George in Cat
In the car

Like last week, I end up as the last one in the car with Kate after Nick and Nicole have been dropped off. She looks at me and asks, “So, how are the embarrassing questions coming along?”

“How are the—”

She has a big grin now. “You didn’t think about it at all, did you?”

“I, err—”

“Because I did. I’ll let you ask both of yours if I can ask one of my own.”

She— What is she— Doesn’t matter. “Yes. Yes, I’d like that.”

The grin has become a smile. “Alright. You go first.”

“Did you have a crush on Cat? The original Cat, I mean?”

“Yes, I did. It never went anywhere; she clearly wasn’t interested, so I kept my big mouth shut. And question number two?”

“How about me?”

“Oh, yes.”

“And I kept yakking about Mark! I’m sorry.”

She glances my way, touches my cheek for a moment and says, “Thank you. Don’t worry about it; when you’re a girl who likes girls, you get used to consoling your crush about her boyfriend.”

You get used to– yikes.

“Kate to Cat?”

The names still make me smile. “Yes. Your turn.”

“What about you?”

“I— Yes. Yes, I do. I—”

We turn into Curl Drive.

“Kate? You have a parking permit on this thing right? Won’t you park here and come up with me and talk? I don’t want to ‘bye’ and walk off like neither of us said anything.”

I think that’s a smile on her face and she drives right past Jones, to the parking lots. We’re lucky and find spot pretty close. As we walk back, she says, “Always get back before the bars go out. Easy parking.”

I let her in and we go up to my room. Elwing and the Silmaril. The sigils we carry aren’t nearly that bright.

We sit down on the bed. She looks at me and says, “How’s Mark?”

Damn. Why do I have to hurt you? “Diana made us try a scientific experiment.”

She smiles. “I’ve got to hear this.”

“She had us down on a park bench and had Mark put his arm around me.”

“And did you like it?”

“Err, awkward and weird but good, I guess.”

“You want to try the other half of that experiment?”

“The other ha— Oh.” I feel my cheeks getting red. “I’d like that.”

She puts her arm around me and I lean against her and then we lean our heads together. We just sit there for a bit, then she asks, “How is science?”

“Science is feeling all warm and cuddled.”

“Good for science.”

Yeah, I could keep this up for a while.

Then I feel her take a deep breath and say, “So, is science studying triangles?”

Oh God. “I– I guess I am.”

I feel her nod. “Honey, you’re going to have to chose.”

“I know. But how? I— I feel stuff for both of you. How do you chose between feelings?”

“I don’t know either. I’ve never been the apex of a triangle.”

‘Never been’‘You get used to’ “But you’ve been in triangles, right? Getting used to consoling your crushes?”

I feel her shoulders hunch. “Seems like every time. Friendzoned or triangled.” Then she relaxes again. “Not every time. There’s some really good memories in there.”

She disentangles herself. “But enough pity-fest. Shouldn’t you be getting ready for your sleepy-time meeting?”

“I should, I guess. Can’t keep Lena waiting, after all.”

“Lena?”

“She’s in Cat— I mean George’s room tonight. Seeing if she can see us.”

“She’s having a hard time believing it all?”

“Yes. A hard time and a smart time. She waited until tonight, so they could talk tomorrow morning. I wish I’d been that clever.”

She smiles. “Is that an invitation for coffee tomorrow morning?”

“I— I’d love that!”

“How about ten? Do I need to bring my own tea, or do you have some? Because I’m not touching coffee. I love the smell, but I hate the taste.”

“Ten is good. I have tea and a pot and stuff.”

“Alright, then you get to your bed and I’ll get to mine.”

I grab her hand. “Thanks.” We’re very close. I keep feeling her touch on my cheek back in the car, so I touch hers. She smiles, moves my hand to her mouth and kisses each finger. Then she puts my hand on top of the one holding hers and gives me a quick kiss on the cheek.

“If I can have my hand back, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I giggle like a schoolgirl, then slowly let go of her hand. “There you go, ma’am.”

“Yeah. There I go. See you tomorrow.”

And she gets up and walks out the door.

“See you!”

Chard's picture
I'd recommend a change in the opening paragraph to avoid uncertainty:

"Like last week, I end up as the last one in the car with her Kate after Nick and Nicole have been dropped off."

“Kate to Cat?”
The names still make smile. “Yes. Your turn.”

"Names still make smile?" Is that a Dutchism? I'm not sure what you are trying to say.

“What about you?”

“I— Yes. Yes, I do. I—”

Is this Kate asking Cat (Well, George really) if he has a crush on her? If not, this is really unclear. I have no idea what to even guess at for what is being asked here.

Verb tense is a bit off here. Does this seem better?
Damn. Why do I have to hurt you? “Diana made us try a scientific experiment.”
She smiles. “I’ve got to hear this.”
She had us sit down on a park bench and have him had Mark put his arm around me.”

I really like this exchange. You have me rooting for George and Kate with it. I'm going, "Ah, Mark, who's Mark?"

Yeah, triangles are hard. You would think that the person gets to choose the best of two options. But it's so different from trying to choose between two pairs of shoes or two cars or whatever. It's not a fun place to be. I'm really feeling ya, George.
Rob's picture
Chard wrote:
I'd recommend a change in the opening paragraph to avoid uncertainty:
"Like last week, I end up as the last one in the car with her Kate after Nick and Nicole have been dropped off."
“Kate to Cat?”
The names still make smile. “Yes. Your turn.”

"Names still make smile?" Is that a Dutchism? I'm not sure what you are trying to say.
Verb tense is a bit off here. Does this seem better?
Damn. Why do I have to hurt you? “Diana made us try a scientific experiment.”
She smiles. “I’ve got to hear this.”
“She had us sit down on a park bench and have him had Mark put his arm around me.”


Good points. Changes made.
(Not a Dutchicism, btw, just a missing word. I'm really good at those.)