It had been a couple of weeks since Ziggy had left Alicia’s, and she had begun to realize how lonely it was without her cousin’s company. She hadn’t made any friends on campus, mostly due to her frustration in having to use a voice app to speak and her fear that others wouldn’t have the time or patience to wait for her to type out her contributions to the conversation on her phone. However, her voice had slowly begun to come back in the last couple of days, and though it was currently a gravelly mirror of her regular tone of speech, she was ready to get out there and meet some people. Therefore, Ziggy had decided to have a dorm party in order to meet some of the neighbors in her hall. She had made up fliers for the event and put one under each door on her floor, hoping that it would encourage the other students to get together and socialize and make it easier for her to get to know others on campus.
Ziggy walked down the hall and entered her dorm, noticing Lana sitting on her bed fiddling with her phone. “Better get dressed,” Ziggy said, addressing her pajama-clad roommate.
“Why?” Lana inquired, setting her phone down on the mattress. “I don’t have class. What’s the point?”
Ziggy looked at her roommate for a long minute. The two had grown closer in the passing weeks, sharing stories about their lives and families, and Ziggy had gotten used to Lana’s moods enough to know that the other woman was discouraged about something. Ziggy had noticed that Lana was easily challenged by the normal tasks of day-to-day living, and since Lana was somewhat spoiled in her youth, she hadn’t taken to her new challenges lightly. Nevertheless, Ziggy wasn’t going to allow the other woman’s emotions to get in the way of her plans for the night. She had waited far too long to have fun, and she wasn’t going to let the other woman’s mood deter her.
“The point is that people are coming over tonight,” Ziggy said, eyeing the mess on Lana’s side of the room. “And we need to get cleaned up and pick up this room before they do.”
“Like a social?” Lana inquired, instantly getting up to look through a pile of clothing. She picked up a pair of designer jeans and began to change.
Ziggy could feel herself blushing as she watched the other woman dress and turned her head. She hadn’t yet discussed the fact that she was a lesbian with Lana, and the other woman must not have considered it as Lana took every opportunity that she could to undress in front of her and ask Ziggy her opinion on her weight. Ziggy knew that she should be used to the other woman’s lack of modesty at this point, but for some reason, seeing Lana in the flesh still made butterflies stir in her stomach.
“Do these jeans make me look fat?” Lana asked her, twisting around to peek at her own rear. “I think they add about seven pounds to my butt.”
“You don’t look fat,” Ziggy sighed, not even looking before she answered. She knew the routine by now, and she knew that Lana would be satisfied with her reassurance as long as she didn’t pause too long before answering or sound unsure.
“You didn’t even look,” Lana cried.
“I didn’t have to,” Ziggy said, turning to look at the other woman. “You always look good.” Besides, Ziggy thought to herself, I have memorized every curve of your body. I don’t need to look.
“When is everyone arriving?” Lana asked. “You didn’t give me much time to prepare. Who’s coming? Is anyone from a sorority? What are their majors?”
“I don’t know,” Ziggy laughed. “I just gave some fliers out.”
“Oh, so this isn’t an exclusive event?” Lana sighed, dropping the hairbrush that she was fooling with.
“What does it matter?” Ziggy asked. “People are people.”
“Well, with that attitude, you won’t get anywhere,” Lana replied.
“What do you mean?” Ziggy inquired, peeking over at the other woman. “I think that I have a quite welcoming attitude.”
“Right,” Lana said. “You’re willing to welcome anyone into your party. If you want to get anywhere, then you need to find out which people are top of their class or great at sports. The people that you surround yourself with help define you.”
“I don’t need to surround myself with others to know who I am,” Ziggy retorted. “Besides, I want to meet people that I can build a friendship with.”
“Well, I only surround myself with those that have good reputations,” Lana replied.
“Good for you,” Ziggy laughed. “I’m not stuck-up like that. I spend time with you, don’t I?”
“What does that mean?” Lana scowled.
“Well, let’s face it,” Ziggy said. “You aren’t really from the same background that I am, and we certainly don’t have the same values.”
“So,” Lana pressed.
“So, I was open-minded with you despite those differences, and even though we didn’t get along in the beginning, I think that we get along for the most part now,” Ziggy explained.
“Hm,” Lana replied, obviously not wanting to admit that she was right.
“I’m right, aren’t I?” Ziggy grinned.
“I don’t have time for this,” Lana said. “I need to get ready. Help me pick something out before people start filtering in.”
“Fine,” Ziggy said, shaking her head. She was bound and determined to get Lana to open her mind. The other woman had lived such a privileged life that she had no idea what it was like to struggle, and Ziggy was sure that Lana was too fickle when it came to picking friends. However, Ziggy saw how lonely Lana was, and there were a number of times that she had walked into the dorm room to find the other woman sitting alone in her pajamas with only her phone to entertain her. She knew that she needed to find friends, but she also knew that Lana couldn’t go much longer without having some kind of social life.