Change

Posted on June 29, 2013

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“What’s that you got there?” he said as he sat across from Jacob at the table. Jacob looked up, not really wanting to. Today was the day this man had promised to “change” him. He wasn’t so sure he liked the idea of change. 

“Um,” he swallowed, “a-a comic book.” 

“That so,” the other said, folding his hands on his lap and leaning back. His gaze pierced through Jacob like invisible knives. “You know what you are?” He said, his voice like stone. Jacob shook his head, not wanting to know. 

“A nerdy virgin with no social life.” The words hit Jacob like a ton of bricks. It was a pretty accurate description. His heart began to race and he felt light headed. Too many emotions were swarming him at once. All he wanted to do was go to sleep. Maybe for a few hours, maybe forever. Either option seemed suitable to him. He just didn’t want to be here. 

“Why do you read comic books?” 

Keeping his gaze down, Jacob wearily replied, “They-they’re entertaining. They give me an escape.” 

The other nodded matter-of-factly. Then he looked off and snapped his fingers. One of the “waitresses,” wearing the usual micro mini short-shorts that partially showed off her ass, skimpy tank top displaying more than enough cleavage, and gobs of makeup, walked over to the table and bent over. Jacob averted his eyes, trying not to stare at her butt. Her loose top gave the man full view of her chest. He stared at it as he spoke to her. “Sweetheart, can you get me a bottle of Bacardi Zombie, two glasses, and some green?” He looked up and met her eyes. She smiled, taking pleasure in his taking pleasure of the view. “Anything for you, major.” She ran her hand across his chest and he smiled. He spanked her as she walked away. 

“Look at you,” the major said, disgusted. “Beautiful, half naked woman in your presence, and you bury your nose in a comic book. That,” he leaned forward, crossing his arms on the table, “is why you’re a virgin.” 

Jacob said nothing. The major grew more agitated. He grabbed the comic book and held it up with both hands. Just then the waitress returned with the bottle, glasses, a pipe and a lighter. She sat the glasses, pipe and lighter down, and then opened the bottle. After she finished pouring the alcohol in each glass, she sat the bottle down, smiled at the two and walked away. 

“This,” said the major, pushing a glass towards Jacob with one hand while still holding the comic with the other. “Is an escape. This,” he pushed the pipe, packed with marijuana, and the lighter towards him. “Is an escape. Not this.” And he ripped the comic in half, crumpled it up, aimed for a nearby trash can and tossed it. He missed. “Damn it!” 

“It’s okay sweety,” said the same waitress as she picked it up. “I got it.” 

“Thanks babe. So,” he said, returning his attention back to Jacob. 

“Um..”Jacob began, anxiously. “I don’t…know.” He fidgeted, wiping his sweaty palms on his jeans. 

“Haven’t you ever drank or smoked before?” The major asked, incredulous. 

“I have…I’m just, not much of a fan of either.” 

The major sighed and nodded. He picked up his glass and took a sip. “Well,” he said, setting the glass back down. “You’re going to become one when I’m through with you.” 

“But why?” Jacob asked, his will suddenly renewed. He didn’t like the idea of being made to do something he didn’t want to or care for. “Why do I have to escape just like everyone else? What’s wrong with comic books, or regular books, or anything not involving alcohol or drugs?” 

“Because they’re nerdy. They’re not fun. They’re antisocial. You can’t read a book with a friend. You can’t read a book with a girl and then bang her. You can drink and get high with both friends and girls, and you can bang girls when you’re both cross-faded because it’s fun. You live life to have fun, not sit in your room all day by yourself.” 

“But..what if sitting in your room is fun?”

The major rolled his eyes and took another sip from his glass. “Jerking off and reading about ridiculous fantasies isn’t fun. But being with other people is.” 

The more the conversation went on, the more Jacob became depressed. 

“Getting drunk, high, and having sex is what’s fun.”

“But…” Jacob wasn’t sure if he should carry on this debate. It didn’t seem like he’d win. However, the major, his intense gaze boring into Jacob, urged him on. “But what?” 

“Well, I don’t think I want a girl who would have sex just like that…” 

“And why not?”

“Well, I mean, sex is great and all-“

“Like you would know.”

Jacob ignored him. “But, that’s only part of a relationship. I want a nice girl. Someone loving and caring.” 

“Let me ask you something.” The major folded his hands on the table. “Do you like older women, say, between mid-to-late twenties, early thirties? Maybe with one or two kids?” 

Jacob shook his head. The major leaned back, picking up his half empty glass and taking a long drink. “Well,” he said, smacking his lips and setting the empty glass on the table. “The only women that will date you are older ones who have been screwed over by a dozen or more guys and left with one or two kids. And even then, that’s only if they’d want someone several years younger than them. So you might be shit outta luck until you’re thirty or older. And,” he shivered, reveling at some seemingly repulsive thought. “You’d be a virgin until then, considering it works out between the two of you. If not, then you’re really fucked.” 

The sound of a gong startled the both of them. The major looked at his watch. “Damn, it’s ten already?” Then it went dark as the lights went off, only a moment later to be replaced by strobe lights, followed by deafening booms as music began to play. Talking and laughter was barely audible as a stream of uniformed, off duty soldiers streamed in, beautiful women  around their arms. The R&R was in full swing. 

“Normally,” the major shouted over the music. “If we find a civilian in this place, we beat his ass. But considering your special status, you’re welcomed as one of the men. My men.” 

Jacob cringed as the devil smiled at him. By showing up here tonight, he had made a pact he would soon greatly regret. 

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