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Loving My Best Friend's Dad

By:Lila Younger

Emilia


“Hey, I’ve got a serious question for you Em,” my best friend and roommate Renee says.

“Hm?”

I’m trying to figure out just what Kant is talking about for my philosophy and ethics paper, so I’m not really paying attention. Have you ever read Kant? The guy is hard to understand. And repetitive. And it’s like trying to run through mud getting through this material.

“Have you ever, just... lived?”

The question slowly makes its way through my brain and I look up. This has to be a joke right? I’m trying to get through this stuff. But nope, her sparkling blue eyes are deadly serious. She’s sitting on her single bed, legs crossed, movie paused, just waiting for an answer. I frown. Is there some kind of trick to this question?

“What do you mean?” I ask at last.

Renee leans forward, her pretty face earnest.

“It’s not that complicated of a question Em,” she says. “I’m asking you if you’ve ever lived a little? Let loose?”

Oh. Now I get it.

“Of course I’ve lived a little,” I tell her annoyed that she’s interrupting me for this. Now I’ll have to re-read the whole passage again. Whatever I thought I understood of Kant is gone, not that there was much. Like I said, the guy is difficult. But Renee isn’t giving up.

“When?”

I sigh and throw down my pencil. Clearly I’m not going to get anywhere with this until I’ve satisfied Renee’s curiosity. Why she has to pick a time like this is beyond me. I’m generally good at organizing my time so I don’t have anything due at the last minute, but even I have my academic limits. And I guess it ends with Kant and his convoluted German translated works. I picked pre-med because I’m good with the facts, with logic and reasoning and that sort of thing. But ethics is a required course (which I suppose is important if I’m going to be a doctor), and even though philosophy claims to be logical, it sure isn’t sometimes.

“Tell me about a time when instead of following your planner, instead of planning out every possibility and controlling all the outcomes, you just, just,” Renee dramatically throws out her arms here, “let the Universe take charge?”

Okay, so I like to know what’s going on. I like to have lists and check them off. But I don’t think it’s as bad as she’s making it out to be. After all, it’s helped me land a full ride scholarship and it’s what’s getting me through my pre-med classes. I suppose to Renee though, it must seem like torture. She’s the definition of a free spirit, and in her third year, she still hasn’t chosen exactly what major she wants to be. Not that she needs to worry about that. She comes from a wealthy family, so she can take as long as she wants. In fact, the only reason she’s in university at all is because her grandfather made that a condition of her getting her trust fund. Luckily her grandmother never specified which university, because Renee’s grades are seriously bad.

“It’s happened,” I tell her, stalling for time while I think. I mean, it shouldn’t be that hard right? I run my hands through my honey streaked hair. “Remember when we decided to go to Subway and it was closed randomly so we went to Dairy Queen?”

Renee gives me a deadpan stare. I don’t blame her. It’s not exactly letting the universe decide, but still! I didn’t go into a tailspin when plans changed like she’s implying.

“Okay, so I don’t like to let a coin flip decide any life changing decisions,” I tell her. “That doesn’t make me a bad person.”

“No, but it does make you a teensy bit boring, and I mean that in the most loving way,” she says. “I mean, you haven’t even dated since you got to college.”

Ah. Here it is. The real truth behind it all. When I told Renee that I’ve never dated and don’t intend to until I finish med school, she about keeled over in shock. Not that she’s always got a man on her arm, but she just couldn’t believe that someone like me wouldn’t have someone at some point in her life. But I hadn’t. Mostly because I was really focused on academics and got labeled as a nerd in high school, and then I just sort of, got stuck in that frame of mind I guess. I don’t think I’m missing out on much though. From what Renee tells me, college guys are just as awkward and fumbling as high school ones.

“I haven’t found the right person to date,” I tell her. “You of all people should know how terrible the selection is here.”

Renee wrinkles her nose.

“Yeah, I guess that’s true,” she says, slumping a little. Then she straightens up. “But that’s not why I was asking!”

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