There was something not quite right with this scene. No matter how much he tried to make it okay, it refused to coalesce the way he wanted it to. He heaved a sigh of frustration as he once again tore a page out of his book and threw it away.
Whoever said writing was easy obviously had never tried it. It wasn’t as if he had nothing to write about. The thoughts and words were all there in his head but somehow none came out right on paper. Darn writer’s block!
Maybe I’m just hungry, he thought. As if on cue, his phone started ringing. “Hello?”
“Dude, why are you always formal? Did you even check to see who it was? Lemme guess you were writing,right?”
“No,I was trying to write. Something’s jammed in my brain. What’s up, Brian?”
“Can’t say I know what you mean.” Brian was a lawyer. “Forget everything else, go take a shower, put on some nice duds and lets go. Tonight I take you to Nexus.”
“To what? Do you know what time it is?” He checked the clock on the wall. “It’s already after ten. I was just planning to sleep now.” It was a lie. He had actually been planning to binge eat his sorrows away and watch bad television, but Brian didn’t know that.
“No no no no no no. It is the grand opening today. I can’t go alone, you have to come with me. Besides,only old people sleep at ten on a Saturday. Where’s your zeal, your youthful fire? Why am I even friends with you?”
He couldn’t hold back a smile, even though no one could see it. Brian could be so melodramatic at times. Many people who saw them together often wondered what the basis of their friendship was. On the surface they were complete opposites. Brian was a chatterbox who seemed to know a little about everything and everyone. Many assumed he was flighty and flaky due to his nature. That is why it had come as a shock when Brian had decided to study the law. Most swore it off as a passing phase and were sure that he would not complete his studies. Only a few people, himself included, knew that behind the flamboyant exterior Brian had a very sharp mind. It had always baffled him why he chose to let people think so poorly of him. When he’d asked, Brian had told him, with his usual flair for drama, that a surprise ending was always worth it. He hadn’t understood it at the time but later he couldn’t help noticing all the naysayers practically falling over themselves to congratulate Brian when he graduated summa cum laude. It had been a funny sight to behold. Now he was the most sought after lawyer in the country.
In contrast, he was like a frumpy old lady. He was a loner by nature, content to go off somewhere on his own and just be. He disliked crowds and preferred to stay at home and read a good book or write. He had social anxiety, was terrified of talking to people he didn’t know. If not for Brian’s continuous proding, he would never meet new people,let alone speak to them. Brian was always dragging him to some shindig or another, ignoring all his protests. If he ended up having fun eighty percent of the time, he wasn’t telling.
“Hello? HELLO? Still there?”
He came back to the present with a start. “Oh,sorry. Wool gathering.”
“Ok-ay. You are coming tonight. There will be lots of girls and I need a wing man. Not all of us are in relationships. How’s dear Jane, by the way?”
He couldn’t fail the mocking way he said dear. For some reason he couldn’t fathom,Brian and Jane, his girlfriend for two years, had taken an instant dislike to each other from the moment they met. Separately they were both very nice and like-able people, but whenever they happened to be in the same room they were always coldly polite to each other, albeit accompanied with a few thinly veiled insults. They had no quake about letting their true feelings show around each other. However both of them understood that they were important in different ways to him and therefore had never made him choose.
“She’s fine,” he said with some amusement.
“Is she still stitching sweaters for her twenty nine cats?”
“Just saying. She’s all wrong for you. You don’t even love her.”
“Me. Love has fireworks. You too barely fizzle. It’s depressing.”
He was right. Darn it. “What makes you such an expert anyway? As I recall, you are still single.”
“Which is a situation I plan to remedy tonight. Oh, and I read. Try it sometime.”
“Har har, very funny.”
“I try…” Brian started murmuring inaudibly in the background.
“What?” A car honk. “Wait, are you driving?”
“Yeah, some idiot tried to overtake me and almost took out my side mirror.”
“You shouldn’t talk on the phone while driving. It’s breaking the law.”
“Yeah yeah, but isn’t it more fun?”
“Relax. You’re on speaker phone. I’m heading your way as we speak.”
“I don’t know….”
“It amuses me that you think you actually have a choice. See you in twenty minutes.” He disconnected the call.
He heaved a sigh of resignation and got up to get ready. He had twenty minutes, and counting. Brian was never late.