...And The Truth Shall Set You Free
A 'Daria' fic by
Charles Ruttheimer III winced as the very pretty girl - Angie, one of the cheerleaders - accidentally bumped into him as he sat down "Don't touch me, freak!"
Something snapped inside the mind of the boy known as 'Upchuck' at the sound of the girl's voice. "While my feelings yesterday may have been different... why would I want to touch you?"
Tossing her platinum-blonde locks in a manner that made every boy in sight drool, the cheerleader dropped the most scornful of laughs on Upchuck. "Like you don't dream about it every night. "
Upchuck turned away from the girl in an equally-dismissive manner. "Because I couldn't get a girl like you any other way - I'm not in the same league as you, right?"
Angie started off, triumph on her face. "You got THAT right."
"Very well, then."
The cheerleader stopped in her tracks. "What does that mean?"
Upchuck didn't even bother to turn back to face Angie as he spoke; at tables all around his, conversations died as other students focused on Upchucks comment. "Like all the hothouse flowers that are the lovely ladies that attend school here, your opinion is that I'm beneath you - that I'm 'not in your league', correct?"
Angie said nothing as Upchuck ate a tater tot before speaking. "That goes even moreso for the 'cream of the crop' - the cheerleaders - the most attractive and most desirable of all."
A slight snort came from two tables in front of Upchuck, where the Fashion Club performed their daily food-avoidance ritual. "The only reason the Powers-That-Be allow you to prance about in the salacious attire you sport is to entice us young men," Upchuck observed. "To get us to try to act in certain manners in the vain hope against hope that someday, one of you will notice one of us, and we shall have our dream of dating a cheerleader."
Upchuck's gaze flickered across the gulf to make momentary contact with Quinn Morgendorffer - Queen Bee apparent of Lawndale High - and her 'frenemy-in-chief, Sandi Griffin - before returning to something more interesting,... his spork. "Or a perfect teen princess," he said. "That's the way the system works... but if I finally realize there's never any way that I'll ever win, then why, my dear, should I continue to play?"
Angie stepped back as Upchuck stood up, tray in hand. "If that is the only power you have over we of the Y chromosome, and even a sordid, much-reviled gentleman such as myself; a gentleman who has been eternally rebuffed in my advanced and yet still sallies forth time and again in the dogged pursuit of love..."
He smiled. "If even such a gentleman as myself decides that you're not worth the price or the pursuing, then the eternal game is over - and you, my dearest, no longer have any power."
Before she could speak, Upchuck continued. "The worst part of this for you, my pretty? I am - I was - the gentleman here most infatuated with the fairer sex, and the most rambunctious in my pursuit of their attentions. If I can divest myself of any attempt to win the affections of any of you young ladies who are placed as examples of what we gentleman should aspire to woo and win - and if the other average gentlemen, seeing that I can survive and thrive without feminine companionship until I happen to come across 'someone in my league'... oh, yes, fair one. Your world is about to change."
As Angie looked around the cafeteria, filled with boys who she would never, ever dream of dating (although it was perfectly acceptable for them to notice how attractive she was in her cheerleading uniform) as a sinking feeling began to form in her stomach-
- a sensation also beginning to fill the otherwise empty bellies of the four Fashion Club members as they watched the scene unfold -
- Charles Ruttheimer III dumped the remnants of his lunch into a garbage can, placed his tray onto the conveyor belt - and stepped through the cafeteria doors into a world unmatched by even his wildest flights of Hefnerian fantasy.
2 May 2010