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Aisha Gray felt on top of the world as she walked out of her biology midterm. She was sure she had aced itand without even breaking a sweat.
Aisha was starting to thrive on her science classes at Harvard. Science had always come easily to her. Even in organic chemistry, the course everyone moaned and groaned about, she had a ninety-eight average so far.
She was also feeling good because biology was one of two classes she didn't share with her roommate, Felicia, which meant Aisha hadn't laid eyes on her all day. And she knew Felicia would be in another class by the time she made it back to the dorm room, so everything was cool. Before collegeliving for so many years with her parents and little brother in her family's bed-and-breakfast on Chatham IslandAisha never imagined she would ever have to dread returning to her room. Aisha's bedroom had always been a place of freedom and solace, a place that was hers and hers alone. Where she could go and feel comfortable no matter what.
But now whenever she got off the elevator and walked down the familiar corridor to her doorstill emblazoned with the bright red construction paper name tags her residence counselor had put up at the beginning of the school Aisha felt a heavy rock tightening inside her stomach. The only times she could breeze through campus and approach her room with peace of mind were when she was absolutely certain that Felicia was gone. Lucidly today was one of those days. Felicia had her freshman composition section on Mondays, and she had told Aisha specifically that she couldn't miss this onesomething about an inclass review of one ofher essays.
Aisha stopped off at her mailbox before getting onthe elevator up to her floor. She was hoping for something from Christopher, who still hadn't written her back since the steamy, perfumed love letter she had mailed him the week before. She hoped he didn't think it was too cheesy. It was pretty cheesy, she had to admit. But still, she had meant every gushy thing she wrote. Besides, Aisha couldn't help hoping that he might reciprocate with a letter of his own. She peeked in the box.
No such luck. As a consolation prize she got a postcard from her little brother, Kalif: a photograph of the Atlantic surf crashing against the rocky beach. A big red lobster was superimposed in the upper-left corner along with the words Greetings from Maine. Aisha flipped it over to see what Kalif had to say.
I know how much goo love lobsters, so I picked out this card especially for goo. Things aren't the some without you around. (It's a lot more peaceful, and I get to watch whatever I want on TV Just kidding.)
Seriously, though, I really miss goo. My soccer team is undefeated, and I think I might finally be getting Dad interested in sports. He promised to take me to a New England Revolution game (that's MU Major League Soccer, in case you don't know what I'm talking about) at Foxboro stadium in Massachusetts. Is that near Boston? If so, magbe you can come, too.
Well, I hope everything is good with goo. Please write!
Aisha smiled and shook her head. So it wasn't a sexy letter from Christopher. She'd certainly rather get a postcard from Kalif than another phone bill.
The last time Aisha managed to pick up the mail before her roommate, she found the latest phone bill listing eleven calls in a row to Christopher, all placed at a time when Aisha was nowhere near her dorm room. Felicia was the only person who would have made those calls. But why would she?
Felicia had never even met Christopher. Then again, Felicia had never met Zoey before, and that didn't stop her from sending a condolence letter when Zoey's house burned down. At the time Aisha had thought it strange for her roommate to send her best friend a card even before she did. But Zoey appreciated it, so Aisha didn't get upset. But this was different. This was her boyfriend.
Eventually Aisha would have to confront Felicia about the phone bill, maybe even today. Thinking about it darkened Aisha's previously sunny mood. At least now she could look forward to a couple of hours alone. Aisha slid the key into the lock, relieved that she would at least have a bit of privacy in which to think for a while.
But as soon as she opened the door Aisha saw her. Their eyes met in the mirror, startling both of them. Felicia spun around quickly to face Aisha and nervous smoothed down the front of her sweater with her hands. Actually it was Aisha's sweater, which she had just bought at Banana Republic the week before. Although she tried to stop it, Aisha's face twisted into a scowl.
"Oh, hello, Felicia," she said icily, hesitating in the doorway. For a minute she couldn't decide whether to come in or not. "I thought you said you'd be in class."
"My professor was sick, so he had to cancel the section." Felicia gave her silky blond hair a toss. "Don't you love it when that happens?"
Aisha crossed the room and slumped onto her bed without replying.
Felicia grinned. "So how's it going? Oh, I hope you don't mind me trying on your sweater. I just wanted to see how it looked with my white jeans. And you know how I feel about my clothes. I hate them all."