Blind Fate Might as Well Kill Me

By: Essevera

Chapter One: I'm the Shrink, and He's the Cliché

I almost accepted a blind date.

It wasn't like I was desperate for a boyfriend. My friend only wanted to get this guy—her boyfriend's cousin—of her back. He had been pining after her for quite some time now… According to her, he took an interest in her since his cousin and she had begun going out. From the outside perspective, specifically mine, I thought that she would be content about her relationship. Dating someone on the higher parts of high school social hierarchy meant popularity and contentment. When I actually talked to my friend, I found that she really wasn't.

She was part of dirty rumors. One of the recent ones was that she was giving head in the bathrooms. To top it all off, she was ready to drop her boyfriend now a senior. He wasn't the brightest bulb sometimes. I didn't judge him because I didn't know him. I only heard about him.

But back to the blind date topic: I said that I hadn't found any guy. My friend thought she would kill two birds with one stone by setting me up with her boyfriend's cousin. I didn't expect this. I thought it was a toss-up suggestion that I at the moment would accept. I gave her a grin that was used for sarcasm, awkward moments, etc. Maybe she wasn't too serious.

To tell you the truth, I had no intention of dating because I believed in spontaneous connection that would lead to love, not lust. I'm not saying, "TRUE LOVE, HIT ME!" God no. I like things gradual, and I also accepted that I could more mature than what my age gave me. Point is I wanted love, not the dating around for status kinda thing that happened between and within school populations in town.

I'm not one to judge, but I figured that he was that kinda person. While people like him probably think dating can be put into different categories (fling, casual, serious, and lustful), I didn't plan on thinking about until college.

And since you're probably wondering, I have looked around for guys. There are none at my school because the school population is eighty-five percent bona fide nerds. (I go to a high school with a rather competitive, rigorous program that colleges admire and very different from where my friend went to.) And in my class, ninety-five percent of them haven't even given the thought about maturing.

Before I could my friend a definite answer the following week, she told me about her fight with the guy. I never did ask her the real story. In short, he called one of her friends a bitch, and she gave him a few choice words. However, he already had my phone number though she informed me that he would never call because he wanted to meet me first. That wasn't gonna happen at this rate.

So here I was living my life. Instead of going to the movies that my friend had planned, I opted for the grand bookstore of two stories. It was quiet and full of all the things I needed right now: information, fiction, and a place for myself. Usually there would be schoolmates wandering about to hang out or study. I always went there by myself ever since middle school.

I know I'm quite bookish. This is one of the reasons why I feel I'm so unique. It's not like anyone else around here at least in this town could be my significant other.

I parked my car in the usual spot and went inside heading straight for the café to grab a hot chocolate. I became too dependent on coffee these days.

Taking a table that seated two, I sat down and continued to write a story seeing how far my imagination could take me and how creative a romance I could write. A lady somehow went on a date with a man—a bellboy—who didn't speak her language when in reality he understood her all along.

Maybe it's a stupid story. I closed my notebook in frustration at how I couldn't find a good fiction novel in the store and how my Muse wasn't cooperating this evening when I wasn't procrastinating. Running a hand through my black wavy hair, I let my eyes wander around the café. Some were at tables strewn with books and open notebooks. Others were chatting quietly at tables exchanging gossip and stories. A few were by themselves like me except they were probably in college; these few were reading books and drinking a frap or espresso.

There was one who drew my attention. He was blonde, disheveled in appearance, and in the sourest of moods. He looked like the downer in a café of less-tempered people. Appearing to be a freshman in college, I could tell he was already sick of the work judging by the frown embedded on his handsome face. I labeled him a stereotype, but so what? It was probably true. He was sitting at a table in the middle of the café and I knew he came here as a last resort. Obviously he wasn't bookish like I was.

I paid no more attention to him as I texted another friend making conversation with her when she was at a hotel for a math competition. This was how I knew no one from my class would be here. There was a math competition on Saturday yet again. This time it was overnight.

"With anyone over there?" asked my friend.

"No…by my lonesome." I tucked a strand of hair behind my ear and twirled my pen every so often.

"Nina, you're so social," was her response.

I rolled my eyes and tilted my head deciding what I should do. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the same boy glancing at me. Should I approach him? I had nothing better to do. My eyes darted to his, and we shared a moment, but he immediately broke away.

So maybe not.

Ignoring that, I walked out of the café with my things and sat in a comfy chair at one of the back corners, so I could continue writing. The thing with very creative story lines—if mine was actually creative to begin with—was the questioning of whether it was realistic or just too damn imaginative.

"Hey," said a voice.

I almost jumped at the sound of the voice. Lifting my chin, I was quite surprised to find the same blonde boy from the café. He was slouching as he towered over me and rubbed the back of his neck revealing how stressed he felt.

"'Lo," I responded. "Can I help you?" I asked cordially. He held an unreadable expression that I could only discern as anxiety. Why was he here exactly? I wanted to know…

"I just wanted to talk."

"Oh…" came my smooth reply.

He sat down and leaned against the side of one of the wooden bookshelves while staring at me expectantly. "Are you here by yourself?"

I made full eye contact with him. It was then I noticed the strange tinge of green in his eyes. He, I realized, wasn't the nicest person (no duh) on Earth and probably was like that because he was a pessimist on the lowest moods.

Consequently I lightened up. "No," I said, smiling albeit tiredly. "You?"

"Yeah, the only place my parents would let me go to without getting off my case."

"No kidding."

He grimaced revealing white, straight teeth and hit the back of his head against the bookshelf with an audible thud. "You'd think since I have a 4.0 GPA they'd get off my case."

"I see." I propped my chin on the heel of my hand and queried, "…but they don't…?"

"Hell no, they vehemently lecture me about doing better since colleges are so damn demanding while my other friends thrive on a C average." He folded his hands, still his eyes closed. It was easy to see that he tried to avoid his parents.

"Huh." I shrugged noncommittally.

The stranger opened one eye and asked me, "What's your GPA?"

"Weighted?" I asked. "Well…last I checked it was 4.46."

"What the fu—?" he stopped abruptly and cleared his throat. "Don't tell me you go to De Fleaux Prep." Both eyes were open now, and his frown deepened. What was it today? Share the Despair Day? Seriously, he gave off the I'm-an-angsty-teenager vibe.

I bobbed my head and shrugged. "Yep, got a problem with that?" I challenged.

"Hmph," he said, "no. I don't see how you can do that." He sat up straight and stared into space. "I heard kids from that school don't have lives."

"Ah yes, we De Fleaux Preps together deserve as much pity as you."

"Hey, my life's tough."

"You have an older sibling who was valedictorian or salutatorian, now in college or post-grad, and is pretty set with his or her future career that he has tediously set himself up for. Am I getting warmer?" I leaned forward so that my forearms rested on my thighs.

His emerald eyes flashed. "She's in college," he hissed.

"And because of the parental pressure and older sibling's teasing, you gained an inferiority complex." I knew I struck a chord, but he was wrapping himself in self-pity, angst, selfishness, and blind ego. What else was I supposed to do?

"I can only imagine how you gained a superiority complex and became a know-it-all." He probably resented approaching me by now. I honestly couldn't blame him. I did, too, but then again, at most times I'm never quite this honest to strangers.

My grin widened. "Oh no, I just try to make the right assumptions. If it's not right, I smile knowing it was just an assumption. If it is right, I smile because I honestly didn't care about the assumption." I raised an eyebrow expecting another snide remark.

"What? You aren't going to say anything else on your mind?" He crossed his arms and ankles.

"No, but you'll tell me what's on your mind."

"I don't have to."

"You're being childish, and we both know that you need someone to vent to."

"What are you—my shrink?"

"No, but you easily prove my points."

"I should go," he said getting up.

"Mmm…I guess you should."

"Can you wipe that smirk off your face?"

"This? Oh, this is just a genuine smile."

He glared at me and turned away as he began to walk away brusquely.

"Can I make one more assumption?" I called.

Clearly bemused and annoyed, he swerved around wearing a tight scowl. "Sure," he said sourly. "Go ahead."

"You're also having trouble with your friends, which is why you talked with a stranger…someone your age like me. If a teenager had problems with their parents, would they really go to a bookstore after the fight with their parents? You would be with your friends ranting off. I can also presume that you're in high school; and judging by the parental pressure and the way you talked about your older sister, you're at least in eleventh grade." I was at the edge of my seat still wearing a stupid smile.

"You're such an optimist know-it-all. It's goddamn annoying." He ran his fingers through his hair, aggravated by all means. I knew that he wanted to talk about it. His body language gave it away—his feet pointed to me as did his shoulders. The way his eyes averted eye contact gave away his shame and regret.

"Tell me about it…"

"You can't just—!"

"No, no! I mean about your problems with friends. I'm guessing she's really close to you, right?" I waited a second for a response, but he just gave me a blank stare. "Am I right or not?"

He frowned and asked, "How did you know? Have you been reading my mind this whole time?"

I chuckled, not bothering to conceal my amusement. "No but your facial expression gave it away. Your jaw clenched, and your cheeks colored slightly." Examining my nails, I added, "You're also acting bipolar."

He opened his mouth and closed it. "What's your name?" It was obvious he couldn't deny it and thus blatantly proved it.

"Does it matter?"

"She has a boyfriend. I had an interest in her up until our fight this week. But some of her other friends are a pain in the ass."

"So you…?"

"I specified and called one of her friends a bitch. She called me some nice names, too." He rolled his eyes and continued, "But earlier in the week, I was gonna call a friend of hers."

"But you didn't want to."

"Right."

"You still liked her."

"And I knew she wanted me to get over her."

I twirled my pen with ease. "You're a glutton for pity"—I paused to snap my fingers.

"It's Derik."

"Derik, you're a glutton for pity." I wagged my pen at him like an adult would do to a naughty child. "You should her advice, you know."

"Why?"

"Give life a chance to show you the good moments of life. When you do, you'll see the bad don't outnumber the good." I sold the argument with a knowing look that was usually associated with an I told you so.

"So I should call her?"

"Yeah…do you have her number?"

"Um…I think so." He snatched a sidekick from his jeans pocket and showed it to me. "I guess I'll call her right now."

"No harm in doing so."

He…well, Derik called the number at which point my cell phone rang. Then both of us did a double take. Gingerly I retrieved my phone from deep inside my purse and looked at the number calling. I didn't…recognize it. Holding up my phone, I asked, "Is this your number?"

"Are you Nina?"

"Oh God, are you—?"

"Well apparently."

"Oh my God."