Home > The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)(4)

The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)(4)
Meg Cabot

While Mrs. Harris continues to fume—she’s a parent who feels all of her daughter’s decisions need to be made for her—I notice a few faces in the line suddenly appear much more cheerful. But those faces all belong to students.

Not the typical sweatshirt-and-Ugg-wearing students I normally see in my office, however. The girls are rocking sparkly eye shadow, tons of bangles, sky-high platform heels, and miniskirts. The boys are even more carefully styled than the girls, sporting pressed oxford-cloth shirts, skinny jeans, and pastel scarves (tossed around necks thinner than my upper arms). They’re making me feel as if I showed up to work today underdressed in my dark jeans, white button-up blouse, and flats.

These kids want to make an impression on someone . . . and it isn’t me. I highly doubt it’s any of these parents either.

I have a pretty good idea who it is, though.

One of the students, a blonde in extremely high heels, leans forward and calls, “Hey. Hey!” to get Mrs. Harris’s attention.

When Mrs. Harris glances at her, the girl says, “Hi, I’m Isabel. I got assigned to Wasser Hall, the building across the park where that guy’s son lives.” She points at Gold Rolex, who blushes from the attention. “Anyway, I’ll totally swap rooms with your daughter. I wouldn’t mind living with a slut . . . especially one who’s never home. In fact, I’d love that. I’ll live with anyone so long as I can be in Fischer Hall . . . and near him.”

The boys and girls all titter excitedly. They know exactly who the him is that she’s referring to, even if Mrs. Harris looks blank.

I knew it. It isn’t the makeover Fischer Hall received, or the reality show that was filmed here over the summer featuring two very well-known celebrities, my ex-boyfriend and future brother-in-law, Jordan Cartwright, and his wife, Tania Trace (though the show is in “postproduction” and won’t air until after Christmas), or even all our hard work that’s catapulted the building to such heights of popularity.

It’s our Very Important Resident (for whom Carl’s installing the security monitors, and the surveillance crew has been stationed down the hall). Word about him has spread faster than I ever imagined . . . not surprisingly, since he hasn’t kept a very low profile, despite his insistence on being called by his self-chosen “American” name instead of the one his parents gave him.

I wonder which was the biggest tip-off to his fellow students: the newly installed security cameras in the lobby and our office, as well as on the fifteenth-floor hallway and exterior ledges outside his windows? Or the fact that he’s the only student in the history of New York College ever to be assigned an entire suite to himself, two bedrooms and one bathroom for one person?

Or is it the chauffeured white Escalade that’s parked outside the building twenty-four hours a day, available for his personal use any time of day or night?

Or perhaps it’s his constantly updated social media networking feed (over a million followers and growing), shots of him playing competitive tennis, riding horses in the desert, skydiving onto his own personal yacht, even dancing in nightclubs with the locals, to the frustration of his diligent yet exhausted bodyguards and now the entire New York College housing staff?

It couldn’t possibly be his father’s $500 million donation to the college, a donation so large—only after his son was admitted—that it became front-page news in every paper in the city?

Clearly all of this has done nothing to lower our VIR’s profile.

But it’s done everything to boost Fischer Hall’s reputation as the place to live.

Mrs. Harris, however, has no idea about any of this.

“Oh, no,” Mrs. Harris says, in some confusion, to Isabel’s offer. “That’s just it. Kaileigh would never want to move out of Fischer Hall. She adores all the people she’s met since she’s moved in here, especially the girls in the room next door, her suite mates, Chantelle and Nishi. And she’d never request a room change.” Mrs. Harris darts a nervous look in my direction. “That’s why I’m here to do it for her. She wouldn’t want to hurt Ameera’s feelings. Kaileigh’s got such a tender heart, you see.”

I hear a snort from behind Mrs. Harris, though it doesn’t come from the direction of the students. I see that a wild-haired young woman in overalls has entered the office, a teacup and saucer balanced carefully in her hands.

“Excuse me,” apologizes Sarah, looking genuinely contrite when she sees that her derisive snigger at the words “tender heart” was overheard. She’s the graduate student assigned to assist the Fischer Hall director’s office, and she knows she isn’t supposed to smirk at the parents. “I was . . . I was just—” She’s at a loss for words.

“Taking that tea in to Ms. Wu?” I ask, rescuing her. “Go ahead.” I nod at the hall director’s closed office door. “She’s been waiting for it.”

“Sorry that took me so long.” Sarah quickly opens the door to Lisa’s office, allowing me a glimpse of my boss, miserably resting her head on top of her desk, as Sarah goes in. “The line in the caf was unbelievable. Here you go, Lise. This will make you feel better—”

A soft moan escapes from Lisa before the door closes behind Sarah.

Mrs. Harris stares after the younger girl, apparently having missed the snort at her expense.

“If the hall director is in,” the older woman says, a calculated expression on her face, “perhaps I’d be better off speaking with her about getting Kaileigh a room change, since she’s in charge. My husband and I leave here to go back to Ohio on Saturday, and if Kaileigh’s going to move, it will have to be soon. She can’t possibly cart all her own things, she’ll need our help. As I said, I’m really quite worried about Ameera’s lifestyle. My Kaileigh was looking forward to having a real roommate this year, not someone who—”

“I’m sorry.” I cut her off, though I use my sweetest tone. “The hall director isn’t feeling well. She has a stomach bug. You wouldn’t want to spoil the rest of your trip to New York by catching it.”

Mrs. Harris looks alarmed. “Oh, no. Certainly not.”

In the hallway outside, the elevator doors ding, and the noise level increases noticeably as residents rush to get off the car while others rush to cram themselves, and their plastic bins of belongings, on. Fischer Hall was constructed in the mid-1800s, so the lobby floor is made of marble, the ceilings all nearly twelve feet high (twenty in the cafeteria), with chandeliers that sparkle with the very same crystals they did in the days of Henry James (though they’ve now been retrofitted with energy-saving bulbs instead of real candles).

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