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“Dude…you have got it bad!”
“I know, I know, and the worst part is I’m perfect. I know exactly what to say to sweep her off her feet and…”
“Fall madly in love with you?”
“Well…yeah, but that’s just it. I know what to say about 45 minutes after I’ve met someone, after I’ve driven all the way back to my apartment, and…”
“Stop interrupting. But…yes. I guess so.”
“Brian, you’re terrified.”
“What? No! I mean…maybe a little.”
“Sure, a little terrified. Seriously, do you know how stupid that sounds?”
Brian felt the words of truth sink to the bottom of his soul like a marble in Jell-o. Trevor drove with his head resting on his left hand. His right lazily turned his Acura Legend through the Liberty Square district of Miami. The engines of a 777 coming in for a landing washed out the pop vocals coming from his radio.
“Those things shouldn’t fly. Too much metal.” Brian nodded to the jet.
“I think it’s kinda cool…so what are you gonna do about your female-ophobia Mr. Romeo?”
Brian didn’t have a plan, and he wanted to hate Trevor for calling him on it. The thing was, Trevor was right. And not just a little right. Trevor was completely right.
“Be less afraid?”
“Yeah. Nice plan. Let me know what you name you decide on when NASA contacts you about the new nebula.”
“Well…what am I supposed to do?”
“I think you need to nail down what it is about girls that freaks you out so much before you try to figure out what to do about it.”
“Shut up, and look out your window right now.”
Brian obeyed and noticed a blonde ponytail with blue eyes riding shotgun in a black SUV. She looked tired as she frustratingly mouthed something to the brunnette driving. Their eyes met for a split second before vehicle passed them. Brian looked away faster than a burn reflex.
“There’s two layers of glass between you and her, she can’t hurt you.” Trevor laughed.
Brian exhaled, and looked at the ceiling.
“You’re right. I’m terrified.” He shook his head, and stared longingly at the SUV as it drove past down Northwest 12 Avenue. The vehicle’s left turn signal began to blink as it slid in front of them.
“I just wish I had a chance ya know? Maybe that’s it. Maybe I’m waiting for the right opportunity.”
“Oh yeah? Well, that brunette was about your height…”
“Huh? Uh…I thought the one in the passenger seat was attractive. Did you see her?”
“You mean the blonde chick that looked like my sister? Yes. And you’re an idiot. The brunette was way hotter. Can you imagine? Get a few drinks in her and…”
“Stop it! You can’t talk like that! She’s a person. She cares about stuff; has a favorite color, probably dreams about being an actress or something.”
“Wow. I prefer your beat-boxing to your soap-boxing any day. And…I’d like to point out. You don’t even know her.”
“You’re right. I don’t. But I’d rather dream up some story about who she is rather than trying to dream up what it’s like to sleep with her.” He shot Trevor a serious look. Now it was his time to be right.
“Well! Excuse me for being natural!” Trevor moved both hands to the wheel.
“Natural? Natural? Seriously!?”
“Yes. As a guy, that’s a perfectly natural thing to think about.What are you? Broken?”
“No. You just suck at thinking.”
“And you discovered a new nebula.”
“Hey. I just need an opportunity.” Brian stated as he slumped into his seat, and went on. “You need to show some respect man. How would you feel if some guy thought about sleeping with your sister like that?”
Trevor shifted uncomfortably. Brian could tell that the thought had never crossed his mind. The SUV flashed brake lights as it slowed to a stop at a red light in front of them. He could see the back of blonde ponytail’s head as the Legend stopped behind them.
“Okay.” Trevor sighed, and took a long blink. He started again, “I’ll make you a deal.”
“I’ll work on thinking about girls like I would want guys to think about my sister, if you work on being less afraid of them.”
“Deal. But how are we gonna know we’re each holding up our end of it?”
“Well, you’ll have to trust that I’m trying.”
“Thanks…so you’ll trust me too?” Brian looked as his friend quizzically.
“Nope. I already know you need my help.”
Trevor floored the accelerator. The Legend’s engine revved as the vehicle jolted across the ten feet between it and the back of the SUV. The sound of crunching metal tore through the Acura as Brian had started to reach for the dash. He could feel his body mold around the seatbelt as Trevor hit the brakes. The front hood of the Legend buckled underneath the SUV.
“ARE YOU CRAZY?! You could’ve hurt someone! Seriously man – that’s over the line,” Brian shouted.
“I thought the light turned green! Silly me.” Trevor said sarcastically.
“Oh no no no no no. Making a deal is one thing, but this?” Brian fumed.
“You’re welcome for what? Almost getting me killed? Possibly hurting someone else?”
“An opportunity. And really – please tell them that for the insurance’s sake.”
“No. This breaks so many rules, I’m not going to lie for you and break another one.”
“Brian, I care about you. Really. But you’re so freakin passive. You don’t have a girlfriend because you’re afraid. My best friend is terrified of girls. I’m trying to show you that you don’t have to be. I lived with one – and you’re right: they have dreams and favorite colors. But my sister also showed me that they can be so human. They get sick, they poop, they get angry at you and blow up the moment something sends them over the edge. Stop putting them on some pedestal and allowing their opinion to emasculate you. You’re making me sick. And you’re right. I know I’m not the most honorable guy. I’ll work on that. But I wrecked my car for your opportunity. Don’t make me regret it.” Trevor reached for the glove-box, pulled the insurance, and slammed the door behind him.
Brian sat dumbfounded as he watched his friend walk towards the black SUV. He un-clicked his seatbelt and got out. He tapped lightly on the passenger side window and peered in. Blonde ponytail was holding her forehead with both hands.
“Are you okay?” Brian raised his voice to be heard through the window. The door began to open.
“I’m fine. Just leave me alone okay?” She said as she climbed out of the SUV and pushed past him. An application for Beanie’s Coffee Shop fell out onto the pavement. Brian picked it back up and handed it to her.
“Here. This fell out..”
She turned around and gave him a quick smile, “thanks,” she said, taking the application.
“I’m Brian, and my friend is an idiot.”
“Terra. Yes he is.” She turned away from him with her arms crossed.
“Can I help you to the median?”
“No, thanks. I’m fine,” she said as she made her way to the median and sat down. She hugged her legs like it was the end of the world.
He moved to the driver side of the legend and stood awkwardly. He tried not to look at her. His phone vibrated in his pocket. A text.