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Size 14 Is Not Fat Either (Heather Wells #2)(8)
Meg Cabot

Detective Canavan apparently can’t help raising an incredulous gray eyebrow at that one. “You think half a dozen coeds are gonna rush home and whack off their own heads?”

“What I’m trying to say,” Dr. Allington continues haughtily, “is that if the luncheon is canceled—not to mention tomorrow night’s game—the truth about what’s happened here is going to be impossible to keep from leaking. We’re not going to be able to keep something like this quiet for long. I’m not talking about the Post, either, or even 1010 WINS. I’m talking about the New York Times, maybe even CNN. If your people don’t find that girl’s body soon, Detective, we may even attract the networks. And that could be very damaging to the school’s reputation—”

“Corpseless head found in dorm cafeteria,” Carol Ann Evans, to everyone’s surprise, says. When we all turn our heads to blink at her, she adds, in a choked voice, “Tonight on Inside Edition.”

Detective Canavan shifts his weight and removes his foot from the chair seat.

“President Allington,” he says. “In about five minutes, my people are going to seal this entire wing off from the public. And by public, I am including your employees. We are launching a full-scale investigation into this crime. We ask that you cooperate.

“You can do so, firstly, by removing yourself and your employees from the immediate vicinity as soon as my men are through with them. Secondly, I’ll have to ask that this cafeteria remain closed until such time as I deem it safe to reopen. Unless I’m mistaken”—the detective’s tone implies that this is hardly likely—“you’ve had a student murdered on school grounds this morning, and her killer is still at large, possibly right here on campus. Possibly even here in this very room. If there’s anything that could be more damaging to your school’s reputation than that, I can’t think of it. I really don’t think postponing a luncheon—or a basketball game—is comparable, do you?”

I guess I can’t really blame Dean Evans for bursting into a fit of nervous giggles just then. The suggestion that there might be a killer on the New York College student life administrative staff is enough to send even the most staid individual into hysterical laughter. A more boring group of people could hardly be found anywhere on the planet. Gerald Eckhardt, with his surreptitious smoking and cross-shaped tie tack, wielding a meat cleaver? Coach Andrews, in his jogging pants and letter jacket, hacking a young girl to death? Dr. Flynn, all hundred and forty pounds of him, using a circular saw to dismember a cheerleader?

It just isn’t within the realm of the possible.

And yet.

And yet even Carol Ann Evans must have figured out by now that whoever killed Lindsay had complete access to the cafeteria. Only someone who works at Fischer Hall—or in the Student Life Department—would have access to the key.

Which means someone on the Housing staff could be a killer.

The sad part is, this doesn’t even surprise me.

Wow. I guess I really am a jaded New Yorker.

3

Just ’cause you got a great big bonus

Don’t start to think that you can own us.

Sure, we can’t afford high-priced entertainment

But in the condo of life, you’re still the basement.

“Investment Banker Guy”
Written by Heather Wells

“You have a bunch of messages,” Sarah, our office’s graduate student assistant—every residence hall is assigned a GA, who, in exchange for free room and board, helps run the administrative aspects of the hall office—informs me tersely as I come in. “The phones are ringing off the hook. Everyone wants to know why the caf is closed. I’ve been using the gas leak excuse, but I don’t know how long people are going to believe us, with all these cops traipsing in and out. Have they found the rest of her yet?”

“Shhh,” I say, looking around the office, in case there’s a resident lurking.

But the office (still festooned with garlands of fake evergreen, a menorah, and Kwanzaa gourds, thanks to my slightly manic and clearly overzealous holiday decorating) is empty, except for Tom, who is back in his office—separated from the outer office, in which I sit, by a metal grate—murmuring into the phone.

“Whatever,” Sarah says, rolling her eyes. Sarah is getting a master’s in psychology, so she knows a lot about the human psyche and how it works. Or thinks she does, anyway. “Half the people in the building aren’t even awake yet. Or, if they are, they’ve hurried off to class. So do you think they’re going to cancel tomorrow night’s game? Not because of this blizzard we’re supposed to be getting, but because of…you know. Her?”

“Um,” I say, slipping behind my desk. It feels good to sit down. I hadn’t been aware of how badly my knees were shaking until now.

Well, it’s not every day you see a decapitated cheerleader’s head in a pot. Especially a cheerleader you knew. It’s no wonder I’m a little shaky. Plus, except for the café mocha, I still haven’t had breakfast.

Not that I feel like eating. Well, very much.

“I don’t know,” I say. “They want to question Mark.”

Sarah looks annoyed. “He didn’t do it,” she says scornfully. “He’s not smart enough. Unless he had help.”

It’s true. The admission standards for New York College are some of the highest in the country…except when it comes to athletes. Basically any semi-decent ballplayer who wants to come to New York College is accepted, since, as a Division III school, all the best athletes tend to go to colleges in Division I or II. Still, President Allington is determined to have his legacy at New York College be that he turned it into an actual contender in the world of college ball—his ultimate goal, it’s rumored, is to have the school’s Division I rating reinstated.

Though the likelihood of this happening—especially in light of today’s events—seems slim.

“I still can’t get over it,” Sarah is saying. “Where could her body be?”

“Where all bodies in New York City turn up,” I say, looking at my phone messages. “In the river somewhere. No one’ll find it till spring, when the temperature rises enough to cause the body to bob.”

I’m no forensic expert, of course, and I haven’t even been able to enroll in any criminal justice courses yet, thanks to the remedial math I need to get through first.

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