“Aww, cheer up,” I said, passing a beer to Jordan across the thick wooden table of the Brass Taps. “Everyone screws up at least once in their life.”

Jordan took the beer graciously, taking a deep drink from it before coming up for air. I watched the muscles in his neck work. They looked strong, just like the rest of him.

“Thanks Juls, but not like this they don’t. I just don’t know how I’m going to tell my mom that I’m failing Calculus II again.” He let out a deep sigh, burying his head in his hands. I looked away at the neon beer sign that hung behind him on the wall.

“If she’s anything like my mom, you won’t have much of a choice in that. She’ll ask, and you’ll cave beneath the hopeful look.” My mom really did have a knack of asking about exactly the topics I wish she wouldn’t. Jordan didn’t look any happier, but at least he was glowering at me now over his hands.

“Thanks, but that wasn’t really the part I was worried about,” he said sarcastically. “Besides, your mom can’t possibly be that disappointed in you, you’ve got straight A’s in everything.”

“Except Invert Bio,” I added helpfully.

“Yeah, but fuck Invert Bio, man. Everyone fails at Invert Bio.”

“Not according to my mom. I’m still scared to mention Professor Collins names least we get a repeat of Calc I.”

Jordan laughed. “I still can’t believe your mom called Wiener.”

He’s such a nice man,” I said in a poor imitation of my mother’s voice. “How dare you blame him.

Jordan laughed even harder and I joined in with him, more amused by his amusement than anything. But the beer bottle hit the table empty far too soon, and Jordan got up to leave.

“Alright, I better head out before I miss the bus. Time to face the music and all that,” he said, swinging on his red and gold leather jacket.

“Good luck!” I said, toasting him with my near empty bottle. I watched him head out of the pub before downing the last of the beer and heading home myself.


“How was University today? Did you pass that test you had?” My mom’s questioning started before I’d even taken off my jacket.

“Mom, I took that test just yesterday. The prof probably hasn’t even looked at it yet,” I said exasperatedly.

“Fine fine,” She said, whisking my coat out of my hands. “What about that nice girl you were telling me about at school? Did you get a chance to ask her out yet?”

An image of Jordan came to mind, his head in his hands, the neon of the signs and the dim yellow of the pub’s lights playing through his dark hair and making his tanned skin glow. I could feel my cheeks getting warm.

“No… Not yet,” I stammered, rushing to the stairs to my bedroom.

“Well hurry up, I want grandchildren before I’m 60!” my mom teased.

“I have to study!” I called, “Stop bothering me with this.”

I slammed my door a little too hard, flopped a little too heavily onto my bed. Everyone screws up at least once in their life.


Cross-posted from /r/WritingPrompts.

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