Controller: Chapter 3

Welcome back to Wednesday Briefs, and to chapter 3 of Controller. Not much needs explained this time. The writing prompt I chose from the list this week is Mister Ed. Read on, hope you enjoy the latest chapter.

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Wednesday BriefsChapter 3

Watching Jamie struggle with the door, I couldn’t help but smile. It was refreshing to find someone else who can’t get anything mechanical to work.

“Damn door! It’s like this every freakin’ night.” Jamie struggled with the lock for several minutes until finally it snapped into place. His face twisted in frustration. “I hate that door. And it hates me even more. I swear if they don’t get it fixed soon, I’m going to throw a chair through it and say it was a planned protest!”

“I know what you mean. I hate the lock on my dorm room. And it doesn’t help that my idiot roommate thinks he’s MacGyver and can rig anything. He could screw up a wet dream.”

My face flush hot as Jamie started to laugh. We walked in silence for a few minutes, and I was afraid I’ve just made myself look like a stupid freshman. I fought down the urge to fill the silence, but words ricocheted inside me, fighting to get loose. As we walked, I noticed it was deserted for such an early evening.

Jamie looked at me and his smile shone in the twilight. “I like it at night. You know, on campus.”

Looking around I realized that the grounds at night consisted of pools of multicolored light strung along the ghostly slivers of gray concrete that connected them. Absorbed in the imagery, I moved alongside Jamie and enjoyed the company.

Before too long we arrived at the Quad, one of the high rise dorms populated by upperclassmen who still wanted to live on campus. They were more like apartments, and  impossible for freshmen to get into. Lord knows, I’d tried. That’s how I ended up with charming Tony as a roommate. No backup plan.

I ran full speed into Jamie and bounced off him. “Shit! Sorry. I wasn’t paying attention.”

As I moved away, a blast of musk and cologne drifted into my nostrils. I always enjoyed that musky smell some guys put off. Not a funky stink, just a nice scent that says he’s all man. Jamie sure fell into that category.

“You okay?”

I snapped back and found Jamie staring at me with his eyebrows squished together in apparent concern. “No, I’m good. Just zoned there for a second.”

“Okay. You just got a weird look on your face. I thought I should check.”

“No. Sorry. Just a long week.”

“Oh, heck yeah. I get that.”

I walked with him down the corridors, amazed at how many people he knew by first name. The place did feel more like an apartment building than a dorm. Jealousy rolled over me again. I want to live in the Quad. That I’d gotten asshole Tony as a roommate made it worse. His funk was the exact opposite of Jamie’s clean smell, and I found it revolting.

Jamie hit the elevator button, shot me a strange glance, and then started chuckling. “What are you humming?”

I froze for a minute, afraid I’d done something stupid. “It’s the theme song from an old show. I was watching it off YouTube.”

“Mister Ed?”

“Yeah. Mister Ed.”

Jamie started laughing. “I love that show.”

I relaxed as we grinned at each other. His hands again flicked his hair behind his ears. The ritual was endearing. He started humming the theme song and before the elevator showed up, the two of us were grinning from ear to ear as we hummed the song as loud as possible. After a moment it faded away, and we were again in silence.

“So, biology huh? That’s a tough major,” said Jamie.

“Well, I’m hoping to get in med school. Biology made the most sense. We checked out a few places before deciding on here. The med school’s only a few years old, but I know I have to bust my ass.”

The elevator opened and I followed him inside. His khaki’s were a nice fit and I took a split-second to admire his butt before I locked my eyes on Jaimie’s face. I realized to my horror that the elevator might as well be mirrored, and Jaimie probably caught me. Damn it, I’m not sweating it. All I did is look. If Jaime were checking out some girl, nobody would care. It wasn’t fair.

“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” said Jamie.

I locked eyes with him when his words almost echoed my own thoughts. Then I realized he was talking about my pre-med major. “Oh. Yeah. It will be. I’ve always got good grades.”

The door opened into a stark white hallway. Jaimie continued with his explanation. “Not me. School isn’t really my thing. But my parents insisted, and decided I needed to major in business. So here I am, almost finished and my grades are crappy. But I’ll probably work with my dad anyway, so they don’t matter too much.”

“Where’s your dad work?”

“He’s a bank president. Does pretty well.” He fumbled with the door key for a few moments.

I couldn’t help but wonder, how much easier life would be. We get by on what Dad makes as a welder, but Mom has her hands full taking care of Evan. I froze for a second when the door popped open and the roaring sounds of warfare flooded the peaceful hallway. I was dumbfounded, I’d never seen so much gaming equipment in one place before. There were speakers, headset and controllers that I’d only read about in magazines or on-line. I’m thrilled to have two gaming centers, and one of them I saved up from my sucky job working at the local fast food place. This room was a gamers dream come true.

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