Short Story Numero Uno: Playing The Game

Here’s a preview of one of my short stories that’s published online:

They were practically salivating, waiting for me to teach them by the time I got to the lunch table. I sat down and stuffed a huge bite of my turkey sandwich into my mouth, ignoring their begging eyes.

“Oh, come on, Drew,” Jonathan said. He scratched his armpit under his jacket. Crap, it had to be 85 degrees, and he still couldn’t bear to take off his junior varsity football jacket for fear that some sad freshman might forget to swoon over him.

“Come on what?” I said, pretending to forget. Like I could forget the hounding I’d endured for the past two weeks. Jonathan and Mike have been following me around like kittens, pleading for the secret to The Game.

The Game was what I called my fool-proof plan to get any girl you want. And it worked. I was the most popular guy in the sophomore class. I had a date with a different girl every weekend and all it took was adherence to a few simple rules: the rules of The Game.

I rolled my eyes. “Fine, okay. There are five rules to The Game.”

Mike pulled out a notebook and pen. He had been my best friend and neighbor since preschool. He started scribbling furiously. Jonathan, on the other hand, just laughed.

“Five rules? What are you, writing a book?”

“Maybe,” I said. I bit off a chunk of sandwich. “You want to know or not?

Jonathan sat still, arms folded, but didn’t laugh again. Mike’s head bobbed up and down in a frantic nod, his pen at the ready.

“Five rules,” I repeated. “Rule number one is Name Recognition. This one is pretty easy. You want the girl, the object of your desire, to know who you are. Even better is when it’s other people talking about you, so get some friends to mention your name around her a few times. That way, you pop into her mind when she’s least expecting it.”

Mike wrote down every word. Jonathan smiled.

“Okay, I think Sal sits by Lauren in Bio. I can get him to talk about my tackle on Saturday.”

I nodded. “Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. I’m working on Tiff right now. Mikey here is telling her about the boat I’m building with my dad, and Shawn has been ‘complaining’ to her about trying to get my picture for all the clubs I’m in for the yearbook.”

“Yo, you’re building a boat with your dad?” Jonathan said.

“Dude,” I said, shaking my head. “I never said it had to be true.”


Have you ever tried gimmicks or games when dating? Have a cringe-inducing dating memory from high school? Feel free to share in comments!