May 21st, 2011
It started in good fun. With this supposed Rapture, we were using it as an excuse to party. I mean, there was nobody in our group who was expecting to vanish at six. All us sinners were just thinking, "if it does happen, good reason to party harder than we ever have before."
We'd been going strong for four hours. Jacob, my best friend since third grade, was drunk and getting overly frisky with his girlfriend, Rebecca. Usually I don't mind this, but I was a bit drunk myself and the feelings I had long harbored for Rebecca always come to the surface when I drink. Also, all the "end of the world" talk was getting to me and, if we were going to die, it looked like I was going to die single.
Rebecca was gorgeous. She had long red hair, fair skin with a series of well-placed freckles to make her that much cuter, and her legs... OH, her legs... God seriously knew what he was doing when he crafted those fine, fine instruments of bipedal motion. And she was a nerd. The first time I ever saw her, she was wearing a Jayne hat and a 4th Doctor scarf that I later learned she knitted herself. I think that's what really killed me about the pairing of Jacob and Becca, he had absolutely no geek cred, yet she was all over him.
Jacob was a jock, it was the one thing that made our friendship seem out of place. I was busy watching Star Wars and Lord of the Rings on Friday nights while he was getting the winning tackle and the heart of every girl in our high school. This, of course, continued into college. Then the worst thing ever happened, Jacob and Becca met.
I was there. It was the one time that Jacob finally dragged me from the safety of the room to a party off campus. I even pulled the classic Star Wars line as we got there, "I've got a bad feeling about this." I should learn to listen to my feelings. Jake had disappeared looking for what he called a "fine piece of tail" while I just sat close to the food in the kitchen. Then, there she was.
I had seen her around since that initial sighting one winter when she was bundled up in nerdy cuteness, but never had the guts to even introduce myself. She walked right up to me, looked me in the eye, and said "Excuse me, I think there are some cheese puffs behind you."
I was frozen.
We sat there looking at each other for a few moments until I heard Jake say, "You'll have to excuse him. He's socially awkward." Reaching behind me, Jacob revealed a large red bowl filled with cheese puffs and offered it to my nerd girl. She blushed and replied, "Well, I think we all have our moments."
"Jacob," he said, "and this is Tom."
"Rebecca," she answered, "but everyone calls me Becca. It's nice to meet you both."
"Nice to meet you," Jake said in his "smooth" voice as he offered her his hand. She took it and blushed.
Just like that, I was skunked. Before I could even say one word, I was out of the game.
To be honest, I kind of hated Jake at that moment.
From then on, she was always around. I thought for sure she would see through his shallow nature and figure out it was me she actually wanted, but no. I even tried to arrange to have geeky things to talk to her about when she came over, but as in-depth as we would get, she would always run off with Jake as soon as he called.
I'll admit it, I was bitter. But I would never have said anything about it to Jake or Becca... if I hadn't been a little drunk.
It was a Rapture party, world about to potentially end, why not let loose for once? I was working on my second beer, which I had switched to when the guy making mixed drinks refused to make me anymore claiming he was saving them "for the ladies," when I saw Becca in Jake's lap, trying her best to eat his face from the look of it. I sat down next to them, I might have sneered, and said, "do either of you have any regrets?"
They stopped and looked at me.
"No, really," I slurred. "If the world is going to end in thirty minutes, we should share our regrets."
"But Tom," Becca said sweetly, "the world isn't going to end. This is just a laugh. I think you've had enough."
"Yeah, man," Jake added. "Why don't you go sleep it off."
"Fuck you, girl stealer."
Both Becca and Jake looked at me and said, "What?"
I continued calmly, "You stole the nerd girl of my dreams, you shit. I never even had a chance."
Jake thought about it for a minute. "You were drowning, dude. I came in for the conversation life preserver and you still didn't say word one."
"You know I can't talk to girls when I'm interested in them."
Becca looked from me to Jake, then said, "Are you talking about me?"
"OF COURSE," I shouted, making our fight all the more public.
"Tom," she said placing her hand on my arm, "I thought we talked about this."
"No," I said shaking my head drowsily, "you talked, I listened."
"You also said we were friends, didn't you Tom?"
I looked at her sheepishly. "Well, yeah. But..."
Becca leaned in. "But what? Was that a lie?"
I threw my beer to the ground. "Yes it was a lie!" I knew I misspoke as soon as I saw the tears in her eye.
"Wait. I mean, yes I'm your friend. Of course I am. But I want to be more than that."
"Finally it comes out," Jake laughed. "I fucking knew you had a thing for her. Why didn't you tell me? I could have told you you had no shot and we could have gone on with our lives. How long you been holding onto this?"
"I've been in love with her since I first saw her, you prick!"
"At the party?"
"No, you idiot. That was when YOU first saw her. I'd seen her around campus for months."
"Why didn't you say anything, Tom?" Becca looked at me with what was either pity or utter sadness.
"I don't know. What could I say? You two were all over each other, and what shot would I have against Jake? He's every girl's dream, isn't he?"
"Jake's nice and all, but..." she shrugged.
"No Jake, I didn't mean it like that. Just... I mean, this isn't a forever thing between us."
Now Jake actually looked hurt. "It's not?"
"Oh. OH! You... but I... oh God." Becca awkwardly jumped off Jake and ran out of the room.
"Becca, wait," Jake and I both yelled. He looked at me with a fire in his eyes.
"You son of a bitch. What the fuck is wrong with you?" He jumped up to run after her. "Becca, babe, come back!"
I sat there as the few people who had stopped to watch lost interest and turned back to their partying. Suddenly, one of the people throwing the party came in yelling "Six o'clock and all's well! No apocalypse, folks! We have a Rapture fail. Guess we'll have to try again next year."
There was a mix of groans, chuckles, and "aws" of mock disappointment as the rest of the party realized the world wasn't going to end.
Then again, I guess it was all in how you looked at it.
William the Bloody Looking For His Own Nerd Girl Redd