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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Getting Lucky

After a little break I'm back into writing my online novel Light. (You can read all previous chapters on a separate website here). This chapter, number 18, is called "Getting Lucky" for a good reason. This is a family show, so all references to bodily fluids and the lower  anatomical extremities have been removed.


Chapter 18: Getting Lucky

I don’t think either of us really planned it. Or maybe we did. Like I have been saying. The mind is deep. Sometimes we actually have an intention sitting just below the surface somewhere, but we hide it from ourselves. So I can’t say for sure that I hadn’t really been thinking about it when I looked into her eyes, and she looked into my eyes, and our lips met. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? It would be more Australian if I had said that she soon had her tongue so far down my throat she could have tickled my toes with it.

“Wait.” She suddenly pulled back.


“If we are going to do this then you have to be clear about something.”

“Do? Do what?”

She looked at me for a moment, as if she was checking out the label on an item at the supermarket. 

“What do you think I’m talking about?” And just like that her face changed. If I wasn’t mistaken she was pissed off. One minute she was massaging my tonsils with her olfactory equipment, next minute she was on my case. Women.

“Do what? That’s what I said, didn’t I?”

It was about then that I realised I had said probably the dumbest thing ever said in the long history of dumb things said. And the childish giggle that came out at the end of the question didn’t help much. Don’t ask me why I laughed. Maybe it was just my way to hide my nervousness. Or maybe it was because I’d actually thought she was talking about having sex. No such luck.

“I haven’t had a relationship for nearly a year. That’s what I mean.”

“A year? Wow, you work fast. It’s been five years for me.”

“Why so long? I mean you are a good looking guy and everything.”


I should have been happy about the compliment, but now it was me who was getting pissed. Why did she ask me that? Was she trying to suggest there was something wrong with me?

“Okay, it’s time to come clean. I’m not normal. I’ve been tested, and I stand more than two standard deviations outside the mean on the normal curve. So it’s an empirical fact.”

“Can you ever be serious?”

“I am being serious. It’s all true. Okay, not the part about the test. But I am a bit strange.”

Amanda put her hands over her face and let out a huge sigh.

“Okay, okay. I’m sorry.”  I wasn’t just a clown. I was an idiot.

“Yeah, I know. I shouldn’t goof off so much. I’m sorry. It’s just my way of dealing with things.” I sat there looking at her. She was starting to sob.

Then I said it. “Yeah. I’m scared.”

Amanda’s hands dropped from her face and I was looking into her moist eyes. Somehow the contrast between the red rims and the light blueness opened a portal into her soul, and I saw for the first time that I was sitting beside a vulnerable and confused human being. One who wasn’t that different from me.

“You are the first guy I have ever met who admitted to being scared.”

I didn't know what to say to that.

“You are right.” She was looking at me, her face and hair all soft and feminine. “You aren’t normal. You are quite special.”

I just sat there blinking, staring into her eyes. I think I can honestly say that it was the first time that I had ever felt truly loved. Something inside my chest, like a great invisible waterfall opened, and we fell into each other’s arms.

There’s an episode of the 80’s nihilist comedy The Young Ones where chronic loser Rick awakens in a bed with another young woman and can’t quite believe it. Nor can he remember  how on earth he ever managed to get her there.

I mention this because when I opened my eyes the next day and saw a golden haired beauty lying beside me, there was a period of a second or so when I knew just how Rick must have felt. Who was this guy in bed with the babe? Naked, what’s more. Surely it couldn’t be me. When I then remembered what happened the night before it seemed even less real.

I mean, it wasn’t like I had been the most experienced guy on the planet prior to that day. On another parabolic curve I was undoubtedly several degrees towards the freaky extremities when it came to such things.

Not anymore.

But, what was I supposed to do next? The answer came when Amanda stirred a few minutes later and put her arm around me. We kissed again.

For days I was on a high. All I could do was think about Amanda. I texted her as often as I could. Not too much, though. I didn’t want to give her the impression that I had fallen for her or anything.

Yet there was now no doubting it. Greg Marks had a girlfriend. I had finally found someone who cared about me.

Out of the blue Paul called me. I had almost forgotten about him.

“How’s things, bro? Are the stars arranging their interstellar location to bestow upon you favorable fortunes?”

I could have been have been offended. But I was in high spirits, and I knew this was just the way Paul liked to work his words. You always knew where you stood with him.

“I never thought if it that way, mate. But now you mention it, I reckon the Heavens are indeed portending great tidings.”

“You got lucky?”

“You’re quick, I’ll give you that much.”

And there it was. Within twenty seconds of the call I had spilled the beans. A minute later he knew all about Amanda and me.

“Sounds like it’s time for a beer, dude.”

The uni bar was rather quiet. It was a Tuesday afternoon, after all. Besides Paul and I, there were just a few other students and one or two older professors there. We sat down out on the back verandah near the big gum trees. Somehow it seemed more appropriate to find a discrete location. To celebrate the occasion Paul shouted the first round, and headed off to the bar, returning with two bottles of beer. Victoria Bitter, to be precise. He had forgotten that I drank Tooheys, and probably didn't care. That was Paul.

“Congratulations, bro,” Paul raised his beer. We clinked and chugged back a few mouthfulls.

“How can you drink this shit?” I said.

“In Victoria we drink real beer. Not this girly stuff you have up here in New South Wales.”

“Yeah, right.”

“So tell me about it. Was she good?”

“That’s something you’ll never know.”

I couldn’t possibly imagine it at the time, but those were words that would come back to haunt me.

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