Sorry again for the long delay, but I've had really bad writer's block and school started again, but I'll try to work faster. The next two chapters are already being written, so that's good, right? Anyway, please read and review.

Chapter 13: Gumby's Pizza

"Oh, look at that, I have a new friend request," Callie said with a smile as she signed onto Facebook the next morning. She wanted to get to bed early that night so she woke early with the intention of doing her homework before dinner even, assuming she got started on it right away. That and she promised to help Zoey run lines that evening. Zoey had yet to tell her that Ryan, Perri, and Poe were also joining them to help her with the lines as there were many characters in the scene.

"From who?" Zoey asked as she decided what she wanted to do with her hair. She settled on leaving her curls down, as it was easier than trying something that would most likely end up in a giant knot by the end of the day.

Callie laughed. "It's just Dolan. I totally forgot to check yesterday." She confirmed the friend request, then quickly wrote a message on his wall. Would you believe that I'm already waiting for next Friday night so we can do something fun, like you promised?

"Wow, he's not going to think you're creepy," Zoey laughed reading over Callie's shoulder.

"I'll have you know that he already told me he's planning something for next Friday," Callie said. "I hope that you'll decide not to crash this date…"

"I'm sorry about that," Zoey cried. "I wasn't thinking and when they found out you were on a date, they just had to crash it, you know those guys."

"I'm not telling you where I'm going on dates until after they happen from now on," Callie said. "It's the only guarantee that you won't show with Ryan in tow."

Zoey stuck her tongue out at Callie. "You're mean sometimes." Callie gave Zoey a quick glare, and Zoey rolled her eyes. "I guess you're justified in this case."

Before Callie could sign off, Dolan had responded to her post. Zoey laughed and left the room to take a shower. When she returned half an hour later, Callie was still posting with Dolan back and forth, and Callie hadn't gotten anything else started.

"Don't you have an essay to write or something?" Zoey asked, cocking her head to the side and peering at Callie.

"Not really," Callie replied. "Just read a few chapters of Jane Eyre. I got ahead in everything over the week."

Zoey rolled her eyes. "Well, you need to read them soon, because I don't want to stay up late as you scramble to read because you were writing on Dolan's wall all day."

"I'm writing on other people's walls as well," Callie defended. "Oh, and BTW, Ryan left a post on your wall. You might want to check it out."

Zoey cocked her head to the side. Callie never told Zoey about Ryan calling her or posting on her wall while she was away. However, she wasn't going to question it if Callie and Ryan began to get along. It would ease a lot of the duress in her life. So, instead, she jumped onto her computer and opened her Facebook. Indeed, Ryan had posted on her wall. Hey, sorry for acting like a dick at the party last night. Feeling better and promise not to do that again anytime soon.

"How long do you think before he breaks that promise?" Callie asked when she noticed Zoey was replying.

"I think you greatly underestimate Ryan's will power when he becomes determined," Zoey said.

Callie laughed. "Yeah, I'll believe that the day I have sex with him," she said as she closed her computer and grabbed her Jane Eyre book. She sat on her bed and began to read. Zoey only frowned in response.

The day proceeded as usual from that point out. The two girls went to lunch at noon, Callie enjoyed a few episodes of NCIS season four while Zoey was off practicing a monologue, and then joined a few girls on a walk to ISR for an early dinner.

Callie stopped in the doorway when she returned to her room after her dinner. There, on Zoey's bed, sat Ryan. On Callie's bed, Poe and Perri sat shoulder to shoulder, each with a paper plate stacked with pizza and Pokey Stix and seemingly sharing a bottle of Coca-Cola. Next to Ryan were two large boxes from Gumby's Pizza, one pizza of half pepperoni/half mushroom, and the other of Pokey Stix; he was eating right out of the boxes. Zoey was nowhere to be seen.

"Uh… where's my roommate?"

"She went to get some more pops," Ryan said before taking a bite of his pepperoni pizza.

"So, what's the pizza party about?" Callie asked as she crossed the room to sit in her desk chair.

"Well, there's this thing called dinner where people eat food," Ryan began speaking slowly as if talking to a little kid. "And we all—"

"Fuck you, asshole," Callie snapped. "I'm not inept." She turned to look at Poe and Perri.

"Ryan bought us all pizza and Pokey Stix," Perri said. "And, hey, I don't pass up Pokey Stix. You should have stuck around for dinner."

"You could still grab a few if you'd like," Ryan said, holding the box toward Callie.

"No thanks," Callie replied. "I'm good without those. I just ate, anyway."

"Suit yourself," Ryan said with a shrug and placed the Pokey Stix box back on Zoey's bed. "But, if you want any later, they're probably all going to be gone."

"I'll survive," Callie said.

"Oh, you're back," Zoey said pushing open the door of the room a few minutes later. "We can start."

"Wait…" Callie looked at Ryan, and then back at Zoey. "You failed to mention that he would be participating in this line reading."

"Opps," Zoey said with a small smile, but then waved it off. "Oh well, get over it. You never asked. We should get to work, huh?"

"While we're eating?" Perri asked before taking another bite of her pizza.

Zoey sighed. "We'll hurry and eat," she said. She handed one bottle of Coke to Ryan and opened the other for herself. She then jumped up on her bed on the other side of the boxes and grabbed a Pokey Stix, munching on it happily. "You're not eating any, Callie?"

"They're… what are Pokey Stix, exactly?"

"Delicious," Perri answered. "We have them weekly at my house." Perri had grown up in Champaign, not far from the campus, and had been an avid Illini fan by the time she started preschool. For everyone else, Gumby's was a new experience.

"Which means they're probably totally unhealthy," Callie said.

"Hey, so, I noticed a sign that said Coffeehouse when I was walking in," Poe interrupted any oncoming arguments. "What, exactly, is that?"

"Oh, it's once a month on Thursdays and a bunch of people sign up and display their talents," Perri said excitedly. "It was hilarious at the first one because Zoey and Callie did this song from Wicked and they did it so well that everyone was cheering wildly. What are you guys doing this time?"

"Oh, I'm just playing the piano and singing a song," Zoey said. "And if I can convince Callie, I really want her to perform a poem or two because they're really good."

Ryan smirked. "How about a little poetic entertainment while we finish eating, Callie?"

Callie huffed. "If you want to see me recite some poetry, come to Coffeehouse, why don't you?"

"You probably shouldn't tempt—" Poe began, but Ryan cut him off.

"I'll be sitting front and center in that case."

Callie stressed the whole week as she thought about what poem she would perform. Part of her wanted him to come and waste several hours of his evening only to find out she wasn't performing. Yet, at the same time, she wanted to perform.

"Well, Callie officially has a spot at Coffeehouse," Perri said to Poe as the two ate lunch on Thursday afternoon at Allen when they both had a lunch break at one. "Is Ryan actually going to be there?"

"He did stay up an extra two hours last night doing homework due tomorrow so that he wouldn't have to do it all tonight," Poe said. "If that doesn't mean he'll be there then I don't know what does prove it."

"Him in the front row tonight," Perri said. She tossed her hair behind her and smiled at Poe. "Have you thought about where you're living next year, yet? I know it seems early, but apparently everyone knows where they plan to live by mid-November."

"I know," Poe said. "My sister already went through it all last year. But I haven't put in much thought yet."

"Oh, well, Cindy asked me to room with her next year already," Perri said. "I'd move to her room, so I'd be just across from Callie and Zoey, assuming they stay together an in the same room. Jazz and Allie are looking at apartments on Green Street and Dawn might room with them or her boyfriend, she doesn't know yet. I suggested that she room with them because what if she and her boyfriend break up?"

Poe smirked. Perri could ramble on for quite a while, but he really didn't mind. He really liked the sound of her voice, and her eyes, which he never looked away from. "So, think I'd fit in here at Allen?"

Perri smiled. "You really want to transfer here?"

"Food's better than at the six-pack," Poe said. "Doors are open every hall I walk down." He smiled. "You live here."

"Oh, what will Ryan do if you move here next year?"

"Get an apartment," Poe shrugged. "Or, hey, move here as well."

"That would drive Callie insane."

"Something tells me she could think of worse things that could happen."

Perri giggled. She looked at the clock. "So, how many more classes do you have today?"

"Thursdays I'm off at one," Poe said. "What about you?"

"I've got a break until my photo class after dinner," she said with a smile.

"Responsibly, we should use this upcoming time to study and do homework," Poe said slowly.

Perri giggled again. "Responsibility is over-rated. My roommate's got class until three-thirty, and never returns to the room right after class."

Callie bit the inside of her cheek when she and Zoey walked into the main lounge to see Perri, Ryan, Poe, and Cindy sitting near the front and talking. She had really doubted Ryan would show up. She really wished she had called Dolan and asked him to come as well, but by now, it was a little late. As it was, she was already afraid that Dolan and Ryan were becoming too chummy as it was. She did not need a possible boyfriend to become real friends with Ryan. She needed Dolan to be her escape from him, Zoey was a friend with him, the other girls all adored him, she did not want to trap herself into a life where Ryan was around every corner.

"Hey, you came!" Zoey flung her arms around Ryan.

"I said I would, didn't I?" Ryan asked.

Zoey smiled and plopped onto the floor next to him. Callie sat on the far side of Cindy, as far from Ryan without leaving their group. "Where are Jazz, Dawn, and Allie?" Callie asked.

"They went to a party," Cindy said. "As soon as you go, I'm outta here to get there too."

Callie smiled. "Any chance I can come?"

"Five dollars a cup," she said. "In case you plan on drinking." She turned to the rest of the group. "You guys should come too. Thursday's the real party night here."

"Sounds like fun," Ryan said. "It's non-option for you, Zoe."

"Oh, gee," she said. "But I'll be exhausted tomorrow for classes."

"You're in college," Ryan said. "What's the point of coming if you never stay out late and party on a school night?"

"Money well spent," she replied.

Before they could continue, Coffeehouse began and they had to be quiet for the performers. Zoey went after fifteen minutes, performing "Imagine," playing the piano and singing. She received a hearty applause, especially from the RA's who had kept the beat throughout with claps. The song stood for a lot of what Allen stood for, unity.

Callie nervously waited for her turn as the next few acts went, including a string band, a kid practicing for his upcoming speech competition, and a boy who just ranted and ended with a moral. Finally, Callie was up. She stepped up with her small selection of poems and looked at the audience. It was a lot smaller than the first Coffeehouse's audience, but for some reason, it was more intimidating. She couldn't tell if it was because she was sharing something more personal, something that she wrote and slaved over, or if it was a single pair of blue eyes staring up at her. She took a breath and finally, began with her first poem.

"Don't Let Me Cross the Street Alone

"Not to long ago, I wasn't allowed to cross the street
Unless I was holding your hand.
I miss those days, that security.
I always wanted to be independent,
To run across that street without you
Just to prove I could.
Now, that I am alone
I find that I miss that hand
Holding mine tightly as if to tell me
Don't worry, I won't let you go through this alone.

"I cried yesterday and I missed your shoulder.
There was no warm embrace,
No words of condolence,
No kiss on the top of my head to ensure me
That everything is fine,
Which is how I know it isn't.

"I cried today and I still was alone.
But, I don't know how to tell you
What is really going on
In my head.
Personally, I'd love to tell you
But I have to figure out what it is first
Then translate it to you in a way
That won't scare you
The way it scares me.

"You always made sure I felt
Safe and comfort.
Now it's my turn to do the same for you,
Even if it is driving me insane."

When she finished, there was a pause, and then applause as they realized that she was finished. She looked at the crowd and then had to step away from the center. She had three more poems with her, but couldn't pull herself together enough to read them. Instead of sitting back down where she had been, she walked to the back of the room and squeezed her eyes shut.

She ran out of the doors, and then out of the building all together, breathing deeply into the fresh night air. She was glad no one was smoking hookah as was common among Allenites.

"Callie…" A hand landed on her shoulder and she turned around to see the eyes that had intimidated her since she had officially decided to read. She looked away from Ryan and took a step away from his hand.

"Do you want something?" she asked.

"You still coming to the party?" he asked.

She took a deep breath and nodded. "Why?"

"Well, Zoey and Perri decided the wanted to primp a bit more, heaven knows why, they look fine," Ryan said. "Just making sure you don't want to run up and well, redo your make-up or something." She glared at him. "Not that you look bad, but you're eye make-up ran a little when you began to cry."

Callie reached up and felt that her cheeks were wet. She turned to the building and went in, Ryan following her the whole way to her room. She had already primped for the Coffeehouse performance, so she just took off the little make-up that smeared and redid the outsides of her eyes.

"That was to your mother, wasn't it?" Ryan asked, standing in the doorway. Zoey had left to wash her hands quickly.

Callie nodded. "I just wish she could hear it."

"I'm sure she would have loved it."

"You didn't know my mother, Ryan. You don't know what she did and didn't like."

"But, she would have loved it because you wrote it," he said before stepping back just as Zoey returned from the bathroom.

"Ready?" Zoey asked. Cindy, Perri, and Poe were gathered by the door to the stairwell ready to leave.

"Yep," Callie said grabbing her keys, ID, and ten dollars.

Thanks again for reading and reviewing.

AbbeyEileen- Yeah, I actually don't use too many dividers in my stories between scenes. I really don't think they're that hard to pick out because the people change.

JRockFan- There will definitely be more Ryan-Callie action, but how soon is the question.

Darkgurl- you might have to wait for more Ryan-Callie kissing scenes. After all, Callie is just getting into Dolan.

Blair Powers - Yeah, we're just getting into some more of Callie's friends. they're a pretty interesting group.

DeadlyWhisper - Don't worry, outside of Callie, Ryan, Perri, Poe, Zoey, Andrew, and Callie's father, I don't think any of the characters are going to have deep motives or will be deeply developed (that's not to say they will just be blank slates).