Short: Starter Question For Two

[This is the seventeenth short in the Order of Polly. To start from the beginning, you can click this! If you want to read more about the series, you can do here!]

“Grr, look at them. All happy and in love. Fuck them!” Sophie angrily flicked the page from her recently acquired essay ‘research’.
“Eh, yeah, I mean, grrrrrrr, screw them!” Danny coughed to ‘clear his throat’ before opening up his book on the library table.
“Thank you! They need to keep that in private.” The two of them looked on at a couple that were sitting together and just engaging in friendly chat. Possibly the most offensive thing they were doing was smiling. “Yeah, yeah, keep rubbing it in. ‘Oooooooh, she’s single, why don’t we make it painfully obvious how fantastic couples are so that she can feel even worse than she does.’”
“I don’t actually think they’re being too bad. I mean, they’re just sit-“
“No! Look at them! They don’t have to sit here, like they are, doing what they are!”
“Sophie, they’re…just sitting. I really don’t think it’s too bad.”
“Danny, are you going to agree with me or not?” She turned to him sharply. He really didn’t think it was that bad. They were just sitting there. Hell, by this point, they’d started doing their work.
“Well, I…no. It’s not some personalised insult.”
“Uch.” She flicked her hair and refocused on her research. “Why are you still here then if you’re not going to help me?” She stared intently.
“Wha? What have I done?” Danny shrugged.
“Well you came here because you said that we’d work together, but considering we’ve not actually done anything since sitting down, maybe we shouldn’t sit together if we’re just going to annoy each other.”
“You’re not annoying me.”
“Well you are me.”
“Oh. Well.” He looked glumly at her, in response to the still frowning face. “I guess I’ll be off then.” He picked up his stuff and deliberately shoved it into his bag before loudly screeching the chair backwards and walking away.

Sophie looked around to see how many people noticed; the area was mostly empty, with only a handful of lone students diligently working away and the one couple nearby who, similarly, were getting on with their work. She brushed her hands through her hair, backwards, took a deep breath then set to her work. The highlighter she had then, as if destiny itself was playing a prank, ran out of gel. She shook it, dabbed a bit of saliva on the tip, but nothing worked. After these attempts, she did the next thing which came naturally to her. “Danny, can I borr – ah.” She looked around, again. No-one had paid any attention, again. Sophie gathered her thoughts, sighed, pushed back her chair and walked over to the nearest people to her who, of course, were the couple. She asked them to watch over her stuff, to which they smilingly obliged and then proceeded to race out of the building, hoping if she could catch up.

And of course, he wasn’t there. She panned the open space, desperately, but there was nothing. Defeated, she turned around and headed back in, slowly. She climbed back up the stairs at a rate closer to a plod before smiling at the couple once she reached her chair and then sitting down. Staring blankly at the print-out, she took another deep breath and then continued with her work for an hour before submitting and going back to her room on campus. After slamming the door behind her, she threw her bag somewhere towards her bed, kicked her chair then just sort of stood in the middle of her room doing nothing.

There, in that middle of nothing, was this thought that grew larger and larger till the anger she had changed from anger towards Danny, instead towards herself. “Shit.” She leaned on her unaligned-with-desk chair. “I like him. Shit shit shit.” A deep breath. “Oh shitting fuck fuckity shitty fuckness.” And another. “SHIT.” There came a rustling sound from the other side of the thin walls that moved around the room, outside then changing to a knock on Sophie’s door. Another breath. “FUCK.” Another knock and another breath. This time, Sophie took a hold of herself and moved to open the door. Of course it was Liberty, not caring about whatever the problem was that Sophie had, but complaining about the noise. Not in a reasonable manner either, but in the way you would think only a person named Liberty could complain about it. Sophie got the hint. Liberty went back into her room and settled. Moments later “…SHIT!”

Fifteen minutes of duly needed solitary confinement and silence later, Sophie checked her phone and saw a message from Polly. “Dan slammed the door. He never does that. Is he ok? xx” Oh, god. She realised that now she’d have to thank Polly for introducing her to Danny. She barely knew her and she was going to have to thank her for something like this. A slightly quieter “fuck”, audible only to people within a foot distance, as well as somehow to Liberty who demonstrated so by knocking on the wall.

Sophie sombrely climbed up the steps to Polly’s floor, was let in and walked to Danny’s door, in the way she imagined a criminal walking those final steps to the chair would do. “Shit shit shit.” She turned around to Polly who merrily had two thumbs up facing her way. A distracted Nola, known only to Sophie as the girl who lives on their floor that isn’t Polly or the slutty one, was elbowed by Polly and quickly gave her the thumbs up too, before whispering in Polly’s ear wondering why. It didn’t matter. This was Sophie’s sentence and she was the judge. She just hoped that the executioner had mercy on her. A deep breath at his door. “Shit.” A knock. Well, more of a rat-tat-tat-tat. A lurch from inside. A deep breath from outside. An opening, followed immediately by a face occupied with two large eyebrows. “Right. Well, yes. I’m here.” Sophie was looking at his face, wondering what else was going to come out of her mouth because now she had no idea. His face remained as it was. “So. There’s this thing and I reaaaaaaally think that I should probably do the thing and is this all making sense to you?” In the background, the thumbs of Polly and Nola had moved to a swift horizontal motion across their necks. It was now down to Danny to recover the situation.
“Sophie. Can I save you some time?” Danny lowered his eyebrows at the same rate a smirk emerged.
“Please for the love of fuck do.” Her beat was hearting faster, or at least that’s what it felt like. Her internal Polly was correcting her, but it was being drowned out.
“Would you have any serious issues if I kissed you?”

[To the next entry: Our Numbers Are Different]


About thejgman

I am a person and do persony things! Favourite things include Mars bars, video games and, surprisingly, writing. I'm a graduate in Cultural Studies, with a focus towards all things digital and technological.
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