let's not drink
as customer service
dogs barking incessantly
clothes ripping against
the door jam
phone calls instead
fists against walls
a broken skeleton
wrists that can't
withstand that kind
of emotional dependency
on poisonous relationships
I comb my hair
tell myself to
the only reason
I'm still here
is for the pure adrenaline
from too many swear words
with a hand inside his head
he sleeps inside his guitar-cased
and weeps angel trumpets
and sandwiched between temples
are a pair of eyes
that cannot close
and lie deserted.
his synapses beep a 4/4 metronome;
a morse for his lost amore
with the downbeat blowing
the mating call of a mort
and as morning comes
a pair of palms
fly over the gas stove fire -
"twins thieving oxygen".
dragging a soul
at the sole of a palindrome
shoulders shrug away
the shaloms and mazel tovs
and shrugs towards
the nearest hearse,
The color of compassion
I see a tiny boy digging into his tiny pocket. He pulls out a coin which he places in the paper cup of a homeless man. This same tiny boy marches on down the street where he hears a steel drum, made out of tin cans, sending beautiful music to his tiny ears. Once again, he reaches into his tiny pocket and drops a shiny nickel on the ground next to the street musician.
The tiny boy knows he has only one copper penny left in his pocket. He saves it for tomorrow. His compassion is not tiny.
Tim wakes up in a cold sweat. However, it isn't night terror's that are the culprit this time. This time Tim is anxious. A queasy feeling rises in the pit of his stomach. Saturday is finally here. Tim considers Saturday a free day. A day where he doesn't have to deal with the drama that surrounds him at school. He makes it a point each Saturday to enjoy every moment of it. This Saturday is different. He has to spend part of it with her. He is way past regret. In fact he regretted it almost immediately. He never in a million years thought she would accept. Maybe George was right. Maybe Cindy really does want to get him alone. Maybe he played right into her hands without even realizing it. To think she might be 3 steps ahead of him sends a shiver down his spine. He doesn't want to go through with it but at this point he has no choice.
Since there is no way he is spending a dime of his own money on Cindy, he decides to have a picnic in the park. He finds a musty old blanket in the attic that would be perfect. He gets his mother to buy the necessary ingredients that will comprise their meal. Once he convinces her his date is with a real girl, she becomes willing to do whatever it takes to make that date a success.
His father tells him not to do anything that he himself would not do and Tim responds by saying that Cindy is probably expecting him to at the very least talk to her. Tim's father amends his advice by saying that Tim should probably tone done the sarcasm to which Tim responds that it probably isn't going to happen.
He decides to make bacon and tomato sandwiches. A normal person would have also included lettuce in the equation but Tim isn't fond of lettuce so he leaves that part out. A normal person would also use bread but Tim isn't fond of bread either so he substitutes that with English Muffins. He lightly toasts the English muffins in the toaster and cooks the bacon in the air fryer until the bacon is nice and crisp, just the way he likes it. He realizes that he has no idea if Cindy will also like the Bacon sandwiches but her preferences are not what is important here. If he is going to spend time with someone he doesn't like, he is at least going to enjoy some aspect of the encounter. He grabs a few bottles of water. His mother gives him a tin of brownies to share with what she thinks is the object of his affection. Tim insists that isn't necessary but his mother won’t take no for an answer. Rather than argue with his mother Tim just packs the tin with his other stuff and heads out to the park.
He agreed to meet Cindy at 10:30 and while he has met his part of the bargain, Cindy is nowhere to be found. Did she get cold feet? Did she just want to make a fool out of him? He spreads out the blanket in the shade of a nearby tree and sits down. Even if Cindy doesn't show up, he will still enjoy his lunch and it's always good to get some exercise. Fifteen minutes pass and Cindy is still a no show. However, the person who does show up is Brad and his posse.
"What have we here?" Brad asks not really expecting an answer, "Having a picnic all by yourself?" He shakes his head, "That is just so sad and pathetic. I really feel for you. You know, because you're so pathetic I think we'll do you a favor and cut you some slack." Brad continues, "Just one thing, we've built up quite an appetite, I'm sure you brought
enough food that you can share, seeing as we're being all nice to you and everything."
Before Tim could react, one of Brad's friends grabs Tim's basket and open's it up.
"Hey, he's got some BLT's in here." the unnamed goon announces as he throws a bag with a sandwich in it to Brad. Brad looks at it for a moment.
"Hey, where’s the lettuce? No wonder you're here all by yourself, you can't even make a BLT right." Brad opens the bag and takes a huge bite. "Hey, this is pretty good, guys, you need to taste these sandwiches." The three boys eat all of Tim's sandwiches and take his bottles of water for good measure. They leave Tim sitting there all by himself.
Tim isn't angry. Life just sucks, that's all. Tim didn't know why but the boys left his brownies behind. He takes one a bites into it. He just sits there. After an hour Cindy still does not make an appearance. She saw her opening and took it. She made a fool out of him. He can appreciate that. Maybe now she will leave him alone.
Monday Tim is walking down a hall at school when he hears a familiar voice. He doesn't want to stop but he does anyway. "Tim, I'm sorry I didn't make it on Saturday." Yeah, sure you are, Tim thinks but doesn't say out loud. "I forgot that the family was going to visit my grandparents. They live 90 minutes away and I couldn't get out of it. I wanted to though. Let me make it up to you." Cindy says by way of apology.
"You don't have to. You made a fool out of me. You really got me good. I can appreciate that." Tim says with no malice or ill will in his voice as he walks away from her.
"But I want to." Cindy says as her voice trails off watching him walk away.
My Feeble Attempt At This Challenge
So Ses Tina
And so the story goes fast
Fast as in the mental creativity
Creativity designed to be unwittingly endless
Endless points, fire, heated degrees
Degrees of intertwining levels, haunting, boastful;
Boastful where the world finds simple attempts
Eventually creating authors.
Pearl Before Swine ch 30: Choice
I float atop Issoria’s constant stream of words, but it is not a lazy ride. As often as I rise, I dive, gathering treasures in my arms. They sparkle, flicker, and pulse like jewels—like flames. The truths themselves are the gemstones, and the enthusiasm with which Issoria speaks is fire, granting movement and life. Its heat seeps through my skin and coils in my core.
Some of what she tells about the Stars is inaccurate, though I have no proof or reason to combat it. It is a feeling, as if she tries to convince me that joy is a myth when I hold it in my palm. Other things are as familiar as my own existence, as if she describes the shape of a hand, and I see mine is so.
I soak up every word and etch them on my soul so I can read them to Terra later. He surely already knows these things, yet I want to hear the poetry of his thoughts. He will craft an explanation so much better than I ever will, and it will not just be the what and the how. He will reveal the all-important why.
As I dream of his response, Terra’s face softens and lightens into copper and blue, capped with midnight’s shadow.
Jun will not say he loves me until he fully means it. I fancy showing him my realm and awe welling in those sharp eyes. Love for me waits as a seed in his heart, and beauty—the beauty of the Stars, a beauty intrinsic in me—will nourish it until it sprouts.
Yet, whether that love is a seed or a tree, I cannot bring him to Mare.
My daydream shifts again, this time to the gold of a healer’s uniform and eyes of indecisive gray. What would the inexplicably wise Sal think of these truths? He was the one with whom I first learned of the fourth realm’s existence.
I should have thought of telling him first, especially since I already have so much I need to discuss with him. My hands still on the tools Issoria explains to me as my breath flees. “I need to find Sal.”
The Pixie rocks back, lip curling, but before she can utter a sound, a blue smudge stumbles through the steam in the doorway, edges sharper the closer he comes.
Beau meets my gaze and stops, mouth ajar. “You’re here.” After a rapid blink, his posture loosens, and he grins. “Of course. Thanks for accepting my invitation, though I don’t recall giving you directions to this room specifically.” His pale green eyes cut to Issoria.
With fluttering wings, she inclines toward him. “What happened? You reek of panic.”
The frame of his rigidity returns. He is a spear, his hair a field of pikes coated in mud. “We had a guest, and someone let him out.”
My skin prickles, and my foot falls behind me, nearer to the star suit though further from the exit. “Your guests are not free to leave, Beau?”
He stretches out his grin again, its ends too pointed. “I use the word guest to be nice, but it’s not the most accurate description. You, however…” He approaches, arm aimed to wrap over my shoulders.
I retreat, wishing I could come and go through solid walls like Lance. It is a coward’s desire, as is the impulse to call for the Unicorn’s protection. If his mandate is to protect me, why does he disappear more often than not? So far, he has done nothing but manipulate humans and hurt other Creatures of Essence. Halcyon still lies on the floor, now wholly in serpentine Dragon form, his long neck crimped like folded paper.
Beau has not even glanced at him.
I can handle Beau on my own.
My feet become roots, and I stiffen my arms, miming a shove that does not touch him.
“You are a valued guest,” he says with a flicker of a frown. His freckles are like a storm’s first droplets darkening dry sand. “I came too late for the big reveal, but Issoria couldn’t have told you everything yet.”
Her laugh chimes like bells. “She belongs to the Stars.”
“I told you that from the beginning. Come here.” He holds out a hand—a command, not an offer—and I do not comply. He leans, fingers closer. “Come on, Pearl. You want to see this. Trust me.”
I do not trust him, but some gravity tugs at the fiber of my being. I am a simple cloth facing a simple choice: heed the pull of a single thread or come unraveled.
I step forward to a double-edged reward. The tension strengthens but through it, sweet energy flows. The wider Beau’s smile, the freer this nectar, and with only two steps, my head buzzes with its euphoria. In this daze, my feet do not ask for permission. They do not know the destination and do not care if one exists. The universe consists of each moment, of one more completed step.
In this way, he leads me down the hall and several ramps until the floor turns to sickly pale grass bent under the weight of the humid air. The turf ends in cliffs of sand and rock, some dipping low enough to taste the wide bay.
The water is unnaturally still—a sea without waves, a body without a heartbeat.
With a steadying hand on my elbow, he pulls me into a canoe. “Uncle severed this inlet from the ocean and closed it in—glass above, buildings all around. A bay this big is called a sound, but it’s sort of quiet.”
“Is it dying?” I lean over the rim and stare into sluggish darkness. It does not even return my reflection.
He hauls on a lever, and paddles stroke beneath the surface, but their ripples barely touch the stillness. We move faster than I can run, yet it feels as if a tree’s growth could outpace our glide.
“It doesn’t support marine life anymore, no, but sometimes things have to die to give birth to dreams.”
Frowning, I slide my gaze to him. “Things like Creatures of Essence.”
“No.” He chuckles. “They’re tough to kill and get ticked off when you try.”
“Why was there golden blood in your room?”
He pauses, lips pursed and eyes rolled skyward, before he heaves on the paddles again. “I’m wise enough not to target Essences and their property, but as you saw on the dock today, that’s a rarity.”
I straighten. “Sal?”
“Oh, it very much had to do with Sal.”
My throat tightens. “Was it his blood?”
His grin returns, slow and smooth as honey. “Uncle has strict rules about what I can say concerning Sal, and I’d rather not get kicked out of a second university.”
The slivers of information are as one raindrop for an entire desert. My face and posture crumple.
“Sal is annoying in the way that all long-lost cousins are, so let’s forget him.” Releasing the levers, Beau slides two fingers beneath my chin and tilts my face to the heavens.
The view pours through me like a deluge and carves out hollows my gasp cannot fill. While I was indoors, the fifth sunset came and faded, but tiny stars do not dust the velvet night. Globes of fire, varied in size and color, crowd the sky, and sparkling webs weave between them.
As Issoria described and I felt, each one is a sun whose light barely reaches us like the echo of a whisper. We associate night with the sun’s absence, yet it leaves us in the care of so many more.
“The dome isn’t just glass,” Beau explains. “It’s a network of lenses. I come to the dock at the middle of the sound whenever I need to be reminded of my dream, but I’m sure it doesn’t look half of what it does out there.”
“Your dream?” With some difficulty, I peel my gaze from the heights and focus on him.
He leans close, grin slanted and eyes glossed with reflections of the magnified sky. “The stars. Most of the world is caught up in trying to go back to the dimension we came from. They think that will solve our resource problem, but me? I say that’s moving backward. We have all the resources we need here. Or”—he points above—“there, actually. An endless sea waiting to be explored.”
This is the goal he came to this university to accomplish, and Tulip said goals pave the path to the human heart. I can walk it by helping him progress toward this dream. This confession has the texture of a gift. I need a human to love me, and I have so little time left. I do not like Beau, but my feelings were never a condition of the bet.
As Professor Ignacio once did, I mirror Beau’s posture, leaning over my knees. “You wish to be the first human to swim in that dark sea.”
“I will be. You saw the suit I built. It’s almost ready. Now with you here…” His teeth catch his lower lip as if that can keep his smile from engulfing his face. “Can I meet Astra?”
I blink. “Astra?”
“I named the Essence of the Stars, and if—”
“She will pick her own name.” Shaking my head, I straighten. The boat rocks dangerously beneath the quick movement.
Beau grips the sides, but his eyes never leave me. “Can we at least suggest the name I came up with? My genius is the reason she exists.”
“That would not give you any claim on her, even if it were true.” I stand, uncaring if the canoe tips, fists and jaw clenched against a fire greater than the sum of all the suns above. His ambition feeds it, and it may destroy him. “Your progress strengthens her, but she has existed for far longer than you.”
His face scrunches, but unheard logic works it like a river carving a canyon, loosening the lines until the expression is open and curious. “Sit, please.”
When I do not, he rises and offers both hands, stopping shy of catching mine—waiting for me to consent and close the gap. Again, I do not.
In this light of low contrasts, his skin is the opposite of the sky—a lighter gray speckled with darkness. “Astra has to have been around longer than any of the Creatures she made, and while the Auroras were first seen less than a week ago, you…how old are you?”
“I spent hundreds of seasons with Terra, and before that, time was not something I understood.”
His brows hop, and his head shakes. “So, older than my nineteen years?”
“Essences measure the angles of the light so we know when to expect dawn and dusk. We measure days so we know when the season will change, and we measure seasons so we know when a new era begins. To assign that measure to ourselves is unnecessary.”
“That’s fascinating.” It is a whisper and a laugh. “The simpler answer I’m hearing is yes, you’re older than me. That’s fine. I’ll still be the first human in space.” He grips my hands and winces as they sizzle, but he doesn’t let go. “Say you’ll help me get there.”
I sigh. “I must return to Mare within two sunsets.”
“To the Sea?” His nose wrinkles as if to keep his lowering brows from sliding down it. His grip loosens. “Astra didn’t send you to spy on me?”
“I have never met my Essence, and if I ever want to, I must win my freedom from Mare.”
The ice of his touch vanishes, and he wags an open hand at me. “That’s how you’re older. Astra didn’t make you. Mare made you, and you have to prove yourself worthy enough of being a gift for Astra.”
“You have a talent for finding the shiny slivers of truth amongst all the world’s grains of sand.” I wring my fingers, needing to use this energy, to run and jump, but this is a very small boat in the middle of a very big lake. I pour it into my words instead. “I must prove myself worthy of having a choice. To Mare. To Terra. To myself. If I fail, if I do not bring back a human whose love I have earned before the time limit, then I will only be a jewel on Mare’s necklace, and that is all I will deserve to be.”
“What if you don’t go back? Will she come after you?” The longing in his tone is like sugar dumped into the sea instead of salt.
“You do not want her to come here and destroy what you have built.”
He nods, eyes fixed on me as he sits, one brow lifting. “Then, I’ll go with you.”
“You just need a human to say they love you. I can do that.”
“It would be a lie.”
“Depends on your definition of love.” With a shrug, he hauls on the lever, and the canoe lurches forward.
I stumble back into my seat. I like Jun’s definition of love, and Tulip’s explanations, and Sal’s lessons. I do not care to know the angle Beau sees, even if it would win me the bet.
Righting myself, I sit with all the rigor of a mountain. My voice plays its jagged, snow-laden cliffs. “Love is a human emotion, and you are human, but you love nothing beyond your own ambition.”
He frowns, but I barrel on.
“Even if Mare does not call out that technicality, you will consider this favor a way of purchasing me. I will not be free, and I will not have proven I should be.”
“Way to hack at my character with a dull little ax. You done?” His glower grows a twisted smirk, his back as stiff as mine. “Can you blame me for hoping you’d choose to stay?”
He holds out a hand, and again I leave it unaccepted despite how the fire within me pulls toward him like a plant reaching for the sun. The hope and ambition he so freely wears is food more potent than coconut or deer jerky, the energy given to me by Halcyon or Lance, or even Jun’s awe. Though as still as the mountain I pretend to be, I am a volcano, danger sloshing within.
Fill anything too much, and it explodes.
With this feeling, my eyes jump to the bay’s borders in search of Aurora. I have more than enough to share with her this time. Yet, only the amplified stars wink back. Because no, I do not want Aurora here. I want her to stay as far from Beau as possible.
Impatience outweighs consent, and he grabs my wrist. A needle burrows in my skin, and ice shoots up my arm. I am a rock, a karst, harried by a thousand eras of erosion all at once. He lets me fall on the canoe’s floor, my head between his feet, my gaze on the unnaturally close sky.
“It’s so much harder when they’re always trying to escape,” Beau mutters as he resumes his grip on the lever and our boat glides onward.
I am not the first Creature of Essence he has taken against their will. As the scene melts beyond a film of tears, memory shines brighter, displaying golden blood in his room. He claims Sal is involved, or is that another lie? Another technicality.
Was it Sal’s blood?
I am not the first Creature of Essence that Beau has taken, but I will be the last. My tears crackle as they slide down my cheeks, wend over my ears, and drip onto the floor. Smoke coils from their kiss upon the wood. Water gurgles through the holes.
Beau glances at his soggy shoes, mouth open.
I burst. At the behest of my flames, white as starlight with a hint and flash of all hues, everything flees.
The water embraces me, bubbles dancing with my fire. I watch them with only the faintest of smiles. The ice still holds my muscles, and I cannot move. I am trapped in the water and sinking. Someone screams and thrashes, but it is not me.
Please, I do not want to lie on the seafloor alone. This bay does not even have fish.
My flames flicker and fade. There is only cold.
Arms wrap me and pull me up. I can neither fight nor accept them, yet some inner sense of myself leans into their warmth. The air tastes of salt and smoke as my rescuer tows me toward the shore. Some distance behind, Beau screams at Pike.
“Stop thrashing, you dolt! I’m trying to rescue you,” my hero pirate shouts.
“But it hurts! It burns!”
Perhaps it is the villain in me, but I am glad. I am a sun, and if Beau comes near me again, he will hurt even more.
My savior’s strokes are uneven and strained, yet we slip through the water with a dolphin’s grace. His every breath carries a wheeze of discomfort, almost a whistle, almost a song. One I almost recognize.
“Can you speak, Pearl?” The voice is Sal’s, said with an ocean’s worth of concern. “Tell me what happened.”
I seek out my tongue, chipping through ice and ash with picks of fire. Beyond it, I map out my jaw and lips, but it takes all the energy I have left.
As the stars wink out one by one, I force one sentence into the world, meaning to warn him of Beau, meaning to thank Sal for being here, but the words do not convey that at all. “You can swim.”
I do not know if the molasses nature of his voice stems from his fatigue or my own. “Yeah, I can swim. It’s one of the few things I’m good at.”
Continued in chapter 31: Evidence
Thank you for reading!
going back a ways...
“Which friend you’re with right now is the best?” is a losing question, I learned on a playground, so I hope @Danceinsilence will forgive a variation that remains in the spirit of the challenge. Instead of trying to pick a favorite present Prose writer, I’ll name someone long gone who I always hope will return.
@cassfelliott, man. I want to read more stories by @cassfelliott. “The Whirlwind” remains the most gripping piece of horror I can recall reading on Prose. It’s here: https://theprose.com/post/319799/the-whirlwind The scenario, the imagery, the reveal are all unforgettable, and the story does that thing great horror does: it imprints upon some common experience and shades it in your memory. I had occasion to go on a waterslide last week. Definitely thought of “The Whirlwind.”
@cassfelliott is probably on to bigger, better things, but I always hope a burst of notifications will get us one more story.
let’s talk and think, all!
The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R.2307 was reintroduced in the House. I think that, or any carbon tax bill, would be a welcome breath of fresh air. I look at the horrific weather events around the globe and feel upset, saddened, and angry. I want to fire up my peers. I lobby my representatives as a member of my local chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), an environmental conservation organization.
Realistically, as much as I hope to get H.R.2307 passed, it's not practical to get my leaders behind climate change legislation. In my state, it's likely impossible now, due to denial, ignorance, apathy, &/or possibly other seeminly unrelated factors, such as politics.
Even trying to change people's habits en masse seems daunting, an insurmountable challenge. We need to get away from viewing videos on such enjoyable, entertaining sites as YouTube, TikTok, or Netflix. These and similar sites require the most energy use, producing the most carbon emissions. I don't know how to link an article's website. By copying and pasting, you'll find more info in this article: All of your YouTube and TikTok videos are contributing to climate change (greenandgrowing.org).
Supporting a carbon tax bill makes all the sense in the world. So why am I pessimistic that the world won't grasp it? Oh, did I say 'pessimistic'? I'm really just trying to force myself to be 'realistic'. I'll close, before I get myself all choked up. Thanks for the challenge, and that's not sarcastic! It's certainly a topic fit for discussion! Sincerely!
Freedom to come
Freedom to rise
Like the sea’s waves
And bright, wide eyes
Sunshine on sand
Clouds drifting by
Bury your toes
A long, sweet sigh
Freedom to go
Freedom to rest
Like a mountain
All the world’s best
Another day begins. It begins a lot like the day before. An alarm goes off. Impatient commuters use the horns of their cars to communicate their impatience. Tim wakes up in a cold sweat. His heart rate is up. His hands griping the bedsheets below him instinctively bracing himself against a terror he did not now remember. It happened again. The night terrors that often torment him in his sleep. He never remembers the dreams, he only remembers the feeling those dreams produce and the involuntary reactions of his body to those dreams.
Tim gets up and prepares himself for the school day that lies before him. He braces himself for the boring lectures and social humiliation that awaits him. Tim has gotten to the point where he dosen’t care. He could be mad. He could wish for some kind of revenge against his tormentors. Rage could be seething just beneath the surface until it got to the point that his mind snaps but it doesn’t. There is no rage, only indifference. A quiet acceptance of fate.
Tim enters a dilapidated building badly in need of repair. It’s clear it’s best days have been long forgotten. A wave of dispair washes over all who enter it’s hallowed halls of learning. Soon upon entering Tim is spotted by an individual who mass towers over him and the individual is not happy.
“Hey Dweeb, That paper you gave me got a ‘D’. If my grades drop I wont get to play football anymore.” The towering individual speaks with both anger and disgust with a hint of entitlement sprinkled in for good measure. “You better fix it.”
Tim is use to being ordered about like a slave and he obeys his orders without question. There are worse things than being used and being used was a perferrable state than the alternative. Tim is unmoved by the tone of the towering individual.
“Don’t worry, I got this.” Tim answers with the tone of confidence that let the towering individual know that Tim would not let him down.
“You better.” was all the towering individual could say in reponse. With that situation defused, Tim proceeds to class. The bell is close to ringing and he doesn’t want to be late. He hears a voice calling him from behind. He doesn’t want to be rude and ignore the voice but he also doesn’t want to be late to class. He turns to confirm who the owner of the voice is. It is Cindy. He weighs the social cost of ignoring Cindy to the time cost of being late to class. Against his better judgement he stops and waits for Cindy to catch up with him.
“Guess who has a crush on you?” She says teasing.
“No one has a crush on me.” Tim replies.
“I heard that Kelly has a crush on you.” She follows up.
“Kelly does not have a crush on me.” Tim reinforces.
“Oh, you thought I meant Kelly Richards,” Cindy states,” I meant Kelly Franklin.” and after saying that she doubled over laughing.
“Very funny.” Tim replies. Kelly Richards was the most popular girl in school, Kelly Franklin was a guy. Tim is used to Cindy teasing him. It has gotten to the point where nothing she says can get a rise out of him. She sees this lack of response as a challenge and vows that she would get him good one day.
The bell rings. They are both late to class. The teacher givse Tim and Cindy both a slip of paper which indicates they will be attending detention later that afternoon. Tim tries to stay awake during the boring lecture. He feels the stare of several individuals that make him feel like an ant under a magifying glass.
In between classes when the students shuffle their way between point A and point B, Tim sees one of the few friends he possesses. George was also a social outcast and their suffering was a shared experience.
“Hey Tim, you should come over later. I got that new VR headset.” George says.
“Sorry, Cindy got me detention.” Tim shoots back.
“Again!, I think she does that on purpose. Maybe she secretly wants to be alone with you.” George teases.
The thought of being alone with Cindy makes Tim want to throw up. Cindy is higher up on the social ladder than both Tim or George but it isn’t by much. To suggest that Cindy was the one who had a crush on him was a thought that Tim doesn’t want to entertain.
“I’ll talk to you later.” Tim states as he is going to make sure he isn’t late to his next class.
The day flows like molasses until finally the time comes for detention. Tim enters the room to find a usual group of deplorables who all eye him with mutual disgust. Tim takes a seat and starts on homework. Cindy comes in a few minutes later and takes the desk right next to him. She smiles like a cat who had just cornered a mouse and is about to play with it against it’s will. Cindy starts making Tim feel uncofortable and is fully aware of it. When he has finally had enough he decides to turn the tables on her.
“Do you want to go out?” He asks her.
“What?” She says shocked. She is taken completely by surprise at this turn of events.
“You know, on a date?” He follows up. Tim’s voice sounds irritated.
“What?” She repeats still not quite getting it. Tim decides it is time to make Cindy really uncomfortable. He gets up from his desk, walks around it and gets on his knees to beg. Everyone’s eyes are now fully fixed on Tim and Cindy except for the teacher who is lost in some app he is unsing on his phone.
“Will you please go out with me?” Tim begs.
“No!” Cindy shoot back, “Why would you even think that?” She follows up.
“Look, the truth is I think about you all the time and you’re the one girl who actually talks to me. I can’t stand it anymore. You have to go out with me.” Tim explains. Tim is lying. He knows that Cindy will never go out with him but maybe if she thinks he has a crush on her she will leave him alone for awhile.
The expression on Cindy’s face changes and softens.
“I didn’t know you felt that way.”, She says with a tenderness that took Tim completely by surprise. “Of course I’ll go out with you.” Tim’s gambit completely backfires. He thinks that she will run for the hills but instead she accepts his invitation. Now he has to take her out. Tim swallows hard but he can’t admit he is just trying to get back at her.
“Thank you.” is all he can say in response.