59: “You’d have an easier time being dumped by a Ouija board”

Bear and Sasha broke up just after Christmas. To be quite frank, Bear wasn’t that surprised. They’d been spending less and less time together and things had become somewhat strained ever since Erin and Oscar had broken up. Oscar was still pretty much considered the devil around their house. Bear didn’t totally blame them; Erin was heartbroken. At the same time, however, Oscar was one of his best friends. Besides, it wasn’t as if Oscar had completely treated her poorly. He’d been very confused about a lot of his feelings throughout the entirety of their relationship and that certainly wasn’t great, but he hadn’t been unkind to her. It had just been very poor timing. Of course, he kept all of that to himself.

In any case, after the break-up, Bear took to spending inordinate amounts of time wallowing around his apartment, watching Grease countless times. It was his go-to break-up movie. He used to watch it every time he stayed home sick from school and it always made him feel better. Oscar knew this because of the time Bear had been dumped by his girlfriend in third year. Her name was Lilith and she had made her own hand soap. She had broken up with Bear two days before Christmas so that they wouldn’t have to spend the solstice together. She had actually broken up with him so that she could date her soap-making partner, a goateed fellow with a cane named Zak. So when Oscar came over one Saturday morning two weeks after the break-up, he was not at all surprised to find Bear in the middle of Grease.

“How many times have you watched Grease so far?” He asked Bear, rolling his eyes.

“More times than I care to admit,” Bear replied. Oscar gave him a flat look.

“Remember when Katy broke up with me and you came over to make sure I hadn’t drowned in my Lucky Charms?” Oscar asked and Bear nodded. “I’m going to do the same thing for you. I’m going to help you get over this. We’re going out tonight. We’re going to get shit-faced and you’re going to feel terrible in the morning, but you’re not going to want to watch Grease.”

Bear wasn’t sure they were entirely the same situations, but he didn’t protest. Instead he offered up his home for a pre-drink and went out to buy snacks.

Around seven that night, Oscar returned with the people he could round up on short notice. That amounted to Ramsay, Robin, and Joey. Bear was a little surprised to see Robin, as he usually had plans, but Ramsay was almost always free, largely by design, and he assumed Joey was incapable of turning down a night out. The five of them gathered in the living, cracked a few beers as Joey once again remarked on the niceness of Bear’s apartment, and Bear set about explaining the end of his relationship.

“To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure what was happening for at least the first twenty minutes of the break-up,” he admitted. It had been incredibly convoluted. Sasha had started the conversation by talking about moon cycles and that really wasn’t that different from how she normally started conversations. It wasn’t until she began talking about their shared time together and lovely memories for her astrological diary that he realized what was happening.

“Yeah, that seems right,” Robin nodded. “Honestly, I’m surprised you even managed to figure it out at all. You’d have an easier time being dumped by a Ouija board.”

“She did say that she’d never forget me because no one had ever been sprayed by a skunk for her before,” Bear added pleasantly.

“You still haven’t been!” Ramsay protested angrily without any hesitation. Bear couldn’t really blame him. After all, he’d been the one to get sprayed by the skunk.

An hour and several beers later, Bear’s other friends arrived. Oscar knew some of them because he had met them over the years since university, but Ramsay, Robin, and even Joey all looked rather startled to find that Bear had other friends.

“You have other friends?” Robin asked, stunned by the arrival of several new people to the apartment.

“Of course he does,” Oscar returned, looking at Robin like he was deranged. “He’s the nicest person in the world.”

Bear didn’t know if that was true necessarily, but he was definitely the nicest of their friends. He had once overheard Robin refer to Miles as a turd-faced weasel, but only after Miles had called him an ungrateful cow.

“That question was so absurd, I don’t even think you need to be offended by it,” Bear’s friend Bill told him. Bill was his friend from work. They worked together in the same department with some middle-aged people who generally ignored them and their friend Ward. The rest of Bear’s close friends, Oscar and company aside, were from the rep baseball team that Bear had played on throughout his adolescence.

“This is my friend Bill from work,” Bear explained, gesturing to Bill. The rest of his friends had moved into the kitchen to put their drinks in the fridge and start eating the snacks Bear had put out. Ward was lingering nearby, taking his time undoing the buttons on his expensive-looking coat.

“Where do you work?” Ramsay asked bluntly. It seemed like something he should’ve known, if Bear was being honest. 

“We work in the accounting department of a investment company,” Bill answered, frowning slightly as if he too thought it was something Bear’s close friends should’ve known.

“You’re an accountant?” Robin asked Bear, startled. “How did I not know that? Do you do taxes for CSIS or something? Why was that a secret?”

“I don’t think it was a secret,” Bear answered.

“I thought you hated math?” Robin continued.

“I do,” Bear said simply.

“Then becoming an accountant was probably a poor decision,” Ramsay snorted.

“Buddy, you’re a juice salesman,” Robin pointed out and it was a very good point.

After all the introductions had been made, Oscar looked over both Bill and Ward appraisingly. A few slightly uncomfortable minutes later, he addressed what conclusion he had appeared to have come to.

“Tell me, does your department moonlight as a basketball team?” He asked the three of them. “Why are all of you so goddamn tall? ‘Abnormally tall accountant’ seems like an oddly specific filter to apply to recruitment. Although, you can take pride in the fact that you’re the most socially normal accountants I’ve ever met. Honestly, the accounting department at our company is comprised of the biggest lunch-stealing, khaki-wearing weirdos I’ve ever met. Every single one of them owns the exact same white running shoes, regardless of age or fitness. Kevin Reitgers weighs roughly the same as a pregnant polar bear. Hasn’t run a day in his life. Wouldn’t even run if his own calculator burst into flames. Same pair of white running shoes every single day.”

“Thank you?” Bill returned uncertainly, clearly not quite sure how to take Oscar.

“You’re super welcome,” Oscar told him, complete with finger guns.

Bear ended up having a lovely evening, despite the fact that some of his friends clearly didn’t know very much about him at all. He only thought of Sasha once and he ended up convincing everybody to stay in and watch Grease with him. For someone so opposed to the movie, Oscar knew a shockingly high number of the words to “Beauty School Drop-out”.

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