Chapter 21: The Matchmaking of Indignant Lovers Foundation
On Saturday evening after the hockey game against Union, the first meeting of the Matchmaking of Indignant Lovers Foundation (MILF; three guesses who came up with that name) was held. All of its members attended.
All three of us, that is.
"So, here's the deal," I began, sitting down on my bed next to Tully. "Elizabeth likes Amory. Amory likes Elizabeth. They both think they hate each other. And we think they should stop being stubborn and screw already."
"Okay, not literally," I amended. "But you get the idea. So what are we going to do about it?"
"I don't suppose we could nudge one of them into asking the other out?" Elena half-heartedly inquired, knowing it was a hopeless cause.
I shook my head. "Won't work."
"We could just shove them both into a closet and not let them out until they admit that they like each other," Tully suggested.
I stared at him incredulously. "They'll run out of oxygen or kill each other first. I, for one, don't want two dead bodies on my hands."
He chuckled. "I bet that would totally ruin your chances of working for the government, wouldn't it?"
"Ya think?" I replied sarcastically.
"That's too bad," he murmured, nuzzling my neck and pressing a kiss to my collarbone.
Elena rolled her eyes. "Are you two going to sit there and be nauseatingly cute all night, or are we going to make it so that Elizabeth and Amory can be nauseatingly cute as well?"
Tully pulled away from me, laughing. "Sorry, Elena. Alright, back to business."
Suddenly, an idea hit me.
"I've got it. How about we do a note-dropping covert-op sort of thing?"
Tully frowned in confusion. "Note-dropping?"
"Yeah, like in that episode of South Park where Stan's parents end up doing it in the tree-house. Only more CIA-ish."
Elena raised an eyebrow, not having seen that many South Park episodes. "Is this going to be another one of those Echo One, Tango Twelve things?"
"So I'm not crazy!" Tully suddenly exclaimed.
Elena and I gave him identical "what the fuck" looks.
"I knew I was hearing stuff about echoes and tangos back when you were avoiding me, Eves," he explained. "I thought I was going nuts. You guys were using code, weren't you?"
I looked down at my feet sheepishly. "Yeah, kinda."
"Anyway," Elena went on. "What's this note-dropping thing about?"
"Basically, we put a note in each of their rooms telling them to go to a certain place at a certain time for something important," I explained. "And then they'll meet each other there unexpectedly."
"Well, I haven't really thought that far yet," I admitted.
"When they get to the place, we can always, you know, set the mood." Tully waggled his eyebrows at me suggestively.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Like candles and romantic music and stuff," he explained.
Elena tilted her head to the side thoughtfully. "You know, that's actually not a half-bad idea."
I nodded. "I say we go for it. Let's meet back here tomorrow - same time, same place - for some hardcore planning."
Tully grinned. "Awesome."
"Here's the basic plan of attack." I pointed to the diagram I'd drawn on the large whiteboard I'd swiped from the common room. "At zero-nine-fifty hours tomorrow morning, Alpha Four will leave for class."
I drew an arrow from the little stick figure representing Amory pointing toward one of the rectangles in the area labeled "Central Campus."
"He shouldn't be back until around sixteen-hundred hours. Tango Twelve," I pointed at Tully, who was watching me from his position next to Elena on my bed. "You're responsible for dropping the package in his room during that time slot."
"I have a question, Eves," he began.
I cut him off. "You will address me as Echo One, Tango Twelve."
He grinned. "You're hot when you're being bossy."
I sighed, giving up on the military jargon. "Yeah, Tul. What is it?"
"Well, I was actually going to ask if you could knock it off with covert slang. It's kinda hard to follow sometimes."
"Fine," I conceded. "But I still want to use it when we're putting the plan into action. We don't want to blow this op."
"You watch too much NCIS," Elena chuckled.
"There is no such thing as too much NCIS!" I insisted. "Now, back to the plan: the package - er, the note, I mean - is going to tell Amory to be in front of the library at nine PM. Elizabeth's note will say the same thing. Elena, I need you to sneak into Elizabeth's room while she's in class and drop the note on her pillow. Make sure Dorianne doesn't see it."
She nodded. "Check."
"What next?" Tully inquired.
"Well, if all that goes according to plan, they'll both hopefully show up in front of Uris Library at nine. Tully, you and I will get there fifteen minutes early with a fishing rod, mistletoe, speakers, and some batteries and hide in the bushes near the main entrance. When they're both in place, I'll turn on the romantic music and you'll dangle the mistletoe over their heads with the fishing rod."
"It's not Christmas," he pointed out.
"So? We're trying to set them up! Work with me here!"
"Where are we going to get a fishing rod?"
"Some guy down the hall that Elena knows has one. Anyway, I'm hoping that Amory will take the opportunity to kiss Elizabeth, since he can just blame it on the mistletoe instead of having to tell her that he likes her. I know it's a stretch, since he's so damn stubborn, but it's worth a shot."
"What if he doesn't go for it?" asked Elena.
"If he doesn't, that's where you come in," I informed her. "You'll be 'conveniently' coming out of Olin and you'll see them and walk over. You'll see the mistletoe, point it out, and heckle them until they kiss."
Tully rolled his eyes. "Now why does that seem like a bad idea?"
"Probably because it is," Elena replied.
I scowled at them. "Do you two have a better idea?"
"Not really," Tully admitted.
"Then knock it off with the criticism and help me write the notes."
Smiling, he stood and walked over to me, wrapping his arms around my waist. "I love it when you get feisty."
I raised an eyebrow. "Believe me, Tully McFadden, you haven't seen anything yet."
"How did it go?"
"Great," Tully whispered, joining me in the bushes outside of Uris Library. "I put the note on his desk before I left for practice. When I got back, he started bugging me about it. I told him he should just go and see what was up. He's definitely coming."
I pecked him on the cheek. "Nice work, Tul."
"I think you mean Tango Twelve," he teased, grinning.
I smacked him playfully on the arm. "No using my own obsessions to mock me! That's just mean."
"I'll make it up to you."
He silenced me with a kiss so passionate that it made my toes curl.
Grinning, he pulled away. "Satisfied?"
"Mm, you made a persuasive argument."
Our romantic tryst was interrupted as my phone vibrated in my pocket. Glancing briefly at the caller ID, I picked up.
"Hey, you get the note in place?"
"Yeah," Elena answered. "She definitely read it, too. She mentioned something about needing to go to the library when we were at dinner."
"Awesome. Are you in Olin?"
"Yeah, I'm watching out the front window."
Cautiously, I poked my head out of the bushes to take a look across the footpath that separated Olin from Uris. "Yeah, I see you. We should hang up; it's almost nine. Just remember, if he doesn't kiss her within one minute of the mistletoe being over their heads, that's your cue to come out."
"Alright, Echo Two. Over and out."
Tully rolled his eyes affectionately as I hung up. "You tell me not to tease you, and yet you make it so easy. Not fair."
I was about to make a snarky reply when I heard footsteps approaching. Motioning for Tully to shush, I peeked carefully through the bushes.
Sure enough, Amory had arrived in front of Uris and was leaning against its stone façade, arms crossed over his chest, looking impatient.
"Alpha Four is in place," I whispered to Tully. "Have the fishing rod on standby."
He carefully threaded the mistletoe onto the hook. "Ready."
Making sure not to give away my position, I looked around for Elizabeth.
"You see Eliz- er, Echo Three yet?"
"Negative, Tango Twelve."
We waited anxiously as frazzled-looking students came and went. One girl in pajama pants even ran across the path to the café in Olin without a coat and came back out a minute later with a coffee in hand to return to what looked like a really shitty all-nighter in Uris.
After twenty minutes had passed, I began to worry. I pulled out my phone, deciding to take matters into my own hands.
You in the dorm? I texted Elizabeth. I wanted to ask you about something.
After a minute, she replied. Nah, I'm at Carpenter. Supposed to meet someone.
"Shit," I softly cussed.
"What is it?" Tully inquired.
I showed him the text. "She went to the engineering library instead of Uris."
I was startled as my phone vibrated again.
The person isn't showing up, so I'm going back to the dorm.
"She's going back," I quietly informed Tully.
"I think Amory is, too," he whispered, peeking out of our hiding place.
I checked. Amory was swiftly walking away from the library and back toward North Campus looking supremely pissed off.
"Shit! What if they run into each other?"
Tully whipped out his phone. "I'll distract Amory."
I sent Elena a quick "Abort mission" text to let her know what was going on, then looked over Tully's shoulder as he typed a message to his irritated roommate.
Hey man, whatcha up to?
Amory, who was halfway across the Arts Quad, stopped and checked his phone. He fiddled with it for a minute before Tully received his message.
Heading back to the dorm.
"Stall him!" I whispered frantically.
Could you do me a favor? Tully quickly typed. I think I left my hat in Olin. If you're near there, could you see if it's there?
We anxiously peered across the quad. Amory had once again stopped.
Yeah, sure. The black one?
Tully breathed a sigh of relief.
Yeah. Thanks, man!
Amory turned around and headed back toward Olin. Tully and I waited patiently for him to go inside before leaving our hiding place and heading back to the dorm.
Tully raised an eyebrow as Amory shut the door to his room rather harder than was necessary. "Well, hello to you, too."
"Couldn't find your hat," his roommate grumbled in response. "Sorry."
Tully seemed confused. "My hat?"
I gave him a significant look.
"Oh! My hat, right. Oh, that's okay. Thanks for looking, anyway."
"What's got your panties in a bunch?" I asked Amory.
He yanked off his jacket and angrily hung it on a peg in his closet. "Elizabeth just wasted my entire evening."
Tully and I shared a nervous look. Had the two of them run into each other after all?
"What happened?" I inquired.
Amory sat down on his bed in a huff. "Well," he began. "I found this stupid note on my bed that said to go to the library at nine for something 'important,' so I went and waited there for twenty fucking minutes, and no one showed up."
I raised an eyebrow. "Okay… that sucks, but what does it have to do with Elizabeth?"
He sighed in frustration. "Obviously she's the one who put the note there. She's wasting my time to piss me off."
"Which apparently worked," Tully muttered.
"I think you're overreacting, Amory," I reasoned.
"Am I? Am I?"
Tully shook his head in amusement. "This is textbook sexual frustration."
Amory glowered at him. "How is this sexual?"
I rolled my eyes. "Oh boy. Here comes the intro psych mumbo jumbo."
"… you have a lot of pent up sexual energy since you haven't gotten laid in a long time, and you want Elizabeth but you think she hates you, so you get angry at her instead. But you really want to do her. Or something like that."
"Thank you, Doctor Freud."
Amory scowled. "Will both of you just leave? I'm pissed off enough already."
I threw up my hands in defeat. "Fine. We'll go. Come on, Tully."
Shrugging, my boyfriend stood and followed me out the door. I headed down the hall to my room and flopped down on my bed, frustrated.
Elena had already gotten back from Olin. "Amory angry?"
She sighed. "That plan backfired spectacularly."
"Epic fail," Tully agreed.
I clutched my pillow to my chest. "I'm just about ready to give up. I'm pretty much out of ideas."
Elena tapped a finger against her chin thoughtfully. "How about an intervention?"
I was intrigued. "Define 'intervention.'"
"We all go into the same room with them," she explained. "And then we just tell them what's what. They'll have to believe us, since there are three of us confirming it. We just won't let them deny it."
I mulled this over. It seemed like a decent plan; it had the coercive edge that was necessary to deal with two people as stubborn as Elizabeth and Amory, and it allowed Elena, Tully, and myself to mediate should the situation turn ugly. More importantly, the truth would have to come out. We would make sure of that.
"Sounds good to me," I decided, then looked to Tully for his thoughts on the matter.
He shrugged. "It's worth a shot."
"Maybe we should wait until Amory's cooled off, though," I suggested.
Tully shook his head. "Nah, let's just go for it. Now or never, you know?"
I shrugged. "Sure. Why not?"
Elena grinned. "Brilliant. Is Amory in your room?"
"Yeah," Tully replied. "He just kicked us out."
"Right then. We can go pick up Elizabeth and bring her over to your room and have the intervention there."
I nodded. "Good plan."
Having finalized our plot, the three of us left my room and headed down the hall to Elizabeth's. As we neared our destination, we could hear loud, arguing voices coming from inside. Apparently, Amory had decided to confront his "nemesis" about her supposed role in wasting his precious time. I could only imagine what horrible things were being said.
As we reached the room, the voices suddenly stopped. I looked at Elena, confused.
Elizabeth's door was slightly ajar. Tully pushed it the rest of the way open.
His eyes widened to the size of golf balls. "What the fuck?"
What the fuck was right.
Elizabeth lay sprawled across her bed, spread-eagled, in the midst of a rather heavy make-out session with none other than Amory. They were both fully clothed, but their passion was so intense that I felt like I'd just walked onto the set of a porno.
Oh, my virgin eyes!
Elena was the first to collect herself, shoving Tully and I out into the hall and softly closing the door behind us. The three of us simply stared at each other, at a loss for words.
Finally, Tully spoke. "Now that is what I call an argument."
Elena and I rolled our eyes.
"Thanks." Amory handed some money to the cab driver as Elizabeth, Tully, and I climbed out in front of The Haunt, a small nightclub down by the lake that featured live bands.
I wrapped my arms around myself as the wind blew across the parking lot. Although it was already early April, Ithaca was still on the chilly side.
"Here." Tully took off his jacket and draped it around my shoulders.
Instantly feeling warmer and reveling in the familiar scent of my boyfriend's clothing, I smiled and reached up to peck him on the cheek. "Thanks."
That was the nice thing about hockey season finally ending. Although I missed going to the games (and I knew Tully missed playing in them), the two of us could finally go on dates on Friday and Saturday evenings. This time, we'd decided to bring Amory and Elizabeth along with us in our first attempt at a double date.
My covert matchmaking attempt had apparently worked, though not in the way I'd intended. An argument about the notes had apparently led to some shoving and such, and things just sort of unraveled from there. I really didn't want to know the details; I was just happy that they were finally together.
The two of them had been an item for a little over a month and were still the most amusing couple I'd ever seen. They didn't fight as much as they had before they started dating, but they still had spats about the most random things. The main difference was that these now ended in passionate kissing rather than glaring contests.
After the bouncer at the door checked our IDs to make sure we were all over eighteen (and stamped our hands to show that we were under twenty-one, much to Tully's chagrin), we headed over to one of the high cocktail tables near the bar.
"This place is weird," Amory commented, eyeing the gothic decorations adorning the balcony that ran along the wall.
I examined the grave stones and skeletons (which were ironically draped over with white Christmas tree lights) that served as the decor. I wasn't usually into that sort of thing, but in this case, it worked. "I think it's kind of cool."
"When are the bands coming on?" asked Elizabeth.
"Eight-ish," I replied. "There are three of them tonight."
"I'm getting a Coke," Tully informed me. "Do you want anything?"
"Sure." Smiling, he headed over to the bar, but not before I'd pecked his cheek affectionately.
Amory watched his roommate as he got the bartender's attention. "Pepsi is infinitely better than Coke," he commented.
Elizabeth scrunched up her nose in distaste. "Ew."
"What do you mean 'ew'?" he asked, whipping his head around to stare at his girlfriend incredulously.
"I mean that Pepsi's disgusting," she clarified.
"You obviously have no taste buds."
"Says the guy who keeps a ginormous supply of stinky French cheeses in his mini-fridge," she shot back.
He glared at her. "Are you saying I have bad taste in food?"
"Well, if the shoe fits…"
I watched the exchange with an amused grin.
"Oh no," Tully sighed as he returned with our drinks. "What is it this time?"
I took my water gratefully as the debate across the tabled raged on. "Coke versus Pepsi. Shouldn't last much longer, though."
Tully took a sip of his Coke. "How long do you think it'll be?"
"I'd give it ten more seconds."
We turned our attention to the clock above the bar.
"Five," Tully began counting down. "Four, three, two, one…"
We both looked back at our friends. Sure enough, they were furiously making out.
Unable to hide his smile, Tully shook his head in wonder. "I don't understand their relationship."
I shrugged. "It's just their thing."
A mischievous glint suddenly came into my boyfriend's eyes. "If I pick a fight with you, will you kiss me like that?"
I gave him a blank look. "If you pick a fight with me, Tully, I'll kick your ass."
He frowned in disappointment.
"But," I went on, a smile creeping over my face. "I'll kiss you like that if you don't pick a fight with me."
With that, he pulled me into his arms and we sealed our deal with a kiss.
A/N: The last chapter is finally here! I'm sorry it took me so long to post (even now, I'm not completely satisfied with it). This past year, I've been dealing with crazy amounts of work, having a boyfriend with whom I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life, having my heart broken by said boyfriend (now ex), and spending two solid months in a deep depression about it. But it's a new year and a fresh start! One of my resolutions this year was to write more often, and I plan to do just that. I've also updated my website and have added a feature that allows people to subscribe to it, if you're interested in getting updates. Check it out. =)
Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed this last chapter and the story as a whole. Feedback would be very much appreciated, especially with regards to the following questions:
Which was your favorite character and why?
Are there any characters you feel I could have developed more fully?
What was your favorite part of the story and why?
Are there any parts of the story you feel I neglected?
How do you feel I could improve my writing?
Thank you so much to everyone who has stuck with me throughout this story! You guys are the best! Be sure to look for my new story, Mutually Assured Destruction, which I will start posting soon!