Chad Beaufort wiped his forehead with his towel, which he held over his back like a tarpaulin. He kept in one corner as he changed. He didn’t need to, per se. For an eighteen-year-old, he was fairly muscular and lacked much excess body fat, plus he had the benefit of being one of the tallest students on the team. However, he didn’t want to face his teammates, and he certainly didn’t want to have to see them changing.
He gasped and felt tempted to nurse his back when a hand smacked it. He grit his teeth. He could already tell who owned that hand.
‘Hey, my man. You wanna go and get some Mickey D’s?’
He was right.
He turned his head. Tyrone Cooper. A short, scrawny black kid with a big mouth and an urge to insult every person he came across.
‘Or are you too busy chugging salads in fear of getting fat?’ He looked up and down Chad’s body despite most of it being covered by a towel. ‘Good decision,’ he said. Case in point.
Tyrone reached up and wrapped his arm around Chad’s neck, pulling the poor sonofabitch to his level. ‘But surely you won’t sacrifice a friend for that, right? Come on, have some fun.’
Ah, yes. ‘Friend’. Chad and Tyrone? Totally friends. Chad definitely enjoyed spending time with him and certainly never wanted to punch his teeth out.
‘I’m busy,’ Chad murmured.
Tyrone let go of him and crossed his arms. ‘Fine. Enjoy your fucking salad.’ He left with a huff. Chad sighed in relief.
He finished changing and headed out the door. He looked at his watch and sped up his walking. She was probably gone by now.
His heartbeat became as intense and full of hype as an overture when he saw Becky White pass him in the halls. At least she hadn’t left yet. Her dark chocolate hair was pulled back tight into a high ponytail, making her soft facial features all the more visible. The icy blueness of her eyes made her stand out. Her slim arms, covered by a merino wool sweater, were somehow carrying several books without her face showing any signs of struggle from their weight. Her mouth was closed so her braces didn’t show, but somehow those braces were charming to Chad. Or maybe he just liked seeing her smile.
For a moment she did, but then she hid her face behind her books. Chad’s face started to heat up but then he looked behind him and saw a girl he sort of knew.
Stacy Wells was a tall girl with a fake tan and a large chest, wearing short shorts, just long enough to avoid being chastised by teachers, and a tight top. When she saw Becky, she pushed a strand of her wavy bottle-blonde hair behind her ear and gave her a little grin. She stared at her with warm brown eyes.
Covertly following her was a short boy with greasy and messy short black hair, which had bangs long enough to almost cover his eyes, a shirt with some anime girl on it and a pair of glasses Chad expected a grandfather to wear. Noah D’Arc. He had his hands in his pockets and was looking away from Stacy but inched closer to her. Chad caught him taking a whiff of Stacy’s fruity perfume.
Stacy held her hand up to wave at her. Becky noticed Noah’s presence and scowled at him. He scowled back. She whipped her head away from him, causing Chad to savour the sight of her ponytail bouncing, and continued walking.
Stacy frowned and dropped her fingers, her hand still hanging in the air. Noah looked down at the floor and shuffled away.
The next day, Chad found himself staring at Noah in class, trying to come up with a possible reason why Becky glared at him. His thoughts quickly got distracted from this puzzle when Becky’s face entered his mind. Chad grinned as he wondered what she’d wear on a date. Would she still wear her usual simple attire or would she dress up? He had a feeling she’d look cute in a sundress with her hair down. Then again, ponytails were kind of hot-
He was thrown out of his mind by another slap on the back. Like a bull he breathed out through his nose and turned his head. Tyrone. Of course.
‘Hey, you know Emilia Graff? I heard she just got pregnant. I can’t imagine it, personally. I mean, is it physically possible for her to get fatter?’
Chad considered replying, ‘Shut up. No one cares.’ However, Becky’s face once again popped up in his head. He instead asked, ‘Hey, do Becky White and Noah D’Arc know each other?’
Tyrone scratched his chin and looked up. ‘Hm…. Well, I do remember them being friends in middle school. Don’t know what happened after that. Why?’
Chad shrugged. When lunchtime rolled by, he watched Noah head to the computer lab with his lunchbox and decided to follow him.
When he entered the lab, he leaned against the doorframe. ‘Hey, uh, Noah, right?’ he asked when Noah sat down by a computer. Noah didn’t look up. His shoulders rose, his hands curled into fists and his eyebrows met in the centre of his face.
Chad put a smile on his face and his hands in his pockets. This was how it was done, right? ‘So, I was wondering if you could tell me about Becky.’ Noah remained silent but started moving, turning on the computer and focusing on the screen. Chad rubbed the back of his neck. ‘I’d kind of like to know what kind of guy she likes.’
Chad’s eyes widened when Noah rolled his eyes. He heard him murmur, ‘Typical.’ Chad covered his mouth to suppress his laughter, releasing a tiny bit of spit into his hand. He wiped that hand against his jeans and held it out for a handshake. Noah looked at the hand like it was covered in maggots or, well, spit. Chad kept his hand out but curled it nervously.
‘Well, how about…’ Chad said, unsure what to do next. ‘You like Stacy, right? Let’s help each other out.’ Noah whispered something. Chad leaned down and put his hand against the back of his ear. ‘What was that?’ Noah tucked his lips into his mouth. Chad sighed. ‘I thought you’d be, I dunno, happy to get some help. Wait, I didn’t mean that in a… Sorry.’
Noah whispered again, but this time Chad heard it, though just barely. ‘No fucking point.’
Noah tensed up even more. ‘I’m blughpild’
‘What? I still can’t hear you.’
Noah took a deep breath. ‘Blackpilled.’
‘The fuck does that mean?’ Chad blurted out, though he didn’t apologise.
Noah crossed his arms and turned his head in the direction opposite to Chad. ‘I realized the truth a few months ago.’
‘The truth? Is this ‘blackpilled’ thing a cult or something?’
Noah stood up and grabbed the collar of Chad’s polo shirt, pulling him closer. ‘You think someone like me would end up in a cult? I’m not dumb enough to believe in some sky wizard.’ After saying this, he immediately let go and sat down, sweat dripping down his face. The two were silent for a few moments.
Chad asked with a curious grin, ‘So what is it, then?’
A sigh from Noah. ‘Well, you would agree with me if I told you the world’s unfair, right?’ Chad shrugged but then nodded. ‘It’s especially unfair for people like me. No girls want to talk to me, no girls even want to go near me.’
Noah paused, considering how much information he planned on giving. ‘I’ve been deprived of love my entire life. Women just want Chads who treat them like shit, leaving behind all the ugly guys who’d treat them with respect.’
His face scrunched up with just enough force to stop his eyes from spilling tears. ‘When I gave up on trying to get a woman, I became blackpilled. Your world and mine are night and day. You get the bright blue day world full of love and admiration and I get the pitch-black night world full of, well, nothing.’
Chad asked, ‘Hey, wait, what did you say about me? Women want guys with my name? Why?’ Noah looked at him like a dog being told an unrecognisable command. ‘My name’s Chad.’
Noah scanned Chad’s body. ‘How fitting,’ he said as he tried to rip his eyes away from the lightly-tanned muscles that bulged out from underneath his crimson T-shirt and the tousled blonde hair that accentuated his strong jaw-
Noah coughed and turned away again. ‘You look like a Chad.’
It was Chad’s turn to cross his arms. ‘The hell does that mean?’
Noah’s throat closed up. His arms stiffened and his eyes darted everywhere. Chad exhaled and left the room, but not before seeing a tab on Noah’s computer entitled ‘Incels.me’. He just missed Noah groaning when the website was blocked by the school, taking out his phone and seeing only a tiny bit of internet data left.
Chad didn’t talk to Noah for a couple of weeks, but he did occasionally stare at him in the hopes of catching him considering the option.
Noah did consider it. In his mind was a constantly repeating video of him gathering the courage to talk to Stacy and her giving a cute little giggle before grabbing his hand. However, he remembered something someone on Incels.me said.
Stacies don’t know what true oppression is. They’re able to use their body to get what they want. If I tried to do that, I’d be arrested for sexual harassment.
This comment kept battling with the fantasy of Stacy going out with him. Chad’s idea was useless. No, it wasn’t. It would never work. But Chad could give him some expertise. No girl wanted an ugly guy. But maybe this Stacy was different!
He finally made his decision as the lunch bell rang, though part of him screamed for him to reconsider. Instead of heading to the computer lab, the library or the cool-aired spot behind the gym, he walked up to Chad.
It took him a while to start talking as Chad put his pens in his pencil case. ‘If you give me some dating tips, I’ll tell you about Becky.’
After a moment of pressure at the thought of giving dating tips, Chad beamed at him and did something he didn’t expect to do. He gave him a little slap on the back.
‘I knew you’d come around,’ he said.
What he didn’t know was that Noah had written about him on Incels.me.
Comments (0)See all