Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Just Friends - Scraps

Editor's note: Our very first submission is from my ex-Travel Mates partner Scraps and is found below.

At this point, I think it's important to note some legal mumbo-jumbo. We are not responsible for the content of the stories, which does not necessarily reflect the views of Storytellers. Oh and also, anything you put up here is your to keep, I certainly won't steal it - BUT I cannot guaranty that no one else will. So anything you submit here can get ripped off 100 ways to Sunday. You all need to realize that.

So, without further ado, I present you with our very first Storytellers submission - a little Jewish-themed satire called "Just Friends".

Note, of course, that your submissions do not have to be J-related, nor in the foirm below. The beauty of fiction is that the rules are limited. Enjoy:

She glanced at the new guy in town from across the room. He was pretty cute—not too short, but not towering over the crowd, either. Short brown hair. His eye color was hard to tell, from a distance. He was chatting it up with a few other guys she knew. Still, she turned away, lest he look in her direction. It wouldn’t do for him to know that she was interested. She pretended to be completely absorbed in the senseless chatter of her friends, though what she really wanted to do was go over to him and flirt a bit. She was eating by one of the guys he was talking to that night; maybe she could check him out later.

He noticed her talking to her friends and stealing the occasional look across the room at him. She was a pretty girl—blonde hair just past her shoulders, petite but not anorexic-looking. Yeah, he was interested, but this was the kind of place where asking a girl out on sight just wasn’t done. He’d get a rep for being too forward, or something similarly uncomplimentary. No, there was no chance he could go up to her and introduce himself. Maybe later he’d see if any of the guys knew anything about her. If he had to, he could ask one of her friends.

* * *

She tried to be casual about the way she brought up the new guy. She couldn’t sound too interested, or people would get ideas.

“So, Yehuda, who’s that guy you were talking to tonight after shul? I haven’t seen him around before.”

“Yeah, he just moved in last week. His name is Michael, and he’s from Teaneck. He moved into 740. Why do you ask?”

“Oh nothing, just curious.” My building, he’s living in my building!

He wanted to try to be indirect about finding out who the blond girl was, but there really wasn’t any good way to do it, so he finally just asked Shira, whose meal he went to Shabbos day. He’d seen them talking to each other Friday night.

“Who’s the girl with the blonde hair, I think she was wearing a striped skirt last night or something?”

“Oh, her? That’s my friend Malka, she lives in 740. She’s from Woodmere. She’s a really great girl. Why’d you want to know? Are you interested in her?”

“Nah, no reason. Just curious.” She lives in my building—score!

* * *

“Hey Yehuda!”

“Hey Shira, what’s up?”

“Nothing much. Hey, you had Malka G. over for dinner Friday night, right?”

“Yeah, why?”

“I had this guy who’s new to the neighborhood, his name is Michael, over for Shabbos lunch, and he was asking about her.”

“No way! She was asking about him, too!”

“Oh. My. Gosh. This is totally bashert! We’ve got to set them up somehow!”

“She lives in 740, right? He just moved in there. Maybe we should have someone else who lives there invite them both to a meal or something.”

“That’s such a great idea, Yehuda! Who do you know in that building? I know Rina, Alex, Mara, and Liz. Mara and Liz are Malka’s roommates, though, so that might be weird.”

“I know Donny, Jonathan, and Devora. Devora is Rina’s roommate, right?”

“Yeah…but I don’t think they do co-ed meals.”

“Okay, fine. So that leaves Alex, Donny, or Jonathan. I think Jonathan’s away this Shabbos, though. You want to call Alex, and I’ll call Donny?”

“Sounds great. I’ll call you later!”

“See ya around.”

* * *

She officially met him that Shabbos at Alex’s meal. They were sitting at opposite ends of the table from each other, but at some point mid-meal everyone ended up playing musical seats and she managed to sit and shmooze with him for a while. He was three years older than her, they’d gone to brother-sister schools in Israel (but three years apart), and he was applying to medical school. They talked about books, politics, and a bunch of other conversational fillers. She found out that his eyes were green. She wasn’t sure if she was interested, but at least he was a pretty nice guy.

He officially met her that Shabbos at Alex’s meal. Though they started out at opposite ends of the table, she came and sat next to him when someone else sat in her seat, so they had some time to talk. She was three years younger than him, and she’d gone to the sister school to his yeshiva in Israel. She worked as a junior accountant and was studying for her CPA. They made decent small talk—it seemed like she was pretty intelligent, especially compared to some of the girls he’d gone out with. And it didn’t hurt that she was even more good-looking up close than she was across the room (he hoped she didn’t notice him staring).

* * *

They met again at a few other Shabbos meals. He became friends with the same people that she hung out with, so they did a lot of stuff together on the weekends—motzei Shabbos parties, Sunday trips. They enjoyed each other’s company, and to some it may have even seemed like they sought it out.

One night, Shira called her.

“I thought of a great idea for you, Shira!”

“Oh yeah? Who?”

“What do you think about going out with Michael?”

“What? Michael? I can’t go out with him—I’m friends with him!”

Yehuda called him that night, too.

“Hey Michael, what do you think about Malka?”

“She’s a nice girl, Yehuda, but we’re just friends.”


Blogger Sara said...

Scraps, great job! You're so brave to go first...

I really enjoyed this.


11:03 AM  
Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

Cute story.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Elster said...

Yes, kudos to scraps for being the test case. Good job.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Scraps said...

Thanks, guys. 'Tis my pleasure to be the guinea pig. :) And I'm glad you enjoyed the story--I'd enjoy it more myself if I didn't see it happen a hundred times over.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Scraps said...

Btw--typo, at the end, it should say, "I have a great idea for you, Malka!" [not Shira, as printed--the original error may have been mine]

2:41 PM  
Blogger Elster said...

Don't blame the Editor, he merely cut and pasted....

2:48 PM  
Blogger anonym00kie said...

oh no! my heart just dropped when i read the last part..
how sad :(
great story!!

5:08 PM  
Blogger Scraps said...

Yes, but as the editor you can still edit....

6:55 PM  
Blogger bellanny said...

great post... there's also the let's just be friends line that's used way too much. some people have to open there eyes and really get a good look at what's in front of them.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Elster said...

Bell - Sadly, in this case, art imitates life.

7:41 AM  
Blogger flör said...

m00kie- why sad? the next installment is prob. the continuing chapter...right scraps?

(and wow-- this should be printed in a heights publicatipn or something..heck..even this years purim shpiel..hehe)

10:47 PM  
Blogger Elster said...

Flor - Actually, this is the entirety of Scraps' work. The next chapter here will be a new story by a new blogger. And so it will be every week until we run out of people willing to put their fiction up here.

On a side note the Scraps satire is, sadly, the complete story which happens time and time again in certain singles areas.

6:22 AM  
Blogger Scraps said...

Flor--no more chapters coming up, though maybe sometime down the line I'll revisit it. You never know.

Hey, I looked to real life for my inspiration. ;-) If you want to submit it to something in the Heights, go right ahead, as long as you don't use my name.

8:47 AM  

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