Waiting in Line

By: Max Sebastian

An erotic romance

It was about 10 o'clock that Dylan started feeling he'd bitten off more than he could chew with this whole waiting in line overnight thing.

He'd never done it before, and as he had rocked up outside the Apple Store just after dinner that evening, around 6pm, he'd seen all the hardcore techy geeks already camping out there, and he was given the distinct impression that he was packing rather light for the night's wait.

But it was the summer, school was out for good - until they headed off to college in the autumn - so where was the need to stress about anything? He had his kindle packed full of books he could quiet happily bury his head in for hours and hours on end, it was wonderfully warm out, without a cloud in the sky.

What did he need sleeping bags or tents or camping stoves for?

He got quite a good position in the line, considering - just around the corner from the store entrance, and the speed the line was forming, in no time he could consider himself toward the front of the queue.

He settled down just behind a gaggle of lively, talkative girls, and ahead of a gloomy bunch of black-haired emo types.

The girls all seemed to be close friends that had overlooked the possibility of one of them waiting in line for all of their purchasing needs when the next iPad officially went on sale. Well, on the news that morning they'd been saying there would be limited supplies - the Apple guys would probably restrict it to one iPad per buyer.

It wasn't the most comfortable place to hang out - sitting cross-legged with only a backpack holding a paltry few snacks and drinks to keep him comfortable. But hey, he'd waited in airports in worse places for longer periods before. And having the gentle scent of perfume wafting past his nose every now and again from a group of undeniably attractive girls was mildly pleasant.

Gazing back on the great long line, it seemed that those waiting there were all circling into their own little cliques to wait out the night. It made Dylan feel very much on his own.

He found some distraction in flicking surreptitious glances over to the girls if he started feeling solitary. There were five of them - two blondes, an Asian girl and two brunettes - all pretty and smiley and bouncy and perky. Behind, the emo crowd was less entertaining - sullen, moody, and difficult to tell even what gender many of them were. Those nearest to him turned their backs on him as they focused on their own little world of depressing ipod tracks, black clothing and random piercings.

Each to their own, however. Dylan had always been a little envious of those students who'd found their own sense of identity - he was just an average guy who really had nothing special to write home about.

Perhaps college would be a chance to shine.

Sure, he did regret failing to check whether any of his friends might have wanted to come along, keep him company in the line. Isaac was never going to vacate a warm bed for even one night, of course, but Clyde and Justin were always able to find a hint of adventure in even the most unfortunate of circumstances.

But, they'd probably cackle at him for being a big geek, waiting all night just to get his hands on a new iPad. Why can't you just wait until the next day, or the next week, when the rush will be over? They'd probably say something similar, anyway. Even if he told them it was his sister's birthday was the following day, and it was seriously important that he get her desperately-desired tablet before then, they probably wouldn't understand.

For the first couple of hours he tried to focus on his book - a chunky Stephen King tome he hadn't gotten around to reading yet, even though it had been out for a while.

"Hey, how's it going?" his mom called at about eight o'clock, worried about her little man.

"Oh, fine, yeah. I got a good place in line."

"Are you warm enough? Do you want me to bring some more clothing?"

"It's sunny out."

"It won't be for much longer. It gets cold at night when there's no clouds, Dylan."

"I'll be fine."

He talked quietly into his iPhone, not wanting to be overheard, especially by the girls up ahead. He didn't think they'd be listening in - they had their own constant stream of conversation about this album or that album or the latest relationship status of friends not currently present to protect themselves from gossip. Even so, he didn't want them knowing the only person who knew he was here was his mother.

A little later, as the sun started to drop rapidly drop the other stores of this open-air mall, and the breeze took on a slight chill, he started to regret not asking his mother to bring something warm. He had a thin sweatshirt he could put on - but he'd been using that as a cushion the past couple of hours, after his butt went to sleep on that hard concrete sidewalk, and he was loathed to go back to bare ground.