Perfection Is Overrate
by Bradley Scott
The door closed in his face. He spun around quicky amd headed for the stairs Ted didn’t really know where he was going, but he just had to get the hell out of there. And he needed to make a little stop at the buildings dumpster.
When he got there he pulled the destroyed orange shirt out of his laptop bag and threw it in. Stupid, stupid, STUPID! He thought. He carried on walking, in a flat rage with himself. He didn’t know where he would go, but Kyle had given him his credit card, and he was angry enough to buy something expensive.
What the hell was he expecting to happen, anyway? That this cute, smart and funny Darren guy would just magically fall in love with him and forget all about Kyle? Fat chance. Kyle had even said it this morning – he liked Darren, and he wanted him.
And Kyle had an annoying way of always getting what he wanted.
Ted had gotten had gotten back from trying on the clothes that Kyle had given him, barely caring about what he was doing – he was too anxious, thinking about what Darren and Kyle could be talking about. When he got back, they both looked…. very friendly.
And now Darren was coming over to the apartment, for presumably another wild night of passionate monkey-sex with Kyle.
This is my fault, Ted thought glumly, turning around the corner and heading to town. I thought Darren was different.
Well, in a way he was – different from the other guys Kyle had fucked, because Darren had actually come back for a repeat performance. Kyle had even said he liked him. Not just “enjoyed” him.
It was pretty much as serious as Ted had ever seen him. And it’s not like Kyle had planned on monogamy…. but it’s not exactly like he hadn’t. Kyle just always sort of…. went with the flow, and did whatever felt good.
Maybe a relationship with Darren felt good.
WHAT RELATIONSHIP?? Seriously, though – they had only slept together once. Maybe it was really good and they both just wanted another night.
Ted berated himself for thinking this. Even if it was just fooling around – what was he supposed to do? Could he really even expect to have a relationship of his own with this guy, when he’d already fucked Kyle. It was just wierd.
And with Ted’s luck, it might already be a relationship anyway.
He bumped into someone and went flying backwards into the pavement.
“Dude, that’s unlucky. Sorry.”
He looked up at the person who knocked him over. It was a girl – an a very small one, at that. Great, he thought, how embarrasing.
“Um…. Hi.” He could feel himself starting to blush. “I guess I wasn’t watching where I was going…..”
She giggled. She was wearing a baggy T-shirt that looked way too big for her and had her hair back in a pony tail. SHe was very pretty, and it would have been a cute way to meet a girl – if he actually knew what to do with one. Or even wanted to do anything with one.
“Yup, that’s about right. You were Zombie-walking. Something on your mind? I’m Whitney, by the way.” She offered her hand. Ted took it, and was surprised by her steely grip.
“Um….. yeah, kind of…. Um…. Hi, Whitney….” He was blushing even more now, just because he was making such a big idiot out of himself.
“And you are?”
“Well, Um-ted, it was nice to bump into you.” When he didn’t laugh at this, the smile fell from her face. “Oh, gee, you really must have something on your mind.”
“Yeah, it’s…. nothing.”
“Oh. Anyway, student or a townie?”
“Student.” One word answers. He could do those.
“Oh, cool, me too. Well, I’m kind of both. But that’s a long story. So I probably would have recognised you if you were a Townie… so it was a totally stupid question. I’m studying Political Sciences, first year. You?”
“Um…. Applied Mathematics. Second year.”
“Wow. So you’re like one of those really smart guys. It must be really hard.”
“Um, yeah. It’s qui-“
“Say, do you want to go get coffee or something, instead of standing around at the scence of the crime?”
“Your attack on the pavement.”
Ted laughed at that.
“Okay…. fine.” As uncomfortable as this strange girl made him, he really didn’t have anything better to do for the next……. However long it took for Kyle and Darren to wear themselves into a stupor. She was frendly enough, and kind of funny.
“Cool – this way. We can go to the one by the bookstore. I need to get a new book anyway.” She grabbed him by the arm, which almosat made him jump, and they set off. She all but dragged him across the street and around the corner, and into the bookstore that she had been talking about. “Let me get the book first, then we can have coffee. I heard from a friend that they have this one I want now – I won’t be long. Come with me.”
With a bit of surprise, he followed her into the science-fiction/fantasy section, where she started scanning the shelves meticulously. He looked around, seeing what there was. He found something with a nice cover, and the story looked good. He thought he’s buy a book too.
“HA! Found it.” She smiled triumphantly, holding a book with a shiny silver cover. She walked up to him. “What you got there?”
“Um… I -“
“Oh, cool, Ptolemy’s Gate. Are you a fan?”
“Oh, gosh. That’s the wrong book for you then. It’s the third one in the Trilogy. Here,” She grabbed a beige one from the shelf. “This is the first one. Read that, then get to the others.”
“Thanks,” He said, putting his original choice back and smiling properly at her for the first time.
“Don’t mention it.” She put one hand behind his neck and pulled him towards her face, and gave him a passionate kiss. She pressed her body up against him…. and stopped suddenly when she realised Ted had tensed up.
“Is… something wrong?” She still had her hand around his neck, and now she was looking into his eyes.
“Um, kind of.” He grimaced. “I probably should have told you before – I’m gay.”
“WHAT?” She let go of his neck, tripped and fell over backwards.
“Dude, that’s unlucky. Sorry.” He mimicked what she had said earlier, and they both burst out into laughter. He helped her up.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry.” She covered her mouth with her hands and looked horrified. “I had no idea….. I thought you were just a nerd.”
“But I mean I should have guessed, your hair is so… silky. And your clothes go so well -“
“Just so we don’t get off on the wrong foot – neither of those are my fault. And, by the way, that’s a bit prejudice, don’t you think?”
“I’m sorry. I’ve just….. never met a gay guy before.”
“Seriously? That’s kind of unlikely. What with the percentage of guys who are gay, plus the likelihood that guys are secretive about it, and the number of guys who are students here….. statistically, as a college student, this far into your first year, you should have met at least 10, even if you didn’t know about it.”
They began to head towards the counter.
“Wow. At least I was right about one thing.” They both quickly paid for their books. Ted handed over Kyle’s credit card to the lady at the till with a slight twinge of guilt, since he might not get around to reading the book anyway.
“What?” He turned to Whitney and raised his eyebrows.
“You are a nerd.”
“Gee, thanks. Should we get that coffee now?…. If it’s not too wierd for you?”
“Okay….. sure.” Whitney smiled with confusion and they went to the little coffee area that was attached to the bookstore. She ordered a latte and Ted ordered a hot chocolate.
“Hot Chocolate? What are you, 12?”
“I like hot chocolate.” He pouted, and Whitney laughed. Their drinks arrived, and they chatted for a while, about their courses and the professors. He told he about the apartment he had gotten, glossing over the details about his roomate. She told him how she had grown up in the town, and still stayed with her parents because she didn’t feel like having to work to pay rent.
They actually had a lot in common. Despite her insults, she was kind of a nerd to – she was really into computer games and science fiction. They carried on talking about their interests for quite a long time.
“You’re wierd.” She burst out eventually.
“In a good way though, right?” He offered.
“We’ll have to see.”
“Guess we will. You’re not exactly normal yourself.”
“And proud not to be….. SO, Ted. What’re you doing later? After you buy me coffee, I mean.” She winked.
“Um…. I’m buying you coffee?”
“Yes, you are. It’s what a gentlemen does for a lady he’s just met. Although, in most cases it’s because he’s trying to have sex with her….. but I still think you should pay, since you let me make an idiot of myself. So….. after this?”
“Okay… Why not, I guess.” He did have Kyle’s credit card, and orders to spend a lot of money. “I don’t know. I can’t really go home.”
“Ooooh, why not?? Abusive parents, terrorist attacks, viscious racoons?” She seemed really excited about his problems. It was a little bit scary, and kind of annoying.
He sighed. Well, he honestly didn’t have anything better to do. And he did need to talk about it.
“Um, no. It’s this thing with my roommate. He’s sort of my best friend, but I can’t really talk to him about… this particular problem. Oh – He’s also gay. And then there’s this guy…..”
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