“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this, Marcin” Bradley Beal said sullenly as the bright lights of arcade games flashed all around him.
Marcin Gortat, who had been busy gazing around at all the excitement, turned to his teammate with wide eyes. “What you mean ‘talk into this’? You wanted come here very badly, you beg and beg!” He put on an affected voice. “‘Marcin, Marcin, we must be going to Dave and Busters! Please let us go and hang out at Dave and Busters to celebrate career high!’, that is direct quote from mouth of Bradley.”
“I didn’t know it would just be Chuck E Cheese’s with booze” Bradley responded as he tightened his hoodie around his face.
“You say that like implying Chuck E Cheese with booze would not be best thing in entire world.”
Bradley bristled. “What do you know? The only time you went to Chuck E Cheese you got kicked out because you tried to get in the ball pit with a bunch of kids as an unaccompanied adult!”
Marcin looked wistful. “Those were good time. The children had fun until angry employees kick Marcin out.” He took a large swig of his beer and burped loudly. “Come on, Bradley, don’t look so sad. Look, I see they are having Dancing Dancing Revolution, I know that is absolute your 110 percent favorite!”
“Dance Dance Revolution?” Bradley sat up in the booth.
“Yes! And I got extra big bucket of token, so we can be playing all night!”
“Damn Marcin, I didn’t know you could even play, much less full combo Max 300 on heavy!” Bradley gasped as he leaned against the machine.
“I heard you talk about game so much, so I come here in free time and practice. Given how much you brag of prowess, it disappointing that pro basketballer Bradley Beal can’t even handle it on standard!” Marcin stood on the dance pad, looking none the worse for wear, especially compared to his now dry-heaving teammate.
“I’m just getting warmed up! Bump me up to heavy, I’m gonna show you who the real All-Star is.”
Marcin shrugged. “If wish. I fear for life, though.”
They began the song again. Bradley, still exhausted from the last round, failed quickly, despite the frantic movements of his legs and arms. As he strugged to keep pace with Marcin, he heard a giggle behind him. A very familiar giggle…
“Wow, Marcin, you’re good at this, aren’t you!” said a voice. Bradley’s heart sank, now fully aware of how ridiculous he must have been looking
“Oh, hey Denise, yeah, I pretty good at this game! It funny, in Poland, we think DDR mean other thing!” Marcin replied easily, not taking his eyes off the arrows flying up the screen. Denise giggled again in response.
The song ended. Bradley tried to motion to his teammate to stop talking, but Marcin was already in full conversation with Denise. He tried to sneak away back to the booth, but was quickly grabbed around the shoulders.
“…and Bradley here wants to talk to you! Just as soon as he is recovered, I think his conditioning not so good!” Marcin exclaimed.
“H-h-hey Denise.” Bradley stammered, trying to smile which, due to his utter exhaustion, was more of a grimace. “I would’ve played better, you know, except I’m all worn out from scoring 42 points tonight.” He cringed. Why did he always have to talk about himself?
“Oh yeah, I saw that. You looked great out there!” Denise replied, smiling.
“Thanks, you look great too!” He cringed again. He had to get out of here, before things got any worse. “Well, I guess me and Marcin better get going. Nice seeing you!”
Marcin looked confused. “What are you talking about Bradley, we have remaining half bucket of token, I still have much drink!” He had somehow reacquired his beer. “And don’t you have other thing to say to Denise? Like about how much you want to…”
“Shut up, Marcin. Just shut up right now and nothing bad will happen.” Bradley hissed, looking dismayed.
“As saying, Bradley want very much…”
“Gotta go!” Bradley interrupted desperately as he made to leave, but Marcin’s iron grip held him in place.
Marcin continued as if he hadn’t heard. “… very much badly to rip off clothe right here in Dave and Busters and prop you up against this video game and have messy passionate sex in front of all these people!”
Denise looked offended. “That’s, uh, nice, Bradley. Classy.” she snapped, not looking in his direction. She turned on her heel, muttered something that sounded like “creep”, and stalked off, leaving a dejected Bradley and a widely grinning Marcin behind.
“I need another beer.” Bradley mumbled as he sat hunched over in the booth, shielding his eyes from the bright lights of the arcade.
“Beer won’t make you forget pain.” Marcin responded wisely, showing no ill-effects from his 5th bottle.
Bradley groaned. “Remind me again why we’re friends, Marcin, when it seems your only purpose in life is to prevent me from getting with Denise.”
Marcin smiled. “Because she has the herpes, my friend.”