“Is she pretty?” said Goaty.
“Pretty? What does that have to do with anything I just told you?” said Jeremiah.
“I don’t know about you, Jer, but if a strange alien girl is visiting my room at night I would be freaking out…unless she was pretty,” Goaty added, a goofy smile spreading on his face.
Jeremiah sighed. His best friend somehow found ways to miss the point of most serious conversations. In fact, Jeremiah wasn’t always sure why he and Goaty remained friends, but they had been since Kindergarten. At least Goaty had one good quality: the ability to keep a secret.
“She said that the universe depends on me and I have to go with her,” said Jeremiah.
Goaty laughed out loud. His chubby cheeks giggled with the rest of his body.
“That’s what she said!” said Jeremiah, defending his statement.
“Look, man, are you sure you’re not dreaming all of this up?” asked Goaty. “Don’t you think it’s a little ridiculous that some alien girl is coming to your room at night saying you have to leave with her to save the world?”
“The universe.” Jeremiah corrected.
“Whatever. The point is that you’re probably hallucinating all this. Maybe all the medicines you’re taking are getting to your head,” replied Goaty.
“Then at least hide in the room and you could see for yourself,” said Jeremiah.
“Fine, but if I’m doing this, I’m going to videotape it. If this is true, I could be famous. I’ll be the first person in the world to prove aliens exist!” said Goaty wide-eyed.
“And I’ll finally figure out why I look like a geeky seventeen-year-old.”
“Better than a geeky thirteen-year-old,” said Goaty. “Anyway, come on. I bet my mom’s done cooking dinner.”
The pair got up from Goaty’s beanbag chairs. Their body types strongly contrasted with one another. Goaty’s head only reached Jeremiah’s chest. His yellow and orange striped shirt barely covered his pudgy belly. On the other hand, Jeremiah stood tall and lanky. His clothes hung off him like a rag on a mop stick.
Jeremiah swung open the door leading to the upstairs hallway.
“Ow!” said a girl’s voice as the door bounced off something hard.
The boys opened to see whom they hit. Myra, Goaty’s sister’s friend, lay propped against the far wall rubbing her forehead.
“Myra!” yelled Goaty. “What are you doing? Were you listening to our conversation?”
“I can do whatever I feel like,” she said defiantly, brushing a strand of dark brown hair from her face.
“Tell me what you heard or I’ll tell my sister you snuck a peek at her diary,” threatened Goaty.
“If you do that, I’ll tell everyone at school that you sniff your own dirty underwear.”
“Ew! That’s gross. I don’t do that,” said Goaty.
“I don’t care. Every one will believe me,” said Myra with a smug look of victory.
“I really hate you; you know that?” said Goaty.
“Good,” said Myra.
“Come on, Goaty. Let’s just go. I’m sure she didn’t hear anything,” said Jeremiah, grabbing his friend’s shoulders and urging him forward.
The pair reached the top of the stairs when Myra called out, “I wonder what your mom will say when she finds out you’re leaving on a space adventure with some stranger that sneaks into your room.”
Jeremiah froze mid-step. He jerked back to face Myra. “You wouldn’t tell her. She wouldn’t believe you,” said Jeremiah.
“Maybe. Maybe not,” she said. “I guess we’ll find out.”
“You can’t. I need to find out what happened to me,” explained Jeremiah.
“Fine,” said Myra, “but only if you take me with you.”
“No way, Jose!” said Goaty, piercing Myra with a furrowed-brow stare.
“Fine,” said Jeremiah.
“Wha—” began Goaty, but his friend put a hand up, stopping him mid-sentence.
“But you can’t tell anyone,” finished Jeremiah.
“You have my word,” said Myra pretending to lock her lips with a key.
Goaty shook his head. “This is going to be a disaster,” he mumbled.