Chapter 26: The Curse of the College Student
Edie hesitated, walking slowly up the stairs, letting the others go ahead of her. "Oh, I'd like to..."
"But?" Leila prompted gently.
Edie sighed. "I already went out once today, and I do have homework to finish, since I didn't do any at all yesterday. I don't think staying up all night would really be helpful at this point. I'm sorry."
"Oh, don't worry about it at all," said Leila quickly. "I understand. This is why you should become a theater major--we have hardly any homework to prepare! Though I fear I will have to leave you alone more often as the semester progresses, as I will be in rehearsal more often."
"Well, if I complain then, you can remind me how I had to ditch you for homework," Edie said. She felt guilty despite Leila's understanding, plus a bit disappointed--it was frustrating to have an opportunity to spend more time to Leila but have to skip it.
"There, see? It will be an even trade. Now I will stop taking up your time so you can get your homework completed. It is important to keep your grades up, not that I would think you would have a problem with that, of course."
Edie grinned. "Try to have fun without me."
"It will be difficult, but I will do my best! Good night, Edith."
"Good night, Leila."
"Aww," said Corrie and Dawn together as Edie flipped her phone closed. She giggled awkwardly. She hadn't realized they'd been listening to the conversation, but when she thought about it, she realized they probably couldn't help it. There had been only one other person in the stairwell, and he'd gone past them silently, so there had been no distractions.
"Silly homework, preventing you from seeing your girlfriend," said Corrie.
"Yeah," said Edie, glancing down at her phone as she dropped it back into her purse, as if Leila were there somehow. "But I guess it's not too bad. I mean, I did spend all day with her yesterday."
"Unfortunately, I have the same predicament as Edie," said Rico. They'd reached the fourth floor. He kissed Dawn on the cheek. "No more fun tonight, only work."
"That's okay," said Dawn with a smile. "I have work to finish too. We have an awfully long reading for magic class tonight."
"I think that works out for us, actually," said Corrie. "Did you notice that there's no reading for Wednesday's class? We must be spending two class sessions on the same thing. So we won't have as much homework to do on Tuesday night."
"Oh, that is good," said Dawn, nodding. She patted Rico's shoulder. "Don't forget about the meeting."
"I'll be there," he promised. "See you tomorrow, love." He went through the door to his hall.
As they started up the last flight of stairs, Naomi asked, "What meeting are you talking about?"
"Oh, didn't we tell you?" said Corrie. "You should come too. We're starting our own pagan club. Me and Edie are in charge."
"For, uh, certain values of 'in charge,'" put in Edie, not wanting to volunteer too much responsibility. As far as she was concerned, Corrie, who was actually pagan and had been all her life, was the one who was actually in charge. She was just interested.
"What happened to that other club you were in?" Naomi asked, sounding surprised.
Dawn, Corrie, and Edie all exchanged a look. Edie wasn't sure how much Dawn had been telling Naomi about actual magic, besides what was in their classes, but based on that look, she guessed it wasn't much. "They're basically jerks," Corrie said after an awkward pause, shrugging. "No flexibility, and really sexist in a weird way."
"Oh, man-hating feminists. I know the type." Naomi nodded. "And you're having a meeting Tuesday night?"
"Yeah, we're just planning to meet in Gilkey's common room, at eight, right?" said Dawn. "I'll let you know when I'm going and you can come down with me. I don't know how serious it'll be."
"We'll figure it out as we go along," Corrie said.
"Hey, it sounds like it could be fun. I'll join you."
"Cool!" said Dawn. They'd reached the door to Edie and Corrie's room, and she stopped, looked at the door, and sighed. "Well, time to get back to that homework we were talking about."
"And no more anticipating the surprise," said Edie, feeling relieved. "I hope you had a fun birthday, Dawn."
"I did," said Dawn, grinning and giving Edie a quick hug. "That was so nice of you guys."
"It was my idea!" Naomi pointed out.
"Yeah, we wouldn't have known it was your birthday if it weren't for Naomi," said Corrie.
"Well, thanks for eavesdropping, Naomi," Dawn said, giving her a hug too.
Naomi laughed. "Anytime. But I guess I better get to my homework, too."
"Ah, the curse of the college student," groaned Corrie as they all headed for their respective books.