Chapter Two

Lucky Andy

I rolled my way out of bed Saturday morning, groggily reaching for my phone. It was dead—I’d forgotten to plug it in the night before. Again. I sighed, shuffling into the bathroom to shower.

Saturdays were my favourites; I never had work, and I always just spent the day decompressing and relaxing, recharging before I had to go back to work on Monday. Sundays weren’t as nice; they were always spent cleaning up after the messes I had created during the week. I loved my job, but it had a tendency to drain me, leaving me absent-minded and lazy when I got home. Sunday was my catch-up day, the day to restore my apartment—and my life—to working order, ready for another week.

I sometimes forgot that regular schedules aren’t common for waiters; Leslie believed they let us focus more on the work, and made life easier on everyone. I can’t say if it’s true for everyone, but it’s definitely true for me. My schedule gave me order and structure; it’s how I managed to focus on work during the week without completely burning out.

I finished in the shower, brushed my teeth, and slipped on some PJ bottoms, a t-shirt, and a light hoodie. It was my relaxation day uniform: stay at home, in something comfortable, doing nothing that requires focus. In bare feet, I padded out to my living room, and flopped down on the couch. It was a large, comfy thing, the kind you sink into and need help standing up from. I had lots of blankets and a few strategically chosen pillows placed on it, perfect for propping up your head while staring at the screen. I pulled up my movie collection on the TV, and started something at random.

I was dozing on the couch when the doorbell rang, and I got up to let Callum in. As soon as the door opened, he pushed his way inside, closing the door behind him. I looked at him quizzically; he was wearing a hoodie with its hood up, a backpack, jeans, and dark glasses that were ridiculously large for his face. It still looked cute on him, though; like a puppy trying to be sneaky.

“Sorry,” he said, taking off his glasses and lowering his hood. “After last night, I need a little bit of a low profile. I don’t think anyone noticed me coming over here, but… well, I didn’t want to give anyone a chance to get a picture of us together.”

Now I was really confused. “Last night? What happened last night? And who cares if we’re seen together? Why would people take a picture?”

He just kind of stared incredulously at me. “Um, I take it you haven’t been online…”

I got a sinking feeling. “Not really? I kind of zonked out as soon as I got home from work, and forgot to plug my phone in. It’s charging now.”

“Go turn it on.” he said, patiently.

He followed me into my bedroom, seemingly not noticing the dishes in the sink, or the carryout boxes from the Hippo on my counter. “I’m, uh, sorry for the mess. I usually don’t entertain much, and Sunday is kind of my cleaning day. Saturday is when I unwind.”

He eyed my pajama bottoms and unshaven chin. “I can see that.” he said, with a laugh. “I hope I’m not imposing.”

“No, no! You’re fine. Marathoning a terrible TV show is probably what I would’ve ended up doing anyways, may as well have some company.”

He swatted my arm and pouted. “It’s not terrible!”

I laughed as I watched my phone boot up. Everything seemed normal for a few moments after the screen turned on, then it finished loading up and found the WiFi, and promptly exploded in a fit of vibrations and chimes.

“What the hell?” I asked, staring at double digit Facebook notifications and over a dozen text messages.

“Wow,” he said, looking over my shoulder, “I can’t believe you only have 14 friends that watch. You’re kind of a loser, you know that?” he teased.

“Or I’m not friends with sixteen-year-old girls.” I retorted, setting the phone down without opening any of the notifications. No working on Saturdays. “What the hell is that?”

He squirmed a little. “It’s, uh, Lucky Andy. That’s what they’re calling you.”

“What who’s calling me?”

“The fans. Remember when you, uh, took selfies with all my castmates? They thought they were pretty funny. So they posted them.”

“Funny? Are they doing this on purpose or something?”

He raised his hands in defense. “No, no! Nothing like that. It wasn’t coordinated, or anything, but selfies of you with like half the main cast of Grimm Academy hit Instagram last night. It’s just… they’re so used to people being in awe of them, and begging for a picture with them, like they’re on some pedestal. You acted like you were doing something special for them by taking your picture with them, and they thought it was super funny, but in, like… an endearing way. They enjoyed being treated like people, not like characters.”

He pulled out his phone and started typing. “Look, here…”, he handed me the phone. It had a wiki page about Lucky Andy on it, from some Grimm fan site. “The fans are going out of their minds trying to figure out who the hell this Andy guy is that he’s so casual with the cast, and how he got us all to post pictures with him to our own accounts. A prevailing theory is you’re joining the show.”

I looked up at him, pale. “Oh god, what does the show think? I didn’t get you in trouble, did I? I’m sorry, I’m like that with all the customers, it’s my job… and honestly I don’t know who any of those people are…” I scrolled down the page, and there’s an embedded Instagram picture of me getting kissed on the cheek by the girl. It had over 1.5 million likes. Apparently, I’m the only one who doesn’t. I tossed the phone back to him.

“Relax, it’s fine. The studio loves it. Anything that gets the fans in a frenzy is great in their books. Rumors are good for viewership numbers.” He looked down at the phone, and saw what I had been staring at. “Welcome to the life of the Instagram famous. How does it feel?”

I buried my face in my hands. ”Why didn’t you tell me? God, I must’ve looked like such an idiot.”

His lips twitched. “It’s a good look on you.”

I shoved him playfully. “You’re such a jerk.” I pushed past him and headed back out to the living room. “Are we going to sit through you dressing up and playing pretend, or have you taken mercy on me?”

“Oh no, you’re not getting out of it now, Lucky Andy.” he said, following me. “I told you I’d bring the popcorn!“ he said, triumphantly pulling a bunch of packages of microwave popcorn from his backpack and shoving them into my hands.

I looked at the giant stack of popcorn bags and back at him. Setting them down on the kitchen counter, I reached over, and lifted the bottoms of his shirts up, bending to peek at his six pack. “Do they just suck the fat out of you, or something? How are you not huge right now?!”

He laughed and swatted my hand away. “Don’t you worry about me, jiggly. I see that tummy wobble.”

I feigned a look of affronted horror. “Well, I never! I’m no supertwink actor, but I get my exercise, thankyouverymuch.” It was true. I wasn’t quite the specimen Cal was, but I’m certainly not what you’d describe as “jiggly”.

He patted my stomach affectionately. “Whatever you say, Lucky Andy. Just make the damn popcorn.”

I grunted, and popped a bag into the microwave, starting it up. I started searching for a bowl that was both clean and large enough. “Want anything to drink?”

He headed towards the couch, sitting down and rooting through his backpack. “You know me, whatever you have is fine.” I pulled a couple of Cokes out of the fridge. The popcorn beeped, and I pulled it out, emptying it into a bowl, and bringing it all over to the couch. Cal made himself comfy in the corner of the couch, as I took the first disk out of the case he had left on the coffee table and put it into the Blu-Ray player. Navigating through the menu, I got the first episode started, and settled into the opposite corner of the couch, sprawling out to make myself comfortable.

Cal looked over at me, annoyed, and as the opening theme music played, he crawled over and slid his arm around me and rested his head on my chest, nuzzling in for good measure. I hesitated for a moment, then let my arm drape over his shoulders. I had forgotten how cuddly Cal is. The boy isn’t happy unless someone is in his personal space bubble.

As he wiggled this way and that, nuzzling himself into me to get comfortable, I smiled. Eat your hearts out, fangirls. I hadn’t known it, but I’d really missed Callum.

“Oh my god.” I looked down at him. He was blushing slightly. On screen, the end credits rolled past for the first episode. “You play…”

“I swear to God, Andy, I will end you.”

“You play a fairy. Oh my God.” He jabbed two fingers into my ribs, but I couldn’t stop grinning. “Isn’t that a bit… on the nose?”

“What can I say, I’m typecast.” He muttered grumpily into my chest. Cal had known he was gay since he was thirteen, and never had much compunction about sharing that info. He was also the first person I told, when I figured things out a few years later.

“Poor sixteen year old girls. Nobody told them they have no shot.” Fingers in my ribs again. “Do you get wings?”

“Andy I swear to God.”

“Okay, okay, I’ll stop teasing you about your super on-the-nose casting in your totally-not-gay show.”

Callum scowled up at me. “No you won’t.”

I grinned as wide as I could. “No, I won’t.”

As predicted, Cal and I fell back into our old friendship like it had never lapsed. Things were just easier with him. It had always been like that.

As we lay, watching Grimm Academy, I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention to the plot. To be honest, I’m not sure anyone watched this for the plot. It seemed like the plot just served as excuses to get fit guys shirtless and making out with attractive girls.

“Hey, that’s the girl that kissed me!” I pointed.

He laughed. “Yeah, that’s Amanda. You’re going to know like half these characters, you realise.” Amanda played a cute pixie girl with a crush on Callum’s character. Callum’s character was oblivious to it.

“Well, you certainly are typecast…” I muttered. He grumbled, but thankfully did not retaliate.

I watched Callum acting, and was… impressed. He had drastically improved since I last saw him. Sure, he’d been into acting while we were in school together, but the difference was night and day. He was a professional now. The character, sure, had some similarities to Callum: an easy charm, a wide smile freely given, reckless enthusiasm… But Callum was decidedly acting as his character. There was a determination and uncomprising slant to this character, and that was out of place in Cal. I’d always though of Cal as a tree that bent in the wind; this character was a rock.

After the fourth episode, my stomach gurgled. I hadn’t eaten yet today; and with each episode lasting an hour, we had passed lunchtime. From his vantage point on my chest, Cal could hear the gurgling clearly. He glanced up at me, smirking. “Is someone getting hungry?”

“Man can’t live on popcorn alone.”

He looked affronted. “How dare you.”

I held up my hands defensively. “I know, I know. But still. How about we take a break and get some lunch?”

He squirmed a little bit. “It can be a little tricky to just traipse about town, sometimes.” he said, apologetically.

“Then the food should traipse to us!” I replied, sliding out from under him, to cross to the kitchen. I pulled a stack of takeout menus out of a drawer. “How does Chinese delivery sound?”

“Broccoli and beef, please!” he responded, enthusiastically. I retrieved my phone from the bedroom, still ignoring the notifications, and called to place the order.

Returning to the couch, I cleared off the coffee table. Empty Cokes to the counter, empty popcorn bowl stacked precariously on the sink. I sat, looking at Cal, and a small smile crept onto my lips. “I’m really happy to see you again.”

He sat up next to me and looked at his hands. Cal always was a fidgeter. “So why didn’t you sooner?” he asked, softly. Sadly.

Now it was my turn to stare at my hands. I had known this question was coming; it was inevitable. But I still didn’t have a good answer for him.

“Things got a bit weird for me in college, Cal.” I said, quietly. My ears burned. A year of regret, guilt, and shame were bubbling at the surface, threatening to spill over. “It was… hard.”

“College was hard for me, too, Andy.” His tone wasn’t accusatory, but he clearly wasn’t accepting the answer. “And we’ve been out of college for over two years.”

I cleared my throat. “Uh, just around one year now, actually.” I could tell my entire face was flushed, but I refused to duck my head. I’ve hidden from Cal for long enough.

When I gathered the courage to sneak a look at him, his brows–usually so carefree, so confident–were knitted together. “You took a fifth year?”

”… Yeah.”


“College was… hard for me. I failed a few classes.” I failed a semester.

“You’ve always been a great student. What the hell happened?”

”… A guy.”

He raised his eyebrow. “Someone broke your heart.”

”… not exactly.”

He sighed. “Andy, man, I love you, but I feel like I’m pulling teeth. Are you going to tell me what happened or not?”

I looked at him, searching for reassurance. “I just… I’m afraid once you’ve heard, you’ll see me differently.”

He took my hand in his, squeezing it reassuringly.

I took a deep breath, gripping his hand. “Junior year, I met a guy named Frank. He was cute, he was funny, and he loved me. I had no reason to be unhappy. He was great, and I wouldn’t have been able to find anything about him to complain about if pressed. Thoughtful, kind, the whole schtick. Our friends thought we were great together.”

“So what was wrong with him?” Cal asked.

I cringed. “Nothing. Except he loved me too much.” I let that hang in the air a moment. “I’ve thought about this a lot over the last four years, and that’s the only answer I’ve come up with. He cared about me and wasn’t coy about showing it. Before we dated, I knew he wanted to date me. Once we started dating, I knew he considered me out of his league, even though it was me who didn’t deserve him.”

Realisation dawned on Cal’s face. “You were cruel to him.” It wasn’t a question. He knows me too well. The color drained from my face, but Cal’s hand didn’t release mine.

“I… was. Unbelievably.” I admitted, haltingly. “I think back on it, and it feels like I’m watching someone else do and say those horrible things. But it’s me. It’s all me. I… I think I broke him.” I couldn’t look at Callum. “I couldn’t… I didn’t trust myself to be close to people after that. I didn’t want to hurt someone like that again.”

“And after things got better?” I just shook my head. “Oh.” There was a pause. “Then why did you agree to see me today?”

I couldn’t hold his gaze any longer. “Because I cared more about seeing you than I did about the possibility of hurting you.” I felt like shit. How could I endanger my friendship with Cal like this?

“Andy, that’s the nicest thing you’ve said to me all day.” I could hear the smile in his voice. When I finally gathered the nerve to look at him again, though, the smile wasn’t anywhere to be found. Instead, there was a puzzled, concerned expression. “… why did you do it?”

“I think… I think I just couldn’t believe that I could, right up until I already had. It’s like I was testing for his boundaries, seeing how awful I could be before he’d stop loving me. But I stopped loving me before I ever found his boundaries.”

“Why were you so interested in where his boundaries were?”

“I don’t know. I think… I just don’t know how to respond to being the wanted one, not the wanter. I couldn’t get perspective on how to balance the relationship in a healthy way.”

Mercifully, the food showed up, the knock at the door cutting the conversation short. Cal did his best to remain out of sight as I paid for the food, carrying it back to the table, waving off Cal’s attempts to shove money at me. “You and your rich actor buddies more than paid for it in tips last night.”

Cal looked a little uneasy, now. “We’re not rich.” he said, defensively. I raised an eyebrow at him, fork halfway to my mouth. “Well, okay, I’m doing alright, I guess.” he blushed. “But,” he said, definitely fidgeting in his seat now, “it doesn’t look like you’re doing too badly for yourself, either.” he said, gesturing at the apartment.

It was true. My apartment wasn’t lavish, or anything, but renting an apartment in Seattle at all wasn’t cheap, and mine was a decent size. Nothing all that impressive, really, but more than you’d think a waiter could afford. “I whore myself out on the side for rich actors that stop by the restaurant.” I said, with a shrug.

He looked shocked, spluttering on his Coke. “You’re joking.”

I grinned. “Yes, I’m joking. Unless you’re interested in being a client…?”

He swatted me. “Like I’d need to pay.”

Feigning indignation, I threw a napkin at him. “Callum Taylor, are you calling me easy?”

He stuck his tongue out. “I’m saying your crush on me has been obvious for years, and I’ve been politely ignoring it.”

“Why Callum,” I said, in my huskiest, over-the-top voice, putting a hand on his thigh and leaning in. “Are you saying you don’t like me, too?”

The asshole blew a giant raspberry on my cheek. “I tolerate you.” he said, giggling. “God, you’re ridiculous.”

I laughed with him. Everyone thought Callum and I were dating, and those that knew better thought we would end up together eventually. We took it in stride. We talked about it, once, and decided not to worry about it. If we felt it was right, we’d go for it. But barring any impulse to take it further, we were happy as best friends.

“Speaking of ridiculous,” I said, “let’s start the next episode. I wanna see you fly.” I barely dodged the empty Coke can hurled at my head.