“No I’m busy,” I said.
Jesse waved his Samsung smartphone around, the screen showing the college event e-mail about Comedy Wednesdays, starting tonight at 7 PM. I pushed it away from my face and held my Calculus textbook in his face.
“Jesse, this is what I’m doing tonight,” I said, “I got a C on last test and Mom flipped out. Besides I’m not funny.”
He rolled his eyes at me and pushed the textbook out of his face. He tapped his watch and said, “At least go for my session – its original material!”
My eyes wandered as I stepped away from him. My digital clock changed to 6:49 and glowed an obnoxious neon green in the dimly lit room. I walked over to my desk and flicked the switch for my lamp, only to have it flick on and burn out. Stupid bulb. I dug around in my desk for a spare and Jesse strode over to me.
“You can fix the lamp later,” he said. “I have a spare bulb in my room but we should go – I promise to go first so you can get back to making out with your Calc book there.”
I tossed my book onto my desk. “The only action between me and that damn subject is the material kicking my butt,” I retorted.
“Welcome everyone to Comedy Wednesdays!” someone announced. “Tonight you’ll hear some of your fellow students do original monologues, dialogues, and everything else in between. So, do we have any volunteers?”
Jesse shot his hand up and he was picked to talk first. I crossed my arms over my chest and waited for him to do his material – fast.
“Hey people! So I gotta say, sex seems to just magically appear in every single one of my classes,” he began. “Oh really? Where can that happen in Pre-Calc? How about Forensics? I don’t know what it is, but maybe its because my professors…”
“Hey Kay!” a girl said to me. I turned my head as my resident advisor Emma slid into the seat next to me.
“Hi,” I replied, trying to not look surprised. Emma was new to the resident advisor position and she was, bluntly put, incredibly green to the whole role. Everyone on my floor knew she was new and they used it to their advantage. She had a busy schedule on top of her duties for RA and always seemed to be magically absent whenever a huge crisis arose. “How’s it been handling the rest of our floor?”
Emma snorted through her lips like a horse as she leaned back into her seat. “Bad. I just busted the guys in 401 for sneaking vodka and a 32 pack. There were more people in there than just the guys.” She gave me a wan smile and added, “Thank goodness that I have sane residents like you.”
“Uh thanks,” I muttered. “You do stand-up comedy?”
She shook her head and crossed her arms over her chest. “I just wanted to see what others would do. Do you do comedy?”
“No I’m here cause Jesse forced me to listen to his sex-based spiel for support,” I said. “I really should be studying for my Calculus exam tomorrow.”
Emma looked back toward the stage and murmured that Jesse seemed to be wrapping up. I tried not to wince as I looked back up at the front. Part of me felt guilty for missing most of his material but then again, it was predictable.
A few people clapped and Jesse made a mock bow before replacing the mic in its stand. The host came up and thanked him before asking if he wanted to pass on the mic to the next person. Jesse scanned the crowd and I began get up from my seat to head back. Then I wished I could punch him hard in the gut for what he did next.
“I’d like Mckayla over there to go next,” he said.
I froze and turned toward the stage. The host smiled cheerfully at me and waved at me to come up on stage. I plastered a polite smile on my face and started to say that I couldn’t stay, when Jesse began pushing me onto the stage. In the background I could hear Emma cheering loudly for me, while Jesse smirked as he got off the stage.
My blood boiled as I watched Jesse sit next to Emma, smirk still in place. I hated him for this. My funny bone lacked humor and to quote my brother, I was “as dry as the cracks in the desert.” Was this revenge for not paying attention? Or was it because he wanted to see me make a Grade A fool of myself?
“What are you going to be talking about?” the host asked me.
I took the mic and untangled the cord as I replied, “I don’t know. Guess I’ll just go with whatever comes to mind.”
The host smiled before leaving the stage and I swallowed the lump in my throat before beginning.
“I hate how we sugar coat everything,” I began. “I always feel that everyone wants to hear something nicer than the truth. And why is that? Because we’re too cowardly to say it to someone’s face.”
I gripped the mic in my hand and glanced over at Jesse. “So you know what? I think its time I was honest with some people. Like Jesse back there,” I said. “Most of the time he’s talking about sex and you know what? Maybe the reason his last girlfriend dumped him because he was too horny. And aren’t sex jokes considered so 2009?”
Some members in the audience snorted and a few looked back at Jesse. He wasn’t laughing or smiling but sitting still with a stony look on his face.
“While we’re at it,” I continued, “how about poor staff? We all dream of becoming RA and getting free room and board right? But the system’s so corrupt, that the housing heads will just choose the people who don’t rock the boat. Better to just sweep the problems under the rug, right?”
Some audience members yelled in agreement and I didn’t dare look at Emma. I knew she was going to be upset just like Jesse but, you know what? It was time to stop bottling the truth and just get it off my shoulders.
Surprisingly, it was fun trying to write something different from the articles and stories about the economy. I have always been a fan of creative writing and I had fun writing something original