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Never Trust a Duck

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Tessa looked up from her book when she heard the shriek. A boy in a band T-shirt and his boxers jerked away from a duck, who seemed to have stolen his pants. She blinked just to make sure she wasn’t just seeing things.

The boy cursed at the bird, only to tense and take a step back when the duck flapped its wings in annoyance.

Another boy, his friend by the looks of it, sat on the grass a little ways away from them. Tessa heard him bark out a laugh. 

She felt her lips pull upwards. She was the only other person around this area of the park. It made her feel like this moment was being shared with her. Tessa felt an indescribable pull to these two boys.

Still, they probably wouldn’t feel the same way she did if she made herself known to them. Tessa tried to force her attention back to her book.

“Jem!” the boy fighting with the duck yelped. “Jem, for God’s sake, please .”

Tessa bit her lip and turned the page of her book. She risked a glance back up to the boys.

The boy called Jem had come to stand beside his friend and was giving him an exasperated look. His friend crossed his arms and pouted. 

“I said please, ” the boy begged. It was clear that he was trying to make himself look as pitiful as possible. He tugged on his boxers as though to emphasize that he was currently without pants. 

Jem gave an exaggerated sigh. He said something Tessa couldn’t make out; it was too low and she didn’t even think it was in English. He brushed past his friend. The duck flapped its wings and quacked, but as Jem drew closer, the bird backed away. Jem reached past the duck and grabbed the jeans. As easy as breathing. He turned to his friend and waved them in the air.

"Well you don't have to rub it in," said his friend. He didn’t come any closer to Jem and the duck. He seemed to be waiting for Jem to walk back to him.

"Of course I do," Jem replied, flinging the jeans at his friend's face. "Now put them on before you get arrested for public indecency."

Tessa smirked and quietly packed up her things to leave the park. She was too shy to go up to these two boys, too nice to intrude on their moment with her own teasing. It probably wouldn’t be too well-received. After all, she didn’t know these boys, and they didn’t know her. It would probably embarrass them more than anything. 

She thought about them her entire way home.

The next time Tessa went to her favorite park bench, a flyer was taped onto it.

Missed Connection

You were the girl sitting on the park bench, I was the guy fighting a duck for his pants and losing. My friend was the guy who stole the pants back.

It stated the boy's number underneath, along with a PS: We should all hang out!

Tessa smiled and saved the number under ‘Duck Boy.’