make that choice already (something fictitious)Posted: January 31, 2010
He hesitates, holding off the urge to lay his heart on the table in the hopes of her accepting it.
She was the kind of person that would rather stab it with a BIC pen, before dousing it in BIC lighter fluid and setting it ablaze with a Zippo. Her actions would be precise, methodical. Her eyes would be vacant, face expressionless throughout the whole process. Emotion was for those that deserved it. Uncap the pen, stab the heart in the left ventricle. Crack open half a dozen cheap lighters, pour the mass-produced butane onto the bloodied heap. Flick the Zippo lighter, toss it towards the pen. The table would also go up in flames, but that would just prove her point.
His moment’s hesitation results in a three-foot wide gap between him and her. They sit, in silence, staring at a wall.
Rather, he was staring at a wall. She’s scribbling notes with an old fountain pen, because her old BIC was reserved for stabbing his heart sometime down the line. The notes were written in neat cursive handwriting, which required a fair bit of finesse compared to his illegible script. A slender hand gripped that old fountain pen, refilled hastily earlier in the morning. Slightly tanned skin. A striped blouse that oddly reminded him of a children’s book character that one had to recognize in a crowd. She readjusts herself, ever so slightly, a jean-covered leg crossing over the other equally jean-covered leg. They were the color of deoxygenated blood. Hair the color of oak draped over that red and white blouse. Naturally wavy, he noticed. Round eyes the color of maple staring intently at a notepad, a mouth grinning if you were lucky enough to see it. Not many people were. He wasn’t staring at the wall anymore.
“Fuck.” He blurts.
“Excuse me?” She replies, almost hastily. Her hand guides the fountain pen halfway back onto the paper. “Wait, were you staring at me?”
“No.” He lies.
“You liar.” She says, as if able to sense the narration.
“I was looking for Waldo. Apparently you slept with him, because you’re wearing his shirt.” He retorts. Payoff. Crisis averted, for now.
“Rude. At least I’m not some prep school reject. What did you do, fail because you couldn’t keep your parlez-vous separated from your sil-vouz-plait‘s?” She snaps back. She flashed him a smug grin, her eyes closing with glee for a grand total of two seconds. He was indeed wearing a wrinkled shirt and hastily tied tie. He also didn’t quite know how to respond to her. Concession of defeat, nonverbal. 1 – 0, lady in red and white to serve. Damn. Damn if that urge to break open that chest cavity of his to reveal to her that stupid, sentimental, so easily smitten heart of his. And boy was he smitten. Even if her reaction would be the same it always was. Apply surgical glove. Proceed to grasp and tear out that blood-pumping muscle. Stab with BIC pen. Douse with cheap butane. Light on fire.
Oh, what little did he know. Behind those eyes of maple that were three feet away from him was a mind not entirely unlike his own. With what time he wasted staring at the wall she had already thoroughly analyzed him. The prep school reject look kinda worked. Face was decent enough to kiss. He was someone she could talk to for a little. Someone she wouldn’t immediately crush. Saying he was someone she could love was taking it a little too far. Too bad she was really good at hiding all other feelings other than general contempt. She looks up from scribbling nonsense on that notepad. “Dammit, you’re staring again.” Indeed, he was. She wonders if he’ll take the bait. That utterly contrived bait. Quite frankly, she was kind of tired of playing the soul-crushing ice princess. But he didn’t know that.
Take the chance? No, he wouldn’t take the chance. Would he? Fuck what the prevailing notion that’s flowing through his head. He could take the chance and act on this love unrequited. Was it love, now? Fuck. A moment’s hesitation is what got to him last time. What would be the best course of action? A bead of sweat begins the marathon run from his forehead to his jawline. His hands grow restless.
“Well, uh, I guess I should go then.” He finally responds.
Approximately sixty thousand miles away from the pair, a quiz show is being recorded at the exact same time. The contestant, a flop-sweat addled university student is on the verge of winning a lump sum of money for answering a simple question. He panics, his mind racing between his gut notion and a leap of faith. The camera pans across the audience, paid to sit in suspense. The host is calm, cool, collected, suave, and various other adjectives to describe the most interestingly normal TV host in the world. He starts asking the contestant what answer choices he’s narrowed it down to. The university student’s voice cracks before speaking. Five seconds. He goes with his gut notion. A tense fifteen seconds. The sound of a buzzer.
“Sorry kid, shoulda went with the other answer,” the most interestingly normal TV host says, with feigned sympathy.