Mind Games

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A mind full of confusion and tension, wrestling with one of life's simple problems; until he is snatched off the high street.

Submitted: May 13, 2016

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Submitted: May 13, 2016

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Allow me to introduce you to someone who is very dear to me, yet has a knack of figuratively driving me round the proverbial bend: Myself.

It’s on days like today that one is reminded especially of the driving, because it is, unfortunately, valentine’s day. Most people would have given up trying to ask the same woman on a date after she had refused them once or twice; but not me. You see, the ‘me’ that I am introducing you to is persistent to the extreme. Sarah, the object of my affections, has chosen to rebuff my affections time and time again, whilst thankfully having enough patience to not impose a restraining order. Tonight she is out with my oldest enemy and most trusted friend: my twin brother Joseph. He is my oldest enemy because ever since he beat me out of our mother’s womb to the outside world, he has trumped me in pretty much everything in life. But he remains my trusted friend because he has the kindest, big-brother-by-four-minutes heart you could ever hope to find.

Tonight, however, he is mostly playing the role of my arch-enemy, since he has chosen to take the love of my life for his own. Granted, they are “just-friends” and tonight he is taking her to the theatre as a “kind-gesture” for her helping him with his studies this year. But only someone with purely evil intentions would “accidently” book tickets on the same day as Valentine’s Day. I have not voiced my concerns to him of course; that would be far too confrontational for me. So I have settled for assuming the worst about him whilst hoping for the best. And thus, tonight my head is like a yo-yo in the hands of a child who has been allowed far too much sugar by their irresponsible parents, and is all too eager to show their friends their new ‘around-the-world’ trick.

If you would prefer me to show you the door and let you leave my mind before the yo-yo string snaps, now is your chance. If however, your curiosity is strong enough to experience the bizarre hospitality my thoughts offer, then I would be glad to have your company. I feel like it might be a long night without it.

So right now I am clocking off work, leaving a job that is so boring I am not even going to tell you what it is. I step outside into the cold, dank February evening air, and pull my home-knit scarf further over my face, partly to keep out the sharp wind, partly to hide more of myself from strangers - who couldn’t care less that I don’t have a date tonight but for some reason I suspect they do. Then I realise the absurdity of this suspicion and I pull my scarf back down to teach the frenzied child with a yo-yo a lesson. I bear my face to the elements for a few defiant seconds before deciding that it is actually still very cold and I would be better to pull the scarf back up. Mind games with yourself can lead nowhere it seems.

I try to bury my thoughts by focusing on my usual commute. Left at the second crossing; over the old bridge; third road after the ‘The Queen’s Head’ pub and up towards the station. I do my best not to notice whether each person I pass is handsome or not, but invariably I feel envy when I pass a formidable looking man, and a shallow, shameful sense of worth when I pass someone less gifted by nature or age.

I reach the steps outside the entrance to the station when suddenly I feel a hand forcefully grip my shoulder. I barely have time to make any exclamation of alarm before I am accosted head first through the back door of a car.

“Wh- What are-!” I manage to splutter as the door slams shut and I discover myself in a car with the one person I was definitely not expecting to see: Sarah.

She is wearing some incredible dress that looks like it’s made from material not found on earth: a stunning creation of rich sky blues and fiery oranges. Framed by such a work of art, she herself defies description. Her lush black hair is not tied up as usual, but it falls like rivers of deep night down the sides of her face. Her eyes are sparkling like they are brimming with laughter and her lips are parted in a wide, shameless grin that threatens to overspill onto my own face, and begins to, until I realise why she is dressed up like that.

“You’re dressed up like that to go out with Joseph?” I asked horrified, hardly able to believe that my worst suspicions were only scratching the surface of reality. I barely register someone climbing into the driver’s seat of the car.

Sarah threw her head back and laughed, and I felt a cold anger creep through my bones. How could my brother betray me this badly? How did I not realise they were this into each other?

But Sarah began shaking her head and - noticing my deathly expression - spoke quickly and tenderly, “No silly, I am dressed up to go out with you!”

I didn’t understand. Why would she be going out with me? Was I going to be a chaperone to take her to meet Joseph? Why did I need to be there?

“You’ve got two tickets to go and see William Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ at the Globe theatre tonight,” said a strongly familiar voice from the driver’s seat.

I turned round incredulously to see my brother smiling just as broadly as Sarah had been. The only thing that stopped me from punching the mocking smirk off his face was the words that had just come out of his mouth, which I tried to piece together and reframe into reality, but I was struggling.

“Dude!” my brother cried “You’ve got a date with Sarah! I’m your chauffeur for the evening!”

“What?!” I choked, shocked that he would joke about such a thing, but looking back to Sarah I could see neither the rejection of his words, nor any sign that this was all a malicious prank. I only saw her smile, and her eyes bright with invitation.

My oldest enemy and dearest friend… perhaps he’s not my enemy after all… perhaps he really is just the best friend I could hope for.


© Copyright 2017 Samuel O Whitlock. All rights reserved.

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