c-h-a-p-t-e-r: 1

Fifty Dollars and a Packer's Game



"Way to go Packers!"


I laughed and began to cheer with the rest of the guys, each of us giving the other a hug and jumping up and down. The Green Bay Packers were playing Tennessee. It was the game that would decide it all. It determined which team would go on and which one would go home. Obviously, my friends and I were cheering for the Packers. This is the hometown team afterall.

I drowned back another shot before heading back into the kitchen for another slice of pizza.

"Hey AJ, bring over another case will ya?" Tom would have to be one of my closest friends. I helped him with his girl problems and he helped me pass English at the local university. He was the more levelheaded one out of the group.

Taking another bite of my pizza, I took out another case from the fridge and placed it on my hip before kicking the fridge door closed. "You are such a lazy dick, Tom!" I yelled.

Tom met me half way into the living room. "Well it would've been a waste of energy since you were already up."

"I'm not your goddamn maid!"

"I'm sure that could be arranged." He kissed me on the forehead and took the case from me.

Stubbornly, I flipped my ball cap backwards before slumping back on the couch between the twins, Lenny and Chris. They were the craziest of all of us. I remember back in high school at our graduation when we were being presented with our diplomas, Lenny and Chris were called up right after the other and promptly after being handed the diploma, they stripped of their robes and ran around the gym screaming. But that's how it always was with them; they hadn't a care in the world.

There was a knock at the door and nobody moved. Sighing, I pulled myself off the couch and went to see whom it was. Couldn't anyone see that the football game was on?

Swinging the door open I stared at the pretty blonde girl standing in front of me. She gave me the once over and I could feel the anger boiling up inside me. Nobody ever got away from sizing me up like that. "Can I help you?" I said as sweetly as I could muster.

"I'm here to see my boyfriend." She flipped her hair behind her shoulders and tapped her foot impatiently.

This girl should really learn some matters. "You have a boyfriend?" I snickered.

"She waved a perfectly manicured hand at me, "Tom?"

I laughed before muttering to myself. 'Flavor of the week.' "Hey Tom! Some girl's here to see ya!"

"Tell her to hang on a sec!" he yelled.

"You'll have to-" I couldn't finish my sentence before the girl brushed by me and headed in the direction of the living room. I shrugged my shoulders as I shut the door. Some girls just don't know any respect. She didn't even bother to take off her shoes. I suddenly heard yelling coming from the living room, well, more like shrieking.

"You're an hour late for our date!" the girl yelled.

I headed towards the living room.

"I thought we were going to spend some quality time together before I have to move back into my parents house."

I looked at Tom expectantly. He seemed a little distracted.

"I'm sorry I'll make it up to you tonight."

Uh-oh, wrong answer.

"Thomas Randall Peterson!" Everyone turned to look at her, even Tom. "We made these plans a week ago! You even took the time off of work, made reservations, and bought tickets to the show! I went shopping, I bought the dress I would be wearing, I bought the shoes, I bought the lingerie, and I even bought the perfume. I mean, don't you care?"

I had to keep myself from laughing. Who wouldn't? I mimicked the girl behind her back, pouting, crossing my arms over my chest and sticking out my bottom lip. Tom frowned at me before crossing the living room towards the girl. He tried consoling her as she literally started to cry.

"I'm sorry baby. I just got so caught up in everything else that I forgot. Listen, give me a few hours and I'll be right over with a bottle of champagne, roses, and even those little chocolate candies you love."

The girl slowly wiped away her tears. "Really?"

Gagging silently to myself I brushed by them. "Excuse me, but some of us are trying to watch the game."

Tom glared at me and turned back to the girl.

I drowned the rest of Tom's drink and plopped down beside Gary, another one of my friends. He was the coolest. With dark brown hair and big green eyes, he was definitely the best good-looking one of the guys. He was best friends with my older brother, Jason. Him and Jay did everything together until Jay moved across town for school and Gary started hanging around with my crew and I. It was pretty cool since I also got to meet some of the guys that he rolls with.

Gary turned to me and smiled, handing me a joint.

Smiling back, I took it. I'm not a big smoker, but it became tradition to take a hit during a football game. I placed my head on the armrest and kicked my legs over top of Gary's lap, bringing the joint up to my lips. I could feel it burn my lungs, but I resisted and held onto it a little longer, feeling the buzz rush to my head. Blowing it out slowly, I handed it back to Gary who passed it across to Lenny and Chris.

Suddenly, the game caught my attention and I found myself jumping up. Tennessee fumbled and Packers picked up the ball. They were now running the ball towards their goal in an attempt for a touchdown. They ran along the out-of-bounds white line. Hoping to out-run Tennessee. The receiver stumbled slightly when nicked by a Tennessee offense man, but continued running. He had run a total of 77 yards before being tackled. Cheering, I started jumping on the couch. Green Bay now had control of the ball and was only shy a few yards for a touchdown. The game was finally in Packer's favor. I couldn't be any more excited.

"What'd I miss?" Tom asked, running back into the living room. The girl now long gone. "What happened?"

"Packers have a chance." Gary replied, lighting a cigarette.

Tom ushered me to stop jumping and squeezed in between Gary and I.

I would've protested if it weren't for the game that had my mind distracted. It was now Packer's final down and they had six yards to go. I was at the edge of my seat chewing on my fingernails when the quarterback made the pass. I followed the ball as it sailed through the air, over Tennessee's heads and towards a receiver running in the direction of the end zone. This pass would make all the difference. This pass determined Packer's fate. If the receiver fumbled, they would go home. That would be it. Tennessee would win with a three point's difference.


I downed the last of my drink as I felt a set of arms wrap themselves around me.

"Aw, come on AJ. It's not that bad. They'll have a chance next year."

I turned around and glared at Lenny. Didn't he know that next year they would be losing their all-time quarterback? The best player in the NFL? This year was their last chance. "That ref needs glasses. All the refs need glasses. Packers should've had that touchdown. He was nowhere near that white line. No body part had even touched it."

Chris appeared at Lenny's side and grinned. "We should hunt down all those refs and stick their heads in toilet seats. That'll teach 'em."

Lenny slapped Chris across the head. "No stupid. We should cut off their fingers and feed them to the goldfish."

Chris hit Lenny back in the shoulder. "Goldfish don't eat fingers."

"How would you know?"

"They just don't."

"They eat chicken fingers so why wouldn't they eat human fingers?"

"Goldfish don't eat chicken fingers."

"Wanna bet?"




I sighed. These guys could go on all night. I asked the bartender for another drink. After we watched solemnly as the Packers lost, we found our way to the bar. It was still quite early and I knew that it was still a bit too early to get hammered, but a few drinks shouldn't matter, right? Agreeing with myself, I took a big swig of the beer that was placed before me. It's contents harshly making its way down my throat. I didn't care; I needed to drown my sorrows.

I felt a presence next to me and I turned to face a pair of brown eyes watching me with amusement. Not interested, I turned back to my drink.

"Easy there girl."

I smirked at the male before I felt a hand fall on my shoulder on the other side of me.

"Watch it, she can drink with the best of 'em." Gary said proudly.

The male laughed. "Oh really?" he lifted an eyebrow at me. "Then it's on me."

I watched with interest as he swiftly pulled out a twenty from his wallet and placed it on the counter. Looking at him, I realized he wasn't that bad looking. His bangs only slightly covered his eyes, something that was quite new to me since most of the guys I hung out with had long hair, he also had a wide set of shoulders, and somewhat of a soft-chiseled face if there was such a thing.

He smirked as he caught me staring at him.

Setting my jaw, I continued to stare at him. I wasn't about to let him get away with assuming I was interested.

Fascinated? Yes.

Curious? Yes.

Interested? No. Definitely no.

"Thanks, but I think I'll pass." I drowned the rest of my drink and turned to Gary, who surprisingly still stood beside me. He was watching me expectantly. "Ready to go?"

"Yeah. Lenny and Chris are gonna stick around for a bit."

I nodded and turned to the male still sitting at the counter. "There's a few easy ones on the other side of the bar that you could use your money for." I threw him the bottle cap of my drink and smiled at him. "But I think that's all you're getting from me." Gary followed me out of the bar and we headed over to his car.


Gary pulled into my apartment building's parking lot and walked with me up to my apartment. It wasn't anything special, just a two bedroom flat with a decent sized kitchen, bathroom, and a living room. There wasn't much furniture either considering I had just moved in last month. I'm also a procrastinator.

Reaching my floor, we met up with Tom, who was sitting outside my door. He stood up when he noticed us coming towards him and greeted us with a nod. I led them into my apartment and kicked off my shoes. "Want a drink?"

Both of them nodded and jumped on the couch, turning on the television.

I grabbed three drinks from the fridge and joined them on the couch. They had turned on a wrestling match.

Flipping off the cap, Tom spoke up. "Anything happen at Ridge's?"

Gary lit a cigarette. "Nah, boring as hell. There was this guy though that tried buying AJ here a drink."

Tom laughed, "And did li'l AJ pound his head in like she does with every other guy?"

I groaned. "I am sitting right here if you hadn't noticed."

Tom and Gary laughed.

I took a drink and sighed as I felt the cool liquid run down my throat. Putting it down on the coffee table in front of us, I turned to Tom. "So, what happened with what's-her-name?"

"Lindsay, and we're not together anymore."

I laughed, "Couldn't get any?"

"Nah, she got nervous."

"What a pity." I took another drink. Tom never liked to stay with a girl too long anyways. He'd come up with a reason to break up with them if he began to feel like it was getting a bit too serious. That was Tom for you. His motto, 'Life's too short to stick around for long.' Though, I couldn't blame him. Especially with the girls he finds. Who would want to stick around with them?

"Hey, at least I can get a date."

Gary chocked on his cigarette before laughing.

I hit him in the gut. "I can so get a date."

"Not with that face." Gary said, a-matter-of-factly.

"Exactly." Tom agreed.

I hit them both across the head. How could I not get a date? I am a girl afterall, even if they don't notice it. Sure, I don't dress like it. I mean I haven't worn a dress since first grade when my mom threatened me to put it on, but that doesn't mean I'm not feminine. I may also act like one of the guys, but that stuck-up, puppy-dog, girly face doesn't suit me. So, I don't see why I can't find a date.

I am pretty decent looking with long straight black hair (that's forever in a messy ponytail and hidden under a ball cap), and pretty big brown eyes. I may be pretty short, but my body's does have soft curves. It's not like I don't take care of myself.

An idea popped into my head. "A bet."

Gary and Tom both turned to look at me. "What?"

"A bet." I shifted in my seat to make my point. "I bet both of you I can find a date by the end of the week."

Tom looked a little uncertain. "Tomorrow's Thursday."

Gary piped in. "Which means that you would only have four days to pull this off."

"What, you don't have faith in li'l ol' me?"

"I don't know. I mean, even Gary has a problem finding a date in just four days."

I bashed my eyelashes at Tom. "Afraid you're going to lose, Thomas Randall Peterson?"

Tom winced at his name.

Gary exhaled before putting out his cigarette. "Fifty dollars."

I smiled.

Tom's eyes widened. "What? You're going along with this?"

"Yeah man, think about it. She hasn't had a date since junior high."

"Hey! I resent that!"

They continued to speak around me.

"Fine, fifty dollars." Tom agreed, and then smiled. "I want it in cash."

"We'll just see about that Randall."

Tom elbowed me. "And quit with that name. I hate it."

"What's wrong with it, Randall?" Gary joined in.

We laughed as Tom took a swig of his drink.