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Coming of Age Fiction Teens & Young Adult

“You’ll never know until you try.” Reggie sighed as he watched his friend, Danny, pace back and forth like a maniac. “Dude, just make a decision already. Are you gonna do it or not?” 

His voice snapped Danny out of his trance. “It’s not that simple! I can’t just decide: yes or no and be done with it. That’s just impulsive, and I’m not an impulsive person.” 

“Cleary.” Reggie muttered under his breath. 

Danny chose to ignore it and continued to ramble on. “You just don’t get how important this decision is to me. Its literally gonna change my life. I’ve got to go through all the pros and cons and make a rationalized decision using deductive reasoning. Not that you would know what that is because I’m pretty sure you need a brain in order to be able to reason with stuff. Anyway the point is, I’ve gotten draw a  logical conclusion from an impartial point of view. I’ve got to consider all the potential outcomes and prepare for both the worst and best case scenarios”

Reggie stared at his friend. “Did you even understand what just came out of your mouth? Cause I for sure didn’t.” 

Danny reached into his drawer and pulled out a pad of paper and a marker. He drew a line straight down the middle and pointed to either side. “Ok so here I’m gonna write down all the reasons why I should do it, and over here I’m gonna write all the reasons why I shouldn’t do it.”  

“That sounds boring. And lame.” Reggie whined. He got up and started rummaging through Danny’s bookcase to look through his video game collection. “Just flip a coin, that’ll make it easy.” 

Danny whirled around and shot his friend a look. “I’m not betting my love life on a quarter!” 

Reggie rolled his eyes and reached to pick up Danny’s  phone, which was laying on his desk. The two had been friends for so long that he didn’t even need to ask for his passcode. 021502, Danny’s birthday. As soon as he was in he opened up Instagram and searched up for one particular profile. Emma Johnson, aka one of the most popular girls at school. 

“ I don’t even get why you’ve so hung up on this chick” Reggie commented as he scrolled through her pictures. Most of them were just selfies or beach pics. “Have you ever even talked to her?” 

“Of course I have--” Danny protested but Reggie quickly cut him off. 

“---I mean apart from kindergarten. That doesn’t even count, it was 13 years ago.” Reggie glanced out the window at the house across the street. Emma just so happened to live there. “Just  a reminder that staring at her bedroom window at night in the hopes that you’ll catch a glimpse of her in her pajamas doesn’t count either and is actually creepy as hell.” 

“Whatever” Danny huffed. He had never done that.  “We were lab partners sophomore year in bio class.” 

“Alright so you talked about enzymes and plants and all that shit. Congratulations.” Reggie started slow clapping, which he was doing just to piss Danny off. “But have you ever had a real conversation with her?” 

Danny bit his lip in frustration as he struggled to keep quiet. Even though they had been best friends since middle school Reggie didn’t know every single detail about his life and what he did.

That was a lot that Reggie didn't know. He didn’t know that Emma’s parents were currently in the middle of a divorce. He didn’t know that Emma would routinely sneak out of the house at night where their screams echoed throughout the house so loud that even Danny heard them from across the street. He didn’t know that Emma would jog to the playground that was roughly a block away and sit on the swings as she watched the moon and stars twinkle up upon. And he especially didn’t know that Danny would sneak out as well and take a sit on the swing right next to Emma. He didn’t know that the two of them would spend hours just talking about anything and everything. 

They had an unspoken agreement, the two of them. During the day at school, they would stand to the side with their respective cliques, Emma with the cheerleaders and Danny with Reggie and the rest of the so-called “losers”. But at night, the labels would be stripped away and they were just Emma and Danny, two lost teens who just needed someone to talk too. 

But now, Danny wanted more. He didn’t want to just be with Emma at night, he wanted to be with her during the day as well. He liked talking to her, not just because he had a crush on her since kindergarten because he had actually gotten to know the real Emma, not just the vapid blonde that paraded around school with the rest of her mean girl entourage. That was why he was working up the courage to ask Emma out to prom, which was just two months away.

He knew what he was asking her to do, it was basically social suicide. He knew that Emma would probably planning on going with her boyfriend, the star quarterback even though she had long ago confessed to Danny during one of their midnight talks that she knew Jacob was cheating on her with her best friend.

Still, Danny  knew in his heart that their late night chats meant something. There was something real between them. He just hoped Emma felt the same way. 

“I’ve decided.” He declared, picking up his phone. “I’m doing it.” He typed in the number that he had memorized so long ago but had never had the courage to call. Until this moment. 

Reggie looked at him with a surprised face. “Wait really? What about all your 'I've got to consider all the outcomes and make a rational decision’ bullshit??” 

Danny shrugged and gave Reggie a weak smile even though on the inside he could feel his heart beating a thousand times a minute. “Sometimes you just gotta trust fate, am I right?”

March 12, 2022 04:51

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2 comments

Brian G
23:25 Mar 16, 2022

I liked how you built suspense by not immediately revealing what the decision was over. There are a couple of typos… I’ve found that doing a close proofread can be a good opportunity to self-edit and improve my writing. I especially liked the paragraph that began “There was a lot Reggie didn’t know.”

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Mae Stroshane
09:49 Mar 14, 2022

I love this! The secret friendship between Danny and Emma is tender and kind. You showed Danny's sweet nature in listening to Emma's problems, and I hope Emma will "come out" so to speak, by going to the prom with Danny. He deserves it! Well done!

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