Home > The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)(3)

The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)(3)
Meg Cabot

No wonder most of the parents look as if they, like me, are beginning to get a headache. They’re all wearing expressions of impatience—some, of bitter resignation—and some look outright annoyed.

I can understand why. It’s nearly noon. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s eager for lunch (although I’m probably the only one feeling that way because according to my At-A-Glance desk calendar, I’m having lunch with my extremely attractive private detective boyfriend and our very exclusive—and outrageously expensive—wedding planner).

At least I have the satisfaction of knowing all the hard work my staff and I put in over the summer—not to mention the tremendous amount of money the college poured into the Fischer Hall renovation—has paid off . . . maybe a little too well. I almost wish Lisa or even our graduate assistant Sarah was around so I could ask them to pinch me to make sure I’m not dreaming.

But there’s only Carl, and no way am I asking Carl to pinch me. I just know when he related the story to all the guys in the break room downstairs it would somehow get twisted into something pervy, like me showing him my boobs.

“Right,” Mrs. Harris says, brightening at Rolex Watch’s mention of the Room Change Wait List. “That’s what Kaileigh needs, a room change. In a just world I think Ameera should be the one to have to move—”

Where does Mrs. Harris want me to move her? I wonder. Fischer Hall has a number of “exploration floors” this year, reserved for students who wish to immerse themselves in the major they’re studying, such as French Floor, Deutsches Haus, and “Artistic Craft,” but none reserved for “Aspiring Sluts.”

“—but I’m sure there’s some kind of bias rule against that,” Mrs. Harris goes on bitterly, “so I want Kaileigh moved, right away.”

Of course, before Kaileigh catches any of Ameera’s cooties.

I sigh, wishing fervently that Lisa were available to field this one, because I’m afraid I’m going to say something rude.

“Do you have any single rooms available?” Mrs. Harris asks, raising her white designer purse and opening it to draw out her checkbook. “I’ll pay the difference in cost. All I want is for my Kaileigh to be happy.”

“Uh,” I say, keeping control of my temper with an effort. “We do have single rooms, but they’re only available to the resident assistant staff, seniors, and individuals with special needs.”

And “slut bashing” your roommate does not qualify as a special need, I keep myself from adding, with an effort. Except for my need to want to bash you over the head.

Instead, I reach for an innocuous black binder I keep on a shelf beside my desk and say, “I can put your daughter on the Room Change Wait List, but I think it’s a little premature for that . . .”

My voice trails off as I become aware that everyone in the room seems to have inhaled. At first I’m not sure why.

Then I see that they’re all staring at the label on the front of the binder I’m holding—Room Change Wait List—like it’s the Ark of the Covenant, or something.

“That’s it,” I hear someone farther down the line whisper. “The list.”

It’s all beginning to come back to me . . . what it’s like to be popular. People used to line up like this in front of me fifteen years ago, but it was to get my autograph after playing a sold-out concert (back in the days when I was number one on the pop record charts), not to get their kid’s name on a waiting list to move into the residence hall where I work.

“Then,” I say, lowering the binder and doing my Country Bear Jamboree automaton imitation again, “if Kaileigh still feels uncomfortable, she can come down here and fill out a room change request form, and as soon as a space becomes available through the wait list, we’ll contact you. I mean, Kaileigh. But right now Fischer Hall is filled to capacity.”

There is a surprisingly loud groan, not just from Mrs. Harris, but from everyone standing in line behind her.

I decide it’s better not to tell them that the wait list of students clamoring to live in Fischer Hall is already over five hundred students long, and that the chances of Kaileigh—or any other student—receiving a room change is zero.

“Worked here for twenty years, and I never thought I’d see this,” I hear Carl mutter under his breath. “People lining up to move into this dump? What is the world coming to?”

I’ve only worked in Fischer Hall for a year, but I feel the same way. Not that I consider Fischer Hall a dump.

Still, I’m trying to act like a professional, so I don’t agree with him . . . out loud, anyway.

“I don’t understand,” Mrs. Harris says. “I’m here. I’ve waited all this time. Why can’t I just fill out the form for Kaileigh?”

“Well, even though I know you’d never do anything against Kaileigh’s wishes,” I say tactfully, “I’ve had family members—and roommates—request that students be moved

from rooms in which the resident was in fact perfectly happy.” Exactly the way spurned lovers sometimes call the electric company and try to get their ex’s power shut off, out of sheer spite. “So that’s why I need Kaileigh—and any other student who wants a room change,” I add, loudly enough for all the other parents to hear, “to come here and fill out the paperwork him or herself.”

Not unexpectedly, Mrs. Harris and all the other parents who’ve been waiting in line for so long groan again.

Seeing Mrs. Harris’s mutinous expression, I hurry to add, before she can interrupt, “Kaileigh hasn’t even tried talking to Ameera about the problem yet, has she? Or their RA?”

Mrs. Harris rolls her eyes. “The RA? You mean that girl Jasmine, who lives down the hall? I’ve been knocking on her door all morning, but she’s not there. I don’t see why you hired her. My Kaileigh would do a much better job of making herself available.”

“Kaileigh’s a freshman,” I point out, trying not to let her dig at our student staff—most of whom are new to the building, just like Kaileigh—irritate me, and go on, “Resident assistants have to be juniors or seniors. Look, I’m sure this whole thing between your daughter and her roommate will have blown over by the time classes start and the girls have to buckle down and start studying. In the meantime, if Kaileigh—or anyone else—really does feel the situation is untenable, they’re welcome to come down here and schedule an appointment with the hall director, or look at this list and see if there’s someone on it with whom they might want to swap rooms.”

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