The Night I Fought Crime and Saved a Girl

There’s something a little pathetic about being alone on New Year’s. It’s hard to say exactly what, but every unattached guy out there knows the feeling. Maybe it’s the realization that you were single last year, and so really, whatever relationships or hook ups you experienced in between, didn’t last. And so one year later, you still, invariably, are alone.

On the other hand, maybe it’s for the far more practical reason that when midnight approaches, as everyone counts from ten down on to one, they’ll be looking at their friends, and loved ones, and more importantly, at the girls they’ll end up kissing. Whereas you, the single schmo, will be standing there with your hands in your pockets, looking at your single guy friends. And as your eyes catch each other’s you will realize you are both thinking the exact same thing: New Year’s sucks!

I’d rather be alone on Valentine’s Day than New Year’s. At least with Valentine’s day you can blow it off or just not go out. With New Year’s, no matter how good your excuse, your friends never seem to let you stay in.


It is late, really late. I am tired and kind of have a cold. It’s New Year’s Eve, and I am being forced to take one of the few remaining buses downtown, so that I can attend my friend’s New Year’s Eve party. I don’t even feel like going out tonight, but like I said, your friends never let you spend New Year’s alone.

My pocket vibrates—texts from my friends.

“You are a fag.”

“You suck dicks.”

“Hey can you pick up some chips?”

I grab a seat on one of the bus station benches, slump down, sniffle, and wait for the bus.

A few minutes go by and a girl sits down beside me. She is a redheaded cutie. She’s bundled in a purple winter jacket with fuzzy pink ear muffs and a pink nose from the cold weather.

I realize that I am staring at her when she finally looks over at me. It’s funny how you have to pretend that strangers don’t exist sometimes. Our eyes meet. We both look away shyly. Neither of us smile. Neither of us acknowledge that we even looked at each other’s faces.

My phone vibrates again with new text messages.

“Is it wrong to scream your own name during sex?”

“Is it wrong if Dave screams my name when he masturbates?”

“Can you pick up some condoms?”

I smirk and check the time on my phone. I still have at least ten minutes before the bus will come. It’s cold, I’m tired, I don’t feel so good, and the girl beside me is still keeping her gaze fixed away from me—probably for the best.

Part of me thinks I should say something to her. Maybe just something as simple as “Hello”. How can it hurt? It can’t. Maybe we’ll end up talking. Maybe I’ll end up making her laugh. Maybe she’ll end up smiling, and in some distant fantastical world she’ll end up being my date to my friend’s New Year’s Eve party.

But I dismiss it. Deep down, despite everything, I’m really just shy, and a girl this cute would never go for a guy like me, so I lean back and shut my eyes and just try to wait it out.

There’s something pathetic about being alone on New Year’s.

A few minutes later a bus pulls into the stop. It’s the bus I’ve been waiting for. I start to stand however, I pause mid-motion.

People are packed so tight that as the bus doors squeak open a handful of passengers literally fall out of the bus. Several people on the platform try to push their way into the bus, as the freshly fallen passengers race to re-enter the bus themselves. It’s a brief and vicious struggle which culminates in the untimely closing of the bus’ automatic doors. Those unlucky enough to still be on the platform as the bus begins its slow getaway are extremely verbose and animated about their misfortune. Several people strike the departing bus with their bags and yell in outrage.

I sigh to myself and reluctantly fall back to my seat.

Twenty more minutes until the next bus.

I again catch the eye of the cute redhead beside me. This time however, we don’t look away. This time, we have a commonality. A socially acceptable reason to interact, if ever so briefly. She sighs at the prospect of having to wait another twenty minutes. I nod and shrug, showing my sympathy for her disdain, in mime form. She drops her head a bit and looks away again.

We had a moment... sort of.

I lean back in my seat and close my eyes. Twenty more minutes.


A few minutes go by as I sit there, waiting for the next New Year’s bus when suddenly I hear a voice: “You really are beautiful.”

My mind is wandering and I’m not really paying attention, so it doesn’t quite click.

“Yeah you are,” the voice continues. “I’d love to take you home and get you out of those tight jeans.”

I open my eyes to find a rather sleazy looking thug hitting on the redheaded cutie. She is looking away nervously, offering fake smiles of appreciation at his lame pick up attempts, but clearly attempting to dismiss him.

“Can I get your number?” he asks.

She shakes her head. “No, it’s OK,” she says.

“Aw come on girl... don’t be like that. Ain’t no thang. C’mon, I’ll call you sometime.”

She tells him she’s flattered but she’s not interested. But he doesn’t get it. Some guys don’t know when to quit.

He asks her what her name is. She refuses to answer.

He tells her she looks beautiful. She doesn’t reply.

He asks her if she’d like to go out some time. She pretends she didn’t hear him.

Not that I like douche bags like this, but you’ve got to give him credit for being persistent. However, getting hit on is one thing, getting verbally harassed is another. She’s not giving him any signals or signs, yet he doesn’t seem to get it.

This is why girls hate to be out alone.

She is looking around nervously as he sits down beside her. She is fidgeting and smiling at him patronizingly, telling him that she’s not interested and yet he continues his advances.

He’s starting to piss me off.

“What’s your name?” he asks.

She shakes her head.

He puts his hand on her leg.

This causes me to do something unexpected.

“Hey!” I exclaim, startling the both of them. They’re both staring at me, expecting me to follow my interjection up with something other than a blank stare, but quite frankly, I am a little surprised at myself for saying anything at all.

“What?!” he finally shouts back at me rudely, as if he was about to be successful if I hadn’t cock-blocked him.

“Well,” I stutter.

“Well what?” he asks.

“Well, this is my girlfriend.” I barely convince myself.

“Your girlfriend?!” he repeats, confused.

I nod. “So maybe you can take your hand off of her.”

Super thug is giving me a quixotic stare. “Riiiight,” he says unconvinced.

As if on cue, the redheaded cutie wraps her arms around me and leans in close. “He is,” she affirms.

“He’s your boyfriend?” he asks, shocked.

She nods.

“What’s his name?” he asks her.

“Roy,” she says quickly.

Roy?! I do not look like a Roy!

“How long have you guys been together?” he asks.

“Two years,” I reply promptly.

“Where’d you meet?”

“School,” I tell him.

“You live together?” he asks.

“Dude! Stop hitting on my girlfriend and get the fuck out of here!” I suddenly blurt out.

He pauses dead in his tracks. People are staring at him now, and me. Finally, he feels uncomfortable. He mumbles at me as he departs.

When he’s gone, the redheaded cutie looks at me, “Thanks Roy.”

“I just couldn’t take any more of his lame pick up attempts,” I tell her. “And it’s actually JD.”

She grins. “All the same. Thanks.”


As we wait for the bus, we actually start talking. It’s weird, because I’m not the type of guy who picks up girls like this. I’m never usually smooth or suave or even successful with girls. Yet the redheaded cutie seems authentically interested in talking to me. Maybe it’s just because I saved her from someone super creepy. Maybe she was actually interested in talking to me before super thug showed up. Or then again maybe she’s just being polite. Whatever the reason, she is legitimately making me feel better about my night.

It’s nice to have someone.

Her name is Katie. She is an Arts major in her second year. She likes cats, and wants to get into radio or television—children’s programming specifically. She dyes her hair, and likes scary movies. And she has dimples when she laughs. I know because I make her laugh.

Suddenly, being single on New Year’s doesn’t seem so pathetic.

Another bus arrives, again packed with passengers. This time a crowd of people from the bus platform force their way on, but Katie and I don’t make it. I kind of don’t mind though.

We’re now standing at the front of the pack though, for the next bus.

As our conversation continues, an annoying, scratchy voice in the back of my head starts to dull my elated mood. It reminds me that this girl is just a single-serving friend. The best I can hope for is to talk with her for the remainder of our bus ride together. When she inevitably exits at her stop, she will turn to me, say goodbye, and leave forever.

I try to dismiss the annoying voice, but deep down, I know it’s right—My fake girlfriend has an expiration date, which is fast approaching, and somehow knowing this starts to taint our time together.

Eventually, another bus arrives. As before, it is packed. People nearly fall off the bus as the doors open, and others are forcing their way through the crowd onboard to exit. Normally I wait until people have exited before I start trying to enter, however the impatient crowd behind us start forcing their way forward, pushing Katie and myself onto the bus.

We’re immediately sandwiched as people in the bus pushing us out and people behind us pushing us in, Katie grins sarcastically, “This is going to be fun.”


As I ride the bus I start to get a headache. People are rowdy and noisy, and I am crammed on all sides with bodies, near the back door of the bus. There are several teenagers in the back clearly drinking out of paper bags. Two of them are blatantly smoking joints and they’re all yelling. Not that the bus driver can really do anything, the bus is so packed that people can barely move.

There is a girl sitting nearby with her purse on her lap, although I use the term “sitting” very loosely. Her body is completely limp and her head is almost in her own lap. She sways with each motion of the bus. She is clearly passed out and more than likely, severely drunk.

A big dude stands beside me with a beer bottle obviously hanging out of his front jacket pocket. Beside him, is a man who is steadying his balance by holding on to a bar with one hand, while subtly massaging his groin with the other.

At the next stop, several people wrestle their way through the crowds, and past me and Katie to exit at the rear door of the bus. As they do however, several more people jump on the bus at the back, without paying. Bus-hoppers. The bus’ internal cameras catch them, but again, what the hell can the bus driver do?

The new freeloading passengers force us all to get a bit more cramped and I kind of hate them.

Those cheap fucking dicks.

I feel like a piece of cheese being clenched inside someone’s sweaty butt cheeks.

Katie gives me an oddly pleasant smile however. She’s still keeping near me for some reason. But I like having her around so I don’t question it.

At the next stop, someone shoves Katie into me. And I mean literally into me. I feel her breasts flatten against my chest and her groin grinds into my leg. A person would normally fall backward under pressure like this but an overweight and severely sweaty fat man behind me is trying to push past, and so he’s pushing me back into her.

I instinctively put my arm around Katie and she smirks.

“You know normally I make a guy buy me dinner first.”

I shrug, “I gave you that tic tac while we were waiting for the bus.”

“Oh right,” she smiles.

We’re both waiting for the offending passengers to exit or move or something so that we can both be separated from one another, but instead the bus doors close, locking everyone in their current positions and the bus takes off.

Katie lets out a little laugh and wraps both her arms around me for stability. “I never thought I’d be holding a stranger on the bus.”

“When all available poles are taken…” I say.

“Take thy neighbour’s pole?” she asks, raising an eye brow. “That sounds like a line,” she says jokingly.

I laugh.

She looks up at me seriously, “You know, me, here, pressed up against you like this… if you don’t get an erection in a few minutes I’m going to be very offended.”

“What…” I stutter.

“I mean I’ll think you don’t like me.”

“I uh...” I don’t know what to say.

Katie laughs. “I’m joking.”

“Oh,” I reply nonchalantly. I pretend to laugh at her joke, but I suddenly feel as if I’ve been told to not think of a pink elephant. Part of me can already feel the startings of an erection. In my head I begin running through all my anti-erection thoughts. This is definitely not your standard New Year’s Eve.


The bus trudges along with its supply of human sardines inside. There is a rather skinny looking raver chick nearby, wearing extremely baggy pants. I only notice her because Katie elbows me in the ribs and does the whole, pointing at her with her eyes thing. Raver girl isn’t wearing any underwear, and I know because her baggy purple pants are hanging low… really low. As in, I-can-see-three-quarters-of-her-pale-naked-ass low.

This is not helping the anti-erection efforts.

A stop later, someone bumps into raver girl and a bottle of southern comfort literally falls out of her pant leg.

A man is standing nearby with his dog slung around his shoulders, as there’s really nowhere for the dog to stand. The dog is licking nearby passengers, who continually try to push it away.

The teenagers are still smoking, random people are still drinking, dozens of people are on their cell phones talking loudly and incoherently. The entire bus is one jam packed frenzy of weird people.

And Katie, with her arms wrapped around me, and body pushed up against mine, probably looks just as strange to everyone else on the bus.

Luckily, I haven’t gotten an erection just yet.

The bus goes maybe two more stops before everything takes a turn for the worse.

The bus pulls up to its next stop. At first I think the bus driver hit the brakes too fast, or people weren’t holding on to the rails properly. A crowd of people starts to fall forward from the back of the bus.

People are screaming, there is commotion. For a second it’s funny. Then one of the tumbling men punches a rather skanky looking woman across the face. The woman punches back. People are screaming, hooting, hollering.

I realize this is a fight.

The woman gets knocked down and I see the guy kicking. Her body is clearly lost in the crowd, but I can only assume he’s kicking her. People start running in trying to push them apart. As soon as they stop him she leaps up and hits him several times in the face.

She’s yelling that he fingered her girlfriend.

He’s yelling that she’s a slutty ho.

Half the crowd is staring in disbelief. The other half is staring like it’s fight night. Katie and I fall in the disbelief half.

The one thing about chaos in small spaces, is that it’s contagious.

From the front of the bus some heavy-set girl starts yelling about fighting. She’s threatening someone, claiming someone was rubbing his penis on her.

Suddenly a bottle is thrown and shatters on a bus window.

Two passengers who were nearby are holding their faces screaming they almost got glass in their eye.

Out of the corner of my eye I notice raver girl desperately trying to pull her pants up, and hide her naked ass from the growing mob. The shoulder slung dog has also begun to bark loudly. The slyly masturbating man seems to be masturbating more frantically now, as if time is running out. And the drunk passed out girl is still, well, drunk and passed out.

People start yelling for everyone to get off the bus. They’re yelling at the fighting whore and the dickhead man. They’re yelling at the fat chicks at the front who are claiming penis-rubbing rape. People are shouting about cops and parties and violence.

Suddenly, the passed out drunk girl fully awakens, only to immediately puke. People scream and leap away from the pool of regurgitate. The crowd is now incredibly tightly packed, as people keep away from both the fight and the vomit.

“You disgusting drunk-ass whore!” someone screams. “It’s only fucking 10:30!”

The drunk girl seems unfazed and begins to drop her head again, and return to her land of slumber.

In the confusion, the bus driver bolts out of the bus.


Katie is mumbling under her breath. “Holy shit… holy shit…”

I feel her grip around me tighten.

The fights start to get worse, as the people who try to intervene start taking sides. Verbal insults begin to escalate into pushing, and eventually, more fighting. People start shouting at everyone to get off the bus, or trying to get off themselves. Two guys push past Katie and me and slam into the back door.

It doesn’t open.

“What the fuck?!” one of them exclaims angrily, as he again tries to push it open.

People at the front are having similar problems.

It takes a minute for me to clue into what is happening.

“Yo!” I hear one of the teenagers yell. “He’s calling the fucking cops!”

Outside the bus, the bus driver has angrily and spitefully locked us all in a tomb of alcohol inspired violence and rage, while he proceeds to call the cops on the entire bus. The doors won’t open because he does not want them to open. We’ve been locked in like animals.

I can’t help but feel like I’m in Thunderdome all of a sudden.

The realization that we’re trapped makes people go ape shit—more than they already have. The fights continue between those already instigated, but suddenly no one is an onlooker anymore. People near the doors start to violent bash at the doors, trying to force them open. Women are screaming. Men are pulling at the emergency release latches on the windows, whose exteriors have long since frozen over in the sub-zero winter temperatures.

I see one man leaning on his back across two seats, kicking feverishly at a window. People are dashing in every direction, things are breaking, people are getting knocked over. One man is simply standing off to the side, literally punching everyone who comes into arms distance of himself.

As people are carelessly pushing past me, I realize that I am covering Katie, my back turned to the crowd, protecting her from all this craziness. For her part, Katie is holding on to me so tight I can feel her finger nails digging into me. Her head is buried in my chest.

Standing dead center in the bus is an incredibly disheveled looking man, screaming non-stop at the top of his lungs. I can’t quite tell for sure in the chaos, but I’m pretty sure he’s pissing his pants as he screams.

Windows start falling off of the bus and metal and plastic crack and crumble as doors are forced open. Like rioting monkeys escaping a jungle orgy gone bad, people swarm out of every orifice of the bus.

As people are dashing past, I watch very clearly as one girl blatantly reaches out and grabs the purse of the passed out drunken mess nearby, and darts towards me, heading for the back exit nearby.

The drunk girl momentarily stirs, and mutters ever so quietly, “My purse…”

I’m terrible at confrontation. I hate getting involved. I really don’t like to put myself in any kind of vulnerable situation. I am literally a coward. And so I have no explanation for what I do next.

The thieving girl runs past Katie and myself, but before I realize it, I have grabbed the thieving girl by the arm as she passes.

“Hey!” she exclaims.

“What the fuck are you doing?!” I shout. I feel enraged at her. Ironic, considering all the shit that I’ve seen tonight.

I do not know the passed out drunken girl, and yet the thought of her being robbed is just too much for me to handle this New Year’s Eve.

I am about to call the teenage bitch a dirty thief. I’m about to snatch the purse back and give it back to the unconscious wino.

“Thief!” the now waking drunk girl calls. “Thief!” she calls louder now.

I’m about to tell the thieving slut that I better never catch her doing anything like this again, that she better clean up her act, that she should be ashamed of herself when, it happens: she spits in my face.

Her warm saliva hits me almost in the eye, and drools down my cheek. I barely flinch at all, too shocked I think to really act. She is staring at me with petrified eyes. Like when you realize that your feeble attempt to fight back has only made your attacker that much angrier, and worsened your situation.

I’m not proud of what I do next, but it’s what I do.

Spit still warm and wet, slowly running down my face, I clench my hand into a fist. I ball it up as tight as I can. I reach it back, almost in slow motion, and I let it fly forward, into the face of the thief. I punch the little bitch thief right in her cocky-ass face.

Yes, I hit a girl.


She drops the purse and falls onto the cold icy pavement outside. I hop out after her, running on a shocked and confused auto-pilot by now.

“You little bitch!” I exclaim.

“Thief! Thief!” the drunk girl is now screaming, as she stumbles around inside.

I pick up the purse and lord over the now terrified teenage pilferer. I hold my fists up threateningly at her. I am about to curse her out, and tell her what a low life she is when I inexplicably look up.

Standing not more than a few feet away from me, is a very enraged looking bus driver. He has watched his bus be destroyed by thugs and hoodlums. He has watched people riot and puke on his one responsibility tonight. And now every low life criminal is making a clean getaway moments before the cops arrive.

He tosses his cell phone haphazardly into the snow.

He has the crazy eye.

I look down at the purse I am holding, at the injured girl at me feet, and slowly clue in to the repeated calls of “thief” from inside the bus.

Eyes locked on me, glaring at me with hideous intent, he reaches behind his back and produces an ominous steel rod. With the flick of his wrist a baton emerges as 21 inches of black, cold, steel.

“Whoa wait a minute!” I exclaim. But it’s too late for that.

“You son of a bitch,” he mumbles viciously under his breath.

“Wait!” I yell.

“Drop that purse you scumbag!” he shouts as he rushes towards me.

I drop the purse and he kicks it over to the teenage girl. As I dash away from him he continues to draw nearer to me. I am frantically calling for him to wait, telling him that she’s the thief, not me. The teenage girl is already running off with the purse though, with the rest of his rowdy passengers.

“You fucker!” he yells.

He lunges at me, and swings the stick. I instinctively duck and the rod slams into the side of the bus. I jump back and as my eyes fix back on my attacker, I am briefly drawn to the clear dent in the side of the bus.

“Holy shit!”

The bus is metal, my skull is not. I hate to think what that thing is going to do to my head.

He’s growling and drooling almost, like a rabid, blue-balled dog that hasn’t seen action in weeks.

I turn to run but he body checks me and I fall back over a pile of snow. I scramble back to my feet and desperately try to come up with a plan.

He swings again.

With cat-like reflexes I dodge his attack, doing an amazingly heroic somersault roll. Only, this isn’t a comic book, and I’m not really a hero in any real sense of the word. I dodge his attack, and I do it with a roll, but I bruise myself in the process. My knee slams into the pavement too hard and I knock my head. I try to regain my footing quickly, almost as shocked as the bus driver that I evaded him with such a move.

His look of surprise quickly fades however, and he continues his attack.

My head is pounding and my heart is racing. Down the street, I see flashing police lights. I realize that of all the people tonight, it looks like I am the one who is going to get arrested. Somehow, something inside tells me: “I told you so.”

This is what I get for not minding my own business. This is what I get for not just letting well enough alone. This is what I get for trying to help someone, for trying to stop a crime.

My pocket vibrates with more texts from my drunken friends—no doubt telling me about their penises, my penis, or about what a woman I am. But now is not the time for such messages.

The lights are drawing nearer, and so is the bus driver. My eyes are fixed on the metallic weapon he’s brandishing as he draws nearer with each angry step.

I realize that I am fucked.

This always happens.

I always get screwed.

I can never catch a break, never get lucky, never win... never... except tonight.

Suddenly, the bus driver screams out in anguish and drops his baton. He clenches his face and howls terribly.

I’ve never heard such a magnificent sound in all my life.

Katie quickly grabs my hand and pulls me down an alley as police cars begin to pull up on the street. The bus driver has fallen to the ground and is whimpering and holding his face. As we make our getaway, Katie tosses away the pepper spray that she used to save me.


Happy endings depend on where you end the story.

“Hey it’s not funny!” I exclaim. “He almost seriously injured me.”

“Yeah well, lucky I was there to swoop in and come to the rescue.” She gives me a playful shove.

“Took you long enough,” I joke.

“Hey give me a break!” she moans. “I’ve never had to use pepper spray before. Or run from the cops for that matter.”

“I’ve never had to fight a civil servant before,” I tell her.

She laughs. “You didn’t do so well by the well.”

“Yeah well, it wasn’t a fair fight.”

She laughs. “Next time carry a concealed weapon to even the odds.”

“Like you?”

She smiles.

I smile too—at Katie, but also at myself. At how awesome she is, and how easy it is to talk to her, and how fun she is, and more importantly, how close I came to ignoring her when our paths first crossed.

My phone vibrates again and I check the texts.

“Josh is wasted man.”

“I can’t find my underwear”

“I stole Josh’s underwear.”

“What exactly is going on with your friends? Why are they all texting you?” Katie asks, reading the texts over my shoulder.

“Oh,” I say. “They’re just being stupid.”

She puts her hand out and I give her my phone. She starts typing in it.

“Hey wait a sec, what are you saying?”

She pushes me away playfully. “You’ll have to wait and see.”

“How long?” I ask.

She shrugs. “You’ll see.”

I shake my head. I can only imagine what she’s texting to my friends.

We turn another corner and pass another row of closed down shops. Some people on the street hurry past us, no doubt rushing to reach a party of their own. Katie gives me my phone back, and we finally reach her building.

Immediately my mood changes, and the reality of my situation hits me. I realize that, without notice, our time has expired. Now I have to say goodbye to Katie, and suddenly, the fact that she’s amazing makes me sad, rather than happy.

“Well,” she says slowly.

“Yeah…” I say reluctantly.

“Thanks for saving me,” she offers.

“Actually,” I say, “I think it was you who saved me.”

She shrugs. “Potato tomato.”

I smile.

“I guess this is goodbye...” she shrugs, maybe waiting for a response from me. But I just shrug back.

I feel as though we’re returning to the roles of the strangers we once were. As our goodbyes begin all the warmth and happiness we’ve felt between ourselves seems to fade, and we return to the roles of awkward passers-by.

“Well, goodbye...” she says. And with that she turns to leave. As she does I realize that tonight I lied to a thug, was part of a riot, attempted to foil a robbery, got in an armed confrontation a crazed bus driver, and yet I can’t pick up a girl who’s interested in me.

She opens the door to her building, and something inside me snaps the shy guy in half.

Aw... fuck it!

“What if it wasn’t?!” I blurt out.

She looks at me.

“What if what wasn’t?” she asks.

“Uh... this?” I say. “You said this is goodbye. What if this wasn’t?”

She’s giving me a confused look.

“Look, I mean… this may come off as strange, given how we met, but, what about seeing you again sometime?”

She’s still just looking at me.

“I mean you can say ‘no’ or whatever. It’s no big deal. You’re just a really amazing girl and I just thought, you know…”

She tries to smile, but she’s staring at me with apologetic eyes. I already know what she’s about to tell me. “Look,” she interrupts. “You’re quite the guy... and I mean I like you...”

I know what’s coming. I’ve seen it before.

“But...” she continues reluctantly.

I finish her sentence, “But... you have a boyfriend...”

She nods.

“A real one,” I say.

She nods again.

I smirk. “Figures.”

Boyfriend to boyfriend. In a way, we’ve come full circle.

“It’s my luck,” I sneer to myself. “I’m sorry.”

“Oh no! No, no. Don’t be sorry,” she tells me. “You’re a good person, as I found out tonight. I mean, if I was single then you know, maybe...”

I stop her. “No,” I say, shaking my head. “Let’s not do that. No what-if’s.”

Both of us stand there for a moment, with blank faces, just looking at each other, not really knowing what to say or act. I can’t help but stare at her soft blue eyes, and as I do, I realize just how cute she really is.

I give her an earnest smile and offer her my hand for a handshake. “It was nice meeting you Katie.”

She smiles and leans in, and kisses me with a quick peck on the lips. As she pulls back, she is smiling.

“It was nice meeting you,” she says softly.

Exit Katie.

“Nice meeting you...”


I made it to the New Year’s party with time to spare. We all gathered and drank, and talked and joked, and generally had fun. And when the time came for the countdown, I watched everyone around me, counting in anticipation as the timer slowly crept towards zero. Amidst the crowd were my single guy friends counting reluctantly, pretending to be looking forward to the next few seconds; all knowing that when the timer reached zero, their friends would kiss and hug, whereas they would be left to look awkwardly at each other and be reminded that they were alone. I could see it in their eyes... however, I didn’t feel what they felt.

Instead I was thinking about Katie. I smiled to myself at her playful demeanour, the strange adventure that we shared, the way she would look at me, and the one quick kiss we enjoyed together. She was my partner in crime fighting, and my damsel in distress. Ironically, I was hers too.

My evening with Katie was brief, but the impact was lasting. I realized there and then that being single wasn’t necessarily such a bad thing and that maybe sometimes taking a chance, even if it fails in the end, is still worth it.

As the countdown reached zero and everyone began to cheer and kiss, my cell phone vibrated one last time that year—4 messages this time. Or rather, 3 messages, and a calendar alert.

“Stop looking so gay.”

“Kiss a man already.”

“Did you bring the condoms?”

“Calendar Alert: Happy New Year’s Roy ;)”

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