The Goal(Off-Campus #4)(4)

By: Elle Kennedy

“I know,” I say between gulping down bites of mini-sausages. “But I’d feel guilty and then guilt would turn into resentment and then we wouldn’t be friends anymore and not being your friend would suck.”

She shakes her head at me. “If, at some point, your stubborn pride allows you to ask for help, I’m here.”

“We’re here,” Carin interjects.

“See?” I wave my fork between the two of them. “This is why I can’t live with you guys. You mean too much to me. Besides, this is working for me. I’ve got nearly ten months to save up before classes start next fall. I’ve got this.”

“At least come for a drink with us after this thing is over,” Carin begs.

“I have to drive home.” I make a face. “I’m scheduled to go in and sort packages tomorrow.”

“On a Sunday?” Hope demands.

“Time and a half. I couldn’t turn it down. Actually, I should probably take off soon.” I lay my plate on the table and try to catch a glimpse of what’s going on beyond the huge bay window. All I see is darkness and streaks of rain on the glass. “Sooner I’m on the road, the better.”

“Not in this weather you’re not.” Professor Gibson appears at my elbow with a glass of wine. “The weather advisory is for sheets of glass—temperature’s dropping and the rain is turning into ice.”

One look at my advisor’s face and I know I have to concede. So I do, but with great reluctance.

“All right,” I say, “but I do this under protest. And you—” I tip my fork in Carin’s direction, “you better have ice cream in the freezer in case I have to crash with you, otherwise I’m going to be really mad.”

All three of them laugh. Professor Gibson wanders off, leaving us to network as best as three college seniors can. After an hour of mingling, Hope, Carin and I grab our coats.

“Where are we going?” I ask the girls.

“D’Andre is at Malone’s and I said I’d meet him there,” Hope tells me. “It’s like a two-minute drive, so we should be fine.”

“Really? Malone’s? That’s a hockey bar,” I whine. “What’s D’Andre doing there?”

“Drinking and waiting for me. Besides, you need to get laid and athletes are your favorite type.”

Carin snorts. “Her only type.”

“Hey, I have a very good reason for preferring athletes,” I argue.

“I know. We’ve heard it.” She rolls her eyes. “If you want a stats question answered, go to the math geeks. If you want a physical need met, go to an athlete. Bodies are the tools of an elite athlete. They take care of it, know how to push its limits, yada yada.” Carin makes a yapping gesture with her left hand.

I flick up my middle finger.

“But sex with someone you like is so much better.” This comes from Hope, who’s been with D’Andre, her football player boyfriend, since freshman year.

“I like them,” I protest. “…for the hour or so I use them.”

We share a giggle over that, until Carin brings up a guy who brought down the average.

“Do you remember Ten-Second Greg, though?”

I shudder. “First, thank you very little for bringing that bad memory up, and second, I’m not saying there aren’t duds. Just that the odds are better with an athlete.”

“And the hockey players are duds?” Carin asks.

I shrug. “I wouldn’t know. I didn’t ax them from my list of potentials because of their performance in the sack, but because they’re hyper-privileged jerks who get special favors from the profs.”

“Sabrina, girl, you got to let that go,” Hope urges.

“Nope. Hockey players don’t make the cut.”

“God, but look at what you’re missing out on.” Carin licks her lips with exaggerated lasciviousness. “That one guy on the team with the beard? I want to know what that feels like. Beards are on my bucket list.”

“Go on then. My boycott against hockey players just means more for you.”

“I’m on board with this, but…” She smirks. “Need I remind you that you hooked up with the manslut Di Laurentis?”

Ugh. That’s a reminder I never need to hear.

“First, I was totally drunk,” I grumble. “Second, that was sophomore year. And third, he’s the reason I’ve sworn off hockey players.”

Even though Briar University has a championship-winning football team, it’s known as a hockey college. The guys who wear skates are treated like gods. Case in point—Dean Heyward-Di Laurentis. He’s a poli sci major like me, so we’ve had several classes together, including Statistics in our sophomore year. That course was hard as fuck. Everyone struggled.

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