I'd labored through the first three weeks of my gimpy ankle, had learned to shower without inuring myself further, and mastered the art of getting into and out of bed on one leg (quite an accomplishment when it's jacked as high as it is). All with minimal damage. There were, however, still some issues.
Namely, a physics exam, and my sock drawer was damn near empty.
The physics exam would be fine (probably not, but I'm going to illusion myself for a little bit longer) since I could crutch there and back no problem. The sock issue? A little more complicated for the simple reason that I'm on crutches. Crutches and a laundry hamper don't necessarily mix too well. I guess one idea would be to put my dirty, crusty socks in my backpack and take them down on my back, but honestly that's a bit disgusting, even for me. And I eat crunchy Cheetos and vanilla pudding. Together. Which turns people a really nice shade of green.
Right. Long story short - I was going to need some assistance.
Which led me to the hazel-eyed boy downstairs. But...well...laundry - even socks - is a bit too personal. I mean - married people, people who live together for years and are seriously dating and are probably having sex do laundry together. Murph and I don't fit into those categories. Which isn't to say that it's a good thing or a bad thing. It's just....a thing. It's just how we are, and I'm comfortable with how we are. And I'm pretty sure he's comfortable, too.
Damn it. This is making my head hurt.
Bottom line: I trust Murph. And like him (if I didn't, I wouldn't have let him kiss me and be my boyfriend) but not enough to ask for help to do my laundry, even if it's just my socks.
I rolled over and searched blindly for the cell. Flipped it open. Speed-dialed Sasha. She picked up on the fourth ring with a groggy, "Hello?"
"Hey, Sasha," I said, blithely forgetting that while I run on an earlier time frame, not many other college students (unless they're freshman and have no choice) do. Especially Sasha.
It was only 9:40.
"Ollie? What's wrong?" She was more alert now, probably deciding if this was panic worthy.
"Nothing. Really. What are you doing tonight?" Please be free, please be free.
"Can you come help me do some laundry?"
"Socks. Just - I'm almost out of socks." Least it wasn't something odd like underwear. That would have been awkward. Which isn't to say that I don't wash my underwear (eeh) but it's one of those things that if you need more you can get six pairs at a pop at Wally World. Least until I find my balance again.
"Okay. I'll come up at eight thirty or so."
Thank you, I mouthed to the ceiling. "Great. See you later."
What now? "Yeah?"
"Why couldn't you tell me this at practice? In the afternoon?"
Because I would have forgot. "Later." And snapped the phone shut. No doubt in my mind that she would whack me with my own crutch later. Absolutely none.
We have an open door policy on our floor - if the door is open then anybody can just poke their head in and say hello or stay a while. One of my usual habits is to leave the door open and be sitting in the pseudo-lounge at the table doing homework. My desk was full - computer, printer, desk lamp, ridiculous amounts of paper - that there's no room for me to have books open. It's also fitting because I never had a desk in my room at home - homework was done on the couch, floor, or kitchen table. So a desk was an unusual thing for me when I came to college.
And with the whole open door policy, it's not like I'm a hermit, either. Sometimes Jo does he work out there, too. She's a chemistry major and we actually met because of a mutual friend who knew we were both going to be living on the same floor. We've become pretty close, actually, which is really nice. We make late-night Wegman's runs (drives - I do enough running at practice, thanks) and eat dinner together when we can. It's a nice contrast between Sasha, soccer, Murph, class, and life in general.
Probably what keeps me sane.
I rubbed my eyes, tired of trying to make any sense of the Tudor line in English history. Nutjobs, every one of 'em. If I had more brain power at the moment I could figure out what marrying your own cousin does to you on a biological level.
Can I make that an Honors Project?
Jo thumped her organic chem book on the table and went to pull the armchair over.
Jo could help me wash my socks. I grabbed the phone and opened a new message. "Hey, Jo?"
"Yeah?" she flopped into the chair. Opened the book - the same one that she was going to let me borrow when I took orgo. Which would be next semester. Oh. Joy.
"Can you help me do my laundry tonight? My socks?"
Pretty sure Sasha was more excited than she should have been when I told her she didn't have to come down. Once again I ignored the you couldn't tell me at practice? line. I'm gettin' pretty good at that.
That could be a bad thing.
We spent a few minutes in silence before my copy of Early Modern England 1485-1714, A Narrative History hit the table in frustration.
"What?" Jo didn't even have to look up.
"Waffle. A shit ton of waffle."
"Waffles are good."
You read in literature when a character - often female - hears a voice that she'd be great not hearing again and seems to freeze completely. I had underestimated that feeling by a factor of about a million. It's hard, brittle, and ice-capped water cold. And it dominates your chest. Jo was looking at me in confusion and I couldn't articulate myself if I tried right then. My higher brain functions had taken a holiday.
Much as they used to around Bobby.
I generally tried to live in such a way as to regret nothing. At times in said life - much like this one - I was ready, willing, and able to regret my complete tool of an ex-boyfriend. Of which I was currently under the opinion that if I never saw him again it would be entirely too soon, as overused as that damn cliche is. That's the sad truth of it, though.
Biting back every acidic comment longing to spew forth (an impressively nasty list, by the way) I turned sideways in the chair and simply stared.
Jo had abandoned orgo for the drama across from her. She could have held out a little longer; I'm not a walking reality show.
"Bobby," I ground out.
"Olivia." He knew he'd get his head ripped off if he even attempted my nickname.
"What are you doing here?" Not nice? Don't. Care.
"Can't I come see you?"
Four floors up? "Let me rephrase - what do you want?" Because he wanted something. He walked up four friggin' floors, knowing full well he's on my shitlist! Tenacity and stupidity. Overwhelming stupidity.
"I want to hang out."
Now? He needed his head examined. "You couldn't have sent me a text?"
He simply stared at me. We both knew I would have deleted it. Unopened.
"Bobby. I don't want to see you. I stopped seeing you. There was a reason. Please respect that." Which was a lot more civility than he deserved. A lot more civil than I wanted to be.
He continued to stare at me, rather stupidly, and then, without another word, turned and left. I slumped in the seat, swearing violently in my head. He was such a...a...what was the word the boys used? Oh. Yeah. He was such an asshat! And a whole host of other things that were too nasty to say in public. And I was no sad to have him gone.
"He's still creepy," Jo said absently. I grunted in agreement, swinging my legs under the table again.
Resolutely picking up the highliter, I went back to reading of the Tudors. Couldn't shake the feeling, though, that whatever good vibes I'd had going on were gone. It hadn't been much to begin with, which more or less pissed me off that it was gone.
I picked up my phone and opened a new text message. 'Hi.' Sent it through cyberspace or whatever it runs to Murph. He hit me back pretty quick.
Hi beautiful :)
That made me smile. So much that I didn't care when Jo caught my sloppy grin and rolled her eyes.