Dan did his best to prove me wrong.  Over the next few days he became attentive and considerate with Teri, where before he would ignore her while talking to other people even if she was sitting beside him.  He bought her flowers, took her out on dates, and seemed to be as head over heels for her as she was for him.

            When not with Teri, he sought me out.  We went to the gym daily, and in residence played video games on his Nintendo 64 or rented movies.  We watched the World Wrestling Federation every Monday and Thursday; one of Dan’s favourites, and it was becoming fun for me.  He avoided his seedier friends, and I took it as a compliment that he wanted to be around my “good influence.”

            After a few weeks the strike ended amicably, and we went back to class.  Dan came to me for help with some of his classes, displaying a work ethic he had lacked all semester.  This new leaf was certainly lasting a long time.  I wondered if he had really changed.

            Dan and I continued our gym routine even while studying for exams.  One day we were coming back from the field house.  It was at the bottom of a wooded hill, with the school buildings up top.  A long stone staircase led from one to the other.  Just walking up it could make you out of breath.  Dan frequently pushed us to run up it.  But today he was more ambitious.

            “We’ve got to get really buff you know.”  He said.

            “I think you’re already there.” I said, noting our size differential.  He had at least forty pounds on me.

            “No, I mean we have to get jacked up.  How else are we going to be wrestlers?”

            “Yeah, right.”

            “No, I’m serious.  We’re the world’s best tag team, and one day we’ll dominate, just like Stone Cold!”

            I laughed.  Stone Cold Steve Austin was Dan’s favourite wrestler, a bald bad-ass.  He outweighed me by about a hundred pounds.

            “Come on, Ethan.”  Dan grinned.  His enthusiasm was infectious, I had to give him that.  “We’re running up the hill.  Only the weak take the stairs.”

            “What?” I asked with a laugh.  He turned off the path and started trying to run up the steep hill through the trees.  Unbelievable.  I laughed again and chased after him. 

            Our legs pumped us up the slope, and we had to use tree branches as handholds on some of the steeper places, but eventually we reached the top, breathing hard and laughing.

            “That was awesome!  We do that every day, from now on!”  He grinned.

            “Deal!”  I chuckled.

            It was crazy, but it was fun.  And that was something I had lacked lately.

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