Steve Urkel sat on his tiny twin bed in the same position he had been in for hours. He sat with his legs crossed and the crocheted blanket from the living room sofa sprawled across his lap. Occasionally, his fist clutched the blanket and pressed it up to his face. It still smelled like her.
Last night had been the hardest night of his life and considering what every other night was like as king of the nerds, that was really saying something. Sure yesterday began normally. He was munching on some chicken feet and chatting up his best pal Eddie, but when his love potion, Woowoo Juice, accidentally spilled on him, soaking through to his skin, the day took an unexpected turn. He tried to do the right thing. He had every intention of holing up in his lab far away from all members of the fairer sex. Then, as bad luck would have it, the love of his life, Laura Lee Winslow walked into the room and right into the dangerous cloud of pheromones surrounding him. She seemed unaffected by his invention at first, but he should not have been so quick to doubt his genius. She sauntered back in only moments later with eyes so full of lust that he felt a fire start in the pit of his stomach. He spent years of puberty, if you can really call it that for an Urkel, praying that she would look at him like that, but the most he had ever gotten out of her previously was pity.
It is hard to blame Steve for what almost happened that night. He really worked hard to resist her unending charms and considering the spell she could cast on him with an eye roll, he really did pretty well. When push came to shove, he did the right thing. He stole a kiss in a moment of weakness, but she would have given him much more than that had he been willing to take it. She wanted him. She wanted his body, his mind, his heart. He could have had Laura Winslow, not just as a lover, but likely as a wife, had he been willing to steal what was not rightfully his. Because he loved her so much, so truly and so deeply, he willingly gave her up. Because he respected her, he recognized that he had crossed the line, even if it was by accident. Because he always tried to be honest with her, he admitted his mistake.
She didn't care. In that moment, she loved him so deeply that nothing else mattered. She didn't worry about how or why. She only worried about what her life might be like without him, without that feeling of full and complete devotion. She didn't want him to give her up. She would have done anything in that moment to keep him from taking those feelings away from her. Still, he had to do the right thing. He used the antidote, which thankfully worked. She immediately forgot the whole thing, dismissing it as a vivid dream, and left him alone to wallow. Wallow he did. He had passed the test. He did not regret the decision he made, releasing her from his immoral spell, but he definitely wished he had never taken the class.
That's how he ended up here, alone in his bed, clutching a memory. He had stayed home from school that day. With Harriett and Carl on their second honeymoon and only Steve, Laura, Eddie, and Richie in the house, no one bothered to ask why. He did phone Myra, hoping to ease her fears and worries before they began. Truly, he was hoping that dealing with her preemptively would prevent an impromptu visit. It seemed to have worked. There he sat, for eight hours as the school day passed. He ran through the night over and over again, looking for something he could have done differently, some little trick that could have made her his forever. Each time he saw himself looking in to her eyes, he immediately knew that he was going to make the same decision, over and over and over again. As incredible as her deep brown eyes looked to him in that moment, there was a hint of glossiness to them. There was a small part of him that looked into those eyes and knew that a part of her had been muted, stolen. It was the same pair of eyes, but a bit of Laura had left them. He knew that he had not really won her over; he had only changed who she was. Every time, as painful as it was, he knew he had to use the antidote. Eddie had lectures all morning and was going out later, so at least he knew he had the room to himself, as he was continuously plagued by what-if scenarios.
He thought he could remain alone with his memories, anyway, until he heard a knock at his bedroom door.
Anyone but Myra. Anyone but Myra. Anyone but Myra, he thought as he got up to open it. He placed the blanket at the end of his bed, slumped to the door, and opened it wide. In that moment, as he saw Laura standing before him in her tight cheerleading sweater and short red skirt, he ran through an emotional jungle.
Immediately, he was thrilled to see her. He quickly took in her incomparable beauty. As his head had been hung low in depression, he started at her feet, which he immediately recognized as the adorable little piggies of his lady love. His eyes raised excitedly up her smooth, shapely calves to her silken thighs. His eyes lingered for a moment on the perfect curve of her hips before finding their way up her flat stomach to rest again on her ample, perky breasts. After a little longer than he should have stared, he forced his gaze to travel up to her picturesque face, pausing to take in her plump, red lips in a gentle half-smile, her full cheeks, her dainty nose, and her warm eyes.
Meeting her gaze this time, however, did not bring him the incredible peace he was used to finding in her stare. In fact, it felt like her eyes stabbed right through his heart as he was quickly reminded of the night they almost shared. This stabbing feeling in his chest made him almost recoil. In that moment, as ashamed as he was to admit it, he resented her. Of course, because he felt something so completely out of character and so unfair, his gut was hit immediately thereafter with a heavy hammer of guilt.
All of these emotions flashed across his face and Laura's eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
"Hey, Steve," she said, uncertainty riddled in her voice, "You ok? You weren't in any of our classes today and you didn't mention being sick this morning." She paused to wait for an answer and was surprised when one didn't come quickly.
"I'm fine, Laura. Thanks," Steve said with noticeable detachment. It wasn't that he wanted to detach from her or ignore her rare consideration and concern, but he just wasn't sure what he could tell her. He wasn't sure where exactly her memories stopped and started. He certainly didn't want to take the risk of jogging a memory that she would rather forget.
Laura was confused by his lack of perk, but she had a more important reason to knock on his door this afternoon, so she pressed on. “I brought you your homework,” she said, handing him a pile of papers.
“Thanks, Sweetums,” he replied as calmly as he could. The flurry of emotions was starting to make him nauseous and he wasn’t hiding it well.
“Can I come in?” Laura asked, surprised that he hadn’t immediately flung the door open wide enough for her to enter.
“Oh, sure,” Steve said, reluctantly widening the gap in the door. His eyes followed the sway of her hips as she crossed the room and sat next to the blanket on his bed. Made uncomfortable by the tension in the room and the fuzziness in her brain, she averted her eyes and began to pick at the holes in the blanket, trying to look casual.
She expected Steve to speak first, but when he didn’t, she stammered uncomfortably, “Um. Steve, there’s something weird happening, I think. I- I feel very foggy today and I can’t figure out why. I- I barely remember yesterday, and what I do remember… It’s not all adding up.” She realized she was rambling a little, and let herself trail off, hoping for a quick response.
Oh, no. I can’t tell her this. I can barely deal with it all myself. I certainly can’t handle explaining my shame to her, Steve thought as he sat on the edge of Eddie’s bed to face her.
“Well, what makes you think that I’ll be able to fill in the blanks, my pet?”
Laura looked up and met his gaze, “Because I remember the morning, and I remember returning your loofa, and I remember telling you about my dream and going to bed, but… Why is that all I remember? What’s going on, Steve?” She looked at him with pleading eyes filled with confusion and it nearly destroyed him.
“Oh, Laura, I…”
“It wasn’t a dream, was it?”
Steve ran his hands across his face, trying to shield his eyes from her hurt, but eventually let them fall to his side as he replied very quietly, “No. It wasn’t.”