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#1 Very_Moody_Ryter

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:38 AM

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- All thanks to Kat for the banner above! -


Hello, dear fellow muffins, cinnamon rolls, and chocolate-chip cookies! It is I, you're friendly neighborhood Ryter! Here, I am bringing you back my story, "Dude Looks Like a Lady", which intrigue, comedy, more comedy, did I mention more comedy?, and the occasional, much-needed shout-out to Aerosmith! Not to worry, we'll get back to our regularly scheduled program after I repost all of the things I'd posted before!

So onward, my sweet-and-tarty friends!!!

But if you would like some tea, have some! ^_^ (I serve it here regularly).

"DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY"

Chapter 1

DON’T FORGET THE TAMPONS!

That was the first thing that rang in my head as I meekly shuffled my way down the halls of Wallace Florence High Men’s Academy.

I mean, I don’t know if you ever had a moment in your life when, I don’t know, you’re dressing up as a guy to, go to an all-boys academy for the next three years? (No? You haven’t? Oh.) But if you have, then you understand what I mean when I say you start appreciating the little things in life - like being able to get a hold feminine hygiene products whenever you want to.

I tugged at my hair once more to make sure the length was properly short. Even though I knew it was short - after all, I nearly cried as Samana neatly trimmed my long, gorgeous brown locks from a glorious near-my-butt length to a tidy three-inches-off-my-scalp.

I learned the hard way that there is only so much to be said for sacrifices.

It still made me self-conscious, however, in my new navy-blazer and kaki slacks outfit that someone, somehow, was going to spot me, and point accusatorily, “WOMAN!” blowing my cover faster than you can say estrogen.

Whatever, that was the old Alexandria, this was the new… er… Alex.

A distinctly male Alex.

Or so I was hoping they’d buy.

When my parents asked me what high school I wanted to transfer to (private, of course; preferably out of state) after the whole fire extinguisher on the teacher in chem lab faux pas (my parents couldn’t show their face in New York society for a month on end), I had a chance to look through high school brochures for the first time.

I flipped through the scarlet and the blue and the red and gold brochures, all looking the same.
It was Wallace Academy’s that caught my eye though. I started to read more about it and discovered that Wallace had a business program unlike any other! It would be the perfect thing to put on my college resume – or better still, my job application – if I could just graduate from there. The had so many great activities and classes like marketing, statistics, advanced econ, all geared toward making you a competitive worker in the job market… it sounded SO wonderful, except for one teeny, tiny problem: you know, the “All Boys” minor detail.

Something my parents will, hopefully, remain oblivious about for the next three years. That shouldn’t be too hard, though.

Well, if I couldn’t get it based on my gender, easy: I could just change it (okay, not CHANGE, change it), and viola! Problem solved. Alexandria Lambkins became Alex Lambkins, check mark gender [Male] and the rest is history!

I’m sure they look at your G.P.A. not you GENDER, when looking through your previous school files. And luckily my name has enough letters to get cut-off on all school documents (Lambkins, Alexand). I must have done SOMETHING right to please the gods, because I didn’t get caught.

And as for mumsy and daddy… by the time their divorce settles (not divorcing each other, of course – that was back in 199-, this is to their new, going-to-be ex-husband and wife), I doubt they’ll realize their daughter did NOT go to Eleanor Roosevelt Woman’s Academy boarding school and instead took a slightly different route, going to the all-boys academy two miles away from it.

I mean, as long as I’m out of the picture, really, does it matter really where I went? In the end, Mom’s still going to refill her afternoon margaritas, while Dad goes golfing with his clientele. Perhaps, someday, years from now, when I’m running my own corporation, I will tell them this little tale of deception, intrigue and adventure… for now…

WHERE THE HELL IS THE LADIES’ ROOM?

I gotta pee sooo badly, but everywhere I turn, it’s just one bathroom, and one where all the boys are going into.

Augh!!!

Seriously, I got to ask a lady or something, because honestly, my bladder is going to burst and –

Oh.


I decided to go for a new color scheme this time - good, no? ^^

Edited by Ari-san, 20 August 2008 - 09:04 PM.
We're all going Vertigo (Awards)!; two story threads merged

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#2 Very_Moody_Ryter

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:41 AM

CHAPTER 2

It finally hit me where – or rather, which – bathroom I was supposed to go.

Literally.

I was ambushed by a handbag of a rather large, female faculty member as soon as she saw me coming over, from her side of the sink.

There was a large shrill that accompanied her wide-eyed expression, making her jowls jiggle rather grotesquely. I held up my hands in alarm, wondering why in the world she was screaming.

Until she blurted out, “YOU FILTHY PERVERT!! BOYS LIKE YOU SHOULD BE LOCKED UP!”

I don’t know what she carried in her large purse (a large black one, with an embroidered picture of dogs in a field of flowers on it), but from what it felt like, I’d hazard to say: a cement block, a rather pointy, sharp conductor’s wand, and fifteen hard-cover books (just a guess).

She had me running out of there like a man on fire.

Readjusting my tie and blazer, I took a deep breath before inconspicuously walking into the bathroom clearly labeled, MEN.

For the record, I’ve never taken a wee that fast in my life. Once I saw the two boys comparing each other by the urinals, I realized there was WAAAY more I things that I needed adjusting to besides remembering to fake a deeper pitched voice.

I darted into one of the vacant stalls, hoping they wouldn’t notice me, and zipped out, like a bumblebee from the stall, to sink, and out the door (although I did have time to notice those two walking out of the bathroom without washing their hands. EW. Mental Note Number 2: Men Have No Knowledge of the Word ‘Hygiene.’).

Just as I swung open the door and flew out of there, I slammed into something large, and hard.

I fell down with a graceful, high-pitched, oh-so-manly, “AHH!!”, and landed on my posterior, while a snowstorm of a papers rained down on me. What was with this place and bricks, I wondered, rubbing my elbow, which I had grazed.

I looked up to see that it wasn’t a brick wall, but rather a fearsome looking Terminator-look alike. He whipped off his sunglass (we were indoors) and glowered down at me.

Heehee, I tried to smile sheepishly. I tried to play it cool, I tried not to cry (I think I might have whimpered, though).

I saw a bunch of boys near by us stoop and quickly gather up the papers that had fallen, tremblingly handing it over to Arnold Schwarzenegger over there. He just stood there, feet apart, glowering.

“Who are you?” he grunted as I carefully rose from my spot on the ground, his eyes still trained on me, unimpressed.

I dust off the seat of my pants and smile cheerily as I could, given the circumstances, “I’m Alex Lambkins, sophomore. I’m new here.” I offer my hand to shake, but he doesn’t uncross his arms.

Instead his eyes flicker back and forth from my hand to my face, distrustful.

“Are you gay?” he asks me suspiciously.

To which I take a façade of offense and sputter, “NO!” in a way that I hope is indignant.

Meanwhile, inside I’m suffering coronary thrombosis. I’d been caught! I’d been had! Red-handed! I swear officer, it’ll never happen again!!

He doesn’t seem convinced, but a friend calls to him, and he turns around and leaves, but not before shooting me one last pensive look.

As soon as he’s gone, I let out a wind of breath I’d been holding in. It was okay. I was okay. Already my first day, and I thought I had been found out. Before I can regain my composure, a lanky, medium-height Asian boy accosts me, wide-eyed.

“Hey, man!” He pants me on the shoulder, looking back over in the direction the Terminator disappeared to. “That’s not how you handle Rick Jacobs!”

“What’s that guy’s problem?” I huff, wounded (Too girly!! Too girly!! You’re a man!!). “I mean,” I cough and clear my voice. “I mean, I was gonna knock that punk’s head off if he said that again!”

The boy looks back over at me, his eyes growing even wider, “You’d dare pick a fight with Jacobs? No way, my friend!” He has a bit of an accent, and I can tell he’s on the lower chain of the school’s food pyramid, but he seems nice enough. He shakes his head. “I don’t want to see an innocent kid like you get turned into a human pretzel by Rick.”

“I could take him,” I insist gruffly.

He shakes again sadly, as if taking pity on my slow perceptive abilities. “No, you’d rather not try. I’m Yin, by the way,” he says with a nod.

“Alex. Alex Lambkins.”

“Well, Alex, it looks like I have to be your personal information man. There are certain things you need to know if you are going to survive out here at Wallace. Number One,” he holds out his index finger in front of my face. “Do NOT pick a fight with Rick Jacobs.”

I roll my eyes. That should be obvious enough.

“Number Two: Do NOT let him think you are gay!” His eyes widen again, as if to emphasize this point. I look at him in askance. “Rick is sort of a homophobe,” Yin shrugs, as if there’s no helping it.

I clear my throat and grunt, “I’m not gay!” Which is one thing that’s true: I’m a perfectly straight, (presently) cross-dressing female.

“Well, from the way you handled that there,” he says contemplatively. “Even you had me going.”

“Okay, no girliness, got it. I mean, if I was girly, which I’m not! – and I’ll kick your ass if you say that again!” I add for good measure, just in case my manliness didn’t come out clear enough.

Yin holds up his hands, “Hey, hey! I didn’t say anything!”

The school bell rings and a tidal wave of boys start heading towards the front of the school. Yin cocks his head, “Come on, we have orientation.” I follow him and the rest of the crowd to the auditorium.

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#3 princesskate14

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 12:42 PM

New thread!

*dances*

YAY. =]

Post the rest soon.


Much love,
Katie
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#4 HoplessRomantic02

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 01:28 PM

Yes lovin the new color scheme.
Ok now post the previous chapters so you can get to the latest one because you love me dearly and cant watch me suffer.
Please! Please? Please.
I wuv you.. (Puppy dog face)

MiMi xx
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#5 Monki_413

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 01:36 PM

OOohh i like this!!

keep writing!

its really good
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#6 Peachy1214

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 02:03 PM

New Thread!! Yay! :D

Update soon!

~Peachy ;)

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#7 ~booknerd~

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 03:12 PM

Wow, congrats, second thread!

You're going to post an update when you're done reposting, right? ;)

Emily :icon_flower:

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#8 LadyMMac

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 03:31 PM

Argh. I can't believe I stopped reading this.

I'll reread and keep up this time, Liz. I promise!

Lol.

~Maggie

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#9 Very_Moody_Ryter

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 03:51 PM

CHAPTER 3

The auditorium is large and stately, made of old New England-style red-brown bricks, with white Grecian ionic pillars along the walls.

Yin leads me to the very front, and off to the right, where a cluster of Little Men With Pocket Protectors are seated.

“Yin, what took you so long?” asks a boy with a pudding-bowl haircut and black-framed glasses, which he pushes back on the bridge of his nose. “You missed them setting up the sound system!”

“Aw man,” Yin’s shoulders sag in disappointment. I feel a bit guilty, as I well knew the cause of his delay. I also feel a bit confused: sound system?!

“Ha ha! Sucks to be you!” another friend with messy black hair, who was currently defeating Zelda on his PSP, laughs.

Yin shoots him an annoyed look.

Meanwhile, I look at them, bewildered, “Why? What happened?”

They all stare at me as if I was a starship from their video games that just crashed landed into reality. Apparently they had taken no notice of me until then.

“He’s the reason we were late,” gestures Yin unhappily, still not over his disappointment, before introducing me to the gang:

Pudding-haired boy = John
PSP Zelda = Henry

And Cecil (pronounced SEES-ul), a red-headed, acne-challenged boy, who breathed through his retainer, who waxed poetically, “The audio-technician, Karen: the face of an angel, the body of a goddess. The looks of whose equal I have never come across since Rika, in level 68 of Star Warfare.”

Henry, taking a more practical approach, outlines the shape of an hourglass in the air.

“I just love when she bends over,” Cecil sighs distantly, still talking to himself.

John, his faithful side-kick, nods enthusiastically, “She bends over a lot!”

This earned a well-deserved (in my opinion) glare from Yin. “She doesn’t just have a great butt, you guys!”

“You’re right,” John nods solemnly. “She’s gotta great rack, too.”

At that, Yin kicks him hard in the leg, causing John to yelp.

“She’s also very kind and caring!” Yin explains passionately. “Remember when the noobie caught fire last year, while trying to rewire the audio splitter cable? Karen didn’t hesitate, she threw the fire-proof blanket over him, smothering the flames until the paramedics and firefighters came! She saved his life! Or the time when you, Henry, wanted to borrow the audio equipment to play your Guitar Hero II, ‘professional style’? Didn’t she let you borrow the equipment in good faith, so long as you promised to return it before that week’s assembly?”

Henry nods seriously. “That. Was the best week of my life. I was deaf for four straight days after,” Henry grins ear to ear, in proud recollection.

“Okay, okay, we get it!” John says, before ribbing. “You are in love with her! Just don’t take your sexual frustrations out on us!”

Yin kicks John in fury again, causing the whole group, myself included, to laugh in an uproar.

When it finally dies down, Yin is growing red at the ear-tips, looking embarrassed.

“It’s okay, Yin,” I tell him kindly. “You’re in love with her, and it’s only right that you want to protect her reputation: I find it romantic!”

The other guys look at me, their reactions ranging from dubious to incredulous.

By then, the auditorium is packed, and the principal has approached the podium, “Okay, gentlemen, if you could just take your seats, we will begin shortly.”

In the midst of the noise, I catch John whisper to Yin, “Hey man, is he gay?”

I groan silently to myself. Two steps forward, four steps back, comes to mind.

It was strange, being in a place with so many loud, hormonal, teenage men in one room. People were throwing things, calling out lewd remarks to each other (or about each other’s girlfriends), kicking people, putting their feet up on the backs of chairs.

In its basest terms, it was, for all intensive purposes, a zoo.

Pure chaos, from beginning to end, except when the principal was speaking (and even then, it was a bit iffy).

Dr. Roister (not even kidding, that was his name!!) welcomed us, and congratulated us for picking this fine institution for our education, and listed a few, impressive alumni who had graduated from Wallace Academy, who were now leading lives in the higher tiers of the social ladder. I swear, my eyes must have been shining when I heard this part!

He explains to us the school schedule (for us newbies), the important things like, when lunch was, and what time we got out of school, and when the mess-hall dinner was served - stuff like that.

Our rooms this year had already been assigned, as well as who are roommates were, and our luggage had been taken there. I had already been inside my dorm room, which was very nice, with wood-paneling and in warm, brown and cream tones. There were two bunk beds, as well as four, small desks. I had yet to meet any of my fellow roommates though, but I guess I’d meet them tonight, after classes.

And, after that long and tedious explanation, he dismisses us.

There is a clamor to get out of there through the back doors. While we wait amidst the bulk of bodies pushing and cramming their way out, Yin says to me, “If you want, you can hang with us at lunch today.” I look at the others, wondering about their approbation.

They seem to give disgruntled approving of me, and I look back at Yin, questioningly. He just shrugs and says, “Do you want to?”

Well, approval is approval. I smile and tell him gladly, “Sure!”

He explains that they usually eat at the library, which was relatively easy to find, as it was the middle of the whole school. By then, we reach the doorway. I say thanks, and we part our separate ways.


Yay!!! Maggie's back!!! *huggles Maggie*

Oh, for those who don't know, I DID recently update the story in the old thread, so yeah, check it out! ;)

Ok now post the previous chapters so you can get to the latest one because you love me dearly and cant watch me suffer.
Please! Please? Please.
I wuv you.. (Puppy dog face)


lol!! Aww, cant... resist...

Okay, well, after you've read the latest update, then we'll talk! ;) I've gotta skedaddle to work soon.
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#10 Very_Moody_Ryter

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 04:01 PM

CHAPTER 4

My first class, accounting, was interesting. The teacher was a long, thin, reed of a bald-man, Mr. Skimper. His coke-bottle glasses did nothing to diminish the look, and instead, enhanced his eyes to the size of large softballs. He was kind and polite enough, and spoke in a very understated tone, as if he was afraid that talking too loudly would scare us.

My next class (geometry), much to my mortification, featured the large, jowly woman from the ladies’ restroom – a Miss Kuntz. She wore a large, flowery muumuu, red, pink, and purple, and her hips sort of jiggled when she walked. When she taught, she projected her voice like an opera singer on opening night. After a while it simply got on my nerves and made me wish I had sat further back in the classroom.

The third class of the day was Latin with a Mr. De Rio, who unfailingly reminded me of Fez from That 70s Show - lisp and all. He wore scarily tight pants that made me fear for his masculinity and a silky black-satin shirt with the top buttons undone as if he’d just been dancing for hours on end at a club and it was just too caliente to leave them buttoned.

Fourth period, P.E.: the locker room was loud, dirty, smelly, and nothing I hope any girl should have to experience – EVER. I was traumatized that I was actually grateful to be having to change in the bathroom stalls for the rest of the year.

Lunch came, and I quickly changed back into my blazer (in case you’re wondering, I do wear a bra – not that there’s anything up there to hold, but I wear a sports bra for maximum boob-squish-age). I found the library, and just as they said, Yin and his crew were hanging out on the second floor tables.

They were all huddled around a laptop, watching something that was making them crack up loud enough to make the librarian glare in the direction, despite their vain attempts to smother their laughter.

“Hey Alex!” Yin gave a short hand wave, and I gave acknowledging nod in return.

I had bought my lunch from the caf, but I noticed they all had bags of chips and a roll of Gummy Lifesavers they were sharing.

“What’s up?” I ask them, grabbing a seat by John.

On the computer screen was a cartoon of a blond boy in an orange jumpsuit doing karate moves but managing to trip klutzily over his own two feet instead. “What are you guys watching?”

Henry let out a laugh but quickly put his fist over his mouth to smother it, as the blond boy frowned and fell over again, “Naruto!”

“Oh, cool,” I nod, furrowing my eyebrows and pretending like I know what he’s talking about, but after five minutes of feeling out of the loop, I give up all pretenses. “Um, what’s that, again?” I chuckle weakly.

Instead Henry laughed and said, “It’s an anime!”

John kindly went through the story, explaining the minute details of the plot, story arcs, its faithfulness to the manga (Japanese graphic novel) plot, filler episodes, major and minor characters, and even the finer points of cosplaying (dressing up as your favorite anime character) at conventions - Cecil has gone as Naruto several times, Yin as Sasuke.

By the time the clean-up bell rang, I was just as easily laughing along-side them, watching raptly as Naruto fought his toughest opponent yet.

“What happens in the next episode?” I eagerly ask them.

Henry laughs at my keenness and pats me on the shoulder like a solemn ninja sensei. “One episode and we’ve already got you onto the path of becoming a Naru-tard. You have done well, young cricket-san.”

“Wait till you watch Bleach!” Cecil laughs.

“Another anime,” Yin whispers helpfully.

As we were enthusiastically discussing the episode, inside I could be help but smile over how they accepted me into their warm, however geeky, group.

Just as we head out of the library, out of the corner of my eye I see him.

I mean, dressed up as a guy I suppose I shouldn’t be checked out other men (especially after the warning Yin gave me earlier today), but it was like putting candy in front of a child and asking him not to stare longingly after it.

He’s the kind I generally am a sucker for: the dark, scruffy, I’m-too-cool-to-comb-my-hair, so-casual-he-could-be-mistaken-for-a-rock-star, kind of guy.

He’s holding his books vertically on his right shoulder, casually strolling through the hallway, unbeknownst to him that he’s making my poor little girly-heart to somersaults in my chest.

We passed by him, and I’m sorely disappointed Yin and his group didn’t exchange any greetings with him. But of course: I’m hanging with the geeks (but good geeks! Ones I happened to enjoy being with), and he is Rock Star Material.

“Who’s that?” I manage to keep my questions about the rock star stud to those two simple words. I also attempt to keep my voice nonchalant and all breathlessness to the absolute minimum. The guys seem startled by my question, visibly perplexed over why I’d even be asking.

“I mean, he looks like my cousin Jack,” I clear my throat and shrug off their looks.

“Jack?” Cecil echos. “No, that’s Lucas - Lucas Conte.”

“Conte?” I say distantly… I’m already dreaming about drawing hearts around his name and putting Mrs. Alexandria Conte onto paper over, and over (and over) again as soon as no one in this school is looking.

“Yeah, as in ‘count’,” Cecil expounds. “His great uncle is supposed to be this rich, dead count in Tuscany.”

“More like Count Dracula,” Henry snorts. “That’s more credible than Lucas’s story! What a bunch of bull.”

“Why? What’s wrong with the Count?” I ask, immediately playing attention again.

Yin shakes his head, “Just some urban legend stuff.”

“Like because of what he did, Lucas is now the future heir to more wine vineyards than there is in the whole of Southern California?” John scoffs.

“Or how if Lucas doesn’t enter into the family business, he’ll be working in the salt mines for the rest of his life – which, albeit, won’t be a long one, given the life-expectancy of salt-mine workers.” Henry adds.

“The Nazis and Soviets used salt mining as punishment, during World War II,” Cecil bookishly notes.

I’m dying to hear more, but the final warning bell rings. We quickly say bye and split off to our respective classrooms.


CHAPTER 5

By the end of the day, I was tired – more than tired, I felt like I’d just been wrung through a washing machine. It was already day one and I had my first accounting assignment, fifty problems on theorems and proofs, a report on a local industry for supply and demand, and defining twenty Latin vocabulary words as well as a diagram of plant and animal cells for biology. All I wanted to do was throw myself down on my snuggly, cozy bed, and sleeping as much as I could – maybe catching a few re-runs of Friends in between dozes.

But of course I end up walking into my foreign dorm-room, feeling about as in-place as a boat on dry land. I swung open the door, world-wearily.

The view opened up to show a TV on, and a couch, with two, jeans-clad legs, on resting on top of the other. As the door opened wider, my heart suddenly, sort of STOPPED.

Like: tic… tic… ti-BZZZRRRSZZZTTT!!!!

Stick my finger in an electrical outlet and I wouldn’t have been more shocked.

I take three steps back, and fumble, tripping over my own two feet, and crash down to the ground in the hall way on my posterior.

I saw the legs uncross, and him stand up.

“Are you okay?” a medium-pitched, concerned voice asked.

“Fine!” I croaked, my voice cracking higher than a normal guy’s – or a normal girl’s, for that matter.

I heard the click of another door opening, and a loud BEEELCH, “Bathroom’s open now!”

Meanwhile, I struggle for an excuse. I saw a perfectly hot, model-rock star? “I saw a, er, um….” I still squeak breathlessly.

“Is that roommate Number Four?” a voice says, and next to the Scurfy Male Model comes out…

“Terminator?” I squeak.

“You saw a terminator?” Lucas asks, confused.

“Oh no!” Rick groans, tossing his hands up in there air. “I’m spending a year living with the homo?”

“I am not gay!” I huff, getting to my feet.

I suppress the urge to rub my bum, which hurts from the fall, and shuffle into the dorm room along with Terminator and Rock Star.

“Sure, whatever,” Rick snorts at my response. I lean my backpack against the wall by the couch and spot a third guest in the bedroom: a freckled, bispeckled boy huddled in the dark corner of the room, withdrawing as I came by him.

“I’ll have you know I have a girlfriend!” I turn around at Rick and hotly say the first thing that jumps in my brain. This piques the interest of everyone in the room.

“Oh really?” Rick cockily crosses his arms, not in the least bit persuaded. He raises an eyebrow, instead, in challenge. “Then tell me, is she any good? In bed, I mean?” He smirks at the clarification.

I try to play it cool, though, and instead ask aloofly, “Which one?”

Rick looks confused at that.

“You ask if she’s good in bed. Which girlfriend are you asking about?” I coolly inspect my cuticles.

This surprises him - and everyone else - for a second.

He assesses me, looking me up and down, then snorts in disbelief, “Yeah right: like a guy like you could get more than one girlfriend!”

“Try me,” I challenge.

I swear, I could feel a tumble weed pass by in the empty hallway, I felt like this was a Western movie-style gunfight.

We square each other off but Lucas intervenes, “Hey now! I’m sure if he says he has more than one girlfriend, he probably does.” He holds up his hand and says, “I’m Lucas.”

“Alex,” I answer much too shyly, but he doesn’t notice, and instead slaps me five, and knocks his fist against my limp and uncomprehending hand. My hand burns where his hand touched me, but I could tell he felt nothing. I mean, why would he? He’s a guy. A straight guy – I think.

“Whatever.” Rick says and leaves the living room. “Just stay away from my crap, okay, homo?”

I feel so flustered from being near Lucas and so angry about Rick I don’t know where to look or what to do. I hotly stare at my sneakers.

“I’m Peter,” I hear a quiet voice utter.

I look up and see the freckled boy peal away from the shadows and out more into the open.

“Hi, Pete,” I smile awkwardly, still angry, but not at him, so I attempt to revert back to my normal, happy self.

“Don’t mind Rick,” Lucas tells me. Now that the drama is over and done with he’s back on the couch watching the TV, legs crossed in front of him. “He’s a bit of a-”

“Homophobe?” I finish for him dryly. “So I’ve heard.”

“What year are you in, anyway?” he asks. “They’re mixing up grade-levels left and right this year at the dorms.”

I stay shyly towards the end of the couch, away from him, and stare down at the armrest plaid. “Sophomore. You?”

“Sophomore,” he nods. “Peter’s a freshman, and we got Rick, who’s a senior.”

“So it’s his last year here?” I breathe a mental sigh of relief. That’d mean I wouldn’t have to see him for the next two years. Oh blessed, blessed news!

If he graduates,” Lucas nods again, grabbing a handful of chips from the back next to him.

Peter, who had a large textbook out in front of him, quickly shuts it and scurries to the bedroom.

That left me all alone with Lucas. I shut my eyes tightly, feeling confused and embarrassed, and wondering what to say…

“Hey!”

I open my eyes in surprise to see Lucas addressing me. “I think he’s scared of him – the Peter kid, I mean.” He gestures in the direction Peter disappeared to. “It’s like whenever Rick’s around the poor kid is suddenly tongue-tied and frozen stiff: so far it’s like living with a statue.”

“Oh no,” I murmur sympathetically. “That’s gotta be tough.” It was his first year in high school, and to be living in the same dorm with the likes of Rick? Not exactly a friendly environment that fosters healthy, stable adults, is it?

“So where you from, anyway?” he asks. Lucas seems pretty easy going. He offers me the open end of the chips bag, and I take a handful of chips.

“Thanks.” I’m still a bit paralyzed by the sudden embarrassment I feel over talking to a cute guy, so I don’t make any move to come closer. Instead I take a seat on the armrest itself. “I’m from New York. And you?”

“Next door,” he grins. “Connecticut.”

“Cool,” I nod and smile down at the couch.

***

I get some of the homework done - enough that I’m not worried, come tomorrow, when I have a totally different set of classes. That’s when the real trouble began.

I told you about the two bunk beds, right?

Well, Peter (although he didn’t say, you could tell) didn’t want to sleep on the same bunk as Rick, who didn’t want to sleep in the same bunk as me (mutual feelings), but I wasn’t about to sleep on the same bunk as Lucas, so easy: I slept in the same bunk as Peter, and Rick and Lucas shared their bunk, right?

Wrong. Well, the thing was that Peter was afraid of heights and I… well, after a particularly traumatic even of falling out of my best friend’s second bunk, wasn’t exactly about to call shot-gun for the top one either.

I try to persuade Lucas to trade places with me. I could deal with the grumpy bear of a guy Rick, so long as I didn’t get the top bunk.

Rick wasn’t having that.

“I’m fine, seriously!” I tell them, diving for the bottom bed that Lucas was about to occupy. “I’ll just sleep here!”

“Hell no!” Rick shouts. “I’m not about to have you, I don’t know, molest me in my sleep or something!”

He actually covers his chest with his crossed arms as if already violated by the thought of it.

“Oh please,” I narrow my eyes at that. “Who would want to molest you?”

“You see!” he points out accusatorily. “He’s even thought about it!”

“Come on,” Lucas tries to pull me out of the bed, tugging on my arm, trying to coax me.

“No!” I stubbornly yell back.

“Don’t be such a baby!” Lucas finally loses his patience, and grabs me around my waist, making me shriek.

He pulls me out of there, and for one split second, his hand touches my right boob.

I freeze, still as an ice sculpture.

My mind races: did he feel it? DID HE FEEL IT??

Forget about Rick being molested: what about me????

Not that I was, mind you (being molested, that is). I mean, for all Lucas knew, I was just another guy.

BUT I AM NOT A GUY!!

AND HE DID NOT JUST TOUCH MY BOOB!!!

I mean, there isn’t much up there, and the sports bra flattens whatever bumps may be lurking, but still: I AM A GIRL, AND A GUY’S HAND JUST WENT OVER MY BOOB!!

So, freaking out as I am, I do the only ration thing any other girl might do in a similar circumstance:

I knee him in the groin.

Not that hard - well okay, just enough to sorta, kinda make him crumble and lie on the ground in fetal position.

Forgetting to be the victim, Rick bellows, “Hey, man! Why’d you do that for?”

Even Pete, silent till now, squeaks in a panic, “Um, do you want me to get… ice or something?”

“That is SO not cool, dude,” Rick blows out some air and climbs up to the top of the bunk.

I guess the homo thing is forgotten - for now.

“Fine, I’ll take the top bunk,” I grumble, overwhelmed by the guilt of seeing Lucas in pain. “Are you okay, Lucas?” I ask, ducking my head.

“In... a minute,” he rasps.

“I think we might have to call the emergency,” Peter frets.

“No…” after a long pause Lucas speaks. “No… need.”

When Lucas finally crawled back into his bed – much to my ever persistent guilt – I turned the lights off, and so ended my first, eventful day at Wallace Academy.


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#11 dark angel

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 04:47 PM

wow, another thread. Congrats to our Liz.
Love it, keep posting. :]

EM
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#12 peanut_butter

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 06:21 PM

YAY new thread!

When should we expect new updates?

Love,
Gracey :elmo:
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#13 CrazyClavie

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 07:21 PM

YAY! New thread :D
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#14 SoccerRules

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 07:26 PM

Update the rest soon please!
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#15 DrkShdwsByd

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 08:00 PM

AYYEEE!!! NEW THREAD!!

Yesssssssssss!

I. Cannot. Wait. Until. You. Are. Done. Posting. The. Story. Because. I. Need. To. Know. What. Happens. And. This. Is. Very. Hard. After. A. While.

Whoaa okay! XD

I cannot wait! Second thread... AWESOME!!

-Bananas :hyper:
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#16 DrkShdwsByd

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 08:03 PM

Hmm okay... That "awesome" didn't work out as I had planned....

Second Thread = AWESOMES!!

There. Second, not messed up post.... And I'm still giddy like after I have too much candy.

Sweeet!

-Bananas :hyper:
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#17 total-robness

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 10:42 PM

Yay New thread!!!
Can't wait for new updates

Beccaxx
:elmo:
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#18 noleey

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 10:48 PM

Can't wait for the new updates!

Nicle
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#19 i am obsessive

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 03:31 AM

New thread! Yay!!!

and in reply to what you said about changing the story name, not at all! I just thought it was interesting, and was wondering if yoou knew. It's a pretty weird coincidence though, no?

update sooooo n

nellie
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#20 Monki_413

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 12:10 PM

please please please finish it or update??

Dude, I've read up to the part where they're making dough and luke comes ack from his run

I'm in suspense...you cant do this to meeeee!!
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#21 The southernbell

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 03:28 PM

NEW THREAD! WHOO HOO!

:heartbeat:
Maddie
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#22 CrazyClavie

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 06:43 PM

New threads always give me warm fuzzies :D
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#23 StrawberryPrincess

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 08:54 AM

A new thread! That´s cool!
Please post the rest of the story soon...
I need to know what happens!

Love,

:heartbeat: Kati :heartbeat:
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#24 Very_Moody_Ryter

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 01:24 AM

Okay, forget about meticulously putting in all the italics and stuff, I'm just posting the whole thing! lol.

Oh, and I think I only made it to a second thread thanks to all my readers. :icon_redface: (plus, the conversation raging on, haha.).

Okay, here it is:

CHAPTER 6

The gloriously bright and early morning in our dorm room apartment was accentuated by the echoes of me screaming at 6 in the morning upon my opened my eyes and finding that I was elevated eight feet off the floor.

I could hear my three other roommates jolting into a temporary state of awake alertness – and both Peter and Lucas slamming their heads on the wooden bunks above them.

“FIRE?! WHERE’S THE FIRE?!” Rick jerks up and started shouting in a half-asleep daze.

“There’s no fire,” I grumble, running my hand over my face wearily, over my initial shock, and trying not to look over the edge of my bed.

“Then go back to bed,” he mumbles back, annoyed upon realizing there was, in fact, no fire. He flops back down and pulls the covers over his head. “Normal people don’t get up this early.”

“Whatever, I’m awake now. I’m going to go get some breakfast,” Lucas yawns, and dangles his feet over the edge of his bed, before getting up.

“Me too,” I realize, not wanting to linger on the top bunk for a moment longer, and descend quickly down the ladder.

Peter quickly follows behind me, and the three of us head into the kitchen, leaving behind the sleeping giant, Rick, who was snoring gracefully as soon as his head hit the pillow again.

In the traditional breakfast fix, I go for my box of Trix cereal (at Wallace, you bring your own stash of food, or suffer whatever meal they serve you down at the mess hall), while the rest of the guys reached for their own respective food.

Lucas has his own box of Honey Nut Cheerios, while Peter settles for some tea and toast. We all sit down at the makeshift table in the living room, and the room is still, all but for the sounds of silent crunching, and Rick’s snoring in the background.

I get a chance to observe the other two along with myself: the only p.j.s I’m wearing are some old, baggy yellow gym shorts, and a very loose-fitting white t-shirt. Peter is wearing cotton, navy pin-stripped matching tops and bottoms, with a collar. Something you’d find in those packs in the guy’s underwear isle (I know this because I had to shop there, prior to coming to Wallace Academy – but more on that, later). Something probably his mom bought for him lovingly, before sending her son off to a sleep-away school.

Lucas is just wearing grey, draw-string plaid bottoms and has a thin golden chain around his neck that has a cross on it. The chain sort of dangles away from his chest each time he leans over to take a spoonful bite from his cereal. Then it sort of bounces back when he straightens, and then finally lies still on his chest again – until he goes for another bite. And I automatically find myself staring at the chain: back and forth, back and forth…

So technically I wasn’t really staring at his chest – I was staring at his chain.

Still, Lucas finds himself compelled to ask, “Dude. What are you staring at?” The back-and-forth chain cycle comes to a temporary abrupt halt, and I find myself snapping back to attention.

“Huh-what?”

“Dude,” Lucas waves his spoon at me and repeats. “What are you staring at?”

“Oh,” I say, flustered at once. “I just… well, I er…yeah, um… I mean, you look so ripped, man.” I say, then quickly amend. “I mean, do you work out? – I, that’s not what I mean!” I could smack myself. Could I say that did not sound like a pickup line, please? “What I mean is, I, er… I’ve been trying to put on a little muscle myself, ya’ know? Yeah! So, er, what do you do, to get, so, er…” I turn red. “Strong?”

Lucas shrugs, then asks. “Here, lemme see what you got.”

It hits me that he wants me to flex, so I flex a bicep, to show him. He reaches over to feel. “Wow, man,” he shakes his head. “You’ve got a long way to go. No offense,” he laughs. “But you’ve got arms like a girl!”

“Well,” I gruff, trying to excuse it. “It’s hereditary! My family: the men are sort of… late bloomers.”

“Whatever you say, Alex,” He grins again, but then offers, “I could help you put some muscle on if you want, next time I go work out – there’s a gym on campus.”

“Cool, hey, thanks,” I nod. Meanwhile I’m melting inside I’m thinking, Yes, well, that’s going to be hard, as I turn into a puddle of microwaved, melted chocolate every time you say something that sweet.

But on the outside I just smile and knock my fist against his.

“Hey, you wanna come with us, too, Pete?” he asks Pete, who is sitting in the chair, meekly staring at his plate, chewing on one corner of the toast in his hand, not even tasting it.

“Huh?” finally he realizes we’re addressing him. Once he realizes the attention’s all on him, he becomes agitated, and answers a quick and fretful squeak, “Oh. uh, sure.” Then, looking for a fast escape, like a mouse would scurry back to the corner recesses of a room, glances at the clock and quietly adds, “Class starts in an hour,” gets up, and quickly disappears into the kitchen with his empty cup of tea and plate.

“That boy’s got serious issues,” Lucas shakes his head sadly, and leans back in his chair. “But he’s right: do you want to shower first, or should I?”

“I’m a fast showerer,” I opt, and put my bowl in the sink and head to the bathroom.

I scrub hard and thoroughly – and quickly - when I get in, so the other three could have time to shower if they wanted to.

I get dressed inside the bathroom, too, as I think my male roommates would discover my gender difference if I walked out of bathroom with a towel wrapped up to my armpits.

I wear two of my super-boob-squishy sports bras, and then put on a pair of boxers.

Yes. Boxers.

I thought about sneaking in panties (not really a fan of butt-floss, a.k.a. – thongs), but the risk of being known as “The Guy Who Has Panties Lying Around When He Isn’t Even Getting Any”, (not to mention the risk of getting caught) out-weighed the whole comfort deal. So I was stuck wearing boy-underwear for the whole time I was going to stay at Wallace.

Next, I put on the khaki brown pants, with the black belt. Then came on the white shirt, red-and-blue plaid necktie, and finally the scarlet blazer.

I quickly combed my short hair, and hurried out to let Lucas have his morning shower, too.

By then, the wildebeest, aka Rick, had awoken from his slumber, stumbling out of bed, yelling about if anyone had seen his tie.

At seven-forty-five, all four of us went out the front door, and dispersed to our respective classes.


**********************************************************************************************************************

CHAPTER 7

“Ohmygawd, Ally, hiii!!” my friend Ellie squealed over my cell phone earpiece as soon as I picked up.

I hold back the phone away, and stick my finger in my ear, making sure I can still hear. “Not so loud!” I hiss. “Dude… remember?” I emphasize, trying to get the point across without anyone who might eavesdrop getting any hint of what was going on.

“How’s it going?” she asks, and I can almost see the gleeful twinkling that must be reflecting in her eyes. She’s asking more than just how my day went.

“Pretty good…” I start off cautiously, wondering if it really was.

I look up from my station at the top of my bed where I was hiding out (as much as I disliked bunk beds, the remoteness from being up top was strangely compelling). No one in sight.

“And it’s Alex, remember?” I cover my hand over my mouth and the receiver piece.

“Right, right, right,” she hastily dismisses. “So?” she eagerly eggs on. “Has anyone caught on yet?”

“Well, so far,” I lean back against my pillow and sigh before ticking off. “I now have four ‘girlfriends’, although I’m a supposed ‘homosexual’ - which makes things just great as one of my roommates is a homo-schizo. Another one is totally antisocial, and could possibly be the next Oklahoma City bomber, and one’s so hot, I could make scrambled eggs just looking at him… which, by the way, will do wonders for the whole ‘homo’ rumor.”

By then, Ellie was laughing her butt off.

“It’s not that funny,” I say slightly peevishly, even though it kind of is.

“Oh my god,” she gasps, still erupting into another fit of laughter.

“I’m not in over my head, am I?” I ask mildly, examining my cuticles.

“Not at all,” Ellie grins from the other line.

“Good,” I finally give a laugh myself.

“Other than that, how is everything?” she asks honestly this time.

“Truly?” I look around. “Not too bad.” Mom and Dad were never actually in the house for more than two seconds, and if they were, their minds were miles elsewhere. Of course there were always the step-siblings, which enjoyed making my life hell, with their evil ways of theirs. Of course the favor was returned in a lot of ways, so no hard feelings. “A few more months of this and I’m going to be spoiled rotten,” I admit.

“Aww, All- Alex, you silly goose,” she beams. “Well, then, I’m glad. Just don’t get too comfortable, because you know, as your best friend, I am entitled to full de-spoiling privileges.” She smirks.

“I’m shaking in my loafers,” I roll my eyes while she laughs again. “Is there any possible way to get out of this?” I query.

“Well… there’s always the dishing-of-dirt on the hot guys of your school,” she says as though she just thought of it. Knowing her, she must have stayed up all night, wondering how to ask me.

“Ah, why am I not surprised?” I groan. “Anything else?”

“Oh… just a tour of Wallace Academy, and all the hotties there, when I come there for winter break,” she springs the news on me.

“What?!” I sit up, slamming my head against the wall, just as Rick had done the morning before. They really did need to make these beds lower, or the ceiling higher.

“That’s right!” she says gleefully. “Mum and Dad are making me stay over at Aunt Bjorka’s,” she rolls her eyes in disgust. “But she lives in Boston, which is just, like, a hop, skip, and a jump away!”

“That’s leap, stupid!” I grumble. “A ‘hop, skip, and a leap’ away!” I may have sounded rude, but I was a bit irritated, and not a little freaked about what her coming might do to me, and everything else. “And whose brilliant idea was this, again?” So I could kill them.

“Mine!” she sings proudly. “But don’t forget,” she chides. “Whose idea was it to dress up like a-”

“I gotta go!” I quickly say, just as Rick walks into the bedroom.

“Okaaay,” she says, then adds in (yet again) an annoying sing-song voice. “But don’t for-ge-et!”

Yeah, as if I could. Just great, another thing to add to the growing list of complications. Another one just happened to enter the room.

“Heey,” I say, sliding down the ladder, awkwardly greeting Rick. Now that I knew something about his family and where he was coming from, I wondered if we could start off on a new footing.

“What are you doing here? I thought girls weren’t allowed on campus,” he snorts, not looking at me as he takes off his shirt.

I freeze, about to collapse onto the ground.

“I… am not a girl!” I squeak, trying to be indignant, and not frightened.

He smirks, looking down at me, and snots, “No really, genius. Now get out of here, I don’t want change in front any guy who’s gonna a get a stiffy from looking at me.”

Now I’m really indignant. “Oh, okay.” I huff. “You think you’re such hot stuff?” I retort, incensed, looking him up and down in disparagement. “First of all, I am not homosexual, get it right!” I take a step toward him, furious.

Rick suddenly looks down at me with something of a mixture between incredulity, surprise, and a little… fear? But I’m not even close to being done yet.

“And even if I was,” I bellow. “There would be nothing wrong with that! You like girls, so what? Some guys like guys. So what? And even I was!” I’m shrilling now, and Rick is looking more and more scared, he even takes a clumsy step back, while I step forward. “I would never in a million years be interested in a Pigheaded.” I take another step forward, jabbing my index finger at his upper arm. “Thick-skulled.” Jab. “Egocentric.” Jab. “JERK!” Stumble. Fall!

That would be Rick - doing all the stumbling and falling, I mean.

Meanwhile, fuming, I huff, stepping over him, and stomp off.

“What happened?” Lucas asked as soon as he saw the look on my face when I entered the living room.

“Nothing!” I bark, too furious to bother with being polite – even to Lucas I-Want-You-To-Bear-My-Children Conte - which is to say I was very furious.

I grab my jacket and backpack, and exit the dorm, slamming the door behind me, as I made beeline straight for the library.

**********************************************************************************************************************

CHAPTER 8

Oh my God: I can’t bring Ellie here! I’m no fool: that’s like inviting Disaster over, and asking Her if she would like some tea, and you know, maybe if She wants to dance a jig on the table, while she’s at it?...

First of all, will they let me bring a girl on campus? Certainly not, I mean, there’s got to be a school code or something that says no girls allowed – well, except for me, of course – but what they don’t know won’t hurt them…

“Alex…”

Oh crap! I just thought of something: what if “Brilliant Idea” Ellie decides to take a page out of my book and decides she’s going to dress up as a guy, too?! I mean, how can I stop her? It’s not like I can go to all the stores and ask them to kindly refrain from selling Ellie any guy clothes, I mean, short of pulling up her shirt and pointing out, “She’s a girl!” to the admin (which, as much as it kills me, I would never in a million years do), there was no humanly possible way to stop her…

Besides: that’d be like giving her license to rat me out!

“Alex!”

Well, if she does that, then they’ll be hell to pay! – assuming I can get away from the dungeon Mom and Dad shut me away in, as soon as they get over blowing the gasket.

“ALEX!”

Oh yeah, if it weren’t for the whole “child abuse” issue, I’m sure I’d be starved and stripped of all internet-wireless access. They’d even take away my iPod video. I mean, that must constitute as some sort of Eighth Amendment rights violation there alone…

“OW!!” I clutch my head as I feel a sharp pain where John had just struck me upside the head. “What was that for?” I demand.

“Yin’s been trying to get your attention for the past ten minutes, fool!” he points at Yin. “Besides, I don’t want to get kicked out of the library yet! We’re only half-way through the episode!”

I look over and sure enough, Cecil had put the video on his laptop on pause; instead, everyone’s attention was focused on me, and they all look rather annoyed at having the DVD paused - Stewart included.

That’s right, ever since that incident at the library he’s been having lunch with us.

I had brought him along the following day, as I kind of felt sorry for the whole ordeal, and figured his popularity didn’t exactly rank high among the school population, especially with a loud, big-mouthed brother like his. I kind of did it spur-of-the-moment that I didn’t have time to ask the other guys permission if I could, and although a few were hesitant, they soon accepted the fact that he was a friend of mine, and they had to deal. Besides, a few of the guys had class with them, so it wasn’t a totally difficult transition into the group. Quickly, like me, Stewart was caught up with the anime fever too.

“What is it, Yin?” I ask peevishly, embarrassed that so many negative glare were being shot in my direction.

“Dude, that girl is checking you out!” At that, everyone – myself included – turned in amazement to look where Yin was gesturing in piqued interest.

“What, Mrs. Roushiffer?” Henry blanched, clearly disgusted and disappointed.

“No, her!” Yin conspicuously pointed. “The new library T.A.” Sure enough, a girl with golden, honey-blond locks, lowered her lashes, and a demure blush was creeping up on her cheeks as she pretended to busy herself with shelving the books nearby.

“Shut up!” I roll my eyes, but I am now uncomfortable, and am squirming down in my seat. This is way surreal.

“No, he’s right,” now John’s leaning over the back of his seat to get a better look. “She’s looking right this way!”

“Yeah, right!” I say, even though I notice her eyes glance up, and then back down again. “Maybe she’s checking out one of you guys?” I desperately throw out there as a lifeline, as if I were a drowning man.

The guys just look at each other. They burst out laughing. “What the hell? Yeah right!”

“Lucky bastard!” John ribs, with a bit of envy. “And she’s hot, too!”

“Go talk to her!” Stewart nudges me.

“No way!” I squeak in protest. Oh God, what was I going to do? “Besides, I already have a girlfriend!” I mutter.

“No one’s asking you to marry her, for gods’ sakes!” Henry exasperatedly informs me. “Just go up to her… chat her up!”

“No. No. No!” I’m about to put my foot down on the whole ordeal, but the ruckus we are all creating attracts her attention.

“Is something wrong?” her voice is as sweet as her honey-golden hair.

“Noth-” I begin to say boorishly, but John cuts me off with, “My friend was wondering if he could have your number.”

I nearly choked on my own spit. I glared at John, hoping the phrase “if looks could kill” would be literal, for once.

“Oh, is that all?” she blushes, and whips out a pencil.

I was crying tears of frustration and rage inside.

“Here,” she hands me seven digits written in a flowy, wispy script that was just like her, and then says, “I’m Michelle, by the way.”

“Thanks,” I force my lips in a tight smile across my teeth.

“He’s Alex,” Henry says helpfully, when it seemed my manners had abandoned me completely. But that’s okay, I didn’t need them – they left me stranded here, anyway.

“Nice meeting you,” she looks down and curls a lock of hair behind her ear, smiling as though I’d said something funny or witty, then turns around and dashes downstairs without a single look back.

“Nice meeting you too, Michelle!” Cecil waves back, love-struck.

“Wow, you’re a real lady’s man, Alex,” Yin looks at me and nods, with sudden awe and admiration.

“Oh yeah, a real hot-stuff stud,” I sigh in exasperation. “Now can we please get back to the anime?”

It wasn’t one I relished watching: this one happened to be about a girl cross-dressing at a school, posing as a guy to pay off a debt for breaking a really expensive vase. It wasn’t licensed yet here in America, so we had to deal with subs (subtitles), but that was okay; and for all the discomfort of watching something that hit so close to home, I was willing to watch every single episode if it meant taking the guys’ minds off me and Michelle.

“So, when are you going to call her?” asked Stewart.

I shot him a look signifying, not being helpful, here.

“Dude, tell me when you’re going to call her, okay?” asked John eagerly.

“What?” I looked at him, confused. “Um… okay.”

“Me too!” asked Cecil.

“You’ll call me, right Alex?” Henry asked, going back to his laptop as if that settled that.

“Hey, hey, hey! What about me?” Yin looked a bit injured for being left out.

“Of course,” I reassure him begrudgingly.

“And me,” Stewart puffed out his chest.

Lord have mercy on my soul, I prayed. Because I was about to have four deaths on my hands, if this continued.

**********************************************************************************************************************

CHAPTER 9

“What are you doing here?” I hear Rick sputter as he walks in and sees me sitting in Peter’s bed, folding my laundry – yes, we actually have to do our own laundry here at Wallace Academy (so much for private school tuitions).

“Um, besides the fact that I now live here, much to your everlasting bane, you mean?” I mutter as he reaches under his bunk bed and pulls out a dumbbell (haha… dumbbell… the aptness of the word amuses me for a moment).

“Cut the jargon crap,” he grunts, and sits down and starts doing curls.

I can’t help but notice how much his forearm budges with each flexing. Damn.

“You know,” I clear my throat, and go back to folding my shirts in order to distract myself. “You better not be taking any kind of junk to pump yourself up. I heard those things can really shrink your -”

“Did I ask you to be my mother?” he cuts me off, in disgust. “No. So leave your crap-ass comments to yourself. This isn’t the cub scouts, buddy. I don’t have to like you, and you don’t have to like me. Whatever the hell I do is my own damn business.”

“Jeez, okay, sorry for breathing,” I retort under my breath. What is with you? I almost say, but I already know the answer: whatever is up with him the rest of the time: me.

“Everybody gone surfin’, surfin’ U.S.A…”

I hear my cell ring out from my top bunk.

“You listen to the Beach Boys?” he cries standing up (this time, making sure he doesn’t bump his head), clearly reaching his limit of everything I could have possibly done to offend him. “My grandmother listens to the Beach Boys!”

“Like I said, excuse me for breathing,” I roll my eyes, and climb up the stairs to pick up the phone.

“Hello?” I hold my breath in anticipation. Please don’t let it be Michelle, please… Even though I didn’t give her my number, still, the irrational fear strikes me.

“Hello?” I hear that familiar accident.

“Yin?” I ask in puzzlement.

“Have you called her yet?” he asks eagerly, which makes me want to immediately hang up on him.

“No,” I suppress a groan. “Wait – hold on, I’ve got a call on the other line,” I click over again, the same fear grips me. Not Michelle….

“Alex? It’s me, Henry, I don’t know if you forgot but-”

“Henry? Yeah, I haven’t called her yet.”

“Okay, good, cause I was just about to say-”

“Hold on, someone’s beeping in – hello?”

“Hey Alex!” says Cecil, while another in the background John cries out, “Haha, the man of the hour!”

“I haven’t called her yet,” I say through my clenched teeth, as yet another beep goes in.

“Hello?”

“It’s Yin again, you left me on hold. I thought you might have forgotten I was still on.”

“Trust me, I wouldn’t have,” I reassure him. As my blood pressure skyrockets to unhealthy levels, another call beeps in. “Excuse me one second,” I ground out before yelling, “NO STEWART, I HAVE NOT CALLED HER YET!!”

“Oh, haha, yeah, I know,” a distinctly feminine voice on the other end giggles nervously.

Oh… Crap.

“No, wait, that’s not what I meant! Uh… I’m real sorry, Michelle,” I apologize profusely.

“That’s okay,” she laughs again “That’s why I’m calling you. Stewart gave me your number before he left. He says you’re not exactly the brave type when it comes to the opposite sex…”

“Haha, yeah…” I laugh at the wording choice, not really amused as much as feeling ironic.

“So I decided to call you instead,” she says warmly over the phone. “Oh – I mean, if that’s alright with you…” she adds in a rush.

“No… that’s… fine…?” I try not to make it sound like a question as I grind out the words. “Um…” my voice strangles though, as I try to talk. “Listen. Do you mind if I call you back? I’m kind of… of in the middle of something right now.”

Yeah, of my head exploding.

“Oh, okay, sure,” she seems to be taken aback, but not at all offended. “Are you planning on being in the library again, tomorrow?”

“Um… I… guess…?” (No! Heck no! Not in a million years, no!) Again, hoping it won’t come out sounding like a question.

“Great,” she says even more warmly. “See you then!”

“Bye,” I croak, and hang up.

I swing over the railing, and start my descent, glaring over at Rick, prepared – and almost daring him – to make fun of me.

Instead, I catch a sight that takes me almost as wholly as it takes Rick by surprise: he’s stopped doing curls, and is instead, he has this peculiar look, his head’s sort of tiled and he’s staring, mouth slightly ajar…

At my ass.

“Are you checking me out?” The words just sort of slip (or rather, squeak) out of my mouth on their own accord.

“What!? NO!” he gets to his feet – with enough presence of mind to, once again not to bump his head at the bottom of the top bunk (the dexterity of which amazes me, as I have the constant problem of bumping my head around here).

Then he sort of stares at the carpet, as if he can’t believe what he just did, and I can almost see the inner monkeys in his brain working, trying to figure out what was going on.

He looks up at me, kind of scared and wide-eyed that I feel a twinge of sympathy – but not enough to be that sympathetic – shakes his head, and looks back down at the carpet.

Rick coughs, and yells down at the carpet, loud enough for everyone in the dorm to hear, “I’m going to go take a shower!” He gives himself another shake, and, as if to reaffirm his manliness, struts out of the room.

“Yeah, a cold shower,” I can’t help but snicker behind his back.

He turns around to glare at me, and although his face twists, he’s far too shaken to actually achieve any thing close to one.

Well, things have certainly become a lot more interesting very fast.

**********************************************************************************************************************

CHAPTER 10

There comes a time in a young man’s life where he must claim his territory. Stake his ground. Forge the sword in er… fire? Okay, maybe not to that extreme, but I’m talking about the basest of base instincts: mating.

Or, as in my friends’ case: trying to hit on women without them hitting (er, literally) back.

I’m telling you, those prep-school girls from Eleanor Roosevelt Academy? Vicious little monsters - with sharp, painted claws to match.

Of course, I did not know this when I went into the whole ordeal. And the whole ordeal began with drawing straws. Well, okay, so we couldn’t use the straws (since fast food straws are kind of hard to cut with plastic knives), but it was more like, chose the McDonald’s french-fry.

And it was me who got the short end of the stick – er, fry.

“So what you’re going to do tonight, Alex,” my friend John was explaining to me, as he ate the last of his crispy chicken piece. “Is what we call playing the Fall Guy.”

And so he explained to me what the ‘Fall Guy’s’ job is: in essence, you’re the one who’s going to ‘accidentally-on-purpose’ run into the girls and do one of three things: A. bump into them; B. say a rude or derogatory comment, and hit on them (unsuccessfully), or, in the case of futile desperation, C. smack them on the ass.

My eyes widened at each progressive job that when he got down to the last one, I didn’t know whether or not to spit out my Coke in disbelief, or choke on it, as I died of laughter.

“What John’s trying to say is,” Henry clarifies. “Your job is to make us look good.”

I narrow my eyes and shake my head at the absurdity of what they were telling me as well as showing my doubt at the whole plan ever working.

“It’s quite simple,” Cecil pushed his glasses up with one greasy index finger. “After you’ve done one of these three, we step in and play ‘hero’. Saying something like,” here, Cecil clears his throat, trying to sound debonair and suave (failing both equally with flying colors). “Hey ladies, is this jerk bothering you?”

Okay, it was definitely not a spitting-Coke-out moment. I swallowed my soda in a big fizzling gulp, and laugh until I can’t breathe.

“You… you aren’t serious, are you?” I choke between gasps, standing up. I shouldn’t have drunk so much, because now I have to pee.

But I look over at each sober face staring at me.

“Oh,” I let my face fall, and chastised sit back down at the table, trying to grasp what the heck they talking about, and also trying not to smile.

“So basically I’m like, the bait?”

“Not exactly,” Cecil hesitantly says. “If you were bait, then that would mean you would have to be something alluring or desired by the thing we want to capture-”

“Basically,” Henry cuts off the technical speech Cecil was drifting to. “Like I said, you step in, insult the crap out of them, and we go in there and save the day. Simple.”

“Just out of curiosity, have you guys ever done this before?” Stewart, who until now was a disinterested observer (remember, he’s after different game), interrupts.

“Well… no… not really,” they all start to mumble.

“Henry got the idea off a Fresh Prince of Bell Aire episode,” Yin fills in helpfully.

I watch as they turn from pink, to red, like a bunch of glowing coals.

“Hey, if it’s good enough for the Prince, it’s good enough for me,” Henry answers with an air of curt confidence.

“And where do you propose we enact this plan of action?” I wonder aloud, stealing a fry from Yin’s almost-empty, soggy red cup. “I, for one, am not about to waste my precious Saturday ‘skirt-chasing’.”

Here cued a chorus of groans and pleas for being such a stick-up-my-butt goodie-two-shoes. I admit, I was a bit offended to hear such coarse words from the guys directed at me, but it only proved how desperate they were to get what little action they could to go on in their lives. I was glad I didn’t mention the whole thing about Ellie, or I’m sure their little nerd brains and hearts would nuclearly combust from excitement.

In the end, I finally gave in to the pressure (with a little helpful blackmail on Stewart’s behalf, who, out of the sake of pity for the guys, threatened to tell Michelle in which dorm I was staying in. And well… more on her later).

So, we had our crew. We had our Fall Guy (me). All that was missing were the ‘chicks’. That’s where the location came in – and, as they say, location, location, location! – which I found out was to be our school’s football game tonight at six o’clock. Great.

The All-American Pastime served some purpose, besides providing a forum for men to lose money on Superbowl Sunday bets, and for all of the XY chromosome relatives to gather around the TV on Thanksgiving in some sort of male-bonding right. That purpose was to make me, for the sake of my new friends, suffer – oh, and for them to hit on some girls (can’t forget that).

We walked back from the local McDonalds we were hanging out, having lunch at, to the dorms to change into something warmer (Massachusetts is not known for its temperate climate by any stretch of the imagination) and meet at the stadium.

“I’m telling you!” John was bumbling excitedly as he walked backwards in front of his, flattening the top of his beanie hat. “The chicks from Eleanor Roosevelt are always at the games! Of course it’s always to check out the linebackers,” he couldn’t help but add in bitter resentfulness. “But it’s like, total babe heaven!”

“You guys seriously need to get a life, you know that?” I inform them with the shake of my head. I was already the sacrificial lamb for tonight’s entertainment, so I could say whatever the heck I wanted, thankyouverymuch.

“Oh, I will,” Henry cracked his knuckles in front of him with a stretch. “As soon as I find me a lady friend to warm up, if you know what I mean.” He wiggled his eyebrows in self satisfaction.

I roll my eyes heaven-ward. “‘Oh sweet Benedict, God give me patience!’” I cry out, quoting one of my favorite, Shakespeare-based movies, Much Ado About Nothing.

The guys don’t get my reference, though, and instead are looking behind their backs, hoping no one would overhear and misinterpret my faux pas.

“It’s a line from a movie, people!” I groan, but they don’t hear me. Why? There, in their line of vision, a cluster of pixies in a garden or gorillas, stand the women of Eleanor Roosevelt Academy. They were flipping their hair and laughing like it was a freaking Herbal Essence commercial, but I let it slide. Although I couldn’t help but to enviously run my fingers through my own stubby, short brown locks.

The boys didn’t seem to mind the whole Herbal Essence thing, or if they had noticed any similarities, they certainly didn’t mind. I wondered if I should have brought a few clamps to keep their mouths from staying slack jawed. Certainly women didn’t like to see how many fillings you had in your back molars (I know I wouldn’t).

“Ahem!” I clear my throat.

The all look up at me expectantly in askance.

“Maybe you’d want to sit down before moving on to your Casanova moves?” I demurely ask them while gesturing to the damp metal stadium seats that would most likely numb our butts before the end of the first quarter.

“We didn’t come here to watch a freaking football game!” Cecil smacks his fist down to his open palm with bravado.

“Yeah!” John likewise nods, looking from him to me. “At least if they had some cheerleaders or something, like a normal high school…”

I shake my head. Is it really too much to ask for some normalcy on a night that promised to be anything but?

But no, they’re out here for some blood… in a manner of speaking. And they wouldn’t rest till they got what they wanted.

“Okay, fine.” I huff, drawing myself up. “You want some action, then let’s go.”

I start marching determinedly in the direction of the silky, shiny hair. (It really did glitter, under the white-wash of the floodlights. Huh. I wonder… later tonight I should probably ask one of them what they use, because my hair – before I cut it – was impossible to manage…)

“NO!” “WAIT!” “STOP!”

Four pairs of hands clutched at my thick red and navy Patriots’ coat (my dad’s; figure I might as well dress for the occasion – kind of) like they were trying to stop a crazed man from diving off a cliff.

I turn around at them, and raise a dangerous eyebrow up. “What?” I coolly ask them. I wasn’t bluffing. Simmering over the impending humiliation would get me no where. Might as well swing wildly in the dark with the chance of hitting something rather than wait and wonder what’s going to jump out at me, and when.

It was a fool’s mission, and I was bent on a what-the-hell kind of mindset – a perfect combination.

“Wait… uh… let’s think about this for a minute…” Henry stuttered to buy some time.

His sudden cowardice struck me, causing a fury such as I have never felt wash through me from the top of my head down to my toes. How dare they back out now? I mean, I was the one putting everything on the line. I was the one who had to pretend here – in more ways than one – and they had the idea… no, the GALL, to BACK OUT?!?!

My eyes flashed at them. “Excuse me, are you the one going to make an ass out of himself?” I demand.

They looked away, down at their feet in shame.

“No. I didn’t think so! So you either get the… the cajones,” I sputter, my own language surprising me, and yet I riled on. “To get up there and talk to those girls, or so help me, I am going to DRAG your sorry asses down their and make you talk!”

By then they were all staring at me with such shock and quivering fear that I could have told them to get on all fours and bark, they would have done it.

I stomp off down the bleachers, where shocked parents where looking at me, but I didn’t see them. Out of nowhere I had tunnel vision turned on.

There they are, in their knee-high red plaid skirts with black stockings, oblivious to the weather – or at least content to wear their school’s scarlet sweaters with “ER” crested on the top right. Each one is holding up a matching pink RAZR phone, chatting with each other or on the phone, or simply texting.

I have no idea what I intend to do, as my mind goes amazingly blank by the time we approach them, but I know it has to be something stupendous, or shocking - some way of getting their attention.

God help me, I haven’t even started dating, and now I was about to hit on the members of my own sex (who, I’m not even attracted to – if I was, there’d be no problem). I am going need some major therapy in the future.

Whatever. If I could act like a guy for so long, surely it won’t be too hard acting like I’m hitting on them, much less liking them, will it?

I shove my hands deep into my pockets, and push down the pants a little, so they’re a bit saggy. I pop the collar of the jacket, and bend my knees, swaggeringly lowly.

They see me approaching them. Oh God…. No time to think! Just act!

I tilt my head back and observe them through the bottom of my eyelids casually.

“Hey ladies,” I give a hint of a smirk. Take my hands out, smack them together and rub them together. “Need some help keepin’ warm tonight?”

**********************************************************************************************************************

CHAPTER 11

“Ex-cuse me?” a tall, curvy blonde one stands up to her full height, whit ha look of utter disgust and contempt on her face.

The rest of them aren’t much better: now that I have their full attention, they’re looking at me like I’m a particularly disgusting bug on the wall that’s been buzzing around them incessantly for the past fifteen minutes.

Ha! If they liked me now, they were going to love me next.

“Yeah, who are you?” an ebony-toned girl flicked her eyes up and down in my direction.

“The name’s Alex,” I give a casual, cool roll of my shoulders forward. “But uh…” I press my thumb against my right nostril and blow. “You can call me your Big Mac Love Machine.”

They look at each other, and two of them echo, “Big Mac?” like I’m an idiot.

“Yeah,” I smile with one side of my mouth cocked higher than the other. “Because, I come in ‘Super Size’,” I raise and lower my eyebrows to emphasize my point. “And you can keep the fries, baby,” I wink at the blonde leader, who looks back, shocked.

My lord, these were the worst pickup lines even I’ve ever heard; where was this stuff coming from?

Awesome!

“Ugh!” wrinkling her nose in revulsion, she snapped her cell phone closed with one hand, and took two aggressive steps toward me. “Were you born vulgar, or did you just happen to have a brain of a five year old implanted in you?”

“Hey, baby!” I put my hand over my heart, wounded. “I was just trying to express my love for you.” I took a step towards her, but mine was more of a swagger. “After all, when I saw your face, I could have sworn it was daylight, you were so stunning!”

Two of the girls, one a red-head, the other a coffee-colored brunette, looked at one another, impressed.

But she just raised her eyebrow up, looking down at me with a sneer. “I happen to have a boyfriend, so get lost!” she said.

“Aw, dang!” I snap my finger down, in exaggerated disappointment. “Because, I could tell by looking at you, that we were made for each other…” I lean toward her, and lower my voice huskily, like I had a secret just for her. The hell???

Her face seems to spark with a small flicker of interest. “Oh really?” she leans in, wanting me to whisper the secret to her.

What the hell was I doing??? Here was my chance – she did seem intrigued by what I had to say, so I could nail it, and deliver the words that could have her swooning… or slapping, depending what I said.

This was just a stupid game, though, right? I mean, what was I here to do? Make my friends look good, that’s what.

In a moment of pure and utter frustration, I decided. “Because you’re like me, baby,” I say smoothly, whispering into her golden locks-framed ear. “You like it hot… and wet.”

I was so dead.

Her face totally morphed to one of sheer fury as she took a step back.

Her slap had me reeling backwards, and my cheek stung like I’d fallen asleep on it for hours.

As if on cue, the rest of the girls were on their feet.

Mayday! Mayday!

Where the hell were those guys?!

I hold my hands up in front of me, and slowly start backing up. “But, uh, I guess you’re not my type, so… I’ll be leaving now!”
I turned to run away, but a perfectly shaved leg sprung out of no where, and all of a sudden, I was sprawling on the floor, my knee skinned.

Another girl in the maroon uniform suddenly apearred. I turned around to see her, tall in stature, with amazon-size proportions looking down at me, and boomed, “No one talks to Lindsey Flores that way!”

Lindsey who?

The next second, before I knew it, I was like a jackrabbit, being hunted down by a pack of bloodhounds.

Most of the people up on the stadium – as the game had not started yet – turned their binoculars our way, and were watching me get chased throughout the bleachers.

I tried to duck, and hide behind a particularly large lady in a muumuu appropriately in our school colors.

“Miss Kuntz?” I say incredulously as I realize the large lady is my geometry teacher – and the same woman I ran into in the ladies’ bathroom on day one.

“Lambkins?” she looked back at me in surprise. But my voice gave away my location, and I had to spring back out from behind her as the girls chased me on. I rushed down the bleachers and towards the exit – at one point, knocking down a man with three large bags of popcorn.

“Sorry!” I hollered back, in abashment, but I didn’t have time to stop and help him pick up the bags, which he began doing, swearing under his breath.

I flew out of the stadium and went around back towards the confectionary and junk food stand, and the bathrooms – and (from personal experience) if there was one place a woman couldn’t enter, it was –

“Alex?” I heard a voice incredulously ask. “Hey, Alex!”

I whirl around and see John, with a plate full of cheese nachos, looking up at me, wearing a confused expression.

“Where the hell were you guys?!” I shriek, looking behind me to make sure the girls hadn’t found me yet.

“He rubbed his eyes behind his glasses, “We thought we’d give you a while longer, so Yin and I went to get some snacks…”

“SNACKS?! John! THEY’RE CHASING AFTER ME AS WE SPEAK!”

He tilted his head in confusion, then smiled, “Way to go, Alex!”

“NO, I MEAN LITERALLY-!”

But before I could get in any more words, I saw them, and they saw me. I saw those cerulean blue eyes narrow at me, and then with an unspoken message, they all charged at me.

I had no where else to run, I had no choice. I looked left, I looked right. I looked behind me.

I darted into the boy’s bathroom faster than Lance Armstrong on speed – something I never in a million years imagined myself doing.

There was only one guy in there, by the urinal (I was already used to the sight of it, I’m sorry to say), who turned around, surprised.

I discretely shield my eyes. “Sorry, have to take a dump real bad,” I mutter, and slam the stall door behind me.

Crap! (er… no pun). I was in deep… er… crap.

Well, at least they couldn’t get me in here. I mean, what girl would walk into a guy’s bathroom? That was just sick – not to mention perverted.



Okay! Okay! Beside’s me, I mean!

So I was hiding there, feeling safe, and getting a second to breathe a little bit as I heard the girls squabbling and bemoaning the fact that I was in there, when all of a sudden I hear thunderous footsteps entering. I thought it was Goliath that had walked in there, and I was praying that a slingshot was possible against this giant, too.

He literally ripped open the door off the stall – hinges and all – and glowered down poor, cowering, little me.

“He’s in there, Danny!” I heard Lindsay holler. Gee, thanks for pointing it out, I thought, gritting my teeth.

“I see ‘im,” Danny towers, not taking his eyes off me, like I was a bug about to be squished by his (I’m guessing) size 13 feet.

Now, my survival instincts, I won’t hesitate to admit, are not the best under the most normal circumstances. On occasion, however, they have managed to save my butt from rather uncomfortable circumstances, so I was hoping that would kick in now.

“Hiya, Danny,” I laugh like a mouse on helium, carefully opening my palm up at him.

He merely growled.

“So, how do you know Lindsay,” I start up conversationally, hoping he wouldn’t have me squewered on a spit.

“Stay away from my girlfriend,” he rumbled.

Okay, so I hoped he wouldn’t burn me as he was cooking me alive, that is. I mean, the taste of burnt charcoal only goes so far, you know?

“Hey, do you go to Wallace?” I start babbling hopefully, desperately. “Cause, you know, it looks like you should really go out for the team, I mean, you’re so… big.”

If he went to Wallace I was so screwed.

“I graduated three years ago,” he informed me. Then paused before adding, “Took the school to the nationals.” He looked back down at me again, still not forgetting why we were here, and not in the least bit distracted by my sly attempt at changing the subject. “So. Like it ‘hot and wet’, do we?” he pounded his fist into his open palm.

Oh yeah. He was so going to eat me.

**********************************************************************************************************************

CHAPTER 12

I can feel my blood completely drain out of my extremities, and suddenly it is really cold. My legs start shaking - intolerably so.

“HeY-” my voice breaks. “Hey now!” I try speaking, taking a step back, and hitting the edge of the toilet. It suddenly becomes really cramped in here. I start shrinking down, closer to the ground, and away from Danny’s glowering face…

“Oy!” A voice from the door booms, making Danny turn around. I can’t see from inside the stall.

Must escape!!!

“The hell do you want?” Danny grunts to the voice over his shoulder.

“You know who you’re about to pound into a hamburger patty?” the voice casually asks.

I felt a shot go through me. Luke!

“Do I care?” Danny rolls his meaty shoulders, turning to face me again.

“Only if you don’t want to get suspended,” Luke informs him indifferently. “That’s the son of the school’s president.”

Bull!!! I think. But I hope to God it works!!

“News flash: I already graduated,” Danny growls, obviously getting annoyed by the distraction.

This makes Luke stop for a moment. His clever bluff had not worked at all.

“Okay, well, go right on ahead, buddy,” Luke sighed, telling him flippantly. “But just so you know: you’re ‘girlfriend’ is behind the bleachers, giving head to the quarterback.”

That worked.

Danny’s fury takes another direction, and he stomps out of there like a hungry tyrannosaurus.

As soon as he’s gone, I run to Luke, “Oh my gosh! You are a genius!” I say, choking with relief and tears. And being the stupid girl that I am, I fling my arms around Luke’s torso (what can I say? I’m kind of short). It takes me a second to process what I just did.

“Hey-hey! Get offa me!” Luke pushes me away, and I take three steps back, and look down at the grey floor tiles.

Awkward…

“You okay?” asks, scratching behind his ear, gruffly.

“Yeah,” I mumble quietly. Then I look up. “How did you know to come in here?”

“Yin and his friend found me outside. They looked extremely panicked and told me what happened.”

“Oh,” I nod, as this makes sense. Then… “Wait, how do you know Yin?” All this time I assumed they weren’t friends. I mean, Luke’s coolness factor was way up there – like, Dali Lama, or Nirvana up there. So cool he should live in the Himalayas. Whereas Yin… well, he’s more like a bunny. Cute and lovable but… well, how many times have you heard a bunny be called “cool”?

“What do you mean?” he asks, like I just took a hit of something extremely potent. “Yin and I go way back. We’re neighbors.”

“Neigh… neighbors?” I repeat.

“Yeah,” he shakes his head like I was so far gone it wasn’t even funny any more.

“Then how come you never talk to him at school?” I ask, unable to shut up.

“Hum…” he scratches his head, as if the thought never occurred to him. “Well, I guess it’s because I see him all the time in Connecticut that when I come here, I kind for forget.”

Before I reply, the guys start flooding in. “You okay?!?!” John asks, inspecting my face for cuts, bruises, or excessive bleeding.

“We’re so sorry, Alex!!” Cecil is literally sobbing his eyes out, his glasses fogging over. “We didn’t know this would happen!”

“Never… never again!” Henry is repeating over and over again, looking downright wretched in guilt.

“Thanks, Luke!” Yin says deeply.

The rest of the guys turn, putting the spotlight on our hero of the day. I’m surprised to see Luke blush for the first time, his face flushing an embarrassed ember.

“Whatever,” he says and walks out of the bathroom hurriedly, mumbling about forgetting to turn off the light at the dorm.

Despite his hasty and awkward exit, my insides are glowing warmly and brightly at his kindness.

I won’t go into what happened after, but suffice to say, Lindsay got more than her fair share of revenge, involving a cut-up Patriots’ coat that I had left on the bleachers when I ran for it.
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#25 Very_Moody_Ryter

Very_Moody_Ryter

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 01:28 AM


CHAPTER 13

“Yeah… yeah…” I say over the phone, trying to keep the boredom out of my voice as I stifled a yawn.

“You – you aren’t tried of talking to me, are you?” asked Michelle hesitantly, the blunt statement making me feel guilty all over again.

“Um… no, no. I’m just real tired is all,” I try to persuade her, yawning once again (this time on purpose).

“Oh, okay.” Her tone is impenetrable, and I can’t tell if she believes me or not. After a few good-night wishes, we both hang up.

For all of Michelle’s enthusiasm for talking to me, we haven’t progressed very far (much to my relief and to her dismay). We’ve reached a point where we are just friends, and that’s all. According to her, she finds me surprisingly easy to talk to and calls me now and then, as I am now officially her “best ‘guy’ friend”. Michelle told me she wasn’t usually so comfortable around the opposite sex, so I am a big help for her. She’s had amazing progress over her relative shyness since me. Well, what can I say? I am occasionally charming, amiable, lovely, great listener… Although I think she’d be sorry to find out that her “progress” wouldn’t exactly be called that.

Things with Rick aren’t getting much better, but I can’t say they were getting much worse, either. It was like we’ve reached a dip in the road and couldn’t get out of it. He avoids me like the devil, and I’m not that much better. He tries not walking into a room I’m in when he’s half-dressed (which is, sorry to say, most of the time), and I stay out of the bedroom until he’s fast asleep (thereby side-swiping the homo comments).

Luke is kind and sexy as ever. Although he promised to take me to the gym, I am a terrible morning person, and Luke just happens to go the gym in the mornings. So there goes that idea, although I can’t say it’s a bad thing, as I’d probably be distracted with ogling Luke (and unfailing drop the weights) to get a proper work out.

Peter is about as adjusted now on day forty-two as he was on day one, and that’s saying something. As the weeks passed on I began to worry. There were moments were we’d see him crack a smile or join in on a conversation with Lucas and me, but then almost as soon as it happened, he’d close up tighter than before (again, usually due to Rick and some stupid comment he said – or just by his existence here).

Frankly, I think, that’s it! This kid needed opening up, and circumstances being what they were, at this rate, he’d be as verbose as a monk on a vow of silence. Therefore I devised an emergency-rescue plan.

I had a meeting with the guys at lunch explaining the objective. It’s something that had worked in the past for me (with my painfully shy cousin, Claire), so I was willing to give it a shot. I hoped it wasn’t too bizarre (I mean, did guys even do this?), but as my evil step-brother has been to plenty I thought there’d be no harm (albeit, the evil step-sibling is only seven).

And the plan was: a sleepover.

Yes, lame as it was, the boy needed friends! As he was too painfully shy to make some of his own, I was willing to bring over mine.

They agreed to help me out and come over to our dorm Friday night.

“I haven’t been to one since I was ten,” John said, but seemed enthusiastic.

“I’ll bring some anime!” Cecil added. “You still haven’t seen Eureka 7 and Neon Genesis Evangelion!”

I roll my eyes and groan. “Not those ones with the big robots? The watchamacallems – the mechs?”

“But Evangelion is awesome! And admit it, you liked Full Metal Panic!” he pointed out accusatorily.

“Okay, true, but that one’s hilarious! The rest are pretty boring,” I admit.

“WHAT?!?!” Cecil exclaimed like he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“I can bring my Wii,” Henry speaks out loud thoughtfully to no one in particular.

“I hope you guys have fun,” Stewart says in a quiet way, with a small smile.

“What?!?!” I stop arguing with Cecil long enough to hear his comment. “You aren’t coming?” I ask, puzzled.

“You’re kidding me, right?” he looks at me like I just lost a few brain cells, and was missing some very important point.

I glare at him, angry now. “No, I’m serious- Oh.” Rick. Damn that guy!

“But you’ve lived under the same roof as him for – what, how many years now?”

“An experience that is best taken in small doses,” he has a tiny, ironic smile which makes my insides lurch in sympathy.

In the end, despite my earnest persuasion, Stewart graciously bows out of it, saying he didn’t want to make things worse. He didn’t want Rick giving us a hard time simply because he was there.

His speech almost brought me to tears, but when Stewart asked what was wrong, “Allergies,” was my sniffling reply.

There were some precautions I had to take, as I admit I had some trepidation about my plan. First, the boys were not to let Peter know that the sleepover was for his sake. I was merely having friends over for the night, and if he wanted to join us… why not?

Secondly, I had to find a way to get Rick out of there, as his forever imposing figure unfailingly had the same effect as headlights to a dear. Luckily he avoided me most of the time, but having guy friends over for a sleepover? There’d be no end to the homo comments. I ended up bribing the water polo assistant coach (oh, did I forget to mention Rick is the water polo captain?) into putting in a few more hours of extra practice for their “polo protégé”.

And if that didn’t wipe him out enough, I had Michelle on stand-by (I told her I’d set her up with a nice young man Friday night… even though I couldn’t help but think, I’m really sorry, Michelle). He’d be back by midnight the latest (campus curfew for seniors), and I was praying that by then he’d be too tired to notice four or five more people in the room than there usually was.

Worst to worse, it’d keep him out of our way for a couple of hours.

I let Luke in on the plan because as my roommate and also as another person concerned with Pete’s welfare, he’d understand. Luke is more than willing to join in, and even offers to bring over his friends.

“No need,” I wave the thought away. “They might be too intimating for Pete. He needs someone more his level.”

Needless to say, Luke would have friends so cool and confident and Rock ‘n Roll as him. They’d probably overwhelm Pete, which is the last thing he needs right now.

“Intimidating?” he frowns. “His level?” but I’ve already disappeared to the cupboards to get some snacks I bought the day before.

Now that I think of it, I don’t really know too much about Luke’s friends and his crowd. I am so preoccupied with my own.

Luke follows me, pensively and asks, “Exactly what did you mean by that?”

I take an armload’s worth of chips bags and turn around, surprised to find him standing right behind me.

He takes a step back to give me some space, although that brief instant has my heart spazzing out like the spazzy thing that it is.

“What?” I distractedly ask, and hurry down to the living room. Peter was gone at the moment, giving me time to relay the plan to Luke and set everything up for tonight.

“What do you mean ‘intimate him’?” he repeats, frowning.

I turn around to answer his question, which turns out to be more difficult than I imagined. “Well, you know… if they’re anything like… like, you,” I make a big oval in the air in his direction. I just couldn’t make myself say the rest.

“What about me?” Uh-oh. He looks pissed. Why on earth did I say to set him off? “Why the hell would he be scared of me? Have you heard any of the crap about me that’s being going around, because if you listen to that, I swear Alex, the last thing I need is a roommate that-”

“I haven’t heard anything!” I shout desperately, flustered. What the heck? “I meant nothing bad by it!” I hastily try to correct any wrong assumptions. “I mean, I just think that cool guys like that aren’t the easiest to be around. They might scare Peter back into being the quiet monk that he’s been the last few-”

“Oh, I see. Because Pete’s had so much trouble talking around me,” he snorts sarcastically, totally irrational now (in my opinion).

“Look!” I say, counting to ten, trying not to lose my cool. “That’s not what I mean at all! I just mean that you and your friends might be too cool for Peter.”

He looks slightly confused, but you can’t mistake the fire of anger blazing in his eyes as if there’s something else he wants to add. “Well excuse me for being ‘too cool’. I’ll get my cold ass out of here, and-”

“Hi guys,” Peter’s tiny voice carries over as he opens the door, cutting Luke’s words short. We stand glaring at each other.

What on earth was his problem?

We didn’t speak to each other for the rest of the evening as we set up for the sleepover, and one by one the guys came knocking.

“Hey Alex,” Henry knocked his fist against mine in greeting as I opened the door.

“Hey.”

“You know Luke,” I say, pointed to him gruffly. “And this is Peter.”

Henry head-nods Luke respectfully, and greets Pete with a, “Sup,” casually sitting next to him, and asking him what he thought about Transformers movie.

John and Cecil, who where roommates, arrived together and began enthusiastically chatting about the new PSP2 they were coming out with. Yen came by with a bounty’s worth of snacks, which we started munching on eagerly.

So it was all set. All was left to see was if my plan worked…

***************************************************************************************************

CHAPTER 14

Two hours and seven cans of soda later, my nose burns of Coca Cola carbon bubbles.

“Alex’s turn!” They all cheer with a roar.

“No!! No more!!” I shriek but they still grab me by the ankles and flipped me upside down, with my head on a pillow on the floor.

Henry bends down with his hands on his knees and asks me, “Who are you going to challenge next, champ?”

I still try to flail my way to freedom, trashing my legs wildly, but with the way John and Peter have got me I’m not going anywhere.

“My turn!” Luke volunteers, and in an instant he’s on his head (no help needed), ready to start chugging away at the soda. Yen offers to hold his legs, but Luke refuses.

Cecil puts a fresh can of Pepsi (for a change) in front of our heads on the floor, and sticks in a straw in each.

“On my count: ready? One, two, three, CHUG!”

And I start chugging like my life depends on it.

And in a sort of twisty, turny (and upsidedown-y, haha) way, it does. Because whoever loses the chugging contest? He must submit – no questions asked – to whatever dare (or truth) the gang throws at him.

Just a mild hint: John had to streak through the corridor, bare as the day his mother brought him into this world.

So I chug that sucker till my eyes water, and my bladder (which is weird, as I’m upside-down) threatens to burst.

And if you’re asking, yes, out of the seven (now eight) challenges I’d been in, I’d won each and every one of them.

The guys didn’t seem to realize my desperation, though. In their eyes, I was just the reigning supreme champion of their hokey, chug-and-dare contest. Hey, if that’s what it took, I was willing to go all the way.

After a few more moments, just as I was sure I was about to vomit, I felt the last drop of soda being sucked through the straw. The loud slurping nose gave away that I was the winner.

At that both Peter and John released my ankles, and I tumbled forward, while Luke collapsed down.

Everyone was laughing their head off, and Peter seemed to be having the time of his life. I never seen him so animated, in the whole month and a half I’d known him here. Right now he looked prodigiously happy, grinning ear to ear. At least that made one of us.

I ripped past the gang, and shot a-line towards the restroom. Luke had the same idea, I noticed, and we raced to the doorway, but I was quicker (and a little more desperate, perhaps. After all, I’d just had eight cans of soda – he only had six).

Ah…

“You okay in there, Lambkins?” Luke snickers from behind the door after a knock.

“I’m in heaven,” I moan. I swear: there’s no better feeling than relieving one’s self. I read that in a war book once but never believed it till right this moment.

I hear them all erupt into a fit of uncharacteristically girly giggles, and I flush, wash, and open up the door. Luke follows and does the same. After he comes out, he sits down miserably, “What’s my punishment?”

“Ah…” I scratch my head, sitting down on the floor, and grabbing a chip. That was one of the problems of winning so much, though. You got first pick on what dare to suggest for the loser. Sadly, I lacked imagination at the moment as the caffeine currently fried up all my already-few able brain cells. “Shoot. I dunno,” I mutter. “John, you get this one for me.”

“Streak,” he says with a wicked grin. “Hey, you guys made me do that!”

Luke’s face goes from color to pastel.

“Aw, come on!” I say quickly to save Luke. “Don’t be such a sore loser, John! Just ‘cause you suck at drinking soda on your head doesn’t mean you should take it out on-”

John isn’t listening to my explanation though. Instead he’s tapping his fingers now, very much like Mr. Burns. “You have to streak, buck-naked, right outside the Eleanor Roosevelt Academy’s dormitories.”

Luke moves on from pastel to albino.

“John…” I groan impatiently. Why oh why did I pick John? Why not Peter? Peter was much, much nicer with these things.

“We can go right now!” Peter pipes in, trying to suffocate his laughter.

Okay, scratch that.

“My cousin was once forced to drink some of his own urine. We can always make you do that!” Cecil laughs fitfully, offering a so-called better alternative.

“That’s just sick!” Henry cries, shocked.

“That’s nothing. I ate deep-fried locusts while visiting relatives in Thailand,” John airily adds.

“Ew!”

“When I was little, I ate a worm I picked up off the ground,” Yin put in.

“Everyone’s tried worms when they’re were little,” Henry waves away.

“Not everyone. I haven’t!” I say. They all stop and look at me.

“You’ve never tried worms before?” Cecil asks curiously.

“No… not really,” I stutter.

They all look from one to each other. I do not like where this is headed. So I stand up, hoping to stop things before they get any ideas…

“You haven’t done a dare yet!” Henry points out, standing up too.

Uh-oh. Much too late for that!

“Yeah,” Peter puts in. “We’ve all done something – but you!”

Mob!! Lynch mob!!! The thought brings my hands to my throat instinctively. “Hey-hey now! I was just kidding guys! Of course I’ve tried worms before… a-haha!” Nervous laughter not helping!!

I realize then that I am both outnumbered, and surrounded. Again, they grab me by the arms and legs so that I can’t escape, and I can tell from the glint in their eyes that it had nothing to do with worms and all about revenge. True, I did suggest a few embarrassing, mortifying dares, but I had no choice! It wasn’t my fault that I kept winning (well, okay, it kind of was…).

I am suspended in mid-air, held up by Cecil, John, Henry, and Peter. Yin opens the door, and suddenly I am about to hauled away to what I was guessing the school grounds, probably to dig for some worms (shudder).

“Wait!!” I try to, again talk my way out of what was going to be a nasty situation (for me, at least). “I still haven’t given Luke a dare!!”

They pause for a moment to consider this. I use the distraction to try to kick free, but Peter and Luke just hold on tighter to my legs. “Come on, guys!” I start whimpering almost.

Oh, stop being such a coward! My rational mind says. What’s the worst that can happen if you eat a worm? That’s way better than some of the things these guys have to go through.

But simply the thought of swallowing one triggers an upchucking reflex. I told my rational mind to shove it, and I kick, almost getting a good shot for Luke’s midriff. I try biting Cecil’s hand while he holds on to my arm.

“Dude, relax!” Luke’s eyes widen both in surprise and exasperation. “We aren’t going to cut you up and feed you to the dogs, or whatever.”

I lower my eyebrows down to my eyelids and glower. “You are my slave, remember? I command you to put me down!” My voice is a low growl - one I hardly recognize being my own.

Luke considers for a second. “Okay,” he says to everyone’s shock, and unceremoniously let goes of my left leg, which thumps onto the ground. Unbalanced, with my leg on the floor, and the rest of me held up, I half-fall, my butt hitting the carpet. “Ow!” I say, and the other boys shrug, taking Luke’s lead.

I rub my now-raw upper arms, where they had grabbed me tightly.

“But you will have to eat a worm One Day,” Cecil pointed out ominously.

An Ominous One Day I could take, as long as I wasn’t doing it Right Now.

John spins down in one of the desk chairs, stealing a Cheeto as he did so, but choked on it at once, laughing. In fact, they were all busting up. Yin and Peter hoot and howl next to each other. “You should have seen the look on your face!” Yin says, throwing his head back, laughing. Peter’s face is red and he’s barely breathing between spells of chuckles. I’ve a sore temptation to put my hands around his bloody neck to cut off his respiration entirely.

Even Harry, cool and calm Harry, is rolling on the floor, slamming his hand down on the ground as if he couldn’t take it. Luke covered his face, burying it in the crook of his elbow on the dining table. Cecil joined in the revelry by making a terribly sad imitation of my frightened state.

I suddenly fell blind to a murderous rage. “Luke still has his dare,” I point out. I feel my face transforming into one with such relishing evil, I’m sure the local nuns would cross themselves three times over at the sight of it. Not that I was generally an evil person (in fact, call me condescending, but I think I’m a bit better than most), but there were no pure thoughts running through my head, as to the dares I was going to subject Luke to.

“Not – any – more,” he says, choking on a laugh before his face turned a wee bit more serious.

“What do you mean?” I roar in outrage.

“I did exactly what you told me to: I put you down, fulfilling my dare. End of discussion,” he stoically tells me, and then resumes laughing.

I was about to lay one on him – a punch, not a kiss, mind you. To the guy I’ve had the hots for since coming to this campus. But I’d been manhandled (not once, but twice already), laughed at, and drank sugary soda until my veins seemed to be pumping with molasses. I was pissed as all hell, and I vaguely remember a saying about it having no fury as a woman scorned (or, in this case, “laughed at”).

“Oh yeah?” I say, my voice howling cold like a Tundra blizzard. “Then I challenge you to a rematch.”

He doesn’t look the least bit concerned. “You’re on,” He rolls up his sleeves.

And on we were.

I was up on my head before he was, and this time without the help of the other guys. The rest of the four looked at each other, but were quick at getting ready for another a battle.

This time their blood is racing from having just been laughing insanely. “Five bucks says Alex pukes,” John utters to Cecil, who is ready to uptake the bet. “Five bucks says Luke loses.” They shake on it.

“Sierra Mist?” Henry offers. “For a change of pace?”

“Fine,” I say dismissively from my upside-down position.

“Okay,” Luke agrees, getting on his head, too.

“Gentlemen: Are… You… READY!?” Henry bellows like a pro-boxing match announcer.

His audience cheers and whoops.

“Lllllleet’s get rrrready to RUMBLE!! GO!” And we were off.

My head was starting to spin, and my pulse at my neck was starting to throb furiously.

“Dude, dude! He looks like he’s going to pass out!” John points out to Cecil detachedly, as if I wasn’t there. “Get ready to pay up.”

“You said puke, not pass out.”

“Same shi-” John was angrily about to argue, when the door swings open with a loud slam.

I look up just as I hear the slurp of Luke’s straw, informing that he finished a second before me. I had lost.

Everyone stops looks and sees who just walked in the door.

A large frame is in the doorway, swaying precariously, supported at the arm by the smaller frame. Stewart is breathing laboriously from the arduous task, and struggled to keep him up. There, at the doorway…

…stood Rick, drunk as a sailor.

***********************************************************************************************

CHAPTER 15

“What happened?” I gasp. Luke rushes over to ease Stewart’s load.

“Oh, the invention of the illegal I.D.,” Stewart says lightly. The guys get up and move so that Stewart and Luke lay Rick down on the couch. “And Dad is my best guess.”

I look over sharply at Stewart, perplexed. His own fixed down at his brother, sincere concern written over his furrowed brows. Despite his joking he’s honestly worried.

Rick’s head lolls around on the armrest. He spurts random chuckles at something funny only he knows.

John and Cecil look at each other. Yin stares at his shoes as if it they suddenly became fascinating.

“You know what?” Henry says suddenly. “I forgot have a test on Monday to study for.” He shoulders the case that carries his Wii. “This was all well and fun; maybe next time.” Henry gives a nod in salute to everyone and leaves.

The rest immediately follow in his suit by packing up their things, shuffling out in procession.

The room is now almost completely vacated besides for us four who live here and Stewart, who is looking fairly anxious and pale. We stand in a solemn circle, listening to Rick chuckles fade into a light snore.

“What happened?” I quietly ask again, sitting on my hands on the carpet.

Stewart shakes his head and scratches a spot behind his right ear, “I don’t know, but I can only guess. I think dad must have called him.”

“You see, Dad and Rick are never ones to see eye to eye,” he explains.

Luke sits down next to me, listening intently.

“They always… well, let’s just say Rick’s about as eager to stay away from him as I am to stay away from Rick. Dad always seems to manage to get under Rick’s skin.

“According to his polo buddies, there was something about Rick insisting hitting up a coupla brewskies. Next thing they knew, Rick almost breaks down the bar, almost gets in a brawl, and when he passed out, his friends ditched him.

“The bartender was decent enough to go through Rick’s cell phone to find someone to take him away.” His voice colored with disbelief and a faint smile blossoms in recollection. “He actually had my number listed in his address book.” The idea shocks him into a momentary lapse of silence. “I was out getting some snacks from the dorm vending machine, but my roommate picked up for me. I was there in less than a half-hour and carried him all the way back here.”

I look up at Stewart in awe and admiration, which surprises him. “Well, he is my brother after all.” I wisely choose to stay silent on the subject.

Stewart then stands up, jittery, saying, “Tomato juice and two aspirin should do it for him.”

“What? You aren’t staying?” I stand up too.

Stewart runs his fingers through his hair, and gives me a dry, disparaging smile. “I doubt he’d be happy to find that his ‘queer’ brother carried him all the way home.” Before I can even express my sympathy and argue back, he turns around and heads for the door. Not before giving one last, intent glance back at Rick though.

“Make sure-”, he stops, and tries again. “Make sure you take good care of him. I mean, after drinking he usually has a huge headache. A compress might help. And – and make sure he has some water. Dehydration is…” but he can’t speak any more. Stewart turned on his heel and left without another glance back.

The door slamming put an exclamation mark to the silence.

“I’ll get the compress,” I speak up, walking toward the sink. I look at the other two. Luke is in deep thought. Peter, who I’d forgotten was there for a moment, is also looking pensive. He cautiously walks up to Rick’s sleeping figure, like a curious bird, and looks at him this way and that.

“You know,” he says after a moment. “He’s not so scary when he’s out cold like this.”

I give Peter a motherly smile, one he doesn’t see, and then I disappear into the kitchen. I find a clean rag in the first-aid box, and soak it with cold water.

While I’m at the sink, I lean against the ledge with my palms and wonder. Why am I even bothering to help this stupid sop of a guy? I mean, he truly deserves it, after all that he’s done. Then I remember what Stewart said about his father… a part of me gets curious and a bit sympathetic. I also remember Stewart’s stricken face. No, I had to help Rick – if only for his brother’s peace of mind.

When I come back I see that Luke has brought over a spare bucket. “In case his stomach decides to kick in,” Luke shrugs.

I see that Peter has found a pencil, and is poking Rick’s sleeping body with the easer end of it. He gets riskier and starts to tickle his nose. Then, to my shock, Pete actually sticks the pencil up Rick’s nose, making him snort and choke.

We all stare, stunned, and then start laughing – albeit, as quietly as we can so as not to wake up Rick.

“You know what we need right now?” he looks at us deviously. “Some whipped cream and a camera.”

Luke and I can’t take it any more, we start rollicking with laughter.

“I think we’ve had enough stupid stunts for tonight!” I say despite my giggling, trying to be serious for a moment and failing.

“You got to admit, it’s not a bad idea…” Luke trails off, still laughing just as hard as me.

“O…” I gasp, through my tears. “Ok!”

Peter did the whipped cream and I took the picture.

“This has serious blackmail value,” Luke nods solemnly, and I promise to print out the pictures tomorrow morning. “It’s late, guys,” I remind them, noticing that’s it’s now well past twelve. “Sleep sounds great right about now.”

They nod, and head back into the bedroom to change. I hang back for a while, though, to clean up the living room. I never changed in front of them (my excuse was that I was prudish). I stuffed the forty-three cans of soda into the recycle bag, and threw away the empty bags of chips and nachos.

As I did so, I looked back over at Rick, whose snores and disappeared into silence. His face and hands (and chest) were all whip cream-free (we wiped off all evidence).

Even though I’m not exactly ready to forgive him for how he’s treated Stewart and me these past weeks, I could feel a twinge of pity in my ire for him. Maybe the guy had issues of his own. I think about the time he was checking me out and suppressed a snicker.

The compress I put on his forehead had slipped down. I go to put it back. His head really was burning up, I realize, and his face was a sickly pallor. Maybe he had a fever?

I gently mop up the rest of his face to cool it down, even though it feels embarrassingly intimate to do so. Let his own mom take care of him, I think bitterly, why me?

His eyes open lazily to see me standing over him. I lurch a back, surprised. Was he awake all this time? His eyes are bloodshot, still a bit hazed with intoxication, but I can tell he recognizes me. The realization jerks him into a fierce scowl.

“What the hell are you touching me for, queer-boy?” he roars dangerously.

“I – I wasn’t! I mean-” I’m so startled over how fast he came to wake, how close he was, and how furious he looked, I can barely speak. I can smell the reeking alcohol on his breath. My body is frozen, except for my heart, which races in terror.

“You know, you look just’ like a girl,” a lazy smile creeps on his face. He pauses for a moment then hums, “Dude looks like a lady…”

“And you look just like a pig,” I growl, getting up, my sympathy being cut short like a tailor snipping off a piece of thread.

“You like me,” he says, leaning his head back with a drunken giggle.

“Like vampires like garlic? Like an arachnophobe loves spiders? Like a Capulet loves a Montague? Take your pick,” I grumble under my breath.

“Hummm….hmmmhumm…” he starts humming nothing in particular. This boy was far-gone in his drunkenness. I just let him be and left the room to go and change in the bathroom.

What was so terrifying, I thought as I lay in bed that night trying to fall asleep, was that he was closer to the truth than he realized. He had his suspicions from day one, and although I never thought Rick the sharpest knife in the drawer, he had more sharpness than I’d given him credit for. And so, with these swirling thoughts, I fell asleep.

*************************************************************************************************

CHAPTER 16

I sleep like a babe (for the most part), dreaming of drowning in pool of Coke and Pepsi, while Aerosmith played their greatest hits in the background. In the end, I was force-fed Cool Whip by the lifeguard who strangely turned into the Terminator, saying I should come with him if I wanted to live.

When I wake up early Saturday morning and immediately knew three things:

1. I was in pain, because
2. I had started my period. Therefore
3. This was going to be an extremely difficult day.

The rest of the guys are sound asleep, snoring like a chain saw chorus at five in the morning. I get up and quickly slide on two layers of socks for pain-prevention sake, even though I know it’s coming as sure as arthritis pain before the rain gets my grand Nana cussing up a storm.

Next I reach for my jockstrap – the one personal item I knew my roommates would never touch – and take out a Midol pill from the Ziploc bag I’d sewn on there (it’s called being prepared, ladies). I have about twelve Midol packs worth of them, but keeping them in their boxes would be a bit bulky, not to mention the least bit conspicuous.

I crawl into the kitchen, and chug down the pill with… water (were you expecting something else?).

Then, clutching my stomach as the waves of pain came on, I disappear into the bathroom.

When I re-emerge, I barely make it to the couch before collapse into a ball of unfathomable pain and suffering.

‘Two hours before kicking in’ my butt, I bitterly think about the blasted pain-killer.

Twenty minutes through me sitting in my excruciatingly humiliating and painful disposition, Luke wakes up and strolls through the living room before backing up a step in surprise. “Expect to see one guy hung over and find the other…” he mumbles under his breath, slightly amused in his usual, sarcastic sort of way.

“Shut up,” I moan from where I lay in agony. “And technically I’m not hung over…” But the pain won’t let me finish my sentence.

“Too much soda?” he frowns in a way that shows true compassion.

“Yeah,” I gasp through the pain, grateful he found the excuse for me, sparing me the trouble. “Yeah…”

“Do you want some antacids?” he jerks his thumb towards the door. “We have a medical center downstairs from here.”

“N-no need!” I quickly stutter. That’s the last thing I need - although a dose of morphine sounded divine right around now.

“You don’t look too good,” he frowned again. “Kinda pale. And you’re sweating.”

“Am I?” I mutter sarcastically.

“You sure you don’t wanna have the nurse take a look at you?”

“Absolutely positive,” I nod bravely as I could. “It’ll go away in a few hours” I pray. “I can soldier a little pain.”

The dubious look in his eyes seems to doubt I am in just ‘a little pain’, but he shrugs and lets the subject go. I was a man, after all, and men let stuff like that slide – or so I was starting to notice. That is not to say they didn’t care, which Stewart’s phone call a half hour later proves.

“How is he?” Stewart whispers through the other side of my cell phone. His roommate was still asleep.

“He’s out like a light in a rolling blackout,” I roll my eyes but Stewart can’t see. “He’ll be fine once he wakes up,” I try my best to reassure him. “Did you want to come over later today? You know, not necessarily to visit… just to hang out?” I ask him hopefully.

There’s a lengthy silence from the other end. “Nah,” he says eventually. “It’s okay, I… It’s okay.”

“Alright,” I softly answer. “Well, take care.”

“Yeah, you too.” The frustration and sadness in his voice hit home as I close my phone.

“Urrgaaahh!!” the primeval cry startles me into dropping my phone. I look over on the other couch and spot Rick squeezing the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger. Apparently he’s woken up.

Before I could give him my wishes of good morning, he lurches over to the useful bucket Luke put the night before, heaves and hurls.

“Nice, Rick,” I wrinkle my nose and try to look away. “Very classy.”

“Shut your tra-” he grumbles, but his words are lost in another bout of vomiting.

Hum… he could not speak. Interesting.

“So did you have fun last night?” I sit up, feeling a little more cheerful. The meds had started to kick in, like an eraser slowly wiping away the pain. “I mean you were quite the flirt there, Rick. I think you managed to get the phone number of all my best friends. Not that any of them liked you in that way. They were just too polite to turn you down – you were so insistent,” I sweetly look down at him.

He lifts his head for a moment, his mouth gaping wide open. His face turns white, and then green, but his stomach once again calls to him making it impossible to speak just then.

I try to suppress giggling from my lucrative statements and continue. “I didn’t know you’d been in the closet for so long, Rick,” I say, psyching him out even more. “I mean, I guess I sort of figured when I saw you checking me out that one day.”

“I was no-”

The bucket is almost full (it wasn’t that big to begin with), so Rick scrambles to the bathroom.

“Was the really necessary?” Luke raises a brow, appearing from the kitchen.

“Absolutely,” I smile blithely. “Just figured it was time for a little more of just desserts.”

I hear Rick hurl once more.

“Sorry, wrong turn of phrase!” I wince up at Luke.

Luke just laughs.

“Hum… Just desserts, eh? You’re not one to let go of things easily are you? I wonder what you’d do if … Never mind.” Luke says his head, apparently talking to himself. “So you’re actually up early today, huh? Did you want to go running?”

I notice he’s in his sweats.

“Um, thanks but no thanks. I’m on my – I mean, I have my – er…” I trip over my words. I feel the color of my face drain. Crap. Luke waits patiently for my answer. “Just, um… don’t want to push the, er, old stomach.” I look down and pat my belly. “Not after so much soda.”

He shrugs. “Sure, whatever man.”

He leaves, and I flop back down onto the couch. Honestly, I wanted nothing more than a big box of chocolates and some sappy romantic comedies I would sometimes watch with Ellie.

Alas, I was in a guys’ dorm, pretending to be a guy, while on my period.

I turned on the TV with a sigh.

Well, it might be several hours before Rick was out of the bathroom, and several more before Peter woke up. I smiled happily to myself and flipped through the channels.

CHAPTER 17

There’s nothing much to watch so early Saturday morning, and the sounds of Rick hurling in the background isn’t the most pleasant thing in the world. After the gaps between upchucks increase, I figure that it’s safe to venture in there and see how Stewart’s brother was doing.

His face was pale and covered with sweat, and I’m sorry to say, something else. I bring him a cool glass of water, which he gratefully finishes in one swig.

Afterwards, I refill the cup and bring him a small towel for Rick to wipe himself off with.

He takes the towel, his eyes narrow, “Why are you helping me?”

I shrug. “Do you not want me to?” He’s silent for a moment. “As a matter of fact, if I help you, I know that you’ll owe me one. I help you; you do something for me,” I grin.

He balks, and then looks up at me suspiciously, unsure whether or not to take me seriously.

“Oh, and just because Stewart cares about you – although for the life of me, I can’t see why,” I snort.

Rick scowls, “That (*%$#% can-”

I dump the cold water over his head.

He sputters, spraying fine mist as he bellows, “What the hell was that-”

“Let’s get one thing straight,” I say coolly. “No using derogatory terms about people’s sexual orientation if I’m going to help you.”

He gives a low grumble, and towels off his face and hair again. He mutters under his breath, “Maybe I don’t want your help …”

I roll my eyes and hand him the Aspirin I retrieved from the bathroom cabinet.

“Now remember,” I tell him, bringing out a larger towel, and turning on the faucet for the shower, making sure the water is lukewarm. I stop at the doorway, “You owe me.”

He stares at me warily before asking, “And what, exactly, do you want?”

I smile. “You’re going to cook today, and I’m going to teach you!”

He roars, “Like he-”

I shut the door.

I snicker as I make it way back to the couch. It was time for Rick to get in touch with his feminine side.

***

An hour and a half later Peter wakes up and strolls into the living room.

It seems we’ve finally cracked the shell Peter had been in - the whip cream incident being the finale - because now he wasn’t creeping quietly in the background like a mouse.

“Saturday morning cartoons?” he looks at me in surprise.

I start flipping through the channels. “Nothing much to watch, really - it was either this or PBS.” The dorms were sorely lacking in cable or DISH channels.

“You never know. I remember I once saw PBS show some really fascinating stuff on Spartan women – the wardrobe especially,” he raises his eyebrows up, then down.

I look at him, slightly exaggerating my shock. “No! Not our innocent little Peter! Staring at scantily clad women?”

“Hey, you gotta admit, it’s got its educational merits.”

I laugh. “Well, I suppose ‘Human Anatomy’ is a subject well revered in most schools!”

He sits down beside me as I switch to the Public Broadcasting Station. It was a program on the history if Italian immigrants in the United States..

At one point I look over at Pete in amazement, and ask, “Is it just me, or does he… doesn’t that guy remind you of Luke?”

Pete squints at the flickering screen. “Hum… uncannily alike, if you ask me.”

I stare intently at the TV, turning up the volume.

***

After the program finishes up, I tell Peter what happened with Rick this morning. I turn to him excitedly. “So, you wanna watch the cooking lesson?”

Peter stares up at the ceiling wistfully, “So… so much blackmail potential. But I’m afraid I’ve got to leave a few minutes. Last night I promised John and Cecil to stop by at their dorm and play Halo 2 today.”

“What?” I ask in surprise. Peter never had a social agenda for as long as he’s been here. I beam. “That’s great, Peter!” I’m so excited for him, I resist any and all urges to squeal and/or hug him. Instead I settle for patting him on the shoulder.

He shrugs like it’s nothing, and goes grab his things before leaving.

* * *

When Rick reemerged from the bedroom, he looked much more sober, but also much more cautious.

“You’re actually going to do what I say?” I accidentally drop the bag of flour I was holding as he walks into the kitchen. “You’re actually here to cook?”

I don’t both cleaning up the spilled flour, figuring more was going to spill later anyway. Sure I was prepared for him to back out of it, but what I wasn’t at all prepared for was for him to agree.

“No I’m here for a Lamaze class,” he tells me, deadpan. “Am I in the wrong place?”

“And you have a sense of humor!” my eyes widen.

“Am I not supposed to?” he narrows his eyes, still not happy about the whole ordeal.

“By all means, continue,” I encourage him, snickering at his wan expression. “Ready to improve your culinary skills?” I ask gleefully.

“Yeah, yeah, shut up. Let’s get on with this stupidity,” he grumbles.

“Hey, you never know: this might come in handy! What if you get a wife that won’t cook?” I raise an eyebrow.

Rick snorts, “Yeah? Then I won’t marry her!”

“Tsk! How sexist of you, Rick!”

“Well, it’s sexist of you to think that it’s a woman’s job to cook,” Rick rolls his eyes at me.

“I never said-!”

He snorted again, crossing his broad forearms. “You implied that, by asking me what I’d do if ‘my wife won’t cook’. That means you think that women should cook!”

I’m silent, dumfounded for a second. I try to think of a comeback. I draw a complete blank.

I lean forward for a second, close to his head and aim my ear at him.

“What are you doing?” he asks, irritated by my odd behavior.

“Wait… wait… I think I heard a brain cell grow!” I exclaim in shock.

“Brain cells don’t replicate after you reach a certain age,” he rolls his eyes in annoyance. “Besides, you can’t hear it, idiot!”

I stare.

“What!” he throws his hands up in surrender, his eyes wide.

I pat his upper arm solemnly as I look at him. “Rick,” I say, deeply troubled, but impressed. “I think you should drink more. Alcohol, it’s true, kill brain cells, but for you I think it has the opposite affect. Your I.Q. just went up fifty points within the past ten hours!” My eyes are wide in earnest. “Another two hours and your I.Q. will be up there with the rest of us!”

“You have a death-wish, kid,” he grumbles under his breath. “I’ll have you know I get straight A’s!

“What?!” he demands after a moment as I stare at him as one stares a circus freak – with detached curiosity.

“Nothing… I just assumed…”

He takes his large index finger, and on the spilled flour, writes on the counter, Ass|u|me. “Assume, and it makes an ass out of you and me. Got it?”

I’m growing speechless by the second.

“Look, if you’ve losing your ability to speak today,” he groans in frustration. “Maybe you don’t want to do this?”

“No! No!” I hastily protest, not wanting to lose this golden opportunity. “I’m just surprised that you even took me up on my offer!” I tell him honestly.

“It’s not like I’ve got fleas for morals – you did help me out last night, and this morning,” he sounds unwillingly grateful.

“Well, it was all for Stewart, I’ll have you know,” I huff, and remind him.

His eyes widen, then narrow. I can tell he’s biting back his tongue, knowing that voicing his opinions on the matter will set me off again.

I roll up my sleeves, and turn to beam at him. “Shall we cook?”

*****************************************************************************************************

Chapter 17

“What are you doing?”

“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m doing what you told me to!”

“You’ve gotta knead it!”

“I AM kneading it!”

“Not like that you’re not! Move over! This is how you’re supposed to do it.”

“That’s how I was doing it!”

“It’s not piece of meat, Rick. It’s bread! You’re not punching the life out of it.”

“Yeah, shut up,” he grumbles, pushing me away to get back to the bread, and rubbing his perspiration-dotted forehead with a floured hand.

I let out a ragged sigh and lean back against the countertop, and watch him with a sidelong glance as he attacks the dough. He wasn’t doing terribly, but it was a slow, uphill battle.

“You’re the one who wanted me to cook,” he mutters, slowing down a little so that his hands aren’t pounding quite as hard.

“Yeah, well, I didn’t know it would be like teaching Adam Smith Socialism!” I retort.

“So you’re going to pair me up with Adam Smith?” he raises an eyebrow. “I’m flattered. After all, he is the father of Economics.”

“Okay, Adam Smith was a stretch,” I consent. “How about Elmer Fud?”

“That’s below the belt,” he objects.

“Didn’t realize this was a boxing match,” I snap.

“Didn’t realize this wasn’t,” he retorts.

“You’re the one who donned the boxing gloves and rang the bell,” I fold my arms across my chest and huff.

“Since when? You’re the one who compared me to a lisping baldy who can’t shoot a rabbit with a freakin’ shotgun!”

“Well, it is Bugs Bunny,” I allow. “Perhaps no one can catch him!”

“So it’s not an insult?” he snorts in disbelief.

“Hum… I’ll let you figure that out.” I say mysteriously.

He pretends to go back to kneading the dough, but suddenly flings a pinch of flour under his arm at me.

“Pfft! And you say I hit bellow the belt?” I dust off my stomach angrily.

He snickers. “More fun than making freakin’ bread!” he says partly under his breath. “Why the heck did you bring flour here with you anyway?”

“Hey, you never know when it might come in handy!” I insist.

“Yeah, sure,” he rolls his eyes.

While he finally gets back to the dough, I casually stroll to the bag of flour as if to put it away… instead I grab a handful of it. I patiently wait until I see he’s lost in kneading the dough.

Then I make my attack.

I pounce on his back, and with one elbow around his neck, I shove my fist full of flour into his face, smothering it all over, nostrils, eyes, mouth, chin.

“Aurgh!!” he roars as I fall back down, giggling.

“Yep, I admit, bread-making’s got its perks,” I double over on my stomach when he turns around. “Abominable Snow-Man, anyone?” I chortle.

“You are so dead,” he seethes, and grabs for the flour bag. I see what he’s going to do, and bend my knees, ready to dive in either direction.

He launches himself at me, but I grab his wrists to stop him. “NO!” I shriek and laugh in the same breath.

“Told you, you had a death wish,” he growls.

He struggles to overpower me into letting go, and I almost lose my grasp, so at the last, calculated second, I let go, throwing him off balance. He stumbles forward, and I duck under his arm and get behind him.

Half the four in his hands spills, and while he charges toward me, I grab another handful from the bag and fling it at him.

“Alex two, Abominable Snow-Man zero!” I cheer as he shakes out the flour from his now-white hair.

“I just took a shower!” he bemoans.

“Serves you right for listening to me,” I giggle.

He warily looks me up and down in reassessment. “You’re right,” he agrees. Then charges back forward.

I, surprised that he still was going to fight me, am not prepared.

He grabs the bag of flour as he rushes me and, in a second, up is down and down is up. My head hits the floor with a sickening jolt, and he manages to pour rest of the flour over my head and neck.

When he’s done, it’s him who’s laughing in a fit of hysterics. “Abominable Snow-Man one-hundred! K.O.!”

“Yeah, yeah, get offa me!” I cry, as he’s practically lying on top of me, and he happens to be really heavy. He just ignores me, still laughing, and I’ve got to admit, it’s pretty funny. I start to chuckle, and soon am unable to hold in my shuddering giggles. This rampaging around stuff is actually kind of fun, except for all the cleaning up we’ll have -

Rick was on top of me! The realization hits me almost as alarmingly fast as the ground hit my head. The wailing sirens in my head start going off like crazy. I stop laughing.

“I’m serious, Rick! Get off me!”

The look on my face must have been something, because he one look at my expression and he quickly rolls over to the side.

The lighthearted tone of the room vanishes. It’s like someone stuck in a vacuum and sucked it all out with a single flick of the “On” switch.

I sit up. So does Rick.

The silence after the roaring is palpable.

I draw up my knees.

“So… where’d you learn how to make bread anyway?” he coughs in his hand. I appreciate the effort.

“Oh, just some debt I owed to a guy who took care of me when I was hung over,” I shrug. “You know, the usual.”

He laughs.

“Seriously? My nana taught me. Usually mom and dad were busy with their own stuff. So while she was around, she taught me odd things.” I struggle to keep my tone flippant. “Like, did you know spraying garlic water over flowers and plants is a form of natural insecticide?” I add a little too brightly.

He blinks at me.

I stare back down at me knees.

“So you make bread?” he says slowly, trying to go back to the subject at hand.

“Well, yeah, when I’m stressed out, or nervous, or agitated… I… I tend to bake bread. She first taught me bread, ‘cause, well, I used to really like bread when I was younger and so she said, ‘do you want me to teach you how to make it’? And so I said ‘yes’, but she didn’t teach me to make it with the bread maker, she said that’s for the lazy, and she didn’t learn how to make it like that, so that’s why we have to do it by hand, because that’s the only way I know how to make it… ” I don’t know why I’m rambling, but I just can’t seem to be able to shut up.

Rick slowly gets up. When I see that he rises, I stand up in a shot. “So yeah, me, bread. It works. Haha.” I can’t stop the tightening strain in voice.

“What are we supposed to do now?” he asks more somberly.

“Um… we have to wait for the bread to rise – which takes a while. So just put the dough in an empty, large bowl, cover it, and put it away in a cool, dark corner. I’ll clean up here.”

As I went to put away vacuum back in the closet, my cell phone rang. Grateful for a distraction, I eagerly pick up.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Alex?” I already hear the smile on the other line and groan internally. “It’s me, Michelle.”

“Hi Michelle,” I paste a fake smile on my face. “How are ya doing?”

“Great! I hope you’re okay?”

“Yeah, just fantastic,” I hope she doesn’t hear the sarcasm in my voice.

“Glad to hear it,” her smile deepens. “Actually, this is going to sound funny, but you know what happened to me today? You’re going to think me a total idiot, but my mom drove me down all the way here to your school, you know, because I volunteer at the library, but I forgot the library was closed Saturdays. Silly me,” she lets out a little laugh. “Do you think I could swing by and stay at your dorm until she comes back and picks me up?”

“Uh-huh,” I say. I believe the token of not being born yesterday applies here.

“You forgot it was Saturday? I’m guessing the lack of students milling around, from class to class didn’t clue you in?”

“Oh, well, they could have been in class,” I can sense the waves of embarrassment coming off the phone.

“And your mom didn’t happen to remember what day of the week it was, either? You know, to remind you?” I prompt.

“I – she, well, she must have thought that the library was open, and I felt like working extra hard today?” she tries, with a side of a gentle sniff.

“I see… And you can’t call your mom on her cell phone right now and ask her to pick you up?” I ask. “Do you live that far away where she can’t just turn around and pick you back up right away? Isn’t there any place around here that you can chill at, until she comes back?”

“Well, I think it was all just a big mistake,” she starts blubbering now. “I mean, how was she supposed to know the library was closed on the weekends?”

Because you never come on the weekends. I sigh.

“Besides, she doesn’t have a cell phone with her – her battery died this weekend, and she’s charging it, and…” I can’t hear her next words because she’s sobbing so hard. I make out an, “I’m sorry!”

I exhale out a gust of air. “Michelle? Michelle?”

“Yes?” she lets out a sniffle.

“Look, if it’s that big of a deal, you can come on up and hang here until she comes to pick you up.”

“Really?” she sounds so wistful.

“Yes, really,” I grunt. “My dorm room is in Building 2, room 367.” Hurry up, before I change my mind, I mentally add.

I didn’t need to worry about her hurrying. The knock at the door came quite literally ten seconds later. I wondered if she already knew where my room was, or if she was right outside the door the whole time, which were alarming thoughts.

“Rick,” I sigh, figuring I’d need to explain the situation. “I have a friend coming over, I hope you don’t mind?”

Under his breath he asks a question that rhymes with steers. I clear my throat as a reminder of his promise.

You can imagine the shock on his face when he opens up the door and finds an eager Michelle standing there. Rick does a double take, looking from her to me, and me to her.

“You didn’t say it was a female friend,” he mutters, letting her in.

“Rick, this is my friend, Michelle. Michelle, meet my roommate, Rick.”

Michelle, positively glowing over the fact that I considered her a “friend”, says a little too enthusiastically, “So nice to meet you!”

Rick is totally taken aback at that point. His eyelids narrow, and his body turns rigid and on alert. “Yeah, sup,” he says. He stares down at her from under his eyelids suspiciously, staring at her almost exactly like he stared at me the first time I met him.

For some reason, the fact miffs me, and I feel a twinge of… of something. “So?” I shoot one last look at Rick and turn to Michelle. “Do you want me to show you around, I guess?”

“That’d be great!” I can almost picture her clapping her hands in excitement. Instead, she totally startles me by grabs me by the hand, and starts towing me further into the dorm.

Rick actually clears his throat at this sign of affection. Rather than hang back and ignore me like he usually would, he follows us.

I turn to look at him in askance.

“I just don’t want…” he looks at me, then at Michelle. “I… uh… my room’s a mess.”

“That’s okay!” she says cheerily. “Alex can show me his room!” She goes from holding hands to hugging my arm. Rick and I both balk.

“You can’t!” Rick answer quickly before I could. “Because we all share one room!”

I cough, nodding, and try to extricate my arm away from her as inconspicuously as I could.

“Oh,” her face falls a little in disappointment.

“It’s okay,” I say hastily. “I can still show you the rest of the dorm.”

Her eyes start wandering a bit, even though she nods, her attention and interest gone as quickly as they came. I guess with no bedroom, the dorm held little interest for her.

“Or… we can watch some TV?” I offer.

“Alright,” she agrees, again her hand lunges for mine, which I unwillingly hold as I lead her back into the living room.

Again, Rick follows us.

I sit down on the couch, Michelle sitting on my right, and uncomfortably close at that. Rick sits down to my left, spreading himself out as only Rick would.

“Don’t you have some homework or something to do?” my eyes narrow at him.

“Uh-huh, what?” he clears his throat, gruffly reaching for the remote, not even paying any attention to us – or pretending not to. “What are you talking about?”

I roll my eyes, shaking my head.

“What? I can’t watch T.V., too?” he answers our questioning gazes.

“Whatever,” I say, watching the T.V. flicker from channel to channel. Finally manages to find a horror afternoon special, in honor of Halloween which was two weeks away. It’s one of those cheap 80s slasher flicks. Lovely.

Best of all (sarcasm), it soon gives Michelle a reason to snuggle against me.

The first time something pops out on the screen, she jolts and gives a scream (I admit, so do I), and she leans over towards my arm.

That startles Rick almost as much as it startles me. He clears his throat, and lowers the volume so it isn’t as frightening.

When the creature starts cutting up the limbs of the victim, Rick laughs, but when Michelle starts burying her head on my shoulder, his laughter is cut short.

At one point, every little thing seems to “scare” Michelle into having to hang all over me. Rick gets so fed up that he quickly changes the channel to a cooking show.

I suppose even that manages to frighten Michelle, because she’s still hanging all over me five minutes later.

Rick stands up in agitation at last. “Hey, what are we supposed to do with that dough stuff?” he jerks his thumb in the direction of the kitchen.

“Oh, that’s right!” I stand up too, and Michelle has to let go. “Let’s go check on it.”

“Dough?” Michelle gives surprised look. “Are you guys… baking?”

“Yeah,” I say ruefully. “I’m teaching this guy how to cook,” I jerk my head towards Rick.

Michelle puts her hand over her chest, her eyes widen. “You know how to cook? Wow, not a lot of guys can do that,” her eyelids flutter. “I find that…” I was waiting for it. “…sexy,” she purrs.

Oh sh*t.

“It’s not that rare,” Rick grunts, coming up beside me. “You might be surprised, but a lot of guys know how to cook,” he crosses his arms over his puffed-out chest. It’s pretty intimidating – at least for me – but Michelle isn’t affected by it. She looks doubtful. “Really?”

“Psh, yeah!” Rick shrugs as though it’s common knowledge. “Why else would we have flour in a guy’s dorm?”

Ha! Now he justifies it.

Rick and Michelle stare each other down. Rick with his cocky gave, in full confidence of his blatant lies, and Michelle with her challenging, doubtful glare.

I hear a key turn at the door. “Hey, guys, I’m back,” Luke’s voice comes from the hallway.

My heart leaps up to my throat. I rush to the door and greet him with a glowing grin, “Hey, Luke, how was your run?”

Michelle and Rick had come up from behind me at that point. I caught Michelle staring from Luke to me, and back. Her eyes narrowed.

You know, sometimes at the end of the day, I question why I’m even cross-dressing as a boy in an all-men’s academy. This is going to be one of those days – I can smell it.

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#26 Azalea

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 01:43 AM

Yaaaaaaayyy!!

Fresh new thread and a fresh new update!!

XD

Oh dear, please don't tell me Rick is falling for Alex...!!

Eek!

>_<

I loved the flour fight! LOL.

Hm, wondering is Michelle and Rick might end up together instead of Alex... @_@

Ahh... Alas Luke has returned, I wanna find how this turns out!

>3<

Update soon, Liz!!

Azzy :m:

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#27 SoccerRules

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 01:07 PM

Please post the rest!
Cerra
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#28 HoplessRomantic02

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 06:17 PM

I just had to post it on this thread as well:

I LOVE YOUR STORY!

At first I was a bit hesistant to read it. Thank God I changed my mind and read it! I lurve it a lot!

MiMi xx
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#29 Haunted Forever

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 10:04 PM

Update please Lizzy-puu-sempai?
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#30 SoccerRules

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 12:35 AM

Update really, really soon please!
Cerra :mgwave:

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#31 Very_Moody_Ryter

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 01:41 AM

Yaaaaaaayyy!!

Fresh new thread and a fresh new update!!

XD

Oh dear, please don't tell me Rick is falling for Alex...!!

Eek!

>_<

I loved the flour fight! LOL.

Hm, wondering is Michelle and Rick might end up together instead of Alex... @_@

Ahh... Alas Luke has returned, I wanna find how this turns out!

>3<

Update soon, Liz!!

Azzy :m:


Hum... indeed - is he jealous over Alex or Michelle? done-done-DUUUUUHHHN...

*coughIdontknowcough*

And I enjoyed the flour fight mucho, too! :D


I just had to post it on this thread as well:

I LOVE YOUR STORY!

At first I was a bit hesistant to read it. Thank God I changed my mind and read it! I lurve it a lot!

MiMi xx


Aww, thanks MiMi!! And welcome!! :mgwave: Haha, yeah, my title is not cliche at ALL (sarcasm), which sadly I think stops people from wanting to read it. :(

Update please Lizzy-puu-sempai?


lol! Double suffix! Lizzy-puu-sempai! Okay, I'll try to ASAP - I have a lot to do lately, but I'll work on it.
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#32 Intentlistener

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 04:14 AM

Second thread!! Woohoo!!!

Michelle knows!!! She knows!!!!!!!!!!

It's awesome, Ryter!!

Luke is...*sigh* heavenly.

Update soon!!!


Malinna

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#33 HoplessRomantic02

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 04:24 AM

At first I didnt connect to the Aerosmith song then halfway through the first chapter I was like "Hey isn't it that song that I like so very very much (yes because even my thoughts are loser-ish)?" and then TADAAAAAAAA!! I was right it was and Rick was singing it! So yay.

MiMi xo
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#34 StrawberryPrincess

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 05:16 AM

This story is so great!

I love it!

Love,

:heartbeat: Kati :heartbeat:

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#35 Lizzy1212

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 09:24 AM

I can't wait until the new update!!!!!



Lizzy1212:D
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#36 Haunted Forever

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 12:23 PM

Tehehee.

Thank you.


^_______^

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#37 Cabot~Fan

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 01:04 PM

Update soon. I just caught up and it's fabulous, like usual. :)

-Chelsie- ♥

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#38 peanut_butter

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 02:29 PM

Updation?

Please?

Love,
Gracey :elmo:
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#39 CrazyClavie

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 10:45 PM

YEah! please updateness soon!
:D
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#40 SoccerRules

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 11:29 PM

Oh, please update soon!
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#41 noleey

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 12:58 AM

UPDATE! :D
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#42 i am obsessive

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 05:44 AM

Ack! I'm such a slacker! Okay, belated whoop! for the second thread and... update it!!!

nellie
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#43 Cell Phone Girl

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 05:12 PM

Liz! Thread 2! That's awesome!

I love this story so you should update it. Yep.

-Nicole
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#44 Goa_Grl

Goa_Grl

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 08:23 PM

oh my god new thread yippe..
update soon

Amber~CleverTurnip
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#45 CrazyClavie

CrazyClavie

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 10:42 AM

Updateness???
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