The Misadventures of Johan O’Malley: Chapter 2 

“How was Prom?” Arthur said as soon as I stepped into the kitchen. He had a newspaper in one hand and a large coffee in the other. 

“Um, good.”

“Your mom said you didn’t say a word on the way home.”

“Just tired, I danced all night,” I said. I tried to fake a smile to get him off my back. I was trying to hide my disappointment that I didn’t get kissed. I texted my best friend Mohammed Leinman, who I knew had spent the night with his girlfriend Connie and I was upset because I knew that he got his dream night. 

Hey, can we meet at The Bling Diner, I texted Mohammed. 

Mohammed responded that he’d meet me in a little over an hour and he had invited Mike Wisniewaska, our other close friend. Mike went to Prom with some random girl because he was terrible with women. He wouldn’t be able to give me any advice.

After an hour of waiting, I expected Mohammed to walk in the door any second. But, in true Mohammed fashion, he showed up twenty minutes late. Mike came in a few minutes later and the three of us took the large booth in the back. 

I ordered a healthy smoothie bowl with a side of sliced carrots, while my friends chose something full of fat and calories. I couldn’t stand it when they ate that way. I asked Mohammed what he ordered and he told me he ordered two pancakes covered in butter, syrup and chocolate chips. Mike got something called the lumberjack breakfast, which had almost every unhealthy food item on the menu. 

Finally, Mike ended the silence when he looked at me and asked, “Why are we here so early in the morning after Prom?” 

I told him we never went to sleep. Melody and I stayed up all night talking when I finally told her I think we should just be friends.

Mohammed and Mike gave each other a look that showed they knew I was lying, but I had to save face in front of them. 

“Really?” Mohammed asked. 

“Of course,” I said. “She’s hot and all, but she just doesn’t understand me. I need someone who knows what it’s like to be alone.”

Mohammed said, “What the hell does that mean? ‘What’s it like to be alone’? You want a girl to spend time with and talk about what it’s like to be by yourself?”

“Exactly. She isn’t someone who can understand how complex I am.” 

“Johan, have you ever stopped to think that maybe you aren’t that complex, but maybe you have a complex? Perhaps you should give Melody another chance. She seems really great,” Mike said. 

I was losing them. How could I admit that she didn’t want to be with me? Everything I said just made me sound even worse.

“Well, it just wasn’t right. I’ll know when I find my perfect woman.” Which made me realize I should get my mom’s unbiased opinion about the kind of guy I am. She always knew how to show me just how special I am. 

So after the worst brunch ever with my two friends, I went home to find my mom watching TV and drinking a cup of her favorite tea. 

“Mom, can we talk?” I asked. 

She replied excitedly, “We certainly can sweetie! I was meaning to talk to you last night before you left. But from that look on your face, I can see that I didn’t need to. Were you just about to ask me for relationship advice? You and Melody make quite the couple.”

I physically cringed because now I had to explain what really happened. So, I told her every last detail, forcing her to promise not to say anything to Liam or Arthur.

She told me Liam and Arthur could be helpful in this situation because Liam had a new girlfriend from college and Arthur won her over. She told me that Liam could give me relationship advice, man to man. I decided that wasn’t a bad idea. So, I went to find my brother and I asked him how he got girls.

Liam sat alone in his all-black bedroom listening to depressing music. Even with the lights off, from a distance I could tell he looked different. Was that eyeliner on his face? Before saying anything, I realized what a terrible idea this was unless I tried to attract girls who can only go out at night.

I figured that if I listened to my mom, I would start shadowing Liam and try to make myself more like him. I noticed that he never worked out and ate all the junk food that he wanted so I decided that nothing could be scarier in that fictitious world. 

Instead, I went to my room and got on my anonymous blog called “Johan Speaks”, where I wrote my innermost thoughts and feelings. My latest post had to do with a legal thriller that my mom and I read together for our book club of two. My friends laughed at me about it, but at least I didn’t have to pretend around her. 

I slowly began to realize that the only person I could be 100 percent honest with was my mom! Which was different from being friends with Melody, Mohammed and Mike, since I felt the need to embellish the truth around them… I sighed, thinking about my disastrous life. At least school got out next week and I had a feeling this summer would be one to remember. 

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