Caleb’s head was pounding. He couldn’t remember much of what happened last night, except that there was loud music and that he had drank a lot. He did slightly remember walking with Wolfgang and sniffing his hair. Caleb blushed with embarrassment when this particular memory resurfaced. His only human friend probably thought he was a creep now. He checked his text messages. There was one from Wolfgang.
“hey so i have 2 go 2 school again but we should talk soon. somewhere u wont get drunk lol.” was what it said.
Okay, so Wolfgang didn’t hate him for all the hair sniffing he did. That was great. But with Wolfgang going back to school, Caleb didn’t really have anyone else to hang out with. But there was this one girl at the party he remembered. He checked his contacts list, and saw that there was someone new in it. He dialed the number, and invited her over.
Oh, it was her. Caleb remembered her much clearly now. She had caught his attention with her brightly colored hair and her frenzied dance energy. She had walked confidently towards him while he was taking a picture with Wolfgang, grabbed his phone, and put her number in it. “I like your horns,” she had shouted. “Let’s hang out.” Then she proceeded to chug an entire of bottle of whatever it was she was holding in under a minute.
He invited her inside the house despite all this. Her name was Yuki, and she was really into video games. It was a shame, because Caleb only knew about TV shows and movies. He hadn’t really gotten into video games yet.
He nodded halfheartedly as he tuned out Yuki’s excited chatter. His mind kept going back to the events of the night before. He vaguely remembered Wolfgang saying he had to tell him something, but he couldn’t remember what it was he said. He hoped it wasn’t anything important.
“Hey, listen,” Caleb said. “I have some stuff I need to do, but feel free to stay here if you want. Oh, and I think we have a game console or something? You can use that or whatever.” Yuki’s eyes lit up as soon as she heard this. Caleb left her to fiddle with the television as he went upstairs.
There was just something about last night that was bothering him, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. He absentmindedly shuffled a deck of tarot cards left out. He wished he could do magic, so he could figure out whatever it was that’s lingering on his mind. He’d seen Alice do divination with these cards before, how she focused her energy on the cards as she shuffled and cut them.
He looked skeptically at the deck he held now. He knew he had zero magical abilties, but it wouldn’t hurt to try messing around with the cards. He shuffled the deck some more and flipped the top card over. The Lovers. He thought of Wolfgang, then laughed at himself for thinking that. Wolfgang would get a kick out of knowing he was the first person Caleb thought of. Then his mind flashed briefly to Yuki, who he left downstairs. Was he supposed to end up with her? Eh, probably not. Alice had mentioned to him in passing that the tarot cards weren’t meant to be taken at face value. As an example, she said that sometimes even the Death card meant good things. She said you usually just had to trust what your instinct told you about the cards. So what was The Lovers card trying to tell him?
Alice, meanwhile had gone to the same nightclub Caleb went to. Last night Caleb crashed on the sofa, rambling about how much fun it was and mentioning the cute people with soft hair he danced with.
But Alice was going there just to see if it was safe for Caleb to be going there and make sure there weren’t any creeps. Not to check out these cute people he talked about. Of course not.
But she got sidetracked. The next thing she knew, she was dancing with a girl with pink hair. She was gorgeous and laughed at every single one of Alice’s jokes. She said her name was Candy and asked Alice if she wanted to go on a date sometime. Alice was surprised, but in a good way. Usually it was her who asked people out. It was nice for someone else to be forward for a change.
After an evening of partying with Candy and meeting new people, Alice went home, tired. She expected the house to be empty again, but instead found another girl with strangely colored hair sitting in the living room, cursing at the television while she held a controller in her hand.
She looked intense. Alice was almost afraid to disturb her and started making her way upstairs when the girl paused her game and saw her.
“Oh, hi,” she said to Alice. “I’m Yuki. Are you Caleb’s mom?”
“I’m his roommate, actually. My name’s Alice. Are you Caleb’s friend?”
“Yeah, I guess you could say that,” Yuki shrugged. “We met last night and he called me over but then he said he had some stuff to do.”
Alice made a mental note to scold Caleb later for being this rude to houseguests. She sat down beside Yuki. “Um, so why were you shouting at the TV earlier?”
Yuki blushed. “Oh, you saw that? Sorry, I get super into games sometimes. It’s just that this is the final level, and the boss is so hard to beat.”
“Really? He looks like a wimp, honestly. I bet I could do it easily,” Alice joked.
“You sure about that?” Yuki raised an eyebrow and handed her the controller. “Show me what you got.”
Alice failed spectacularly. Yuki howled with laughter as she fumbled with the controls. Alice was disappointed, but Yuki’s laughter was so infectious she couldn’t help but giggle as well.
“That was really bad, wasn’t it?” Alice asked.
“The worst I’ve ever seen,” Yuki said. “But I think you’ve got potential to move your rank on the leaderboard.”
“Yeah, move downwards, that is.”
The two girls ended up laughing uncontrollably again. Yuki looked at her watch. “Oh shoot, I didn’t realize it was so late!” Yuki said, standing up. “My sister’s gonna be so pissed. Anyway, I really liked talking to you, Alice. Let’s hang out soon. Bye!”
She left before Alice could even wave goodbye.
Natasha was mad. She had finally heard back from her publisher, and they said they liked her concept, but they wanted her to edit her work. She fumed as she read the letter. She didn’t see what corrections needed to be made, it was already perfect! She left the manuscript they returned with various circles and lines and notes in red ink on her desk. She needed to go clear her mind.
As she jogged, she pondered what to do next. She didn’t want to abandon this project of hers. The publisher did say it was good, after all.
Whatever. If they wanted edits, she’ll give them edits.