- The First Encounter -
As easy as it is to say I want to be special, the
whole activity of going about being special is damned
hard. For example, I had no idea where to begin my
search and I was rather reluctant to ask my friends
for advice. If Quatre, or for that matter, any of my
friends, found out about my newly formed quest, they
would pounce on me like a pack of rabid wolves on raw
meat with indispensable words of wisdom. It is not
that I mind advice from my friends, not at all.
However, certain things in life must be achieved by
oneself and I believe that my search is personal
enough to merit privacy.
Still, it would be easier if I knew how to begin. I
know what kind of girls I like, but Iím not sure if
Iím going to find a means to be special with any of
them. So far, dating the girls I liked had not given
me any results and there is no guarantee that
continuing in my habits and usual tastes will show me
something I had not noticed before I got insane about
being special. Then the logical conclusion, of
course, would be to stray from my well-trodden path,
but as I am now, I donít even know if there are other
viable paths ahead of me.
Losing hope before starting a quest is not a very good
way of going about things.
My first week of searching yielded no concrete
results, but I did learn something. I donít think any
of the girls I talked to would be able to give me
what Iím seeking, no more than I can give them what
they want. It seems that at my age, women think about
two things when it comes to relationships Ė one night
stand or marriage forever. There is no middle ground
for me to work with and Iím no longer interested in a
strictly one night stand type of relations. That does
not mean I want to do the marriage thing. Despite my
strange quest driving me onward to god knows what, I
have not completely lost my sanity.
Second week came and went with no visible results as
well, just a whole string of women I considered then
discarded. Oh, they were all beautiful, sparkling,
smart and a whole dictionary full of positive
adjectives, but I did not want to wake up next to them
in the morning. I certainly did not want to spend
idle time with them. I didnít want anything from them
except the sex.
It is very discouraging that I am turning down sex in
my search to be special. I suppose this must be
important to me if Iím actually turning myself away
from easy sex in favor of finding someone special.
Third week, my friends noticed the change in me and
began staring at me oddly. I think Quatre nearly spat
out his drink at the bar when I turned down an overt
invitation of sex from a really gorgeous girl. He
stared at me with his eyes as wide as they would go
and Trowa immediately checked my forehead to see if I
was sick. They didnít ask me anything that night, but
I could tell that the questions were burning a large
hole in their brains.
When fourth week rolled around, my friends must have
had enough because they sat me down and began their
friendly interrogation. Quatre had invited me over
for Ďdrinksí at his and Trowaís apartment late Friday
night, insisting that we stay in for the night. I
agreed despite my misgivings since Quatre seemed oddly
spaced out lately. Then when I get there for a quiet
night, I find Quatre and Trowa there with interrogator
eyes trained on me even before I crossed the threshold
into their apartment.
I felt like a bug under a microscope. I sat on their
couch with a nice two fingers of premium scotch,
watching them watching me. It was enough to set me on
edge and my brain went into overtime trying to find
answers before they asked the questions.
ďDuo,Ē Quatre began in what I termed his diplomatís
voice, ďwhat is going on with you?Ē
Such a simple question, but it was loaded with deeper
meaning. In that one question, I could hear Ďare you
having problems with your sex lifeí to Ďgod, I hope
you donít have an incurable STD under that skin of
yours.í Instead of answering the question in any
meaningful way, I decide to play dumb.
ďWhat do you mean? Iím fine.Ē
That was the complete truth. I am fine. Iím just in
the middle of a large project, thatís all.
I could tell the answer troubled the two of them
because they exchange one of those looks loaded with
meaning. They were probably wondering how to phrase
the next question without offending me or hurting my
feelings. After all, how do you ask your friend why
heís not sleeping with everything under the sun as he
usually does? How do you ask your best friend why he
is not the player that he was? How do you ask your
friend about the changes in his habits when you
actually approve of them?
Eventually, the silence wore thin and I was tempted to
just blurt out my whole mission so that they would
stop worrying. But alas, Quatre beat me to breaking
ďDuo, donít take this the wrong way,Ē he said, ďbut
you arenít.. acting yourself lately.Ē
That much is true, I must concede. I nod in
acquiescence, but offer no further information.
Quatre was getting annoyed, I could tell, because Iím
quite verbal most of the times to the point of banal
babbling. Yet here I was, not saying much at all,
practically making Quatre pull the answers out of me
Trowa raised an eyebrow at my continued silence and he
considered me carefully. He knew I was hiding
something, how could he not? But he wasnít about to
go charging in with questions. It is too bad that
Quatre had no such reservations.
ďStop playing around, Duo. Iím just really worried.
Whatís gotten into you?Ē
Damn. Quatre used the guilt card, the cheat. Now I
have to answer or end up feeling like I had kicked his
puppy or something.
ďDonít worry, Quat. Iím a big boy. I know what Iím
Well, actually, I havenít the faintest idea as to what
Iím doing. I only know the goal, not the means to get
ďWhat is it that youíre doing? For the life of me, I
canít figure it out.Ē
If Quatre wants to, he can make a guy feel really,
really guilty. When he uttered that sentence with
worry imbedded so deeply within, I could not help but
answer before I had time to process what I wanted to
ďIím looking for someone special, thatís all.Ē
That silly saying about the cat being out of the bag,
I never did understand what it meant. But I suppose
thatís what I had just done with that reply.
The answer I gave was received with mental fanfare by
Quatre and Trowa. How could I tell? Because their
eyes lit up like lanterns and they both got this huge
grin on their faces. Even Trowa. Yeah, itís a big
deal when Trowa makes a facial expression beyond
ďOh, thatís wonderful Duo! We can set you up with the
Thatís as far as Quatre got before I clapped a hand
over his mouth, my eyes blazing Ďdonít go thereí in
neon lights. As I said before, this is a private
matter to be dealt with by me only.
ďMmphrmph..Ē Quatre finished over my hand anyway.
Translation: I have this cousin whoíd love to meet
you, my neighbor is the sweetest little thing, my
sisterís roommateís brotherís friendís cousin is so
Yeah, things get complicated when your friends who are
already itching to make you settle down gets a whiff
of your future plans to settle down.
It is safe to say that I tucked tail and ran out of
their apartment quickly after that. I was not in the
mood to sit there while they congratulated me on my
decision to find someone special, to find someone who
thought I was special. Not that I didnít appreciate
their support, but I really didnít need Quatre going
matchmaker on me and pulling out every female he has
ever known, convinced that each and every one of them
was perfect for my needs. God, no.
So yes, I ran. They didnít follow, thankfully, but
then again, they understand my needs. For tonight,
Quatre would leave me alone, knowing that I had said
something to them that I had meant to keep to myself.
Tomorrow, though.. Maybe I should just sleep through
And how does one sleep through an entire day? Easily.
One, itís Friday night so tomorrow is a blissfully
calm Saturday. No need to wake at all. Two, I spy a
Alcohol plus a Saturday bonus equals sleeping an
That was my brilliant plan for avoiding Quatre the
next day. So I went to my regular bar, the Tornado
Fodder, named after the fate of the ownerís house in
Florida, with every intention of getting hammered to
the point where I would skip Saturday and head
straight into Sunday.
Believe me, I didnít even have an ulterior motive of
wanting to meet girls in my quest either. I just
wanted to drink and go home to pass out. I did see a
couple of cute ones batting their eyes at me and I
bought them drinks out of habit, flirting for all I
was worth, but nothing serious was flitting through my
mind. I was drinking for the sake of drinking then
something odd happened.
I was standing at the bar, trying to flag down the
busy bartender for a refill on my drink since I wasnít
nearly drunk enough, when a solid mass crashed into me
and pitched me forward. It was a resounding kind of
crash where I ended up with my face nearly planted on
the bar among the lime rinds and the empty glasses.
Also, the crashed caused the not very sober chick next
to me to spill her drink all over me. It just had to
be a strawberry margarita, all sweet, sticky and
impossible to ignore.
ďIím so sorry!Ē
The girl squealed at me, trying with her hands to wipe
away the damage but it was too late. I was soaking
wet, definitely unhappy and she was putting her hands
where I did not want them. I waved her off,
thoroughly pissed, to whoever behind me that had
crashed into me. From the crash to the girlís apology
to my whirling around in a frenzy took all of five
seconds but my reaction as soon as I turned to the guy
who had crashed into me lasted significantly longer.
Imagine this scene for a second. One: Duo Maxwell,
slightly tipsy, wearing his nice polo shirt and black
pants which in turn are wearing a strawberry
margarita. Two: a solidly built guy about my age
and height with Prussian blue eyes and a mop of dark
brown hair staring back rather impassively at me.
Three: Instant, carnal attraction on my part.
Step three involved me staring at the guy with mouth
gaping open and it lasted, oh Iíd say, about twenty
seconds before I realized what I was doing and where I
Thatís when my brain finally caught up and said
Ďyouíre attracted to a guy!í really loudly in a
Letís just say itís not every day that Duo Maxwell
runs away with his tail tucked behind his ass twice in
When I got home, three things occurred to me. First,
I may not be as straight as I originally thought.
Two, the guy was really hot. Three, I had no earthly
clue who the hell he was.
Oh shit. On all three counts.