Need to Know
The mildest of sounds may stir an avalanche. The softest sigh.
J. Ramsey Hollencraft
By: T.G. Browning
3: Pay No Attention
Kat’s apartment was in an old brownstone, up on the third floor of five, if one didn’t count the stoop. The place was about fifty-fifty students and working folk, sitting as it did between a low rent district the university proper. The owner had probably strained his resources in updating the building since the phone, power and cable had been upgraded in the last five or ten years. The apartments themselves were clean and only a slight bit on the shabby side.
On a nice evening like this, the door in the alcove was open. Kev checked to make sure he remembered the room correctly; he did, and went up the stairs to apartment 33, which sat in the front of the building overlooking the street, in the left corner.
The door was open so he poked his head in and caught sight of three people he didn’t know, at all, before he heard a laugh that could only have come from Kat. He next heard a “C’mon in, Kevin…” and with a sigh, braved the evening’s entertainment.
Kat grabbed him before he could so much as blink twice and gave him a firm, almost fierce hug. “You’re just in time. Linda is setting up the board now. Let me grab you a drink.”
“Well, coffee then. I know you drink entirely too much of that and we have plenty. Even some ugly looking stuff from Kenya that Linda brought back this fall. Here you go,” Kat had sashayed him through two couples and a loner to the kitchen and pointed to a coffee maker on the counter. She grabbed a large mug from the wall and turned to look at him, grinning.
She looked great. Moderately short, dark blonde hair on a round, affable, cute head and face, bright blue eyes and a long neck. All atop a willowy frame of about five-ten. She looked athletic because she was. Tennis once in awhile but hiking, climbing hills and mountains, always. Swimming, she was big on swimming as well. The thought struck Kevin, suddenly that if what he’d read about the pagan movement was true, Kat probably would fit right in. She loved the outdoors and the natural world as much as he loved science and mathematics. The literature fit as well, now that he thought about it. Her knowledge of foreign languages and literature gave her access to the vast world of ancient pagan epics and myths. Maybe she is a witch, he thought.
“So how have you been? Missed you a lot more than I thought I would,” she said. The grin was gone now but the voice was still light.
“Okay. Missed you, too. Been awhile.”
“Let’s see, six months at least. Two months of spring term, all summer and one month of fall term. Where have you been hiding, anyway?”
“Same place as I was before. I stayed through the summer.”
“Mandy still living there too? That’s a surprise. I figured she’d have married that student teacher boyfriend of hers.”
Kevin felt the tiniest of shocks. How in the world had she known of Mandy’s engagement and subsequent breakup? All of that had been after she’d dumped him. “Didn’t work out.”
“I didn’t think it would, but you never know. Mark still there too?”
“No, Mark got tired of school and dropped out. Got another guy named Pete in his old room. Lane moved out this summer as well, graduated. Now got a guy in her room.”
Kat cocked her head, quizzically. “Interesting. Any better at house cleaning than Lane?”
“Give me a break, Kat. A naked mole rat would be tidier than Laney was.”
They both laughed, and meant it. That one term with Lane in the quad had taught Kevin more about microbiology than he cared to admit. They both loosened up a bit and were just starting to get up to speed with changes when Linda, Kat’s roommate, poked her head in the kitchen and said, “Ready to go?”
1 2 3 4 5 6