," I said into the phone, like nothin' was wrong. "Yeah, he's
still here. He's gonna go looking for a job, first thing in the morning."
Who the hell was I kidding. Everyone knew what Jerry was about. He'd show up at your door, at twelve midnight, with that same "c'mon man, you gotta help me" look in his glowing lavender eyes, his facial tentacles drooping pitifully. After that, he'd hole up in your apartment, and he'd rummage about, digging through the fridge, eating all the frozen yogurt and being loud and not turning off the TV and you've got to get up for work in the morning for that interview with Mr. Allen but you don't wanna be an asshole and not help him so what are you gonna do, ya know?
Jerry had a hard life. His mom was messing around with some Beholders, and got involved with the spice trade near the Negative Energy Plane. (That's where all that crap comes from, and they hire these young illithids with no future, and they sell the shit cause they need the money.) His dad was a loser. He'd come home, usually with, what, one or two thralls. They weren't even human for chrissake. I don't wanna just slam the door in his face, but, like... yeah.
So anyways, it's been about, oh, a few weeks now, and Jerry is still sitting on the couch, eating Funyuns and drinking all my goddamned A&W. The kitchen's a mess. There's tentacle marks on the toilet seat. Mom is sounding pretty pissed on the phone.
"Anthony, you tell that deadbeat to get out of your place or I'LL call the COPS!" Mom's threats were always a little too credible for comfort, so I figure, "what the hell, this shouldn't be that hard. Jerry's an understanding guy. I'll break it to him at dinner."
I got some chinese from this place in town in a strip mall for us. Jerry loves chinese. I know we're probably eating pieces of goblin, and that there's more MSG than actual food, but it's a pretty good deal for this much food and I've got to pay my college tuition.
So, as Jerry is handling eight pairs of chopsticks with his feelers, ravaging the sesame chicken, I put down my fork and look him in the eye. His tentacles kinda relax.
"I need to talk to you about something, man."
"If it's about the job, don't worry, I got one working for this Lich king. He and my dad were friends in high school, and he can get me a job no problem, and I'll get, like, twenty bucks an hour for-"
Jerry, Jerry, Jerry. Always with the bullshit.
"No dude. That's not it." I say with a forlorn look on my face and a hint of dissappointment in my voice.
His tentacles drooped a little more.
"It's like this," I started, in between bites of this delicious crab rangoon. "I just started college, man. You know how hard it is to pay for that. And god knows I barely have enough money to support myself. I need to concentrate on school. My job. Taking care of myself. Then hopefully I can go out and get a job with an artificing firm or somethin'."
Jerry interrupted me. "Oh, I get it, I get it! Iiii gett iiitt. But don't worry, man! I can get that job and I'm gonna join a trade school and get a degree in blacksmithing. Then I'll have all the money I'll ever need-"
"No, Jerry, you don't get it."
The sword of reason pierced his octopus-shaped head. A moment of awkward silence followed.
"Oh, I get it. So I'm a burden, huh?"
"Jerry, I didn't say that-"
He flipped the card table we were eating off of into the air, and it slammed into the linoleum floor behind him, in the kitchen. His tendrils were flailing like that.
"You know what, fuck you, man! I don't need this shit! I don't fuckin' need you OR anyone else! I'll go and get a place and a job, you fuckin' wait and see!"
Before I could speak a word, he stormed out the dining area, and blew the front door off its hinges with a well-placed mind blast.
And so I'm sitting there, crab rangoon in hand, my sesame chicken in my lap, and a chill breeze coming from where my front door used to be.
Maybe I'll call him later.