October 21, 2008

The Last Summer, Episode 2

Last week, we met our protagonists, Ben and Izzie for the first time. This week, let's get to know Izzie a little better. Give her some back-story and some mystery.


After work, Isabelle changed into a pair of black leggings and a scoop-neck purple t-shirt that flattered her bust-line. She wasn’t trying to look hot; she was just trying to avoid getting called out by her friends for not making any effort to look hot. Her plan, as always, was to fly under the radar. All thoughts of Dennis’ homemade cookies had now been put aside. Izzie was quite sure that once she looked at the sexual specimens assembled at this party, she would want to do nothing more than go home and drink green tea in her bathrobe while watching PBS documentaries.

Izzie hadn’t been in love for quit some time. Her first love had been all she’d ever hoped for. She’d known it would save her from so many things – one thing in particular, she hoped. And at first, Chris truly was her salvation. They met in the second week of Izzie’s first year of university. It happened right away and effortlessly, the way these things are meant to. He was sitting behind her in their first-year Canadian history class. During a lecture about European explorers first interactions with aboriginal peoples, Chris tapped her on the shoulder. “Excuse me, miss,” he said. He was impossibly formal for an 18 year old boy, “But my pen just died. Can I borrow one of yours?”

“Take this one. It’s my spare,” Izzie thrusted the pen at him quickly. She was a studious person who didn’t want to miss any of the lecture.

“Thank you. Oh, and if your current pen runs out of ink, just tell me. I’ll give you your spare back and just commit the rest of the lecture to memory.”

Izzie was incredulous. “Now, if you could do that, why would you even need to borrow my pen in the first place?”

Chris’ gray eyes lit up mischeifously, “Because then I wouldn’t have had an excuse to talk to you…” Izzie was too na├»ve at this point in her life to understand this was a pick-up line. If she had, she might have been significantly less charmed. If she had known this was just a line, she might not have got to the cafeteria with Chris after class to have lunch and sat there for 5 hours with him, just talking about everything from meal plans to politics in Russia. She might not have thought this was it. This was her forever, if she’d only known a little better. But she hadn’t known better, and Izzie still debated to this day, a year after having broken up with Chris completely and for good, if this was a good thing or a bad thing.

It didn’t matter what Izzie accomplished. It didn’t matter that she was going to Cambridge on a common-wealth scholarship to do research on transgendered people in the Victorian era. It didn’t matter that she was editor of her school’s feminist review or that she was getting really good at yoga. It didn’t matter that she was the most popular and trusted film reviewer her school newspaper had, either. None of this mattered when she thought of Chris, and how easily he’d managed to dispose of her.

Chris had always had mental problems. He hadn’t told her of them when they’d first gotten together, of course, but Izzie figured it out. After one too many of his sleepless nights, his regular disappearances for days on end or his arbitrary angry episodes, Izzie came to terms with it. Chris had a problem. No, the problem was not a mental imbalance, the real problem was that he refused to seek help. He wouldn’t explain why, but he refused. This aggravated Izzie. She’d thought falling in love was supposed to solve all her problems, and yet all it did was add to them, because she had this new person in her life she couldn’t fix and who didn’t even want to try to get better.

As she put on her favourite patent-leather black flats as she headed out the door of her house to meet Jenny, Izzie thought she never cared if she fell in love with another human being ever again. Getting laid be damned! Orgasms weren’t worth it! Besides, she could have those by herself…

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