Sometime later on planet Oberon…
“What do you mean, you can’t find Monica?” Glacier asked. “I thought Monica’s space-time-dimension ship has a tracker on it.”
“It did,” Clarence said. “But it’s not working.”
“We’ll have to go to plan B then. We’ll send our army to Earth to look for the reality engine.”
“But that could take years to do.”
“It will be worth the wait. If we capture Monica in the process, then that would be frosting on the cake.”
“I wonder where Monica is now.”
Since Monica had a ship to travel through time and space, she no longer wanted to seek revenge on Martha. Instead, she used her ship to travel through time and space. Martha continued to use the reality engine to spy on her kids. As for Glacier goes, she sent her army to Earth, in search of the reality engine, even though it would take them five years to arrive.
One day, while Steve was at work, his manager, Richard Big decided to humiliate Steve during a staff meeting.
“Steve, I know this store is always busy, we have one person bringing in the carts at a time, and you’re only allowed to bring in five carts at a time,” Richard said in front of the staff members. “But I still need you to keep the lobby filled with carts. Otherwise, you won’t be here much longer. That’s all I wanted to say. Back to work.”
Steve went back to work as if nothing happened. However, at lunch time, Steve was visibly furious. He even slammed his lunch on the table. As Steve sat down, Shelly sat next to him.
“You’re still pretty pissed about Dick humiliating you, aren’t you?” Shelly asked.
“Yup,” Steve said. “I’m getting a sense of déjà vu here.”
“What time are you off?”
“I’m off at 5.”
“Oh. I’m not off until 6. Anyway, my break is over. I’ll see you on Monday.”
That Monday, Steve ate lunch in the cafeteria by himself. That is until Shelly joined him.
“Having lunch by yourself?” Shelly asked.
“Yup,” Steve said.
“Can I join you?”
Steve and Shelly talked throughout the lunch period, and it was obvious that they enjoy each other’s company. Unfortunately, though, lunch period ended an hour later.
“Well, see yeah tomorrow,” Shelly said.
“Shelly,” Steve said. “Do you want to hang out the weekend?”
“Sure. Give me your phone, I’ll put my number in your contact list.”
Later that night, Steve and Shelly texted each other.
Steve was surprised that Shelly actually sent him a text message. In fact, he was surprised any girl would be interested in him. Steve wasn’t fat, but he was chubby. He was also only about 5’6.
Shelly: “Whattya at?”
Steve: “This is it.”
Shelly: “Same. Wanna go to Bowring Park, Saturday?”
Steve: “Rly?” Translation: “Really?”
Steve: “Okay, what time?”
Steve: “Okay. That works for me.”
Things were looking up for Steve. However, one of Steve and Shelly’s classmates was going through a very difficult time.
Melody lived next door to Michael and Shelly all of their lives.
That night, Melody heard somebody knocking on the door. When Melody answered, she saw Sarah standing there, crying.
“Sarah!” Melody bellowed. “Come in.”
Melody sat Sarah down on the couch.
“What’s wrong?” Melody asked.
“My parents kicked me out because they found out that I’m gay,” Sarah said.
“How did they find out?”
“Why didn’t you change your privacy settings?”
“I don’t know. Why do people post every aspect of their personal lives on Facebook. ‘I’m gone out for the day.’ That’s great. Now I can rob you.”
Melody’s mother, Brenda came home, and she saw Sarah crying on the couch.
“What’s going on?” Brenda asked.
“Sarah’s parents kicked her out because they found out she’s gay,” Melody said.
“How did they find out?”
“Why didn’t you change your privacy settings?”
“Mom, this is not the time.”
“Sorry. Listen, Sarah. If you have nowhere to go, you can stay here for as long as you need.”
“Thank you,” Sarah said.
Sarah was relieved that she had a place to live. In fact, she managed to stop crying for a few seconds.
“I don’t understand why my parents can’t accept me for who I am,” Sarah said.
“Most people of my generation were raised to believe that being gay is unnatural and immoral,” Brenda said. “Most people of my generation are stuck in their ways.”
“You’re pretty opened-minded.”
“I have to be.”
Sarah noticed Melody smiling.
“Melody, are you?” Sarah asked.
“Yup,” Melody said. “I’m as queer as a three-dollar bill.”
“Well, it’s true. Besides, I’m gay. I can make jokes like that.”
“Next time, come up with a better joke.”
The next day, Melody made plans to eat lunch with Steve, Shelly, and Sarah.
“I’ve been best friends with Michael and Shelly since we were kids,” Melody said. “They won’t care that you’re gay. They know I am.”
“What about that guy, Steve?” Sarah asked.
“I know Steve. He won’t care.”
Michael, Steve, Shelly, Melody, and Sarah sat together in the cafeteria. Melody introduced Sarah to her friends and vice versa.
“What are your plans for the weekend?” Melody asked Shelly.
“Steve and I are going to Bowring Park,” Shelly said. “What about you?”
“Nothing yet. Are you and Steve dating?”
“Saturday will be our first date.”
“Awesome. You know, I have studying to do this weekend. Sarah, can you help me with Math?”
“Sure,” Sarah said. “I’m pretty good at that.”
That Saturday, Steve and Shelly headed to the park.
Usually in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, it’s rather cold in March. Sometimes, the province would get snow up until mid-April. However, on that day, it felt like summer.
“Do you want to text each other?” Shelly asked.
“Even though I’m sitting next to you?” Steve asked. “What’s the point in that?”
“I want to see how old people would react.”
Even though Steve and Shelly were sitting next to each other, they were sending each other text messages. Nobody noticed, except for one old man.
“I don’t believe it,” the old man said.
“Hi, Grandpa,” Steve said.
“Look at you two! You’re sitting next to each other and you’re texting each other. That is some ignorant.”
“Actually, I’m texting Mom,” Steve said.
“And I’m texting my non-confirmative non-binary significant other,” Shelly said.
“I don’t even know what that means,” Frank said. “Kids today, you’re always making up words.”
As Steve’s grandfather stormed off, Steve and Shelly’s jaws dropped to the ground and they laughed.
“That’s my grandfather for you,” Steve said.
That evening, Steve and Shelly waited for the bus. As they waited, it started to rain.
“Shelly,” Steve said. “I’m about to do something that’s extremely cliché.”
“What’s that?” Shelly asked.
Steve gave Shelly a slow and passionate kiss.
“Yup, that’s definitely cliché. But cliché is good, very good.”
Steve and Shelly got on the bus and they headed to Shelly’s house. Shelly’s mother was working, and her father was deployed. However, Michael was home. When Steve and Shelly arrived at the house, they went to Shelly’s room. They made out on Shelly’s bed for a few minutes. However, the sound of Michael playing video games distracted Shelly.
“Well, this is distracting,” Shelly said.
“Not to me, it isn’t,” Steve said.
“Well it is to me. Michael has done nothing but play video games ever since he and Nikki broke up.”
“So, that’s what you’ve though about while we were making out?”
Steve and Shelly made their way downstairs and into the living room.
“Michael, we need to talk,” Shelly said. “Ever since you and Nikki broke up, you’ve done nothing but play video games. Can’t you go for a walk, or take a shower?”
“I found a dating app,” Steve said. “It’s called Timber. It’s like Tinder, but for teenagers.”
Wait, did Tinder exist back in 2013? Who cares?
“If I give this app a try, will you two get off my back?” Michael asked.
“Yes,” Shelly said.