"Hey man. How's it been?"
"It's been fine. Now, enough of this bullshit, just show me what I came for."
The two boys stood between some thick underbrush at the edge of the park, gazing left and right with a look of suspicion crowding their face.
"You don't need to get short with me, dude. You know I brought it, I bring it every time."
"Yea, well with the fucking cops acting like they have lately, you can't really blame me for being suspicious."
They exchanged nervous chuckles as the boy with the black beanie removed a small plastic bag from his back pocket.
"Don't tell me you've been sitting on that shit all day, Mark."
"Hey man, do you want to get on my case some more or just give me the money so we can both leave. People are starting to notice."
The boy placed a crinkled twenty dollar bill in the other's hand and took the bag in a practiced, fluid motion.
"Listen Cole, I don't think I can do this anymore."
"Can't do what? Are you fucking kidding me right now? You can't just bail on me after this long."
"Back the hell off, okay? I've been under a lot of pressure lately, what with classes---"
"Classes? You joking around, man? You and I both know that you aren't going to do shit after highschool, why are you even trying?"
The conversation got heated as the two boys argued, both voices growing louder with every sentence.
"Don't tell me how I'm going to live my life, okay? I don't need to get fucking input from a kid that just bought a dub off of me."
"You really think you can just stop? How do you think Jason is going to feel when he finds out one of his top distributors wants to 'finish highschool'?" He finished the remark with a heavy tone of patronization.
"You now what man? Fuck you. Fuck you, your drugs, and everything you have been telling me I should do for the past few years. I don't even think you realize---"
"Step out of the bushes, now! This is the police."
Before they even finished their commands, Cole shoved his ex-counterpart towards the police while sprinting in the other direction. At the sight of a 6'3" teen springing out of the bushes towards them, the officials instinctively utilized the tasers that were already drawn. With a quick buzz and a moan, Alex dropped to the ground, his body in an arc with over 30,000 volts of paralyzing electricity coarcing through his body.
"Are you sure he came after us, Tom?"
"With these bastards, I don't feel safe thinking twice."
As Mark laid still, sprawled out on the grass of the park, the cops frisked him for identification. As the standby officer pulled out the boys drivers license, he calmly walked back to the squad car to pull up Mark's info. Tom stood by the body of a 17 year old boy huddled on the grass. After taking his time checking his police scanner and telling passerby to move along, he finally knelt down and removed the barbs from Mark's back. He stood him up, handcuffed him, and started walking him to the patrol car, his hands firmly pushing on the boys back.
"What the hell you trying to say, boy."
"Can't go...nowhere to...mmmhhnnnn."
"Kid must be out of his mind right now." The cop chuckled.
After seating Mark in the cruiser, Officer Tom walked back to the bushes and found Mark's backpack.
"Must have over an ounce in here, this kid was no lightweight distributor." Tom shouted to his fellow police officer.
"Tom, this kid---"
"Oh man, his parents won't be happy, will they? Probably weren't happy with him in the first place, doubt he was exactly excelling in academics. Huh, Hank?" Tom laughed.
"Tom, shut the hell up." Hank's eyes were trodden with some sort of grief.
"What in the hell has gotten into you today? Nevermind. We gonna call this punk's parents and let them know, or what?"
"Tom, that 'punk' has no listed legal guardians. He's a ward of the state."
They both turned over to where Mark had previously been laying, and Hank noticed an un-opened, white business envelope. He walked over, picked it up, and slowly brought it back to Tom.
"Well, what do we have here?"
"Tom, you can't open that."
"Hank, just shut up for once and quit worrying, would you?"
Tom whipped out a pocket knive and started opening the letter. With the letter opened, he began to read:
"Dear Mark Klatsen, we are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Northern Arizona University."