|The Freshman Fifteen
Author: Debster's Dictionary PM
College is a time for figuring out what you want, right?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Words: 6,108 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 06-05-08 - id: 2527839
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Freshman 15
Danny was a big fan of most aspects of Burr University. There were the classes—education was always a plus, and hey, wasn't that the point of college? Of course, then there were the parties. Lots of hot willing girls to kiss. The beer might be disgusting, but there was something to be said for desperation. Roommates were a plus, as long as you could find a decent one. The dining halls were pretty good, and the campus was a really cool place to be. Indeed, Danny liked just about everything about college.
Except freshmen. Danny really, really hated freshmen.
So on this fine September day, as Danielle Amelia Reid meandered off to class through the hoards of students, her mind was not on the luscious green grass or the frolicking squirrels. It was not on her lovely roommate, or even her recent academic successes. Rather, Danny's mind was filled with rage as she considered the sight before her, a tangle of legs and backpacks.
As she had been walking toward her second class of the day (Women's Studies 358: Feminist Legal Theory, which actually didn't start for another hour, but she was bored and it was nice out), she had witnessed one of the more spectacular crashes of the week. Two freshmen, so identified by the maps they had both been reading, had managed to walk straight into each other and not get back up. Naturally traffic merely continued around them, and Danny considered it to her credit that she herself did not merely pass on by. This did not mean that she had any intention of helping, but she reasoned that some level of interest was probably less insulting than being invisible. She slurped on her soda as she watched the two, a rather small boy and a very athletic looking girl, try to pry themselves apart.
They got an "A" for entertaining, at least.
"Get off me."
"I'm not on you!"
"Get. Off. Me."
"I said I'm not on you, Jesus!"
"Get off me right now or I'm punching you in the nuts!"
Danny couldn't help smiling at the entwined pair. They were actually kind of cute.
The girl finally managed to get herself out from under the boy, who picked up his backpack and glared. She upgraded her "kind of cute" assessment to adorable, and just had to coo a little. He was so small, shorter than her, and much slighter, with a backpack bigger than his torso. He was a five-year old in one of daddy's shirts.
"Who are you?" said the girl.
Apparently she had cooed too long, and now they had noticed her. Drat. This was really why she hated freshmen. They were just so much work. Still, she put on a smile, the one that had sold a reluctant customer a really ugly sixty dollar sweater, stuck out her hand.
"I'm Danny," she said.
She could feel their eyes flicking over her and she knew what they saw. She wasn't pretty enough to justify her confidence, nor was she skinny enough to justify her shirt. Her hair did not help her case, as it was too short to hide any flaws, and too pink to escape without notice. She liked herself though, and she liked to think that it showed.
She also liked to show cleavage, and she was moderately pleased to see the boy's eyes linger there for a moment before he moved on to her face.
"I'm Gary," he said, smiling uneasily to make up for his gaff in social graces. She just grinned and shook. Oglers didn't bother her. If they did, she would have to take her mother's advice and find a more suitable wardrobe. The girl scowled a bit but stuck her hand out as well. Danny could see that she was itching to get somewhere, and that she was also bleeding a little bit.
"Melissa," she said, wanting this meet and greet over as soon as possible. Danny decided to be kind.
"The Health Center is behind you," she said.
Melissa grimaced a, "Thank you," and scurried off, leaving only Danny and the now slightly wistful looking Gary.
"Lost?" she said, sighing and looking again at the map he clutched like his baby blanket.
"Sort of," he said, and his voice was actually a bit lower than she expected. She smiled at that, a real smile, without malice or salesmanship, and she liked to think that he smiled back. She directed him off to his class and then headed to hers, convinced that while it might just be the third week of school, she had done her good deed for the year.
At least that was how she told it to Wes, her best friend and general partner in crime, when they met for dinner that night.
Dinner was a tradition, nightly and family style, with everyone turning out to grab some food and rehash the best stories of the day. Wes generally held court over them all, since his stories always won, but Danny was his go-to-girl, so she could usually get his ear for a bit if she had a good one too. This night it was just the regulars, no hangers on, which was odd, since some nights it seemed that all there were were hangers on. Kerry, Danny's roommate and general oddball sat scrunched into the booth on the far side of the table from Wes and Danny, seemingly ignoring them and focusing on her tofu. Cailan was the there, stoned as usual, as was Jesse, who seemed to be most of the way worked up to a rant on Capitalist society, although all of them knew by now not to start him up and not to encourage him. Finally, Cordelia (hated her name and would only answer to "Cordy") sat next to Kerry, making moon eyes at Wes and gravy puddles in her mashed potatoes.
"I think that we need more freshmen," said Wes.
Usually, everyone treated his pronouncements like a sort of pirate law. No one wanted to believe that there was any law, or any leader, and they fought tooth and nail about any decisions, but if you paid attention you would see that they were followed anyways because they made sense. Not this one, however.
Cailan raised himself enough out of his stupor to ask, "Why?"
Jesse just glared at them all, though he did stop his rant long enough to listen. The rest sort of looked on with vague interest.
"Because," said Wes, putting on his bored professor tone and looking down his admittedly impressive nose at Cailan, "our sphere of influence is small. We do not know that many people, and even fewer of them are easy to manipulate."
Okay, Danny did have to give him that one. Aside from the people at the table, there was a rotating group of people that they hung out with, but none of them were quite so easy to back into corners as a nice new freshman. Plus, they had a rule. They could scheme all they liked, but there were some people who were just off limits. This included Kerry (very little sense of humor about practical jokes), Cailan (could not notice a joke), Cordy (too cute), and most of their revolving door friends. They really did need some new targets.
"I'll grant you that," she said, turning back to Wes, who now had everyone's attention. "But they're also, need I remind you, freshmen. As in, whiny, annoying, and not worth acknowledging."
"Perfect targets," was all Wes said, and really, how could she argue with that?
It seemed now that all she had to do was actually find some freshmen to befriend. This would be difficult, as she had no classes involving freshmen, despised them, and did almost nothing social. Wes liked to call it a character building challenge. She pointedly referred to it as her quest for a new best friend.
"You can't replace me," he said, smugly winking at a blushing Cordy and ignoring the eye-roll from Kerry.
"I could very easily replace you," she said, racking her brain for a plausible candidate. "I could replace you with Cailan."
Okay, so Cailan (short, stoned, environmental studies, big heart) was not the best candidate to replace her angry Jewish physics major best friend, but she was not spectacular under pressure. Cailan raised his eyebrows at this pronouncement and looked as if he might consider joining the conversation, but seemed to think better of it, because he just sat and watched the volleys fly.
"Yes," she said. "Cailan."
"Cailan is way too nice to you to replace me," said Wes.
He did have a point there. Theirs was a relationship of mutual frustration and degradation. They had perfected the art of kvetching. You were only allowed to complain if you could make it funny, and you were only allowed to tell a joke if it somehow put down the other person. It wasn't that they didn't love each other. They just didn't need all of the drama that came with, you know, actually saying that they appreciated each other.
Sometimes Danny wondered if this might be considered fucked up. Othertimes she was sure it was.
"Well," said Danny, stalling for time and praying that she could think of some way to moderate Cailan's inherent niceness. What she really needed was some sort of random meanness generator. "We could give him a sort of Magic Eight Ball of Hate. A Magic Hate Ball, as it were."
Wes sat there, stunned for a moment. It was brilliant. He wished that he had thought of that first, he really did. "It would say things like 'kill everyone'."
Danny laughed, "Yeah, and 'you are destined to die alone'."
Cailan looked vaguely nauseated at this perversion of a Magic Eight Ball. Jesse looked intrigued. "I personally think," he said, "that 'ask again later' already is evil."
Danny and Wes gave this some thought.
"What about 'grow a pair'?"
"She was the one, how could you let her go?"
"So, yes," said Danny. "I could easily replace you with Cailan and a Magic Hate Ball." Wes laughed and acquiesced. Cailan, however, was not so easy to convince.
"That thing just sounds mean!" he said, upsetting his plate and getting mashed potatoes on the table. Cordy sighed and mopped them up with a napkin. She and Wes shared a glance. Danny just wished that Wes would give in and date the girl already.
"It's a joke, Cailan," is what Danny actually said, placing one hand on his and doing her best to convey soothing tones and the idea of fun and games. Cailan did not seem soothed. If anything, he seemed even more upset than he had been.
"Stop talking to me like I'm a child," he said, stalking up and away from the table. He only paused slightly to look back, but continued on.
Danny sat in her seat, shell-shocked. Cailan had never struck her as the type for impressive outbursts, and this was definitely the most she'd ever heard him say in a mean tone. He had a point, of course. She did sometimes treat him like a child, but she sometimes forgot he wasn't. It was just so easy. She'd met him in a shared logic class and though they had gotten on famously, Cailan was also famous for being perpetually stoned and rarely even knowing where he was. Despite her knowledge that this was mostly untrue (the not knowing where he was bit—he really did smoke an obscene amount of pot), Danny found it hard not to think in these terms as the years went on and Cailan became no more mature or aware of his surroundings.
She sighed. She rather wished he would be aware of his surroundings more often. If he were, he might have picked up on her interest in him. But no, he was blind to the world, until this one time when he apparently decided to tune back in and become horrendously offended.
Danny smacked her head against the table a few times.
"I can go talk to him," said Jesse, reaching over and patting her head as it rested on the cool wood of the tabletop. It was a rare conciliatory gesture from one generally in the position of pissing people off.
"Thanks," she said, without moving. His hand lingered on her head and she made no effort to move it. Jesse might not be the center of her affections, but he was attractive, single, and she was a sucker for bodily contact. She practically purred when he brushed his fingers through the short spikes of fuchsia hair. Jesse could be sweet sometimes, like now, but it was not really his way. He was more the type to rant and rail at the establishment or anyone else he could find responsible for all the evils in the world. She appreciated the effort.
Wes, it seemed, did not. He snorted into his cup and waved Jesse off with his other hand, a princely motion not at all out of place in the crowded cafeteria. "So go," he said, never one to be patient for chick-flick moments. Danny glared lightly from her position on the table but did not comment. Wes had a point. The sooner that Jesse could sort all of this out, the better it would be. It was just odd that Cailan was taking it all so hard.
Jesse picked up his hand and backed off, arms up in a "don't shoot" position and a shit-eating grin firmly on his face. "Whatever man," he said to Wes. To Danny, he said, "I stop by later and let you know," a kindness she acknowledged with a smile. Then he stalked off, army jacket swirling and several tables worth of ordinary students left murmuring about the campus revolutionary.
"Jackass," said Wes. Danny found it profoundly entertaining that the two of them had never been able to work out their differences. Wes was a firm believer in the power of capitalism and the government, as well as a frank supporter of elitism. He was always telling her not to underestimate the stupidity of the masses. Jesse was, well, Jesse. He believed in anarchy and revolutions, civil disobedience and violent protests. So it was small wonder that they did not see eye to eye. What truly amused her and made her warm inside when she could not sleep was that they put up with each other for her. Not out of some great chivalrous effort, because she'd long ago faced the fact that that white horse was never coming, but out of simple friendship. They were her friends, so they tolerated each other. They had even come to a sort of truce about it. Once, she had walked into Wes' room to find Jesse there. Allegedly, he had been waiting for her, but she would swear that they were talking, bonding, having a good time.
She liked to think that they were friends.
So Danny did not glare too hard at Wes for his rude dismissal of Jesse. She knew that whatever malice might have been behind it had long since died off and the relationship had since cooled to a sort of chess-game, a fact that suited her perfectly. Instead, she sat up and sighed. Cailan might not know a joke if it bit him in the ass, which one of them was apt to do as a joke, but he was still a sweet guy. He was handsome and actually rather kind and he gave her his coat when she had told him she was cold that time they had stood outside of the Rocky Horror Party for an hour while she waited for her head to clear and he waited for her to stop shaking.
He was a gentleman. And he had absolutely no idea that she liked him.
She could, of course, be all melodramatic and pretend that he had no idea she existed, but that was a lie. They had had two classes together, and both of them were good friends with Jesse, and just last week she had sat in his room for five hours while they watched every Kevin Smith movie either of them owned and laughed until beer came up her nose. That had started him laughing, and they just hadn't stopped. So it wasn't that he didn't notice her. It was that he didn't notice her. She wanted him to give her his coat again, but this time with some cognizance of the romantic implications. As it was, she was lucky to get a spot remotely near him on group movie night.
The worst part was everyone else knowing. She could tell from the way that Cordy was looking at her now, her big brown eyes just filled to the brim with sympathy and the promise of hugs and hot chocolate, that there was no way she was getting out of this with her dignity intact. She had the crush of a lifetime on a boy who was now mortally offended on behalf of a Magic Eight Ball. Danny was pretty sure that this was considered rock bottom.
Kerry chose that moment to enter the conversation, though, surprising everyone with a standard non sequitor. It wasn't so much that Kerry wasn't known for non sequitors, it was more that she wasn't known for joining the conversation much at all. Still, she did.
"I met a freshman last week," she said, addressing Wes, but pitching her voice so that Danny and Cordy could hear too. "Her name is Wendy. She wanted to know about the anime club."
It made sense that Kerry would meet interested freshmen for anime (though that did seem a bit odd in and of itself), as she was the current president of the club. Danny was more a sporadic attendee. She had nothing against the art form in general, and found some shows truly entertaining, but filed most of it as just useful pop culture and left it there. Kerry was different. She was the perfect president for an anime club. An afficianado of nearly everything Japanese, Kerry devoured manga and anime, spending far more money on it than Danny saw wise. Of course Danny never said anything—her finances were always in such bad shape that she really was in no shape to judge—but she thought it loudly. The shelves of their room were covered with manga and the walls were plastered with the posters. So if this Wendy was someone Kerry met at club? Danny was ready to batten down the hatches and wait for it to blow over.
Sadly, she was the only one to think so. Kerry had only to say the word freshman, and even more, imply that her freshman was a girl, for Wes to be salivating at the chance. Wes had a sort of mental love affair with the idea of seducing a freshman girl. Danny had no idea why, especially with Cordy making such cute faces at him from across the table, but there it was.
"Have you talked to her since then?" he said, and Danny could swear that she saw drool. God.
"No," said Kerry. "Though she did say she would be at our next meeting."
The anime club met regularly on Saturdays. This was Monday. Danny had a week to prevent disaster. Really, she worked best with a month. She always needed about a week to convince Wes that she wasn't tricking him into anything, a week to trick him into it, and then two weeks to make sure that nothing had gone wrong. It seemed that this time she would just have to skip steps One and Three. Damn.
Danny did wonder about this girl though. As a junior herself, Danny was well past her expiration date on the college dating scene, a fact made fully clear to her by her last girlfriend. If she wanted to be the girl, which generally speaking, Danny preferred (it was less work and more fun, as handcuffs were only fun when you were the one in them), she had to get used to everyone wanting their girls to be younger and prettier and fresher. Freshmaner. She was reasonably sure that if she gave it any sort of deep emotional consideration, Danny would have to conclude that she mainly hated freshmen because of this, not because of their own faults. She was also quite sure that she didn't care.
This Wendy had better be Helen of fucking Troy, she thought to herself, for all the trouble she's going to cause.
Granted, Danny had no way of knowing if this was true, but she knew Wes. She knew that he loved a challenge and she knew that he wanted to say he'd gotten a freshman. She also knew that Cordy wanted him and that he could never stand to have a direct offer in front of him. He would never take her up on it, not because he had to be the one offering, but out of some glitch in his self-esteem. He assumed that anyone who said they wanted him had to be lying because they wanted something. If he was the one chasing, then it was okay.
She also knew one other little thing, a tiny fact that made the rest of the "little things" she knew seem insignificant: she knew that Kerry was in love with Wes.
It was a weird thing to know, though there was absolutely no reason for her not to know it. Kerry was her roommate, and aside from some strange tendencies, and a frustrating penchant for aloofness, Kerry was a good person. Not an easy person, to be sure, and Danny certainly knew that well, as they went into their third year as roommates. But Kerry had told her one night, during one of their periodic share-fests, an event all too infrequent, but always needed as the stresses of trying to survive college always got to one of them. Kerry had lain in her bed, the top bunk as she was short and smaller and generally much more nimble, and whispered the words.
Danny had been stunned, but not flabbergasted. Flabbergasted would have been to hear that Wes was in love with Kerry, though that was not out of the realm of possibility, just probability. No, the true impossibility would be Wes declaring his love for Jesse, though she did sometimes hold out hope that that would happen. It would make a great story, though she was not sure that anyone would read it, outside of the general community of romance novels and unlikely plots. Opposites attract and all that.
But no, Kerry and Wes were not quite "opposites". They were just "unlikes". They both loved anime and videogames and pop culture, though Kerry went a little fanatically towards one end of that spectrum, and Wes towards the other. He was tall and loud, and she was tiny and soft-spoken. Still, they had chemistry, maybe. And that was why this Wendy was a bad idea. That was why Danny would have to pull every trick in her book to keep Wes away. She didn't want Kerry's heart broken, even when it seemed Kerry was holding it out for the smashing (and really, what was that about?), and she did not want Wes to have another crisis, the inevitable result when his conscience caught up with him.
This was her job. Fixing people. And she was damn good at it.
But she couldn't fix her own life. No, that was beyond her. She seemed to be incapable of not ruining her relationships, as she had been told by her last girlfriend, and the boyfriend before that. Sasha, the girlfriend, had said that Danny was just too much for one person to handle and that she might as well give up on the idea of ever having a real relationship. The words had hurt, but Danny had been able to see the truth in them. She was fucked up. She knew she was fucked up. She was incapable of talking about her problems, but she was incapable of not interfering in everyone else's, and she constantly needed reassurances that she was important, worthy, at all interesting. That was the clincher, the interesting bit. Danny had to be interesting. She could never be boring or average, she had to be in some way fantastic.
So she understood when Sasha dumped her for a slender girl with beautiful braids and the most creamy cocoa skin she'd ever seen. Danny didn't even really mind. Sure it hurt. It always hurt when she got dumped, and she got dumped reasonably often. But it made sense, and she couldn't argue with herself over that one.
The boy had been nicer about it, but he had said the same thing. Roger, his name had been, all tall and blue-eyed, long blond hair and so pretty to look at that Danny had spent their entire relationship wondering what he was doing with her. He had broken up with her because he said, "It just wasn't working out." She knew what that meant though. It was the nice way of saying, "You're crazy, too crazy, and I don't want to deal with you. You're absolutely fucking nuts and I don't want to have to spend another night having to coax you out from underneath a table."
She didn't blame Roger for dumping her either. Actually, she blamed him less, because he, at least, had tried to be sweet about it, and had been kind of nice to her since then, always saying high, and when she had gotten that research fellowship he'd given her a big hug that reminded her of the smell of his aftershave and the funny mole on the inside of his right thigh, and how he always stroked her hair after they had sex. She really didn't blame any of them for dumping her. She was more impressed that they kept on dating her.
Dinner was over and they had all started the wander back to their rooms. Kerry drifted on ahead, always out of the group and somehow different. Danny wished that there was some way to make her more social, but the smaller girl always resisted her efforts. In fact, Kerry had asked her to stop trying. Kerry didn't seem to really want to be part of the group. She seemed to prefer her own company, or that of her thoughts. Other people were nice, sure, but only a little bit and only for a short period of time. That was why Danny had always been surprised that Kerry had wanted them to keep on as roommates. Danny had been fully expecting Kerry to spring for a single and never be heard of again, but she'd smiled instead, and asked if Danny wanted to get another double. Danny had of course said yes (this was before she'd gotten a sex life and also before she'd gotten over most of her problems, back when the idea of living alone inspired panic and would probably have lead to EMT calls). But that was two years ago, and Danny had a sex life now, fractured as it was. She rather wished she hadn't agreed to another year, but now it was Kerry that had seemed like she couldn't survive on her own, and of course Danny couldn't say no to the only person who'd kept her alive freshman and sophomore years.
So Danny put on a fake smile whenever anyone asked about her living situation and just made herself remember how much she'd needed Kerry before. She'd been crazy, was still crazy, and Kerry had kept her clothed and in classes, and mostly passing. Kerry really deserved an award for that. Danny could live with some odd habits and slightly annoying anti-social tendencies if it meant repaying that debt.
The sex was an issue.
Still, most of the people she had sex with had their own rooms, and except for one or two occasions of bathroom sex, they had always gone there. She refused to bring anyone back, since, as far as she knew, Kerry was a virgin, and that was just mean. Danny didn't believe in sexiling anyone unless they could sexile you back.
They were lucky too. Wes and Cordy were right across the hall, bonus from the Housing Lottery. The four of them had managed to wrangle a segment, two singles and a double, and they thought the set-up was pretty nice (private-ish bathroom, kitchen access, private common room). Thanks to Wes' really good Housing numbers they didn't have to worry about strangers in the bathroom or things like that. Danny liked it especially because it meant that she could just waltz across the hall and find Wes, or next door to him and talk crafts with Cordy. They were all right there. Well, not all. Cailan and Jesse were in one of the different segments, though not far away. It wasn't that they hadn't all been friends yet, but more that the two boys had wanted a double, and Danny and Kerry had rather needed a double, so now the two boys were living in another segment two floors down and across the building with a brother and sister duo, Nate and Nell. They were fraternal twins they'd said, and one would believe it to meet them. Nell was short and angry, a fireball with a mass of black curly hair, while Nate was only slightly taller and quiet, but with a quirky sense of humor and short black hair.
Danny had just met the twins recently, not long after they had all moved in for the year. She'd gone to visit Jesse and Cailan, and her path had suddenly been blocked by this tiny girl holding a television and keeping up a constant monologue of insults at it.
"Motherfucking thing gonna tell my brother that he can suck my dick next time he suggests that we room together the cocksucking motherfucking dickhead..." The girl continued her expletive list until she disappeared into one of the rooms, at which time Danny decided she would find one of her boys and hide. Still, despite the encounter, and their lack of real communication since, Danny hoped that they could become friends. Nate had seemed warm and interesting, and Nell was just plain interesting.
She couldn't visit now, though, because Cailan was still mad at her. At least she assumed he was mad at her. She didn't even really know what had set him off, other than some generic thing about not wanting to be just a blank replacement, and that she shouldn't make fun of children's toys. Whatever. It seemed lately like she could do no good with him. Cailan was sweet and kind and a total gentleman, but he'd been snippy with her all week. Maybe Jesse would be able to talk him down, and then if that happened, maybe she could finally relax. Manic depression was not a good mental disorder to mix with emotional stress, and she'd been on the edge of a major episode for weeks now. She just hoped she could keep holding off until fall break. Granted, that would mean that when she did let go she would fly right out the window, but hopefully by then she would have someone to hold her hand and pull her back down. And it would be fall break. People didn't usually mind it if you were completely useless over vacation.
Although that was probably why all of her exes had dumped her. She used them as anchors, telling them, "I'm about to go, so if you could stop me, that'd be great." They had never understood her the first time, but after a couple of instances pulling her out of trees and out from under tables, away from WalMart displays and from innocent bystanders they usually figured it out. Then they dumped her. Of course, there were also the adventurous ones. There had been Brandon, who'd asked her if she wanted to go to Florida with him, and she'd said yes with ten minutes notice, and off they'd gone, only barely slipping back in time for classes on Monday. And Kelly, who had taken one look at Danny and dragged her to the tattoo parlor where Danny got her whole ear pierced and a tattoo of an eye on her back. Kelley said it was creepy, and would never look at her back again, but Danny thought it was pretty.
The adventurous ones never minded her up moods. They would fly with her, only interfering if she was about to get hurt, and sometimes not even then. She had scar on her knee and a throb in her arm left over from Sarah, who hadn't realized that she was running towards the wall until she hit it. Sarah had called the emergency room, and all, but that was when Danny had sworn off the adventurous ones. They dumped her too, but not for being crazy. They dumped her on the other side, when she couldn't get up or eat or move. They thought it was unnatural, that their fun-loving girlfriend always turned into a blob the next day, apathetic. Danny hated those days too, but mostly because it felt like her mind was covered in cotton and she couldn't get out. She felt like screaming but she wouldn't because she was too tired. When she was up, she would scream, because the thrumming under her skin would get too fast and it would start to hurt. But when she was down, it was more like a low moan at the back of her mind. She just wanted it gone. She just wanted to think again.
Danny flopped on her bed facedown and inhaled the sheets. They smelled nice, the scent of cotton left in the sun all day. She rolled over and stared at the wood bottom of Kerry's bunk. They'd bunked the beds to give them more room, putting a couch and a television in the corner, but really, Kerry was the only one who used it. Danny was normally out with her flavor of the week, or else she was actually doing work, rare though it might be.
Danny hated being between partners. It was like when she'd gone to a big Contra dance festival, and every once in a while, she would wander the floor, looking for a partner, but everyone would have someone as soon as she got there. She felt out of place and out of touch. Plus, she was bored.
She vaguely considered the notion of doing homework, before dismissing it as "crazy talk", and wandering over to look at her book collection. She had an impressive number of books, and she was always working her way through them. Mostly she read in between "Flavors", but she still made good headway, being a quick reader and a naturally bored person. She grabbed the next on the shelf and settled down on her bed, the world of seventeenth century British law drawing her in. She picked most of the books up at home, where her parents, though not the most expressive people, had always taught her to value books, all books, about everything, and were constantly lending her their collection, "To add to your education," her mother said.
Danny's eyes began to droop as the words became longer and older. She was tired, and safe. Maybe she could nap. She hadn't slept well in a while, and this would be a good time to start.
She rolled over and closed her eyes, book still cradled in her hands like her newborn child. The music from Kerry's video-game became almost lullabye-like and soothing. Danny started to drift.
And then her cell phone rang.