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Soup. - Nobody wears a white coat any more...
...a tribute to becoming a doctor.
ayradyss
ayradyss
Soup.
Five-four-three-two-one. Some of you may remember this story.

We are sitting on a bus. No, let me back up.

It is my senior year of high school, at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and that other thing. I have elected myself captain of the solar car team by virtue of being the only one who wants the title, at least who spoke up fast enough that nobody else said a word. We are trying to build a solar car on a budget of about $100, plus batteries. Mr. F, who is funding said solar car because we can't make enough money on fundraisers to fund a tricycle, let alone a solar car, has found us a garage to build our solar car in. It looks like a giant metal frame, on wheels, and it sags in the middle. None of us know enough physics to build a car, and furthermore we are using hole-punched angle iron to build our frame with, which has holes punched every inche (I refer to this also in the grommet story), which means that every single part of our car must have a side length that is an even integer, and we are building it with triangles. There is a list in the garage of acceptable side lengths for such triangles.
We need nuts and bolts. It is after 6 PM and we are in a garage and we need nuts and bolts and at the Indiana Academy for Science Mathematics and that other thing one must never be seen in public alone after 6 PM, one must always have a partner. And the only way to get more nuts and bolts is to go take the MITS bus up to Lowe's and Walmart and buy them. I am the captain of the solar car team. I volunteer to go, mostly because the last thing I want to do is try to calculate one more bleeding integer-sided triangle and then shave off the corners to make the angles fit. I need a partner.

In the garage with me are the following: The boy I was emphatically not-dating-at-the-time but with whom nonetheless I spent a great deal of time off in dark corners getting my hormonal needs satisfied (Just mine. Not his, mind) and who was prone to jealous fits and generally starting to wear on my nerves. My roommate, who had a bad habit of accusing me of making eyes at her boyfriend, whether or not I had actually conversed with said boyfriend during the day; this interrogation was worse whenever I spent any actual time speaking with said boyfriend. Her boyfriend, who is now a very dear friend of mine. platypuslord, who was arguably the person best-suited to actually making a functioning solar car in the room. A boy who had the physical energy to continually saw angled steel into particularly-sized pieces using a hand hacksaw. And one other boy, who had a place in the solar car team that was completely non-rigidly defined.
I took the extra boy with me. It was a ploy calculated to irritate the boy I was not dating but keep my roommate silent while allowing the team to continue working.

We walked to the MITS bus stop, and arrived about forty-five seconds too late. We waited fifteen minutes and rode ten. We made that sort of politely awkward conversation that takes place between two high-school kids who know each other fairly well but have no real social connection. We got off at Walmart, walked to Lowe's, got the nuts and bolts, walked back to Walmart and missed the MITS bus by about forty-five seconds. We went inside Walmart to wait where it was not cold, missed another MITS bus for watching children play on the mechanical ponies, achieved the third MITS bus and settled down to ride.
You must understand, O Best Beloved, that by this time we had progressed from stilted conversation to wildly erratic chatter of the type most of my peer group enjoyed. We had, at some point, brought up the fact that this boy was actually an alien, fostered on Earth. Everyone knew about the boy I wasn't dating; most people thought we were a couple. The solar car team knew better, and also knew what the end result of me going off with another boy and taking almost two hours on a thirty-minute trip was going to be. And I said "We'd better come up with a reason it took us so long. Nobody's going to believe we missed the bus three times." And he pondered. And he said: "We could always tell them that my parents came and abducted us to their ship, and they performed many experiments on us." I liked this idea. We liked the idea. We expounded on it for a while, growing more and more elaborate, concocting a story. And at one point someone said "And then they forced us to have--" and the other one interjected "--soup! Chicken noodle soup!" And we liked that even more.

We got back to the garage, still giggling, not at all contrite for this unprecedented delay in the return of nuts and bolts. And we walked into the garage, and the boy I was not dating looked over at me and complained: "Where have you been for two hours?" And I held up the bag of nuts and bolts, and I glanced over at the boy who had come with me on that fateful trip, and we chorused "Soup!" And collapsed in laughter.
I never told the boy I was not dating what it meant, and I think he hated me for that, a little.

And a musical happened ("Fiddler on the Roof") somewhere in there, and I was in the pit orchestra and the boy who went to the store with me was Nochim the beggar and the boy I was not dating was in the tech crew but the tech crew doesn't spend as much time with the actors and the pit orchestra as the actors and the pit orchestra do with each other, and it was so much fun to watch him fume and spit, like a drenched cat held by the tail, and know that I had him in my thrall and I was still getting anything I wanted from him. I was not a nice girl.

But it was not so long after that that he hissed and spit so much I began to feel stifled, and I broke up with him and told him I would not go to prom with him, in a melodramatic and appropriately public Scene. And it was not so long after that (actually, it was the same day) that the boy who had come with me asked me to go to prom with him (just as friends!), in a charming little interlude in the computer lab. And it was not so long after that - actually, it was on the seventh of April, 1997 - that we were walking back from the solar car garage, and it was a clear and moonlit night, and I do not remember why I stopped in the parking lot but it might have been to look at the moon, but I turned and he didn't and to this day neither he nor I can say who kissed whom.
But I saw stars, and did not know what they meant. He asked me out that night. I told him that that would be just fine, as long as he accepted one condition: the relationship ended either (1) when I got tired of him or (2) at the end of the school year, whichever came first. It was the best prom ever. And I didn't get tired of him. And when he asked me on graduation night whether I still planned on breaking up, I caved in and told him no, I didn't want to.

Come April 7th, it will have been eight years, and I'm still not tired of my Angel. And I love him more than I had ever thought I could love anyone.

And that, O Best Beloved, is how it started: with soup.

now feeling:: loved loved

26 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word
Comments
carmental From: carmental Date: February 14th, 2005 11:38 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
That is such a great, sweet story. Thank you for that...
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: February 15th, 2005 03:04 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Hee. It's all true, too.
(And I like the icon!)
attickah From: attickah Date: February 15th, 2005 12:25 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
If I'm not mistaken in the characters in your story, that roommate later on had the tendancy to be wary of anyone making eyes at said boyfriend....whether they were interested in him or not.

(*mutters under her breath* and people think I'm nuts...)
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: February 15th, 2005 03:04 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Yeah, yeah.
gamerchick From: gamerchick Date: February 15th, 2005 12:49 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Okay, official cutest story ever.
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: February 15th, 2005 03:07 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Aww, thanks!
daimones From: daimones Date: February 15th, 2005 01:51 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
And to this day, I take pleasure in being able to say I told you so.

Chicken Soup for the Soul indeed.
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: February 15th, 2005 03:03 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Brat. I love you too.
daimones From: daimones Date: February 15th, 2005 12:01 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
*snuggles* And I have more than that I could say...but you were so vehement about things. And you're not a person, like me, that I would describe as vehement. So it was so strange.

Thanks. Love you too. Happy Valentine's Day.
platypuslord From: platypuslord Date: February 15th, 2005 03:00 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Ah, the memories.
I really wasn't qualified to make a solar car, though... I would've nominated Mike for that.
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: February 15th, 2005 03:03 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Mike is the reason I put "arguably" in there :)
daghain From: daghain Date: February 16th, 2005 01:42 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Shevlin, would that be? I wonder which of these roles he played...
jelliclecat From: jelliclecat Date: February 15th, 2005 04:36 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Cutest Story Evar. Le sigh.

Although the logistics of whom to take to Lowes rather reminds me of the riddle about the farmer who had a dog, a goat, and a cabbage and needed to cross a river in a boat that was so small that he could only take one thing at a time. Will the dog eat the goat? Will the goat eat the cabbage? Will the farmer starve from his own indecision without eating anyone? Eee!
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: February 15th, 2005 12:12 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
I love that riddle!
amasashi From: amasashi Date: February 15th, 2005 05:31 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Aw, that's such a sweet story. I always imagined I would meet my future wife in such a way.

Congrats on you too!
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: February 15th, 2005 12:13 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
See? It works out sometimes :)
lorriejharris From: lorriejharris Date: February 15th, 2005 10:26 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
*le Sigh* Such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: February 15th, 2005 12:13 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
I had to give you something, after the last few stories :)
From: silmaril Date: February 15th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
Wishing you many, many more happy years.
loonyatcbh From: loonyatcbh Date: February 15th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
*seconds that* I was too teary after reading the first time to comment. *hugs*
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: February 16th, 2005 11:02 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
Aww, thanks.
pwwka From: pwwka Date: February 15th, 2005 05:38 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
In every vat of chicken noodle soup, there is a bone...
pwwka From: pwwka Date: February 15th, 2005 06:07 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
By the way, if you and your Magician are doing nothing the weekend of March 12th, Tim and I will drive to Fort Wayne from Baltimore with the express purpose of seeing you two. ;)
leon03 From: leon03 Date: February 15th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
Ahh... Solar car. I remember I got extremely frustrated because first we started building the car, then we started planning the car, then we started finding the money to do it. So I decided it was a waste of my time and stopped participating first semester. That frame was pointless and entirely too heavy.
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: February 15th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
No, no, you got involved -after- we'd started building the car and well before the planning phase :)
turnberryknkn From: turnberryknkn Date: February 19th, 2005 10:09 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
(smile)

(big, big smile)

Thank you for sharing. :-)
26 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word