Long Live The Ides of March

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Murder, Betrayal, and Discussions of the latest reading in his Honors American Lit class are all everyday occurrences in the excitingly boring life of Sami Logan. With his parents out of town for the weekend, Sami and his girlfriend, Wendy, decided to celebrate their one-year anniversary by recreating their first unofficial date (Date #0... As they like to call it). A one-year anniversary is a very special day, and Sami wants to make his date with Wendy a night to remember. Hopefully, Wendy is on the same page.

Submitted: May 15, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 15, 2017

A A A

A A A


Part I

Here’s a little piece of advice, if you are ever planning on buying condoms, always go to a place with a self-checkout line. Why was I buying condoms? Let’s just say you always have to do something special when you hit a milestone, like your one year anniversary.

I stood there, in line at my local Super Target with a dozen roses in one hand and a pack of trojan condoms in the other hand. It was rather warm for March, so naturally I didn’t wear a coat, which later came to bite me in the ass since I had no way to conceal these condoms that I was about to purchase. I didn’t have to worry about my parents seeing what I had bought since they were on one of their weekend getaways. My parents often ventured out of the house for long romantic weekends, considering they never had to worry about their son throwing any ragers in their absence.

I inched further up the line as those ahead of me checked out at their respective registers. I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. For a second I considered not looking down at my phone. I always seemed to run into someone I know at Target, and nine times out of ten it was a friend of my mom or dad. I was keeping my eyes peeled for anyone I potentially knew. I felt my phone vibrate again. Although, this time, I was pretty sure it wasn’t another text message, it was just my phone alerting me about the message two minutes later. I gave one final 360 of my surroundings just to make sure no one in my general vicinity knew my name. The next two people in the line ahead of me proceed to their registers; I was next.

Seeing as the coast was clear, I pulled out my phone. I placed the box of condoms and the roses under my arm. I then swiped the notification on my iPhone without reading the message or who sent it. Although, I did see the sparkly heart emoji within the message, so I could only assume it was Wendy. I read her message,

Did you get my note??? 

Yes, I did. Thanks for leaving me with Mr. Fitter 

Hahaha awww… come on! Give the guy a break!!! 

I was about to respond to Wendy, but a register opened up.

“Young man,” The Target employee said, “We have a machine ready for you.”

I smiled and nodded at her before moving up to the register. I crowded my body around the scanner just so no one would see what I was buying. I scanned the condoms and threw them right under my arm.

“Fourteen - Forty-nine.” The self-checkout machine said in that weird robotic female voice.

“15 bucks?!” I said under my breath. My parents left me 50 dollars for the weekend, so I was more than capable of paying for it all. My parents told me the money was for food and emergencies. You could argue whether or not this was an emergency, but I’m sure they’ll forgive me once I tell them I’m not going to be a father at 17 years old.

I inserted forty dollars into the machine to cover the cost of the Roses and the condoms. I picked up my receipt and change once the machine told me to do so. I headed out of the store with a sense of urgency, wanting to get in my car before anyone saw me. In hindsight I could have at least bagged the box of condoms, but my mind was just focused on not making eye contact with anyone. I headed towards my car in the back of the parking lot, constantly surveying the scenery around me before making one final bomb-rush to my car. I felt my phone vibrate more and more in my pocket as I unlocked my car doors. I opened the driver’s seat and wedged the condoms and the roses behind my bookbag which was conveniently placed in the passenger’s seat.

I shut the door and slouched into the driver’s seat while simultaneously breathing a great big sigh of relief. I felt my phone vibrate once more. I pulled it out and once again swiped the text which I presumed was from Wendy. I was correct.

Did you get home okay? 

I’m not home yet. I stopped by Target 

Target????!! 

What did you need to buy?? 

It’s a surprise!! 

Tell Me!!! 

No! Hahaha 

UGH!!!! 

Love You :) 

I know 

>:( 

 

Part II

My leg was feverishly bouncing up and down. I wasn’t stressed or anything like that, I was just having such a bad case of secondhand awkwardness for Mr. Fitter. There he was, sitting up at the desk with his nice little button down shirt and tie. He had rolled the sleeves up seeing as it was not only the Ides of March (March 15th for those of you who don’t know), but it was also Free-Form Friday. Always a fan of alliteration, Mr. Fitter abandoned his structured 45 minute class, and instead decided on a more discussion-based approach on the fabled Free-Form Fridays. And just to make sure you knew it was Free-Form Friday, Mr. Fitter put down his projector at the beginning of the day, so all of his students could be treated to a dark room, with “FREE-FORM FRIDAY” written in big letters on the projection screen.

It was a rough life for poor Mr. Fitter. Standing in at an insurmountable 5’8 and weighing in at an astounding 135 lbs, he was quite the force to be reckoned with. Coming in as a Freshman, those stats seem impressive, but once you actually hit puberty you realize that Mr. Fitter never did. Not to mention his voice. The high-pitched tone is just unbearable for a 45 minute class.

“Does anyone have any analysis or ideas on Holden’s worldview?” Mr. Fitter asked timidly.

I stared straight forward, not trying to make eye contact with Mr. Fitter; I guess you could say I was one of his favorites. I really didn’t overachieve in Mr. Fitter’s Honors American Literature class, I just talked a lot. I usually try not to contribute to class discussions, but I would always end up succumbing to self-induced peer-pressure when Mr. Fitter stands up at his desk, looking completely helpless just begging for somebody to contribute to the class conversation.

“Wow that’s very interesting, Sami!” said Wendy, who was sitting right next to me.

Mr. Fitter’s eyes shot towards the back corner where I was sitting with an unrecognizable glee. He lunged from his seated position, his chest was hovering over his desk, “Mr. Logan, What-”  His voice stopped almost immediately. He quickly withdrew his question and regained his upright posture, “First of all Mr. Logan, I would appreciate it if you and Ms. Lumina kept the side conversations to yourself.” he said in his version of a stern voice.

“Sorry, Mr. F.” Wendy said, ‘We were talking about The Catcher In The Rye.”

Mr. Fitter breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that his suspicions about our “conversation” were correct. “Well, I suppose I could let you two off with a warning for now” he said. I internally howled at the idea of Mr. Fitter actually disciplining his students. Mr. Fitter dropped his tough-guy act in hopes of not scaring em away from contributing to the clearly booming conversation, “Please Mr. Logan, if you have a thought, share it with your classmates and myself. We would all love to hear what you have to say.”

I proceeded to look around at all of the students in my class. If they weren’t on their phone sending each other snapchats about how horrendously boring Free-Form Fridays were, they were asleep, waiting to be awoken by the glorified alarm clock known as the dismissal bell. I looked sideways over at Wendy; she gave one of her signature smiles and a wink.

“Well, Mr. Fitter,” I said adjusting my slouched body into an upright position, “I find Holden Caulfield to be a very interesting case. He seems to be wrapped up in his own world where everyone is a ‘phony’ and he is the last profound intellectual in a world full of mindless slaves. What’s so Ironic about all of this, is that Holden exudes a lot of the characteristics that he claims to despise. He is a pathological liar, constantly coming up with fake names and stories for himself. Personally, I think Holden Caulfield has a fear of rejection. He is offended at the fact that no one shows him care, so he lashes out at them in his head in order to make the pain go away when everyone else shows him the coldness that he has for them in his heart.”

I saw Mr. Fitter’s eyes light up, “Wow, Mr. Logan, that’s truly insightful.” he said. “Would you say that you can gather sympathy for Holden once you realize the internal struggle he faces every single day?”

“Sympathy?!” I said in a shocked voice, “Oh no, Mr. Fitter, Holden’s just a prick.”

Half the class began to laugh as the drop of a cuss word, the other half were in the REM stage and could not be resurrected. Mr. Fitter’s face turned blood red, as I assume the sound of a swear word pierced his innocent little ears.

“Mr. Logan! I will not tolerate cursing in my classroom under any circumstances! Do YOU understand?” His voice began to crack on the “you” as it did from time to time. The classic Fitter Crack, as it was widely known in St. Agatha Catholic High School was the stuff of legend. Mr. Fitter’s already soprano voice would head up several more octaves till he reached dog whistle territory. All the guys and girls in my class who weren't snoring  began to laugh at the poor guy. I could see Mr. Fitter’s face beginning to produce steam as if he was some sort of cartoon character.

I brought my hand up to qualm both Mr. Fitter’s anger and my classmate’s laughter. “I’m sorry Mr. Fitter, I didn’t mean to offend you.” I said with a smirk.

“I would appreciate it if you withhold your side comments, Mr. Logan.” he said in a hilariously angry voice.

“Alright, alright.” I said, slouching back into my desk. I looked over at Wendy who was giving me her trademark glance of disapproval.

“What?!” I mouthed to her.

She rolled her eyes, “you know how he gets when people cuss in his class.” she said.

“I’m not wrong, he’s a dick.” I said.

She gave me another disapproving glance. “You don’t know how lucky you are that I put up with you.” she whispered.

“Whatever…” I said with a smirk.

“I’m ignoring you for the rest of class.” she said as she began doodling on her favorite light-blue papered notebook.

I looked up at the clock and saw that there was only five minutes of class left in the day. I turned back to Wendy who was trying her hardest not to make eye contact with me. Judging by this little interaction, you probably wouldn’t think Wendy and I had been dating for a full year

____________________

I guess you could say I was the luckiest Junior in Mr. Fitter’s Honors American Literature class. Sure the class can be nauseatingly boring, but I could experience it all sitting next to Wendy. Where do I begin with explaining Wendy. We both shared a very weird connection. Back at our Freshman Orientation, we were chosen by our gym teacher, Mr. Ambrose, as partners for the annual Freshman Three-Legged Race. All Wendy and I remember from the race was the fact that neither of us were coordinated enough to get the timing right with out legs. We ended up coming in last, but at least we had each other to suffer through the embarrassment.

I know that the cliche Three-Legged Race gag seems like the perfect opening to a classic high school romance, but that was never really the case. Wendy and I remained… acquaintances, for a lack of a better word. I never really thought of Wendy in any sort of way upon our first encounter. I didn’t talk to Wendy for much of my freshman year. I would occasionally see her in the hallway or at lunch and I would wave to her if she wasn’t talking to someone else.

I didn’t get reacquainted with Wendy until our sophomore year during our Studies In Shakespeare class taught by, you guessed it, Mr. Fitter. Because Mr. Fitter thrived off of structure, he had to place all of his students in alphabetical order. Thankfully, the stars aligned that Wendy had the last name of “Lumina,” and I had the last name of “Logan.” We were smack-dab in the middle of the classroom, right next to each other.  Except on Free-Form Fridays, where we could sit wherever we wanted. I always chose the back-corner of the classroom. Once Wendy and I started dating, she began sitting in the back corner next to me.

I could talk and talk about how pretty Wendy was, but the truth is, that’s not what initially caught my eye.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, my girlfriend is still incredibly hot, but I’m not like the other guys at St. Agatha’s who just take in a girl’s appearance. And Wendy was a lot different from all of the other girls, she had such an aura to her; I can’t really describe it. She was soft-spoken and was often too shy to initiate conversation. When she talked to you though, you couldn’t help but listen. Wendy was the biggest Shakespeare fan at St. Agatha’s, despite the fact that she hardly ever talked in class. If she ever decided to raise her hand, Wendy would often go on tirades in class about her reactions to the different plays of Shakespeare. I often found myself just staring into Wendy, getting lost in her undying passion for learning and conversation.

Despite the awe she left me in, I never really had the fortitude to ask her out. I was never all that good at initiating conversations myself, especially with a girl that gave me butterflies. We were both pretty quiet kids. I would always look for an icebreaker of some sort to strike up a conversation, but I could never seem to think of anything. Not to mention, I had never been in a relationship before, so I wasn’t sure how those things really got going.

My prayers of a conversation were answered in the form of Mr. Fitter assigning his annual Shakespeare Video Project. Since Mr. Fitter hated the chaos of having his students select partners on their own, he assigned partners. And by “assigned partners,” I mean he went down the roster and grouped people into twos by their last name. As “Logan” and “Lumina” approached his roster, he assigned Wendy and I to be partners in the project.

Our job as partners was to recreate a scene in a Shakespeare play, which in our case, was Julius Caesar. We had to reenact Act IV, Scene III of the play, giving it a more modern approach with some 21st century dialogue. I was Brutus, and she was Cassius.  I remember inviting Wendy over to my house since my dad had a copy of the old 1950s Julius Caesar on VHS, as well as an old VCR. Wendy came over to my house and we laughed throughout the entire video. The “special effects,” if you even want to call them that, left her gasping for air. I thought it was funny, sure, but Wendy almost had a heart attack laughing at Caesar’s death scene.

After filming the scene we had to co-write a response paper of our performance. We both wrote the paper together on a google doc while we talked on the phone. We spoke on the phone about the project for about five minutes before we eventually shut our laptops and began talking to each other on the phone.

To be honest, I can’t even remember what we would talk about specifically. For one moment we were talking about Mr. Fitter, the next moment we were talking about all the people we hated at school. But what never changed is that we were always laughing. I know it’s probably a breach in etiquette, but after our never-ending phone conversation, I asked Wendy out on our first official date. I say, “first official date,” because we have collectively decided that our viewing of Julius Caesar was our unofficial first date, also known to us as, “Date #0.”

Ironically, our date took place on March 15th, the same day Julius Caesar was assassinated. It’s crazy to think that she would stay with me after I started off strong with a dinner by dimly lit fluorescent light at Outback Steakhouse. Every girl dreams of being asked to be some dude’s boyfriend after he just consumed a 12 oz Steak, but fortunately for me, Wendy still said “yes.”

__________

Before I knew it, the final five minutes had passed and the dismissal bell rang. It wasn’t really a “bell-bell,” it was just that unpleasant tone that you eventually become numb to about halfway through Freshman year. I got up and flung my backpack over my left shoulder. Wendy placed her notebook into her messenger bag and placed the strap around her shoulder.

“Okay, I’m done ignoring you.” she said before jumping up and giving me a hug, “I’m getting so excited for tonight.” she said with a smile.

“I’m dying of excitement.” I said with a straight face.

“UGH! YOU. ARE. THE. WORST.” she said as she punched me with every passing word.

I began walking forward towards the door, before I was stopped once again by Wendy. “You have it, right?” she said in a quiet voice, as if she didn’t want to be hear.

“Of course I have it.” I said. I reached into my backpack and pulled out the VHS copy of Julius Caesar.

Wendy gasped before hugging me, “I am so excited to see it again.” Wendy grabbed my hand and lead me towards the exit.

As we were just about to leave the classroom, I heard a call from Mr. Fitter,

“Mr. Logan?” he said. Wendy and I both turned towards Mr. Fitter. “Mr. Logan, would you mind speaking to me for a quick second?”

I looked at Wendy before answering Mr. Fitter’s question. She gave me one of her disapproving glares, as if to say, “you better say yes.”

I looked back at him. “Yeah, Mr. Fitter, I can talk.”

Wendy squeezed my arm as if to say she will wait outside for me. “Love you!” she whispered to me.

“Gross.” I said back to her. She hit me in my arm before exiting the classroom with her messenger bag a her side. I turned back to see Mr. Fitter still standing at his desk.

“Mr. Logan.” he said in his serious voice. “You know I think highly of your work here in class.”

I nodded.

“I think you’re a great student, but I will not tolerate profanity of any kind in my class.”

“All I did was call him a prick.” I said, just to rile him up.

“Mr. Logan!!” He said with a crack.

I brought my hand up, “I’m just messing with you Mr. Fitter.” I said in a calm voice. “If it really bothers you that much, I can stop.”

“Okay, Mr. Logan.” he said with a sense of closure. “I hate to say this, but one more swear word out of you and I will have to give you a demerit.”

“Anything but a demerit.” I said in a deadpan voice. Mr. Fitter gave me a disapproving glare; I’m assuming Wendy taught it to him. “Well, glad we got all of that sorted out! Alright Mr. Fitter, I’ll see you on Monday.” I said as I left hoping to see Wendy waiting outside the door.

“Oh Mr. Logan!” Mr. Fitter said, once again postponing my exit.

I turned around and put on a fake smile, “Yes Mr. Fitter” I said pleasantly, but with a sense of urgency.

“Well I wanted to talk to you about a great opportunity.” he said.

I didn’t really say anything in response. I mostly just tried not to cringe at whatever Mr. Fitter had planned for me.

“I have been talking with Principal Holdridge about creating a new club here at St. Agatha Catholic High School.” he said with a grin. After a few days of convincing, Mrs. Holdridge finally approved my new club.”  Mr. Fitter’s body shook up and down while he gave me the news. I stood perfectly still, giving off a fake smile. Mr. Fitter took a step back from me, “This Monday will be the first meeting of my new club, Reader’s Roundtable!” He said, unable to contain his excitement.

There was another awkward silence after he announced the ever creative name of “Reader’s Roundtable.” With the amount of energy Mr. Fitter put into this announcement, I’m shocked that balloons and streamers didn’t fall from the ceiling.

I kind of shrugged and gave Mr. Fitter a thumbs up. “That’s pretty cool, Mr. Fitter.” I said letting out a slight yawn.

“I’m glad you think it’s cool, Mr. Logan.” he said. “My vision is that we meet every week and read a novel of our choosing, and then discuss the different themes and ideas from the text. I can’t think of a better first member than you, Mr. Logan.”

I gave a sigh of hesitation, “I don’t know Mr. Fitter, it kinda sounds like a glorified book club.”

The grin on Mr. Fitter’s face slowly began to dissipate, “Well, sure, but I think it could be something even better than your average book club. You’re pretty well liked in this school, Mr. Logan. I think a lot of our younger students can really find a passion for literature with you leading the charge in making this club the new hip thing at St. Agatha’s.”

I was about to give another rebuttal, but Mr. Fitter cut me off, “You’re very intelligent Mr. Logan, and I would hate for that intelligence to go to waste. I love listening to your nuanced ideas on different characters, and your overall outlook on the many different texts we have read throughout the year… It would be so sad if you-”

I put my hand up to officially silence Mr. Fitter, “Look Mr. Fitter, I really appreciate your compliments. It’s cool that you want me to be the leader of this little book club of yours. Then again...” I waved my hands around to try and create some hand gestures that would illustrate my point to him, “It’s March. There’s only two months left of school, senior year is right around the corner, I don’t know if I really feel like it.” I began to smirk, “Besides, I don’t know if I can handle another hour of discussing books with you.” I said in a serious manner, but as a joke.

Mr. Fitter seemed crushed; he could hardly speak. He looked as if he took my joke seriously. His voice began to crack, “Mr. Logan, I think you’ll find that this is-”

“Mr. Fitter!” I said in a very direct voice, “I really appreciate it, I just don’t want to do it.”

There was a moment of silence as my firm denial settled into Mr. Fitter’s skin. “Okay, Mr. Logan, have a wonderful weekend.” He said with a forced smile.

I gave him a smile and a nod, “You to Mr. Fitter, see ya Monday!”

I walked outside the classroom hoping to see Wendy, but I did not. I let out a silent but angry sigh, “Damn it, Fitter!” I said to myself. My locker was right down the hall from Mr. Fitter’s class. I punched in the combination on my padlock and slowly opened my locker. As the door creaked open inch by inch, I kept my free hand ready to catch any potential textbooks that might fall out of the cluttered hellhole that was locker 315. Much to my surprise, no textbooks fell out. All that escaped my locker was a single piece of light blue paper that was folded up with “Sami” written on it.

“Notes?” I whispered to myself. I bent over to pick up the piece of paper, “Are we in 5th grade, Wendy?” I said as I opened the note.

 

Sami,

I had to go because I was bored!!! But at least you got to talk to Mr. Fitter (I hope you apologized to him, otherwise I’ll be very mad). But I know you did because you’re the sweetest person I know. I’m so looking forward to our little movie night (It will be so much better without your parents….JUST THE TWO OF US!!!) I’ll be at your house at 7:00 tonight with snacks (obviously) The dress code for movie night is pajamas!!! I’m running out of paper and you need to get home!!! I love you so much Sami Logan!! Happy one year and BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH

XOXO,

Wendy <3

P.S. Clean your locker!!!

I smiled at Wendy’s stupid note. I folded it up back to its original position and put it in my back pocket. I emptied all of my excess books into my locker, which was about to pop. I put my backpack down on the ground, and gave my locker door a two handed tackle in order to get it shut. Before I officially headed out for the weekend, I double checked my backpack just to make sure I had the Julius Caesar VHS. I smiled just one more time at the VHS before heading out to the junior parking lot.

 

Part III

The doorbell kept ringing. I knew Wendy was here, but I hadn’t finished prepping my room for our movie night. The truth is, once I got home from Target I fell asleep on my bed. Before coming into my house, I  had placed the condoms in my backpack, that way none of my neighbors would see and call my parents. I was so determined to prep my room that I instantly fell asleep on my bed once I got home from school. I was scrambling all around the house. I gathered a few candles from our living room and placed them up near my night stand. Eventually the doorbell stopped ringing, I figured Wendy had tired herself out.

“SAMUEL ALOYSIUS LOGAN!!!” I heard from outside the house “I told you I would be hear at 7:00 and you can’t even open the door for me.” Wendy said from my backyard.

My window was open, so I could hear Wendy loud and clear. I knew she must be mad if she was breaking out the full name for her greeting.

I went up to my open window and squatted in front of the screen, “Wendy, you have a key to the house!!!!” I screamed.

I looked down. Wendy had grocery bags filled with the snacks she had promised. “Yes, Sami, I know I’m fully capable of opening a door. But I would at least hope that my boyfriend would have the decency to help me with the food he knew I was bringing!!! Or at the very least greet me.” she said.

I laughed, “Hold on, I’ll be right there.” I said.

“Ugh!!! I. HATE. YOU.” she said as she headed towards the front door.

Before I left my room I grabbed a can of Mountain Dew that was on my desk, next to my backpack. I took one giant sip and placed the half-empty can on my desk before heading off to meet Wendy.  I read on Buzzfeed that Mountain Dew lowered your sperm count. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to increase my Mountain Dew in preparation for tonight.  

I ran downstairs and opened the front door. Wendy came in seemingly winded from carrying all of the grocery bags for so long. “It’s about time!” she said as she marched into my house. She instantly ran towards the kitchen where she gave one final heap before slamming all of the snacks onto my kitchen counter. She gave one final exhale of relief and looked right at me.

“I’m done being mad at you!” she said as she ran towards me.

“I figured as much.” I said in a deadpan voice.

“Shut up!” Wendy said as she hugged me. “I missed you.” she said.

“These were the longest four hours of my life.” I said.

She let go of me, “Don’t act like you have not been excited for our recreation of Date #0.” she said. “Besides, you’re probably not excited because you are not adhering to the dress code.”

I raised one eyebrow at her.

“Sami! You’re still in your school uniform, I specifically said Pajamas!!!! Go change! If I’m gonna look like shit, you’re gonna look like shit.”

“Wendy, shut up, you do not look like shit!” I said while laughing. And truthfully, I wasn’t saying that to make her feel good; she really did look great despite it being her pajamas. Wendy came in with her hair in a nice half-up bun. She had on a gray Avengers T-Shirt with black pajama pants that had tiny little white polka dots on them with a hot pink drawstring. She had taken out her contacts for the day and was wearing her wide-rimmed hipster glasses. I don’t mean this in a creepy way at all, but she looked so adorable.

“I do too look like shit!” she started pushing me towards the stairs, “At least get out of your uniform, I mean come on!”she said as she pushed me out of the kitchen and into the foyer.

“Alright, just give me a second.” I said as I stopped her hands from pushing me up towards the stairs. There was a moment of silence as I held her hands in mine. A huge smile came over Wendy’s face. She kissed me.

“Take your time!” she said. “I need to unpack all of the snacks anyway.” I started to turn and head towards the stairs. “Oh and Sami make sure you bring down the VHS.”

“Will do.” I said giving a thumbs up.

“I love you, Sami!” she said as I made my way up the stairs,

“You’re… alright.” I said.

“I give up with you!” she said melodramatically as she went back into the kitchen. I still wanted to prep my room before Wendy came up for the night, you know, to set the mood. I wanted to do it quickly before she got impatient and came up to my room, ruining the surprise. I envisioned our night to be kind of a slow build. You know, we start downstairs and gradually work our way upstairs to a room dimly lit by candle light. I told you once and I’ll tell you again, I’m the last romantic left at St. Agatha’s.

I ran upstairs while simultaneously pulling off my St. Agatha’s sweater vest. As I entered my room I balled up my sweater vest and threw it at the corner of my room in an attempt to get it into my laundry hamper. The sweater graced the outer rim of the hamper, but fell to the side. I could not be bothered to pick it up. I quickly ripped off my black button down shirt which felt ironic considering I was wearing a superman insignia t-shirt underneath it. Like my vest, I threw my t-shirt in the general vicinity of my hamper, although this time I made it. I took off my khaki pants and opened up my top dresser drawer where I kept my socks, underwear, and pajama pants. I grabbed a pair of Red Flannel pajama bottoms that went well with my black and red Superman Shirt.

“Are you almost ready?!” I heard Wendy shout from downstairs,

“I have been up here for like 30 seconds!” I shouted back down to her.

“I know, but I want to start eating my fruit by the foot and I can’t do it without you” she said jokingly.

“I’m sure I’ll find it in my heart to forgive you, Wendy.”

“You don’t have a heart.” she said as cold as ice.

We both laughed.

“Just some final touches” I whispered to myself. I ran over to my desk which had my backpack on top of it. I grabbed the backpack in my right hand and I grabbed the roses, which were leaning next to the backpack in my left hand. As I slung the backpack over my shoulder it knocked the half-empty Mountain Dew can off of my desk. The can fell against my hardwood floor with a loud bang and rolled to the doorway of my room. The remaining soda that was left in the can started to trickle out onto the floor of my room, but also a bit into the hallway.

“Shit!” I said under my breath, not wanting Wendy to come upstairs. The last thing I wanted was a giant, sticky Mountain Dew stain on my floor. With the roses in hand I ran for the bathroom to grab some towels. In my rush, I slipped on the giant puddle of Mountain Dew. My feet kicked up from under me and I fell at a 180 degree angle.

My head slammed into the hardwood floor, bouncing right off it as if my head were a basketball. My whole body hitting the floor created a sonic boom throughout the entire house. Truthfully, I didn’t hear anything. The fall had me dazed and confused; my head was killing me.

“Sami, are you okay? Did you fall?” Wendy said from the bottom of the stairs.

I tried to answer her, but no words were coming out of my mouth. For a second, the room seemed to collapse on itself. My eyes were filling up with a bunch of black dots, that blocked the light into my eyes. I looked up at my bedroom ceiling. The color began to disappear, as only black appeared before me. I tried to open my eyes, but I could not.

I laid still for a few seconds. I took a few deep breaths. With each breath, I could feel my body gradually gain more and more energy. After a few deep inhales and satisfying exhales, I rose to an upright position.

“I fell.” I said while holding my head, “Don’t worry, I’m all good.”

“Are you sure, it was pretty loud.”

“I’m sure.” I said as I got back to my feet, “I should be fine.”

I couldn’t see Wendy’s face but through her moment of hesitation I could tell she wasn’t inclined to believe me, “Okay, if you say so.” she said with a bit of sassiness.

I shook off the newly formed cobwebs in my head and went to the bathroom. I grabbed two bath towels and draped them over the Mountain Dew. Once all of the Mountain Dew was covered I went to my backpack. I grabbed the box of condoms from inside my backpack and began to open them. I wanted to just grab one and put it in my wallet, Just so I had a backup one in case we didn’t make it upstairs. As I tried to grab one, a full stack of condoms came along with it. I rolled my eyes and ripped off a single one

Lastly, I turned my attention to the roses, which had fallen under my bed as I slipped on the Mountain Dew. I decided to spruce up the rather dull gray comforter and bed sheet combo of my bed. I took the petals off of the dozen roses I had purchased and sprinkled them across the length of my bed. I had a few excess petals so I created a small trail of rose petals that began in the hallway and eventually lead to my bedroom.

Once my rose petal trail was complete, I  I grabbed my phone and my wallet and placed them into my left and right pocket respectively. Before heading down I pulled out the Julius Caesar VHS tape and made my way downstairs.  

There was a collection of Fruit-Rollups, Fruit-By The Foot, Fruit Gushers, Capri Suns, and pretty much any other fruity-sugary snack on planet earth. I walked through the kitchen to the den where Wendy was laying sprawled out on the couch while staring at her iPhone.

“What are you doing?” I said as I moved her feet off the couch to free up room for me.

She ignored my question, “Oh my god, you’re wearing a Superman shirt, we’re like DC Vs. Marvel. I mean obviously Marvel is better which is ironic seeing as how I’m better than you.”

“Isn’t Superman Marvel?” I asked.

“Sami Logan…” she said in disbelief, “We’re done.” She said as she continued looking at her phone.

Our breakup lasted five seconds before I asked my original question once again,

“What are you Doing?”

“Ordering Pizza.” she said.

“Didn’t you already bring enough food.” I said.

She looked away from her phone, “Have you eaten dinner?” she said.

“No” I said.

“Neither have I.” she said.

I sarcastically rolled my eyes. “Whatever, I can pay for it.”

“After you left me stranded outside, I fully expect you to pay for it.” she said with a stern face. I looked away from Wendy, as she pretended to be mad at me. She quickly dropped her angry facade, “It will be so much fun!” she said while she sat up and hugged me. “Movie Night and a Pizza Party!” she said cheerfully.

“I’m the luckiest man on earth.” I said with a straight face.

“One day when I break-up with you, you’re gonna be so sad.” Her voice was muffled due to her head resting on my chest.

“You and I both know that will never happen,” I said.

“Ugh, I know.” she said. She brought her head up so we met eye to eye. “Can we watch the movie now?!, I want to watch the stabby-stabby scene!!! That’s my favorite part.” she said before kissing me again.

____________________

 

“That I was constant Cimber should be banished, and constant do remain to keep him so. Wendy said as she slowly slithered out of my arms and up off the couch.

She stood up in front of the TV, completely obstructing my view. I was no longer watching the movie, just the backside of Wendy, an improvement if you ask me.  I watched her reenact her favorite scene as I sat up slouched against the armrest of the couch. She channeled her inner Cinna,“Oh Cesar!” she said as she raised her hands in the air as if she were praising God. “Hence! Wilt thou lift up Olympus?” She belted in her deep Julius Caesar voice. “Great Caesar!” she placed one hand on her chest, and another towards the heavens. She reverted back to her Caesar voice, “Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?” she said with her arms wide open.

Time stood still as she turned around towards me. She struck something similar to a warrior pose. “Speak, hands, for me.” she said as over the top as she possibly could. Wendy then began to fight off invisible men before she was helplessly stabbed by their air daggers of death. With every stab, Wendy would bounce around the den from one end to the other. As the invisible knife pierced her skin she would let out a melodramatic cry for help as she clutched the new wounds formed by the air.

After a minute of struggling, both Wendy and Caesar, nursing their wounds, stumbled towards the first human in sight. Wendy stood up on the opposite end of the couch and slowly fell to all fours before she was face to face with me. I did not lift a finger to help my girlfriend who had been assassinated by a multitude of invisible traitors. Wendy, with the last bit of strength in her, raised her hand and slowly graced it across my face. She spoke in unison with the television.

“Et tu… Brute?... then fall Caesar!” she collapsed her whole body onto mine.

“I’m moved.” I said.

Wendy brought her head up off my chest to look me straight in the eye, “Like you could have done any better.” she said as she brought her head back down.

Wendy readjusted herself so that she was once again leaning against me. She grabbed my arms and placed them around herself. She began quietly reciting Brutus’ speech to herself as he spoke in front of the Romans to announce Caesar's death.

“Isn’t Brutus just…” she extended her hand in the air, which once again blocked my view of the TV. She just kept flicking her hand in the air as if she didn’t know what to say.

“An asshole?” I said.

She threw herself out of my arms and sat up straight. She turned around and looked at me with her mouth wide-open. “NO! Of course not!” she said.

“What are you talking about?!” I said, “he let himself get tricked into treason by Cassius, and then stabbed his friend in the back. He’s not as bad as Holden though.”

Wendy rolled her eyes, “Oh my god, will you shut up about Holden Caulfield!!” she said.

“I will not shut up about Holden Caulfield!” I said, “Mr. Fitter is wasting our time with that book. “

“No he’s not! It’s so good, I love Holden so much.”

“You love him?”

“Yes!”

“I didn’t know you were clinically depressed.”

She rolled her eyes again, “I’m not clinically depressed, Sami.”

“Then why do you like him? He’s the biggest wannabe tough guy of all time. He’s like one of those annoying kids on tumblr who just blog about how the world sucks and how painful life is while they sit in their nice cozy bedroom, with good food, and clothes on their back.”

Wendy just stared at me. I continued on, “Holden just sees the world as this dark, depressing place filled with nothing but pain and suffering. It just gets old having to hear him call people phonies, when he just sits there and does nothing about it!”

The room was silent, even though Julius Caesar was still playing on our TV. Wendy looked back down at the ground and then back up at me. Normally I am good at reading Wendy’s emotion; she always wears her heart on her sleeve. Wendy spoke in a very soft voice,

“Do you want to know why I love Holden so much?”

“Why?” I said plainly.

Wendy scooched herself a little closer to me, “Cause he reminds me of you.”

“Me? What the hell are you talking about?”

“I just can’t see how you think he’s a bad person.” she said

“Cause he’s a dick! And besides-”

Wendy grabbed my arm and raised her voice. She didn’t yell, but it was enough to silence me. “He’s not a dick, Sami!”

I stopped talking, and stared into Wendy’s eyes, “Holden loves the world so much. All he wants is for everyone to be their genuine self because he sees true beauty in the authentic human person. His heart breaks when he sees ugliness in the world because he knows that’s not the world he wants to see. And even though he has faults of his own he knows deep down that he is such a sweetheart.”

I let Wendy catch her breath. “How is that like me?” I asked.

“Because I know you’re a good person, Sami, just like Holden. I know you say you talk in class just because the awkward silence is too much for you, but I know it’s because you have this passion for literature, just like me. And I know you’re gonna hate me when I say it, but there’s a part of you deep down that likes Mr. Fitter. You may say he’s boring, and he kinda is, but you know he’s a smart guy, Sami. By the way you talk in class, I know you’re grateful for everything he’s taught you.”

As Wendy was talking, I just kept staring at her. I can’t describe to you what I was feeling. I was just watching her go off on a tirade, and not an angry tirade, but a passionate tirade. It reminded me of Sophomore year and our Studies In Shakespeare class, of those rare days where Wendy would raise her hand and just talk for what seemed like an eternity. She would talk, but you had to listen to every word she said because she was just so intelligent, so captivating, and so inspiring. It’s the whole reason I fell in love with Wendy in the first place; I just never got tired of just being with her in the moment and listening to her talk. I just remember taking a deep breath as Wendy was speaking. She looked so incredibly beautiful just sitting across from me.

I eventually snapped back to reality and rejoined the conversation with Wendy. From what I can tell, she was still giving comparisons between Holden and myself.

“In all honesty Sami, the thing I love most about Holden is how he tries to act like he doesn’t love the world, but he can’t help himself, just like you. I know you never say outright, ‘Wendy, I love you.’ and trust me, while I would love to hear you say that at least once in my lifetime, I know that’s just how you are. But I know you love me, Sami, even if you don’t say it; that’s why I’ve stayed with you for this whole year.”

My voice began to crack a little bit, “You keep saying, ‘I know’... how do you know.”

“I’ve known ever since the beginning. I remember our first cliche date at Outback where I just talked to you for hours and hours and you just sat there and listened, not because there was some benefit if you did, but because you wanted to. And every week when I would come over to your house you would just listen to me and listen to me, and I felt like I was being heard.” Wendy’s voice started to crack a little bit and her eyes got a bit misty, “It’s hard for me to tell people how I really feel, Sami. But I always felt that I could talk to you, even before we started dating. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to articulate to you, just how much you mean to me. I love everything about you, Sami. And you probably think I’ve devalued the phrase, ‘I love you’ because I say it every fucking time I see you.” a tear began to slide down Wendy’s face, “It’s just the only thing I can say to tell you how much you truly mean to me. And if you don’t want to say it it’s okay-”

I grabbed Wendy’s hand before she could finish her sentence. Her tears were starting to pour down her face at a more rapid pace. She started to breathe a little heavier, as she did from time to time when she cried. I looked her in the eyes once more, not saying a word. Neither of us could hear the TV. “You’re…” I had to pause for a moment, “You’re so incredible, Wendy.” I said. “Every time you speak, I just,” Wendy began to cry a little bit more. I acted as if I cut off my sentence to give Wendy a chance to catch her breath, but it was so I could catch mine, “I just fall in love with you over and over again.”

I saw Wendy’s eyes light up when she heard the word, “love.” two more tears streamed down her face.

“Are you okay?” I asked with a laugh.

She began to laugh as well, but it was that weird laugh-cry where you know you shouldn’t be crying but you are anyway so you just have to roll with it. I placed one  hand around Wendy’s jawline and the other over her ear and kissed her. Nothing could stop me, I just had to do it.

We pulled apart from one another and stared into one another for a few seconds. I could tell Wendy was about to cry even more than she already had been.

“I have to pee.” Wendy said as more tears emerged.

“Sure you do.” I said, clearly seeing through her facade.

“You suck!” she said as she got up from the couch, trying to hold herself together. She left the den and headed towards the bathroom.

I sat on the couch, alone. I still couldn’t hear the TV. I have heard Wendy say just about everything under the sun, but I had never seen her like that. The one thing she said that I kept thinking about was Mr. Fitter. Wendy was right; I was really grateful for all the things Mr. Fitter had done for me.

The thing is, I’m forever in debt to Mr. Fitter, because I have him to thank for the relationship I have now. If it wasn’t for Mr. Fitter’s Studies in Shakespeare class, I probably would have never spoken to Wendy again. If it wasn’t for Mr. Fitter’s constant need for organization, he wouldn’t have put my desk next to Wendy’s. If it wasn’t for his stupid video project that no one else liked besides him and Wendy, I would have never asked her out, and if it wasn’t for those stupid Free-Form Fridays, I would miss out on all the days where Wendy and I could sit in the back of class, together.

I reached into my pocket and pulled out my phone, and went to my contact list to the F section.

“Where are you, where are you…” I said to myself. “There we are.” I clicked on Mr. Fitter’s name and brought the phone up to my ear.  

You’re probably wondering where I got Mr. Fitter’s number. It’s really simple, Last year, we went on a field trip to the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, D.C. and he gave us our phone number as an emergency contact if we got lost in the city. I don’t know what he was thinking, giving out his number to a bunch of students who hate him, but that’s his problem not mine.

The phone rang once without an answer. I pulled the phone away from my ear and checked the time on the screen, “7:45? Come on, Mr. Fitter, even you aren’t in bed by then.”

The second ring was cut short, “Yes, Hello.” Mr. Fitter said.

“Mr. Fitter! how are you doing? It’s Sami Logan.”

“Oh, hello Mr. Logan, I’m doing fine.”

“Yeah, I hope you don’t mind me calling, I still have your number last year from our trip to D.C.”

“Oh yes, I was wondering how you got a hold of me.” he laughed to himself.

“Anyway, I wanted to call you about that English Roundtable thing.”

“Um, Mr. Logan, it was Reader’s Roundtable!”

“Yeah, Reader’s Roundtable… I thought about it some more, and I think I’ll take you up on your offer.” I said.

“Oh that’s terrific news Mr. Logan!” He said with a crack. At first, I thought he was going to cry... even more than Wendy. “I’ll send all the information to your school email. The first meeting is going to be next week. I figured we would start with discussing Catcher In The Rye. How does that sound?”

I put down the phone for a split instance, and looked off into the distance as if I were on The Office and had to do a quick look into the camera. I quickly brought the phone back up to my ear. “That sounds like a plan, Mr. Fitter.” I said with a genuine smile on my face.

“Terrific! I’m glad you changed your mind.” he said.

I looked up at the TV and thought of Wendy, “I’m glad I did too.” I said.

“Yes, well you get a good night’s rest, Mr. Logan.” he said.

“Wait, Mr. Fitter.”

“Yes, Mr. Logan.” he said.

“I just also wanted to apologize for my behavior today.”

“Oh, you were just trying to be funny, it’s no big deal.”

“No, Mr. Fitter, it is a big deal. I was being an asshole, and I apologize.”

“Well I accept your apology, Mr. Logan.” There was a silence for a moment. “But Mr. Logan, promise me this.”

“What’s that?”

“You can be a jerk to me all you want, if it means you’ll never be a jerk to Ms. Lumina.”

I sat on the couch and didn’t say a word.

“She’s a very special young lady, and quite frankly, I think she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you.”

I heard Wendy open the bathroom door in the distance. I could see the light from the bathroom start to illuminate the doorway to the den. “You’re right” I said, “I have to go, but I understand.”

“Alright Mr. Logan, goodbye now.” He said.

“Wait, Mr. Fitter… one more thing.”

He seemed annoyed, but he still had a positive tone to his voice, “Why yes, Mr. Logan.”

“Thank you, for everything you’ve done for me.” I said, “I really can’t thank you enough.” I said as Wendy entered the den.

Mr. Fitter gave a slight chuckle, “Alright, Mr. Logan, you’re quite welcome for whatever it is I have done for you. I look forward to seeing you on Monday.” he said.

“Yeah, I’ll see you around.” I said as I hung up the phone.

Wendy sat herself back on the couch. Her eyes seemed to have magically healed. “Who was that?” she asked.

“My mom.” I said.

“What’d she want?”

“Nothing, just to check up on me.”

Before Wendy could utter a word we both heard a knock at the door.

“PIZZA!!!” Wendy screamed!

I rolled my eyes, “I totally forgot about that.” I said as I stretched my arms towards the sky. “I don’t want to get up.”

“No big deal.” Wendy said,  “Just give me your wallet and I’ll pay.”

I obliged, reached into my pocket and gave her my wallet.

She opened it up to pull out the remaining cash that was left in the wallet. As she pulled out the money, the one emergency condom I had put in next to the cash slipped out and fell into Wendy’s lap.

I felt all the heat leave my body. I couldn’t really feel anything, or even think anything, I just watched Wendy look down at the condom in front of her.

“Sami.” she spoke in a calm voice, “What is this?”

I couldn’t answer her.

“Well?”

“It’s nothing, it’s just.”

“Just nothing?!” she said as she shot up from the couch. “Don’t tell me it’s nothing, Sami, we’ve never even had sex.”

“Yeah, I know, just calm down.” I said as I stood up.

She gave me a cold glare, and spoke in a quiet, but harsh voice. “Do not tell me to calm down, I find a condom in your wallet, and you expect me to calm down?” I could see Wendy’s face beginning to swell with anger, fear, and sadness. This dangerous mix of emotions caused her to scream, “Who the fuck are you sleeping with?”

I gave her a look of disbelief, “No one, no one at all. What gave you an idea like that?”

She seemed offended at my defense.“I don’t know Sami probably the fact that I’m a virgin and as far as I know, you are too, but after finding this I’m starting to doubt that.” She yelled at me.

“Wendy, I’m not cheating on you with anybody.”

She threw the condom in my face as hard as she could, “Then why the hell do you have this?!”

I hardly felt the condom smack against my face. I could see the anger swelling up in Wendy’s eyes. She looked at me with such disdain, as if she had forgotten the year we had spent together. I had never seen Wendy this angry before in my life; she looked like a completely different person. I stared into her eyes, just to try to see the girl that I fell in love with one year ago. A sharp pain came across my face.

“I got it for us!”

“What?!” she said, both angry and confused.

“For tonight.” I said.

“Tonight?!” She gathered her thoughts. “Sami, what gave you the idea that it was okay to buy condoms without talking to me first?!” She asked.

“I just…” I was beginning to lose my train of thought, “I just thought because it was our one year, you might want to… you know…”

“I might just want to what? Sami”

“Have sex.” I said, feeling ashamed of myself.

“Just because we’ve been dating a year doesn’t mean you can just automatically decide when I lose my virginity!” she screamed. I tried to go over to her to calm her down. I placed my arms on her shoulder and I lowered my head so I could see her eye-to-eye. She broke away from me. “I don’t care if we are dating for a year, or a thousand years, you do not ever, ever, get to decide anything about my sex life for me. What happens if you went to all of this trouble and I told you I wanted to wait till marriage… what would you do then?” she said, waiting for a response.

“Wendy, I had totally forgotten about everything.” I said with every ounce of desperation in my body. “Trust me, I was going to talk to you, I promise! I was only going to do something if you wanted to!” I said.

She took a step back and screamed, “If I wanted to?! We never talk about having sex, you buy condoms without my consent, and then you don’t tell me about them. And now you’re saying you wouldn’t do anything unless I wanted to do something, clearly you have not been thinking about me, and only about yourself.” Wendy and I stared at each other. The pizza guy knocked on the door yet again.

She stared a hole right through me, I tried to chase after her. I tried as hard as I could, but I couldn’t move a muscle. “Wake Up, Sami!” Wendy shouted at me in a shriek. I tried to respond to her, but I couldn’t. As I stared into Wendy, the room around me slowly faded to black. Before I knew it, Wendy and I were in a dark void, all to ourselves. I couldn’t talk, speak, move, or breathe. I starred out in fromt of Wendy who was slowly disintegrating before my eyes. While her body became more and more disfigured, her words hit me as clear as day.

“Wake Up Sami!” I heard one more time from a collection of matter that was once my girlfriend.

Soon, what was left of Wendy was gone, leaving me in nothing but darkness.

“Sami, Wake up!” I heard in the oblivion.

I tried to respond to Wendy. Nothing.

“Sami… please?” I heard, with a sense of desperation.

There was still nothing but black around me. “Sami!” I heard one more time.

The black that had consumed me was now starting to turn into a slight gray. I felt my eyes open, slowly allowing color back into my system while the rest of my sight was covered in black dots. “Sami?” I heard once more. As my senses gathered, I began to make out the ceiling in my bedroom.

I reached for my head, which was throbbing with pain, “Oh my god!” I mumbled as I placed my cold hands on my forehead.

“Sami!!!!” Wendy said from behind my line of sight.

I sat up, “Wendy, what happened?” I said in a daze.

“Woah woah woah, you need to lay down, Mister!” she said as she reverted me back to my original state. “I’ll tell you what happened, Sami!” She pulled up the can of Mountain Dew I had been drinking. “This is the culprit.” she said. I laid there staring up at the ceiling. Wendy held the can in her right hand like Hamlet held Yorick. Soon the headlines will read, “Local 17 year-old boy, knocked unconscious for ten seconds by….” there was a long pause, “A can of Mountain Dew!”

“Shut up!” I said as I turned my head to the right to see the Roses that were under my bed from when I fell. I looked back at Wendy who was still holding the Mountain Dew can. She slowly rose to her feet,

Alas poor Yorik…” She screamed! She continued on reciting the famous monologue. I rolled my eyes as I couldn’t help but laugh at Wendy’s nerdiness.

I turned back to the roses. As I looked at each individual rose, the memories of my year with Wendy began flooding my brain. Reminiscing all of the times with Wendy brought a smile to my face that I could not contain. It would break my heart to see the months of memories slowly tear away from one another. I wanted to protect those roses, to ensure that they stay together forever. Each individual flower was nice, but the power of the roses combined created something indescribably beautiful, and I wanted that beauty to last forever.

Make her laugh at that! Prithee, Horatio, tell me one thing!” Wendy said as she froze with the can held high in the air.

With the last bit of strength I had, I reached over and grabbed the bouquet. As I layed down, back first, I raised them up in the air, “Happy One Year, Wendy.” I said.

She gasped, “Sami! I love them so much!” She dropped the can of  Mountain Dew. The sound of the empty can smacking my hardwood floor rand through my ears and stabbed my already throbbing head. She snatched the bouquet out of my hand and hugged it as if it were her new boyfriend. She placed the Bouquet on my chest before she came down to kiss me on the forehead. Wendy’s lips felt like a bare-knuckled fist.

“Ow! Wendy, my head!” I said as I recoiled from her lips.

“Oh, Sorry!” She said with a laugh as she cuddled up with me in the puddle of spilled Mountain Dew.

 


© Copyright 2017 Tommy VonCless. All rights reserved.

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