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Comforting Girlfriend

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Summary

My girlfriend is being bullied at her co-op and I try to comfort her.

Genre:
Drama
Author:
PascalScherr
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
16+

I was doing pushups in my room. My phone started ringing. I finished my set and checked it—It was Julia. My heart sped up a little.

I swiped to answer. “Hello?”

“F-Franz …” she sounded really distressed.

“What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know …”

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, uh …” she sounded almost dazed, like she’d been crying for a while.

“Are you on—what’s going on?”

“I’m fading out. I think.”

“Julia are you dy—are you—” I grabbed a jacket and started for the door.

“I’m, no, I’m having a, uh … a bad day.”

I stopped, “A bad day how?”

I could almost hear her shrug over the phone, “Just feel like crying.”

Oh, what the fuck. I thought this chick was about to overdose or something.

“You know enjoy your privilege—I can’t call you up and start crying.”

“Franz can I just come over?” she said, letting out a big breath. “I need someone to talk to.”

“Why don’t you cry us a river and we’ll get in a boat and go sailing down to the Amazon, and then we’ll put a bone through our nose and I’ll read a passage from The Antichrist—we will assist the weak in dying out, you and I until forever—that’ll be my wedding vow—and we’ll kiss and that’ll be that.”

“Franz, I really need someone to talk to,” she repeated. She sounded like she was sobbing.

“What is it, Repeat My Name Day? Even the sound fills you with love. And—shouldn’t you be studying English Literature? The three-act structure?”

“Can I just come over?”

“Can we act out Nabokov, The Stiffest Writer Since Ivan The Terrible?”

“I don’t want to do that now. … Can I just come over?”

“I’d love to have you over now, but … I’m wearing too many shirts.” I admitted.

“Franz …”

“Sure, girl. Come over.”

I waited for her. I looked in the mirror and flexed. I flexed my abs. Then my biceps. I flexed my quads. I threw punches at the air. I thought I could probably knock out three or four guys who were in average shape. I thought about Julia’s breasts. They were like those shots in Tarkovsky movies that keep going on more than you thought you wanted and then end right when you get it. And leave you in that kind of aura of perfection for a moment before you can focus on the next one. That limbo it’s so good. I put my shirt on.

I kept waiting. After a minute or two more I heard a knock on the door.

I thought of saying something witty before I opened it but I couldn’t think of anything. Then I got an idea. I threw the door open with an enraged domestic-abuser look on my face and my fists clenched and said, “If you deny your cisgender privilege one more ti—oh. Uh—hey. Hey, Julia.” I put my hand behind my head awkwardly.

She was standing there looking stressed.

“Why are girls always so fucking stressed?” I asked her.

“I don’t know, Franz,” she said and pushed in past me and threw herself on my bed.

“It’s ’cause you’re so in touch with your feelings.” I said. I stood a few steps from the door. I felt a little awkward.

“It’s too bad girls don’t care about looks as much as your humble mannish boy because I’m a pretty handsome genius,” I said. “Instead I’ve gotta be interesting.”

“I wish I were a musician,” she exclaimed.

“Why?”

“I don’t know, I just don’t want to do this shit.”

“I was thinking about your breasts and I was thinking they’re like these shots in Tarkovsky movies—”

No!” she shouted and squeezed her eyes shut. I decided to stop talking about my film theories.

She sat up and looked at me kind of annoyed, like she was waiting for me to fuck up comforting her and she’d have to storm out. Her cheeks were wet and flushed with color.

“Hey,” I said more softly, “It’s cool. Look, just …” I had to find the right words, “I’ll get you …” I grabbed a blanket and put it over her, I don’t know why, I needed a gesture. “Okay, what’s up? Or not so up … down.”

“It’s my housemates.” she started, “They’re bullying me. Look, okay it started when they didn’t want me to sit with them—but it started before that. With their rumors. But—no I was, everything was going fine for most of the year. Then I said what I thought about kitchen duties—how to organize them—and it like ahhh, they just blew up on me. It was like I just said this one thing and I nearly backed away from it but I wanted to stick to my opinion because that’s what good people do and but all of a sudden—and they jumped on me, like they just started uniting everyone against me and spreading rumors about me that you would not believe and just trying to turn my friends against me. I got so stressed I started drawing my face over and over in my notebooks, in all these different configurations and like almost in my own blood.—But they were manic. Like militarized. Like it turned into this whole war I wasn’t even trying to fight—I just said this one thing, and … they went nuts, it was suddenly about all this stuff and they were messing with my accounts and talking to my friends and recording all the stuff I did and coming up with ways to get me in trouble and ‘whispering’ about me so I’d hear them and all this fucking hostility and it came. out. of. nowhere. I’m telling you, Franz: I didn’t do anything.”

She looked at me, maybe for an answer, maybe just to know I heard her.

I thought it over and said, “Well, maybe if you try to work on showing your emotions and don’t try to be so tough all the time this will all blow over. … Because that’s the root cause of problems, you know.”

“Goddammit, Franz, this is serious!”

“Okay,” I shouldn’t have said that, “I know,” I said and rested my hand on her, her shoulders were a swimmer’s but they weren’t manly, “what you’re talking about.”

“Yeah.”

“Your housemates sound like putting on a cold sweaty shirt and then eating McDonalds. While watching one of those shows about You are the father or The lie detector says … or maybe they’re just those shows. No one’s really watching but they’re there keeping people away from the truth. On at three AM.”

“Yeah.”

We were quiet. Maybe she didn’t want to hear my lyricisms.

“Stay here with me.” I said. “You can have my roommate’s bed. Stay here.”

“Won’t he mind?”

“We’ll talk it over.”

“Are we … aren’t we not together—like that?”

I shrugged. “Forget about your other friends. Forget about the whole thing. There’s no reason to spend time with these people.”

“Oh yeah, why’s that? ’Cause ‘they don’t care what’s true’?”

“Yeah—why do you want to be around anyone but me?” I started like I was kidding but I finished actually asking.

“Society isn’t some kind of great enemy.” she said like she’d been wanting to for a while.

“All those other people don’t make you happy. You just spend time with them but they make your head all goofy. Forget about them. We just need each other, really. I’ll keep you in a basement somewhere and we’ll live happily ever after.”

She shook her head and looked down. “Not everyone can live like you. I’m not ’impervious’. And I don’t like being lonely.”

“Well, in a way it doesn’t matter what you do. You’ve said toxic one too many times. The curse is cast.”

“Will you shut. up?” she snapped at me as I laughed at her.

“Come on, let’s just elope and forget about college. I’m in love with … your hair … so I think you’re the one.”

“Quit teasing me, Franz.” she said dejectedly like she wasn’t that annoyed. I put my arms around her.

“You’re lucky I can see past how insufferable you are,” she said as I hugged her.

“My epileptic mare. …” I breathed warm air on her neck. “Bright bright socialite fluttering on and off … Lost lonely sea cucumber tossing through a fruit salad, shoals of circumcised swordfish leaving you behind … My lovely neuroticist … My drowsy Prozac petal drifting toward the floor.” I whispered to her. She leaned into my embrace.

“Let’s just leave,” I said. “Fuck this shit. Let’s just leave.”

“I can’t,” she murmured. “You know I can’t.”

“Come with me,” I said as I was holding her but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. “Come with me, girl.”

We hugged each other for a long time. I don’t know what she was thinking. I was always going to remember holding onto her like that.

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