Yoooooo, folks. Happy Wednesday!
Pretty Little Roomies – Episode 6
“Is that even a question? The barbecue chicken sandwich, duh,” Megan said, like it was completely obvious. “Wait, Jake, have you never been here?”
Jake looked at the ground. “No…”
Megan’s eyes went wide. It was almost a sin to go to their school and never eat at Red Rock Grill. And when you did go, you just had to get the barbecue chicken sandwich. It was basically a law.
Somehow, Jake had gotten Megan out of her apartment and, miraculously, off campus. The Farmer’s Market downtown was her favorite thing to do, and since she had been shutting herself away so much lately, even she had realized that some fresh air and people would do her some good. In fact, seeing Jake’s first bite of his first Red Rock barbecue chicken sandwich gave her a huge smile. His reaction—as if he had not been alive before tasting the sandwich—was priceless.
“It is like being reborn…” Jake whispered. That line got a hearty laugh out of the girl.
Now that everything was out in the open, she was feeling more at ease. She was not alone anymore. Of course, she still felt that way a lot of the time, but her support system was warm and loving.
The two of them walked down the street, which was lined with easy-up upon easy-up, and an array of various smells swirled around them. It was crowded—it seemed the entire county showed up tonight—which meant they had to walk very close together, often bumping hands.
Part of Megan wanted to just take his hand. Most of the times their fingers brushed against each other, she was sure it was on purpose from at least one of them. Jake was sweet, he never pressured her into saying or doing anything she did not want to; he did not get irritated when she declined his invitations to Kappa Tau parties. She was terrified of going to a frat party after Spring Break. She knew, of course, that Jake would not let anything bad happen to her, but the fear lingered in the pit of her stomach.
Jake liked her, that much was obvious, and she liked him, too, but she still could not bring herself to get attached to him. If they started dating, she would have to tell him about her rape and pregnancy—that was not exactly something easy to hide—and she was not ready for that. Even though Jake was a generally good guy, even though she was going to give the baby up, he would walk away from that, however, in the nicest way possible.
Megan decided that if he made the first move, she would follow, but if he didn’t, they would continue floating in limbo.
“You have got to try this flavor,” Jake told her, pointing at the fudge brownie, marshmallow, strawberry mixture in the tub behind cold glass. “It is my favorite.”
Ice cream, lately, was making her more nauseous than usual, so she tried to refrain from dairy altogether, but after two weeks without cereal, yogurt, or anything that had butter as an ingredient, ice cream sounded like a dream.
“Okay, but can we share it? That sandwich made me really full.”
“Of course!” He paid, and they found a table on the patio of the ice cream parlor.
They sat close together, their knees touching. Jake put his arm on the back of the chair behind her. She could not tell if her heart was beating faster because of their proximity to each other or…or…nope, that was it. She could not think of any other reason.
The girl looked up at the voice, and her stomach dropped. “Hey, Dan.”
This was the first time they had spoken in weeks. She had stopped trying to reach out to him, especially since Spring Break. She had also been avoiding every Phi Kap that crossed her path. What she neglected to tell anyone was that her rapist was a member of another chapter of Phi Kap. Being around anyone associated with the fraternity made her skin crawl.
“How are you?” Dan asked, stealing a glance at Jake. Phi Kap and Kappa Tau were archenemies on campus.
“I am great. You?” She wanted to keep this short and sweet.
He felt the same way. “Me, too. Uh, I guess, I will see you later.”
Even as he walked away, Megan still felt sick. Jake could see it, as well. “Megs, are you okay?”
Without a word, she jumped up and sprinted to the bathroom. Her stomach twisted and her dinner forced its way out of her throat. A few more heaves and there was nothing left. Why did they call it morning sickness if it lasted all day?
Jake was waiting outside the door for her. She said, “I am so, so sorry, but I need to go home.”
He was completely understanding, and made a joke that she could have just said she didn’t like the ice cream flavor. She released a chuckle.
“Call me if you need anything, okay? Ginger ale, crackers, anything.”
She would have kissed him if she had not just blown chunks. He was sweeter than what she deserved.
“What happened to my Special K?” Marissa asked Jason. He was focused on whatever video game he was trying to beat, and did not respond. She walked in front of the TV and asked again.
“Marissa, you just made me lose!”
“Well, what happened to my cereal? And the rest of my food?”
Jason shrugged. “I don’t know, I think the guys and I have been eating it.”
She gaped at him. “But that stuff is mine. I bought it for me.”
“Well, it was out here, wasn’t it? If it doesn’t have a name on it, it’s kind of a free for all.”
“No, it was with my stuff in your room.”
He shrugged again and didn’t answer. She gave up and walked away from the TV, and Jason was happy to get back to his game. She sat on the couch next to him and got straight to Biology homework. It was not easy to focus with the din of machine guns sounding off every few seconds, but she powered through. By the time Marissa started Chemistry, though, she madly needed some help. She packed up her bag to take home, where she knew Amanda would help her breeze through the assignment.
“Are you done? I am starving. What is for dinner?” Jason asked.
Marissa replied, “I don’t know, I am going back to get help from Amanda.”
He sighed. “Well, what am I supposed to do? You’re ditching me again.”
“I have midterms next week. I’m sorry.”
Jason whined some more, and finally Marissa relented, putting a pot on the stove and cooking pasta. When it was ready, she put some in a red solo cup and ate it on the walk home.
She thought about making him buy food for their dinners at his place. She had been making more Costco trips than she wanted, and his roommates were eating most of it all anyway. It was running her wallet pretty dry. She did not mind cooking so much, but the fact that she was barely getting what she bought irked her.
When she got home, she did not mention her annoyance to Amanda. Instead, she got right to the point, “Have you done the Chem, yet? I am struggling.”
Amanda smiled. “I was just about to start! You have perfect timing.”
Together, the two girls worked out the problems, only pausing a few times to chat with Emily and Megan when they returned home. Within no time, the assignment’s butt was firmly kicked, and they were having an animated conversation with their other roommates about something that happened in Emily’s marketing class that morning.
Megan was feeling much better than before, after having spent most of the night curled up in her room underneath several blankets. She still felt queasy, but it was easy to ignore. She went to bed early that night with zero protests from her roommates.
Amanda, Marissa, and Emily talked about all the parties that were happening this weekend, and soon Emily was out with some friends for “Thirsty Thursday.” Amanda asked Marissa if she wanted to hang out at Alexander’s for a bit. They were going to watch whatever sports game Brad was hyped about this week.
“No, thanks. I am just going to study and go to bed.” She began packing up her things.
Amanda was planning on staying the night at Alexander’s, so she gathered her toothbrush, glasses, and some miscellaneous homework. Instead of the expected getting in the shower or doing homework on her bed, Marissa was doing the same thing.
“Yeah, back to Jason’s,” Marissa replied, like it was obvious.
“I thought you were just going to do homework and go to bed.”
“I am. At Jason’s.
Amanda couldn’t quite process the logic here. “But it’s late. Why don’t you just stay here?”
Marissa just shrugged. “I’ll see you in class tomorrow.”
Then she was gone, leaving Amanda confused. She told Alexander about it that night, and he agreed that it was strange. The girl was rather concerned about her roommate—even more than before. The next morning, when she told Emily and Megan about it, red flags were raised. It was time to say something.
Questions, comments, concerns–all are welcome, per the usual.
Day 3 of Big/Little Week, and I am even MORE stoked to for reveal with my little one 🙂 I want to post pictures of my baskets and crafts and my mad baking, but what if Little sees this? I can’t have her knowing who I am! I mean, she probably already does…Little, if you are reading this: Loooove you ❤
My 4-6 was cancelled today, too, which calls for celebration. It means I am finished with class at 2 pm. How glorious!