The dorm room door was shoved open with a squeak of hinges desperate for oil. “Hey, Jac, nice of you to come home,” I called out.
Jac sashayed in. Giving me a disgusted look, she said, “Melissa, girl, you need to stop staying home every night. Life isn’t meant to be spent studying all the time.” She tossed her strappy shoes and purse onto the floor under her desk. Then she slinked herself into the chair. Somehow she managed to look like an exotic mermaid resting on a rock.
It always impressed me how fluidly Jac moved. I was prone to tripping over air or my own feet. “I don’t study all of the time.”
Jac snorted, and pointed a finger at me. “You do too.”
I shrugged. “Well, I’m getting two degrees in the time most people take to get one. I’ve got to study.”
And that was true, to an extent. Accounting and Chinese studies did take up a lot of time. But I also felt completely adrift in most social settings at Smith and Guy University. So I tended to avoid them.
“Humph. That’s always your excuse. When are you going to meet people? Build those friendships that will carry you through the rest of your life?”
I smiled at her. “That’s why I have you.”
Jac snorted again. She pulled the school newspaper off her desk and began to read. Being in charge of the newspaper’s social media was one of Jac’s favorite tasks. She read the daily print copy at least twice.
“Anything interesting I should know about?” I turned back to my books and columns without waiting for her reply. There was rarely anything interesting in our campus gossip rag.
“Bah! The usual. Tuition increases. A piece about the latest tweet by the president.”
Several minutes went by in companionable silence. I was thoroughly engrossed in my columns of numbers. Jac’s next question threw me. “Melissa, do you have a Pinterest account?” she asked.
It took a moment for me to understand her. I looked over my chair. “No. Why?”
“Why don’t you have one?” she asked with a small smile.
I snorted at her. Then I pointed at the books and papers littering my desk. “Double major. Remember?”
Turning back toward my desk, I heard her say, “You ever consider how, once you graduate with this double major of yours, you’re going to be working like eighty hours a week?”
I scowled since she was not dropping the topic. “What’s your point?”
“You’re always studying. You’re going to graduate, maybe even early, with two degrees. But you never DO anything. What will you have to offer?”
“I’ll have my education, Jac. That’ll be enough.” My plans were straight forward. Get my degrees followed by a good job. Then I would meet someone and get married. We would have a kid or two while I continued to grow my career. Finally, we would retire around age fifty-five to travel and play with our grandkids. The perfect life plan.
Jac folded the paper twice. I looked over at her. She shook her head at me. “No, it won’t be. Businesses like good grades. They like experience and well-rounded employees more.”
I fought the urge to glare at her. Her parents ran their own company, so, unfortunately, she knew a bit more about what an employer wanted than I did.
Jac looked down at the paper. She smiled again. “As for people with, ah, no experiences. Well…”
“I could get a job.” I did not want to follow her down the social path.
Nodding, Jac replied, “That’s something to consider.”
I knew there was a big “or” hanging on to the end of her statement. I waited.
Jac did not disappoint. “Or you could date,” she said with a cheeky grin.
“Yeah, right.” I intended to turn back around and resume studying, but Jac looked serious. And determined. Two qualities she had not directed at me before.
Sarcastically I added, “Sure. Fine. Let me just add that to my list of to-do items for tomorrow. Find a boyfriend.” I pretended to write on an invisible notepad. I sent her a glare. “Anything else?”
Still grinning, she replied, “Nope, that’s a good start.”
I did not trust the twinkle in her eye.
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Smith & Guy University series