7 Days Moon at First Quarter

I helped myself to some Cookies N' Cream ice cream. My roommate, Jessica, smiled and jumped onto the couch next to me. "Share!" she cried.
Jessica and I met in college. We'd shared a dorm all four years, and when we'd graduated, we decided to live in an apartment together until we each found the men of our dreams, got married, and moved out. Of course, if all went according to plan, by then we'd both be rich and famous. I set the half- pint on the cushion between us, and Jessica dug a spoon into it. One of our rules for living together was that we shared everything related to food.
"Hwy dio weh huv thuh?" Jessica asked with her mouth full of ice cream. In the entire six years we'd been living together, I'd only seen Jessica swallow her food before talking once, and that had been during a double date. Luckily, I've figured out how to understand what she was saying. She'd asked, "Why do we have this?"
It was a fair question. Although both Jessica and I lived on ice cream, I very rarely bought anything fancy, and to two girls living on what we made at part- time jobs, Cookies N' Cream was fancy. Usually all we had were tubs of vanilla, and maybe some chocolate syrup to pour over it.
"I'm celebrating!" I announced.
"Did you sell some poems for lots of money?" Jessica cried. I've always had aspirations of being a poet. Mostly, all I could do was write little verses for local businesses, such as, "Shop at Bett's Vests/They're the best!" I hoped to someday write real poems, but so far I hadn't been able to get any published.
"No," I said. "Not yet. But there is a book publisher willing to look over my work, and I'm going to meet with him next week!" "That is good news," Jessica said before shoving another spoonful of ice cream into her mouth. "Leh muh reah ofur yo poh befoh theh."
Jessica wanted to read over my poems before then. She'd always read over my poems and critiqued them, and I knew she would know exactly what to look for. After all, while my major had been creative writing, she'd gone to college to learn how to be a teacher, so she knew what professionals looked for.
"It just so happens, I've already put together a notebook of the poems I plan to show them," I said, jumping up off the couch. While I bounced to the notebook I'd left lying on the kitchen counter, Jessica tried to keep the ice cream from tipping over onto the couch.
I returned and handed my notebook to Jessica, and stood by proudly while she read it over.
She quickly read the first one in there, which I'd titled "Love." It wasn't my best work, but I felt I should include it anyway, because it was one of the few poems in which I rhymed. It went like this:

I love you I want to tell you Oh, how
I want to, but I'm not right now (Not telling you, that is Not "I'm not in love with you" Because I am. That's why I'm writing this poem.) I should tell you I love you That I should do Maybe some day You'll feel the same way Or maybe you don't Maybe you won't But I hope you do Feel that way too I want to run into your arms, I do I want to kiss you Kiss me I want you to screw me I want to screw you for all eternity (Not in the bad way Like when you say, "I'm screwed." In the good way) Just please Tell me you love me.

"Well," Jessica said. "To begin with, find something other than 'do' that rhymes with 'you,' because you used those words too often. And in some places it rhymes, then it randomly stops rhyming, then it rhymes again."
"Well, I thought I'd distinguish the words in the parentheses by not rhyming them," I said defensively, even though I knew she was right. The truth was, I didn't really like rhyming, and I hadn't wanted to think of things that rhymed with all those words.
"And what's with the whole screwing thing at the end?" Jessica asked.
"Look," I said. "You can't judge all the poems in there by that one. Read 'Huntress,' it's the next poem in there."

Prowling through the night The moon glistens on the streets I swiftly, softly hunt I'm looking for my prey I'm looking for you I see you Graceful as a cat Silent as a hawk Swift as a cheetah I am close to you I want to posses you Like a lover, I wrap my arms around you I give you the kiss of death You are mine

"Raechal, this reads like it was written by a vampire," said Jessica.
With that comment, I decided Jessica knew me too well to be an unbiased critique of my poetry. I've always liked reading stories about vampires, and she always claimed that my best work was what I wrote right after reading the stories.
"So what if it is about vampires?" I asked. "That doesn't mean you have to be a fan of vampires to appreciate the poem."
"It's certainly better than the first one," Jessica said. "Still, I hope you only included a few like this."
I snatched away the notebook and blushed. "Aha!" Jessica cried. "So that's why you included that awful love poem! It's the only one you've written that's not about vampires."
"That's not true!" I cried with my cheeks burning. "There are some poems about ghosts and one about feeling like someone is always watching you."
Jessica made a face and said, "Look, Raechal. I'm telling you this as a friend. You have to write about something other than the supernatural if you ever want to be a professional poet."
"I know," I said. "But you said yourself, the vampire poem was much better than the love poem."
"You just need to fall in love," said Jessica, rising to put the melted ice cream into a trashbag that didn't have a can. "Speaking of which, I think I know a guy who you'd like."
"Really?" I asked. "Do I know him?"
"I think you may have met him," Jessica said. "He was the best man at my sister's wedding."
I tried to think of who the best man had been, but I couldn't picture the face. The truth was, I'd spent the entire wedding hitting on Jessica's cousin, not realizing he was already engaged. "I don't know what he looks like," I said.
"Well, then it'll be a blind date," Jessica said. "He's my sister's husband's brother. I don't know if that makes him my brother-in-law or not, but he's really nice, and I know for a fact he's single."
While the idea of going on a date with a new guy sounded nice, I wasn't quite sure. Jessica had a tendency to set me up with the most boring men in the universe. Once, I'd spent an entire evening listening to a tax accountant explain to me the difference between some tax laws I didn't really understand. Another time, I'd gone to a restaurant with a kindergarten teacher who insisted on treating me like I was one of his students.
"He's an astronomer," Jessica told me as if she could read my mind.
"So, he's one of those people who can tell the future by looking at the stars?" I asked. I'd never had much faith in horoscopes, but my mother had read them religiously when I'd been young.
"No, that's an astrologer," Jessica said. "Isaac is an astronomer. He looks at stars and charts the flights of comets and stuff. Or at least, that's what normal astronomers do. I think he just teaches astronomy at the college."
"I don't know," I said. "Looking at stars and comets and stuff sounds kind of boring."
"Come on," Jessica begged. "I bet you'll like him. Just go on one date, it'll be fun."
"Alright," I said with a sigh. "But if I don't like him, I'm dumping him. I'm not going to be nice just because he's your distant brother-in- law."
"You don't have to worry about that, because I know you'll love him," Jessica said with a smile.