Freestyler 2 By D.I. Jolly

“What do you mean no?” Said Johnny drunkenly, “Why can’t I be a rapper? I mean, how hard could it be?”

Josh put down his beer, distantly aware that it was somehow to blame for the conversation he was having, and said.

“For a start, that’s a bit disrespectful don’t you think? Secondly, you can barely string a normal sentence together, what on earth, makes you think you can make a career out of making them rhyme?”

“I’ve seen 8 Mile like 16 times!”

The words hit Josh with sobering brutality, and it was all he could do to nod knowingly. He then took the last sip of his beer and announced to the room.

“I’m going to bed.”

Johnny put up his hand to protest pouring beer over himself by mistake and realised that perhaps bed was the better idea. He then spent 20 minutes looking for cloths to mop up the mess he’d made, and then fell asleep on the kitchen floor on top of, and under a few towels. In the morning when Josh woke up and found his friend blocking the fridge door, and therefore his path to milk and satisfying coffee, he took some joy in waking him abruptly.

“Hey! MC T-Towel, get up!”

Johnny opened his eyes and immediately regretted his entire life.

“That was uncalled for.” He then sat up and looked around before he groaned, “Why does this keep happening to me?”

“Waking up on the floor or being hungover? Because the answer is beer.”

Johnny sat up and took a few long slow blinks to try settle himself.

“No, not that, why do I keep thinking I can actually do something awesome with my life? I mean look at me, if I can’t handle a quiet night at home why do I think I can actually accomplish anything of value.”

Josh turned to look at his friend and then joined him on the floor so they could be eye to eye.

“Johnny?”

“No, but like really. Look at me. Sleeping on the floor of my own apartment covered in what I hope is beer and it’s a what, Wednesday? I’m a fucking loser Josh.”

Josh waited a few seconds then tried again even gentler.

“Johnny. You are not a loser, you’re a bit of an outside case but you’re not a loser. And there is nothing wrong with dreaming big and falling short…”

“You don’t do it?”

“Of course, I do, I’m just not confident enough to tell people about it like you are.”

“What?”

“Man, I have wanted to ask Rosemary from work out for a drink for over a year and the closest I’ve gotten, is me telling you about it now. You met Jenny for 2 minutes before you guys were talking about hopes and dreams.” He reached out a hand and placed it on his friend’s knee. “I know I say mostly mean things to you, and about you, and especially about your ideas, but I also genuinely admire that about you.”

They stared at each other for a moment until Johnny’s self-pity began to fade and he said.

“You’re not going to try kiss me now, are you?”

“Not until you brush your teeth, that’s for sure.”

They both chuckled and genuine smiles slipped onto their faces, then Josh stood back up.

“Now get out of the way of the fridge so that I can make us some coffee.”

Johnny groaned and climbed to his feet, feeling better but also very dizzy.

“I think I’m going to bed.”

“Good call, get some real sleep and we can talk about your pending future record deal again later.”

There was another moment of comforting silence and then Johnny went to get himself cleaned up and into a real bed, while Josh made coffee and got himself ready for work, and ready to finally ask Rosemary out for a drink.

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