A high school prank

When I was in high school I hung around with a guy I enjoyed every minute of.

He messed with people, but he did it smart. He made me laugh all the time, and the best part was that he included me, like a conspirator.

He was also a brilliant tennis player.

One afternoon during our junior year, he, his best friend Kirk — who was boisterous and friends with everyone — and a quiet, smart boy named Kiwon were on the court. They took turns being the spectator sitting next to me.

When it was Brian’s turn off court, he picked up Kiwon’s wallet and slipped out a 10-dollar bill.

Then it was Kirk’s turn to sit out. As they passed, Brian handed him the money, “Oh hey, here’s that 10 bucks I owe you.”

At the end of the match, Brian looked distressed. He went over to Kiwon and said, “Kiwon, buddy, I can’t even believe what I think I saw, but if I’m right, while we were playing, Kirk took some money out of your wallet.”

Kirk heard this too. I wish I could show you the face he made. He was used to Brian, and loved him as much as I did, so I knew he wouldn’t be angry.

I was dying of laughter as Kiwon checked first his wallet, then Kirk’s, which was lying beside it. Kiwon showed us a side of himself we’d never imagined as he gave Kirk what for.

Last summer the three of us were together at our 20th high school reunion. It was the best moment of my year being with these guys again. I remembered that episode to them, and we all laughed as Kirk made his panicked face.

Brian ordered us a round of kamikaze shots and we toasted our memories.

He told the bartender his name was Kiwon, and to put them on his tab.


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