Revenge of the Nerd Ch. 07byrpsuch©
Jennifer got another call.
"He brought ice cubes into my room." I couldn't hide the annoyance in my voice.
"Oh, you lucky girl."
Was she making fun of me? She cooed it like she really meant it. What was I supposed to say?
"Wasn't it unbelievable?" she asked.
Unbelievable might be the right word.
"To tell you the truth, I thought it was weird. All the stuff he does is weird. I didn't even let him get to use them. He does this weird stuff and I'm supposed to think it's sexy?"
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
"It's from Hamlet, you know, Shakespeare. He took me Thursday night. Hamlet's mother, the queen, speaks the line while they're watching a play. Anyway, I'm just saying you're complaining an awful lot about him if you really don't like him. So you probably do."
"That's silly. He's just a guy."
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
"Stop that. He took you to see Hamlet?"
"What a nerd."
"Well, yes. But so what? It's my favorite Shakespeare."
"So what's with this ice cube thing?" I asked.
"Oh, no. It's not my place to tell you. If you ever manage to convince him to see you again, and what is this, your third strike, maybe you'll find out.
"What's with you anyway? Why do you keep acting this way with him? If you don't want to see him, just don't see him. Don't torment the guy."
What do I tell her? Am I acting this way? If so, why?
"I don't know. I don't know what I'm doing. I'll have to try to figure this out."
Would it be good luck to be able to get him to give me another try or to just decide to call the whole thing off? Damned if I knew.
What was happening to me? How could I be in such turmoil over this, nobody? I really needed to talk to someone who could help me look at this objectively.
The problem was, I couldn't talk this over with my best friend; I didn't have one.
I had friends, but a show of weakness might have encouraged them to try to usurp my position of pre-eminence.
Shit! What kind of life was I leading that I didn't have a best friend? Nerds have them. Even pathetic losers have pathetic-loser best friends. I had no one.
It was almost unthinkable, but I knew that I would talk to him again, ask him to forgive me, again.
Was it the sex I anticipated? Was that enough for me to humiliate myself?
What if he told someone? I could deny it.
Instinctively I knew he would never do that. Was I starting to feel something for him? Don't be ridiculous. Or doth I protest too much?
Perhaps why I was doing it didn't matter. But how was a problem. I had to come up with something really good, an excuse that would be compelling to him.
I thought about our last encounter and realized I had probably hurt his feelings. Maybe I had all three times I treated him badly. I started to feel a little remorse.
I didn't recall ever feeling remorse before, but I could use that. There was no story I could come up with that seemed even remotely acceptable so I decided I would need to do the most humiliating thing of all: be honest with him again.
"So I'm really sorry I made you feel bad. The worst part for me is that I don't know for sure why I did it. I think I'm afraid of you."
That was true.
"I think I'm afraid I could have really strong feelings for you."
That was baseless speculation.
I got no response from him. Again, I needed to do more.
"It's just, I'm afraid, learning new things from somebody so young. You're not the usual kind of guy I go out with, Jeff."
I waited to see if I would need to elaborate further. I was struggling. If he bought this, I would absolutely never lie to him again. Maybe.
"I can't help you with your feelings. I have enough trouble with my own. But maybe I can help with the other stuff.
"You might have the same learning style I do. I can't just learn how to do something, I need to understand why it's done that way. Once I do, I own it forever. And before I do, it's just words or movements or whatever. That part I can do something about."
"So you forgive me? I would feel terrible if you didn't."
Not to mention I would never get to explore all the stuff Jen raved about.
"I forgive you," he said. "That must have been very difficult for you to talk about."
What a pushover! Or was he just a nice guy?
"Let me make it up to you in the traditional way. Let me make dinner for you on Friday. Or Saturday or Sunday, whenever you're available. I'm a pretty good cook."
Which was true. It was a skill I figured I would need eventually so I took the time to learn and it was even kind of fun.
Was there anything this guy couldn't do?
"Do you need any help? I could be your prep chef."
He knew everything. He did everything. He was helpful, patient, and considerate. When we talked he seemed interested in whatever I said, whatever I was thinking. It was enough to make me sick.
Outside of the fact that he had no money, only slightly above-average looks and no athletic talent he was almost the perfect guy.
"No, thanks," I said. "I'd like to do it myself. After all, I'm the one who hasn't behaved all that well. I want to make it up to you at least a little."
"You're forgiven. You're forgiven. There's nothing to make up."
"Just the same, this is something I want to do for you."
Maybe I would earn enough points to get me through my next blunder.