October 19th, 2013

The Cadet: Part 7

Merrick, with his shaggy hair and purple glasses, and Danovan, who had a short military cut and an at-ease posture, were standing in the queue for the men’s room at interval. “So,” said Merrick sympathetically, “Parthi’s gotten old enough to date but now you have a whole new set of anti-fraternisation rules.”

“It happens,” his darker haired companion shrugged, “and it’s not like I don’t date, just, obviously, that I don’t date her. What about you?”

“What about me?” It was Merrick’s turn to shrug. “She’s never had that interest for me. Don’t get me wrong, I like lots of girls that way, but not her.”

“So, she’s just a girl you know?”

“Yeah. Besides, the girls at the university are inclined to think I’m interesting rather than know that I’m crazy.”

“Merrick,” his older friend said firmly, “I’ve seen what you’ll get up to and you’re definitely crazy. By the way, do the glasses help?”

“Yes, they do. Because I’m confident I can see everything I need to, I don’t spend all my time looking for secondary signs.” Merrick flashed his friend a smile. “Do you want a pair?”

“I think I might,” replied Danovan thoughtfully. “I don’t think I need them, but they might be…useful.”

“So, back to what we were talking about,” Merrick continued cheerfully under the noise of the crowd, “if you like Parthi, why are you dating other people?”

“How else would I have any chance of meeting someone nearer my own age that I like as much as her?” Danovan’s question was probably rhetorical. “I am over a decade older than her.”

“Not by much,” pointed out Merrick helpfully. “Does Parthi know what’s going on?”

“I hope not,” Danovan said with heartfelt fervour. “I am trying not to be the creepy, older guy, after all.”