Currently avoiding my responsibilities to write this…
Pretty Little Roomies – Episode 7
“Megan, calm down,” Emily told her roommate.
Megan was pacing the living room. “It is past noon, and Dan hasn’t texted me yet. Is he okay? Is he not okay? How am I supposed to know?”
“He is probably just regrouping and trying to think of what to say. I bet he is just embarrassed. I would be if I did this to someone. He is fine, okay? Say it with me now: Dan is fine.”
“Dan is fine,” she repeated and stopped pacing. “Do you want to come to the pool with me to get my mind off of this?”
Emily smiled. “Do you even have to ask?”
The girls quickly changed into their bikinis and walked down to where almost every other student was basking in the sunlight. They managed to find a spot, but it was on the grass by the volleyball courts instead of in lounge chairs. The two of them were not complaining, though.
Country music floated from Megan’s headphones to her ears while she read the latest mystery novel she had picked up from the used bookstore downtown. Emily busied herself highlighting important points in her accounting notebook and only half-listened to whatever music played out of the speakers around the pool.
This was the relaxation they both needed.
“Are you and Patrick going to hang out some time this weekend?” Megan asked when she finished another chapter.
Emily capped her highlighter. “I think so. We haven’t talked much since the whole Whitney thing the other night.”
“That was pretty weird. I think I saw her at Starbucks yesterday! But I’m not sure…”
“I keep thinking I see her everywhere. Patrick told me he was going to try and talk to her about it, but I haven’t heard anything.”
“I know it can’t right now, but do you think things with you two are going anywhere?”
Emily thought for a second. “I’m not really sure. I mean, I like him and stuff, but I’m still not relationship-ready. I don’t know what he wants, though, either.”
“You guys should talk about that pretty soon, don’t you think?” Megan said.
Emily nodded. “I mean, like, last night I wanted to dance and make out with guys, but I kept thinking about Patrick. I wasn’t sure if I could kiss other people because I don’t quite know where we are. Is that a super freshman way of thinking? ‘Cause he’s a grad student and all?”
“You’re not overthinking things,” Megan replied. “It’s a conversation that needs to happen regardless of how old you both are. If you are confused or concerned at all of how you should be acting around other people, then it is totally okay to talk about it.”
“Okay, I will text him. Maybe we can get dinner tonight and have that talk.”
Megan paused before asking, “What happens if you two are on different pages?”
Emily looked up at the sky, the gears in her head turning. “I mean, if he wants a relationship, I am not sure I can give him that. Right now, at least. I would like to be able to have the freedom to kiss other people at parties and stuff without worrying about him. Like, I won’t go out of my way to kiss other people, but if it happens, it happens. But I do like him, and I care about his feelings.”
Her roommate processed this. Megan wondered more about the future conversation, but that was just it. It was in the future. She didn’t know how it would go, and neither did Emily. It also wasn’t her business…yet. It would become roomie business when Em recap-ed the conversation to them later.
They both dropped the subject. Megan put her headphones back in and peered over her book at the cute boys playing volleyball. Emily did the same over her accounting notes.
It was close to four o’clock when the two girls packed up their things and left the pool. They stopped at Starbucks on the way back to their apartment.
Megan was ready to walk into her bedroom, when the smell hit her, and she remembered Dan. He still hadn’t texted or called her today. She also still had his shoes. You’d think he would want those back. She tried not to think about it as she showered the tanning oil off her skin.
Later, she was in the midst of applying mascara to her eyelashes, readying herself for the kickback in 29E tonight. Amanda was over there already, hanging out with Alexander. Marissa was with Jason. Emily was in her own bathroom, doing the same as Megan, but for a different occasion.
Emily had made plans with Patrick to get dinner at a sushi place downtown. She was nervous to have the “DTR talk” with him, but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.
There was a knock at the front door. Emily called, “Were we expecting anyone, Megs?”
“I don’t think so!” she called back as Em opened the door.
“Uh, Megs? It’s for you.”
Megan came around the corner to see who was there. Standing in the doorway holding iced coffee and girl scout cookies was Dan.
He held the Starbucks cup towards her. “I think I put in the right amount of half and half.”
She smiled and took a sip. “Perfect.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t text you all day. I was trying to come up with a good explanation for my behavior. I couldn’t think of a good one so I thought Starbucks and cookies were a good start to my apology.”
Megan hugged him. “I’m just glad you are okay. I was so worried about you.”
Emily went back to doing her make up to give the two of them time to talk. Looks like she wasn’t the only one having an awkward conversation tonight. She put a cute outfit on–cute and semi-casual, nothing too fancy.
Patrick texted her saying that he was here to pick her up. She walked into the living room to Megan and Dan talking on the couch. “Bye, guys. I will see you later!”
“Have fun!” Megan smiled encouragingly as Emily left. Then she turned back to Dan. “So you don’t remember anything?”
He looked sheepishly at the floor. “I remember kissing you at the party and then being in the hospital. That’s about it. I must have been pretty bad though for you to have taken me to the ER…What happened?”
She pursed her lips, almost afraid to tell him. It would only make him more embarrassed, but she couldn’t just lie to him. “You threw up.”
He sighed into his hands.
“In my room,” she finished.
“Damn, really? Oh, my God. I will clean it up, I promise. Did it get on anything? I will replace it if it did. I screwed up so badly. I owe you.”
“Dan, it’s fine. It’s just the floor.”
He got up and started walking towards Megan’s room. She jumped up after him and grabbed his arm.
“Seriously, don’t worry about it. Of course, it’s not ideal, but it’s not the worst thing that could’ve happened.”
“You promise you don’t hate me?” He asked, following her back tot he couch.
“You would have to do a lot worse for me to hate you. Plus, you brought me iced coffee and Tag-a-longs. Even my worst enemy would get props for that.”
He laughed. “Okay, but I still owe you big time.”
“I will hold you to that. But for now, do you want to come to a kickback thing with me?”
“Sure! But I will lay off the alcohol. I think I am still feeling it from last night.”
“Good plan.” Megan smiled and went back to her bathroom to take her hair out of its bun. She put on eyeliner and was ready to go.
The two of them walked down the hallway, and Dan asked, “Will I know any of these people?”
“Amanda is there, and I think you have met the boys once or twice. I’m not sure who else will be there, but they’re all pretty nice.”
Megan rang the doorbell in the special way: two short rings, one long one, and one more short one. If it rang any other way, that meant that someone uninvited was at the door.
Antonio, one of Brad and Alexander’s other roommates, opened the door with a huge smile on his face. Megan could tell he was already quite a few shots deep. “Meggy!”
She and Dan walked into the apartment. “Hey, Antonio. This is Dan. I’m not sure if you’ve met before, but you’re drunk right now so I guess it doesn’t matter.”
“Hey there, Dan. Welcome to the party! You guys ready for some BP?”
Megan and Dan exchanged glances. “Duh,” she replied.
A few minutes later, she and Dan stood opposite Johnny, 29E’s fourth resident, and Shannon, the girl he had been kind-of-seeing the last month or so. Megan threw the first ball and made it into a cup of water in the second row. Dan missed his shot. Shannon missed hers, too, but Johnny sunk the ping pong ball into a cup in the back row.
It was a close game, but Megan and Dan won by two cups. Then Johnny and Shannon started up a game with Brad and Nina.
Megan was in the kitchen with Amanda as midnight approached. The music was not too loud, but it was easily heard by everyone in attendance. Ping Pong balls bounced off the floors, too. Nobody had realized that the RAs were doing their rounds until one solitary doorbell ring echoed throughout the apartment. Everyone scattered like cockroaches. Antonio had been designated to take the fall for a write-up tonight.
Brad ran for the pantry. Amanda and Alexander jumped into one of the showers, while Shannon and Johnny took the other. Nina ducked under Brad’s bed and crawled behind a storage box. Megan and Dan jumped out of Alexander’s bedroom window into the planter behind the building. Within seconds, Antonio was left in the open with Nikki and Samantha, two girls who lived in another building in their complex.
“Is this normal?” Dan whispered as he and Megan tiptoed against the side of the building to her apartment.
“Kind of,” she replied. “We always designate a person to take the write up, while the rest of us hide…or jump out a window.”
She came to Amanda’s bedroom window, the only one without a screen on it, for this very reason, and slid it open. She hoisted herself into the room and helped Dan follow suit. They walked over to the couch, and Megan awaited for an “all clear, but the party’s over” text.
Dan started laughing. “Well that was kind of a rush. You can’t do that in the dorms.”
Megan laughed, too. “We’ve got a pretty good set up here. The first time is always fun. I can just picture Antonio pouring all that alcohol down the sink. He is probably so pissed.”
“Do you want to watch some TV?” Megan asked.
“Sure,” Dan answered.
Megan pressed the power button on the remote and the television lit up. Her laptop was already plugged in, so she opened a Google Chrome window to Netflix. “How does That 70s Show sound?”
When the episode was half over, Megan’s phone chimed on the coffee table. All clear, but time to clear out. Antonio wrote to the group chat.
Then Emily came sliding down the hallway in fuzzy socks with Patrick on her heels. He froze when he saw Megan and Dan on the couch together; neither of them knew the other was home. Dan didn’t know Patrick personally, but Patrick hoped he didn’t know him as a BM. He introduced himself quickly, they popped popcorn in the microwave, and then they quickly retreated back to Emily’s room. No one really spoke until it was just Megan and Dan in the living room again.
“That guy was pretty old, huh?” Dan said.
“Yeah, he’s a grad student. I think she knows him from some club,” Megan replied, hoping to end the subject there.
Dan didn’t let it go right away. “He looked kind of familiar…”
“You’ve probably just seen him around campus.”
An invisible lightbulb went off above his head. “Wait, no, his face is on that poster at the bottom of the stairs here! He’s, like, high up on the staff or something.” An even brighter lightbulb went off. “Oh, my God, is she dating him?”
Megan bit her lip. Oh. Crap.
Ooooooooooh, new characters!! I have kind of been waiting for them to appear. Only took seven episodes, right?
I have had some requests for some stuff to happen in the next couple of episodes, but I am not sure I will follow through with them. They would definitely make the story interesting, but there would be major cons, too. Maybe I will set up a poll and see what people think.
I am loving the support I have received from the readers of PLR! It is mostly my roommates and some friends, but I am so grateful. The story has generated quite the buzz in my social circles (Ha! I don’t actually have those), and I hope to keep a good episode coming from week to week. I am thinking of making it like a TV show with seasons and episodes, kind of. “Secret” will have maybe a few more than ten episodes, I think. Then probably a little hiatus while I regroup for a new “season.” It’s all technical right now.
Also: My Story is now out there for the public to see (and has been for about a week or so). It is no longer password protected. I think it was just time to put it out there. I shouldn’t be ashamed of it; it’s my life, and I should be accepted for who it has shaped me into, not judged for who I used to be. I think it fills some holes and answers some questions.
Thank you so, so much for everything. I don’t think I have said that in a while. I am unbelievably grateful for everything this blog has given me.
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