Author's Note: This is the last chapter. If you want me to write more, please leave a comment. I've got other writings in the works, but if I have people asking, then I'll make time to continue this story to its conclusion.
Chapter 4: Oh, Bliss!
Chapter 4: Oh, Bliss!
The drive home was a bit lonely. You meet someone you like and for a while every moment without her is like a small bout with depression. I had little doubt at this point that she liked me. Really, the moment I saw her standing there waiting for me I should have known, but we men tend to doubt. Or perhaps we're just boys and when we become men we cease to be so uncertain of ourselves. In any case, I was not especially concerned with that. What I wanted to know is who those two chumps were who picked up Jess, and why they were so odd. I also wished I had been more clever. A dozen quips came to mind, but too late. Perhaps I should scout for someone not obeying traffic laws and I can use some of them on that person.
I pulled into my driveway, killed the engine and cut off the lights. Then I just sat there for
a while thinking about the date, and the events that transpired, and of course whether or not Jess was a she or a he. There was no question that it mattered. The real problem is that I did not know if I could act according to my own sense of morality if Jess turned out to be a boy.
I would have liked to believe that I was secure enough in my manhood, heterosexuality and in my own personal beliefs about right and wrong that I could date Jess for a while until we were comfortable, and then say, "So, are you a boy or a girl?"
I clutched tightly at the steering wheel as a shiver rolled through my body. Just the thought of that awkward conversation filled me with anxiety. I decided I had considered the situation enough and I went inside.
I came through the front door to see Fin sitting on the couch playing a video game. Colt was elsewhere, I assumed sleeping. He was a strange type of person who found some sort of pleasure in sleep. Fin and I both failed to comprehend his mentality. He may as well do homework for fun, or derive joy from customer service work.
Fin paused whatever it was, dropped the controller on the floor and draped his arms over the back of the couch.
"Well? Is she a dude?"
I considered the question for a moment as I hung my keys on the hook by the doorcase.
"How would I know that?" I lifted my foot to untie my shoe lace, "I don't know how you go about dating, but I tend to, y'know, not see my dates underpants until a few evenings out."
Fin nodded as if allowing my statement, "Fair enough. Did she seem more or less feminine than before?"
I suddenly remembered the tale and a new wave of embarrassment and anxiety flooded through me with such ferocity that I crumpled to the floor, the palm of one hand planted firmly over one eye.
"He- she, whatever, she seemed fine. Other than the odd-sounding voice, which doesn't really tell me much of anything, she seems female. If she's male, she's an unusual specimen. Forget about that, though, there's some weird stuff going on."
"Oh, yeah? Hang on."
Fin stood and walked back into the kitchen. I took the opportunity to finish removing my shoes, tugging my socks off to throw them in the hamper and then do a flying super-man dive onto the couch right in the warm spot Fin had made. Oh. Bliss. I curled there and stared at the paused game. Skyrim. Did he ever play anything else? A popping sound began behind me. My eyes widened at first as the sound hit me. Oh, yes, popcorn.
I sat upright suddenly. I turned and hung an arm over the backrest so I could see into the kitchen.
"Are you making popcorn?" I was incredulous.
"Is- that a problem?"
I stared at him for a few moments hoping that my sheer astonishment would somehow make him perceive the absurdity of what he was doing, but that naturally failed and I slumped back down and curled up again. Oh. Bliss.
"Get your feet out of the way."
I tugged my feet in closer and felt the couch sink and rise as Fin sat. I also could smell the popcorn.
"So what happened?"
I sat up, "These two guys came to pick her up."
"Right, and- I suddenly realize that they didn't actually do anything notable."
"So then what did you mean about it being weird?"
"Well, my impression was weird. I suppose. That is, they both acted very suspicious."
"In what way?"
Fin's questions were coming faster than I could think of the words to describe it and I got a little annoyed, "Gimme a second, blast it!"
For a few moments there was silence except for Fin munching on popcorn.
"They both acted peculiar, insofar as they seemed like there was some sort of prank happening. You know how when you know something, and others don't, you kinda act a certain way? Confident, right?"
"Smug?" Fin offered.
"That! Yes, exactly. They were smug. It just felt wrong."
"How did the girl act?"
"Jess was. . . shy."
"Well, lots of girls are shy." He tossed some more popcorn back.
"Yeah, but, it seemed different, like she was afraid, or desperate, or something."
I grinned, "See? Just like I said."
I swung my legs over the couch and stood, "Anyway, I'm gonna hit the sack. I don't want to think about this anymore, honestly. I don't know what I'm going to do. Maybe I'll just tell her I didn't enjoy the date and don't think we should see each other anymore."
Fin sat there looking up at me, munching on popcorn. Finally he said, "Or you'll call her tomorrow because you just can't help yourself."
"Yeah, that's probably what I'll do," I replied immediately.
"Yeah." I almost said "thanks," but I was too tired and anyway, Fin knew I appreciated him. I lumbered into my room, turned plugged my phone charger, set my alarm, threw off the light switch and collapsed into bad. I did not want to think about anything.
Sleep came mercifully soon.