Warning Labels by Dalia Lance

For Amy Dixon, who always pushes the limits.

“There should have been some sort of warning label on her,” Christian said and began shaking his head between his hands as his elbows rested on the table. He was broken.

Alicia looked around the cafe to see how many patrons might be paying attention to his breakdown. Not many. She supposed a guy having an “episode” like this one could be considered commonplace on a college campus.

Alicia sighed and said, “I understand.” What she was actually thinking was A frickin’ warning label? Like that would have stopped you. But this was not very supportive, so instead she simply rubbed her hand on his back in the most comforting way possible.

This was the third such meltdown this semester alone. Each one was a little worse than the last. Alicia figured it was because the choices Christian had made in the women he dated were more vapid each time.

Alicia had known Christian all through middle and high school. They were not close, but when they both realized they were at the same college and they had the same major, the friendship grew quickly.

Unfortunately for Christian, he was an ugly duckling. This meant he had been a slightly chubby band nerd with terrible acne. Apparently, however, somewhere between the end of senior year and the first day of college that had all changed. Christian had not caught on to his new status.

Each of his horrible choices had been the opposite of what he truly needed and in fact wanted. So instead of a smart, fun girl who would like him for the great person he was, he continued to find high maintenance bitches who just wanted him for the stature.

Alicia was happy the latest incarnation she had dubbed “selfie slut” had gone the way of the others. She would no longer have to endure the constant stream of photos on Christian’s timeline where he was trying to look happy and she was doing an awkward duck-face.

Alicia was so in her own thoughts she hadn’t realized that Christian was saying something until he said, “You know what I mean?” her first instinct was to agree with him since she had missed what he said, but she had learned this was a dangerous practice.

“What?” she said, trying to look a little startled.

“Were you listening?” he asked.

Of course she replied with “Yes” but she hadn’t been.

“I was saying that I think that if we just dated, it would solve all my problems.” Alicia was stunned.

“What?” This time as she said it was almost a whisper.

Christian was started turning red. Shit, he was embarrassed. He had taken a risk, and he thought she was being receptive as she had kept on rubbing his back during the process.

She smiled at him and said, “Christian, I’m a lesbian.” He looked shocked and his eyes were searching for something to say.

Maybe she needed the warning label.

 

 

 

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