for the Red Sox? Don’t despair. There’s always a chance they will eventually come to their senses…