October 12, 1995
music blared loudly. Bodies
were sprawled everywhere in the common area of the 4-man dorm suite.
This room had become the central hangout, not just for the
roommates, but also their friends.
room came equipped with a small couch and two armchairs.
At the moment, the couch was hidden under the bulk of the very
large football player, John. His
bald head rested on one armrest, and his feet were up on the other.
Even so, he looked as if he had barely squeezed his bulk into the
tiny piece of furniture. He
was dutifully reading the novel assigned for his English lit class, the
tiny paperback dwarfed by his massive hands.
his head, his roommate, Clay, occupied an armchair.
He hunched his small frame into a corner of the chair, sitting
sideways, his feet neatly tucked in.
There was still plenty of room in the chair for the three science
textbooks he was cross-referencing.
A frown creased his face as his eyes darted back and forth
amongst the books.
the opposite armchair, a visiting friend relaxed comfortably.
His name was Wayne, but everyone simply called him Preacher.
He tapped his feet on the floor in time with the music, as the
highlighter in his hand danced over the pages of his sociology text.
His face radiated peace and comfort, even when concentrating on
the material in front of him.
out on the floor beside Preacher’s chair lay Nathan.
The tall, thin basketball player occupied most of the walking
space in the room. His head
was hunched over his calculus book, while the pencil in his hand
scratched away furiously at the equations on the paper beside it.
Occasionally, he would reach up to shove the shaggy blond hair
out of his eyes so he could see what he was doing.
the opposite corner of the room sat a small study desk, with a computer.
The entire surface of the desk, as well as the top of the monitor
and every other free inch of space, was covered with opened library
books and computer printouts. A
psychology textbook lay on the floor, opened to an important passage.
Typing away furiously at the computer sat the third roommate, the
tall redhead, Jim. He sat
up straight, green eyes concentrating intensely on the words on the
computer screen for the paper he was writing.
outer door to the suite opened, and the fourth roommate entered.
Brian sauntered casually over to the couch and dropped his large
biology textbook squarely on John’s stomach.
John neither flinched nor looked up.
Dropping his backpack at his feet, the tall young man ran a hand
through his wavy, dark hair.
called to confirm for coffee tonight,” John said, as he turned the
next tiny page with his large hand, still not looking up from his
told her you were out getting a massage from Brandy,” Clay chimed in,
glancing up at his roommate.
the corner, Jim reported in, while continuing to type.
“She just laughed and said she needed you to hook her up with
piped up from the floor. “Now
that I’d really like to see!”
The others joined in his laughter.
shook his head and turned smiling brown eyes to Preacher.
“And you allow them to talk about your oldest and dearest
friend this way?”
grinned, bright white teeth flashing brilliantly in the dark face.
“But of course. She’d
on, Bri,” Clay said. “It’s
a great visual!”
since you’re getting more action than we are,” Nathan added, “you
have to give us what little pleasure we can get living vicariously
snorted. “You’ll get
more action living vicariously through Jim.”
but Jim never sees a girl twice,” Preacher said.
“We can’t even remember their names.
Where’s the fun in that?”
stretched from his folded up position.
“Belden, what exactly did you teach him, out there in the
have no idea,” Brian retorted. “He’s
dated more in the last two months than he ever did in his life.”
glanced over at the redhead slyly.
“It’s almost like he left his heart in Sleepyside, and he’s
trying to forget her.”
hands froze over the keyboard. He
mumbled, “Bathroom break,” and quickly escaped the room.
reached into the fridge for a can of pop while staring thoughtfully at
his friend’s retreating back.
the bathroom door was shut tight, Preacher chuckled.
“It’s amazing how fast he clams up when you even mention a
girl in Sleepyside.”
what’s going on with the girl back home, Belden?” Clay asked.
narrowed his eyes. “If I
knew the answer to that question, I’d be a much happier person.”
Interested in her for yourself?”
snarfled his drink. He
spewed liquid all over John, and choked on what was caught in his
throat. His eyes watered
from the burning sensation of carbonation up his nose.
glared at him while wiping his book dry.
“Was the thought that gross?”
managed to gasp, “My baby sister?”
others laughed. Preacher
smiled. “Trixie? That
explains why he won’t talk to you about it.
Lay off, Bri. Let
the Master work on him later.”
rolled his eyes. “Oh,
take it away, Great Master.”
bathroom door opened. Conversation
ceased, and the men went back to their studying.
Brian dug through his backpack for his notebook.
Jim walked into the room and silently looked around. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against a wall.
Raising an eyebrow at Brian, he asked, “Are you all done
discussing me? Can we get
back to more important matters now? Like you and Brandy and Ria?”
head shot up. “Hey, yeah.
Belden distracted us from our favorite subject!”
groaned. “And I thought I
got away with it.”
grinned, a vicious glint in his eye.
“No such luck, my friend.
No such luck.”
looked up from his book. A
wide grin split the warm, brown face.
“I definitely want to hear more about Brandy.
raised his eyes heavenward and sighed.
“I keep telling you, there is nothing going on.
She is studying for her license in massage therapy and needs to
practice. I am a willing
guinea pig. That’s
are certainly willing quite often,” Clay offered.
Brian grinned, “she does have great hands.”
all you’re interested in? Her
hands?” Nathan snorted in disgust.
Noises of lascivious intent echoed from every corner of the room.
looked around at his friends. They
are guys, this is college. I
can afford to relax a little, he thought.
A little honesty won’t kill me.
he said slowly, a slow grin gracing his face, "she does have an awesome rack. And
she leaves little to the imagination – very low-cut, very skimpy.
She clearly wants everyone to get an eyeful. I don’t mind looking," he admitted.
he continued his brow creased slightly.
"But if she were my girlfriend, I would want such sights reserved
for my eyes only, you know? Suggestive
clothes are great, but a free show is not cool.”
eyebrows hit the top of his head. “You
don’t want to date her because she shows too much cleavage?”
jaw dropped. Jim and
Preacher shook their heads in disbelief.
shrugged. “That, and the
tattoo, and the nose ring, and the belly button ring that is always
that all?” Clay laughed.
that’s not all. There is
also the penchant for wearing things like bright red underwear beneath
thin white pants. I swear,
that girl is just begging someone to undress her in public.”
He grimaced, almost as if he was in pain, as he continued.
“And to top it all off, her laugh is most annoying.”
nodded sagely. “Okay, so
she’s too immodest to be girlfriend material, but definitely a good
ogle. No dating, but plenty of massages. Makes perfect sense to me.”
rolled over and sat up. “Can
you hook me up with an ogle? Um,
I mean a massage?”
yanked the pillow from under John’s head, banging his head on the arm
of the couch, and threw it with unerring accuracy at Nathan’s face.
glared. “Hey, what was
that for? I didn’t say
were thinking it, my friend.”
and thinking is a crime now?” John
sat up and turned to look at Jim. “Hear
that, Frayne. Thinking
is a crime.”
shook his head ruefully. “Believe
me, I’ve been aware of that for a very long time.”
looked at him sharply, then turned to Preacher and rolled his eyes.
Preacher laughed and changed the subject. “Men, I think we are in need of serious inebriation.
There is a keg calling to us from my apartment.”
group made murmurs of agreement and packed up their homework.
Suddenly Clay looked up. “Belden,
aren’t you supposed to meet Ria for coffee?”
dropped his large biology textbook – right on John’s foot.
John glared again. “What
the hell is this – target practice?
Don’t you think I get enough of that at football practice every
turned to him apologetically. “Sorry,
man. But I can’t believe
I forgot about Ria!”
walked over, trying not to bump his head on the track lighting overhead. Being 7’2” in a room with 8-foot ceilings was not always
safe. “So, is she
guys all turned to Brian, intently interested in his answer.
smiled broadly. “Most
Jim yelled, grinning wickedly. “Belden
punched him lightly in the arm. “Just
remember, Belden. She’s
like a little sister to me, and thinking is a crime.”
the started expression on Brian’s face, Jim snickered.
This quickly evolved into full-blown laughter.
grinned. “Turn-about is
fair play, you know.”
all laughed. Brian smiled
ruefully and nodded to Preacher. “I
will think about her most respectfully,” he replied with a
better,” his friend replied. He
smiled playfully, but his eyes were serious.
Brian felt a sudden wave of sympathy for Jim.
that, they all left the suite. Brian
went to meet Ria for coffee, and the others went to quench their ‘need
for serious inebriation’, reveling in the joys of college life.