The Fault In Ourselves

"I fell in love the way you fell asleep: slowly and then all at once."


4. Chapter 3

Chapter 3

I watched these kids playing in the pirate-shop indoor playground while I read. There was this tunnel that these two kids kept crawling through over and over and they never seemed to get tired, which made me think of Augustus Waters and the existentially fraught free throws.

-The Fault In Our Stars by John Green; Page 41

I didn't sleep much. In fact, I didn't really sleep at all. I was busy mastering Portal 2, which I learned was a pretty epic game. Like Michael had said, it was pretty much all logic. So your avatar is stuck in this world where you have to go through different tests under the control of this evil robot (who sounds a bit like Siri). You have to use this portal gun to create different portals and complete multiple levels. I'll admit, it's really challenging. But it's fun.

I finally decided to stop at around 0500 (5am). I still didn't sleep well. After laying in bed for 3 hours, I decided to get up. Once I got to the bottom of the stairs, I nearly tumbled over my mother, who seemed to be waiting patiently for my arrival to the kitchen.

"Can I help you?" I asked as I moved past her and poured myself a bowl of cereal.

"I believe you need to make a phone call." she told me. I turned to her and gave her a curious look.

"To whom?"

"Someone close to you who turns 17 today." she hinted. Someone close...hmm.

"You mean Bri?" I asked. "Is today her birthday?" Brianna Givens is, or, used to be, my best friend. She's still my friend, but since I got taken out of school, we haven't really talked. She has a life and friends, and I, well, I watch tv, eat and read a book continuously. I finished my cereal and placed my bowl in the sink.

"I'll text her." I announced and went into the living room. I grabbed my phone and asked her if she wanted to hang out. I set it down, took a shower and got dressed. She texted back 10 minutes later.

Thanks. Let's say downtown mall in 30?

Sure. See you then.

My mom offered to drive me, mainly because she had to do some shopping herself. She dropped me off in front of a video game store so I could purchase Portal 1 (out of order, I know), and then sat on a bench in front of a clothing store.

I watched these kids trying out a new video game at a stand. There was this one part where they had to jump over this big hole and even though they kept dying over and over again, they never stopped. It made me think of Michael and his obsession with gaming and never stopping.

My mom was also here, I could see her searching through a cooking store for some silverware (it was on her shopping list). Exactly 3 minutes later, Brianna appeared from around a corner. She smiled her brace-face smile and waved at me. I waved back. She approached me and wrapped her arms around me lightly. I hate light hugs.

"How are you, Bailey? It's been far too long." she said.

"I'm good. Yourself?"

"Fine. Could be better, could be worse." she replied. "I wish you were still at school. It pretty much sucks. You know, other than the guys being gorgeous. I mean, for every 1 normal guy, there's at least 6 hot ones."

I debated whether or not to tell her about my hot guy, but I decided it would wait. I mean, how could someone like Michael take interest in someone as boring and awkward and pathetic as me?

"I've dated a couple guys, but they're all kinda lame. You know, they're boys." Brianna stated. I nodded, understanding what she meant. "So what's new in your life?"

"Nothing much." I sighed.

"Really? What about college?"

"I dropped."

"How come?" she exclaimed, rather surprised. I shrugged.

"Wasn't my thing." I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I took it out and glanced at it hopefully. Just a notification.

"What is it?" Brianna asked curiously.

"Nothing. Shall we shop?"

We went to this clothing store. Brianna kept showing me short dresses and saying, "This would look great on you." She had this problem with her knees. Like Hazel's friend Kaitlyn with her toes, Bri felt that her knees looked strange and disorientated. So whenever I would point out a dress that would match her body shape or skin tone perfectly, she'd say, "Yeah, but..." the but being 'but they will expose my weird and awkward knees to everyone'.

"Bri, you're the only person I know who has a problem with their knees. They honestly don't look that bad." I told her. She sighed and shook her head, clearly thinking 'you're obviously blind because they look deformed'. Just then, her phone began to ring. Her ringtone was this song I've never heard before. She looked at it and declined it.

"Ex." she stated.

"What song is that?" I asked.

"Oh, it's called She Looks So Perfect. It's by this band called 5 Seconds Of Summer. They're a small Aussie band." she explained. She showed me a picture. 4 very handsome boys. One of them caught my eye, though.

"Michael?" I accidentally said out loud.

"Yeah, that's Michael. He's a guitarist and he sings." she said, pointing to him. "You've heard about him?"

"Uh, yeah, actually." I stumbled out. I ended up just picking out a knee length floral dress so I didn't seem weird for not buying anything. I sat down on a bench and watched her pick out a few things. I ended up paying for it all, since it was her birthday.

"Thanks, Bailey. Shall we check shoes?" she asked.

"Actually, I should be getting home. I have some stuff I need to do." I said, not totally lying.

"Sure. We should hang out more often." she said and gave me another light hug. She turned around and walked off, placing one foot perfectly in front of the other. I liked Brianna, I really did. But after being away from the school scene for so long, it's like there's a distance between us, like we're from 2 different worlds.

I texted my mom and we met up to walk to the car. I had to fill out some stuff saying that I was officially dropping out of the college I went to. I had done pretty much all of the paperwork, just had to fill out one last one. I finished in 15 minutes and started playing Portal 1. Since I had mastered Portal 2, I buzzed through Portal 1.

It seemed like there was no chance I was going to win and beat the evil robot, though. I mean, I can't possibly kill a robot, can I?

(Spoiler alert: The robot dies)

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