"There was once a chance I didn't take." said Danny pausing to take a sip of his latte
Karl didn't respond being too busy thinking. He hadn't really wanted to go for coffee but no matter what excuse he gave his companion had overruled his objections and carried him along like a force of nature.
There goes Danny wittering on again. Notice how he said that then stopped as if to entice me to ask questions? He always does that. Because obviously his life is just so very interesting that I won't be able to help myself and I'll just have to ask what he means. Well,no. Not this time. I've had enough of his mind games and his me, me, me attitude. There's so much more to life than the thoughts, experiences and wisdom of one Danny O'Sullivan after all. If he even has any wisdom. Which somehow I seriously doubt he does. I mean come on! Who wears clothes like that? And out in public. I couldn't think of anything worse.
A not so gentle tap on the arm interrupted Karl's thinking at that point. And looking up from his contemplation of his steaming hot cup of coffee he found himself looking Danny straight in the eye.
It was rare for Karl to make eye contact with anyone. For some reason he really hated it, always had. He looked away quickly. But not quickly enough, the situation leaving him feeling unsettled and almost dirty. Eye contact did that to him. Not many other things did and he really wished that eye contact was on the Ok list. But it wasn't. And the fact that it was Danny of all people who caught him doing that and the forced him into the hated situation. That was even worse. Danny with his fake look of concern and his oh so smarmy smile and I'm here for you claims. When Karl knew that all he really wanted to do was find out exactly what was going on and then spread it all found the college. He couldn't do that. Karl couldn't think that anything really bad would happen to him if Danny did do that. After all, what's the worse that can happen when your already a laughing stock.? And when the very person sitting in front of you trying to be. Ice and pretending they want to help is the one who caused it. Oh, Karl couldn't prove that it was Danny. The other boy was much too clever and too intimidating for that but there was no one else it could have been. No one.
"Karl are you ok?" Danny asked him. The tone of his voice was gentler then Karl could ever remember hearing from the big boxer and the concern sounded so real it would have been all to easy to fall into the trap and believe it was. That's what made things so hard for Karl. He was alone and he didn't want to be. But experience, she was a cruel teacher and Karl had no desire to endure more of her lessons.
"Yes, I'm fine thanks Danny" he replied quietly. He wasn't fully able to control the growing nerves he felt and he really hoped the oh so slight wobble in his voice wasn't very obvious.
"Oh. Ok. Cool then. Was just a little bit worried then when you didn't seem to be listening. What I've got to share with you is really important. Huge even. And I'd really hate for you to miss out on it just because you were off thinking about stupid little unimportant things. I have a lot to teach someone like you, Karl, if you'd just let me."
"Really?" Karl asked "you think you can teach me stuff?" he'd heard a lot of rubbish from Danny but this took the biscuit. It really did. He was fuming.
Danny missed the disbelief in Karl's voice and thought he was serious. "yes really. You see it's about chances my old son. There was once a chance I didn't take." and just as he had earlier he stopped here hoping to get a reaction from his audience.
He did get a reaction but it wasn't the one he wanted.
Still fuming from being belittled a few moments ago Karl lost his temper and jumped up with his hands balled into fists by his side.
"there was once a chance you didn't take?!" he bellowed. "you think that makes you special and that hearing about it could change my life? You think because I like different things to you that makes you better then me. That
At that point Danny lost his shocked look and tried to say something. Karl didn't give him a chance.
"Last time I checked having chances was a part of being human. And we have to chose whether to take them or not. I'd wager that most people here have had chances they've not taken today. I know I have. And do you know what? I'm really regretting not taking up the chance of doing something - anything - that would have got me out of being here with you!"
Karl stormed out of the room. He didn't stop to look back but if he had he'd have seen Danny standing there staring after him open mouthed.