Higher Education

Higher Education by Lisa Pliscou Read Free Book Online

Book: Higher Education by Lisa Pliscou Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lisa Pliscou
hallway. There is a large greenish stain on the back of his lab coat.
    I walk back down Mount Auburn Street muttering reassurances to myself. Cheer up. You lead a charmed existence, remember? The best and the brightest, right ? All at once I catch myself thinking about those big grainy posters in the subway, the ones showing a sad-eyed teenager with a football under her dress. Sniffing damply, I wrench open the door to Adams House. Bloody good cheering-up job. Maybe you should become a Planned Parenthood counselor . I slink into the dining hall singing “Life During Wartime” under my breath, breaking off only when I get into the kitchen and pick up a tray, a grapefruit half, and some yogurt.
    A pale, pear-shaped junior whose name I don’t know looks at me strangely as I pass him by the pastry tray. I nod at him but he immediately turns his wall-eyed attention back to the chocolate twists.
    Frowning, I go into the dining room and look around. Jessica is at a table with John, Clark, and Roald, three juniors who share an enormous A-entry suite in which they often throw loud, successful parties, notorious for the way in which their respective girlfriends somehow seem to end up in the wrong bedroom at the end of the evening. Of course, I remind myself as I move toward them, wrong is rather a subjective term. Nobody else seems to be complaining.
    â€œGood morning, gang.” I sit down between John and Roald. “Isn’t it a glorious day to be alive?”
    â€œOh, Jesus.” John jabs his fork into an egg, bursting the yolk all over his toast. “Never a moment’s peace.”
    Roald smiles at me. “Good morning, Miranda.”
    â€œGood morning, Roald. How’s everything?”
    â€œJust fine, thanks. And how are you?”
    â€œCan’t complain.”
    â€œThat’s good. Uh, Miranda?”
    â€œYes, Roald?”
    â€œCan I have your grapefruit half?”
    â€œGet your own grapefruit half, Roald.”
    â€œThat’s not very generous of you, Miranda.”
    â€œThat may very well be true.” I nod judicially. “Pardon me while I dig into this luscious pink grapefruit here.”
    â€œAfter all I’ve done for you, Miranda.”
    â€œWhat have you ever done for me, Roald?”
    â€œI brought you a cup of coffee once.”
    â€œI asked for tea.”
    â€œAll right, Miranda.” He rises and starts dragging himself off to the kitchen. “I’ll get my own grapefruit.”
    â€œBring me some coffee, will you?” I call after him. “Cream, no sugar.”
    â€œJesus, Miranda.” John wipes grapefruit juice off his cheek. “You almost got me in the eye.”
    â€œSorry.” I lift another spoonful to my mouth. “My aim’s not very good in the morning.”
    Jessica clears her throat. “Did you have a nice little walk, dear?”
    â€œYes, thanks. There’s nothing I like better than leaping out of bed and going for a hearty stroll first thing in the morning. And I don’t mind saying so.”
    â€œKeep it down, Miranda.” Clark frowns at me. “People are looking at us.”
    â€œI’m from California, remember?” Gently I spit a grapefruit seed onto my tray.
    â€œOh yeah.” He nods and jams an immense forkful of waffle into his mouth.
    Jessica slopes forward over the tabletop. “Hey.”
    â€œHey what?”
    â€œYou’re not lying to me, are you?”
    â€œAbout what?”
    â€œYes, I think I will slug you after all.”
    â€œNo, no, that won’t be necessary.” I brush a few drops of grapefruit juice off my shoulder. “Listen, I made it with three minutes to spare. I have the deposit slip to prove it, too. Time-stamped and everything. It even smells like—”
    â€œOh, shut up. Good thing I called, or you’d have slept till noon.”
    â€œPossibly. By the way, your hair is dangling into your

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