I had walked in on a conversation about my earlier and supposedly suave remarks.

Jamie struggled to contain her laughter.

“But,” Mikela spit out, tears streaming down her face, “but that’s not even the best part. Do…do you know what he said next?”

“What?”

“He said ‘thanks for telling me that,'” Mikela giggled. “Said that I was a ‘real pal’ for doing it!” Unable to contain herself, Mikela burst into frenzied laughter.

I reddened and backed out before either could see me.

A brave man can subdue fear. A cheerful man can confront sadness. Yet, out of all the negative emotions, one towers above the rest in power and scope: embarrassment. Exercising dominion over beggars and kings alike, embarrassment is one of the primary forces of the universe. Stronger than gravity or radiation, it’s a wonder natural science hasn’t found a useful application for it.

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