A Chance Encounter For Adam Carlisle
This is a story about Adam Carlisle.
More specifically, it’s about a time that Adam Carlisle behaved completely against type. And in this instance, his out of character behaviour makes what could have been a very long story into a considerably shorter one.
Here’s the gist of it:
Adam Carlisle was at a party. It was a fairly typical kind of party, with everyone at least five years younger than Carlisle, straight out of central casting for such occasions, and music that was just too loud, and to Carlisle’s ears five years out of date. The party was in a house that was unconvincingly large for the students who lived there, but inexplicably still too small to fit all of the guests comfortably. This piece of information never at any point becomes relevant to our story, but at this point it becomes necessary to flesh it out a little bit.
What more is there to say? It was a pretty crappy party full of pretty young people, who seemed to be enjoying it despite it being crappy, and Carlisle was putting a brave face on it, but he wasn’t really having a great time.
So, Carlisle scrambled through the kitchen door, which was also the back door, into the cold air of the garden. Music and chatter still found it’s way out here, along with a scattering of partygoers, but it was otherwise fairly empty, and that emptiness was a relief.
And then Carlisle noticed the girl. She was sitting on a bench, head half over, one foot under her and the other splayed out to the side. He could tell that she was average height, but slim, and she wore black and white striped tights and an ostentatious pink party dress. Dark, sleek hair fell over her naked and pale shoulder, and her hand rested on top of a black leather jacket that was far too big for her that was piled beside her. The tights had a hole in them, over one knee, and the placement suggested to Carlisle that she hadn’t ripped them on purpose.
He wandered over to her slowly, giving her plenty of opportunity to hear or see him coming. When he got closer, he softly asked “Are you okay?”
She looked up at him through her hair, and he saw that she had a starkly pretty face, with big, dark eyes. He had assumed she was either asleep or very drunk, but now he thought that she just looked really very bored.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Thanks for asking.” She said, and flashed him a smile that suggested he could stick around.
“So, why are you sitting out here in the cold?” He asked.
“Because…” She responded, and then lifted her head to scream the next bit into the night sky, or back toward the other partygoers, “…ALL MEN ARE CUNTS, and THOSE PEOPLE ARE ALL WANKERS!”
Carlisle took a step back, and she glanced up at him.
“No offense.” She said.
This girl seems really interesting, Carlisle thought to himself. She’s got a really odd attitude, and she seems like she could do with some support.
Then: She’s obviously got issues, but maybe that’s something that the right guy could help her with.
She looked at him again, seeming to size him up, and said “You can sit down if you like, but I’m warning you, I’m not interested in a boyfriend. Men are useless for anything except fucking.”
Carlisle took a step forward, mind racing over what she had just said. And it was at this point that something peculiar happened deep inside his brain. His instincts pushed toward the girl, but his brain kept tracking over everything he thus far knew about her.
She was angry.
She was anti-social.
She was arrogant.
She had a capacity for incredible emotional inconsistency, even just in the short time he’d been talking to her.
Yeah, but nobody’s perfect! His gut responded, in tune with both his loneliness and his libido.
And that was when Carlisle went against type. Carlisle had always gone with his gut, but for some reason – despite this girl being so broken and alluring – this time he decided to give his head a chance to prove itself.
“Actually, I’d best get home.” He mumbled. “Got… busy… tomorrow.” He continued, although to be honest it was so fractured that that might not have been what he said, and now we’ll never know for sure because he wasn’t with it, and she wasn’t listening. One of those sentences that gets spoken and goes nowhere.
“Fine.” She said, and turned her head to one side, effectively shutting off her line of communication with him.
Adam Carlisle walked back across the garden, feeling her disinterest behind him, a near palpable thing. He knew himself well enough to know that in most of the infinite alternate universes where another him had just talked to another her, that conversation would have been the beginning of something long and furtive and complicated. But he lived in this one, and in this one our Adam Carlisle left the party alone, and didn’t get to kiss a girl again for over a year.
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