Chapter 15: The Best Kind of People
Corrie hadn't found the movie very interesting. But that was okay. She'd been with Byron, so she'd enjoyed herself anyway. And his friends were fun to hang around with. They'd stopped talking toward the end of the movie, though, and that was why she found herself waking up as the sounds in the room changed with her head pillowed on Byron's shoulder.
She sat up slowly, blinking the sleep away from her eyes. Byron smiled at her and stroked her hair, though stroking a ponytail was a little awkward. "Have a nice nap?"
She nodded, yawned, then shrugged. "Sorry."
"That's okay. I'm sorry you didn't like the movie. But at least you were comfortable."
She laughed. "I was."
"Did you get enough sleep last night, Corrie?" Ashton asked, looking at her with concern.
"Sure," she said, then thought back to the night before. She hadn't stayed up that much later than usual, but "usual" at college was turning out to be quite different from "usual" in high school. "I don't know," she amended. "I always get up really early to run--I couldn't sleep in if I wanted to--and I guess I have been getting less sleep at college, staying up to hang out and do homework and stuff. In high school my friends and I only stayed up late on weekends, not weekdays."
"Yeah, you have to figure out a new sleep schedule when college starts," Ashton agreed. "Most people just deal with it by sleeping late."
"I have to figure out a new sleep schedule now, actually," said Byron with a laugh. "I like to run in the morning, but it's not always every morning, and I don't always get up that early."
"Well, I guess it's part of the price you pay," she said, leaning on his shoulder again. "You can always decide to stop running with me."
He shook his head. "It's a challenge now, and I can't back down. But... are you going to keep doing this even through finals?"
"Of course," she said, grinning at his nervous expression. "Since I can't wake up properly without it, it's even more important during finals."
"Maybe I should join you too," said Russ, who had emerged from the room in time to watch the second half of the movie. He was sitting on the floor, and poked at his stomach, which was more than a little flabby. Not that Corrie would ever say such a thing out loud, of course. "I could really use some motivation to get into shape."
"Always a good idea," Corrie agreed. She felt awkward. How to encourage him to get exercise while making it clear he wasn't invited on the morning run with her and Byron? It was a couple thing for them, at least for now, and she knew it would be much less fun with the addition of another person--she wouldn't even invite Edie or Dawn, much less someone she barely knew. "Maybe you can set up an exercise regimen and get your roommates to remind you about it," she offered.
"Don't worry," Byron muttered in her ear. "Russ might try to get up in time to run with us, but he wouldn't make it two steps before falling asleep again." She had to muffle her giggles.
"Want the last of the popcorn, Corrie?" asked Andrew, holding the bag out toward her. They'd made popcorn to eat during the movie, and she hadn't had any. "I feel bad," he continued. "You fell asleep and didn't get any."
She smiled and shook her head. "No thanks. I'm not hungry. Believe me, if I had wanted any popcorn, I would have taken it!"
Andrew nodded and shook the bag, pouring apparently all the rest of the popcorn into his mouth. Then he walked over to the trash can in the corner, crumpled up the bag, put it in the can, and spit a few popcorn kernels after it.
"So, Corrie," said Ashton, getting up from his seat on the floor to take Andrew's spot on the couch, "forgive me if this is an impertinent question, but are you queer?"
"Why do you want to know?" asked Byron before Corrie could reply, pulling her closer. "Not trying to set her up with someone, are you?"
Ashton rolled his eyes and made a dismissive gesture at Byron. "Stop being so paranoid. I just want to know. I love getting to know people."
"You're too possessive," Corrie teased Byron, but she didn't try to pull away from him. It was nice being treated a little possessively by someone who she knew would listen to her if she said to back off. She turned to Ashton again. "I don't mind the question. I like talking about myself!" Ashton laughed, and she continued, "No, I seem to be as straight as they come. I was there partially because of my friends and partially because it seemed like fun. I was in the queer group in my high school and had a great time."
Ashton nodded. "That's because queers are the best kind of people, of course."