Home > Size 14 Is Not Fat Either (Heather Wells #2)(6)

Size 14 Is Not Fat Either (Heather Wells #2)(6)
Meg Cabot

Carol Ann Evans, dean of students—yeah, the same one who won’t admit me into her college until I show her I can multiply fractions—happens to be seated nearby, and makes a kind of gagging noise and covers her mouth with a wadded-up tissue when she hears the word it.

And, to my certain knowledge, she hasn’t even taken a peek at what’s inside that pot.

Oh. They don’t really want my help. Not THAT way.

I say, “Well, it’s kinda hard to tell.” No way am I going to announce, in front of all these people, that Lindsay Combs, homecoming queen and (now no longer) future roommate of her best friend Cheryl Haebig, had apparently been decapitated by person or persons unknown, and her head left in a pot on the stove in the Fischer Hall cafeteria.

I know. Ew.

“Come, now, Heather,” Dr. Jessup says, with a smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes. To Detective Canavan he says, loudly enough for everyone in the caf to hear, apparently in an effort to impress President Allington, who wouldn’t know me from Adam—though his wife and I were once nearly murdered by the same person—“Heather here knows every single one of Fischer Hall’s seven hundred residents by name. Don’t you, Heather?”

“Well, generally speaking,” I say uncomfortably. “When they haven’t been set on simmer for a few hours.”

Did that sound flip? I guess it did. Dean Evans is gagging again. I didn’t mean to be flip. It’s just that…come on.

I hope the dean isn’t going to hold this against me. You know, admission-to-the-College-of-Arts-and-Sciences-wise.

“So who is she? The girl.” The detective seems unconscious of the fact that nearly everyone in the cafeteria is eavesdropping on our conversation. “A name would be nice.”

I feel my stomach roll a little, like it had back in the kitchen when Pete had lifted the lid and I’d found myself staring into those unseeing eyes.

I take a deep breath. The air in the cafeteria is pungent with ordinary breakfast smells…eggs and sausage and maple syrup. You can’t smell her.

At least, I don’t think so.

Still, I’m thankful that I haven’t had time this morning for my customary cream-cheese-and-bacon bagel breakfast. The café mocha has—so far—been more than enough. The parquet of the dining hall floor is swimming a little before my eyes.

I clear my throat. There. That feels a little better.

“Lindsay Combs,” I say. “She dates—dated—the Pansies’ point guard.” The Pansies is the (sad) name of the New York College Division III basketball team. They lost their real name, the Cougars, in a cheating scandal in the fifties, and have been stuck with being Pansies ever since—to the amusement of the teams they play, and their own everlasting chagrin.

Everyone in the room sucks in their breath. President Allington—dressed, as usual, in his interpretation of what one of his college’s students might wear (if it were 1955), a New York College letter jacket and gray cords—actually cries, “No!” Beside the president, Coach Andrews—as I’d known he would—goes pale.

“Oh, God,” he says. He’s a big guy—around my own age—with spiky dark hair and disarmingly blue eyes…what they call Black Irish. He’d be cute if he wasn’t so muscle-bound. Oh, and if he ever actually noticed I was alive.

Not that, if he did, anything would ever come of it, since my heart belongs to another.

“Not Lindsay,” he says, with a groan.

I feel for him. I really do. Cheryl Haebig isn’t the only one who liked Lindsay…we all did. Well, everyone except our office graduate student assistant, Sarah. Lindsay was an immensely popular girl, the captain of the New York College cheerleading squad, with waist-length honey-colored hair and grapefruit-sized breasts that Sarah maintained were the result of plastic surgery. While Lindsay’s excessive school spirit could be annoyingly perky (to me, anyway) at times, it was at least a pleasant change from the usual type of New York College students we saw in our office—spoiled, dissatisfied, and threatening to call their lawyer father if we didn’t get them a single or an extra-long bed.

“Jesus Christ.” Dr. Jessup hadn’t believed it when I’d called to say that he needed to get to Fischer Hall as soon as possible, due to the fact that one of our residents had lost her head…literally. Now he looks as though it’s finally sinking in. “Are you sure, Heather?”

“Yeah,” I say. “I’m sure. It’s Lindsay Combs. Head cheerleader.” I swallow again. “Sorry. No pun intended.”

Detective Canavan has removed a notepad from his belt, but he doesn’t write anything in it. Instead, he flips slowly through the pages, not looking up. “How could you tell?”

I’m trying hard not to remember those unseeing eyes looking up at me—only not. “Lindsay wore contact lenses. Tinted. Green.” Such an unnatural shade of green that Sarah, back in the office, always asked, whenever Lindsay left, “Who the hell does she think she’s fooling? That color does not occur in nature.”

“That’s all?” Detective Canavan asks. “Tinted contact lenses?”

“And the earrings. She’s got three on one side, two on the other. She came down to my office a lot,” I say, by way of explaining how I was so familiar with her piercings.

“Troublemaker?” Detective Canavan asks.

“No,” I say. Most students who end up in the office of the residence hall director are either there because they’re in trouble, or they’ve got a problem with their roommate. Or, as in Lindsay’s case, because they want the free birth control I keep in a jar on my desk instead of Hershey’s kisses (lower in calories). “Condoms.”

Detective Canavan raises his gray eyebrows. “I beg your pardon?”

“Lindsay stopped by a lot for free condoms,” I say. “She and her boyfriend were pretty hot and heavy.”

“Name?”

I realize, belatedly, that I’ve just managed to incriminate one of my residents. Coach Andrews realizes it, too.

“Aw, come on, Detective,” he says. “Mark isn’t capable of—”

“Mark what?” Detective Canavan demands.

Coach Andrews, I see, is looking panicky. Dr. Allington rushes in to his favorite employee’s rescue. Well, sort of.

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