Awkward Things I Say To Girls


I really love waffles.

Part 4 of 5, Chapter 18

Deep breath. Okay, another.

The professor is swimming in the front of the class, nattering about the difference between GDP and GNP. HCE is scribbling something in my notebook.

I could still throw up
It’s “Regurgitation Day”
I won’t if you won’t.

Waking up still drunk and going to class anyway wasn’t something I did a hell of a lot of in college, partially because our college was less fun than a pocket calculator with a personality disorder, and also because I didn’t go to a tremendous quantity of classes in the first place. That is, unless a certain someone was going to sit next to me and write haikus at me all class long. Especially if both you and that someone are coincidentally now single. I picked up the pen.

I lost at scrabble
And drank way too much vodka
I forgot the rest.

Class ended only moments before I would have had to abandon my pride and rush the door for fresh air. HCE and I wobbled out to a bench to watch the campus go by and continue the sobering process.

A cute girl smiled about two meters to my right, which I construed to mean she was smiling at me. I ignored her and turned back to HCE.

“I think girls can tell when you’re broken up,” I said. “An adorable geek-looking girl said hello to me cheerfully on the way to class earlier.”

“Justin, just look at yourself. You’re exactly what a geek-looking girl wants.”

I looked down at my too-small T-shirt and skinny jeans. “I guess so. I felt like wearing something you could count ribs through.”

“Also, of course they can tell when you’ve broken up. We can sense misery. That’s when we know to pounce.”

I laughed and looked away. My uncertainty of the previous night had melted into the buzzy haze of daylight. HCE just needs time, I thought, like still-scalding waffles right from the waffle iron. She asked out her last boyfriend, and I’m sure she’ll ask me out too, so all I need to do now is to be normal and cool and secure and unpushy.

I got my chance to be cool right away. Ex-Boyfriend appeared, striding directly towards us across the grass. I had a pretty good idea what those two were going to talk about, and I didn’t want to be a part of it, so I made myself scarce.

Just give her some space, I thought again. She’ll be my girl in no time.

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