“I’ll tell M. you want to jump his bones if you don’t call. You know I will,” R. said. I didn’t know, but I needed to threat to go through with it.
M. answered his phone and my voice rose to amazing heights. “Hi!” We were friends and I’d called him plenty of times. He’d bring movies over to my house sometimes, and when we’d go out to McDonald’s, he’d fake a British accent to hit on the prettiest girl behind the counter. He always came away with a phone number. There was no way he wanted me to ask him out.
“I’m sorry to bother you, M. Really, but I’ve got this really stupid favor to ask, if you don’t mind. I mean, I wouldn’t ask but…” I was running out of breath.
“What is it, Squig?” he said. That nickname burned right through me. No girl with a name like that is attractive. If I could accept this fact, I’d be happier. When I hang up, I will never speak to him again.
“Well, you know I’ve got that banquet on Friday, and it is going to be really boring and I just wanted a friend to go with me and keep me company. You know, just as a friend. That’s it. If you can. As my friend. Not a date, okay?”
“Sure,” he said.
I bought a new dress and earrings. He picked me up on time.
We sat down at the banquet table across from a guy from my class and his date, a pretty blonde named J. J. smiled at M. “Hi!”
M. smiled back. “Hey!”
J. looked at her date and me. “M and I used to date.” M. said something then that made her laugh but I didn’t hear it.
Another classmate, L., sat to my left. L. always sat next to me class and stopped me the hall to say hi. He said things like, “You didn’t know [clever fact here]? I knew that.”
L. leaned back in his chair to get a better look at M, who was making J. laugh again. “Is he your brother?” L asked.
Showing my work is like sitting next to the prettiest girl at the table. No matter how well-dressed the work, she is going to get all the attention. It is difficult to shake that feeling that if only I could make the work prettier…
Do you get jealous of other writers? Does someone else’s success inspire you or shut you down?