The time was sixth period, literature class. The issue was, Dave Strider had an unnatural attraction to old southern women.
He loved the way they all seemed to smell of butterscotch and flowery perfume, and he always felt safe in their arms. There was one withered beauty in particular that held his interest.
Her name was Miz Melindy. She wasn’t from his time, but he loved everything about her. She spoke with the perfect amount of twang and always knew exactly what to say. She would spend nights with him in her quarters and they would gaze at the stars, wishing for a better life.
Dave was ripped away from his thoughts as the teacher called his name.
“Dave,” he said, snapping his fingers to get his attention, “can you find an example of irony in this chapter?”
“Uh…” Dave didn't like to speak his opinions on irony. You could say he had a...strange obsession with it, though Rose would refer to it as an unorthodox kink. “I don’t know.”
He sunk into his seat and lost himself in the shitty novel, underlining every time the main protagonist mention her friend Kit Gales being hanged, and circling every time the word “daddy” was used to refer to her father.
He tried to keep quiet when his favorite characters came in, but it was beginning to get quite uncomfortable all up in there...or rather, down in there. The revolution down south was a force to be reckoned with, which, unfortunately, Dave had little control over. As he read over the conversation with his beloved Miz Melindy, he felt as though she were there in the room with him, whispering sweet nothings into his ear.
She slapped Caroline then, and Dave wished he could be in her place, with Miz Melindy’s withered old hand on his freckled face. He reminisced of the times they had in the corn crib, and wondered how much time that rich bitch Caroline had spent with his one and only love.
Without even thinking about it, Dave hopped onto his desk and bleated like a dying goat.
"Ride me like Fearnaught, you saucy grandma!" he shouted as his classmates stared in confusion. Rose's eyebrows did the wiggly thingy.
"Uh, Dave," John said, raising one hella confused eyebrow, "did you spill something on your pants?"
Dave looked down, realizing he had one heck of a mess on his hands...and pants.
If only private Brandon were here to help with the cleanup he thought, remembering the nice british guy that would basically eat anything.
He le signed, knowing that neither Miz Melindy, nor Private Brandon would ever love him.
The whole class was still staring at him, and Rose's eyebrows were still having a seizure. Just Agnes was moaning in the back. There were some seriously judgemental vibes going on. Dave wished he could cast two shadows to hide his ironic tears in.
Embarrassed and soiled from the waist down, Dave excused himself from the classroom, and wee wee weed all the way home.
On his walk home, he swore he saw a glimpse of a red coat, but didn't dare turn around. He needed to leave his flustered past behind, and forget about Brandon.
And Miz Melindy.
How could he forget about Miz Melindy? She had been there when no one else was, and always gave him a good old southern lecture when he was feeling down. He would miss the sassy remarks, the totally not made up stories about why he didn't have a mom, and the pain and pleasure of her disciplinary slap.
When he got back to the apartment, Dave took a legendary shower, and he couldn't tell if it was water or tears running down his face. He tried to find a shirt in his drawer that didn't smell like his lost lover, but they all reeked of quaking pudding and she-crab soup.
As Dave lay sprawled out on his bed, feeling the cold empty place where Miz Melindy used to lay next to him, he felt like losing her was worse than 200 lashes. Now she had left him hanging like Kit, and he feared he would never see her again. He didn't need another person hanging inside of him.
In his dreams that cold night, he saw a gold silken gown gliding through the Dersite sky. Amongst the blackness, there was a glimmer of hope, just out of his reach.