TITLE: The Prankster’s Comeuppance or How Kate Found a Boyfriend
By Jody Day
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Could it really be the first day of class after the Christmas break? Kate pulled her college team blanket up to her chin. Just five more minutes. Who was she kidding? In five more minutes sheâ€™d still be painfully shy and dreading the walk across the quad to class. If she could only get the courage to actually look at Brad Carter as they passed on the way to opposite buildings, life might look up a bit.
â€śI have an idea,â€ť Carol said, throwing off the covers and hopping out of bed.
â€śUgh, canâ€™t you be quiet just a few minutes longer? I donâ€™t want to go back to class. Iâ€™m not ready to face the real world again after the holidays.â€ť Kate peeked across at her roommate, and then tossed the covers over her head.
â€śI have a really fun idea, sure to get your blood pumping. Come on, freshman, get up.â€ť Carol yanked the covers from the foot of Kateâ€™s bed and exposed her feet.
Kate pulled her feet back under the covers and then formed herself into a fetal position. Her prankster roommate would get caught someday, and Kate feared sheâ€™d be lumped in with guilt by association.
â€śRemember all those girls talking about their resolutions for the New Year? That crazy cucumber diet or something?â€ť Carol ducked into the bathroom and turned the shower on.
â€śYeah, so?â€ť Kate sat up in bed, her hair falling over her face.
â€śIâ€™m going to buy a box of those yummy chocolate donuts from the Pastry Palace and put them on the table downstairs by the coffee machine. Letâ€™s see how long those diets last.â€ť Carol closed the bathroom door.
Kate shook her head. Later, as she took her turn in the shower, she heard Carol leave the room, no doubt headed for the pastry shop. Her pranks were harmless, usually. Once Carol spent all night lining up hundreds of empty soda cans on the second-floor stairs. Where in the world had she hid all those cans in preparation for her joke? When the R.A. came down early the next morning and took her first step down the stairs it started a chain reaction. The noise woke up the whole dorm. Another time she got up in the wee hours and turned all the furniture in the formal parlor upside down. The Board of Regents was meeting in the parlor the next morning and the Dorm Mother nearly had a conniption. This donut stunt seemed a little more mean spirited.
She hated to see the box of donuts on the table as she came downstairs. She was happy to earn a little extra money by doing the janitorâ€™s chores while he was out of town, and she had just enough time to empty the trash before class. She reached in her jeans pocket for the supply closet key.
Where was Carol hiding to watch her plan go down? No doubt in the supply closet, which had a small window that looked out on the lounge area. Sure enough, Carol peeked out of the window and mouthed, â€śShh!â€ť with a wink.
Before she even knew what she was doing, she locked the closet door. She grabbed up the box of donuts and headed across the quad. What could she do with them? Maybe she should throw them in the trash, but that would be wasteful. Eating them all herself was not an option.
The cold January air hurt her lungs. Her rapid heartbeats throbbed like a base drum in her ears. No way. Brad Carter was coming right at her. Her eyes darted to the pavement, but not before she tripped on an overturned trash can. Donuts went flying and her knees hit the ground.
Brad caught the flying box of donuts. â€śWhoa, not very nice of me to rescue donuts, and not the girl,â€ť he said, setting the donuts on the ground and helping her up. â€śMy lucky day. A beautiful girl and a box of donuts on a Monday morning. Canâ€™t do much better than that.â€ť
At least thatâ€™s what she thought he said, since her heart beat so loudly she could barely comprehend his words. They sat on a bench talking through all the morning classes.
Three hours later she remembered Carol in the janitorâ€™s closet.
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