"Last Minute Cliche"


don't own, don't sue

It's a story we've heard before, if not quite the same variation. Boy meets girl. Most of the stories (and most of the problems) start with that little idea. The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, King Arthur, or any of a thousand fairy tails.

How many of those stories include the boy faltering in his pursuit of the girl? Most of them. Alright, all of them. There's always some obstacle. That's the struggle that makes the story interesting, that gives us those safe little peaks of horror and fear, each about as sincere as the safety buckles on a parachute harness. The hero defeats the dragon, returns home, overthrows the false king, wins his lady love, or any of a dozen stock last minute rescues.

Sometimes the buckles on the parachute harness don't work.

Losing the parachute doesn't make the fall any more fun. All that does is rather rudely remove the illusion that you stood a chance of surviving when you hit bottom in the first place. That's what falling in love is like. Sometimes you've got that illusion to soften the fall and turn it into something blood raising and exciting. Sometimes you're lucky enough to have someone to fall with you, someone to catch you if the buckles give. In real life, you don't even get the fucking harness. It's no dream, where you either learn to fly or wake up. The only way to go in real life is straight down.

Back to that variation. Boy meets girl. Another boy meets girl. Both boys chase girl. But wait! you say. That's not a variation! That's just another last plot twist to heighten the excitement! Who will win the lady fair? Her newfound friend? Or the mysterious new stranger? Fair enough.

But what about when one of those boys isn't quite sure if he's chasing the girl or the other boy?

How's that for a variation?

Thought so.

Wait. It gets better.

Now girl is going back home and her brother can quit panicking about his best friend and "that guy he still doesn't quite trust but Yuugi says is okay, so what the hell" thinking lecherous thoughts about his sister. Now best friend and "that guy" are pretty much left with each other. Boy meets girl doesn't much apply any more, now does it?

Everything's changing, but all that means is that everything is staying the same because everything is always changing. Not much comfort in that stability, now is there? Boy is in rather an inconvenient spot. Just left of center.

It all revolves around the boy pharaoh. Souls and items and cards and monsters and fate and destiny. He doesn't have to understand it all because it all stands under him. Nope. Not even the tiniest bit of bitterness there. Never mind. It all spins around the boy pharaoh and his friends are edged just far enough from his little eye of calm that they get hit with his leftovers.

Like this bit with boy and other boy.

Names could be named but it would all stay the same. The parachute buckles would remain snapped, gravity would still insist on the fall, the plot would remain twisted, and any other metaphor you'd like to add at this point.

But you've never been much for metaphors, now have you? Always ready for the direct approach even if it kills you. Maybe especially if it kills you. I never have understood that. So we're reduced to bit parts in a story that's been told a thousand times before. Take a look at the boy pharaoh. I don't think that's a role either one of us would want to try out for in any lifetime soon. Not that it's that far of a possibility.

Never mind. Back to our little part of the story.

Boy meets girl and another boy meets girl. We've chased her so long we aren't certain what to do with our momentum now that she's going home. There's a chance for another story. A new last minute cliche. Boy meets boy.

Let's try our introductions again.

My name is Otogi. It's nice to meet you Honda.