On a Whim
Currently, I’m only a 20-year girl,(no matter fact a smart, quirky lovable, and weird 20-year-old girl) and by no means a hero, or is it heroine. Nevertheless, what recently happened in here 5 minutes ago might have told you otherwise. My dorm room I stood in with the door agape left me with a somewhat confused but happy look on my face, kinda like the time I received an out of nowhere gift from my boyfriend of 15 months, did you do something wrong? Weird I know, and frankly I should be patting myself on the back for what I just did but…wait what did I just do!? A good friend of mines just ran out of this room chasing something on a whim.
I sat on my bed with my books out ready to tackle this physics homework that I had been putting off. I feel sorry for those who don’t understand physics, I explain it to them so simply but they never seem to get it. Physics is just understanding the world in a mathematical and logical perspective while taking qualitative matters and deriving a theory or answer by applying formulas. Anyways, I guess It’s true when they say you’re lazy at what you’re good at.
It was time to get pumped up, so I occasionally gave myself these pep talks that if anyone ever heard would just make me die with embarrassment. I began to feel like Rocky as I swung at the air, oh I’m in the zone now.
“Alright Leslie aka Les aka Let’s get it, time to get your head in the game, you can do this, procrastination is the enemy, knock em out KNOCK EM OUT!”
My heart suddenly sunk as I heard a knock on the door. Omg, they heard me!? The second set of knocks woke me from my trans and forced me to get off the bed to open the door, I could feel the immense embarrassment coming with each step I took.
“Henry?” with a shocked look on my face as I opened the door.
“Ya,” he said as he barged in.
“Thank God” I breathed with relief.
“What?..wait why is your face all blushed and red…oh I see you must be happy to see me” his confusion ended with a smirk.
“What do you want, and you know I don’t have food, you of all people should know I don’t shop for grocery till night time,” I said half-jokingly.
“Ha ha, very funny Les…” He remarked.
Henry was the kind of person who would talk your ears off and next thing you knew your fridge was empty. Then he’d question you about where all the food went. Probably down your endless hole of a stomach. Henry was good company, though, his flippant verbal nature always kept things going which meant less talking on my part. This also meant I zoned out a lot, but I can’t blame him too much for that, it was a bad habit of mines.
“…so yeah I didn’t get the job”
“Wait what? why not?” I said with a puzzling look on my face.
“Uh Les,” he said confused, “didn’t you hear the whole minute explanation I just gave you.”
With a sigh and shake of his head, “you always do this”.
Instead of the usual repeating himself or summarizing what he had just said, he just stood there. Can’t blame him, I would’ve gotten tired and choked me long ago.
I could see from his face he was fed up, but not by me…was it? No, it was something else, the job? He talked about it like crazy last week and all the hoops he had to go through for the interview process. Then it must be the job thing, ill take a swing at it and see.
“Sucks the job thing didn’t go as planned huh?” not quite sure if I had it.
“Yea it does” he replied still lowering.
Yes! I’m good, high five Leslie.
“What are you smiling about?” Henry questioned.
“Just thinking about what the universe might have planned for you that’s all,” I said with a save.
Henry still frowning said “yeah right, not even sure what my next meal is let alone what the universe has planned. “ He gave a big sigh as he pulled away from the kitchen table he was leaning on, then walked to the fridge, opened it and immediately spotted my last yogurt in the far back.
Of course, I thought to myself, if anyone would spot that it would be Henry, even after I told him I had no food. He is lucky I don’t use my super kung fu grip and snatch it out his hands. Oh well ill be going to the grocery story in a little while anyways.
“You know what Les” Henry continued, “I feel like I’ve wasted my time with them. I did all their bidding going through that two-week interview process only to come up with the short end of the stick, probably no stick at all.”
“There is always something you can learn from failure” I entered.
I begin to explain to Henry that “ the first time I lost at the science fair..”
“oh gosh, Les not this again” he interrupted.
“And I never lost again” I finished with a smile.
“But Henry what about your writing, poetry and such, you love them and pretty much the most creative person I know. Maybe IT (Information Technology) just isn’t your thing.”
At this point, he had already finished the yogurt without bothering use a spoon and now was at the trash can with his foot on the peddle to raise the lid.
He began, “Look Leslie I..”
Right then and there I almost tuned him out with my mental ear plugs, which was me going through the motions of me beating everyone’s butt in the Physic’s Olympiad. He always called me Leslie whenever he was trying to make a point, how about I point you in the direction of the door. Sometimes, and I mean rarely he did have a point so I always listened just in case.
“I know, I do enjoy writing but don’t you know how many people out there do it full heartedly? I do it on the side because I’m good at IT and it makes the money. I’m twenty-three years old and will graduate in eight months with a Bachelors in Computer Science not English or Fine Arts .” Henry explained, he then whispered under his breath, but just loud enough for me to hear, “I wish it was though.”
Henry’s predicament still didn’t make much sense to me, If you love one thing but good at another, why not just do the thing you love. If only everyone one saw my logic, life would be easier for them.
I crossed my arms and leaned back against the wall next to the door to take in what he had just said. Out of sheer whim I said under my breath, “why don’t you just flip a coin or something?” and to my surprise, he heard me.
“What did you say?” Henry questioned.
“Nothing I was just talking to myself” I replied and when I saw his intent look I knew there was no way he would let up. “Ok fine, I said, JOKINGLY, why not just flip a coin and choose which one to focus on”.
I could see his intent look switch to a more relaxed state as a smile crept its way up his face.
“That’s a great idea!” he said. “Matter fact I’ll do one better”.
“You know I was only kidding right?” I added as I pulled away from the wall.
He walked over to his backpack on the kitchen table, reached in to pull out a notebook that seemed to be the size of an iPad, maybe a bit smaller than that.
“Here it is”, he held it up between us both, at arms lengths from me.
“What is that?” I question as I reached and grabbed it for inspection.
“ it’s going to decide my future, that’s what it is.” he replied blissfully.
I remained puzzled, but him, he had the look of a man who just found gold and couldn’t wait to find its worth. He then began to explain the mysteries of this notebook. Which he entailed that he uses it for notes every day at his IT Internship and not too often for personal pleasures such as poems, brainstorming topics, drafting his masterpieces and other creative avenues. His plan was to toss the notebook into the air which was most likely eighty percent technical jargon and twenty percent creative writing randomized to see which page it landed on. That’s what he would put all his attention to while abandoning the other.
“Are you serious?” I asked hoping that it was a facade.
“Why not?” he replied, still with the golden boy smile.
Now I knew he had a great potential and I didn’t want to see him throw that away because from the way he explained it the odds were not in that favor.
“But you love writing!” I explained, I felt responsible for what was going to happen and could not bare the thought.
“I know I do but- I love IT as well and, I always feel torn between the two -when I focus on one I seem to fully neglect the other. So this should decide it for me.” he committed.
still ecstatic about the idea he takes the notebook and throws it into the air.
At that moment, my heart sunk. Have you ever been in so much trouble that you did not want to go home and when you did you were the first one in the house? Then you must know the heart sinking feeling you get when you are in your room and the front door opens.
What have I done! I can’t be responsible for this! I should have kept my mouth shut, why Les…
It thuds as it lands with the sound of tearing paper, already!? Why couldn’t it be like one of those slow moments that takes an eternity? I barely made it to second grade let alone my whole life flashing before my eyes.
“Um Les you can open your eyes now” Henry suggested.
When did I even?
I carefully opened my eyes to find his blank face looking at mines, as if not to give any information away. I look down at the crumpled pages of the notebook with some even half ripped, but it was evident which one stood out. My gaze returned to find him smiling.
“Henry don’t you ever do that to me again!”
He busted into laughter after that remark. I found it more joyous and soothing than I have ever heard before, like 2 perfectly sculpted test tubes ringing together to make magical music to this girls ears. Then to my surprise, he takes two quick strides and angles himself as if ready to tackle me then gently wraps his arms right above my waist. As he clasps his hands he began to, what seemed like a jump but at the peak where he was on his tippy-toes he abruptly stopped. This along with our six-inch height difference sent me and my golden hair flying to the air fighting gravity. He stopped me on the fall as my chest reach his face, causing my hair to flow over my face onto the back of his head with only a few strands dangling between our faces. Everything around me was dim, with the sunsets light trying to force its way through but his flawless smile was as clear as day.
“thank you so much for that idea Les, you’re a hero!” He exclaimed
I tried to read his lips but curiosity got the best of me, three inches away from his face yet I completely missed out what he said, come on Les focus . In that split second, he arches his neck, tilts me forward and lands a big one on me.
Fluttered I didn’t know what to think, did he not remember I had a boyfriend? I knew he did but, we’ll keep it our little secret. He placed me down as swift as he picked me up.
“Gotta go and get started right away” he barely got out as he grabbed his notebook and backpack, and darted out my dorm room leaving the door open as well as me in a state of shock, confusion, and happiness.
BACK TO PRESENT