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 Reasoning -Mature Humour and Language- 
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Post Reasoning -Mature Humour and Language- • Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:44 pm
Why yes, this is the short story I wrote in three hours early in the morning because it was too hot in my room. After editing it and sanding down its rough edges, I've decided to release it to the public eye and criticism. As many of you already know, this is my own attempt at a 'love story', and I'm pretty sure you know who I wrote it for. All that aside, I've been told it's pretty decent, so read it and let me know whatcha think.

-ZE





Reasoning

by Travis Lockhart


I. (Isaac)

And it is this gnawing punishment that I have to live through each day. When the hustle and bustle of moving bodies and the chattering of fellow peers comes to an end, I find myself in my least favourite place. English class. You know what makes it even worse? Her. Right across from me, sitting prim and proper, everyday at eleven o’clock I have to go through the torture of being here.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the kind of torture you’re thinking of, I hope. I’ve been water-boarded in the sense that I’m pretty sure an older brother shoving a Super Soaker up your nostrils roughly counts as the same thing. This is that kind of sappy, teenage-angst sort of torture, where a pit forms in your stomach every time your hormones or somebody else’s pheromones kick in. Some people call it ‘butterflies’, but I liken it more to that feeling you get when an elevator jerks upward, that sense of vertigo and puke your guts out surprise. It’s just that splendid.

Her name is Addison. Seventeen years old, shoulder length hair and has that kind of brown flecked robin-egg blue eyes thing that stands out equally as a bit creepy and gorgeous at the same time. This is my only course with her, part of me wants to be thankful, the sheer willpower it takes to stop from going crazy in just one class would be enough to kill a cow. Yes, that does make sense. The other part can’t stop thinking about how much nicer the scenery would be in math with Addison around.

My name is Isaac, if you’d care to know. I’m average height but everybody here was apparently fed Miracle-Gro and tower over me like modern Goliaths who prefer baggy pants and being deaf over squashing little boys with slingshots. I’d like to say I’m down to earth, shy, likeable, suave, and ravishingly irresistible, but my friend Jack tells me I’m too cynical. But what does he know, the jerk.

Okay, I get it, you know I’m lying. The only thing I’m good at being is shy and cynical. Heck, Jack is just about the only person that can deal with my stuff. You’d think I’d test positive for male PMS with all my mood swings and the neuroticism, but I’m good at hiding those things. Always have been, always will be. I’ve heard that bottling your emotions is bad for your health, but so far there hasn’t been any bodily revolt, so I guess my ticker and my thinker are doing just fine. I’m crossing my fingers for the kidney failure.

But I’ve noticed something a bit odd lately. Despite the belittling of my friends, Jack mostly (though I still consider him the best of the lot), for the larger part of my high school career, anger management hasn’t been much of an issue. Until now. Every day I can’t tell just what I’m feeling exactly, if it’s both a bleeding hatred for her existence and how it’s trapped me in an endless cycle of confusion and just plain nonsense, or that this crush isn’t just some little thing.

After all, it’s been four years. Four God awful years I might add. I’ll try not to go all Holden on you, but I guess that doesn’t really matter anymore since that’s pretty much what I’m doing anyway. This fascination with a girl could be related to how a stalker, no wait, how a fan portrays their feelings about a celebrity. Except I don’t scream and faint every time Addison comes near me. That’s only a seven percent sort of thing. And you know, like Brent (he’s another dude in my circle, he’s prematurely bald, in case you were wondering) has told me since the fifth month of ninth grade, it just doesn’t make any sense; I get that now more than ever. It’s almost the end of senior year and the closest I’ve ever come to expressing how I feel to Addison has been those few times I’ve ‘accidentally’ brushed my hand over hers or those awkward moments when I realize I’m boring my gaze into the side of her head the moment she starts staring back.

My friends call me a hopeless nut, I prefer the term coward more than anything. I may be crazy, but I’m not that crazy. I’ll start using that term if I ever do anything about my situation. Which makes me laugh. A lot. Now like any other teenage boy, I’ve had wandering eyes and swings of who I ‘like’, who I think is ‘hot’, and as everyone likes to colloquially put it, who I would ‘do’. But, I’ve always found that I can never think of her in that way, the disgusting and sexually based way. Either I’m a gentleman, or four years of Friend Cards are finally sapping me of that testosterone thing that keeps my burly physique. If you can even call gangly proportions and dirty-blonde mussed up hair ‘manly’. Oh, and a giant nose that Pinocchio would be ashamed of.

But enough of this monologue business. Where was I? Oh, yes, English, the spawn of Satan himself...





II. (Isaac)

“So, I saw that look in your eye again.” Jack tagged along with me after English ended unto the freedom of an even more monotonous lunch hour, as much as I love the guy, he should just find someone else’s leg to clasp onto.

“What are you talking about?” I rounded the bend down into F-wing, which everyone in the school seems to giggle about and scream, when no teachers around, that they ‘are in the effin-wing’. Like seriously, the last time the F word was funny was when it used to mean fart. My locker is in the most abysmal place I could ever hope for, across from hers no less. It’s like God enjoys shoving her face in my face minus the whole positive aspect of that happening.

Jack moved up in front of me, graciously shielding my eyes from the fluorescent yellow the school had decided to paint all the lockers. It’s not even a school colour; our principal just likes dandelions a little too much. “You know, looking at her again. C’mon man, we’ve-,”

“’Talked about this everyday for every school year since cooties were a thing of the past’, yeah, I get it. I really don’t care anymore; I’m just letting the world work how it’s supposed to.” Making my life a miserable hell and giving me the worst possible case of morning breath.

“Oh come off it.” And now the shining bowling ball of light I knew only to be Brent’s head popped up from behind my shoulder. “You guys are talking about Addison again? There are these things called the rules of High School.” Oh, have mercy on my soul. “One, the pasty shy nerd never gets the girl. Two, a guy can be as much of a douchebag as he wants and for some reason he’s like a magnet for oestrogen. Three, every girl is about as shallow as a dried up pond in the Sahara. Four, if you’re bald and have a goatee,” (Brent has one, go figure), “then the ladies have everything they could possibly need.” He did the slightest and poorest variation of a pelvic thrust I had ever seen.

“Coming from the guy who once crapped in the Sandbox in Elementary School, then ran away and cried behind the dumpster for three hours.” Jack guffawed his usual airy and nasally guffaw. I just smirked and drowned them out with my own thoughts, moving the lightweight best friend from in front of my locker and putting my books away. I could just tell that I was going to have another splendid hour with the only two people weird enough for me to get along with.

“But really. You’ve got to do something about that staring thing. I’m pretty sure Mr. Erickson has figured out that you pay more attention to her chewing on her pencil than his lectures about why Shakespeare was probably gay.” These conversations always got interesting. But then again, paint drying on the side of a house being paired with watching grass grow is like the Olympics to me and my average day. “Four years, Isaac, four and you’ve never said a word, never even hinted at anything.”

Brent chirped in harmoniously. “And in a month we’ll be graduating and you’ll never get the chance.”

“Thanks for the heads up.” I said darkly, trying to outpace them out past the cafeteria and into the blustery winds of mid-May. I was well aware of the fact the month before when I was told ‘in two months we’ll be graduating and you’ll never get the chance.’ My way of combating that was to cheekily tell myself that after her and I are a million miles apart and all her buzzing friends are scattered, that I can send a confession email and not risk all that humiliation.

High school is funny that way. The moment you screw up or do something stupidly out of the ordinary for yourself, it’s front page news in everyone’s brain until one night at University they drink too much and forget you and half of the midterm. Teenagers are bastards like that. Just like most of the human race. You do something utterly and groundbreaking retarded and you end up being embarrassed, harassed, and beaten down until finally everyone forgets it ever happened.

“You know what you should do?” Jack’s high pitched remark tore me away from my fleeting thoughts of ice cream and Halloween costumes.

“What?”

“Well, the Prom is coming up, Addison is single, and as far as I know she doesn’t have a date...”

I shot him a glare that spoke too soon what I would say. “Let me ask a perfectly viable question. In the four years you and I have been friends, how many dances have I been to?”

“Uhh, none?”

“And Brent,” (Brent and I have been in school together since Intermediate), “For the years you’ve known me, how many dances have I been to?”

“Does the Sock-Hop cou-,”

“No.” I sat down on one of the benches and suddenly realized it was still wet from the rain earlier that morning. Rather than crying out in disgust and lack of humility, I gritted my teeth silently and took all that it was worth. “So is it just me, or do you guys have selective memory? I repeat, for the millionth time, you won’t ever catch me at that thing, nor will you ever catch me asking such a question within a thirty mile radius of this school.”

“Then why don’t you ask that Ashley what’s-her-name chick from S-,”

“No! Isaac doesn’t do dancing, asking, or anything relatively romantic or risky involving the opposite gender.” I enjoy my use of the third person sometimes.

Jack and Brent exchanged looks, still standing in front of me, obviously understanding that their pants would be in immediate danger if they decided to cop a rest like I had. They stood there, silent, gazing either in the distance and making eye contact with me, or watching other girls walk by, the pigs they were. But I still felt a mutual bond among us, as much as I know I tested it at times.

“Just, we’ve been at you for years, Isaac. Bloody years and you still won’t do anything. How does that saying go?” Brent stroked his masterful goatee and a glaze covered his eyes. “You never know until you try. Take the plunge, who knows, maybe I’m wrong about the pasty shy nerd thing; maybe Addison has a thing for them. I mean sure, she also had a taste for rough and tough jock Kaleb, but I just think that was a fling.”

“As much as I appreciate the advice...”

“One day you’ll look back and regret listening to us.” Jack spun his baseball cap in his hand with an almost forced grimace on his face. “You’ll have missed out on a once in a lifetime opportunity...”

And yet again the hand of the Lord above seemed to smite me. Addison walked by, umbrella in hand and three chattering preps circling her like moths to a striking lamp. They saw my focus turn from them to her and they shook their heads. It was then I said something I had never thought would come out of my mouth.

“I’ll think about it.” And I meant it too.

They looked at each other. And then they laughed.





III. (Addison)

“I’m dead certain he’s looking at you again.”

“Who?”

“Kaleb!”

“Oh...” I tried not to look in his direction, it seemed anytime I gave him attention, or anyone else for that matter, that they appeared to just start thinking I was interested. I’m pretty sure eye contact doesn’t equal some kind of dating radar, but I’ve been wrong before. Wrong in thinking he was the right guy for me.

“Why don’t you just stop this stupid fight? He wants you, you want him, where’s the point?” Nicole was the one who noticed him first from across the cafeteria. She always had a way of knowing just what he was doing, so did a lot of my friends. But I just wasn’t the jealous type, especially when it involved Kaleb of all people.

“Didn’t we already cover this? What we had was nothing, dirt, zero. I’m not even sure what I was thinking in the first place.”

There was a pause among the three ‘friends’ around me. It was painful being associated with them, I was pretty sure it was the only reason why Kaleb took an interest anyway. He thought like the rest of the preppy people here, that I would be an easy goal. But it almost seemed like I had to be with them. I was relatively pretty (I guess), smart but not to the point that I was apparently part of the ‘lower class’ as Kaleb put it, and the rest of me was just average. I had no standard group; my credentials matched the three blondes around me, the cliché of dumb, dumber and completely inept, plastic and hollow. I wasn’t any of that; I was just accepted one day.

And from what it seemed, it was where my place in the world was meant to be. Stuck in the agonizing place of not wanting to be with these people, but also not wanting to be at the bottom of the social food chain. I hated every minute of it. Kaleb wasn’t helping either. He tried the crying bit, the gift bit, the total dick bit, the jealous bit with one of my friends, anything that you could possibly think of to regret me ending our ‘brilliant’ three months together.

“But he’s like the perfect guy.” The furrowed brow of Emily came bombarding from the left. “Strong, football player, missing a few bolts, and absolutely deadly looking.”

“I don’t see where any of that actually matters.”

The three of them looked at each other and cocked their heads in a variety of ways like I had just spoken Shroob instead of English. I could see right through them, not only because of their pre-anorexia, but the shrivelled up morals that made them more transparent than spit shined water.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“No.” I tried to give the most convincing ‘shut up’ face I could, I was pretty sure it worked until Nicole moved out of the way and my eyes accidentally caught those of Kaleb across the room. He waved and smiled; I rolled my eyes and made up an excuse that I had to go to the library. Today just wasn’t the day for me, first Isaac was staring at me in English, again, Mr. Erickson never shut up about the gay overtones of Sonnet 114 or whatever number it was, and now Kaleb was more than likely to follow me now that he knew I acknowledged he existed again.
Worst of all, I chickened out. Only one more month until graduation, time is short and patience is thin.

I just don’t get him at all.





IV. (Isaac)

It’s June, the beginning of exams. I sit in my chair in English class and avoid as well as I can to lose focus from Erickson’s review. It wasn’t working. The last thing I swore he said was ‘Hitler’s favourite food was indeed apple pie.’ My words had been haunting me for three weeks. When I got home that day I couldn’t believe what I said; was the pressure enough, did I stop caring about being humiliated by everyone for taking a sure-to-fail dive? Whatever the reason, I had to live with it. I’d never hear the end from Brent or Jack.

That was when I realized that life sucked. It’s funny how in the teenage life cycle there can be so many changes in mood and interpretation. Before I just knew that life sucked, it was just something I accepted. But now, with some kind of rotten sparkling hope in a dreamer’s eye, it hurt a lot more to think about.

Lots of people say that High School Sweethearts just aren’t meant to be, given the few exceptions that do exist to the rule. I felt the same, I told myself that, told myself that my life was meant to follow whatever had been happening in it. Why mess with fate? And that night in the throes of sleep, I had that damning epiphany. Fate is what you make of it; risk is what makes life, life. I would regret not saying anything, I always knew I would. I just convinced myself it wasn’t worth it.

But every day, that elevator feeling was actually the other part of me saying that it was. Worth the future humiliation, worth the panging heartbreak and perhaps even the inevitable truth I ‘knew’ would be there. My mind was in overdrive, enough to the point I realized that the bell had rang and the scared looking freshmen had piled into the seats around me. Addison was already gone.

I had no idea how I could ever do it.

“Hey, you!” Suddenly I came back into reality as I was walking down the hall. Brent was snapping his fingers in my face. “She’s that way, you idiot.”

“Just, piss off, I don’t need this.” I scowled and trudged off in the best ‘don’t mess with me’ stance I could muster.

“I thought you said you were going to think about it!” He called down the hallway, letting everyone eavesdrop more obviously than I wished. Wouldn’t you know I wanted to rip his tongue out?

“I did, and the answer is no.” At that, Jack came from around the corner, carrying the mountain of garbage he had left the entire year to ferment at the bottom of his locker. I could have sworn I saw it move once. I ran into him, pile and everything.

“Oh God!” Brent in midstride was slapped in the face with a banana peel blacker than the Devil’s heart and nearly fell over in rancid surprise. Everyone was laughing as I was spread eagled on my face and in a pile of what I hoped was just mushy paper. Dazed and angry, I got up without setting my composure, nearly tripping over a snapped binder and Jack’s hidden leg.

I was starting to learn why High School sucked; you leave it with a bad taste in your mouth. I left for home tasting tuna.

“So you aren’t going to your prom?” Jack’s tired voice crackled over his medieval cellphone. He had escaped to the bathroom after lunch when he knew I would have made it home. Now I sat in my half torn room, I know it’s bad to let out your anger on something, but I had to do it. My He-Man poster would never be the same.

“No, I don’t even know why you guys expected me to in the first place.”

“But you guys are friends, right, you seem to talk all the time, I have no idea what about, but still. Can’t you just go like that?” This speech again, I hated hearing these sorts of things out of other people who knew of my ‘affliction’.

“I’m just not that kind of guy. I want her to go with someone she likes and wants to go with, like Kaleb. Sure they’re on again off again and she seems to hate his guts more often than not, I just don’t see any reason in interfering with that. She’ll just tell me no anyway.” I went to hang up the phone in my usual fashion; I hate saying goodbye, or bye, or see you later, but the buzz of Jack’s voice carried out before the receiver was met.

“Truth be told, I’ve heard she wants to go with you.”

I didn’t sleep.





V. (Addison)

Just two more days and exams would be over. Just five more days and the overrated and overhyped ‘event of my life’ was going to occur. And as it seemed, to keep the social bar set, I had to do it. I had to go with Kaleb, nobody else asked me, and everyone expected it anyway. At least if he tried anything I’d have a reason to beat him with a shoe.

I had my dress and everything. But I didn’t want to wear it for him. My three irritating squatters were already freaking out about the smallest blemish in their face or discolouration in their dyed hair, their voices were almost enough to drive me off the edge. I had no idea how I managed four years with them. I had no idea how I managed four years at all. If it wasn’t the unwanted attention of the bumbling idiots in the sports department, it was the stagnant and obvious attention of Isaac. I could never tell if he actually realized how much of an open book he was or not.

Isaac, he provided a lot of entertainment for me over the years. We’ve been friends since the first few weeks of the ninth grade, what started it, I can’t remember. I do remember us forming a close bond, sort of ‘the new kids’ taking on ‘the new school’ as a team. And then it changed somewhat around that Christmas, he started acting differently. It didn’t take me long to recognize the signs that for some irrefutable reason he was feeling more strongly than friendship for me. It scared me, so we stopped talking for the rest of the semester.

But when I was accepted into the ‘plastics’ of the place, was when he seemed to have enough courage to resurface, he asked me what I was doing. I told him nothing, said that I was going along with how the dice rolled. He told me that I didn’t belong with them; I said it was none of his business. He was right, I knew it then and I know it now. That’s when things started to change in a way I wasn’t expecting.

Up until that point I followed those rules I heard his friend Brent bellow about every half a second when he was trying to prove why Isaac should lose the crush I secretly knew about since the beginning. Before the odd stares in English class creeped me out, and then I suddenly started to find them complimentary, flattering even. Before, anytime he was mentioned I remembered how he was tiny and awkward, and then his image turned into something of a nice guy who knows how to behave and treat the people around him. If I ever told the three of this change back in the tenth grade, I would have been an outcast.

It was why I said nothing to him the entire time, despite how much I wanted to, and despite how much I was certain he received nothing in return. I didn’t want him to give up, but the other half of me didn’t want to give up stability. That was the first time I actually felt I was a worthless person. But then other boys caught my eye, took the distraction away, momentarily, eventually they and the idea of lonely Isaac sickened me to ending it. Kaleb was just the newest pawn in the pathetic game.

And somehow he thought he was the bee’s knees, to quote the famously overused saying. We were the see-saw couple, every few months we’d be done, every few months we’d be back. I hated it, but I had nothing else to do. The self-loathing was taken away when I had the opportunity to take it out as hatred for someone else. But now, with school coming to a close, I had the need to tell him. It was now or never, reputation or not.
I had to find the little snot and make him grow a pair before it was too late.

But as it seemed, four days went by and he learned to either become invisible, a ninja, or was just plain avoiding me. I feared that it was too late. The day of prom showed up without a word or returned call. I was doomed. Frills and a jock to my arm, I held back the pain and stepped into the dark hall of my school, the yellow lockers mocking me somehow with their bright demeanour.

I felt like I could have killed him for it.





VI. (Isaac)

I watched the cars go by my window; I was bored, so sue me. Fancy to old-fashioned, the overly large and the hilariously small, the attendees were all decked out in the best their parents could buy them. I could have sworn I saw a Unicycle at one point. I laughed at the formality, holding my head in my hands with grievous results. It didn’t help that I had my suit hanging across from me in a propped open and slightly dented closet door. Addison had kept calling for God knows what, and despite what I thought I heard Jack say, I couldn’t answer it, or listen to the messages she left. There were only two, couldn’t have been important if she gave up so easily.

Or at least that was what I was telling myself. Brent had been over to both rub it in my face that I couldn’t do it and that he was apologetic about forcing it on me. Jack had called before wishing me happy trails on a night filled with movies and video games while he was off having what he certainly felt was a ‘good time’. Ever since the garbage incident, things hadn’t been the same, it’s like it smelled up our relationship. Hah... man I need a hobby.

I had gotten a few other ‘where the eff are you calls’ from various friends and acquaintances, all too boring for me to care about what they had to say. They should have known me better to not expect me to show up at something like that. Isaac doesn’t DO social. Isaac doesn’t DO anything...
It was strange how dead I can be at some points. And even more so, it’s strange just how much I can change my mind in a heated exchange of emotion. Whether it was about self status or showing them all something, I never figured it out. I put on those damn two buttoned pants and choked myself with a tie and jacket, then rode to the school in my most fashionable vehicle. My older sister’s bike.

The sun was setting and the scenery was getting splotchy around the school building. I rode in like a maniac since the doors closed the moment that last little speck of star disappeared behind the hills. If I had been feeling MacGyver like, (or would it be more John MacLean like?), I would have pulled the stunt of spectacularly leaping off the bike as it ploughed into the rack perfectly. I settled on something that wouldn’t rip my pants and wouldn’t make me look like a dork. The elongated shadows patched out the campus in an eerie Halloween like way. For some reason I thought of ice cream.

Inside was about the most gut wrenchingly sickening thing I could have ever imagined. Low budget prom decorations. Lights and glittered tables with candles and over exaggerated patterns lined the gymnasium. The dance floor was barely filled seeing as the children of the day all seem to have an invisible club foot every time they hear the word ‘dance’. Some of the contenders who were still brave enough looked ready to melt under the pressure of so many sitting peers, awkwardly looking at them. I had to choke back a laugh as I walked into the entrance.

And like I was the Second Coming, the song had stopped thanks to the amateur DJ and I was in the brightest light. All by myself. I could hear the whooping laughter of Brent somewhere in the background and the stares of... a good number of eyes falling onto me. What in the name of Heaven was I doing here? Suddenly the light scheme changed and a faster song was being played, everyone pulled the mob formation and made random movements that could count as dancing had you been born blind and without any limbs.

Brent’s bald head bobbed out through the blacks and the coloured dresses to meet me, a smile nearly cutting his face in half. “So, what brings you to these parts, McStinker?” He slapped my shoulder and called out for Jack, who was too busy making out with some girl I had never seen before. I shuddered at what that face on the other side would be to find something redeemable in the greaser he was. I know, I mentally slapped myself for being an asshole then.

“Nothing, I’m here proving a point.” I said coldly, trying to show I wasn’t nervous or regretting showing up.

“Which is?”

“...I really have no idea.” Damn him and his swift interrogation tactics. “I’m just here because I heard it was important, I was here to see what you’d do. You delivered, so I should g-,” It was then I noticed something more peculiar than the growth on my father’s foot, across the room stood Kaleb, by himself, staring at me like he wanted me to spontaneously combust. My mind raced around in circles trying to explain it, panning the rest of the gym for Addison’s fair self, but didn’t see her. I felt relief and anguish all at the same time.

By now I could have qualified for a multiple personality disorder.

“Maybe... I should go.” I eyed toward Kaleb, Brent followed the gaze and shook his head. I felt a hand on my shoulder and felt sick to my stomach. Anytime a jock touches me I want to hurl, all they ever do is feel each other up, or at least that’s what I call it when you smack another person’s butt.

“No, it’s fine, Isaac, you can stay.” He sounded like he was angry; maybe he didn’t get his Chunky Soup this morning. “Shiner can go though; I want to talk to you, outside.”

“Outside? Like, in the dark where nobody else is?” I wasn’t sure if I came off perverted or not, I certainly hope I didn’t.

“No you idiot, the hallway.” Kaleb marched forward, stiff and lumbering like his pockets were filled with lead. He opened the door and motioned for me to go first like I was some ailing old lady; I think we’d be both just as strong. Quickly descending the narrow entrance, Kaleb closed the door and it was just the two of us and the wake-up juice machines. And the speakers. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m here because I want to be, I don’t see any law against that.”

“No, really, why did you come?”

“Because I had nothing else to do. I had to prove a point to everyone and prove a point to myself. So far it didn’t really work besides getting worked over by Brent and now you.” I sheepishly looked away, I wasn’t afraid of him; I just didn’t feel like getting punched in the face, if you know what I mean. “Where is-,”

Kaleb laughed, it sounded forced. I wasn’t sure if he was about to rip my head off or, well, I guess I was just thinking he was going to do that. “She was why you came, wasn’t she?” His tone sounded hard, I couldn’t figure out why, I wasn’t doing anything to them, I wasn’t bothering them. And yet there was this unfounded hostility between us. Mine from my jealousy, his from... not getting his soup? “You can tell me, I don’t care, I wouldn’t blame you anyway.”

I looked away from him, again feeling like any moment later I’d be in more than one piece. “Truth be told, it is why I’m here. Not for her, but just because she’s here, we’ve been friends since high school first started. Thought I’d -,”

“No, no, don’t feed me that kind of bull, I may not be the sharpest watermelon in the pumpkin patch, but it’s not hard to tell that it’s more than just a ‘friend’ thing for you.”

My fists clenched in my pockets and I could feel a welling heat around my neck. If it wasn’t so dark I’d be blushing. And I hate blushing. “So what, it doesn’t matter. I’ve spent all this time doing it for no reason, I thought maybe now would be the best way to get it over with, one last moment before cutting the cord.”

“Go outside.”

“Why?” Dear Lord there was going to be some Isaac tar splattered all over the road.

“She’s outside.”

Kaleb turned around and left, entering the havoc of the gymnasium, his tall form momentarily illuminated by the ever so puke coloured disco lights. The doors closed and I was swallowed by the dark. My insides felt like they had been ripped out. Maybe that was my kidneys finally in revolt. I looked up for the philosophical quality, as if looking God in the face. I gave Him the finger.

This was it.





VII. (Addison and Isaac)

For June it was unusually cold, the wind slapped me in the face as I walked out into the night. The campus lamps glowered down at me from their stretching heights, casting everything in a dim orange glow. I hated the town life, too much light pollution, not enough clearance to see the stars above. But I had been at the school plenty of times at night to know that to cut costs the lights in the back were never on, who would want to go back there anyway?

It proved to be the only place a person could see the night sky for what it really was. Addison was nowhere out front. I noticed someone had written on my bike seat in Wite-Out (Go evolution of man, hurry up and outbreed the childish, brainless bigots), obviously seeing me coming in on it. The orange light reflected off of the three letter word and I felt even smaller and more insignificant in the works of things. I had to go out back; there was no running away now.

Well, there was, at least until I realized that the same fools who found it funny to scribble ‘fag’ on my seat had found it funny to let the air out of my tires. I resisted the urge to flip the bird at the sky again and started for the edge of the illuminated parking lot. And she was there, sitting at the inconveniently placed bench, half covered in a shroud and half covered in light. Her thin silhouette in the darkness was still, head tilted to the sky.

I said her name as I approached the bench, her head tilted towards me, I couldn’t make out if she was smiling or not, or completely disgusted I had found her. It seemed like I had to make the step over, it was something I couldn’t tear away from. The wall of black stood before me and what I wanted. I stepped out of the limelight and into that different place. Elevators should be banned.


“You actually came?” Her voice sounded stretched and frayed, like she was upset, I had heard it this way a lot. “I thought you didn’t ‘do’ prom.” She smiled from her seat, wearing a long frilled purple dress. The make-up she had running across her face told a story. I had seen her this way a lot too.

“Well, I don’t, really.” For some reason all the years of knowing her and talking to her, now was the time I felt both my most nervous and most relaxed. “I just thought I’d come, to show everyone that they could be wrong about me, that I wasn’t so open, that there was still something they couldn’t know about me.”

“Oh...” She sounded disappointed. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Kaleb’s stiffness, her behaviour both prior to me showing up and how now it changed with my fake reason. “Well... did you have fun?”

“I’ve only been here for half an hour. Brent gave me a hard time and then Kaleb told me that...,”

Addison seemed to grow distraught, stiffening and looking away from me at the mention of Kaleb’s name. I could see her shake her head, my eyes were slowly adjusting to see her completely, her eyes looking back to me. “What did he say?”

“He told me you were outside. And that was it. The way he treated it was like I should come out here. And that if I didn’t he’d kill me, and if I came back in he’d kill me. So I thought I might as well do what he wanted.”

A cracked laugh escaped her lips and she stood up. And it was like a train decided to fall from the sky and take me in the head. This wasn’t how things went. This wasn’t how things are supposed to go... Her voice sounded distant and I processed what I had stumbled upon. “I tried calling you... But you never called back. I tried looking for you but it was like you were avoiding me.”

“I was just, dealing with things... I guess.”

“Really?” Her voice flattened again. It was true. She was here for me. Not as a friend, but... Kaleb’s disposition proved it. Her mood proved it. I couldn’t lie.

“I honestly was avoiding those things. I wasn’t sure how I would react, I told myself that I would, shame upon the tradition, ask you to come here with me. I was going to tell you how I felt. I wouldn’t be able to stand being here as just your friend.”

“I thought you were going to ask me. I was giving you the openings to do it...” Addison’s face turned to a frown but it began to lessen and reverse in the queerest way. “I wanted you to ask me. Not to get me out of going with Kaleb for custom, but because, I wanted to come with you. I wanted to spend the night here together. And I also...” Her voice drifted away. I honestly couldn’t tell what her exact mood was, if she was being nostalgic about these ideals or getting angry about the circumstances.

There was a standing silence between us, the darkness of the campus to our left and the bright artificial light to the right provided a keen discrepancy. I could have called it almost ironic at the task at hand. “By now I’m pretty sure you figured out that-,”

“I figured it out at Christmas four years ago, Isaac; you’re not quite the barricade you thought you were.” She smiled dimly and opened her mouth to say something.

“I figured it out about three minutes ago.” I took the dazed moment (despite the fact I was pretty sure she was just faking being surprised, but, eh, who knows.) for what it was and did what I had wanted to do for so long. I went for the renowned dart kiss. It was dark and I missed, only snagging the cheek and she laughed, pushing me back.

“I think that’s good enough for now.” She turned around and crossed back over into the parking lot, sneaking a look over her shoulder as I stood embarrassed beyond all measure at the bench. I got over it in two seconds and quickly scooped up her hand before she’d have time to do anything else playfully demeaning.

The prom was over then. However long we had talked, it certainly didn’t feel like an eternity. Students were filing out, laughing and huddling together. Brent and Jack (and his surprisingly non-hideous date) passed us and did a double take before being swallowed by other people. I could still see that shiny head among the throngs. Kaleb was one of the last; he looked at me with a scowl for a brief moment but it changed to a faint smile, almost as if to say ‘you owe me one’. Owe him one, I did.


It’s been over thirty years since then. One of the simplest things I’ve ever done was realize just how right Jack and Brent had been. As much as I hated them for proving me wrong, I owed them a lot, they just never knew it. I’ve never regretted what I did that night. My wife tells me the same thing.

-Fin

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Post Re: Reasoning -Semi-Mature Humour- • Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:52 pm
That was a very good story. You did really good for a love story.. :P I really like the ending how Isaac mentions that he'll never regret that night. It was so sweet. :P


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Post Re: Reasoning -Mature Humour and Language- • Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:43 pm
I like it. It's not like typical love stories that are incredibly sappy, but actually deals with the internal conflict that I'm sure all you young folk have. ;P

5 Stars. Would read again. :P

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Post Re: Reasoning -Mature Humour and Language- • Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:23 pm
It's was pretty good especially for something you wrote in the early hours of the morning like seven to twenty days ago. But, why do teachers have insist that Shakespeare had to be "gay", I rather think his wife was just an ugly woman and he was being honest. Most guys just can't be, I guess, they were great flatterers and Shaking Spear was at least being more truthful. If a bit overblown, methinks.

I did like the ending bit, too, really cute. ;)

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“Asphixation, defenstration, breathing wool, decapitation. Drinking from a lava pool, driving drunk to look so cool. Crazy bees sting you a lot, eating any rats you caught - all these ways that you can die. Don't forget poisonous pie!" -Classic SmashQueen, Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:03 pm
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Post Re: Reasoning -Mature Humour and Language- • Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:17 pm
It's going to snow in Texas. =P

Good story, I really enjoyed it.

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