Boy Meets Girl
by Morgan Jenkins
Tom came out of the Funky Doodle with a bag of hippy clothes. His girlfriend's school was havng a retro themed dance in two weeks, and he wanted to take her. Daria would probably say no, however. Each time he wanted to go to a dance, game, or amusement park with her, she'd decline.
"I just don't like to go to those things, Tom." she always said. It was really frustrating for him because he did like them. He once made the mistake of mumbling "Jane would've agreed to it." She yelled at him and told him she wasn't Jane.
Sometimes he wondered why he started dating Daria to begin with. After all, their relationship was doomed from the start.
He sighed and got into his car. He put the key into the ignition and tried to start it, but the car just didn't want to wake up. "Great! This is just perfect!" he yelled at no one in particular. "I had to get stranded all the way across town."
"Hey, kid. Need a lift?" a voice called out. He turned to find a woman with black hair and clothes. Her bangs were red-purple, and she had a nose ring. His parents would freak if they saw her.
"Sure. My car's dead." he said as he got out.
She laughed. "From the looks of it, I'd say it had been dead for years." She looked at her own car. "I guess I really can't say much, can I?" she said, pointing to the dented silver thing behind her. She stuck out her hand. "Hi. I'm Monique, by the way."
"I'm Tom. Nice to meet you." He locked his car. "I can always have it towed later."
She unlocked her car and let him in. "I have some things I was going to do today. Do you mind tagging along?"
"No, that's okay. I didn't have anything planned, anyway." Which was true. Daria had broken a date with him because she wanted some time by herself. She wanted more and more time to herself lately. "So, where to?"
"The bookstore. I went there the other day, but they didn't have the book I wanted. They called me earlier to tell me it was in."
He opened the passanger door and got in. "What was it?"
She got in and buckled up. "A leatherbound edition of al of Shakespear's plays." She started the car and started backing it up." "It'll cost me a week of campus lunches, but I'm not to fond of college food, anyway. It's worse than food from high school."
"That's possible?" he asked. "So, you're a college student? What are you majoring in?"
She started driving forward. "English. I take literature classes because I like books. Not too many people know that about me. I also take a lot of creative writing classes because I figure they'll help me write better lyrics."
"Oh. So you're a musician? My ex's brother is. What do you play?"
"I don't. I'm the vocalist. The band I'm in is called The Harpies. I'm thinking of leaving, though." she laughed to herself. "Of course, I say the same thing all the time and never have. My ex found it annoying after a while because I couldn't make up my mind."
"Everyone has the right to change their mind about something. We shouldn't have to be stuck with one desision. There are a lot of choices I made that I wish I hadn't." he replied. "But am I talking about Jane, or Daria?" he thought to himself.
She stopped the car. "Okay, we're here."
It was about ten p.m. when she finally dropped him off. They had talked a lot, taken her little cousins to the park, and then got a hamburger.
"It was a lot of fun spending the day with you." she said as she was writing something on a piece of paper.
"Yeah, it was. Maybe we can do it again sometime." He got out of the car and was about to walk away when she handed him something.
"Here's my phone number. Call me if you ever want to hang out again. And if my roommate answers, don't let her bother you. She's just really nosey."
He took it and put it in his pocket. "Okay. I think I will. Bye, Monique."
"Bye." she took off, and he walked inside.
"Thomas! Where have you been? You said you'd be back by three! Your father and I were so worried about you."
"I'm sorry, Mom, but my car broke down and I had to find another way back home."
"Why didn't you call?" his mother asked.
"I was out of change."
"We told you that car was a deathtrap." his father remarked as he walked in the room. "You should have let us buy you a new one."
"No one got hurt, and I like the car just the way it is. I don't want a new one." Tom didn't want in this argument again, but it looks like he was going to be.
"Someone COULD have gotten hurt if it died while you were driving. We worry about you." his mother insisted. She was great at guilt trips.
"Don't you know you embarass us by driving that? My friends ask if we need help, thinking that we can't afford to get our son a decent car."
"And by decent, you mean like everyone else at my prep school and your country club, right? No, thanks. I'm going up to my room now. Good night." He stormed up the stairs.
His sister Pam met him on the stairs. "By the way, Daria called while you were gone. She wanted to know if you still wanted to go to that movie."
"I'll call her back tomorrow. The movie would be halfway over by now, anyway." A few weeks ago, he would have called her right back and they would have went, anyway. He somehow just didn't feel like it anymore. He still liked her, or at least he thought he did. But more and more, she was becoming less like a girlfriend and more like a friend. That's just the way he felt about Jane before they broke up. Is that where their relationship was gong? He sighed and locked the door to his room as he walked in.
"Hey, Monique." her roommate, Tabitha, greeted her. "I thought you were coming back at eight?"
"Oh, I guess I sort of lost track of time."
Tabitha grinned. "You usually only do that when you're with a guy. So, what's his name? Was he cute? Have I met him?"
"Relax, Tabitha. I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition."
She laughed. "NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisiton." The Monty Python line had become a running gag between the two girls whenever Tabitha had asked too many questions.
"His name's Tom, and he's just eighteen. Ad we're just friends, so wipe that smirk of your face."
"Yeah, sure. You only say that when you're interested in a guy."
"Do you like knowing every piece of informaton on everybody in the world?"
"It's what I live for! I was the editor of the newspaper's gossip column back in high school, if you remember."
"Yeah, the gossip editor and a member of the fashion club. No wonder I couldn't stand you back then."
"Hey, I got cured! Of the fashion thing, anyway. And besides, you're stuck with me. The college's computer put us together." She got up to make herself a sandwich. "Shouldn't you be going somewhere, now? I thought you had rehearsal."
Monique shook her head in amazment. "With you around, I'll never need to write down my schedule."
"I don't know what's gotten into Tom lately. He acts like he doesn't even care about me anymore." Daria explained to Jane over the phone.
"Yeah. I know the feeling." Jane's voice was blank. Although Daria and Jane's friendship was slowly healing, the mention of Tom brought back some of Jane's anger at Daria. "But you have to admit, it's not like you've been paying that much attention to him, either."
"Look, I need space. I have to have time alone every once in awhile. And Tom knows that."
"There's a differance between knowing something and understanding something." Jane replied. "Trust me, knowing Tom, if he can't get exactly what he thinks is the perfect relationship from one girl, he'll quickly switch to another. I learned that the hard way."
"You'll never stop blaming me for that, will you? Hold on, I've got another call. Hello?"
"Hi, Daria. It's Tom. Look I'm sorry I didn't call you back last night. I didn't get home till late."
"Oh." There was a long pause. "So, what time did you get in?"
"A little after ten. The movie would have already been on for a while by that time."
"That's never stopped us from going out before." She played with the phone cord. He was her first boyfriend, and she figured that things would start too cool down after awhile. She just didn't expect them to cool this much. "So...... do you have any plans today?"
"Yeah, actually I do. It's a family thing." he lied. He actually didn't have anything planned, although he was going to call Monique later. He didn't want Daria to worry. That WAS the reason he didn't want to tell Daria about his new friend, wasn't it?
"Oh. I guess I'll let you go, then. I lo.." She was cut off bye the phone hanging up. She put it back on its base, and then called Jane back. "Jane, I think you might be right. I'm losing him."
"I figured as much." Jane remarked unsympathetically. She then sensed what a bitch she was being, and warmed her tone a little. "I suggest that you go ahead and break up now before it gets worse. I wish now that I had done that instead of just trying to hang on. You're my friend, and I don't want you to go through that."
"I don't think so, Jane. I'm going to save my relationship, no matter what it takes." She hung up on her.
Jane listened to the dial tone for a second before sighing and hanging the phone up. "I guess she'll have to learn the hard way. I learned more about him after we broke up than I ever did the whole time we went out, and I guess she'll do the same. I just wish she didn't have to repeat my mistakes." she said out loud to herself.
"Hello?" Tabitha chirped.
"Umm... Is Monique there?" Tom was nervous. But why? He just met this girl yesterday, and he already had a girlfriend. Something he never got around to talking about with Monique. Why was that?
"She's in the shower. She'll be back out soon, though. Who is this?"
"This is Tom Logan." the phone began slipping because his hands were sweating. Why was that? He couldn't be THAT nervous!
"Oh, TOM!!! The cutie she hung out with yesterday!! HI!! I'm Tabitha, her roomie. So, where do you go to school? Are you going to college? Where? How long have you lived in Lawndale? What's your birthday? I know how to do numerology and I can figure out what kind of person you are that way. Do you like Monique? What's your favorite movie? Whe...."
Monique walked in and grabbed the phone away. "I'm sorry about that. She likes to play twenty questions with everyone that calls."
"And never gives them a chance to answer, huh?"
She laughed. "Once, the phone rang and she was on if for over two hours. I asked her who it was, and it turned out to be a wrong number! I feel sorry for whoever it was."
"So do I. Listen, do you want to go do something today?" he asked. Did I really just ask that after lying to Daria? He thought to himself. What has gotten into me? And why do I feel like I need to hide it? There's nothing going on. "Unless, of course, you're busy."
"Sorry, but I am. I have rehearsal today." she apologized while trying to put on eyeliner. "I don't have any classes after five tomorrow, if you want to do something then. I'll pick you up, if you want, since I personally don't know of any towing services that work on Sundays."
"My parents are going to freak when they see you, but okay." I'll definetly explain my absence to Daria this time. He thought to himself. Maybe I'll introduce them to each other. "I've never had a twentyone year old goth friend over before. I'm not sure if my parents have ever seen any goths before."
"Well no offence or anything, but judging from the fact they make you go to a preppy school and the kind of house you live in, I sort of figured as much." She was now trying to put on lipstick while talking on the phone. "Hopefully I'll make a good first impression, anyway."
"No offence taken. Don't worry about it."
"Anyway, I have to be out the door in about five minutes, so I'll let you go. Can I have your number so I can call you back?" She got out some paper and began writing with her lipliner.
"Sure. It's 555-7986 Got that?"
"Yeah. Well, I've got to run. Bye, Tom."
"Bye." They both hung up the phones, and he called Daria back. "Hi, Daria? I'm free today after all. Want to go somewhere?"
Tom and Daria arrived at Pizza King. "Tom, I just don't want to go to the Zen. It's been a while since I was there last, and I only went for T... for Jane." Daria was always careful never to let on how strongly she used to feel abut Trent to Tom. She didn't want him to get jealous whenever she went over to the Lanes. Although, there was a small part of her that wondered if that was really the reason. No. She told herself. She did not feel that way anymore, and she was with Tom now. Just forget about it, Daria.
"If you went for your best friend, surely you can go for your boyfriend."
"I'm just not a people person. I don't like having to deal with large crowds." she sighed, exahsperated. "Please understand that. And just order the pizza. I paid last time."
"Okay. Fine. A medium pepperoni pizza, one coke, and one sprite, please." The waitress wrote down the order and walked away. "So, then what do you want to do today?"
"Just talk, I guess. Why did you hang up on me earlier?"
"Pam had to use the phone." Well, it wasn't really a lie. She DID ask to use it, only the person she wanted to call wasn't home, so he called Monique.
"She could have waited a second. You didn't even say 'I love you' first."
"Neither did you."
"That's what I was trying to do when you hung up on me."
"Look, I'm sorry. Okay?"
Daria went quiet for a minute. She then spoke in barely a whisper. "This is what happened with you and Jane close to the time you two broke up."
"Daria, this is nothing like that."
"Do you swear?"
The waitress came back with their order. "That'll be $12.75" Tom handed her the money, and she went to the next booth.
"I guess that, because of what happened with Jane, I'm afraid that you'll get bored with me, too."
Only half the time. he thought to himself. "Look, don't worry about it. Jane and I didn't really have that much in common. We could only relate half the time." he tried to reassure her.
"Same with us, only it's the other half." There was a long uncomforatable silence before they were thankfully interupted.
Pam plopped down next to her brother. "Ooo! Pizza!"
Tom rolled his eyes. "Ooo! Annoying fifteen year old!"
"Yeah. So? I'm your darling sister. You have to put up with me. By the way, a friend of yours called. I forgot her name, but I think it was Mona or something simular." Pam inhaled a slice of pizza before getting up and eating with the friends she had came with.
"Mona, huh? I don't think I've ever heard of her, or any names close to it." Daria got up to leave. "I guess there's a reason for that."
"Daria, don't act that way. She's just a friend. I met her yesterday. Please sit backdown."
She sighed. "No. I need to think for a little while. I'll call you." She walked out the door and went home.
"Wonderful, Tom. Now look what you've done." he said under his breath. But, was she right to be jealous? he asked himself. Monique made him feel something he never had with Daria, Jane, or any other girl he'd ever met, come to think of it. Yet, he just met this girl, and she was just a friend. Or was he just lying to himself? "God, I'm so confused."
Daria wound up at the Lane house instead of her own. She knocked on the door and waited. A very sleepy looking Trent soon answered. She wiped the tears that were starting to form away and cleared her throat. "I need to speak to Jane."
"I'm sorry, Daria, but Janey isn't here. She went out running."
"Oh. Do you know when she'll be back?"
"About an hour. I'll tell her you came by."
"Thanks. I really need to talk to her." The tears she had tried to keep from forming now started to overflow and her voice started to crack. "I need to talk to anybody."
"Daria?! Umm... I can talk. Come in, please." Trent was now wide awake. He'd never seen Daria let her guard down that much, and it scared him a little. As well as she usually kept her emotions under control, something had to be really wrong for her to start to cry. "Now tell me, what's this all about?" She came in and sat down, and he closed the door.
"I'm not sure, but I think Tom's found someone else and is about to break up with me."
"What gives you that idea?" Trent handed her a tissue.
"He's acting differently than he used to, and he's got a new friend that he never mentioned to me. His little sister is the one who let it slip. Trent, his new friend is a girl."
"Daria, guy and girls can really be just friends. You've told me before about the three boys that follow your sister around."
"What does that prove? They're all crazy about her."
"Yeah, but has she ever shown any romantic intrest in them?" Daria softly chuckled at that. Trent smiled, and then continued. "Besides, near the time he and Jane broke up, he didn't hide your friendship from her. Instead, he basically threw it in her face. That's why Janey was so jealous. I don't think you do have anything to worry about."
She wiped her face. "Thanks, Trent. That really helped me."
"You can always turn to me whenever you need to, remember that." He hugged her. She stiffened up for a second, but then relaxed and hugged back.
"That means a lot to me. Bye." She left, making herself go straight home this time. Well, I don't feel hurt anymore. She thought to herself. However, now I'm confused.
NOTES AND DISCLAIMER
This was written pre-"Is It Fall Yet", and is going to become a multi-parter. Tabitha, Pam, and Tom's parents are property of me. Any resemblance betweeen Tabitha and anyone I know in real life is purely comical. All other characters are the property of MTV. Please don't sue me. I don't make any money off of this, and I'm giving you free advertisement.