1 “Commiserations,” he said. “You’re a failure in life.” I reeled in shock, not believing my luck. My boyfriend had just dumped me, and now, he was basically telling me that I had no life! The nerve! Briefly, I wondered if I would go to jail if I stabbed him with my keys.
Then I realised that his words actually had some truth to them. I had no boyfriend. My job paid me about one cent per hour. The only positive thing in my life right now was my best friend Verity—and even she had her act together. Unlike me.
But I didn’t want to be a failure at life. (Who did?) So I made a New Year’s Resolution (even though it was currently mid-April): I was going to find my true purpose in life…or die of humiliation trying.
2 “You want to go soul-searching?” Verity exclaimed, arching an expertly-plucked eyebrow at me. Just when I thought she was going to burst out laughing at my stupidity, my best friend surprised me by saying, “Don’t worry, darling. You’ve come to the right person. Trust me, you’re in good hands with me.”
“I sure hope so,” I mumbled under my breath. Verity smiled deviously. “Don’t sweat it; just leave everything to me. Seriously, I’ve done this before, so I know exactly what I’m doing. Sort of.” How one could sort of exactly know what she was doing was a mystery to me.
3 The next day, Verity dragged me to the rec centre and announced, “Today, you’ll be trying your hand at sports! Who knows, you might just turn out to be the next Stephen Curry. Or Yuna Kim. Or Tom Brady. Or—” “I get it,” I interrupted. “You want me to become a pro athlete. Great. Totally doable.”
Considering the F’s I’d gotten in P.E. back in my high school days, I highly doubted that I would be the next Yuna Brady or whatever. However, I didn’t want to come across as ungrateful. So, I decided to suck up my complaints and just humour my best friend for a day. It was just one day, after all. What could go wrong?
As it turned out, though, a lot could go wrong in one day—which was how I ended up sitting in the emergency room at the local hospital, wailing in agony as I received fifteen freaking stitches on my leg. “Okay, so figure skating is out,” declared Verity, evidently oblivious to my pain. “How about we try basketball next?” Hell no. Oh, hell no.
The next day, I realised that I also wasn’t destined to become the next Steven Clary. About two seconds into the basketball game, the ball somehow ended up slamming into my head, and everything went black. Good gravy, I just couldn’t catch a break, could I?
“I’m really sorry that this keeps happening,” Verity said when I came to in the emergency room. “Oh, so NOW you apologise!” I snapped, rolling my eyes “You don’t have to keep doing sports if you don’t want to.” It was a great opportunity for me to call it quits. Stupidly, I refused to take it.
Football wasn’t my thing, either. Somehow, despite my thick helmet and extensive padding, I still managed to get a freaking concussion. And it was just flag football, not even the real kind! “I’m so done with sports,” I moaned the second I awoke. Go figure, I was in the ER again. At this point, I was seriously considering moving in permanently.
"I'm thinking that you should take a break from this whole sports thing and focus on something else instead," said Verity helpfully. Then she pulled out her phone and gave me a smirk that I unfortunately knew all too well. "How about you try your hand at singing instead?"
4 "You want me to sing in public?" I yelled. "You do realise that I get stage fright, right?" Verity waved me off. "Pish posh, darling. Just give it a try; I'm sure you'll love singing." "What could go wrong?" I agreed with a meek smile. Famous. Last. Words.
The karaoke music began playing in the background. Gripping the microphone with my sweaty hands, I opened my mouth and prepared to die. "Your little brother never tells you but he loves you so," I sang, cringing when my voice came out atrociously high-pitched and shaky. "You said your mother only smiled on her TV show..."
By the time I got to the chorus, I was ready for the ground to just swallow me up whole. It was apparent that open mic night at the local nightclub was a terrible idea. Who knew that legitimately talented people actually sang at these gigs? They were making me look totally untalented—which, admittedly, I was.
Verity shook her head and sighed as I stumbled out of the nightclub. Although I wasn't drunk, I was having a hard time walking in a straight line anyway. I blamed the utter humiliation that I'd just undergone.
"Your ideas are absolute crap, Ver," I snapped as I shot her the Glare of Death. She signed regretfully. "I am so, so sorry." "Don't be," I said. "It's my fault that I'm bad at everything." "No, don't say that, darling." But why didn't she want me to speak the truth?
5 After repeatedly assuring Verity that I would be okay by myself, she finally left me to my own devices. "See you later, darling!" she called as she strode away. I smiled meekly and headed for my car. Which, much like my life, turned out to be a gigantic mistake.
"Oof!" I gasped when my head collided with an impossibly hard surface. The impact knocked me back, and I landed awkwardly on my derriere. Very dignified, I know. I groaned, wondering which dumb klutz was responsible for my predicament. Glancing up, my annoyed gaze landed upon the sexiest guy I had ever seen in my life.
"Hi there," I said, flashing him a faux-cheerful smile as I tried to ignore the mortification I was currently feeling. Good gravy. Of all ways for me to meet this Dylan O'Brien lookalike, it had to happen via my clumsiness. Talk about embarrassing.
"Watch where you're going," snapped O'Brien 2.0, his eyes flashing in anger. He gave me an unnerving once-over and said incredulously, "Are you drunk?!" "Don't worry, sir, I'm not," I assured him in my most sober voice. "Sorry for bumping into you." "You better be."
Without bothering to explain why I'd be sorry, O'Brien 2.0 continued down the sidewalk on his merry way. Flustered, I hopped into my car and drove home with red still tinting my cheeks. I was bad at sports. I was bad at singing. And apparently, I was also bad at meeting sexy guys.
"Describe him in detail!" Verity squealed through the phone line the next morning, and I flinched. My head was already aching due to my hangover, and this was not helping matters. "Um, he was, um, hot?" I said. "Really?" I could hear Verity's smile through the phone. "You guys are perfect together! I can predict this relationship lasting for a long time."
I snorted humorlessly. "Haha, as if! Firstly, he thinks I'm just some drunken idiot. Secondly, we probably won't see each other ever again. Don't get so ahead of yourself, Ver." "Pshaw!" Verity said, refusing to back down. "Your meeting with him was auspicious, my friend. The two of you will be together for a long time. I can feel it."
That about confirmed it: my best friend had officially gone off the deep end.
6 "Are you sure you don't remember anything else about him?" Verity smiled innocently at me. "Well..." I gulped. "He looked a lot like Dylan O'Brien, I guess. But with lighter hair." "Got it." Verity nodded. "Man, you guys are gonna make beautiful babies. I can already sense it."
"Are you crazy?" I scowled at my so-called best friend. She shrugged faux-innocently. "Aren't we all?"