MISFIT DOC: Governed by Caprice

Jonah was scanning yesterday’s _____________ (class) notes when _____________ (girl’s name) hurried into the study room.

She plopped her bag on the table. “Thank you for meeting with me today,” she said, unzipping her bag. “I haven’t been doing well, and I’m really nervous about the big test tomorrow.”

“No problem.”

At first, Jonah spent his time going over concepts they both had learned in class. But then as she looked up at him, her glittering _____________ (eye color) eyes and shimmering _____________ (lip gloss color) gave him a tingling sensation that spread throughout his entire body. The flow of concepts he had been simplifying for her stopped coming out of his mouth, and his eyes were fixed on her face.

“Uh, Jonah, is everything all right?”

“Oh yeah,” he chuckled. “Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, we were talking about _____________ (Monday’s lesson).”

Even though Jonah had resumed tutoring her, his mind was split between possible exam questions and the beauty he had just discovered in her face. Their time in the library was nearing an end, but he wanted to spend more time with her. The thought of asking her out replaced the tingling with nervousness, which eventually overpowered any concerns about a test.

After they finished, they packed up their books and headed out. Jonah thought the dry nighttime air was perfect for a walk. Would she want to come with him? Was it even appropriate to ask someone out after a study date? The voices in his head — one telling him to ask, the other telling him not to — overpowered each other until an indistinct noise filled his head.

They stood in front of the glass doors, silently facing each other for a few awkward seconds. Finally, Jonah said, “_____________.”

“What kind of food do you like?” he asked her.

“Well, ____________ (type of cuisine) is my favorite.”

Jonah was relieved. If she had answered “I’ll eat anything” or “you decide,” he probably would’ve spent half the night making a choice.

Instead, he was able to recommend a restaurant without hesitation. “_____________ (name of restaurant) is really good.”

“Okay, let’s go there.”

While they were waiting for the waiter to take their order, Jonah rattled off questions men usually ask when they want to know a woman better:

What are you majoring in? _____________

What are you doing for Spring Break? _____________

Any activities? _____________

Where does your friend go to school? _____________

Her answers made Jonah realize they really had nothing in common: She was _____________-brained, while he was the opposite. He would never go to _____________ for Spring Break — or any other time, for that matter. And he didn’t care for _____________ (activity).

Still, electrons are attracted to protons, and perhaps she was his electron to his proton.

When the waiter arrived, she ordered first. She chose _____________ (entree name), the least expensive entree on the menu. He wondered if she chose that dish because she was self-conscious about her _____________ (physical flaw).

He couldn’t decide what he wanted, so he ordered the same thing.

Her mobile buzzed. Jonah eyed the screen and saw a text from someone named _____________ (boy’s name). Uh oh, who’s that? Her boyfriend back home? Was he going to lose his mind when he discovered that his girlfriend was having dinner with one of her male classmates?

She glanced at the name on the screen before flipping the mobile over so the screen was facing the table.

“Who’s that?” Jonah asked. Then he realized he shouldn’t have asked.

“Oh, nobody.”

When their meals came, they quietly ate, only allowing the sounds of their forks and knives touching their plates to come between them.

Later that night, as Jonah was once again reviewing his notes for _____________ (class), he kept thinking about her. He wanted to see her again, but she had not given any indication that she had wanted for the same.

He hoped somehow, another meeting would take place. He had not gone out on many dates — and those had been arranged by his parents.

If she didn’t want to meet him again, he didn’t know how he would react. Yes, life would go on, but it would probably be years before another opportunity arose. Then he would have to go through the process of filling in all of the blanks all over again.

He picked up his mobile. After tapping it a few times, he put it down. He tried to push her out of his mind and get back to studying.

Ten minutes later, she called him.

“Hey, how’s it going?” Jonah said.

“Hi Jonah, I need to ask you something.”

Jonah smiled. “Sure, go ahead.”

“Well, _____________ (question)?”

“Sure, is _____________ (time) good for you?”


“Great, I’ll see you then.”

He put the phone down and slapped his hand over his face. He needed someone to tell him what to do next.


Christopher Iacono lives with his wife and son in Massachusetts. You can learn more about him at cuckoobirds.org.

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