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Wednesday, March 09, 2016

A History Of Friendship - PART THREE

About a half hour later, Jughead found himself walking down Duncan Street.  According to the handwriting on the inside of the notebook that Jughead found, Wembley Morris called Duncan Street home.  But, something did not seem right to Jughead.
   “I don't get this at all.”  Jughead said to himself.  “According to the notebook, Wembley supposedly lives at 2 Duncan Street...but all I see at 2 Duncan Street is this warehouse like building.  He couldn't possibly live here...can he?”  
   Jughead then noticed that the front door of the building was opening up.  He then realized that he was definitely at the right spot when he saw Wembley's familiar red hooded sweatshirt in the doorway.
   “Wembley!”  Jughead shouted.
   Wembley slowly turned around and stared in shock.  “Jughead?!? did you...what are you doing here?”
   Jughead pulled out Wembley's notebook.  “I brought your notebook back.  You left it at Pop's, and I saw that the address to this place was here, so I figured that you must have lived here, but seeing as how this is a warehouse, you obviously must have written your work address inside,”
   Wembley sighed.  “ didn't make a mistake.”
   Jughead looked confused.  “”
   Wembley nodded.  “Jughead, why don't you come in?  I know that this doesn't look like much, but I'm sure that once you see inside, it's not so bad.”
   Jughead smiled.  “Only if you're sure.”
   “I'm sure.”  Wembley said.  “You're actually the first friend that I've actually invited over.”
   “Really?”  Jughead asked.
   “Yeah.”  Wembley said.  “Come in, please.  We can talk about Miss Grundy's homework assignment...maybe have some snacks.”
   “You talked me into it.”  Jughead said, as he followed Wembley inside.

   Meanwhile, at the Riverdale Mall, the movie theatre was packed with several teenagers, waiting to get tickets for “Zombie Assassin 7”, the horror film that had been the talk of the school for several days.  The ticket line was so long, it extended past the front door of the theatre, past the entrance to Fjordstrom's Department Store.
   Standing outside the entrance to Fjordstrom's, where the end of the line was located were Archie, Reggie, Chuck, and Moose.
   “Come on!”  Reggie said.  “Can't this line move any faster?”
   “Relax, Reggie.”  Archie said.  “The movie doesn't start until 7:15.  It's only just after six.  I'm sure that we'll get in to see the movie in no time.”
   “I just hate waiting.”  Reggie said.  “We should have just skipped school and waited in line at the beginning so that we'd be inside the movie theatre by now.”
   “Don't you do anything else besides whine?”  Chuck exclaimed.
   “Reggie.”  Archie said.  “Get a grip.”
   “D-uh, yeah, Reg.”  Moose said.
   Reggie sighed.  “Forget it.  It's bad enough we're at the end of the line.  It looks like my friends from the football team are running late.”
   “Yeah, who's all coming, Reg?”  Chuck asked.
   “Oh, the quarterback and wide receiver.”  Reggie said.  “Clay Brock and Johnny Sangria.”
   “I've heard things about those guys.”  Archie said.  “I hear they're two of the most talked about players this season.”
   “Well, obviously, I'm the star of the team.”  Reggie boasted.
   “Obviously.”  Archie and Chuck said simultaneously, each of them rolling their eyes back in their heads.
   “But, you know, I have to give credit to where credit is due.”  Reggie continued.  “Though I may be the star of the team, Clay and Johnny have really been an asset.”
   “They definitely seem to have the student body talking.”  Chuck said.
   “They're really, really, really...good.”  Moose said.
   “Well...good.”  Archie said.  “By the way, speaking of the football team, there's actually something that I was curious about, and maybe you could help me out, Reggie.”
   Reggie looked a bit confused.  “I'm not sure what you're wanting to know, Carrot-Top, but shoot.”
   Archie sighed.  “It's about football practice.”
   “What about it?”  Reggie asked.  “Oh, wait...don't tell me you're interested in joining the football team.  Remember last year?  You couldn't even be the water boy without fumbling something.”
   Archie tried his hardest not to let Reggie's sarcastic comments get to him as he continued to speak.  “Reggie, let's not talk about my athletic abilities here.  The football practice after school was held in the gym, right?”
   “Well, yeah, it rained earlier today and Coach Kleats never lets us practice when the football field is wet.  Mr. Weatherbee enforced that rule to prevent Mr. Svenson's job from having to be harder than it needed to be.  Why do you ask?”
   “Well, earlier today, Jughead happened to run into Wembley Morris outside of the gym while your football practice was going on.”
   “Wembley Morris?”  Reggie exclaimed.  “That little goober in Miss Grundy's class?”
   “Reggie, that's kind of rude.”  Chuck said.
   “I'm sorry, but the kid is weird.”  Reggie exclaimed.  “You ever notice that he's been in our school for a whole month and he has barely even said two words to anybody since he arrived?”
   “Maybe he's shy?”  Moose suggested.
   “And, even if he's not, it's no excuse to call him names.”  Archie scolded.  “Especially since you don't even know him.”
   Reggie sighed.  “And, do you know Wembley?  Does anyone know him?”
   “As a matter of fact, Jughead and I have both met him, and we like him.”  Archie said.
   “Lemme guess.”  Reggie said.  “Jughead blew off the movie tonight so he could have a play date with his new best friend.”
   “Reggie, what's your deal?”  Archie said.  “Sometimes you can be a real jerk, you know?”
   “Okay, Arch.”  Reggie said.  “I'm sorry.  Maybe I'm just frustrated that we have to wait so long in line.”
   “It's fine.”  Archie said.  “But, I still think you might be a little hard on Wembley, especially after what Jughead witnessed earlier this afternoon.”
   “Okay, fine, I'll bite.”  Reggie asked.  “What happened?”
   “Jughead saw Wembley outside of the gym, and he looked really spooked.”  Archie said.  “He ran away from Jughead when he tried to talk to him.  If Wembley hadn't showed up at Pop's later on, we'd still be wondering what was going on with him.”
   “Sounds really weird.”  Chuck said.
   “Is he okay?”  Moose asked.
   “Yeah, once Jughead and I got to talking with him, he started to open up to us.”  Archie said.  “Still though...I wonder what happened that caused him to react that way.”
   “I still don't understand what this has to do with the football practice today.”  Reggie asked.
   “Could anyone have seen what might have happened?”  Archie asked.  “Like, if the football practice was going on at the same time whatever happened that made Wembley afraid, you would think that someone saw what was going on.  Reggie, would anyone have seen Wembley during the football practice?”
   “Not unless they were standing outside in the hallway.”  Reggie said.  “The doors of the gym have frosted glass, remember?  Nobody can see inside or out through the door.”
   “Did anyone come to practice later than normal?”  Archie asked.
   “Archie, what are you getting at?”  Reggie asked.  “You seem awfully concerned about this Wembley kid, even though he's more or less invisible to the staff and students of Riverdale High.”
   “Because it seems to me that maybe Wembley is going through a hard time at school for whatever reason, and I'm wondering if maybe I can help.”  Archie said.  “Maybe he's failing a class and he's worried about it.  Maybe he's being bullied by someone and he's afraid to talk about it.”
   “Archie, get serious.”  Reggie said.  “This is Riverdale High.  Friendliest high school in the state.  People don't bully people at our school.”
   “Says the man who just referred to Wembley as a goober.”  Chuck said, dryly.
   “Come on, Chuck.”  Reggie said.  “That's not bullying.  Bullying to me is when you slam someone into a locker, or throw them down a flight of stairs...things that...well, Moose does when you hit on Midge.”
   “D-uh, I don't think I like that, Reggie.”  Moose said.  “And, if you say that again, I'll throw you through a wall!”
   “I rest my case.”  Reggie said.  “Archie, you may have a right to be concerned about Wembley, but take it from me.  He's not being bullied.  I would know if my team was responsible for anything like that.”
   “I hope you're right, Reggie.”  Archie said.
   Just then, two men wearing blue and gold football jackets arrived outside of Fjordstrom's and immediately waved at Reggie.  “Yo, Mantle.”  the blond-haired man shouted.
   Reggie smiled.  “Hey, Clay!  Nice to see you.”
   The dark-haired man shook Reggie's hand.  “You certainly put forth a lot of extra effort in practice, Reg.  I could have sworn you'd be too tired to sit through a movie.”
   “Right, Johnny.”  Reggie said.  “Nothing, and I mean, nothing will keep me from seeing “Zombie Assassin 7”.
   “I just hope it's better than the sixth movie.”  Clay said.
   “So, we know Moose here.”  Johnny said.  “Who're the other two?”
   “Oh, right.”  Reggie said.  “Clay, Johnny...these are Archie Andrews and Chuck Clayton.  Chuck, Clay Brock and Johnny Sangria.”
   “Nice to meet you.”  Chuck said.
   “Yeah, hi, guys.”  Archie said.
   “Good to meet you too.”  Johnny said.
   “So, why's the line-up all the way out to Fjordstrom's?”  Clay asked.
   “Guess 'Zombie Assassin 7' is more popular than we thought.”  Archie said.  “Makes sense, since tonight's the premiere.”
   Just then, a female movie usher from the movie theatre arrived at the entrance and tried to get the attention of the line outside of Fjordstrom's.
   “Attention, everyone.”  she shouted.  “Due to outstanding demand for tickets, we regret to inform you that the 7:15 showing of 'Zombie Assassin 7' is sold out.”
   “NO!”  Reggie exclaimed.
   “Does this mean no movie?”  Moose asked.
   “However, because of the demand for tickets, management has decided to add another showing of the film at 10:00 pm tonight, so stay in line, and I promise you that you will be able to see this movie.”
   “Great.”  Reggie exclaimed.  “My curfew is AT ten!”
   “So, I guess you have to leave?”  Chuck asked.
   “Forget that!”  Reggie said.  “Seeing this movie is worth getting grounded for a weekend!”
   Archie meanwhile was eyeing Clay and Johnny intently.  “Hmmm...Reggie was no help...but maybe these two might know what's up with Wembley.  I wonder if Jughead's making any head-way with him?”

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