The one in the pictures with Brian. Brian, who wanted to stay together. Brian, who, in our last conversation, told me he would never get over me, blinking back senior summer tears.
I knew he would. I reassured him, meaning every word of it. I didn’t think I was reassuring myself, too; maybe I was.
I was holding a pebble in my palm. I didn’t realize how hard, until it twisted, writhed, and finally squirted out of my deathgrip and flipkicked onto my roommate’s Bed Bath and Beyond rug. I was grateful for the cushioned landing; that pebble was precious.
Jamie was a good minion. A little too eager for me to call my best friend—I’d reserve that term for Carissa, a bona fide betch like me—but she had a lot of good qualities that would put her in our friend group. Jamie would get me the intel I needed on Brian and this new mystery XX chromosome package showing up in photos with him.
I fired up my Macbook to do some stalking—push on the bruise a bit.
There it was.
Brian plans to attend Alpha Phi’s Snowball.
Like that time I took a field hockey ball right to the cheekbone. Active, glowing pain. “I’m alright,” I told Coach, making moves to return to the field. That lezbi-bitch stopped me with one fat finger, a poke to my shoulder. “I think you’re gonna sit the rest of this one out, Archer.”
I guess it was the right thing. My cheek swelled up so big and purple it resembled a plum. When he visited later, Brian kissed me on the forehead and told me I still looked beautiful. He revealed a Phantom of the Opera mask from behind his back. “Well, maybe if you put this on.” I accepted the mask, then whacked him with it, laughing. “Ow ow ow! It’s hurts to laugh!”
, my stupid roommate’s stupid poster announced. This time I’m crying about both! I threw a cup at the smug declaration, leaving a small hole near the corner. I shrugged my shoulders; then they shrugged themselves in light sobs as I dissolved into a puddle of my own tears.
I hesitated. Which was worse: Carissa knowing my sad, sorry state, potentially putting my HBIC status in jeopardy? Or losing my mind here over Brian’s new lady friend?
My fingers glided furiously across the keyboard for the next 90 minutes. It was a good distraction, even if it was a total lie.
Three A.M. My personal witching hour. The red numbers on my roommate’s digital clock glowered at me. Her bed was empty. I rolled my eyes. She was definitely in Tyler’s room, that cornball. Both of them were. A perfect match. I punched up my pillow and tried unconvincingly to fall back asleep.
At 6:30 A.M. I decided it was hopeless, skulked into my St. Joseph’s University sweatpants, and padded down the hall to brush my teeth.
“You’re up early!” my RA, cheerful as f*cking EVER, chirruped.
I kept brushing my teeth and responded as incoherently as possible, letting the foam dribble down my chin to really repulse her. “Blhhm rmm hlllr frmmm.”
“Have a good day, okay?” she sing-songed. Snow White-ass b*tch.
University of Delaware
Good morning? GOOD MORNING?! It’s 6- f*cking-52. Get a life, slag.
I snapped my computer closed and stormed off to I don’t even know where.
Enrolling at St. Joe’s when, like, everyone from Seaford was headed to UDel was such a liberation. Finally, free from all the high school bullsh*t—sneaking into half-built homes in new developments, the lame woods parties, everyone crushing on those washed-up twins who weren’t even hot after 8th grade—you know, typical high school baby bullsh*t. I was over it by the end of sophomore year, to be honest. Of course there were good memories—Jamie had a calendar printed up for all five of us to prove it (and to prove that she was one of us).
And just when things were getting really boring at Seaford, Brian… he grew up.
It was almost like—did you read The Little Prince when you were a kid? When I was eight, my mom and I read it together, one chapter per night. Sometimes I’d read it to her, sometimes she’d read it to me. I liked The Little Prince very much. The stars, the fox, that awful rose… It was a lovely and sad story, with quirky illustrations.
Last year I re-read The Little Prince and was blown away. It was a magnificent and devastating story, with the most elegant of illustrations.
Knowing Brian my whole life, then seeing him, backlit, saunter through Seaford High School’s glass doors the first day of senior year was the same experience. Our year together was the best I could remember.
And yet, it had to end. Brian and half of our graduating class would go on to University of Delaware. I committed to St. Joe’s. They were homers; I was cosmopolitan. They were blue hens; I was a hawk. I needed to spread my majestic wings.
Which included ending things with Brian.
Get it together, baroness.
I took a deep breath and headed to main campus.
I shot up—a jungle cat that spotted its prey.
The rest of the week passed like any other—class all day, nap, gross dinner at the dining hall, Tuesday Boozeday in East Falls, meet an upperclassman, feign interest; sleep in, treadmill for an hour, night class, passionate eye contact with Mike K.; class all day, donation kickboxing, Hollywood Heartthrob movie night (this week: Ryan Phillippe/Crash, chosen by Kristina—not bad).
It’s not like I locked myself in a garret, pining away for Brian. I was enjoying my college experience. Immensely. I am a confident, smart, urbane cool girl with great hair and an abundance of wit. People like being around me. And yeah I’m judgmental, but truth is, I like being around them too.
Maybe that’s why I was so fixated on Brian. And Jamie. And, like, everyone from Seaford at UDel. It’s not that I wanted to be there with them. But I didn’t want them there, either. At least not all of them. Together. Without me.
I’ll never understand. If everyone at Seaford agreed that they were tired of the immaturity and the senseless drama that comes from being around the same four hundred losers since kindergarten… then why did they all go off to college together?! The world is a big place. Act like this isn’t the first time you’re learning that.
So there in my bed, in my dorm room in Philly, I reclined, searching for split ends and waiting for a report from Jamie.
Who’s the loser now?
END OF PART ONE.