Written by: TVM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Thanks for helping me bring in my mattress," Randi said to Laney before kissing her lips.
"Thank you for...kissing me," Laney said as the two giggled.
"Will you two stop making out long enough to get the mattress on the bed?" I asked as both looked back at me and stuck out their tongues out in unison. "Chi's right you two are sharing a brain."
"You're just jealous caught we're next door to each other and your love is all the way across campus," Laney said teasingly.
"Yeah and ha," Randi said as a follow up as I rolled my eyes.
"Laney, Shelby said to tell you to bring your cute ass on over if you wanna play that game," Chi said after poking her head into the room. "And those are her words not mine cause I don't think your ass is cute."
"I do," Randi said as I covered my mouth in shock at the bold statement. Laney pointed at Randi for a moment before kissing her and saying, "You're bad."
"You have no idea how bad," Randi said as she walked Laney to the door.
"You and Mindy are really going for couples therapy?" Chi asked me as she joined me to help put new sheets on the mattresses we'd gotten. The memory foam kind.
"Yeah I made us an appointment tomorrow after school," I said. "Mindy wasn't so sure but I think it could help."
"Can't hurt," Chi said.
"Hey, you were wondering about our new arrivals?" Randi asked as she poked her head in the bedroom door. I nodded. "One of them just got here."
"Hey, I know you," I said as Chi and I met our new roomie in the common room. It was Molly's friend, Melanie Stockton. "You're Molly's friend."
"Yep and now I'm here," Melanie said. "Why I needed to move I don't know but I am."
"Seems to me a lot of people are not liking this new arrangement," Anisha said as she sat on the floor and played on her laptop. "Alisha next door is really mad."
"With a girlfriend like Cally I'd be mad too," Chi said as everyone laughed.
"That's mean," I said as Chi grinned. "You shouldn't pick on Cally she don't do you that way."
"She does me that way all the time," Chi pointed out.
"I've never heard her," I said with a smirk.
"Cause you're not on the softball team," Chi said.
"I've never heard her either," Randi said as I laughed.
"I guess I make 3," Anisha said with a sheepish grin. Chi glared at her.
"And I make 4," Melanie said.
"You don't even know her," Chi said as she glared at Melanie.
"I didn't wanna be left out," Melanie said as everyone laughed. Even Chi.
"Everyone one of you can kiss my black ass," Chi said as she walked off into the bedroom to the laughter that only got louder.
"I think I'm gonna like living here," Melanie said with a bright smile.
My first night in my OWN room was an interesting experience. Both good (very good) and bad. The good being that I found a marathon (as opposed to a marathong) of mine and Emily's favorite show 'Secret Life'. I was able to watch the entire four episodes without once being interrupted by a piss fight, someone complaining that I was keeping them up or Maxie and her never ending comedy routine (girl is hilarious). And the bad being that the marathon brought Emily back to my mind. The wondering of why she wouldn't let me call her while she was in Atlanta? Why she needed two freakin weeks to close on a house? And the scariest, was she ever coming back? Despite this I had a good night in my new room. And the best night of sleep I've ever had. So good in fact that I woke early the next morning and grabbed a shower before most everyone else got up, determined to make the best of the day, with or without Emily.
"Morning Mindy," I said as I came out of my room with my MacBook headed downstairs for a soda.
"Oh hey," she said with a deep yawn and a bad case of 'bed hair'. "Where are you going so early?"
"Get a soda and see if Maggie's up yet," I said.
"She's always up," Mindy noted with another yawn. "I don't think she ever sleeps."
"That's funny," I giggled as Mindy smiled as she walked off and I went on down the steps. Seeing the lights to the office were out at this moment I was about to head back upstairs when I heard, "Hey there sexy!"
"Who said that?" I asked as I looked around at the deserted lobby and was on the verge of panicking. Ted the cat made me jump as he pawed at my leg before I snatched him up and continued my search for the source of that comment. "Hello?"
"Alfred is that you?" I asked in relief as I walked over and unzipped the cover on his bird cage to find him wide awake. "You scared me out of two years growth."
"I get blamed for everything," he squawked as I started laughing and set Ted up on his window perch.
"You're still a pretty boy," I said.
"And Molly's a pretty girl," he said as I rolled my eyes.
"You're the cats meow, sweetheart," he said back as I grinned, swearing then that he'd watched one too many old movies on Turner Classic Movies.
The lights in the office came on at that moment as Maggie was now up and about as she sipped some coffee and settled in to look over some papers at the desk.
"Hey newcomer; Hana, right?" Maggie asked as she opened the door.
"Yep, Hana Peterson," I said. "Can you help me with something?"
"That's what I'm here for," she said as I showed her my Macbook.
"What's the passcode for the WiFi?" I asked.
"Oh yeah I should have told you last night," Maggie said. "It's KMH5..."
"...KMH5..." I repeated as I typed it in.
"...547 125 895 35 KMH 987 523 14 25," Maggie rambled off in a steady stream.
"Hold on, 895 what?" I asked as she started laughing. "Very funny, a passcode can't have that many numbers in it."
"It's KMH5," Maggie said as I entered it and a moment later the internet popped up. "Cool, thanks. Even if I did take the long way around."
"As long as you got there," Maggie giggled as I walked back into the lobby and had just set my laptop down when I saw something VERY weird. Someone, with luggage, was sleeping outside of the dorm in a sleeping bag. "What are you looking at?"
"That," I said as I pointed to the person in the sleeping bag. "Do you know them?"
"That is very weird," Maggie said as we moved over to the window for a closer look. "I better get my clothes on and go see who it is or if they're OK."
"I'll go I've already got my shoes on," I offered.
"I can't let you go it could be some kind of bum or something," Maggie said.
"A bum with luggage?" I asked as she laughed.
"He could be a rich bum," she said as we both laughed. "Don't get too close."
"OK, OK," I said as I slipped on my coat and made my way across the icy path down to where this person was laying as Maggie slipped on her shoes and watched. "Hey! Wake up! Hello?"
"Wha, Oh hey there beautiful!" the person said as they peaked out of the bag at me. By this point I was ready to run for my life. But as the bag unzipped the person revealed themselves to be a girl.
"Excuse me!" I asked as she grinned up at me. "Who the hell are you?"
"I'm Macey Gabbard of the Utah crazy Gabbards," she said as she sat up and I knelt down to help her.
"Crazy Gabbards?" I asked as she shed the bag and rose to her feet with my help.
"Mom's psychotic and Dad's a pussy whipped man-bitch," she said as I laughed.
"Is everything OK?" Maggie asked as she came out to join us (sans her jacket).
"I think so, this is Macey," I said.
"Hon, what are you doing here?" Maggie asked her. "You running away or something?"
"No, I'm a new student here," Macey said.
"Macey? Macey...yeah you are," Maggie said. "I remember your name on the enrollment sheet. But you never showed up what happened?"
"My flight from Honolulu got delayed by snow in Arizona and I didn't get into town until 4 am," Macey said as I helped her fold her sleeping bag up. Her explanation left Maggie and me laughing. "Actually my flight from Utah got in late and my Mom's driver dropped me here and drove off. I couldn't get anyone to answer the door."
"So you slept in your bag?" I asked.
"Yep," Macey said.
"Who would treat their kid that way?" Maggie asked.
"My parents would," Macey answered as she followed us back inside to the warmth of the main lobby.
"Are you OK?" I asked as I took her hands and rubbed them absentmindedly. They weren't that cold I noticed.
"Whole lot better now," Macey said as she grinned at me. "But don't feel the need to stop rubbing."
"Doesn't look like she's going to," Maggie said as her and Macey started giggling and I pushed Macey's hands away.
"Maybe I won't," I said with a challenging smile, knowing then and there that this was the beginning of an interesting friendship.
"And you don't think the reason for any of your problems could be due to your involvement, though admittedly voluntary, in a same-sex relationship?" Dr. Blackwell asked.
"No I do not think that," I said.
"And why do you keep asking that?" Mindy asked from the chair across from me.
"I do believe that is the first time we've covered this particular topic," Dr. Blackwell assured us.
"No it's not, that's like the fourth time you've asked the same question only in a different way," I said. "Mindy and I are not having trouble because we're both girls..."
"We've been together for nearly three years..." Mindy added in before we exchanged a smile.
"Exactly," I confirmed. "We came here in hopes that you could give us an idea of how we fix us."
"There is no quick fix for a relationship," Dr. Blackwell stated. "If you aren't sure what the problem is then how can you attempt a solution?"
"The problem is she wanted to spend our last day on campus before Christmas break with her friend, Michelle, and not me," Mindy said.
"And this made you angry?"
"No, I was glad she did it," Mindy said sarcastically as I started to laugh. I swear she reminds me of Molly sometimes.
"No reason for sarcasm Miss Sullivan," Dr. Blackwell said.
"You sound just like Molly," I said to Mindy as she grinned.
"And who is this Molly?" Dr. Blackwell asked curiously.
"Molly Harris, she's my best friend," Mindy said. "Actually she's Dakota's friend too..."
"...I'm best friends with Molly's girlfriend Chloe, so it all kind of goes together," I finished as Mindy paused for a moment.
"And are these friendships somewhat time consuming?" Dr. Blackwell asked.
"Well yeah," Mindy said. "Molly and I sometimes play games all night. Especially the last few weeks."
"And this doesn't bother you?" Dr. Blackwell asked me.
"No," I said honestly. "When they hang out I usually find something to do with Chloe. So it evens out."
"And you don't think all of this time spent apart affects your relationship?" Dr. Blackwell asked.
"No, because I love hanging out with Chloe and we are only friends," I explained. "Exactly the same with Molly and Mindy. Nothing is happening and if I wanted to I could stay and hang out with them."
"She's right," Mindy confirmed.
"And this Michelle you spoke of is another friend you spend time with?" Dr. Blackwell asked.
"She only hangs out with her so much so she can be around the softball team," Mindy answered on my behalf. "I know she misses it."
"She's right," I confirmed. "Where is all this leading?"
"It's leading to a conclusion you may not wanna face," Dr. Blackwell said. "That your relationship may have, without your knowledge, grown to a close friendship instead of an affair of the heart."
"You mean we're just friends now?" I asked as we both looked at him in disbelieve.
"You're wrong," Mindy declared as she got up and stormed out with me giving chase and hearing the doctor let us know we could come back any time. She marched all the way outside before she stopped and said, "He is crazy and that was a stupid idea."
"I know," I said as I stopped by her. "That was a bust. We're just friends."
"Friends who can't keep their hands off each other," Mindy giggled.
"Yeah since when do just friends spend an entire day in bed together?" I asked as she grinned...for a moment. And then reality set in.
"We haven't done that in a long time," Mindy said. "Hell the last time we did..."
"I know, I know, don't remind me," I said as we looked at each other for a long moment and both of us wondered what the next step was.
"Mr. Parker I am very excited about our future," Lyndon (Von Krul) said.
The two were standing at the counter with a stack of papers in front of them all ready to be signed and make their association official. Marc Summers (Harold's lawyer) and Lyndon's lawyer stood along side the two as Eddie, Darlene and Sarah watched, while Megan and Holly busily worked on getting the customers taken care of.
"Yeah I am too," Harold said nervously. "And if it wasn't for my daughter and her best friend I'd have never gotten this opportunity."
"You will have to introduce me soon to those amazing young ladies," Lyndon said. "Cause we're gonna be like family partner."
"Yes we are," Harold said as he took a deep breath and signed his name to the contract. A huge smile crossed his face as he shook Lyndon's hand.
"Everything looks to be in fine shape," Marc said as he studied the papers quickly. "Here is your copy Mr. Von Krul."
"Now that all the boring stuff is done how about letting us in on the new products you said you had," I inserted as Marc and Lyndon's lawyers made their way out.
"I'd love to see those too," Sarah said as she hugged me from behind as I was sitting on a stool.
"We have them right here," Lyndon said as he lifted a bag from the floor and sat it on the counter as all attention turned to it.
"Well obviously we have the product that made this all possible..." Harold said as he pulled out the first one. A colorful cardboard packaging covered it with the logo splashed across the top. "...Harry's World Famous Meat Loaf."
"That is such a good picture of you," Darlene said to Harold as he smiled and she admired the packaging. "Made proudly in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. That's so nice."
"And now for the new products," Harold said as he pulled out the second one. "Harry's World Famous Garlic Mash Taters. Note the spelling."
"That's another winner," Eddie said he took the package for the 'Taters and admired it. "Why do you list the diners website? We have a website?"
"Yes we do," I said. "But the question is do you know what it is?"
"No he doesn't," Darlene said as everyone laughed. Eddie offered no objections.
"Now these last two are still on the drawing board but we're hoping we can launch them too," Harold said as all attention turned back to him. "Harry's World Famous Mac 'n' Cheese Bacon Style."
"Bacon?" Megan asked as she immediately came back to the front to look at the package. "Oh yeah. I've been craving bacon all day. This looks so good."
"I'll have to whip up a batch then," Harold said as he and Megan smiled at each other.
"What's the last one?" Holly asked as she finally joined us. "Everything else sounds like a wiener."
"Don't you mean a winner?" I asked Holly.
"That too," Holly giggled.
"Harry's World Famous Green Bean and Corn Casserole," Harold said as he pulled out the last product.
"Sorry you lost me on this one," Megan said. "Not a big fan of green beans."
"Well Darlene and I sure are," Eddie said as he put his arm around her. "Right?"
"Always have been," Darlene said. "I think everything sounds wonderful."
"I agree with you, new Mom," I said as Darlene smiled at me. "It looks great, Harold."
"I think we're in fine shape for a launch," Lyndon said. "Harold, Mr. Parker, I shall be in touch within 24 hours with our final arrangements and what to expect next."
"Thank you sir," Harold said as Lyndon made his way out and Megan, Holly and Sarah went back to work, passing Mel as he came in. "Mel, come on over here and take a look. What do you think of the final product?"
"This is everything?" Mel asked after Harold had introduced everything again.
"This is it," Harold said.
"Doomed to fail," Mel said with a shaking of his head.
"Why do you say that?" Harold asked with a worried look.
"You don't have anything with eggs in it," Mel said as Harold rolled his eyes and both enjoyed a laugh.
"We have a new neighbor," Candy said after I had opened the door and saw her. "Your girlfriend's room is taken."
"She's already pissed at me so this should push her over the edge," I said in reference to Alisha. The Alisha who still, 3 days later, was mad at me when I couldn't fix her problem. Though I haven't yet heard the results of her phone call home. "Anyway, who is it?"
"Come on I'll introduce you," Candy said as she led the way down the hall. The new girl met us at the door as she was on her way out to get the rest of her stuff. My mouth dropped opened when I saw who it was. "Cally Oliver, Lindsay Price."
"OHMIGOD!" I said in shock. "You decided to come to Mintzler?"
"No, I'm here visiting my grandparents," she said as if my question were stupid. "Of course I'm going to Mintzler."
"WOW, cool," I said as if I were in the presence of a celebrity. And in reality she kind of was cause she'd been heavily recruited by both us and Twilight Hills Academy. "We can sure use your arm."
"What she said," Candy agreed as she pointed to me.
"Well the arm is feeling pretty good right now so let's hope it holds out," Lindsay said.
"You're having arm trouble?" I asked in concern.
"She tends to get a bit of dead arm about once a year when she's not throwing so much," Candy said about her old Middletown teammate. "She always manages to pull through for the team though."
"Usually," Lindsay said.
"So how about tomorrow we start getting that arm back in shape?" I asked as she smiled. "Coach Rock will be back..."
"He's already back actually; he dropped me off," Lindsay said. "Said to tell everyone he wanted us at the 'Field House' tomorrow after classes."
"Here's some more of your crap," Allison (Lohman) said as she came down the hall with two boxes of stuff in her arms. "And I hate to be the one to tell you this but the rest of it got carried off by wild apes."
"You always were stupid," Lindsay said to Allison as all of us giggled. "Help me get the rest of my stuff?"
"I will," I volunteered. "Let these two slaves stay up here and unpack your stuff."
"Hey that's pretty good," Lindsay laughed as we walked off down the hall and left Candy and Allison to do some unpacking. We reached the ground floor just as Chi and Anisha were coming in the doors. "Chi and...Anisha Mac?"
"Yeah Anisha is going here this year," I said as Lindsay looked a bit concerned. Chi and Anisha checked in at the office with the MGH RA Kisha Longworth, "She's still recovering from labrum surgery though."
"Oh yeah, I heard about that," Lindsay said, "How's she doing?"
"Pretty good," I noted as the two spotted us and came our way. "Coach Rock has her on a throwing program that is really building up her arm strength. She'll be ready to go in another month or so I bet."
"Are my eyes deceiving me or is that Lindsay Price?" Chi asked as she met us by the pile of Lindsay's stuff. Anisha remained silent and seemed to be nervous.
"This is her," I said as Chi grinned. "Lindsay meet Chi..."
"Save it this girl needs no introduction," Lindsay said as she stuck her hand out and shook Chi's. "I know all about you."
"Yeah we played each other," Chi said as Anisha turned and walked off rather abruptly.
"No, not just from game experience but I studied your game tapes last year and you were the best Freshman in the league behind the plate," Lindsay said as Chi grinned. "I'mma love throwing to you."
"With a compliment like that I already know I'm gonna love catching for you," Chi said. "Oh yeah this is my...where did Anisha go?"
"Outside," I said as I pointed. "What is up with that?"
"She's crying," Chi said in surprise a few moments later as all of us stood at the front entrance. "Why is she crying?"
"Me," Lindsay said.
"What did you do?" Chi asked. "You two have a fight or something before you came here? Because she was just fine on the way over here."
"Ten dollars against a 12 pack of donuts that she thinks I'm here to take her job," Lindsay said. "And Anisha's first reflex is to cry."
"How do you know?" Chi asked.
"I played on the same all-star team with her two years in a row," Lindsay said. "I know you have to treat her with kid gloves or she can fall apart. Let me handle this?"
"I don't think so you've done enough," Chi said as she started after Anisha when I stopped her. "What?"
"Let her handle it," I said as we followed Lindsay outside and stayed back as she sat down by Anisha and bumped her shoulder. Anisha looked up with tears in her eyes and gave Lindsay a look of heartbreak.
"I make you cry?" Lindsay asked.
"No," Anisha lied as she put her head back down into her hands.
"You think because I came here that I'm gonna steal your job?" Lindsay asked as Anisha looked up at her in surprise. "You do, right?"
"Well you are," Anisha said as she wiped her tears away on her sleeve.
"No, I'm here to help you so you can help me," Lindsay said.
"You know we have like 40 games on the schedule right?" Linday asked. "That's 280 innings not including extras or the playoffs."
"I can't throw three hundred plus innings myself," Lindsay said as Anisha half-smiled. "You're gonna have to get back and help me out."
"Yeah I will, huh?" Anisha asked as her smile brightened. "You will need me."
"Yeah to say the least," Lindsay said. "I can't pitch doubleheaders all by myself and we have a bunch of them."
"I'll be ready I promise," Anisha said as she hugged Lindsay. A bond was definitely formed. I was about to go and join them with Chi when my phone buzzed. "Who the hell would be calling me from a private number?"
"Hello?" I asked as I picked up the phone and Chi joined the others.
"So I'm sitting here reading your school forum and I find out that you've got a new player, 'Dead-Arm' Price," the girl on the other end of the line said. "Oh yeah this is your friend Wendy? Wendy Traber."
"And you what pissed your pants in fear and wanted to call me and see if it was true?" I asked as she laughed.
"I wanted to call and congratulate you for taking Lindsay off our hands," Wendy said. "She really wanted to come here but we already had the roster full. We signed Pee-Ko Yung."
"Who the hell is that?" I asked.
"You have a computer, don't know how to use it I bet, but you have one," Wendy said. "Look it up. And when you see what we got I bet you're gonna start worrying because all you've got right now is two dead arms losers..."
"You're lucky I don't hurt you bitch," I said after hanging up the phone on her. Seeing Kisha (Longworth) on the computer at the desk in the office, I went over and tapped on the glass. "Can you look something up for me?"
"Sure," Kisha said.
"Pee-Ko Yung," I said and then spelled it for her. "I think that's how you spell it."
"Korean softball phenom arrives in America," Kisha read as I sat down in a chair just inside the office door and looked. "It's an article from this morning in the Thief River Falls Times online edition."
"What does it say?"
"The cross town rivalry between Mintzler Prep and Twilight Hills Academy heated up again this week with the announcement that fire balling South Korean phenom Pee-Ko Yung is headed for Twilight Hills for her Sophomore Year. Enrolling late as is Mintzler Prep's new ace, Lindsay Price," Kisha read. "It appears that Twilight Hills may have the upper hand finally with the signing of Yung. The 'Phenom from Ulsan' (South Korea's industrial heart) is reportedly capable of throwing over 70 miles an hour..."