Friday, February 18, 2011

FICTION: Brittney the Ugly Protestant by Steven Barnes

What a mess I’m in, how am I going to tell my family who are the leaders of the new IRA and full grown Catholic’s that I’m in love with a Protestant? Brittney, the most beautiful women in school, okay she’s not beautiful to most people but they can all go to hell. Who am I? I’m called Steven and everyone thinks that I’m the next leader in the IRA, I’m not and Brittney knows I’m not. Brittney is everything to me and I can’t stand to be without her, I’m sitting at the lunch room waiting for her and there is sweat pouring down my face because you could call this a proposal. I got a 70 trillion dollar ring that I bought with my father’s “donate to the new IRA," bank account; an account that I stole. I’m going to ask Brittney out with this ring, who knows? Maybe if I get lucky I’ll become a husband. My dad is going to kill me when he finds the ring on Brittney’s finger. I’m not hungry but I’m acting like I am eating a grilled cheese, I put it near my mouth but it doesn’t touch my lips. After a few minutes I put it down on the plate, and look at my suit and hope Brittney will like it.

My dress coat is grey and my dress pants are grey, my dress shirt is blue and my dress shoes are brown. This is the only way I know how to dress, professional. I take everything with a death in the family mentality; everyone hates it, even Brittney doesn’t like it and that made me change real quickly. No can lighten up the mood, except Brittney. Women have never been able to resist me and it is so annoying, they are all whores. With their short skirts and T-shirts that are half ripped off and you can completely see their stomachs. That is the kind of women a terrorist has to look forward to, because of our views on women and the ethical issues of classy women, we stay away from the tom boys and marrying kind of girls, I try not to be a pervert but that’s how I was raised. I was taught to smack girls on the butt and pick on them and all that shit that women like Brittney don’t like and when a see Brittney I don’t know what to do so I smack Brittney on the butt when I lose my self in temptation. But I have never hit a woman in an attempt to hurt one or bombed a building, it’s too cowardly. Why do that when you could extort people in your town? (I have never extorted a business that is owned by a woman) We can make more money that way and the enemy does not get recruits, let them bomb us so we get more solders. However I am never taken seriously, my family does not want to end the war; we have become rich off of it, why go back to being farmers? My socks are green to show people that I’m in a good mood; the color of my socks tells people if they can mess with me. (I’m very calm but once you piss me off it’s over) I reach for my back and feel the 9 inch sword that I have to my back, (Because of weapon cost now or days only the military can have even carry a pistol) I use to love that sword but when Brittney started to shiver when I pulled it out to show her it I started to hate that blade. My family is the richest Catholic family in North Ireland, (due to our terrorist activities) Brittney’s family is the poorest Protestant family in North Ireland (due to the economic problems in the United Kingdom) and I hate it. It's bad enough that she's Protestant but then add to the fact that she lives in a shack and my family will do back flips when they find out that I’m in love with Brittney. (If they don’t try and kill me first) Well, they can do their back flips soon enough.

I look around the lunch room, for a school in North Ireland it's not that bad. There are no rats or bugs around like in other schools, the walls are painted green and my picture is on the left wall to honor the fact that I am the first Catholic since the British gave up the south of Ireland to enter this school. (If you think racism is bad in the United States you should go to Ireland) The school is crowded with people; the whole school is in this room. This isn’t America after all, the school doesn't have a name but we call it Beaker Memorial High School, Brittney came up with that name but no one knows that but me and her. There are four rows of 20 tables, the tables are round and I'm in the front row and center so Brittney can see me when she gives the lunch lady her eating number and goes to look for a seat. The kitchen is attached to the lunch room to south end of the lunch room, there are two lines and at the end of those lines is a computer with a lady at it, you tell her your number and you look for a seat. Your lunch is free here because people here are rich, unless you have a love sick best friend that would do anything for you which is Brittney's case. God, I love that woman! While I am thinking this, I hear someone crying, it's coming from the lunch line so I lean my head to get a better look and in the south west corner on the room with her knees on her chest and her face buried into her knees is Brittney, a teddy bear with no head is next to her and my brother Scott is walking to his table in the back row with the missing teddy bear head on fire resting on his tray and he's laughing hysterically.

Brittney looks prefect, except the crying and her face buried in her knees. She is wearing a blue striped polo shirt and black jeans. Her tennis shoes are white and have holes in them, odd; since I bought her red high heels that cost 100 dollars but then again, she told me she would not wear them unless something big came up because she hates to dress up like she’s special. She had those cute glasses on that I love, she doesn’t wear makeup because I don't like that well at least I hope that's the reason. Maybe Brittney just don't want me to talk about her looks so she just wears what I like to shut me up, we have been friends since fifth grade and I fell in love with Brittney the second l laid eyes on her. Well, I got to be honest, there is a reason Brittney don't want me to talk about her looks. People had always called her Brittney the Ugly Protestant, I hate that name! I want I flirt with her so bad it's like a knife in my back and I can't pull it out or I'll die. The Flirting Knife I call it, you have to look at Brittney in two ways, the way I see her and the way everyone else does.

Everyone else sees the ugliest girl on the planet that doesn’t have a tire belly, (In fact she is extremely skinny and that may make her as ugly to most people) her brown hair is always in a mess and she keeps it down. Because of that it's always in her face and she keeps pulling in back but it's no use, to the rest of the world that hair is sloppy and no guy would want to pull it back and kiss the top of her head. Her eyes to the rest of the world gives off a boring stare, no guy in their right mind would stare into those dull orbs. Her skin, to everyone else is like the gravel in the park. It’s rough and she's got a touch of acme, again, no guy wants to touch her. Those glasses she wears are so geeky; people just want to beak them and her smile. That horrible awful smile, her teeth are so crooked that her smile makes you want to throw up. Let me guess, awful, right? Well, beauty is determined by the eyes of the beholder, here is how I see her…

The Brittney I know is perfect, that ugly mop of hair is a perfect strain of silk. I would do anything to pull her hair back and kiss that perfect head of hers. Hey eyes, those shining and bright orbs that I constantly stare into and it scares Brittney and she tells me to stop because she thinks I'm picking on her. If only she knew how beautiful she is! Her skin, yea the acme is there but that makes her who she is, her skin is softer then silk to me and Brittney has to yell at me because there are times when I can't stop rubbing her leg. Her smile, oh, that pretty smile, I don't even notice the teeth being crooked. To me her smile is the best smile in the world. But she hardly ever smiles and there are days that I won't go home until to see that smile run across her face. As for her glasses, to me they give her a Yale professor look, and she looks even more amazing with the glasses, I won't let her leave home without them. When she asks why I'm so determined to see her with those glasses on I tell her a lie and say that it's unhealthy to have them off her face. That’s true but I think she's pure sexy with them on. Brittney’s best feature is her smell, the scent of pumpkins is so addicting once it’s in my nostrils I start to float. Sometimes when she walks by me I want to smack her on the butt (not like me at all) but she would be very offended and I hate it when she’s mad at me, because she is always mad at herself when she's mad at me. She always says.

"I'm so sorry Steven! I guess there is a reason I'm called the Ugly Protestant, you were tempted by my whore like ways, please don’t hit me Steven! I swear I won't do it again!" Brittney begs when I do something perverted.

Hit her? Can I even yell at her without feeling like I just made a deal with the devil? Hurting her defies my laws of physics! A part of me dies every time she begs to me like this, I have to look into her eyes and see her smile to stop myself from crying on the inside. (I have never actually shed a tear once in my whole life,) I want to punch myself every time she puts herself down, I blame myself because I'm the stupid Catholic who can’t help but shame that only thing that means anything to me. This is the amazing woman I know that I call Brittney, but what about my brother Scott? What kind of person is he? Well, don't expect a ladies man like me...

Scott would be the first person to rat me out if he knew my feelings for Brittney, he's a brain dead Catholic and to make it worse he's a brain dead Irish Catholic which means he's a jackass, a drunk and a lazy bum who I have served many times. Unlike me, Scott is all for the dyeing for Ireland thing but he's too caught up in the killing Protestants bullshit and to be a good terrorist you need to let go of the hate. It's awful that I know how to be a terrorist but I have been around all of the big groups in Terrorism; PLO, Swords of Gaza, and KGB you name a group and I have probably met them. Before you start I'm not going to be the leader of the IRA, now if everyone in my family was dead but me and Scott they would force me to be the leader. I'm just a family member of the IRA, not even an associate. Scott is wearing a blue suit to show off to his friends, his black dress shoes are shining. His 7 inch blade is on his back and he's telling his friends why he burned the bear.

"That Bitch has been hanging around my brother for far too long, what if Steven has been buying her things? The shame it would bring to the Catholics would be too great! Now Brittney knows to tell Steven no when he offers her money..." Scott explains and his friends nod and tell him good job, a priest who was listing says that the Mother Mary has blessed him.

Same usually shit, I thought.

Now if Brittney was not there and needed me I would have gone up to Scott and started a fight but there was no time for that. I draw out my sword and stab my sword into the ground, pick up my tray of food and walk over to Brittney, she is whimpering and shivering and I have to pinch myself. The entire lunch room turns around and becomes silent; I sit next to her on the floor and the smell of grilled cheese makes Brittney sit up. When she looks at the food she has to look away and I scoot it to her.

"Eat," I say and Brittney looks up.

"Steven??" Brittney shocks and I nod.

"Are you sure? I mean... you really want me to-" Brittney begins and I have to cut her off.

"SHH! Yes, I want you to have it and I want you to sit next to me, do you want me to carry you to our seat?" I interrupt and Brittney nods, I place my hands under her thighs and lift her off the ground and hold her like a mother holds their infant child, I walk over to our table and set her down in my chair. (I forget my food on the floor and someone else grabbed it and consumed my food) I sit down in the seat across from her and Brittney cries even harder than she did before, at first I don't know what's wrong but she pulled a chair by her for me to sit in and I didn't sit in it.

"How could I be so stupid?" I ask and I get up and sit in the seat next to her, the seat I was supposed to sit in, I then wipe the tears from her eyes she gives me a smile and I start to feel whole.

"I'm sorry," I apologize.

"It's okay, I forgive you," Brittney replies.

"I'm sorry about the bear," I apologize.

"It's okay, stop saying sorry because it's not your fault, how have you been?" Brittney relies.

"I'm... good, had to take care of some bikers who were riding around the church during confession but I'm good," I lie, the only bikers I have been taking care of was my nervousness.

"You didn't hurt them too bad, right?" Brittney asks she hates it when my jobs get rough.

"I didn't hurt them at all, they were lost and I pointed them in the right direction, I have been following your advice," I comment and she smiles, I would walk on water to see that smile.

"Keep smiling Brit, it makes my day ten times better," I reply.

"You make me smile like I never had before, thank you Steven," Brittney reply's.

"I'll always make you smile, I try really hard every day and savor every time you do," I say and she does the unexpected, she kisses me on the forehead, I turn red, crimson red.

"Again, thank you," Brittney says and she notices that my skin has turned into tomato skin.

"Steven, you look cute when you blush," Brittney smiles and I turn even redder.

"Thanks... umm... you look good!" I stutter.

"You really think so?" Brittney asks and for some reason she started to become irresistible.

"Yes, why do you ask? Don’t you think you look good?" I ask.

"Well, I have never heard someone say that I look good until I meet you, it doesn't matter if anyone tells me that, what does matter if you say I look good," Brittney admits and I can't get any more redder.

I don't know what to say, but I know what I want. I want her so I lightly touch her face, and now she's blushing, if she thinks I look cute when I blush then she freaking adorable! We’re a pair of bright tomatoes and we have become an amusing sight for the lunch room, (But people carry on little side conversations to fool the teachers) even if we're from different sides on the Irish world people still think it's cute to see a happy couple having a moment, well we're not a couple yet but we will be in about five minutes.

"Say Brittney?" I ask.

"Yes Steven?" Brittney asks.

"Who do you want to be your first boyfriend?" I ask and she looks down.

"I can be honest with you right?" Brittney wondered.

"Of course, You can tell me anything, I won't laugh or get mad, I will be happy as long as your happy," I lie, the only happy I want her to be is with me.

"Scott," Brittney replies, I'm trying to not sound jealous but I can't help it, she like my brother? The same guy who caused her to cry not just 20 minutes ago? That's why she was crying, she is in love with Scott! I want to dig myself a hole and live there, I turn around and look at Scott and he’s smiling that smile only a jack ass Irish man could give But it’s not like I haven’t dealt with this before. I have stolen a few girls from my brother before, it’s just that it didn’t mean as much to me as it does now, I turn around to face my love and tell her what I think of her crush.

"Why do you want to go out with that jerk?" I ask and Brittney raises her left eyebrow at me.

"I thought you would be happy with any guy I chose as long as I was happy?" Brittney asks she's got me.

"Anyone but him, he made you cry so you can't go out with him!" I protest.

“You don’t lie very well, there is only one man that you’re going to approve of and that's you! Now tell me the truth!" Brittney demands, we both stopped blushing, Scott is at the edge of his seat.

"Yes, the only man you should have is me but I can’t have you," I snap and Brittney looks at me disappointed, we are having out first fight.

“Why not, What if I said I wanted you? Would you not take me?” Brittney asks.

“You don’t deserve me damn it!” I protest.

"If anyone doesn’t deserve someone’s love it’s me not deserve yours!" Brittney snaps.

"Look at you Brit! You look amazing! You don't need a stupid Catholic telling you what to do, I'm not worthy of being with you! There are 4 million people in this damn country and you want me!? I'm a terrorist Brit! There is no reason for you to-" I began and Brittney is quick to cut me off, Scott face is blood red but tells his friends to see how things unfold. I’m not sure what he’s madder about; Brittney back talking me or my want for a Protestant.

“You’re joking right, a stupid Catholic telling me what to do?! Steven, do you hear yourself? We both know what would happen if we went out; you would buy me everything, you would take me to candle light dinners, you would be defending me from every bully in Ireland, I know there Is nothing you would not do for me, there is nothing you won't do for me now! You have been trying to hide it for years but you can't any longer! Just say it, tell me how you really feel!" Brittney demands and I sigh.

"Brittney, I love you," I confess and the entire room gasps except Brittney

"Did you think I didn't notice, dear?" Brittney comments, she's smiling at me and I smile back.

"So you love me too?" I ask.

"If I didn't love you then I would have slapped you just now but... I need to say it anyway, Steven, I love you," Brittney confesses and the room awes, Scott and his friends storms out. I think when my brother saw how the crowed reacted he realized it was pointless to try and stop us. He was going to let us be happy, (Or he was getting my dad) I said a silent prayer in my mind.

The school seems to approve of our relationship, I thought.

"I got something for you," I say and Brittney again raises her eyebrow at me.

"You already told me your feeling, what else do you have in store for me?" Brittney comments.

"Give me your hand," I say.

"Why?" Brittney asks.

"Come on, Please!" I beg and she gives me her hand and I walk her to the middle of the lunch room, Brittney is blushing again.

"W-what are you doing?! I-I don't like being the center of attention!" Brittney protests, she didn't know that she was for the last 30 minutes.

I wanted to write 'Steven will always love his Brittney' on the west wall of the lunch room, but due to school rules I had to settle with a 70 trillion dollar diamond ring. I get everyone’s attention and began my speech,

"Brittney, when we first meet I knew that I was going to grow old with you," I start, I then wait for the expecting awe the crowd gave and Brittney's face to look like a ripe tomato.

"I was looking around for a present for you when I got the guts to ask you out, nothing normal would do... I had to surprise you, I wanted to give you what you give me every day, my unconditional love," I continue, I stop when I hear Brittney awe along with the crowd, when they stop I continue my speech.

"I was going to paint our names on the west wall but the school would not allow that," I blush and every one laughs, that would be going too far. What I did was probably even more nuts then that.

"So... I got you this," I get down on one knee and pull out a small jewelry box and Brittney looks at me like I'm nuts.

"Steven? W-what is this?!" Brittney demands.

"Open it," I urge.

Brittney slowly opens the box and sees the diamond ring, when she does she has to put her hands over her mouth, she's speechless, I had catch the ring because she dropped it. The crowd is smiling at my proposal, it wasn't meant to be a proposal but if she was going to say yes why not ask?

"Brittney, will you marry me?" I propose.

“Are you asking me to marry you or are you asking me to be your girlfriend?” Brittney asks

“I want you to be my wife,” I reply.

"Before I answer let me ask a question,” Brittney says.

“Go for it,” I respond.

“I know you love me, but do you really want to marry me? I know you know my nickname so why go through all of this? Steven, maybe you haven’t noticed it but I’m… ugly, I don’t want you to be embarrassed with me holding you in public… You can back out any time,” Brittney explains, I am ready to interrupt her but I don’t and as soon as she is finished I know what to say.

“Brittney, when have I ever called you by your nick name? When have I ever called you ‘Brittney the Ugly Protestant’?” I ask.

“Never,” Brittney replies.

“I never will either,” I say.

“Why? It’s the truth,” Brittney asks.

“No, it’s not! You’re the most beautiful woman in the world! The ice to my cream! Every time I see your face my heart races and I start to fidget, I don’t know what you have done to me but I love it! I don’t want it to end, I don’t want what we have to go away, I have never been more sure about wanting to marrying someone as I had been right now with you,” I explain and Brittney looks like the most perfect ripe tomato.

“Then… yes, yes I will marry you Steven, “accepts Brittney and I take her hand and put the ring on her finger, for some reason Brittney is laughing the blush is gone and the blush appears on my face, Why is she laughing at me?

“Why are you laughing?” I ask.

“You put the ring on the wrong finger dear,” Brittney comments and I get even redder. Every one laughs, the embarrassment is like a 500 pound weight on my shoulder. How could I screw up such a romantic moment? Yet at the same time it’s a good feeling because this was a very stressful moment and it felt good to ease the tension and I just did something stupid to do that, and this is a damn good screw up. It’s kind of weird; the weight almost sinks into my skin to get rid of the burden.

“What finger did I put the ring on?” I ask.

“The index finger,” Brittney giggles.

“I’m a moron,” I sigh.

“Let me show you what finger you’re supposed to put the ring on,” Brittney says and points to the right finger, I pull the ring off the index finger and slide the ring on the wedding finger.

“I can’t believe I did that!” I exclaim.

“Dear, no one is perfect, besides you said you wanted this to be special, how many girls can brag that their man doesn’t know what finger to put their wedding finger on?” Brittney asks and I smile.

“Your right,” I agree and nod at her she smiles and nods back then she puts her arms around me and kissed me. The crowd claps and we stay there for a while, there were things that needed to be solved. How would our families react to the marriage? Would we have to run away? Where would we go? Do we have the money to support each other? But that all can wait, we were in each other’s arms and we were happy. I had turned the Ugly Protestant into a happy one…

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