London Falling(3)

By: T. A. Foster

“Not everyone loves summer weather all year, you know. I like the snow—sometimes. Plus, it only snows a few times a year. You’re always talking about leaving, London. But I’m not giving up. I still have one semester to get you to change your mind.”

I laughed at my roommate. “No way. That’s not going to happen. I’ve been dreaming about living in California and acting since I was a little girl. Why would I stay in North Carolina?”

“Maybe because your friends and family are here and you lo-ove it.” Nina giggled as she wiggled back and forth on the couch.

“That’s not fair. I do love it. You think I should give up everything and join the family business?”

Nina shrugged her shoulders.

“Well, that’s not what I want to do. I can’t be an actress here. Even the great plays that are on campus travel around the country. They don’t stay here. I’ll never make it as an actress in a small town like this.”

“London, they’ll eat you alive in L.A. You’re too sweet for Hollywood life. You’re the nicest person I know and nice people don’t finish first in that business.”

“Aww…you didn’t say that last week when I wore your white sweater without asking.”

“Well, you should have asked me. Are you going to at least do a college bucket list?”

“Um…aren’t those for old people?”

“No, look.” Nina pulled out her phone and opened a new screen. “There’s this guy on campus, Beau Anderson, who has this super funny blog and he just posted the Carolina Bucket List for this year’s seniors.”

“Let me see that list.” I grabbed the phone and scrolled through the blog while reading aloud a sampling of the tasks each senior should complete before graduation. “Nina, there are a hundred things on this list. Take an exam drunk. Go to a paint party. Take a spur of the moment trip. Get tickets to the Duke game. Climb the Bell Tower on Senior Day. Dance in a library flash mob. Have a picnic in the arboretum. Go stargazing in Kenan Stadium. Steal a kiss in Davis Library. This list is silly. No one actually does all of these things.”

“Yes, they do. I’m going to do as many things on there as I can before we graduate.” She said it with such undisputed assertiveness that I knew she was serious.

“Well, let me know when you get to number fifty-five, ‘feed a squirrel in the quad.’ I want to be there for that one.”

Nina punched me in the arm. “I have lab in a few minutes. Speaking of which, would you want to pick out a few of these costumes for me while I’m in class? I would really appreciate it. I can’t take trying to match another skirt and sweater set for this play.” I watched as she gathered her backpack and marched toward the stairs.

“Isn’t Candace supposed to be working on this? She’s the designer for Spoiled Hearts.”

“Ugh. I know, but she hasn’t been around and I don’t want to let Derek down.”

“Oh, so this if for Derek?” It was my turn to give her a hard time.

“Just do it, London. You’re so good at set and costume design. Please?”

Knowing Nina needed to get to class, I gave in like I always did to her last minute pleas for help. “Sure. What else do I have to do?” I sighed, realizing for the first time that having all of this free time on my hands might be more of a challenge than I anticipated.

“Awesome! You’re the best. See you tonight at the house?”

“Ok. We can rent that new zombie tonight. Is Candace going to be there?”

“Oh yeah, the one where they try to find a way to survive without eating brains. Sounds gross, but good. Not sure about Candace. She hasn’t returned my texts all day. Why don’t you try to call her? Bye, roomie.” Hugging her coat tightly to her chest, Nina darted up the staircase.

Candace could wait. Ever since we returned to Chapel Hill after Christmas break, she had been so wrapped up in Pearce it was as if she didn’t even live in the house anymore. I didn’t really understand why dating a football player was such a demanding job, but according to Candace, it wasn’t like everyone else’s boring relationships. Pearce needed her. Yeah, he needed her for his personal entertainment. Nina and I had probably been too vocal about the guy, and things with our third amigo were at best awkward when we did see her at the house on the rare occasion she resurfaced to repack and grab a change of clothes.