He sat with his feet crossed and swinging. The chair was uncomfortable and he was bored. He uncrossed his legs and balanced the chair on its hind legs for a while. This was tricky business; the chair wasn’t built for it! Soon enough he was at the edge, the moment where you know that if you don’t lunge forward now, there will be repercussions. This was also the moment when he knew he could try a tricky maneuver and save himself the indignity of giving up.
Case 1
He lunged forward, too late. He was falling backwards and there was nothing he could do. He fell hard on his back, the chair somehow saving his head from crashing bad. He let out a small groan. His back still hurt badly. Only then did he notice the hysterical laughter emanating from the corner of the room.
He twisted and balanced himself on his arm. There she was, a book lying in her lap, the pages now flapping carelessly as she held her stomach and laughed. He grimaced and got up, “Funny, huh?” he spat at her almost viciously as he massaged is back with one hand while the other straightened the chair. “Yeah go on” he said as she continued to laugh, “laugh at my misery.” She stopped in mid giggle and looked at him. He was frowning at her and then she burst out laughing again.
“Yeah, yeah, funny.” He did some stretches as he did a systems check on his body, all working just fine. He looked at her again, as he continued to put his back through the check. She was furiously snapping at the pages now, obviously she was lost.
“What are you doing here anyways? I thought this was an empty room!” He almost snapped at her. She looked up her hand still working the pages of the book,” I just wanted some quiet study time and since you were so engrossed in your study act I thought you wouldn’t notice.”
He hadn’t noticed, even though the gate was only a little behind him. “Yeah well… I was kinda doing my thing you know.” He muttered in her general direction as blood now crept up to his cheeks. “It was VERY impressive” she said, went into a fit of giggles and then continued with her book.
“So…you won’t tell this to anybody right? I mean, if that is ok with you.” He tried to avoid eye contact here.
“Sure, if that pleases you.” This time she hadn’t even looked up. He walked up to her, drew a chair and sat down next to her. “What are you reading?” Still busy she replied flippantly, “Oh this and that, you wouldn’t know.” She looked up at him then and burst into laughter again. “Oh come out of it woman!” He shouted at her, “Why do you keep laughing still?”
She drew a breath and then replied, “I dunno, I guess I will always associate you now with that funny moment!”
He sighed inwardly, waiting for her to stop laughing. He liked her, now he just needed to convince her not to tell people about his embarrassing incident.
Case 2
He tried the tricky maneuver, as the chair rocked back he put his palm on the wall and pushed away, jumping just at the right time as the chair fell. He stood there pleased with himself, a moment of great athletic pride for him; too bad no one was around to see it.
“Cool” came the sound from the corner of the room. He looked up and saw her sitting there with a book in her hand. She was smiling at him. He grinned back, “Oh yeah” he thought to himself. He walked up to her, pulled a chair and sat down right next to her. “So what you doing?”
“Oh nothing really, just boring stuff.” she said and snapped the book shut. He was still grinning at her, she nervously smiled back. He grabbed the book from her hand and looked down at the heavy leather cover, “Who reads this boring crap anyway?” He told her, trying to act cool. She bought it. He liked her, she was gullible. Now he just needed her to tell people about his awesome incident.
Years down the line he sat on his bed thinking of the past. “Ah, if only” he thought as he closed his eyes and pictured the second case. He loved her, but she was now his friend. More importantly, he was her special friend. He punched an imaginary wall, that term still rankled. He ran a hand through his hair, slumping further into the cushions. If only he had taken that second choice, the cooler guy. He HAD to like somebody who believed in love at first sight.
Mentally he shot, burned, threw off a cliff, buried in a cemetery while still alive, and drowned in the sea every romantic movie director ever. Why did the hero have to be a good looking bloke? Why? Why did they build up this image in girl’s heads?
If only we knew where our choices would lead, he sighed inwardly and went back to his dreams. The scenario where he was the cooler guy and she liked him still. A man can dream right?

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