Tosh is well aware that the people she works with at the Ministry of Defence consider her a geek and something of a wallflower. She’s shy and socially awkward around her colleagues, especially the attractive men; not that any of the guys she secretly fancies would ever give her the time of day. She hides behind her glasses and dresses conservatively; some might even say she’s a bit dowdy.
Fashion trends have always seemed so pointlessly ephemeral to her. Who has time to shop for a whole new wardrobe four times a year, following someone else’s arbitrary ideas of what the well-dressed woman should be wearing? Besides, it’s needlessly wasteful to throw out perfectly good clothes that still have plenty of wear left in them, and it’s not like she needs to dress up for dates. She barely remembers the last time someone asked her out; it must have been that boy back in college. What was his name? Jim? Tim? No, it was Ted, the one with the dimples. He was nice, but it just hadn’t worked out.
Flopping down on the sofa in her small flat, Tosh picks up her journal and turns to a fresh page.
Dear diary, today some guy at work told me I had the nicest hair he's ever seen and my response was "thanks, I grew it myself". He gave me a weird look and went to sit with some girls from the typing pool. This is why I'm single. Every time someone pays me a compliment, or even speaks to me about anything that’s not work related, I get flustered and blurt out something phenomenally stupid. They must all think I’m a complete idiot!
I know I shouldn’t, but I envy the girls I work with, the way they can flirt and make small talk so effortlessly. The only things I’m good at talking about are mathematics, computers, and technology, and those aren’t suitable topics for flirting. How can I know so much about my academic specialties yet be so completely inept when it comes to social interactions? What’s wrong with me?
Ever since I was little, people have been calling me gifted, a genius, blessed with a brilliant mind, but what good is that if it means spending my life alone? Is having someone who’ll love me for who I am really so much to ask? The way things are going I’ll probably die an old maid.
That’s not a pleasant prospect. Capping her pen, Tosh sets her journal aside and curls up in the corner of the sofa, sipping her tea. At work she can keep busy, distract herself from thinking about what a failure she is at life, so she often stays late. It beats sitting home alone with only bad TV shows for company, moping over her pathetic lack of a love life and contemplating the bleak, lonely future that lies ahead of her.
Sighing, she finishes her tea, turns out the light and goes to bed. Alone.