NBK in Michigan: The Return of CUTE GUY JACK!
"Wait, so you did what?"
Having just gotten ourselves into a pickle the likes of which the world has never seen, it figured that the first person we just had to run into was Cute Guy Jack. Now, I am generally averse to having extremely attractive people see me when I’m half-frozen, windswept, and sleep-deprived, but these things happen.
Allison and I had hitched a ride back to the house with one of Tara’s housemates. There had been a slight problem when we discovered the tow truck couldn’t fit all of us, and a really dramatic "ALL OF US LEAVE OR NONE OF US LEAVE" standoff ensued until the tow man suggested quite reasonably that we call someone to pick us up. It was now our job to make sure the tow truck would be able to maneuver Tara’s car into the cramped little parking lot. And guess whose car was in the way? Cute Guy Jack's.
"Please don’t make me say it again," I said. He really did seem far more amused than the situation warranted. "I had to run the car into a snow bank. Happy?"
"A little," he said, grinning broadly, "but I’m not sure why. That sounds incredibly stressful." As soon as he found his keys, he said, "Be right back," and left, still kind of chuckling to himself in a way that somehow made me want to kill him but also date him, or at least make out with him a little. I had finally crossed that threshold, after all. I had gone from wondering "Will I ever kiss somebody ever?" to wondering "I wonder who I'll kiss next in the near to distant future."
As soon as he was gone, Allison, watching him go, said, "I think he got even cuter."
"Probably," I said, and then there was a pause. Not quite as weighty as the "did we really just crash into a snow bank" pause, but it held its own. We had not, prior to this point, discussed just what the hell we were going to do next; that would have bordered on rational thinking. Instead we had employed such strategies as a) standing around in the snow, and b) saying variations of the phrase "we’re so screwed," thus c) blatantly ignoring the problem. I decided not to deviate from that course of action whatsoever, and instead of, say, brainstorming solutions, I told Allison about kissing Matthew.
"Was this the guy that offered you an entire pie?" was her first question.
"Well, yeah," I said, and she nodded as if this explained everything. Slightly defensively, I said, "I didn’t kiss him because he gave me pie. He gave me pie, and then—subsequently, not consequently—we made out. No causation."
"So the pie didn’t influence your decision in any way whatsoever."
"Well, it didn’t hurt."
"I’m just saying, you have a track record," she said. "Remember when you left your number for that flirty waiter because he gave you free French fries?"
"Oh my God," I said, somewhat shocked by this. "You're right! The way to my heart is free food! I didn't know this! Why didn't anyone tell me?"
"Nonetheless," she said, smiling a little, "well done? I think that’s the right sentiment."
What I’m going to say next might sound a little crazy, but I’m 99% sure the guy driving the tow truck was actually a wizard or shaman or spiritual guru, and our lives have now been marked forever by his divine presence. He backed Tara’s car into the parking lot on the back of his truck with barely an inch to spare on either side. It was the most incredible thing that has ever happened to anyone. He was also chock full of wisdom, regularly dropping knowledge-gems like "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it" and "Believe you can do it and you’re halfway there." I'm absolutely serious. This guy exists. He's out there somewhere, making cryptic comments and changing lives. I still think about him sometimes.
"Thanks," we said fervently, as he tipped his hat and got back into his truck.
"What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger," he said with no further explanation.
And he was gone, just like that. The three of us stood there next to Tara’s now-useless car, blinking in the snowy sunlight, until Allison said, "Did that really just happen?"
"I’m not even sure anymore," I said.
"Everything that’s happened to us since we left home yesterday," said Tara, "makes me wonder if we stumbled into some sort of alternate dimension without knowing about it."
The majesty of our spirit guide/tow man didn’t last long, though. We trudged back into the house and slouched dejectedly into Tara’s room. The time had come to figure out our next move, but weren't exactly overflowing with ideas. In fact, the only thing we could think to do was have somebody’s parent come get us. We’d be home in roughly seven or eight hours, traffic and weather permitting. It was yet another case of choosing, from a wealth of bad options, the one that sucked the least, and we resigned ourselves to the interminable wait as well as the guilt of inconveniencing Tara’s poor mom.
That is, until we heard someone clearing their throat in the doorway. We looked up, and it was Cute Guy Jack, looking more attractive than ever, particularly because he was flushed with cold and grinning sheepishly and shaking snow out of his hair, but also because he was presently speaking the seven most magical words ever assembled in the English language: "I’ll drive you guys, if you want."
UH YES, CUTE GUY JACK, WE WANT. WE WANT VERY MUCH. How hilarious, ridiculous, and awesome is Elodie's life right now?? We can't wait to find out what happens on the 7-hour car ride with Jack!!