Mild Mannered: Issue #1

“No! Absolutely not!”

I’m jolted from my slight doze by the yelling from my roommate, my mind only now registering I’m in my computer chair and not my bed. Kara isn’t normally up this early. I sit up and look at the clock on my computer.

Oh. It’s nearly noon. I guess I was out longer than I thought.

“I told you Jules! I’m not letting my best friend spend another day slumped in front of his computer! Go get some clean clothes on. We’re going out.”

Her voice is a weird mix of irritated and strict, but also playful. I would argue with her, but I’m too tired to deal with it at the moment.

I try to stand and find myself too tired to do that either. I guess talking is easier.

“I thought you had to work today,” I whine.

My chair spins as she turns it to face me. Kara wasn’t terribly tall, but she wasn’t really that short either. Her olive skin suited her dark hair, which was long, going halfway down her back.

Her clothes are always fashionable, her bag is brand name. What name that was, I could maybe guess if you put a gun to my head and I tried real hard to think.

And somehow, I’m her best friend. You average, tall and lanky nerd, wearing only the finest in shirts with geeky references.

After spinning me around, she stands with her hands on her hips, giving me a bit of a scowl.

“I took the day off. You promised me you’d do something active with your weekend.”

“I did, but then I fell asleep.”

“Until noon?”

“A boy needs his beauty sleep.”

“Shut up. Go shower, get dressed and meet me downstairs.”

She stomped a little walking away, giving me my answer as to whether she was more angry or teasing.

Ugh. Do not want to do this.

I open my closet and dig through my hanging t-shirts. I had some nicer shirts, but those are more like ‘interview’ or ‘wedding’ clothing. Not ‘being dragged out to be social against my will’ clothing. I grab a green shirt with the Triforce on it and head to the bathroom to shower.

True to my slightly whiny word, I get dressed in a shirt, jeans and sandals and head downstairs. I can only guess what her devilish plan for me is. At the bottom of the staircase I see her sitting at the breakfast table, tapping away at something on her phone. She glances up as I enter the room, sizing up my outfit.

“I know you disapprove. Please, let’s get on with whatever you wanted me to do today.”

Her eyes return to her phone for a few more taps before she decides she’s done.

“You clothes don’t matter to me.”

“Really? I thought the shirt kinda fit with these pants, and I think I’ve seen some guys wear sandals like this.”

“No, definitely not. They don’t matter because we’re going clothes shopping for you. Let’s go!” with that, she hops up and walks briskly toward the door.

I follow, but vocalize my displeasure.

“What? Why? There’s nothing wrong with what I wear!”

“There isn’t most of the time, but if you’re going to start going on dates, you’ll need something you haven’t worn to interviews for the last ten years.”

We get outside and she opens her car. I’m still talking as I cross over to the other side and open the door.

“What dates? I haven’t been on a date in months!” I hear my own seatbelt buckle and only now realize I followed her into the car for this plan I most definitely don’t want to do.

“Hence why you need to start.”

She starts up the car and pulls out of our apartment’s parking lot.

“It’s been what, nine months since that asshole unceremoniously broke up with you?”

“Hey! The break up with Cal was a mutual thing…”

“You ran out of the party crying when he dumped you.”

“…it was a mutual dumping.”

She sighs.

“Jules, I don’t like seeing you sulking. You’re a great guy, and there’s lots of boys out there for you to date.”

“If they’re so great for me, why do I have to hide my geeky shirts?”

“You don’t have to hide them. Just, you know, change things up every so often. Besides, when you dress good, you’ll feel good. I promise.”

I groan burying my face in my hands.

“A frontal lobotomy would feel good right about now.”

“Stop being so dramatic. I’m not telling you to stop buying comics or going to your D&D group. All I’m saying is that if you wear something a little more dramatic, you’d get noticed. I mean, geek chic is in, and your possible dates might think you’re a… what did you call them?”

I quickly roll through my mind, thinking of whatever she could possibly be referring to.

“Fake geek girls?”

“Right. That.”

“There’s a gay joke I can make, but I’m too classy.”

She rolls her eyes.

“Fine, how about if we find a shirt you actually like, I’ll buy you a comic on our way back home.”

“Trade paperback?” I quickly ask.

“Yes,” Kara nods. “Whatever that means.”

Well, that makes this trip worth it.

“Okay. I’m in. So, tell me what’s new with that guy who came over the other day. Rodney?”

Kara gives a shrug.

“Eh, not really my type.”

“Not your type? I’m almost positive we could literally do our laundry on his abs.”

“Yeah, but he was so boring. He would not stop talking about his fantasy football league.”

“That’s all it takes to overcome, like, the abs?”

She groans.

“You do not get it. It was bad. It was so bad. Any time his mouth was moving it was just ‘my team did this’ or ‘my player screwed me.’ I would rather hear about your games than that.”

“Hold up. You’d rather hear about my D&D campaign than a hot guy talk sports. That is ludicrous.”

“What? Yours at least have a story I can talk myself into being interested in. He just whined about his quarterback’s dislocated shoulder and how his buddy cheated him.”

“Sure. I just figured the body of an Adonis would more than make up for that.”

“Well, it’s not like I didn’t have my fun.”


She giggled at our go-to tease for each other.

“Like you wouldn’t have done the same. See! This is why I want you dating again. I miss talking boys. You’ve been so-“

“I get it. I guess I have been a little more shut off than usual. If it will make you happy, I’ll get some new shirts.”


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