Laura DeHart Young
The professor droned on and on in a dull, nasal tone. Kelly glanced at her watch. It was only 8:30. Another hour and a half to go. These night classes were killers.
“I won’t need any sleeping pills tonight,” said the female voice directly behind her ear. “This guy’s gonna kill me before my head ever hits a pillow.”
Kelly smiled. She had been flirting with her attractive classmate for weeks without any concrete results. The thought of talking to the alluring redhead was the only thing that kept her coming to this boring English lit class every Tuesday night. This was the first time Tory had initiated any
conversation herself. Kelly leaned her head back and whispered, “I feel some stomach cramps coming on. Want to help me to the rest room?”
“Really? Are you in a lot of pain?” Tory asked with concern.
“No. But it’s one way to get us out of this boring class.”
“Ahhh,” Tory replied, as the light bulb went off in her brain. “We’re on the same page now. I’m ready whenever you are.”
Peggy J. Herring
Kelly liked the way Tory quietly gathered her belongings and slipped out of her seat without waking up anyone else around them. Kelly then got an unexpected thrill when Tory collected several of Kelly’s books and gently took her by the elbow to help escort her from the room. No one gave them a second look. Their classmates would’ve had to wake up in order to do such a thing.
Out in the hallway, Tory handed over Kelly’s books with a grin and asked if she was feeling better yet.
“Oh, yes,” Kelly said with a laugh. “Much better. Thanks.”
“I need some coffee before making that long drive home,” Tory said. “Care to join me?”
Kelly was delighted by the shift in initiative here. All of her hard work over the last few weeks to get this woman’s attention was finally paying off, and here Tory was elaborating on Kelly’s scheme for them to get to know each other better! As they walked down the hall toward the snack bar, Kelly was very aware of their closeness...close enough that Kelly could smell the intoxicating scent of Obsession perfume.
“Let’s get that table in the corner,” Tory said once they’d arrived at the snack bar. “It’s out of the way so we can talk.”
Ohmigod, Kelly thought. Out of the way? Yes, yes, yes!
“I’ll buy if you fly,” Kelly said as she fished out a five dollar bill from her pocket. “Unleaded with creamer.”
Tory smiled and took the bill. Their eyes met and Kelly’s knees suddenly felt weak.
“I thought you had a class!” a deep voice behind Kelly said.
Kelly turned and saw a short, older woman with a scowl and angry squinty eyes addressing Tory.
Kelly’s heart dropped right down and through the floor. She couldn’t believe luscious Tory was hooked up with this troll.
“I did have a class,” Tory said. “I went to it. Now I’ve left it.”
The angry woman looked pointedly at her watch. “I didn’t think it ended until 10.”
Kelly suddenly realized that Tory really didn’t belong with this woman, and she wasn’t about to go down without a fight. “Are you her keeper?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I’m the one who’s paying for this education of hers, so it seems as if I ought to be able to make sure I’m getting my money’s worth.”
“That’s really kinda creepy, you know?” Kelly said. “You want a return on your investment, huh? Kinda like Tory isn’t a person at all, just some possession of yours, to do with as you please.”
Tory watched her with a bemused expression while the woman gave Kelly a slow once over. “I don’t think you’re hanging out with the right sorts of people, either. I think we need to sit down and have a nice long conversation.”
“I’d have to agree with her, Tory. I think you two need to talk. Perhaps think about how much better you can do.”
Tory broke into a large smile. “I don’t think that’s necessary. Kelly, I’d like you to meet my mother, Carolyn.”