The Choice

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by…”

“What?”

“It’s a poem by Rober…. Nevermind. This is not an easy choice. Just give me a minute to think.”

Michael paced the length of the living room, drumming his fingers against each other.

“Dude, you’re not seriously thinking of picking him are you?”

Every bit of Max’s 6’ 3” frame vibrated with the impatience of a 5-year-old as he sat on the couch, trying to cover the Kool-Aid stain he had created two months ago. Max’s self control had never been strong, but he harnessed every bit he had trying to sit still. Unfortunately, even at his best he could only control half of himself. While his hands were tucked under crossed arms, his knees bounced out of control. He threw his head to one side, casting the mop of brown hair out of blue eyes that begged to be the chosen one.

Over the past six months, Michael’s roommates had progressed from getting on each other’s nerves to full-fledged war. When Max found that all the deodorant in the house had disappeared right before his first date with Cassie, he programmed the TV so that it would only play the original Ghost Busters movie for two weeks straight. Michael hated being forced to choose between the two, but he could not take it anymore.

“Look Max, I know that whatever I decide, it’s gonna suck for someone, but I am sick of being in the middle of your little war and there is only one room besides mine. Now shut up and let me think.”

Max continued to plead like a puppy begging for a treat.

“You won’t be able to play Call of Duty with him.”

“I also won’t find his boxers in the kitchen sink.”

Michael never missed a stride as he shot Max a look intended to convince him that talking was not in his best interest at this time, or for that matter, ever.

Max could only fight his instincts for so long before bursting out with another attempt to tip the scales in his favor.

“He won’t ever bring any hot girls over.”

“Dude. Neither will you.”

“Bro! That was cold. Low blow dude.”

“Will you just let me think?”

Max’s energy had been contained for too long and he bounded off the couch to match Michael’s pacing. He desperately searched for anything that might help him win.

“We’ve had some great times together. We have a Super Bowl tradition.”

“He and I have a Halloween tradition.”

Michael stopped and turned to look at his friend in one motion. Max’s ears perked up, sensing that this could be the moment that decided everything.

“Look man, here’s the deal. You both are great in your own ways, but if all you’re gonna do is fight I can only have one of you here. I’m sorry dude, but I’m choosing him.”

Max threw his arms wildly in the air as he screamed, “ARE YOU SERIOUS?”

“It’s nothing personal. We can still hang out together sometimes. It’s just that times are tight right now and…”

“But he’s a ghost!”

“Yeah, but he’s a ghost who pays his rent.”

Copyright © 2011 Adam Drake

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13 comments

  1. This is a funny little story. Funny haha and funny peculiar. I’ve never heard of a roommate war between a guy and a ghost. Is this your own work? (I noticed an unfamiliar copyright at the bottom.)

    1. Ha ha! Thanks. It’s definitely my own work. (I can’t imagine anyone else claiming it!) The copyright is mine. I am trying to get into the habit of protecting my work. My hope is that someday it will be good enough for someone to want to steal. The copyright just protects me if they ever do.

  2. To be honest, while the story was somewhat enjoyable to read, it was a bit shallow. This is actually one of your not so good stories (wait… yep, it`s the first of this kind in 1 Story A Week).

    You might want to try to change something in your story telling style. The “ordinary story with the unorthodox ending, that makes all the difference” concept is entertaining and has its use, but not always.

    Evertything else put aside, I really like the way you write. Thank you for that.

    1. I appreciate your honesty. My “unorthodox ending” style is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. I am searching to find a style that has more depth, but honestly it has been a struggle. I think I have come to find that I have trouble writing stories with more depth because I do not live a life with as much depth as I would like to portray. I would like to think that I have skills as a writer, but to create something lasting and meaningful I know I will eventually have to tap into something that goes beyond a “style”.

      Thanks again for your thoughts. I am working on evolving as a writer and looking for the heart behind my words. I hope you will stick around long enough to see me find it.

  3. Don`t worry about depth. Depth exists in the simplest of forms and more often than not, we look at it, but don`t actually see it. I`ll give you an example. In my country there are many poor and homeless people. We are more or less used to them begging for money in the city center. Yes, I sometimes give that girl with the violin a coin or two, but I rarely feel anything significant (sadness or something). On a early morning I was on my way to work. An elderly woman, dressed poorly, with her hand stretched out, shivering. I was about to pass her, without even putting a coin in her hand. It was then, when I actually saw her. There were tears in her eyes and on her old, wrinkled cheeks. Tears filled my own eyes. I don`t know why. But it was a strong reminder for me. The coin I put in there won`t really do much difference. It might help her, but it`s not something that will keep her from crying again. I haven`t figured out yet, how can I actually help her or anyone in her situation. But I will eventually find a way.

    Sorry for the long post, but I think you understand what I`m trying to say. Life may look simple and ordinary, but it never really is. If you don`t get used to it.

  4. I have called my room mate a ghost before, although she wasn’t. I did not realize it was literal until I read the comments. Very interesting.

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