Thursday, August 19, 2010


This week's [fiction] friday prompt: The note taped to the door said: See you at Wild Notes Karaoke Bar.

Janice was tired. She’d been running around campus all day in the August heat, going from office to office on what seemed like a goose chase.

“Why do they make this so hard?” she asked her new roommate, Amy. “You’d think they could put everything in one place instead of making us run from building to building to register.”
“It’s not so bad, Janice. I’m almost finished. I just need to find the registrar and I’m done. How about you?”
“I’ve got financial aid, my advisor, and then the registrar. You need McAllister Hall. That’s just across the quad.” Janice pointed out the old, brick building. “Why don’t you go ahead and I’ll meet you back at the room.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, there’s no reason for you to keep traipsing around in this heat. It must be 100 degrees out here.”
“Okay. If you insist.”

Amy flashed a big smile at her friend and pulled her long, black hair into a pony tail at the base of her neck. As she turned to walk away, Janice noticed the sweat dripping down her neck and wetting the back of her tie-dyed tank top.  She watched Amy walk across the quad, admiring the sway of her hips and the way her flared jeans hugged her tight butt.

When Amy finally disappeared in a crowd of new students, Janice looked down at her map. Locating the Office of Financial Affairs in the Huckabee Center, she started out across campus in the oppressive heat.

Janice marveled that those last three tasks had taken almost two hours. She was glad she had sent Amy back to the room instead of forcing her to waist away her whole afternoon. She climbed the three steps and opened the door to Willow Hall.  The blast of cool air blew her short, blonde hair back off her face. A chill ran down her spine as the cool air turned the sweat covering her body into an icy bath.

Janice took the elevator to the sixth floor and walked down the crowded hall to their room. She fished her key out of her pocket, but stopped before opening the door. Next to the bright green poster advertising the various welcome week functions was a new note. Janice read the words “See you at Wild Notes Karaoke Bar.” She peeled the tape off the door, folded the note, and stuffed it into the pocket of her jean shorts. She opened the door and went inside.

Janice put her stack of papers down on her desk and started shedding her sweaty shorts and tee. She kicked her tennis shoes under the bed and sat down atop her plush new comforter. She grabbed her shorts and pulled the note out of the damp pocket. She carefully unfolded it and read the words. Even though she had only known Amy for three short days, she already recognized her stylish handwriting. The purple notebook paper had come from Amy’s journal. The side was lined with little chads of paper where she had yanked it from the notebook.

Janice brought the paper to her face and inhaled the scent. She let herself fall back on her pillow and laid the note on her bare stomach. She closed her eyes for a moment and let the cool air coming from the window unit flow across her body.

She wondered how Amy’s small voice would sound belting out a tune like “I Will Survive” or Aretha’s “Respect.” She knew Amy was here on a choir scholarship, but she had yet to hear her sing. She imagined it would be mesmerizing. Amy at the center of the stage, her long hair falling in soft curls across her shoulders. The spotlight creating little glints in her green eyes. Her soft pink lips caressing the microphone.

Janice opened her eyes and got out of bed. She opened her desk drawer and put the note inside. She put on her bathrobe, grabbed her shower caddy, and slipped on her flipflops. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed that Amy’s top dresser drawer was slightly open.

Janice took her hand off the doorknob and crossed the room. She peeked inside the open drawer. She could see Amy’s undergarments through the small sliver. She lid the drawer open, careful not to upset the jewelry box or any of the trinkets sitting atop the dresser.

Janice sorted through the contents: lacy bikinis, cotton thongs, elaborate bras, bows, flowers, stripes, polka dots, and the occasional cartoon character. She picked up a pair of silky red panties. They were bikini cut with the letters “xoxo” spelled out across the back in tiny faux crystals. Janice held them up in the dwindling light. She looked over her shoulder before shoving them into the large square pocket at the side of her robe.

Janice straightened the undergarments left in the drawer. She was sure Amy wouldn’t miss this one pair. She slid the drawer closed, remembering to leave it slightly ajar. As Janice walked back across the room, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror above the small sink. She stopped and turned to look at her reflection. Her brown eyes were wide. They glowed in the orange light of dusk filtering through the window. She smiled and relished in the thought of having something of Amy’s, something so private, so intimate.