The Uncomfortable Inquiry
“Elena, for the first and final time– we’re not making a murderboard!” My voice rises on that last word, and the people in the cafeteria look at me. Elena glares them into submission before we continue our conversation.
“Come on, I’ll be Horatio Caine, and you can be one of those Hispanic dudes that always follow him around”, she adds with a flourish. Her nails are purple. That means that she is in a good mood. I think.
“That was slightly offensive”, I respond. “Only slightly? I must step-up my insults then.” She looks down on her plate, and the cinnamon bun. I know for a fact that she wants to eat it, but she won’t. Say that Elena Havenius is vain, say that she spends alot of time and money on her looks. But don’t say that she lacks discipline.
/Why?/ Because she is worried about the size of her thighs. /Why do you not tell her that she needs not worry?/ Because you don’t ever, ever tell a teenage girl your opinion on her thighs, Verde. You might have three-millenias worth of memories, but you lack correlation. /Now you have me curious. What would happen?/
Verde usually sends me pictures, visions of things he wants me to see, like some reptilian prophet, but this time I send him one. The pain of having your balls kicked, magnified as many times as I can imagine. /I felt that!/ Exactly.
“… Rune?” “Whaaat? I was, erhm, thinking… something.” She shakes her head in a habitual movement. “I was talking about the Bonfire Ball. You know, that big social event that will take place less than a month from now?” “Mmm yes?”, I say, the very voice of eloquence. “I was asking if you had invited someone”, she asks, with special emphasis on someone for some reason.
“Elenie, I am not going to the Bonfire Ball. There will be dancing. Synchronized bodies, moving in a beat to a tune. You know my opinions on such things.” She rolls her eyes. “But-” I make sure to kill this line of inquiry before it gets too far. “No. There is nothing you can say that will change my mind.”
She takes up her phone and texts someone. A second later she receives a reply. How rude, we’re in the middle of a conversation and all.
Elena stares at me, her ringlets tilting side to side as she thinks furiously. And then she smiles, like one of those fishes that live in Mariana Trench. “If you don’t invite Nevena to the Bonfire Ball, someone else will. Tell me, pretty please, how does that make you feel?”
It feels like someone just struck me with a blunt object. Of course Nevena is going to go to the Bonfire Ball….! It’s the sort of thing she’d probably love. And just because we’re together, well it doesn’t mean she has to go with me. It would be the polite thing, but there is predecent. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? “Has… has someone asked her?”
Elena scratches her head. “You have to understand the unique composition of our class before I go further.” “Okay” I ask, a bit furtive, not sure if I really want to know the answer to my wayward question. “So most classes are more even in terms of girls and boys, right?” I nod. ” When people go looking for dates, they start with their own classes. They want to be comfortable, and there is nothing more comfortable than asking the boy/girl you’re dreaming about bending over the teacher’s desk in Maths.” I choke on my tea. I swear, she says these things on purpose, just to see me squirm.” When they’re out of prospective dates, they widen the search. And our class?”
She finally gives in to her savage needs and starts to eat the bun. “Our class-” munch”- has so many girls”- munch”- and so proportionely few guys-” munch”- that virtually every girl has been asked atleast once.” I ponder on that for a second.
“Somebody asked you?” Elena gives me an affronted look usually reserved for perverts and cockroaches. “Of course. I am hot, and witty, and I think that the dress I intend to wear will add another cup-size to my already prodigal breasts, so yeah, I have been asked. Four times, actually.” She puts down the bun.”Shirin has been asked twice. Pontus and Hannah will probably go together. You know Ivan Sovorksy?”
“Short guy? Has a ring of orange around his left eye?” Elena raises an eyebrow at my recollection. What? The dude has a Saturn-style ring around one of his eyes. That’s seriously freaky, and by freaky, I mean completely awesome. And yes, I pay alot of attention to people’s eyes. That’s my secret fetish. “He’s going with Sara.And I think that Kai thinks about asking Chiyo. That’s half of our class. And I know for a fact that Nevena has been asked twice.”
“How do you know all this?”, I ask, genuinely wondering. Elenie doesn’t really strike me as the Mata Hari of Ochre. “I have my sources. So are you going to ask her?” “With what you have said…I think…. I think I have to. Relationships are about compromises, they say that on television shows all the time. It’s expected of me. But I am going to need a script, chocolate, I’ll have to prepa-” “Hey there Rune! I didn’t think I’d find you here.” My thought-processes grind to an temporary halt. I recognize that voice. All too well.
/The phone./ What? /When you declared that you would not change your mind, Elena wrote to someone. Who do you think that was?/
I turn slowly around, internally horrified. Nevena is standing some meters away, expecting… something. I turn back-
— and the opposite chair is spinning with the kinetic energy left from Elena’s sudden departure. That coward!
Oooohhh, I am going to get my revenge, Elenie, you just wait and see. I know where the soiled panties are hidden.