It was her first year at uni. She had just moved to this new city. At nineteen, she was very shy, easily embarrassed. It was difficult for her to make new friends. Just the thought of talking to strangers made her heart thump, her palms sweaty, her mouth dry. The only people she knew in this strange place were her parents with whom she lived. Having to start over was not a prospect she relished. Nevertheless, she had been accepted into a teacher training course, something she really wanted to do. Catching a bus every day to the other side of the city was a bit of a chore. It meant a three hour round trip. Until she managed to get her licence and save enough to buy herself a cheap car she had no other option.
The first few weeks were taken up with orientation and finding her way around campus. She was beginning to recognise faces. Not yet brave enough to make the first approach, she usually had lunch by herself in the cafeteria, reading a book.
One day another student asked to join her. Smiling, she nodded her head in welcome. She felt grateful. Perhaps this would break the ice. After an awkward moment of silence, the conversation started to flow haltingly. Names were exchanged. Other preliminary bits of information shared. She was enjoying the company. It was nice to chat to someone for a change. But nerves were making her stomach a bit twitchy. Then, out of nowhere, she felt a fart beginning to form. Nooo!! She tried to stop it. Unsuccessfully. To her horror, the fart bubbled out of her backside in a long and loud kind of gurgly sounding noise. It was probably worthy of a Guinness book record for the world’s longest fart. It seemed to go on and on and on. Funnily she could even feel the bubbles travel up along her spine almost to the top. It sort of tickled a bit. Not knowing what else to do, she ignored it and kept talking as if nothing peculiar was going on. Inside, she cringed with shame and embarrassment.
Sandwich in hand, the other student stared at her not quite believing what she was hearing. With a puzzled look on her face she seemed to be waiting for her to say something. But what? Then, with a look of utter disgust and embarrassment she got up, collected her things and almost ran to get away. She never saw her again. No-one ever joined her for lunch after that. It seemed to her that when she walked around campus others would look at her, point and snigger. It was going to be a long and lonely semester at uni, thanks to the embarrassing fart that came out of nowhere. The puzzling thing was, this kind of thing had never happened to her before. So why now? Whenever she thought about it, which was often, she just died of embarrassment all over again.
Written for Flash Fiction challenge posted by author Dan Alatorre – embarrassment , maximum 500 words
Story word count – 499
© Raili Tanska