"Ain't No Sunshine When SHE'S GONE. It's not warm when she's awaay. Ain't no sunshine when she's gone and she's always gone too long, anytime she goes away." Peanut's voice quailed over the blaring stereo system. "Wonder this time where she's gone. Wonder if she's gone to stay. Ain't NO SUNSHINE when she's gone and this HOUSE just ain't no HOME ANYTIME she goes away! I know, I know, I know..."
"That is ENOUGH!" Polly called from her place at the desk on the other side of the room. "No more! I absolutely REFUSE to HEAR this DAMN SONG ever, ever, ever again!" The irate woman jumped from her seat and unplugged the stereo. "You need to just chill out or something."
"But... but..." Peanut's bottom lip quivered. "She's gone!"
"Sweetie," Polly said patiently, "She's been gone just one day." She held up her index finger. "One!"
"And there ain't no Sunshine," Peanut curled up into a tighter ball on her little spot on the sofa. "This house just ain't no home."
Polly took a deep breath then very slowly released it. "Peanut, you really need to get control of yourself. She's going to be gone for a month."
"I know," Peanut wailed. "That's thirty-one days. 744 hours 44,640 minutes 2,678,400 seconds!"
Polly gave her a friend an odd look. "You've obviously already done the math."
"How could I not? My love has gone away, and there ain't no..."
"Don't!" Polly raised her hand to forestall her friend's litany of the song once more. "You've been playing that song ever since you got back from the airport. You need to do something with yourself. Maybe get a hobby. Develop a mental disorder that takes up a lot of your free time. Just WHATEVER!"
Peanut's face scrunched up in contemplation. "Another song?"
Polly shook her head. "I don't think you're getting my point."
"I can do another song. I made a whole list of songs. See?" Peanut reached into her jean's back pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. "Not one song can clearly articulate my emotions."
"Shhh!" Peanut interrupted. "Her name shall not leave thou lips. For it is a sacred word. A word that may only be spoken by those whose heart is true and whose lips are mine."
Polly blinked a few times. "You're weird. Like really weird."
"You are just jealous of a love that you will never know!"
"Little Peanut," Polly said oozing false sincerity, "I know love. I have love. My love is still in the country."
Peanut narrowed her eyes and growled at her friend. "You have wounded me with an arrow of the worst poison into my heart. Do you know no mercy?"
Polly shook her head. "No."
Peanut narrowed her eyes even further, surprising her friend with her eye power. "Leave me be."
Polly sighed. "I just don't understand why you didn't go with her."
"It is but the cruelest twist of fate that leaves me here."
"What does that mean?"
Peanut shrugged. "I couldn't afford the plane ticket. Well, I could have afforded the plane ticket if I didn't want to have a place to live when I got back."
Polly nodded. "Oh. Damn those monetary funds."
"Let them be damned," Peanut whole-heartedly agreed.
Polly nodded again and there lingered in a poignant moment of silence.
"So... since you're in this terrible depressing funk, I'm guessing it's my job as your friend to help you not be so depressed. What do you suggest I do?"
"You could always acquire some drugs that will put me into a blissful slumber for a month," Peanut suggested hopefully.
"You want to be in a coma?"
Peanut shook her head. "No. Only a blissful slumber."
"Don't you have to work? For the money? In order to keep your apartment?"
"So you're saying that the blissful slumber is out of the question?"
"Yeah. I'm afraid so. But we could always go on over to Quill's and crash in on her special night with Tiger. That's bound to cheer you up."
"Nah," Peanut sighed. "The last time we did that, Quill made me promise that I'd never let you do that again."
"She made you promise that you'd never let me do that again? What about you?" Polly pointed her index finger at her friend. "I didn't just crash the night all on my own."
"Face it Polly, the most innocent among us is me. You come up with all the evil plans. You're the one that does all the freak things. Compared to you, my friend, I'm mostly normal."
"But? but?" Polly stuttered. "You're the one who came up with the idea to crash Quill's special night. I wanted to leave her alone. Actually, I insisted on leaving her alone until you threatened me with physical punishment."
Peanut snorted. "You're just being ridiculous. I would never threaten you with physical harm. And also I would never suggest to crash Quill's night. I'm the good one. You're the bad influence."
"No I'm not," Polly whined. "I'm the good one. You're the older, more worldly one that has corrupted my good heart and soul."
"Why must you fabricate such lies?"
"But I'm not lying," Polly pouted. "I'm telling the truth."
"I'm sorry, but I just don't know what you're talking about," Peanut responded airily.
Polly growled and reached out and grabbed her friend by her shirt. "Don't know what I'm talking about?"
"We must really evaluate your tendency for violence," Peanut responded calmly. "Your actions are most severe."
Polly growled once more in frustration but let go of her friend's shirt. "Next time we see Quill I'm telling on you."
"Eh." Peanut shrugged. "Maybe she will put me out of my misery."
"Are we back to this again?"
"It never went away."
"I guess some wishes just don't come true."
"But some wishes do come true. Why it could happen to you?"
"Please don't finish," Polly whined. "I'll buy you ice cream if you don't finish."
Peanut's body perked up. "Ice cream?"
"Any flavor you want."
"Can I get a pint? With chocolate and chocolate chips?"
"Only if you stop singing."
"Well I'm sure if I sat down and thought about it, eating a pint of ice cream to cope with the greatest love of my life being all the way across the ocean wouldn't be a good thing but? if you buy me a pint of ice cream for every day that she's gone then you won't hear me sing the rest of the month. Otherwise, I'll sing every day as loud as possible because of all the pain I'm in."
"How is it possible that you turned this into blackmail?"
"How is it possible that you didn't see this coming?"
Polly snorted. "You make a good point."
"Ice cream?" Peanut asked.
"Ice cream." Polly nodded.
"Chocolate, chocolate chip?"
Polly nodded again. "Chocolate, chocolate chip."
"Then we have a deal."
"You know this proves that you are the evil one, right?" Polly asked.
Peanut shook her head. "It proves nothing?" she smiled wildly, "except maybe that I'm smarter."