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An Exercise in Futility

"He's an uptight bibliophile and he's a messy artist. Can I make it any more obvious?"

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These are the first two pages of a 44-page endeavor 

It’s not like AJ’s known for his spontaneity, he’s not some feral college freshman. He’s not even an eager eyed person. He’s boring. He’s routine, painfully routine depending on who you talk to. Being boring is easy, it took just one moment of weakness to remind him.

Class was wrapping up when the idea came from nowhere and he acted on it. There’s nothing spontaneous about writing down the notes for the very attractive and sleeping boy next to him. There’s nothing odd about it in the least. The last part, that’s where he decided to become a Neanderthal or something equally stupid. He left a note and his phone number, for whatever reason.

“You wrote: you’re cute when you’re asleep...with a smiley face? Really?"

The sentence hung in his dorm with an unnecessary amount of weight.

AJ winced upon hearing it out loud in Bianca’s judgemental tone, he realized how ridiculous that sounds. “I know, I know.” He buried his face in his hands. “I'm so stupid.”

But the guy is cute. Oh God, he was really cute.

Bianca laughed, “since when were you the flirtatious type?”  

When did I get so stupid?

“I’m not,” he had to rethink that, “I’m not...usually.” In the seventeen years he’s known Bianca she’s always been the one to put herself in these situations. Not that it hasn’t almost always worked out in her favor, but still.

A smirk pulled at her dark cherry color lips. “I’m rubbing off on you,” she purred. “I was starting to think I’d never find out what it’s like for the shoe to be on the other foot.”

AJ glared at her. “Please,” he collapsed in his pillow. “Don't tease me about this. I feel bad as is.” Came back his muffled voice.

“What kind of best friend would I be if I don't?” AJ groaned into his pillow. “I had no clue your weakness would be cute guys.” Bianca heard a muffled noise that sounded like 'I hate you.’ “Okay, okay, fine. No more teasing. How’d you find out he likes dudes if you guys barely talk?”

Oh. My. God.

AJ tensed.

“Oh no,” Bianca's eyes widened. “AJ you didn't.”

He raised from the blankets looking like a dead man. “I did,” he said from behind his hands. To be honest, he didn't even know his name. They just had small conversations, all of them starting with 'do you want gum?’ and ending with 'yeah, thanks.’ But that cute blonde asks every morning and he can’t resist.. The same cinnamon Trident that he hates but AJ accepts anyways just so he can linger around a little longer. “He hangs out with Konnur a lot and everyone that hangs out with Konnur is gay, bi, trans, etc.”

Bianca started laughing again. “No, no no,” she continued incoherently. “Please don't tell me you mean the tall blonde?”

He nodded.

“That's his baby cousin!” Bianca howled. “That's why they hang out.”

“Please, stop.”

“The dude could be as straight as a ruler and you just hit on him. Did you leave your name?”

He shook his head behind his hands again. “You literally mess up so bad!” Bianca sat down beside him and pulled him into her arms. “It’s okay, maybe he won’t even notice it.”


Haldor has a secret admirer and it’s the last thing he predicted happening to him in his first semester.

You're cute when you're asleep.

“Oo, looks like you've got a secret admirer,” Konnur plucked the sheets from his hand. “You scored notes and digits, someone definitely has the hots for you.”

“Stop,” Haldor grabbed the notes back from him. “I need these.”

“You're gonna call the number right?” Haldor found his spaghetti much more interesting than meeting Konnur’s playful gaze. “Dude, c’mon, who do you think it was?”

Haldor shifted in his seat, “can we talk about something else?”

“No!” Konnur didn’t appear to be in a merciful mood today. Usually when he asks he caves in for a short while. “Nothing exciting ever happens to you and I intend to get to the bottom of this, or at least stay invested until the very end. Speaking of bottom, what if he’s one?”

Haldor’s ears turned bright red, “shut up.”

He took the notes back again and looked at them, “damn! I can't tell if it's a girl's handwriting or a guy's. Looks like it could be either.”

“Would you like a magnifying glass?” Haldor grumbled.

“If you have one yes,” Konnur could feel the glare being sent his way. “Someone just has a little crush on you, that isn’t the end of the world.”

To Haldor that's debatable. If it's a girl, he won't know what to say to her, but it’d ultimately end in rejection regardless. If it's a guy...he buried his face in his hands and tried not to think about it. “I'm going back to the room.”

“See ya back there, roomie,” Konnur said sing song.

Haldor’s face started to burn again when a few people turned to look at them.

He’s more than happy to get away from Konnur for a change. He needed to clear his head and be alone. Without a second glance, he scaled one of the trees in the courtyard and found a branch that could carry his weight. It’s hidden and the smell of bark and leaves calms him instantly. A secret admirer. He'd never thought of having one of those. Someone’s probably had feelings for him at some point, but no one has ever made him aware of it.

Especially like this.

He looked at his notes again. You’re cute when you're asleep :). That’s a pretty ambitious way of letting him know. At least to him, it feels bold especially when they have the courage to leave their phone number too. He would never do such a thing. Haldor tried to think of someone in his class with that much bravado. The girl in the front row that asks too many questions, maybe. He’s been calling her Purple in relations to the streaks in her hair and that’s all he’s ever noticed about her.  

He wished he paid more attention to people in his class before this. It would make pinpointing this admirer so much easier. The only one of his classmates he’s paid attention to is the boy beside him.

Haldor groaned at the thought of him.

The boy next to him is a whole other embarrassment that he wished he hadn’t thought of. It’s October and he’s only managed to ask him if he wants gum. Gum. It’s pathetic. Haldor gets lost in his bottle green eyes so quickly, he’s swallowed in them and he loses his voice. A few times he’s tried to carry on a conversation, but usually, he pulls out a book before he can think of something to say. The small percentage of times they do talk is stunted and awkward, mostly about homework.

Haldor stuck the notes in his backpack and pulled out his sketchbook. He was going to try to forget the whole ordeal for now.

Written by Anonymous
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