An Unrequited Life


The dance lessons were not working. He’d let Jeremy and Terri talk him into taking jazz dance and it worked out exactly like the yoga lessons, the tennis lessons, and the single, miserable trip to the ice skating rink. Conrad remembered sitting on the ice, nursing his bruises, when a little girl no more than five effortlessly zipped up to him and said, “It’s okay. I fell a lot when I was first learning, too.”

He never went back, and he would never go back into that dance studio again.

“Face it, Conrad. If it’s athletic or physical, you suck at it.”

“Hey, give it a chance.” Jeremy was trying to be encouraging. He had met Jer and his girlfriend Terri in English Lit and the three became fast friends, but they were so much different from Conrad.

“Sorry. I’m going home. See you tomorrow.” Before they could object, he opened the door of his VW Bug, slid in the driver’s seat, and started the engine.

It was a beige ’72 Beetle, and he was so much like it. Simple, easy to maintain, and non-descript.

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Square Peg in a Round Hole


Why can’t anyone hear me?

Okay, get a grip, Michelle. I can hear myself, so there must be some logical explanation besides the rest of the world going deaf all at once.

It all started when I was getting breakfast. Dad was pouring a cup of coffee. His back was to me when I said “Hi” but he didn’t react. Well, it was his first cup of coffee, so I thought he just didn’t want to talk until he was more caffeinated.

Then the same thing happened with Mom as I was sitting at the kitchen table eating my cereal. “Hi, Mom,” I said right after swallowing a mouthful of Cheerios. She didn’t react, so I spoke up, “I said Hi Mom.”

She noticed me as she brought her coffee cup to the table.

“Honey, are you saying something?” Irrationally, I noticed the gray roots in her hair and thought she’ll probably be dyeing it again soon.

I was practically shouting. “Yes, Mom. I said Hi”.

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