Coming of Age Chronicles IV: The Pursuit of Cool

If there was any word that could have never been placed in the same sentence as Alex, it was the adjective cool. If I were to accord this adjective a sex, it would be a she, a cheerleader at that; and Alex would be a nerd, but in the socially inadequate context, so strike out the notable IQ attributes.

Like every other boy, Alex had an eye for Cool. However, he had limited interaction with her, accruing to the fact that the two not only had little in common, but also hang out in different places. While he spent most of his free time in the chapel seeking the elusive face of his heavenly father, Cool was flirting with the boys in the miming club. When he was playing chess in the dining hall, she was shaking pom-poms for the boys dunking at the basketball court.

With the magnitude of ambition that Alex had, the line between fantasy and reality occasionally eluded him. One day, while flirting with the idea of flirting with Cool, Alex convinced himself against reason that he could actually date her. In his head, he had created a world where the two of them could walk hand in hand without attracting scowling faces. It’s this fantasy that he set out to materialize when he embarked on a long and odious pursuit of Cool.

The first hooray moment during his pursuit came when he crept into the circle of boys that Cool was seen to hang out with. Had his roadmap been accurate, it would have been a short leap from acquaintances to the cutest couple in school. Unfortunately, his zeal kept him from seeing the black and white writing on the wall. Not even his best friend, Carlos, could save him from his delusions.

“Look Alex, not that I’m jealous or anything but this has to stop. I imagine that finally lurking in Cool’s shadow must make you feel like you’re in there, but just how long are you going to keep on forcing life?”

“What do you mean forcing life? These things just come naturally to me”

“Naturally? All this time you spend reading the dictionary so you can show off with big words? Tell me, how much of your 20k pocket money did you spend on those yellow framed shades? Do you even know how you look in them? Real forcing standards.”

“Sha! So I shouldn’t enjoy good things simply because boys in our caste are preordained to look like sick stray dogs all our lives?”

“ You really are immune to rejection aren’t you? Can’t you see the attitude cool exudes in your presence however hard you try? By now you should have realized that girls like her don’t push out with boys like us.”

Pouting, Alex simply dismissed Carlos’ words with a casual wave of his hand, but on his way back to dorm, he continued to brood over Cool’s sneering attitude towards him:

Why won’t she dance or pose for a photo with me? We have 13 mutual friends for Pete’s sake, why won’t she accept my friendship request?

Had he paid more attention to Carlos, he would have gleaned that Local —his ex-girlfriend—was the main obstacle he had to deal with. Ever since his unilateral break up with her, Local had relentlessly continued asserting dibs on Alex and tight-marking him, making it very clear that she was not ready to lose Alex to the whore he had lately become infatuated with.

“Me and Alex have come a long way and bitch, you don’t know him like I do,” Local would snarl at Cool, who would always reply with a look-all-the-fucks-I-give shrug, as if to stress: in case you haven’t noticed, I have no interest in your man; he’s not exactly my type.

Alex was determined on two things regardless of what everyone else thought: his complete disassociation from Local and his attainment of Cool. Sitting on his bunk and leaning against the wall, Alex opened his make-do diary and wrote a line that would later become his creed:

“You may evade me now but my pursuit for your genes is a lifetime dedication, one that I’m ready to bestow unto my posterity. One day, my kids will marry your kids, merge DNA and I will have cool grand children. Aluta continua!”

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