Perfection Is Overrated
by Bradley Scott


Chapter 1

Darren woke up with a gasp. He had been having the dream again. Shit. He needed to get over that already.

He slowly turned and looked who was in the bed next to him. It was a stranger’s bed – but that part was obvious. It always was. Well, lately anyway. He wouldn’t bring a guy home. Not when it was like this.

Darren lived in his own apartment, just off of campus, above a coffee shop. Damn nice place, very expensive – but the scholarship people had paid. He had written a brilliantly inspiring and heartwrenching essay, and they’d had basically bent over and let him have it all. Paint a pretty enough picture, he thought cynically, and they’re your bitch.

Ironically, last night he hadn’t been much wiser than the people who had given him the scholarship. He’d fallen for a pretty picture… If only he had seen what lay behind it.

The guy lying next to him now was definitely good looking – Nice musclely shoulders, beautiful short-clipped blond hair – probably dyed, but it worked for him – cute nose, beautiful lips, slightly weak chin, but a jaw-line that compensated for it. Altogether, pretty damn hot. Even drunk, Darren had high standards. But, this guy was also definitely a stranger.

This was the type of thing Darren promised himself he wouldn’t do. Years ago though, and since this charming individual was guy number – thirty-something?…forty-something? – in his waking-up-in-strange-places marathon, it wasn’t like he was too shocked.

Darren resisted the urge to vomit – which may have been from the hangover, the reek of alcohol from himself and the guy lying next to him, or even the reeking sheets that smelled as though they hadn’t been changed since….. well, the dawn of creation.

He slowly slipped out and away from guy, and then silently out from under the covers. He did the stealth thing quite well now. Practise makes perfect.

On his way out he saw the “guitar” he had heard so much about – sitting next to an Xbox, no real strings or frets of any kind. He shot a dark glance back at the loser in bed. Fucking liar. He looked up and saw a 50 cent poster. Oh god, he thought, now I’m REALLY gonna be sick.

Pants, pants, pants. Where the fuck are my pants? AH! There. He found them, lying on a chair by a dressing table. Yay! No creases. Or…. stains. He looked at the dressing table. Gigantic mirror and…. what the hell? Lubricant, industrial sized? Wow, and they say romance is dead.

Shirt, shirt, shirt… Shit. It wasn’t in here. Darren tried to retrace his steps… until he realised he couldn’t remember any of them.

Slowly he opened the door, keeping the right amount of pressure on the handle so it didn’t make a sudden noise, opening it gently, waiting for a creak, finding one, slipping out slowly through the tiny gap, and closing the door, oh so gently, oh so quietly, letting the catch slowly slide back into place. Perfect. Thank you, Thank you, I am too “Ninja” for my own good.

He turned around, and made his way down the dark, bare, white and very calaustraphobic passageway. Good god, what kind of place was this. Obviously an apartment – obviously a cheap one. Probably had a flat-mate. Be very quiet, still. He thought he heard the Tv going softly in a room at the end of the passageway.

He walked, still silently, and the hallway opened into a lounge-slash-kitchen, with what he presumed was another long-ass passageway leading off at the opposite end. What is this? Minos’s fucking labrinthe?

Slowly he peeked around the corner. The kitchen part of the room was empty, but on the other side, there was someone. It was a guy, or a really broad-shouldered, short-ish haired, masculine girl. Stained T-shirt, faded navy pajama-pants with feet resting on the coffee table. He could only see the person’s back. Fairly broad-shouldered, Hairy toes. Yeah, definitely a guy. Or, once again, a really feminist, genetically-unfortunate girl.

He was eating some kind of crunchy serial – or grinding the bones of small children in his jaw, either one – judging from the sound of it. He was watching the news, which made Darren want to giggle. Who the hell watches the news anymore? Isn’t that was yahoo and msn are for?

He saw a door at the end of the room. Thank god. It had locks on it, but they were stuck in the undone position. Which meant Darren had a quick, safe way out. He was glad he wouldn’t have to find a window to jump out of. This place didn’t look like it had any.

He slowly, carefully, ninja-ly tip-toed towards the door.

“You know he sleeps till noon, right? You don’t have to sneak home half-naked without breakfast.”

Darren turned around, stung. Oh crap. Busted by the flat-mate. Walk of shame time. He might as well get to the talk of shame.

“Hi, I’m Darren. I think I did something stupid last night. You know, your roomate?”

This apparently was funny. And probably true too. The guy was in histerics though, so it probably had some truth too.

He was actually quite  cute too, this roommate guy, in a nerdy kind of way. He wore glasses, probably not the reading kind though, if he was using them to watch TV.

He looked like the a typical holiwood nerd – one of those hot guys that they slap a pair of glasses and a set of ugly clothes on, before he makes the “magical” transition into “Desirable Hottie” form.

He had ruffled jet-black hair, that hung around his face in loose waves, and through the thin T-shirt Darren saw he was average build, not bad at all though. At the moment his face was red and he was doubled over chuckling.

“Hi,” he managed eventually, “I’m Ted.”

Darren smiled.

“Theodore, darling, I’d love to stay and pursue a steady and delightful discourse with you, but have you perchance spied my red – or orange or maybe pink – garment which I misplaced in the course of last nights…. passions?”

Ted looked confused. He had stopped laughing, and Darren got a better idea of what he looked like. Very round, open face, beautiful cheekbones. Very friendly, but definitely confused, at the moment.

“Um,” Darren sighed. “Have you seen my shirt?”

“Er,” Ted blushed, and pointed to a corner, where what looked like a ripped pile of orange rags lay.

“Aw, man!” Darren rushed over and picked up what was left of his orange shirt. “Shit. This was my favourite shirt. I suppose it doesn’t work now, does it?” He said, slipping it over his head, since the collar and the sleaves were still intact.

“I….uh-” Ted stammered. Darren turned and looked at himself in a dingy little mirror on the wall behind him. Not bad, he thought. This could almost be my new gay-clubbing shirt.

There were three rips in it – on which started at his right shoulder, and gashed downwarrds to the left to give a nice view of his collarbone and the top part of his right pec. The other one was on his left side, showing off some ribs and going up to just above his left nipple. The last one was middle-right, starting at the bottom of the shirt, giving a view of his toned abs and showing his bely button every time he shifted.

Not bad, he thought. Has Ted stammering.

It took a while before something occurred to him.

Hold on, why was Ted stammering? Why did he just know and accept that Darren had just had sex with – Oh, god, what was that guys name? – Ted’s roomate?

Anyway, Why did Ted blush at Darren like that? Could this cute nerd be…?

“Hey,” Darren said, sitting down. “So whats your story? Why you living in a place like this? With a guy like… um…”

“Kyle?” Ted offered, smiling again.

“Yeah, that’s the one. So?”

“Well…. My uncle had this one friend, who had a friend, who had a boss, who needed to rent this place out. It was dirt cheap, but still, an apartment, and I don’t get money from my parents, so I work for what I can get, and I decided get a roomate, make money issues a bit easier. So I got Kyle on board.

We go way back… So I asked him. He was really cool about it. We were staying in the dorms together, and he couldn’t always… do stuff there. He hasn’t been that bad. His parents hooked us up with all our furniture. They even gave me my own double bed, which I thought was really cool. Kyle enjoys the… freedom. And we get along okay enough. Always have, I suppose. We’re good friends… I mean, we’re very different, so it’s not exactly perfect.”

“Perfection is overrated. Don’t let “the man” fool you.” Darren said, not really wanting to get too into the life story of people he’d probably never see again, or philosophy about how flaws define human beings. His head was still pounding, and he still really needed to get home. Well, what passed for home at least, these days. “Listen, I need to go. The walk of shame, and all that.”

Well, at least it wouldn’t be so bad this time. He didn’t have to sneak out of any windows or anything. Well, he’d still have to walk…. however many blocks… in a shredded orange shirt.

“Do you maybe want me to lend you a shirt?” Ted blushed and smiled again.

Gee, that’s sweet of the guy, Darren smiled, ‘Specially since he know’s he’s not going to see it again.

“Um, if you don’t mind. That’d be great” Darren shot him a grateful grin. “I wasn’t exactly looking forward to displaying the merchandise in public. This was like a private show, ya know?”

“Yeah, I do.” Ted giggled. “Give me a second.”

He went off down the other halway-to-eternity and came back with a faded grey shirt. Yup, definitely not the kind you’d be sorry to loose. Ted must have experience with….. giving away clothing to Kyle’s conquests.

“Thank you,” Darren said, gratefully putting on the soft, comfortable shirt. God it felt nice. Smelled good too.
“It smells so nice! You know, Like that fabric softener smell that’s supposed to smell like a forest after the rain or the ocean breeze or something like that, but really just smells like fabric softener. That’s what it smells like.”

“It is fabric softener.” He smiled in confusion. “And you’re welcome.”

He gave Ted a good long look. This poor guy. Living with someone so completely different from him. Darren wondered if he was gay. If he wasn’t, there was definitely something there. Maybe he was one of those religious repressed guys. Nah, then he probably wouldn’t have a roommate like Kyle.

“I need to go now.” He smiled at Ted. “I’m afraid we can’t continue mocking and insulting our dear friend… um…”


“Yes, Kyle, because I really need to get to classes soon, and I have no idea where I am.”

“Oh, well, we’re only about a five minutes away from campus.”

“Ah, great. But still… gotta run.” He winked at Ted, causing him to blush bright red and smile again. He grabbed the discarded rag that was his favourite orange T-shirt once, and stood up.

“Can I throw this away somewhere?” He looked around the room, failing to find a dustbin.

“Here, let me get it.” Ted put out his hand and Darren gave over the T-shirt.

Darren, quite awkwardly now, made his way over to the door. When Ted said nothing, he opened it and stepped outside into the passage-way.

“Well, bye. Thanks again for the shirt.” He raised his hand, akwardly.

“You’re welcome.” Ted raised the hand with the orange T-shirt. “Bye.”

Ted closed the door. Darren let out a sigh of relief. Okay, those last few seconds were awkward. He felt bad taking¬† Ted’s top. I mean, it wasn’t even the guy he had slept with.

“Hmph!” He sighed to himself, “Yeah, ’cause I usually like to EARN T-shirts with some good work in the sack. God, I’m a Whore.”

Oh well. Time to find the way home.


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