88: “One smile and everybody’s naked

Chris had quite a bit of spare time now that he and Savannah had broken up for good. With that bounty of free time, he had made what he considered an amazing discovery in the wonderful world of online shopping, a discovery he shared immediately with Suze, his new best friend. He showed up at her apartment on a Wednesday, early in the evening, more excited than he had been in a very long time. He couldn’t actually remember when he’d last been so excited. Suze was startled to see him, either because she hadn’t been expecting him or because he was grinning, though most likely the latter.

“What’s wrong with you?” She asked, looking up at him as he barged into her apartment and came to stand directly in front of where she was sitting on the couch. He was blocking her view of the television. She wouldn’t like that very much. She had Degrassi on.

“Did you know that you can get pillow cases that have Harry’s face on them?” He asked instead of answering, continuing before she could even respond. “Did you know that you can get life-sized wall decals of his entire body? Did you know that you can get adult-sized, men’s pyjama onesies that have his face all over them?”

Suze stared at him in stunned silence. He continued.

“I’ve bought all of it,” he announced. “I’m currently wearing the onesie underneath my regular clothes right now like some sort of demented fangirl superhero.”

Suze stared at him some more.

“Would you like to see?” Chris asked and, without waiting for her answer, pulled off his sweater to reveal the top of his Harry Everett adult pyjama onesie.

“What exactly is your superpower in this scenario?” Suze asked as he was unbuckling his pants.

“The seductive prowess of Harry Everett,” Chris answered, as though it was obvious, continuing to take off his pants. “He’s a very charming lad. One smile and everybody’s naked.”

“That’s not a very good superpower,” Suze pointed out.

“I beg to differ,” Chris returned, stepping out of his pants. He held his arms out so that she could get the full effect. She continued to stare at him like he’d taken a big step off into the deep end. It was probable that he had.

“There’s also Harry soap and Harry slippers and Harry underwear, none of which I bought because I felt like it was maybe crossing a line,” Chris continued.

“Maybe not with the slippers, but definitely with the soap,” Suze nodded. She stood up from the couch and took the couple steps it took to get over to him. She pinched the extra fabric on one of his onesie sleeves and tugged it away from his arm.

“This is quite roomy,” she observed.

“Uh huh,” Chris smiled and nodded. Suze assessed it a moment longer.

“I bet you could fit two people in there,” she said.

“Uh huh,” Chris smiled and nodded again.

Forty minutes later, which included Chris being openly stared at on the subway for a good twenty minutes, Chris and Suze stood in front of Harry’s condo door, shoved into the Harry pyjama onesie, waiting for Harry to answer his door. It was overly warm and Suze kept elbowing Chris in the ribs, supposedly by accident, but it was still quite spacious, despite the fact that it was being shared by two fully grown adults. When Harry finally opened his door, he yelped in shock.

“What the hell have you done?!” He demanded after taking a minute to compose himself, during which time Chris and Suze had ambled slowly into his rented condo. It was a little like participating in the most challenging three-legged race ever.

“Do you not like it?” Chris asked, gesturing to the onesie with his and Suze’s arm.

“It’s startling!” Harry retorted in stunned outrage. “Do you have any idea what it’s like to be startled by your own face?!”

“I bought it online!” Chris declared delightedly. “They were having a sale. I guess now that your band is slowly dissolving to shambles, pillow cases with your face on them are less of a hot commodity. I got fifty per cent off!”

He raised his arms in the air in celebration, taking Suze’s with him. Harry observed them for a long minute. Chris kept both his and Suze’s arms in the air.

“I honestly don’t know how I should feel about that,” Harry admitted. Chris dropped their arms and looked down at the chest of the onesie where Suze was standing.

“It’s a surprisingly good photo,” Chris commented. “The slippers weren’t nearly as flattering. You looked wall-eyed.”

“Great,” Harry replied flatly.

“I also bought a larger-than-life sized oil painting of your face,” Chris said.

“Are you okay, man?” Harry asked.

“I don’t know,” Chris answered, shrugging with incredible difficulty. “Probably not. You have cable, right? Let’s watch Degrassi.”

Chris and Suze began shuffling over to the living room where an immense television had been mounted to the wall in front an equally immense cream sectional. Chris had never understood the appeal of white furniture. It seemed like an unnecessary risk to take. He and Suze stood in front of the couch and tried to determine the best way to sit down. Harry watched them with one eyebrow raised.

“You could probably separate at this point,” he suggested. Chris waved his and Suze’s arm airily.

“No, no, it’s alright,” he replied. “We’ll work it out.”

Working it out ended up just being Chris flopping down into a haphazard sitting position, dragging Suze with him so that she was sitting half on his right leg, half on the cream sectional.

“I admire your dedication to this bit,” Harry said, sounding genuinely sincere, and sat down on the other end of the sectional. He reached for the remote and turned on the TV. He began flicking through the ridiculously long menu of channel options, presumably searching for Degrassi.

“What’s Degrassi?” He asked after a moment, the thought clearly just occurring to him.

“What’s Degrassi,” Chris repeated with a scoff, reaching over to pat Harry on the head with his and Suze’s hand. It was difficult, partially because he was also using someone else’s hand, but mostly because Harry was sitting so far away. Chris and Suze struggled to straighten back up and Harry watched them with one eyebrow raised.

“You’re in for a real treat,” Chris said. Harry didn’t look like he believed him. Chris presumed that his current clothing situation didn’t exactly lend itself to credibility. He let it go.


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