Days as a Freshman: 194
“what’d you do this weekend?” Naima, Rebecca and I were walking back from the science building, each of us weighed down by the heavy books of our respective classes. For the first time all week, the sun was out, and it was more than twenty degrees. We could walk slowly, pull our scarves away from our faces and actually talk, instead of running from one class to another.
“I didn’t do much…” Heaving my backpack higher onto my shoulders, I dodged a puddle next to me on the grass. “Just sort of stayed in and studied.”
“What?” Naima was obviously disgusted. “You studied? On Saturday?”
Rebecca laughed, sliding her eyes over to mine. She had been in studying with me most of the weekend, but had the sense to keep her mouth shut about her lack of excitement.
“It was too cold!”
“Too cold?” Naima was even more disgusted. “I can’t believe we’re friends. The weather is no excuse to stay away from parties!”
I dodged another puddle and smiled helplessly, hoping that Naima would see my reclusive weekend as simple laziness. The truth was that I hadn’t been going out for a few weekends now. There were people I didn’t want to see.
Was it fair that I let them get inside my head enough that I didn’t want to leave my room? No. Was it weak of me to let two boys and their drama scare me into staring at my computer on Friday and Saturday night? Of course. But I didn’t know what to do to fix it.
“You guys have time to grab a quick lunch?” Naima and her three-inch heels skipped quickly over the melting, muddy ground. “I’m starving. Can’t ever eat a damn breakfast on these days. Who can get up at 9 to go to a science class?”
Rebecca and her thick winter boots stomped through the mud Naima was trying so hard to avoid. “I could grab something quick. Grace?”
“Sure.” We were practically stepping onto the dining hall steps at this point. I reached into my pocket and grabbed my student ID card. “I could eat something. But I can always eat something.”
We pushed through the old oak doors and walked into the dining hall, handing the woman behind a cash register our ID cards. Rebecca and Naima were ahead of me, so as I waited for my card to go through, they walked inside and scoped out a table.
As they walked through the dining hall, I saw a few heads turn to watch them. Long-legged and usually dressed to the nines, Naima was always getting looks, so at first, the attention wasn’t unusual. But the longer I watched, the more I realized people were looking at Rebecca.
A table full of guys watched her, whispering and actually pointing as she walked by.
“Do you want your card?” The lady behind the cash register poked me in the arm with my ID card. I took it quickly, but didn’t move. Why were people staring at Rebecca?
As my two friends found a table close to the salad bar and began to set their stuff down, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I wasn’t the only one caught up in this long, drawn out soccer house scandal. Word traveled fast around our small campus, and the fact that Rebecca and Sammy spent a lot of time together…rumors must have surely made their rounds.
As liberal as my college liked to pretend it was, a scandal-ridden, possible lesbian relationship was still very news worthy.
Feeling the oak doors open behind me and hearing a large group of kids enter the dining hall, I started to walk into the dining hall. As I passed the table of guys who had only moments before been pointing to my friend, I had an immediate desire to stare them all down. How dare they talk about someone they hardly knew? About my best friend?
From their table, Rebecca and Naima looked over at me and waved. I waved back, but what I really wanted to do was grab my friends and whisk them out of here. Hide them away like I’d been hiding these last couple weeks.
Either that, or find Justin and make him clean everything up.