Monday, January 20, 2014

Enigma Part 1


{Narrator is male, just so your headvoice reads it right from the beginning. I hate it when I discover six paragraphs in that I've been reading with the voice of the wrong gender.}


I stared at her. She had been an irrelevant part of my life for so long. A vague impression, an implied character. Just the somewhat-phantom love interest of a close buddy. I had known she was attractive—her toned legs and striking eyes had registered at first glance well over a year ago—but I hadn’t bothered to consider whether there might be more to her. Now, talking to her, she gave off a vibe that murmured infinity. I felt there was more to her than anyone else alive.
She smiled, and I thought my eyes were going to lean out of their sockets. Her expression, warm and calm and sweetly sarcastic, pierced the air between us and made me want to move closer to her. But I stayed put.
It occurred to me that the silence was making a beeline for “uncomfortable.” I knew I ought to say something, but then she happily rearranged herself on the couch, and my train of thought became corrupted with the impressions of her movement. Her build was slender, but so smoothly determined-looking that her fluid grace still surprised me. All she did was fold her legs underneath her, but the controlled ease with which she tossed her limbs made my body hum.
“So,” I began. My throat decided to clear itself in the middle of the word. Her eyes automatically steadied me with a reassuring look of sincerity. “What did you say you’re studying? English?”
“Mhmm. You can really do a lot with English these days. Everyone is looking for people who can write well and speak well; people who can organize their thoughts logically and see the deeper meaning in things.” Her eyes lit up in a genuine mix of happiness and perpetual sarcasm. “Basically I’m majoring in over-analyzing. I’m going to kick ass.”
I chuckled. “I get the feeling you’re one of those people who can kick ass in just about every subject. You’re one of those lucky types who gets A’s in both literature and biology, aren’t you?”
“Oh, no,” she said, the confidence dropping out of her face with comical immediacy. “Well, I do get A’s, I guess, but I’m really terrible at science and math.” The irony was back in her features. “I’m taking logic as my second math. It’s basically math with words, but I absolutely love it.”
“You’ve had logic before?”
“Mhmm. Had it in high school. And middle school, actually. I guess it’s part of why I wanted to go to law school for so long.”
How interesting. “College level will be interesting. You’ll have to memorize all the fallacies, like Post Hoc—” 
“Ergo Propter Hoc.” She smiled, delighted by our shared knowledge. She laughed. “Yeah, I already memorized all those.”
Oh. I almost started to feel embarrassed, but she clearly hadn’t picked up any reason for me to be, so I stopped myself. “My dad teaches logic,” I said in the way of explanation. “He tells his students he’ll teach them to win arguments with their parents, but I can tell you that that is not the case if one of your parents is a logic teacher.”
“Parents think they have the right to disregard logic anyway,” she said, implying some dark disagreement that I didn’t dare explore.
“A lot of what they do makes sense in the long run,” I offered. It sounded a little too wholesome, but I swear I believe it. “My parents and I have a better relationship now than ever, since I’ve moved out.”
“I’d love to move out.” Her eyes lit up, then crashed wryly. “But I’m too lazy. I’m not ready for a serious enough job.” Her chest twitched in a silent, scornful laugh. “Of course, my dream job is to be a writer, so…” She twisted her mouth into a mocking sort of smile. “…it’s not like I’ll ever be able to do I want and support myself anyway.”
“You very well might,” I insisted, raising my eyebrows. “I’m sure that’s all Stephen King or James Patterson do.”
“Yeah, but they’re already famous,” she pointed out, raising her eyebrows right back. “I think you have to already be rich to be a rich writer.”
She was not wrong.

~ Stephanie

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