“You can’t be serious…” Ava groaned, scrolling through social media. She just saw the new post from her band teacher on Instagram. It was a picture of the band room with the caption: “Band Practice Tonight!” She hated that her band teacher used Insta to send out news. He was trying way too hard. She shook her head, it was so cringe.
Jen, Ava’s roommate, looked up from her book, “What is it now?”
Ava sighed, “Band practice got moved up to tonight instead of tomorrow…”
Jen shrugged, “And?”
Ava shook her head, “You never pay attention, do you? Tonight is my date with Kell.”
Jen rolled her eyes, “You’re always so dramatic. Just reschedule it. And by the way, I have more pressing things to remember besides your nightly plans, like trigonometry, for example. While you’re trying to decide what fun thing you’re going to do tonight, I’m going to be stuck in a classroom for three hours taking an exam that is worth thirty percent of my grade. Thirty percent! My teacher is officially a sadist.”
Ava pressed her head against the wall, “You don’t understaaand. I already had to reschedule our date twice. Any more and he’ll think I’m avoiding him.”
Jen tapped her fingers against her desk, “Is that a rule? I haven’t been on many dates.”
Ava slumped against the wall, “I mean, it’s not written in some dating codex, but it would be a shitty thing for me to do to reschedule again. I would basically be saying that band practice is more important than him.”
“Well isn’t it? You’ve been doing band for six years and you’ve only been doing Kell for six months,” Jen replied.
Ava gasped, “Jen!”
Jen chuckled, “What? I’m just speaking the truth. Fine. I did makeup for the school play last semester. I can probably make myself look like you, I made Carl Henson look like an old man so this should be a piece of cake by comparison. Then I can go on a date with Kell looking like you while you go to band practice.”
Ava huffed, “No! I’m not letting you go on a date with my man! Besides, he’d never buy it.”
“Why not?” Jen asked, “I’m sure I’d be good at it, pretending to be you, that is. I could probably give him more stimulating conversation than you do, and other stuff.”
Ava crossed her arms, “No! Off the table. Besides, don’t you have an exam this evening?”
“Eh, I’ll just say I’m sick. But if you don’t want me to help how are you going to juggle both? Why not just skip band practice?” Jen asked.
Ava rolled her eyes, “I can’t. I have a performance next week, remember?” She scrolled down to another Instagram post by her band teacher announcing the recital, “You are coming to that, right?”
“Why should I? You didn’t come to my academic decathlon,” Jen accused.
Ava groaned, “But that’s so boooring. All you do is scribble answers for four hours.”
“It’s eight hours, and it's much more dynamic than that, there’s a rapid answer section, a written section, a challenge section, and a…”
Ava interrupted, “I’m sorry, you lost me at academic. Now back to my problem. So skipping either event is out of the question… oh! Remember that time you tried to get that boy to date you with that nerdy puzzle thing?”
Jen blushed, “No, what are you talking about?”
Ava smirked, “You know what I’m talking about lovergirl! Do you still have the stuff you used?”
Jen’s flush deepened, “Please, don’t make me relive that embarrassment.”
Ava grinned, “Do you still like him?”
Jen hid her face in embarrassment, “Please stop…”
Ava leaned close, whispering, “I can help you win him over if you help me with this.”
“You’re not a miracle worker, Ava. Besides, you know how that puzzle thing went. He didn’t like it, he’ll never go out with me.”
Ava shook her head, “Boys are just idiots, that’s all. He didn’t get the right message, but I can change that. You’ve seen my track record, trust me.”
Jen sighed, “Fine… they’re just a bunch of stupid riddles, I don’t know why you’d want them.”
Ava smirked, “You spent a whole week making those, and they were scattered all over campus. You estimated the whole series would take two hours to complete.”
Jen’s eyes lit up, “Oh.. you want to delay him two hours, don’t you?”
Ava grinned, “Exactly, by then I’ll be done with band practice.”
Jen scratched her head, “And you think he’ll enjoy it? Benedict didn’t.”
Ava chortled, “Benedict? That’s the name of the boy you like?”
Jen shrank, “What? It’s a perfectly fine name.”
Ava chuckled, “It’s exactly the kind of name I imagined your crush having, that's all. And that’s why I’m going to reward him for answering each riddle, with these…” She took out a bunch of letters, “I made these in my visual art and culture pathway. On the letters are a bunch of little Avas saying cute things to him!”
Jen nodded in approval, “Not bad. But I’ll have to dumb down the riddles a little. He’d never get them otherwise.”
Ava huffed, “Hey! You take that back.”
Jen shrugged, “What? I bet you couldn’t figure them out either. Not even Benedict could complete them, and he's smart like me.”
Ava rolled her eyes, “Fine… and make little cheat hints he can look at so he can actually finish.”
Jen chuckled, “Good idea. He’ll need them.”
“I’m going to ignore that,” Ava replied.
Jen cackled to herself before getting out her riddles, beginning to dumb them down.
Ava whispered, “Hey, Jen…”
Jen blinked, “What is it now?”
Ava smiled, “You’re not a half-bad roommate.”
Jen grinned, “Thanks, Ava. But you owe me big time for this. You’re going to have to come to my Academic Decathlon.”
Ava groaned, “Ugh, seriously? I take it back. You’re a terrible roommate.”
The two burst into laughter. Ava smiled to herself, not a half-bad roommate at all.