Story: School girls giggling

Gregory looked up from his books and moved his glasses to his forehead as Michael walked in and put his hand on his shoulder.

"Love, be honest, and admit that you will not meet the deadline! You might as well join me! I have a mulled wine simmering on the stove with some amazing brandy ready to be the bottom in your glass to be ... filled... by the wine" !

Without looking, Greg can imagine Michael's teasing smile and loves him for it. He pushes his chair back from his desk and sighs. "your move, too!" says Michael "my Queen is still at B5 and ready to take and check mate your King, unless you have a devious escape plan!"

Greg grins, pushing his glasses, that seem to be greatly subject to gravity or gravely attracted to the bridge of his nose, back up to his forehead again.

"Honey!" exclaims Michael throwing his hands in the air in fake exasperation "Honey! How many times have I told you that those glasses WON'T! DO! AT! ALL!" "Like, what CENTURY are they from! How can you appreciate the beauty of the WORLD when your glasses only allow you to see the letters in front of your FACE and they keep falling down?"

"I appreciate the beauty in the world that is YOU!" says Greg, acting affronted. "In fact, I was just reading how those with a vivid inner visualization of concepts have no less of an appreciation of aesthetics and IN FACT can enjoy aesthetic pleasure from abstract concepts in a very similar fashion to an art aficionado acquiring and admiring a 15th century thought to be lost Fra Fillipo!"

Image removed. Image removed.

Michael disentangles Greg's glasses from his ears and holds them up in front of his eyes as if they are binoculars to another world and pans around the room. "With a distortion factor like these, good thing that your angle of focus is interior! One would think the exterior world is better left to the imagination than to the exacting clarity of vision!"

In a more serious tone, he says "interesting... I don't think I've ever noticed this print of yours before". He is looking at a faded and peeling anime poster showing three school girls, stuck to the wall with thumb tacks.

Greg swivels his chair to attune to what Michael is looking at.

They both stare at the print for a moment in silence. Greg clears his throat.

"You see... " he starts and pauses. "Oh, I SEE alright! " says Michael straightening and stepping back. "I mean, I'm the one with 20/20 vision, unlike an old guy like you!".

"You don't mean how that sounded" says Greg gently.

He takes a deep breath. "You see... "

"I DO SEE" says Michael, pointing to the stretched fabric.

"You see" says Greg with emphasis "what my parents believed, is that we can create the reality we want by changing the interior dialogue. And that an aesthetic like this picture can change that dialogue. Stare, as it were, long enough at that stretched fabric and those skirts too short to have every been allowed at school.... and desire will inevitably follow. "

Greg slowly raises up from the chair and puts his arms around his partner. "But seeing is believing. And when first I saw you, I knew. I knew my parents were wrong. And that nothing could be so right as this."

Michael's shoulders slowly relax and he gently places Greg's glasses back, hooking each arm around the ear. "Well then" he says "either way. Come face your fate. You are still check mate. And that wine doesn't drink itself". They smilingly look each other in the eyes.

Take 2

As the automatic doors glided open, a pair of eyes flitted up to take in the new passengers. For this particular pair of eyes this was the usual procedure. What the eyes took in, brought their gaze almost instantly back down to the ground though.

It's not that what the eyes say was anything bad, anything evil, or unpleasant. If anything it was specifically because it was none of those things. The eyes refocused on the ground with the hope that other eyes would not look this way.

This was the typical train ride, you know the procedure… the one where most of the passengers spend most of their time specifically not looking at any of the other passengers. Seeking a way to 'not look at anything' Everyone fails at this of course, because the attempt to do so is impossible. Either one's eyes are closed or you must be looking at something. Despite all his efforts, Nick, like everyone else, was also failing not to look at something.

For his part he was specifically failing to look at the three girls his age that had just boarded the train and sat across from him. He was failing to focus on his shoes, his eyes constantly flitting over to their shoes. If he had tried any harder, he may not even have noticed. Perhaps it was those very shoes that gave it away. A Twitch here, a wiggle there, these shoes were not just dangling… something more was afoot!

That is when he heard it. Breaking all format traditions of not noticing anyone else, these girls were making sounds. Giggling even! How could they, didn't they know you can't do such things on a train! Certainly someone would begin to assume their mirth was due to them… Due to Nick, he quickly concluded. Something about HIM was making them laugh.

Nick felt his skin begin to flush. Could he risk a glance higher than the shoes. So dangerous, they might see. His eyes kept to their planned region of safety and remained only in shoe territory. Then, in s a suddon fit of rebellion they glanced yup.

Damm! Caught! The worst possible outcome!


Nick quickly looked away.

Not that he hadn't liked what he had seen, Who wouldn't really… of course for eye contact, she must have been looking back so, that was something surely.

But then there was the giggling. Perhaps she was looking because there was something wrong. Nick quickly checked, no toilet paper stuck to his shoe, fly not undone (fewh) school bag intact. No everything seemed to be in order. What the hell could it be! It was far too dangerous to attempt another look… but that may be the only way to know.

Moments of beating heart punctuated Nick's world as the train, slowed, stopped, expelled and consumed passengers before proceeding. Shoe level visuals confirmed, they were still there.

This was too much, entirely too much. What was all this giggling about. There was nothing wrong with him, or… wait…. perhaps it was just… no - that thought was too much to endure. It couldn't be they were just giggling at how he looked, could it?

Image removed.

Another glance… now the shoes were swinging. This was entirely too much to bear. Before he knew what he was doing he had looked up again.


What were these girls thinking, you can't do that on public transit. Didn't they know one must never actually look at the other passengers. This was too much, it somply wouldn't do. He was going to need to keep his eyes completely to his own feet from this point forward.

The train slowed again for the next stop. The temptation burned inside him. Was this the stop, he must stick to his resolve. The train was stopping. Was that the sound of shoes on the floor? The sound of the doors.

He couldn't bear it and looked up.

Not eye-contact… not at first anyway. Just the back of her head as they were leaving the train.

Somewhere deep down, his disappointment bloomed. The myriad of things he should have done, not be such an idiot to only look at his shoes, even actually say something, flowed into his self-doubt as they walked to the door and one by one stepped through to the platform.

Then she turned. This eye-contact was different. Wait a minute, was she blushing. Why was she smiling like that…

Nick's eyes didn't falter this time, she smiled, she WAVED! it was not quite clear who was blushing brighter of the two of them as the doors slid closed.

Tomorrow, Nick thought, he would say hello.

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