Home > Size 14 Is Not Fat Either (Heather Wells #2)(10)

Size 14 Is Not Fat Either (Heather Wells #2)(10)
Meg Cabot

“Oh, crap,” Tom says, looking ashen-faced. “I forgot about him. I got the call, and—”

“You just left him?” Sarah rolls her eyes. Her contempt for our new boss isn’t something she tries to hide. She thinks Dr. Jessup should have hired her to take over, even though she’s a full-time student. A full-time student whose part-time hobby is analyzing the problems of everyone she meets. I, for instance, allegedly have abandonment issues, due to my mother running off to Argentina with my manager…and all of my money.

And because I have not pursued the issue as aggressively as Sarah thinks I should via the courts, I allegedly suffer from low self-esteem and passivity, as well. At least according to Sarah.

But I feel like I have a choice (well, not really, because it’s not like I’ve got the money to pursue it in the courts, anyway): I can sit around and be bitter and resentful over what Mom did. Or I can put it behind me and just get on with my life.

Is it wrong I choose the latter?

Sarah seems to think so. Although this is only the stuff she tells me when she’s not busy accusing me of having some kind of Superman complex, for wanting to save all the residents in Fischer Hall from ever coming to harm.

It really isn’t any mystery to me why Sarah didn’t get the job and Tom did. All Tom ever says to me is stuff like he likes my shoes, and did I see American Idol last night. It’s much easier to get along with Tom than it is with Sarah.

“Well, I think murder trumps alcohol poisoning,” I say, coming to Tom’s defense. “But we still need to have someone there with the resident, especially if he doesn’t end up getting admitted….” If Stan finds out we have a resident in the ER with no one there to supervise his care, he will flip out. I don’t want to lose my new boss just when I’m starting to like him. “Sarah—”

“I have a lab,” she says, not even looking up from the sign-in sheets she’s gathering to photocopy, ostensibly so the police can check to see if Lindsay had any guests the night before who might have decided to repay her hospitality by cutting her head off.

Except, of course, Lindsay hadn’t. We’d been over the logs twice. Nothing.

“But—”

“I can’t miss it,” Sarah says. “It’s the first one of the new semester!”

“I’ll go, then,” I say.

“Heather, no.” Tom looks panicky. I can’t tell if it’s because he genuinely doesn’t want to put me through a New York City ER waiting room after what I’ve already been through this morning, or if it’s just that he doesn’t want to be left alone in the office, considering the fact that he’s so new to his job. “I’ll get one of the RAs….”

“They’ll all have classes, too, just like Sarah,” I say. I’m already on my feet and reaching for my coat. The truth is, I’m not trying to be a martyr. I’m actually seriously welcoming the chance to get out of there. Though I try not to act like it. “Really, it’s fine. They’ll have to admit him soon, right? Or let him go. So I’ll be back soon. It is a he, right?”

“What girl would be stupid enough to try to drink twenty-one shots in one night?” Sarah asks, rolling her eyes.

“It’s a guy,” Tom says, and hands me a slip of paper with a name and student ID number on it, which I shove into my pocket. “Not the most scintillating conversationalist, but then, he was still unconscious when I was there. Maybe he’s awake by now. Need petty cash for cab fare?”

I assure him I still have what I’d grabbed from the metal box earlier, when I’d been on my way to spell him…before we’d found out about Lindsay.

“So,” Tom says to me in a quiet voice, as I’m about to head out the door. “You’ve dealt with this before.” We both know what he means by this. “What, um, should I do?”

He looks really worried. That and the bed head make him seem younger than he really is…which, at twenty-six, is still younger than me. Almost as young as Barista Boy.

“Be strong,” I say, laying a hand on his massive, Izod-sweater-clad shoulder. “And whatever you do…don’t try to solve the crime yourself. Believe me.”

He swallows. “Whatever. Like I want to end up with my head in a pot? No, thanks.”

I give him a reassuring pat. “I’ll be on my cell if you need to reach me,” I say.

Then I beat a hasty retreat into the hallway, where I run into Julio, the head housekeeper, and his newly hired nephew—nepotism is as alive and well at New York College as it is anywhere else—Manuel, laying rubber-backed mats along the floor in order to protect the marble from salt the residents will track in when it finally starts snowing.

“Heather,” Julio says to me worriedly as I breeze past, “is it really true, what they say? About…” His dark eyes glance toward the lobby, in which police officers and college administrators are still swarming like fashionistas at a sample sale.

“It’s true, Julio,” I stop to tell him, in a low voice. “They found a…” I’m about to say dead body, but that isn’t strictly true. “Dead girl in the cafeteria,” I settle for finishing.

“Who?” Manuel Juarez, an outrageously handsome guy I’d heard some of the female—and even some of the male—student workers sighing over (I don’t bother, because of course I don’t believe in romance in the workplace. Also because he’s never looked twice at me, and isn’t likely to, with so many nubile nineteen-year-olds in belly-baring tees around. I haven’t bared my belly since, um, it started jutting over the waistband of my jeans), appears concerned. “Who was it?”

“I can’t really say yet,” I tell them, because we’re supposed to wait until the deceased’s family has been informed before giving out their name to others.

The truth, of course, is that if it had been anyone but Lindsay, I’d have told them in a heartbeat. But everyone—even the staff, whose tolerance for the people whose parents provide our paychecks is minimal, at best—liked Lindsay.

And I’m not going to be the one to tell them what happened to her.

Which is one of the reasons I’m so grateful to have this chance to be getting out of here.

Julio shoots his nephew an annoyed look—I guess because he knows as well as I do that I’m not allowed to give out the name—and mutters something in Spanish. Manuel flushes darkly, but doesn’t reply. I know Manuel, like Tom, is still so new that he’s on employment probation. Also that Julio is the strictest of supervisors. I wouldn’t want to have him as my boss. I’ve seen the way he gets when he catches the residents Rollerblading across his newly waxed floors.

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