“Who the FUCK is this??”
Her response had taken three whole minutes, and when it did come, it was only one word.
Adam had slammed his computer shut without replying.
Hours later, now sitting in the parking of the community college, with only a half hour to go before his first class, he was still fuming. He clenched the steering wheel with both hands and twisted until his knuckles turned bright white. Fucking bitch fucking cunt fucking stalker fucking cunt! Who did she think she was? This crazy bitch was never going to leave him alone. And how had she found him on a random incel forum of all places?
Staring out through the dashboard and the expansive field next to the college, the first flecks of rain speckling the glass under a quickly graying sky, the answer came to him: Robby. Robby had told his dumbass sister where to find him. For whatever reason, that fucking autist had helped Mia stalk him online.
He ripped his phone from his pocket and typed out a furious text.
“What the fuck, man? Why did you tell your sister about that forum? She fucking stalked me online. What did you help her do that for?? I’m pissed.”
He watched the screen, waiting for an answer. None came. The minutes ticked by. Nostrils flared. Heart raced. And he told himself to calm down. He told himself not to give a shit. He could decide not to care. He could. If only he wasn’t so fucking angry. What right did she have to stalk him online? Read all of his posts? Watch him rant about how he was so insecure and ugly…..and lonely….No. No, he wasn’t about to let her play around with his feelings. She was like any other virtue-signaling female. Oh, I want to help all the poor little incels, tee-hee! What a superior fucking cunt. He was entitled to a place away from women, poking and prodding at him, judging him. All he ever did was try. All he ever did….and for what…for….
Dragging in a long gulp of air, he willfully steadied his nerves. He didn’t have to let her get to him. That had always been his problem, and he had decided, he had decided, he was going to reach a new level of idgaf.
So. Push it away. Push it down. Shove away all that anger. Focus on the action, not the emotion.
He snatched his backpack from the seat and pulled the paper schedule from the front zipper pouch. C-25. C-wing was the ground floor. Chuck had told him this room should be at the end of the same hallway where Adam had found the admissions office. It wasn’t a big college. Adam’s high school was actually about three times as large. Still, he wanted to give himself time to find it. Didn’t want to be late to his first ever college class. Stepping out of the car, he slung his heavy backpack-laden with textbooks and carefully selected school supplies-over his shoulder.
As he walked through the parking lot, blinking through the faint beginnings of a foggy drizzle, he tamped down all of the awful emotions that kept biting at him: humiliation, anger, and….something more….something like….sadness. Not quite. Close though. He pushed them down. He shoved them away. He couldn’t control Mia, but he could control him. Emotions might flood his system, and he couldn’t control that, couldn’t control the initial response, but could make the choice not to remain steeped in those feelings. Mia was wrong. He hadn’t done anything wrong on his end to invite that behavior from her. He knew that he hadn’t. All he’d ever done was ask Mia to leave him alone, ignore her flirtations, her clumsy bids for his attention.
He pushed through the door and stepped into the heat of the building. The shift in temperature caused a jerky, involuntary shiver to tear through him. He walked past the glass walls of the automotive shop classes, surrounded by the muted hum and whir of tools. He was succeeding in smothering those negative emotions. They were still there, but muted now. Like he’d forced them behind their own thick plate glass wall. Deadened. He’d dulled the sting off them.
Veering through the atrium, Adam brought his thoughts over to the action plan. Continue not to engage. He would not ever respond to Mia’s last message. He’d find a new incel forum to spend time on. Maybe he’d go back to r/incelswithouthate. After Robby had introduced him to the no pill forum, he’d gotten used to venting with women around. The women that made their way onto IWH wouldn’t bother him so much now. That was a good plan. He wouldn’t even acknowledge what Mia had done, and if she ever asked him about in person, he’d pretend he didn’t know what she was talking about. He’d make her think she’d been talking to some stranger the whole time. And what he wouldn’t do, without a shadow of a doubt, was open up to a female ever again. No way. They were always lying, always doing something sneaky and underhanded. First Becca. Now Mia…
He pulled in another deep drag of air. He was making his way down the large main hallway of the lower floor, passing the fancy President’s office, with the shining floor to ceiling windows and the college crest painted on the glass. A wave of nerves hit him, like a cloud of mist he’d walked right into, stabbing little pinpricks into him like tiny knives twisting with every beat of his heart. College….he was really in college…
At the end of the hall, he found the classroom. It was a small room, smaller than most of the rooms in his high school. There weren’t desks, but several long tables pushed together end to end in two rows. There were four guys sitting together at the second table, watching something on a phone held up by the guy in the middle. At a small desk in front of the white-board, a short woman in a plaid blazer with a short afro and dangly gold earrings that nearly brushed her shoulder pads, unpacked a laptop and several wires from a purple satchel.
Adam picked a spot at the end of the first row of tables, right next to the window. He pulled out his notebook and pen and waited. A burst of exhilaration raced in his core, jumping from tendon to tendon, and suddenly, he knew he really could just decide to not be upset about Mia. He had power. He’d already exercised it. He had the power to make choices, to change his life for the better, and not for women but for him. Only a couple of months ago, his life had been like that of a living corpse. Entombed in the basement, embalmed by fast food and pepsi and anime, he’d stagnated like something worse than slow death. Worse because as much as he’d wanted to rot, the best he could do was fester. Every day had melded together, a kaleidoscope of misery and longing, and finally, he’d gotten so damn sick of it that he’d up and left it behind.
More students filed in and took their seats. A girl sat down beside him, smiled and asked what his major was. Adam shoved aside his first impulse, to view this female as a potential girlfriend. He’d realized life was better without hope. But it was also better without resentment. He grinned, introduced himself, and forgot all about Mia.
The messy chick who went out of her way to gawk at incels like animals in a zoo? Let her gawk. Because he was doing just fine.