Day 9—Hanging Out in the Library
“Why are we going to the library of all places?” Leonard complained as he got off of the bus.
“They have comfy chairs?” offered Sue.
“It’s quiet,” Nikolas said. “You didn’t have to come, you could have gone to Guitar Club, but you decided to come with us to the library. You don’t even have to do homework!”
“Yeah! I’m only going because there are CDs that I put on hold that came,” Sue said.
“But I don’t have that sort of stuff,” Leonard pointed out.
“Shush. My dad laughs at me for getting my music legally.”
“I get the CDs from the library and then I rip them off,” Sue explained. “Then I sync my music library to my Walkman MP3.”
“Whoa. Hipster freshie, nice!” Nikolas high-fived Sue. “You don’t see too many of them nowadays.”
“I know,” Sue agreed soberly. “We’re a dying breed.”
“Ripping CDs isn’t legal,” Leonard said wryly.
“Okay, fine, my dad laughs at me for me getting my music illegally but untraceably.”
Leonard laughed. This freshman was an interesting girl. Most freshmen avoided the senior class as much as possible, but she seemed very comfortable with two senior boys who were a good deal taller than her.
“Aren’t you ever afraid that one of us might, I dunno, like, rape you, or something?” he asked.
“Uh, no. Why? Should I be?” Sue asked innocently.
“Lenny’s an idiot,” Nikolas told her.
“Hey! I am insulted by that statement!” Leonard protested.
“On principal, I don’t rape people. And raping people is bad for his image,” he continued as if Leonard hadn’t interrupted.
“That’s true,” Leonard said thoughtfully. “Darn,” he sighed. “And I was so hoping to have my wicked way with you…” Nikolas hit him. “Ow!”
“Uhh…can we possibly move onto a less sensitive and or awkward topic?” Sue asked. They claimed an empty table next to the floor-to-ceiling length windows and set their stuff down. Sue ran off to get her CDs.
“So, what are you going to work on?” Leonard yawned. He was already bored. This library was too goddamned quiet. Nikolas pulled a notebook out of his messenger bag, along with a pencil and an eraser.
“Math,” he answered simply.
“Ew. I’m going to take a nap.”
“You do that.”
There was silence for a few minutes. Sue came back and took her laptop out of its case. While it booted up, she also took out her MP3 and its connector cable. She connected the MP3 to her computer and inserted the first CD. Nikolas looked at one of the CDs.
“She & Him?”
“Yeah. Zooey Dechanel isn’t a bad singer, actually.”
They worked in silence. Nikolas was just finishing up his math homework when he felt a large presence behind him.
“You’re doing it wrong,” Han told him. “An easier way is like this.” He took Nikolas’ pencil out of his hand and wrote the proof on a separate piece of paper.
“No, you’re wrong,” a shorter Asian boy told Han. “It’s way easier like this.” He snatched the pencil and paper and scribbled something, crossing out at least half of the steps Han had written. He gave it back to Nikolas who looked at him in surprise.
“What grade are you in?”
Nikolas shook his head disbelievingly. “You kids are getting smarter and smarter. It’s so much easier to remember now. Thanks.”
“Who taught you how to do that?” Han asked accusingly. “I didn’t.”
“Basic math theory,” the other guy told him, “that I applied to your proof, and then shortened it. So really, you still sort of taught me.” He gave Han a kiss on the jaw and wrapped his arms around Han’s waist.
“Love you, too, Ricky,” Han said with a fond smile.
“Wait, weren’t you still going out with that girl—Veronica or something—in junior year?” Nikki asked, confused. “I never heard about the breakup. When did you two get together?”
“Her name was Violet. She moved north to Canada in the beginning of junior year. We kept dating until she decided to break it off.” Han shrugged. “Smartest decision she ever made, considering that the only reason we started dating was because I was tutoring her and she was a good kisser.”
“We’ve been dating since…November, I think, wasn’t it?” Ricky asked.
Han snorted. “Leave it to you to forget.”
“I have better things to remember!” Ricky said indignantly.
Nikki smiled wanly. “Shoo. I don’t really want to listen to your lovers’ spat.” He waved them away.
“We’re not arguing, we’re just…trying to determine the general time frame we started going out,” Ricky protested.
“You guys are cute,” Sue suddenly said. “And I feel really little. Why are you so tall?” she asked Han.
“Why are you so short?”
Sue rolled her eyes. “Sure. Blame the short kid.”
“If you don’t want to admit that you’re short, why’d you ask?” Han asked amusedly.
“Because I accept that I am short.” Sue pouted.
“Are you ever going to shut up?” Leonard mumbled irately through his sleeves. “Some people want to sleep, you know.”
“Sorry, Len,” Han apologized easily, as Nikolas told him to shut up and stop listening. “We should go, anyway. Bye.” The couple walked away.
“Now, if more people were like that, we wouldn’t have such a high divorce rate here in America,” Sue commented.
“Now, if only more people were smart like you, Sue,” Nikolas replied. “I rhymed. Doesn’t that make you feel smart, rhyming?”