Home > The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)(11)

The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)(11)
Meg Cabot

5

It is New York College policy that no registered student in need of emergency medical attention will be left unaccompanied. No student shall be left alone in a hospital emergency room.

A representative of the school must be with any sick or injured student at all times until he or she has been admitted to the care of a physician in a licensed hospital.

In the event of a student’s death, an administrator shall be with a deceased student at all times until his or her body has been released to the OCME (Office of the Chief Medical Examiner).

—excerpted from the newly revised New York College Housing and Residence Life Handbook

Lisa insisted she come upstairs and sit with Jasmine’s body, but I had my doubts this was the wisest course of action.

“You’re sick, Lise,” I say when I call downstairs to report my findings. Sarah is a mess when I arrive, and the RA on duty, Howard Chen, is nowhere to be seen. That’s because—I soon discover—he’s in the trash chute room down the hall, throwing up.

Howard isn’t vomiting because of the sight that met him and Sarah in room 1416, though. Jasmine looks perfectly peaceful in her white tank top and green terry shorts, her tawny-colored hair fanned out prettily against the pillow beneath her head, her eyes closed. She could have been sleeping . . . except for the fact that she isn’t breathing, and her skin is as cold as ice.

Howard’s apparently vomiting for the same reason as Lisa: the stomach flu really does seem to be making the rounds.

I send Howard back to his room to recover, then send Sarah downstairs to the front desk to wait for the police before calling Lisa.

“I don’t think you’re going to be any help up here,” I go on, trying to be as tactful as possible. “In fact, you may be more of a hindrance. I don’t think Jasmine was murdered, but you never know.”

“Just say it, Heather,” Lisa says bitterly. “You don’t want me barfing all over the crime scene.”

“Well, you said it, not me. What I think you should do is go home and get in bed. I’ll call the Housing Office and tell Dr. Jessup what’s happened. Although he’s probably going to want you to call Jasmine’s parents.”

Lisa’s voice cracks. “Oh God, Heather.”

“I know. But you knew Jasmine better than anyone, since she went through RA training with you. The news will be best coming from you. I know it’s going to suck, but . . .”

Jasmine has framed photos by the side of her bed. She has her arms around a happy-looking older couple—no doubt Mom and Dad—and a panting golden retriever. They appear to be camping.

I have to look away. I have no such photos of myself with my parents. We never had pets when I was growing up. My mom said it was too hard to take them on the road when I was touring.

Then Mom left. So.

“I understand. It’s just . . .” Lisa’s voice cracks again. “She was so young.”

“I know,” I say again, looking around Jasmine’s room, anywhere but at the family photo and Jasmine’s pretty face. She had been young . . . and so full of promise.

Jasmine had painted the walls of her room a cheerful powder blue—painting your room is a housing violation, unless you paint the walls white again before you move out—and covered them with cutouts of white clouds and photos of women she’d admired . . . mostly TV journalists like Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric.

That’s when I remember what Gavin had asked over the phone a little earlier:

Is she the hot white Jasmine who’s studying communications?

She was.

Only now her dream of being the next Diane Sawyer is never going to come true.Something pricks at the corners of my eyes—tears, I realize. I turn my back on Jasmine and her room and lift the blinds. We aren’t supposed to touch anything in the deceased’s room, since it could be a crime scene, but I have to look at something that isn’t going to make me cry.

I can’t believe the only real contact I ever had with Jasmine was her snarky comment about my emergency phone list. I’d kind of disliked her for it.

Now I’ll never have a chance for another interaction with her, because she’s dead. The least I can do is try to figure out why, even though that isn’t part of my job description.

It isn’t not part of my job description, though, which is to assist the hall director in all matters pertaining to the smooth functioning of the building. Certainly figuring out how Jasmine died would fall under that category.

I concentrate on Jasmine’s view—which is spectacular—of the busy streets and rooftops of the West Village. Between the treetops I occasionally catch a glimpse of the Hudson River.

So many of the kids who come to New York College arrive with dreams of making it big in Manhattan, having spent their youth watching Sex and the City reruns or reading The Amazing Spider-Man. Something had happened to cut Jasmine down dead before she ever had a chance of living out her dream, however.

What was it?

Lisa is wondering the same thing.

“How could something like this happen, Heather? Our first week, before classes have even started?”

“I don’t know,” I say, relieved my tears aren’t affecting my voice. “If it helps, whatever happened to her”—brain aneurysm? drugs? poisoned apple?—“I don’t see any signs that she suffered.”

“It doesn’t help,” Lisa says gloomily into the phone.

“Yeah,” I say. It never does. “Look, Lisa, this is bad, but it isn’t as bad as it could be. You could say something to her parents like that Jasmine died during the happiest, most exciting time of her life. She got the RA job . . . she was a role model to so many people—”

Lisa makes a gagging noise, and I realize I’ve made her throw up. Literally.

“Yeah,” I say. “I know. Cheesy. Look, you sound like you’re getting worse. Go to bed. I’ll call Dr. Jessup.”

“No,” Lisa says weakly. “I’ll do it. Then I’m coming up there. The police are going to want to talk to me—”

“Lisa, don’t be ridiculous. The police aren’t even here yet. I mean it. Go home. Get in bed. This is a horrible tragedy, but it’s going to be all right.” I steal a glance at Jasmine, then look back out the window at the river and lower my voice—which is ridiculous, since Jasmine can’t hear me—and say, “Jasmine was an RA, but she was new to the building, and she didn’t work here for very long. None of us really knew her.”

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