Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"Never Special," First Meetings, pt. 2, 392 words

“No, seriously, what’s going on,” I ask. I’m so close to him now that I’m stepping on broken glass, grinding into the soles of my sneakers. I could grab him, and probably break his arm into tiny bits if I grab too hard. I glance down at his arm, the one I considered grabbing, and notice a few dark marks growing larger on his white coat, barely visible in the dark of the alley here.

“Oh Jesus, you’re hurt,” I say, taking care only to grab his arm by the loose sleeve. I jerk him sideways anyway, and he stumbles a little against me. It’s a lab coat that he’s wearing, an actual honest-to-God lab coat that’s getting stained with his blood.

“Yeah, it was some of the glass,” he says. The note of strain in his voice is obvious for the first time – or maybe I was just too caught up in the whole heroes-and-villains thing to really notice it before.

“We’ve got to do something about this. Do you have a first aid kit or anything,” I ask. I look up from his arm, and from this close get my first real look at his face. He’s cute in a shy, geeky way, short brown hair and brown eyes behind trendy glasses that look all wrong on his thin, pale face.

“No, I, uh, no. This is just my first heist and… Crap, this isn’t going right at all, is it?”

“Huh?” I blink, thinking for a moment, and realize what he means. It’s going nothing like how the comics or the movies make it out to seem. “Oh, no, I guess not.”

“Well… Well, balls. Can I call a mulligan,” he asks, frowning to himself. Despite myself, a do-over sounds like a really good idea.

“Uh, yeah. Yeah, sure.” I let go of his arm, step back a little. “Same time tomorrow?”

He glances over at me, finally actually looking at me for the first time. I mean actually looking, like I was really there and not just his imaginary friend. “I…” He shakes his head quickly. “Yes, okay.”

“Well, uh… um…” I stammer, wondering what to say now. I’ve always been bad at this moment, trying to end a conversation gracefully and split off. Hell with it, it’s not that hard, I think, and say, “See you later.”

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