• Elizabeth Jackson

In Which Our Hero is Compelled to Prove How Well He Knows His Friends

Updated: Mar 3

By Elizabeth Jackson


Verily Veritas had had enough of internet quizzes. So it was without a modicum of pleasure and with more than a little dismay that he noticed his phone glowing insistently with a new notification from “Know Your Friends!” Verily knew his friends. Verily did not want to be quizzed. Life was a constant quiz, and he did not need Facebook to remind him of this cruel reality.


Nonetheless, there were those souls needy of Verily’s validation, and who was he (philanthropic to a fault) to deny them? Setting aside Plato’s Republic (in its original Greek, of course, because who could trust translations?), Verily tapped away on his phone to discern which of his followers sought desperately to test his memory, friendship, and intimate knowledge. Ah, Echo Emeritus, of course. A lovely girl–if you were one for idle chatter.

The first question—child’s play! Did Echo Emeritus like to cook? From the number of times Verily witnessed her exiting Ferris with a soggy sandwich in hand, he knew the answer must be a resounding no. No one who enjoyed participating in the culinary arts would take the risk of life and limb inherent in allowing such a sandwich to pass one’s lips.


Brimming with confidence, Verily pressed the “no” button and was horrified to see a mocking red X spread across his screen. Well. Then. 


Perhaps Echo was a wishful thinker. No matter, no matter—a small failure necessary for forthcoming success! Resettling himself in his desk chair, Verily steeled himself for the second question. “Is Echo usually a) Early; b) On time; c) Late. Ah, well, if her attendance in Literature Humanities was a valid indicator…Verily’s index finger hovered over the “Late” button, but he stopped himself, drawing his hand back as though he’d been burned.

What sort of person admitted she was habitually late? Really, that was almost worse than being late in the first place–admitting you were late and then carrying on with the abysmal behavior. But would she be so bold as to blatantly lie by claiming she was early? Verily decided on a compromise between shocking shamelessness and categorical deception, selecting the on-time option.

Illustration by Kate Steiner

No! Late? Verily could not decide whether to commend the girl for her honesty or chastise her for her complacency. Twelve questions remaining. No cause for alarm. Verily adjusted his collar. He was beginning to chafe.



“What is Echo’s ideal date location?” flashed before his eyes. Verily decided to adopt a different tactic. Whose preference was Echo attempting to match with her response to this question so as to convince the guesser of her suitability as a potential mate?   

   

And then Verily remembered. Yesterday, sitting across from him, Echo had asked him if he might speak up when he participated! Verily had not then spied this mark of love! But as he habitually spoke at a polite bellow, what other reason could there be? She must be hanging on his voice’s every inflection!


Verily quickly selected the option he found most appealing (a picnic—the atmosphere ripe for contemplation).


At last, green! Victory!


Verily’s triumph quickly gave way to consternation. Echo had so carefully disguised her intent to alert him to her feelings that the bounds of propriety prevented an explicit reply. Seizing his fountain pen, Verily cast aside the unfinished quiz (for what more could Verily learn from Echo than the  longings buried deepest in her heart?) He would write an anonymous note. No! He would test her love of him! He would draft his own quiz!

0 comments