“Good, settled, I’ll give her a call and let her know you’re headed her way this evening. Take her out to coffee and ask her how she did what she did. Maybe she’ll volunteer.”
“I vote yes!” Pete chimed in.
“Me, too.” Mandy added.
“That makes three to one, even if you vote no. Action item to be taken by Mandy and then Kevin, so ordered,” Carl finished. Six keenly intent eyes and three determined expressions greeted Kevin. He was committed.
The phone call went easier than he expected, largely because he didn’t have to make it. He heard the phone ring while he was cleaning off his desk in preparation for working on his Quantum Mechanics notes and Mandy popped her head in the door. “Phone, Kevin. It’s Kat. Going to invite you over I think.”
Kevin had foreboding, right up until Mandy shoved the phone receiver into his hand. “Hello, Kat?”
“Kevin, Mandy said you were free tonight. Want to come over to my place for a small get together? Just a couple of friends. My roommate got a new game and wants fresh victims, so to speak.”
Kat’s voice was the principle reason people called her Kat rather than Kate. It had a purring quality when she wanted it to and she apparently wanted it that way, at the moment. Forebodings became stark misgivings, immediately. “Uh, well, I’ve got some homework…”
He felt a sharp poke in the ribs and looked behind himself to see both Carl and Mandy standing behind him, looking grim. Pete was probably somewhere behind Carl, Kevin reflected, sourly. Getting pressured like that was not the way to get him to do anything and he started to glare in reply when Pete did step out from behind Carl, holding out a handful of what looked to be crushed cockroaches. The other hand held a piece of paper with the scrawl of ‘Kevin’s Dinner.’ “…but I can probably finish that up by 8 o’clock if that’s not too late.”
“Nope, sounds good as a matter of fact. Nine would be even better. We weren’t planning on playing the game until then. See you then!”
Carl smiled benignly and stage whispered to Pete, “Flush that and get the man steak.”
Kevin continued his glare and after a moment, the three of them left him alone with his homework, which he went back to immediately. The thought of playing some silly-ass game with people he didn’t know at all was grim enough that even the Dirac bridge and Erwin Schrodinger seemed light-hearted.
He didn’t surface until about eight-thirty. None of his roommates, aka blackmailers, were in evidence, probably because they knew once committed, he could be trusted. Kevin quickly shaved once again, donned clean clothes, finger-combed his hair and set off across the campus toward Kat’s apartment in the early autumn air. The sun had set but an hour ago and the city lights made any star-gazing problematic; but he did see the thinnest of new moons he could recall ever seeing as he picked his way through the early Saturday evening crowd near the student union.