Home > The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)(8)

The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)(8)
Meg Cabot

On her way out the door, Sarah says over her shoulder, “Lisa, why don’t you go upstairs and get back in bed? Heather and I have things under control.”

Like Sarah’s, the hall director’s position is live-in. Lisa receives free room and board—a one-bedroom apartment on the sixteenth floor that she shares with her husband, Cory, and of course, Tricky—in addition to a salary that isn’t much more than mine, but I have to pay my own rent.

Or I would if I didn’t live rent-free on a floor of my landlord’s brownstone in exchange for doing his bookkeeping . . . or at least I did until we became romantically involved. I still do his bookkeeping, but now I live rent-free in the entire brownstone.

“Ms. Wu.” Mrs. Harris sees her opportunity for an impromptu meeting with someone in charge—even though the person in charge looks like death warmed over—and jumps in before Lisa can disappear on her. “Perhaps you and I should speak privately—”

Lisa shakes her head as if everyone’s voices sound like irritating flies buzzing around her ears.

“Not now,” she says.

Mrs. Harris looks taken aback. “But—”

“I said not now.”

Rolex Watch has taken a step forward to speak with me, but hearing Lisa’s tone, he takes a quick step back again.

“Gavin, it’s me,” I say when the student worker manning the reception desk in the lobby picks up. “Can you please grab the master key for the fourteenth floor? Sarah’s going to be up in a minute to borrow it. And have you seen Jasmine anywhere?”

“Who’s Jasmine?”

Gavin’s one of my most reliable work-study employees, but only for showing up when he says he’s going to—and sometimes even when he’s least expected, but also most needed.

Unfortunately, he’s not necessarily the best at paying attention when he’s actually doing his work-study job, which is working at Fischer Hall’s hub, the front desk where residents go to receive their mail and packages, report problems, and borrow keys if they’ve locked themselves out of their rooms. Gavin aspires to a career in filmmaking, not hospitality, and it shows.

I sigh. “Jasmine’s one of the new RAs, Gavin. Remember? She works on the fourteenth floor. You met her at the student staff icebreaker last weekend.”

“Whatevs.” This is Gavin’s favorite word. “There were like five girls named Jasmine at that thing. Is she the hot Asian Jasmine who’s premed? Or the hot Indian Jasmine who’s prelaw? Or is she the hot white Jasmine who’s studying communications? Or—”

“Don’t you have a girlfriend, Gavin?” I interrupt.

“Of course I do,” he says. “Jamie’s the hottest girl in this dorm, I mean residence hall. After you, of course, Heather. But that doesn’t mean all the Jasmines who live here aren’t hot too. You see, I’m a man who appreciates women. Women of all races, sizes”—he lowers his voice suggestively—“and ages too, if you get my meaning, Heather.”

I swallow. “You know what, Gavin, I do. Just give Sarah the master key for the fourteenth floor when she gets up there, please.”

“Oh, here she is,” Gavin says in his normal voice. I hear the rattle of the metal cabinet in which we lock all the master keys—except the building master, which is kept in a box in the bottom drawer of Lisa’s desk—then Sarah’s voice, in the background saying “Thanks, Gavin.”

“Good,” I say, when Gavin comes back on the line. “Now do me a favor and beep the RA on duty?” I’m looking at the schedule pinned to the bulletin board next to my desk. “It’s Howard Chen. Tell him to get up to fourteen-twelve and meet Sarah for a possibly sick student.”

“Okay, I will,” Gavin says, sounding skeptical, “but he isn’t going to like it.”

“What do you mean, he isn’t going to like it? I don’t care if he doesn’t like it, it’s his job, he doesn’t have a choice.”

“I know,” Gavin says. “I’m just saying, I had to call old Howard a little while ago about a lockout, and Howard was pretty pissed about it. He says he isn’t feeling too hot.”

I glance at Lisa, then lower my voice to hiss, “Well, tell Howard from me that he can suck it up. He gets free room and board for the entire year but only has to be on duty a couple of days a month. Lisa has the stomach flu, has to be here nine to five every day, be on duty in the building at night, and yet she still made it to work.”

“There seems to be a lot of that flu thing going around with RAs today,” Gavin says obliquely, and hangs up.

“Excuse me.”

The second my receiver hits the phone cradle, Rolex Watch is on me like cream cheese on a bagel.

“I’m sorry, I can see you’ve got a lot going on right now, and I really hate to bother you, but what about that Room Change Wait List you mentioned?”

Fed up, I pull open my bottom desk drawer and grab a stack of bright orange forms.

“Here,” I say. “Give your son one of these.”

A small riot ensues as the line surges forward, hands eagerly grabbing to take a form.

I realize I probably should have handed them out sooner, but when a building has been known as Death Dorm as long as Fischer Hall has, it takes a while to adjust to the fact that it’s suddenly gotten to be a place where people actually want to live.

“Here you go, miss,” Rolex Watch says a few minutes later, handing his completed form back to me, seeming to feel no compunction about doing so, even though I’d explained just moments before that only residents were to fill them out. “And can I ask just one more thing—”

Anything to get rid of him. “Go ahead.”

He lowers his voice. “I’m sure you get this all the time, but has anyone ever told you that you look just like Heather Wells the pop singer?”

He seems so sincere, his plump face beaming, that I realize he isn’t putting me on. He genuinely has no idea. I don’t keep a nameplate or anything like that on my desk.

“No,” I say with a smile, taking the form from his fingers. “No one’s ever told me that before. But thank you. I’ll take it as a compliment.”

“Oh, it is,” he assures me. “Such a pretty girl. My daughter loved Heather Wells. She has all her CDs. Still plays them too, sometimes. There was that one song—” He can’t seem to think of the name.

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