That evening Mind, Heart, and Resistance were at a bar. A club, actually, that had a bar in it. Resistance was on cloud nine and he was going to do everything in his power to get his friends to join him way up in the clouds.
They all sat down at the bar. Resistance ordered a beer and ordered a couple for his friends.
Heart sat in between Resistance and Mind.
Mind sitting on the right of Heart looked at Resistance in alarm, “Oh! No, thank you. I’ve got a big exam to study for this weekend and I want to be alert.”
Resistance gave her a look of disbelief and slid Mind a bottle of beer. Mind reluctantly caught it and left it sitting in front of her.
Resistance placed a bottle of beer in front of Heart.
Heart glanced at the bottle feeling uncomfortable and then looked at her friend, “No thanks. I really don’t feel like it tonight.” She pushed the bottle away.
“Come on!” Resistance said, “Have a drink. It’ll help shake off some the stress.” He pushed the bottle towards her.
She looked at it and pursed her lips, “I’m actually not stressed. I just don’t want a drink right now. Thanks.” She pushed the bottle back.
“Have. A. Drink.” Resistance said. He pushed the bottle towards her and held it in front of her so she couldn’t push it away.
Heart looked at Resistance in the eye for a good minute. Then she said, “It’s like you’re 16 all over again! I’m a junior in college now. I can make decisions for myself, I can drive a car, I can vote, I can stay out as late as I want, eat whatever I please, and I can say ‘no’ to having a drink and still have fun at a bar.”
“Wow. It’s like you rehearsed that or something. You seem pretty stressed to me.” Resistance chuckled. He took a big swig of his beer. “Look, honey. I’m not playing King and Peasants anymore, ok? I just wanted to go out, have a drink with my friends, and blow off some steam. Is that so bad?”
Heart was hesitant, but not long enough to think things through, “No, I guess not.”
“Great. One beer isn’t going to kill ya.” Resistance said patting Heart on the back, “Now drink up. Let’s get Ms. Brainiac to join the party.” He got up and walked over to Mind.
Heart followed drinking her beer.
Mind was anxious and bolted to her seat. She looked at Heart in shock, “What are you doing? We’ve got things to study for this weekend and homework to complete. You have an audition coming up this week. Why…why are you drinking?”
Resistance smirked to himself.
Heart answered, “It’s only Friday. The audition isn’t until Monday night. I think I’ll be okay and I don’t know…this tastes kind of good…in a very cold, very bitter kind of way.”
Mind looked at Heart wide eyed and anxious. She started to think through how silly Heart’s words were, and how the work that was waiting back at their room could go wrong if any further indulgence took place. She was gearing up to express her wisdom towards Heart that they should leave, but her thought was interrupted.
“Hey, buddy. Let’s go dance.” Resistance said, “Come on. Let’s go.”
Mind looked at Resistance and then at Heart. Then he looked at Resistance and back at Heart.
Resistance dragged her to the dance floor and pushed her into the crowd. Heart smiled, eyes shining, and continuing to drink. Resistance casually walked over to the DJ and requested a song. Then he grabbed the beer that sat at the bar. Resistance placed the beer in Mind’s hand and Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca kicked on. The song blasted through the club. The crowd was hollering, dancing up a storm, and everyone had a drink in their hand.
Mind was reluctantly dancing and drinking. Heart had finished off her first bottle of beer and was now on to her second.
Resistance danced with his friends, “You guys having a good time?”
“YES!” Heart shouted, “This is so fun! I love all the lights and stuff. This is a great song!”
Mind rolled her eyes, “I can’t believe you talked us into this.” She took a sip of her drink and was moving to the music a little.
“But it’s fun right?” Resistance hollered.
The music blared on. Mind didn’t say anything. She took a few sips of her beer.
Resistance asked again, “This is fun, right?”
Mind cracked a smile, “Yeah, this is fun!”
“You’ve got all weekend to get your homework done. Don’t worry. It’s all going to be fine.” Resistance reassured
Mind slapped a hand on her friend’s shoulder, “Yeah, it’ll all work out. No sweat, my man!” She got another beer and let herself go on the dance floor.
Heart and Mind partied all night with their friend. They danced, and drank, and ate like royalty.
Around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning Heart and Mind stumbled back into their room and collapsed on their beds.
Later that day…
It was around 3:00 in the afternoon. Mind rolled out of bed with a splitting headache. She looked at the time and noticed most of the day had gone. She woke Heart up, who had been sound asleep, though the sun trickled through the curtains.
“Heart. Ugh. Heart.” Mind gently shook her, “Heart, don’t sleep through the day.”
Heart rolled over and grabbed the clock that was on her nightstand. She squinted at it, “What time is it?” She shoved the clock in Mind’s face, “I can’t read it. What time is it?”
Mind dodged the clock from hitting her in the face, “It’s around 3:00 o’clock. Just get up, Heart.”
“In the MORNING!” Heart raised her voice.
Mind sat on her bed, ears ringing, and head pulsing, “Ow…no. In the afternoon. Can you keep your voice down? I have a wicked headache.”
“Oh, sorry. Wow, it’s 3:00 in the afternoon. Ugh, I’m so sore. What did we do last night?”
It was quiet for a while. Then they both noticed they were wearing yesterday’s clothes.
They looked at each other and in unison announced for each other, “We went out with Resistance and he took us to the club.”
Heart and Mind slowly stretched out on their beds feeling defeated. Heart grabbed a pillow and snuggled with it. Mind closed her eyes.
“I can’t believe we did that…” Mind said softly, “How did we go out like that? How did we let Resistance talk us into doing something like that?”
“I don’t know…” Heart said wistfully, “Resistance…Resistance is…” She sighed
“Resistance is not my friend today, that’s for sure.” Mind mumbled. Then she opened her eyes, “Friend. Oh my gosh. Heart.”
“Oh, yeah…we went out with him because he’s our friend. I remember now, last night, he said he wanted to go out and have a drink with his friends. I feel like I tried to say ‘no’, but I guess…I guess he’s just a smooth talker.”
“Or a manipulative one. I definitely tried to say ‘no’. I definitely tried to do the right thing, but he got me too, I guess.”
Heart hugged the pillow tightly. Mind closed her eyes again.
“It seems to me…” Heart began, “That from a young age he’s always been getting us. I’ve always been swayed by his devilish good looks. I mean, he’s really rather attractive. I mean, the way his eyes shine like diamonds, and his lips are like wonderfully glossy peaches, and he’s got high cheek bones, broad shoulders, strong arms, and legs that go on for…”
Heart collected herself, “Right, sorry. So I get sucked into that and you’ve always been swayed by the way he talks to you.”
“No, I haven’t.” Mind protested
Heart smirked, “Yes, you do. Oh, yes, you do.” She proceeded to tell Mind the history of their friendship with Resistance. She started with when they were kids, that time they were 16 and tried to do something else more on the productive side. She told him about the many nights in college they hung out with Resistance’s friends Procrastination, Fear, Anxiety, and Guilt that got them out of doing so many good things for themselves. As she talked with Mind she remembered all this for herself too. She reminded Mind of what happened a few weeks ago when Mind had a simple assignment due at midnight and allowed Resistance to talk her into not only going to get coffee, but to also go across campus to watch the soccer game.
Mind was dumbfounded. She sat on her bed staring into space. Then she uttered, still staring blankly into the distance, “We’re so stupid.”
“No, we’re not. We just loved him more than we loved ourselves.” Heart said cheerily
Mind snapped out of her daze and with laser beam eye contact looked at Heart, “Whoa! Say that again.”
“We just loved him more than we loved ourselves. What?” Heart said, “Oh!” She sunk into her bed and buried her head into the pillow she was holding.
Mind backed herself up against the wall, and sat on the floor in a fetal position.
10 minutes later their roommate Body walked into the room.
“Whoa. You guys okay?” Body said, standing by the door.
Heart and Mind hummed sadly, “Mhmm”
“Had a rough night, did ya?” Body said, going to her bed.
Heart and Mind hummed again, “Mhmm”
“So what are you doing today?” Body asked
Mind lifted her throbbing head up slowly, “We just discovered we’ve been in a toxic friendship with Resistance for pretty much our whole lives.”
“Mhmm” Heart agreed, face still in her pillow.
Body took an exasperated breath, “I know. Glad you guys figured it out.”
Heart looked up, “You know? You know?” She was angry and confused, “How do you know the friendship we’ve had with good for nothing Resistance? You were never…oh, yes, you were.” She stood up, eyes focused, “Oh, you were. You were that dark shadow thing?”
“The void? Yup, that was me. Thanks for noticing.” Body sighed
Mind stood up, “Oh, Body. We’re so sorry. I guess, we were just so invested in our friendship with Resistance that we forgot…you were there.”
“Hm. Yeah, try unbelievably infatuated. Try disgustingly, undeniably in love with him.” Body said beginning to fume.
Heart and Mind soaked that in for a moment.
Body continued, “It’s been really upsetting to be on the sidelines, but what’s even more upsetting is that you’ve neglected yourselves. Now look at yourselves. He’s practically destroyed you. Your lives have passed you by and friends have gone, and you had no idea because you were sucked into hanging out with Resistance and his gang. Let me ask you, was anything about those moments fulfilling?”
Mind sighed, “No.”
Heart said, “Well…maybe for like 10 seconds.”
“Heart.” Mind prompted
“No, nothing was fulfilling.” Heart said, head hung low, “Not fulfilling at all.”
Mind and Heart apologized to their friend Body. They made up and hugged it out.
“So…I’m a little hesitant to ask this because you guys never listen to me, but can we go get something to eat…please.” Body said
Without batting an eye Mind said, “Oh totally!”
“Yeah. For sure.” Heart echoed
Body breathed a sigh of relief, “Oh great! I’m starving!”
Mind, Heart, and Body smiled at each other and went out for lunch.
Resistance tried to sway his pals many times after that day, but Mind, Heart, and Body became a team. Resistance slowly gave up.