Monday, 15 February 2016


"What's that you've got there, Lightsinthesky?"

I had looked over at him (on account of the fact that we sat next to each other, it wasn't too difficult to do) at precisely the wrong time. He still had his German exercise book open, after everyone else had packed theirs away; it was certain, however, that he wasn't looking at the folded pages of vocabulary that we'd been working on five minutes prior. It was the very last page, and nothing he'd written was in German.

It was a list of names that I vaguely recognised. All first names - some misspelled, but after a while, I realised that it was a list of girls in our German class. While not responding to me at first, he flipped the page over, at which point I noticed that he had, in fact, written down the forenames of practically every single girl in our year. Some - including all the attached girls and his ex, who was also in our German class - were crossed out.

"Hey, er..." he said to the girl I had a crush on, "hey, do you want to, er... I mean, are you, er... interested in, er...?"

I kind of knew what he was implying, but I'm not sure she did. This girl - the one who, as it turned out, was easy to confess to - thought he was asking her out on a date. Another one of our friends - the odd girl who thought Rome was a country and is now married to a policeman and has two kids named after Old Testament prophets - was watching, and her face was beaming. Apparently she thought so too. She also stopped me from intervening, which was probably a mistake.

A week beforehand, he'd been seen asking her something and came back to the usual group of misfits I tended to feel awkward in.
"Hey, she's a metalhead!" he informed me in an undertone. "We can have sex!"

I hadn't bothered to point out that her love of music with distortion and guitar solos wasn't exactly an immediate assertion that she was ready for sexual intercourse. Lightsinthesky was both too young and unlikely to be having sex any time soon (the fact that he ended up being one of the first to do, however, was both unforeseen and hilarious in equal measure), although he certainly wasn't particularly choosy when it came to potential procreation partners - hence, The List.

"I... I don't think so," she answered him. "But thanks for asking. I mean, that's what you were doing, right... asking...?"
"Okay," he said brightly.

He turned back to his exercise book, found her name - which, I saw, had a little star drawn next to it - and crossed it out.

I suppose you can't really blame a guy for trying.

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