Generic boy-meets-girl

Just my type of story, really. The most basic-ass male lead imaginable, and then the “perfect, but flawed” romantic interest. Like writing an autobiography, then writing “addendum: also had lots of sex.” Another self-indulgent fantasy in the sea of daydreams. Another scenario that will only be acted out in dreamspace. Nothing real, but nothing that you can give up easily.

It’s nothing but romance. It’s nothing but formulaic feel-good bullshit for me. “Sometimes, you just gotta read about something happy,” I tell myself. I reassure myself. I make excuses for myself – I pretend that I’ve somehow “deserved” shutting my mind off like this, and that it’s “necessary.”

It’s not necessary. It just feels good. It feels good to read about good shit. It feels good to imagine yourself in another world. It feels good to imagine that you’ve found love. It feels good to insert yourself into characters, and root for their rise in a story. It’s nothing “cognitively stimulating” or whatever – but, I mean, that’s not what romcoms were designed for. You’re missing the point if you’re looking for anything deeper than the bottom of the barrel. It’s just meant to make you feel good. That’s it. There’s no meaning in life anyways – all you can do is feel as good as you can, so don’t worry about the elitists.

Her hair flows to one side. The leaves rustle. Over the wind, she hears her name being called. She turns back. It’s a guy from her math class. Sits in the back. Does his work. Altogether unassuming.

She waits for him to break the silence. He’s panting. His breath comes out like wisps of smoke. “Hey.” He finally gets his breath.

“H-hello.” She stammers, but she doesn’t falter. Curse these feeble vocal chords of mine. She chides herself. Can’t have anyone looking down on her. Can’t have anyone think that she’s nervous. Got to look good in front of the opposite gender, even if she probably won’t see them again.

She’s blankly staring into his face. He blinks. “Oh, yeah. You forgot your water bottle.” He hands her a translucent bottle with a green cap. Shit. Her perfectly steeled visage was fading.

“Thank you.” She replies hastily. She turns to her bag, hoping to avoid his gaze. She hopes that she isn’t under scrutiny. She raises a finger to her face, then scratches her neck. Her face. She doesn’t have a mirror to look at. Did the wind mess it up? She shouldn’t be caring about this guy’s thoughts in the first place, but she just can’t help herself. It’s innate.

He stands there, still. Hands at his sides, head unmoving. His gaze is that of Medusa’s.

She looks out from her bag. She was dragging out the action of putting the bottle into her bag. He was unfazed. “Do you need anything?” She asks. Was that too friendly?

“Ah, yeah…” He breaks from his statue-like position and looks down. “Sorry, bad timing, but… I…” He shakes his head, and lights and shadows tiptoe across the contours of his face, painting a regal countenance. He holds a fist to his mouth. “Can I get your number?”


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