Chapter 57 The microwave popcorn

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Flora

Since Sean mentioned the f word, I didn't know how it was possible but I loved him even more. This wasn't only the most responsible and devoted boyfriend, but he was also the guy that I thought of a future with...despite the fact that future wasn't looking very exciting at the moment.

It was a shame that in order to achieve forever, we didn't have many fun dates anymore. Sean thought we had a lifetime to try new things and at this moment in life he was too busy to start, or maybe he was just lazy and it was easy to settle into a routine. His idea of a perfect date was one that included me, but didn't involve dressing up and staying out too late, and one that was comfortable.

Translation: stay home, talk and have sex (optional).

Speaking of sex, Sean thought of it the way he thought of food. He just wanted to get it out of the way. He wanted that last few seconds of ecstasy just like he wanted to battle his hunger in the most efficient way possible, with ready-to-go fast food. He had no patience to sit at a French restaurant for three hours, just like he didn't want to explore my body anymore, the way he did in the beginning like a new computer program he got his hands on.

I mostly went along with whatever he wanted to do (which was nothing, by the way) because I knew he really was tired from all his basketball games and studying, and I wanted to be supportive. I agreed that as long as we were together it didn't matter where we went, but deep down I still felt (a little) like I was making sacrifices, therefore I would fight with him about all kinds of irrelevant things. I was constantly facing an internal conflict where I chose to put his needs before mine then got mad later, thinking he should make more of an effort to do my things, then I'd recover knowing that I overreacted, and I'd try harder to be a better girlfriend and cut him some slack. In the end we were always more in love than ever, but life had become a grinding wheel of doing the right thing.

To be perfectly honest, the idea of forever was hot, but practicing towards this concept wasn't that hot, at all.

I was in my room watching a silly drama TV series one night. I knew it wasn't a masterpiece, on top of being corny and predictable, but sometimes I watched it not in spite of but more like because of its cheesiness. Cheesy dramas and reality TV are like potato chips: poorly-made, hazardous to health, but having them once in a while can make a person very happy.

Sean was sitting next to me furiously clicking away on his laptop as he worked on his college application essay. I peered at his screen and saw he was writing about the person he admired the most, and it was his grandfather.

While most kids fished with their gramps, Sean probably built a dam with his. He was describing how they put together a toy boat and won a contest later, during which all the kids had to float their boats down a river and his made it the farthest downstream.

I wished I had a charming experience like that to report too. My grandparents lived in London, and every time I visited we'd have tea in one of those extravagant hotels like The Ritz or Claridge's and have freshly baked scones with clotted cream from Devonshire, and we always finished off afterwards with a trip to Harvey Nichols. I doubted the college administration offices would be impressed with that.

"That's totally cheating," I said out of envy. "You had a physics professor helping you while those other poor kids had to fold their boats out of paper and color them with crayons just so they wouldn't sink. Yours probably had a motor."

He chuckled. "Yes, it had a motor and it was remote-controlled. I could've floated it upstream if I wanted."

How clever to weave that little detail into his essay so he could underhandedly brag about his engineering potentials. It was clear Sean had his life planned out--the science projects at school, interning at labs during summer, AP classes, his perfect SAT scores and the stupid USAPhO that we almost lost each other over--while I had been very liberal about my own choices.

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