She rolled on top of him in an effort to crush him with all her weight, but she was too small, and the bed was too soft. Instead she only excited him, and he wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her full magenta hair. He stretched his arms down her back and pressed down fully in an effort to crush her, but he was too tired and too drunk and she was wriggling around too much. When they stopped again she put her elbows on his chest and propped her head up, gazing somewhat deliriously into his eyes.

"What do you know, Joe?," she said, but the words were run together, becoming almost indistinguishable.

"Hey," he exclaimed, as if indignant. "Who's Joe? Are you two-timing me, Claire? I mean, Eileen..." She shook her head, so he gave it another guess. "Sarah?"

"Nope, it's Suzy," said Tina, laughing. "And don't you forget it!"

"Aaaah, yes Suzy. Of course, the girl of my dreams, Suzy. Hmmm...Did you change your hair?"

Tina sat up next to Craig and started to play with the frayed end of the baby blue bedsheet as she looked around the dorm room, which was a little too clean and tidy. "Hey, Craig, how'd you score a room all to yourself at Trinity? Didya kill your roommate? OK, mister, where's the body?" She jumped out of bed and started to do a mock search of the room. Craig looked thoughtfully at her for a minute, before grabbing her by the waist and dragging her back to bed.

"I'd tell you where the bodies are -- ummm, I mean where the body is -- but then I'd have to kill you." Craig couldn't help but break out laughing at his own wit, as if he had just invented the wheel of all jokes.

"Ohhh, that's original. Let me guess, you stopped eating your victims when you realized that they all tasted like chicken, hmm?" Tina grabbed his cheeks and peered into his face. "You're cute, but not that cute. Let's try working a little on the originality." Craig stayed silent, and she could see the gears turning behind his dazed and tired eyes. "But don't hurt yourself, big boy. I'll make it easy for you. Just answer the question."

"What was the...oh yeah. Same old story, my dad's on the board of trustees. You know the game."

"Oh, a rich kid, huh? I should have known by the convertible." Tina glanced over at his Jägermeister t-shirt lying on the chair. "Still, it seems someone should be teaching you people some fashion sense." She looked back at Craig. "Of course, who am I to say anything about taste."

"Ouch!," said Craig. "You don't pull any punches, do you? You're parents weren't French, by any chance?"

"No, but close, they were Irish-American. Hey, have you been to France? Let me guess, you're parents vacationed on the Riviera every summer when you were growing up, and they let you come along." Tina lay back and snuggled down comfortably next to Craig, pulling the sheet up around her so that only her face was showing. "By the way, if you want to meet someone really rude, you should meet my friend Angela. She doesn't give a damn!"

"Hmmm...Angela. That's a nice name."

"Hey, I'm your Suzy remember? Or was it Eileen?" They laughed.

Craig turned on his side and put his hand on Tina's stomach, under the sheet. Mustering up his deepest Texas accent he said, "So are all your friends as purty as you?"

"Not quite, partner. But Angela's probably the closest. Boy has she changed! You should have seen her in high school. And I hear it was even worse before that." Craig looked confused, so she added, "Angela had a slight weight problem growing up. But you wouldn't know by looking at her now. And don't go saying anything to her about it! I'm warning you, I bite!" Tina grabbed Craig's hand and started playfully gnawing on it like a teething puppy.

"That's quite a threat. But hey, what are you talking about your friends for, anyway? Don't you want me all for yourself?" Craig's eyes drooped to match his exaggerated frown.

You got it, mister, thought Tina. Craig was good looking all right, but a little too neat and a little too well off to be truly interesting. This would be it for the two of them -- hopefully he wasn't the stalking type! -- but maybe he and Angela would hit it off. Actually, probably not, he didn't seem bookish enough either, but Angela definitely wasn't going to find anyone on her own.

In a way, Tina envied Angela and her apparent need of no one. It all made perfect sense, of course. Someone with that kind of childhood is inevitably going to possess some deep-rooted scars. But still Tina wondered what it was like to not feel this endless fear of being alone. As Craig hovered over her she tried to imagine a life where she didn't have to subject herself to the gropes of jerks and jocks on a regular basis. A life where maybe she did something else, something more interesting, more productive with her life... She suddenly jumped on top of Craig and wrapped her legs around his waist. "Sing to me, lover!," she screamed, and started to beat her small fists on his chest. As she felt him get excited again she thought to herself: Aahhh, well, life wasn't so bad.

Under her, Craig face was turning red and he alternated singing "My Way" with laughing hysterically. The harder it was for him to breathe, the more he wanted to laugh. Tina sticking her tongue at him didn't help, and when she started to tickle him it was all he could do to attempt to twist away from her grasp until the two of them fell completely out of the bed. Craig was out of breath and just lay there as Tina pulled the rest of the sheet down over them. There on the floor she put her lips to his and they clutched each other a little while longer before finally falling together into a deep alcoholic slumber.

Chapter 13


Chapter 12 was first written November 20, 2001

It was last edited December 20, 2001