Episode 116

Melinda’s Journal

Sunday, February 4

When I was in the fifth grade, a classmate invited everyone over to watch the Super Bowl. I told my mom I didn’t want to go because I hated football. I figured the only reason the girl even liked it in the first place was because she had a brother that was like ten years older than her. That was when my mom explained to me the Super Bowl wasn’t about football. It was about the commercials and the halftime show.

Ultimately, I decided I would rather stay home, although I did enjoy watching the game with my family. The football was still boring, but the commercials were funny. I was super excited to see one of my favorite rock bands playing the halftime show.

Since then, I have watched the Super Bowl with my family every year. I still find the football part boring, but I look forward to the commercials and halftime show. Despite several invitations since the fifth grade, this year will be the first time I will be watching it with friends, and I am really excited about it.

Melinda’s Story

Not long after the dining hall opened for dinner, I received a text from Walter that he was heading there. When I asked about Erica, he explained she had gone to the mall with her roommate and he was looking for someone to keep him company. I immediately replied I would join him.

But first, I went upstairs to deposit my books. Sarah was still cuddling Larry on her bed.

I gave them a small wave as I crossed the room. “Hey. I’m heading to the dining hall. Wanna join me and Walter?”

Sarah made a face. “I kind of want to finish this movie. I’ll see you at the party tonight?”

Nodding, I bundled myself against the winter weather and went in search of dinner.

Unfortunately, the dining hall was serving stuffed shells, my least favorite meal. Knowing I would probably eat of snacks at the party, I decided on a bowl of chicken soup. It was perfect for warding off the chill I had caught on my way to dinner. I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a small salad before grabbing some drinks and heading to my regular table.

I was about halfway through my bowl when Pat placed his tray beside me, kissing the top of my head as he sat down. “How was dancing?”

I shrugged. “I didn’t go. Stayed in my dorm all afternoon. I texted you.”

Pat pulled me close. “You did? I didn’t see it. What happened? Why didn’t you go dancing?”

“Brody had car trouble, so he couldn’t make it. I didn’t want to go outside in that ickiness if I didn’t have to.”

What had Pat so preoccupied, he never saw my text? I was dying to know, but I didn’t want to sound like an obsessive girlfriend. I tried to keep my tone light. “How about you? Where’ve you been all afternoon?”

“Helping Brody with his car.”

I wasn’t sure what I had expected Pat to say, but I certainly wasn’t expecting Brody to be involved. Pat and I could have spent an entire day together and instead he was hanging out with my friend? Maybe I had misunderstood.

I pulled away from Pat to look at him with raised eyebrows. “You were what?”

“Helping Brody.”

I couldn’t quite explain the emotion I was feeling at that moment. Pangs of jealousy were weaving through tones of betrayal. I didn’t have time to say anything before Walter joined us.

I wasn’t sure what was in my expression, but I could tell instantly Walter knew I was upset. He raised his eyebrows, but I ignored him for the moment. I needed more information.

Shaking my head, I turned back to Pat, trying to keep my voice from betraying me. “So, you were with Brody all day?”

“Pretty much.” Pat took another bite of his dinner.

I pushed my tray away. I had lost my appetite. “Then why’d you ask me about dancing?”

“I figured you went by yourself. I know how much you love it.”

What could my boyfriend possibly have in common with my dance partner? The only thing I could think of was me. And it made me a little uneasy to think they spent the day talking about me.

I did my best to keep the paranoia out of my voice. “What’d you guys do?”

“I picked up a battery for his car, and I helped him switch it out. That took a while. Then we watched a basketball game.”

Before I could respond, Pat’s phone played a song I had never heard. Pat checked his messages with a smile. Obviously, whoever was calling him was someone important enough to have a personalized ringtone. Pat only did that for his family and closest friends.

He bussed his tray. “I’ve got to take this. I’ll meet you in the common room? We’ll walk over to Stanton together.”

He didn’t wait for a response. Kissing the top of my head, he placed his phone on his tray as he headed to the dishroom. As he walked away, Walter turned to me.

“So, I know I only caught the end of that, but you look ready to hurt him.”

I shrugged. “I don’t know about hurting him, but I’m definitely upset, and I can’t really figure out why. Do you have any idea who just texted him? That sounded like a new song, and I don’t know why, but it’s really bothering me. Did you recognize it?”

Walter nodded. “Oh, yeah. It’s the theme song to this movie about cars. I forgot the name of it, but it was one of Pat’s favorites a few years ago. I suppose it might have been Dad. You know how much he loves cars.”

I shook my head. “No. I know your dad’s ringtone. It’s Fly with Me.”

Walter smiled. “Oh yeah. Dad wrote that when he was getting his pilot’s license.”

“What’s the car song about? The one we just heard.”

“The full song? It’s about a car that breaks down every ten feet.”

I gave a half smile. “That’s the perfect song for Brody.”

“Who’s Brody?”

“My dance partner. And the guy that Pat spent the day with.”

“Wait. The guy that liked my picture?”

I nodded.

“Why was Pat with him all day?”

I shrugged. “Don’t get me wrong. I like that he’s found a new friend. It’s just—”

“Brody was your friend first?”

“It’s really weird.”

Walter’s laugh surprised me. “Um, hello? This is exactly what I said when you and Pat first got together.”

My heart sank. “I made you feel like this?”

Walter came around the table to give me a tight hug. “No. Because you and Pat never went off on your own and left me out. You always made sure to include me.”

“I feel . . . I can’t really explain it. It’s not just that they left me out. I’m worried that they’re going to start spending so much time together that they both forget about me. Brody and I just started dancing together and now it feels like Pat is taking him away from me. And it feels like Brody is taking away my time with my boyfriend. Am I just being a jealous girlfriend?”

Walter grimaced as he returned to his seat. “Maybe a little? I don’t really know. I think this is something you and Pat need to work out together. Talk to him about it. And please, please, please do not break up again?”

I gave a half smile and picked at the food on my tray while I waited for Walter to finish eating his two entrees. As we passed through the common room, Pat ended his call and joined us. Although I knew this was not the time to have the conversation Walter had suggested, I could at least ask him about the phone call.

I waited until we were outside, trying to sound as casual as possible. “So, you were on the phone for a long time. Everything okay?”

“Yeah. I was just helping someone out with something.”

“Brody?” I couldn’t quite keep the accusation out of my tone.

“Yeah. Brody. So?”

“So, you spent all day with him.” I resisted the urge to add instead of with me.

“He wanted my advice about something.”

Walter interrupted as we crossed the street. “I’m just going to ask this once and then never say it again.” He stared straight ahead, and I wasn’t sure if he was turning red from the cold weather or embarrassment. “Have you considered the possibility that Brody keeps calling you because he has a crush on you?”

Pat glared at his brother, then me. “What is it with you two? Do you not want me to have any friends?” He didn’t wait for a response, huffing away from us to his dorm.

I turned to Walter. “Are we? Keeping him from making new friends?”

“I don’t think so. I mean, why didn’t he just come out and say he was talking to Brody? Why is being so sneaky about it?”

“Maybe I was coming on a little strong. I’m starting to act like the jealous girlfriend. Which is just stupid.”

Walter shook his head. “I don’t think you are. I mean, how is this any different from Christmas? You’re obviously upset. And he doesn’t seem to see it. You guys broke up because he wasn’t opening up to you. And now he’s doing it again. Do you realize how miserable you guys both were? And I was stuck in the middle of it. I really don’t think I could handle it if you guys break up again.”

I didn’t like seeing Walter this worked up. He looked ready to hurt his brother.

I placed a hand on his arm. “Hey. Calm down. You don’t want Erica to see you this upset.”

Walter’s glare was not unlike his brother’s. He stalked past me toward his own dorm. I knew he needed to cool off. Looking around, I realized mother nature had given me the perfect tool.

I grabbed a handful of snow and threw it at my best friend.

He whirled around and, for a second, I thought he might hurt me. He walked toward me very slowly, an angry look in his eye. Suddenly, his expression changed. In a single movement, he picked up a handful of snow and threw it at me. It landed square on my chest.

I smirked. “Oh no, you didn’t.”

We continued to throw snowballs as we raced each other to the dorm. We were nearly there when I felt a snowball on my back. I whirled around. Pat was behind me with a sly smile.

“Get him!”

I didn’t even look to see if Walter heard me. I began pelting Pat. Walter joined me. Pat did his best to get both of us at the same time.

We ran around the snow-covered baseball field, dodging each other, until Pat grabbed me around the waist with one hand. He pulled me close and his lips met mine. My heart melted and all my anger and frustration with Pat seemed to disappear.

Until I felt something cold on the back of my neck, dripping under my shirt.

I pushed Pat hard enough to knock him into the snow and glared at him. “I can’t believe you did that!”

Pat was laughing too hard to say anything. Shivering, I flounced off to my dorm. I could hear Pat calling after me, but I ignored him. I was a little surprised when he followed me into the dorm and up the stairs.

I glared at Larry as I stomped into my room. “Out! I have a snowball down my back, and I want to get changed. Go stand in the hallway.”

Sarah giggled and Larry smirked as he left the room, nearly bumping into Pat, who had just arrived.

“Melinda, I’m sorry. It was supposed to be a joke.”

I simply shut the door in his face.

Sarah stopped giggling. “What happened?”

I quickly peeled off my wet clothes and started toweling myself dry. “We were having a snowball fight. He kissed me. Then he put a snowball down my shirt while he was kissing me.”

Sarah couldn’t hold back the giggles. “So, what? Are you not talking to him?”

Shrugging, I pulled a clean shirt over my head. “I was already frustrated with him beforehand. I’m letting him think I’m mad for a few minutes. Think he’s still out there?”

Sarah nodded as I swiftly opened the door. Larry stood there alone, a guilty look on his face.

I narrowed my eyes. “Where’s Pat?”

“He wants to know if you’re still mad at him.” Larry could barely contain his laughter. I saw him glance to his right.

I closed the door again and turned to my roommate. “I’m heading over to Stanton. You coming?”

Sarah nodded. “We’re a couple of minutes behind you. We just want to finish this movie.”

I put on my coat before again opening the door. This time, it was Pat standing alone with a pitiful face. “I’m sorry?”

I pursed my lips. “I will get my revenge when you least expect it.”

He took my hand as we headed down the stairs and out the door. As we walked toward the neighboring dorm, he squeezed my hand. “I’m sorry about the snowball. But what’s really going on?”

I shrugged. “It’s not that I’m jealous of Brody but, I don’t know. You spent all day with him. And that kind of made me upset. And I was trying to talk to you about it and you up and leave. To go talk to Brody.”

Pat shook his head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t even realize you were upset with me. If I had, I would have waited to call him back.”

“Why didn’t you tell me it was him who called?”

Pat shrugged. “He was asking me something confidential, and I didn’t want to betray his trust.”

“Then why couldn’t you just tell me that? Pat, you need to be able to talk to me. That’s why we broke up in the first place.”

Pat squeezed my hand again. “I know. I’m sorry. But you need to tell me when things are bothering you.”

I sighed. “I was trying to. You walked away.”

“Fair point. I give you permission to yell at me if I ever do that again.”

I shook my head with a smile. “Nah. I’ll just sic Walter on you.”

Just as we did on Friday nights, Pat and I stepped over the gate into Mr. Smith’s living room. Walter was already there. Pat went straight to the kitchen to deposit the chips and dip he had stowed in his backpack, then began introducing me to some of his classmates. I was glad to see Bethany and Will among them.

She smiled at me. “Did I witness a snowball fight on my way here?”

I laughed. “I thought my friend could use some cooling off.”

Will nodded his head toward Pat. “So, did Pat tell you about Ichthys the other night?”

I shook my head. “No. He always tells me everything is confidential, and he’s not allowed to talk about it.”

“This isn’t. We had an influx of new members the other day.”

Bethany glared at her boyfriend. “That’s not something she needs to know about.”

Pat laughed. “You’re just upset you lost the bet.”

“It was a draw.”

I looked at Will. “I’m confused.”

He smiled. “There were a bunch of third form girls at the meeting. They were all giggling and staring at Pat the way third form girls do.”

“I take offense. I’m a third form girl.”

Will cocked his head to the side. “Oh, yeah. I forgot. Anyway, I told Pat they were probably all there to meet him.”

I turned to Bethany. “Well, getting new members is still good, right?”

Bethany rolled her eyes as Will continued the story. “We went around the room and talked about our long weekends. As soon as they heard you two were back together, the girls all left.”

“Not all of them,” Bethany quickly pointed out.

Pat smiled. “No. Just most of them. Face it. You were wrong.”

Bethany turned to me. “Do you know there’s a girl on the first floor with a shrine to your boyfriend? She has covered the entire wall beside her bed with his pictures.”

I giggled as Pat sent Bethany a look of concern. “I’m not sure if I should be flattered or scared.”

Will nodded toward the television. “It’s almost kickoff. Where’re you guys sitting?”

I glanced at the couch. Mr. Smith was sitting in his favorite chair and Walter had found a spot on the floor where he could watch the game comfortably. No one else was watching the game yet.

Pat nodded toward his brother. “I was going to sit with Walter.”

“I claim the couch,” Bethany decided. “Senior privilege.”

Dragging her boyfriend with her, she sat behind Walter, folding her legs under her as Will settled beside her. Pat sat in front of her, and I snuggled against him. When Larry and Sarah arrived a few minutes before kickoff, they sat beside me.

A moment later, Erica plopped herself on the floor next to Walter. “So, who are you cheering for?”

I shrugged. “I like the blue team.” There was absolutely no reasonable rationale behind my decision. I had no clue what city they represented or what their record was for the season. I didn’t even know what the mascot was. My decision was based solely on the fact that I liked the color of their uniform.

Walter shook his head as he draped an arm on the couch behind Erica. “Nope. You’re going to lose.”

“Yeah, I’m with Walter on this one.” Pat ran his fingers through my hair.

I turned to my boyfriend. “I’ll bet you an ice cream the blue team wins.”

“You’re on.” We sealed the deal with a quick kiss as the opening bars to the national anthem sounded.

The football part of the Super Bowl has never interested me before, but tonight I found that having a team to cheer for made the game much more exciting. Plus, since Walter had taught me so much about football during the fall term, I actually understood at least a little of what was going on.

About half of the students in the apartment were clearly here for the party and had no interest in the game. They would watch the commercials, then go back to the kitchen for more food during the actual game. The other half of the students were staring at the television intensely. Their cheering was so infectious, I had to join in. I had so much fun that I didn’t even mind that my team was losing at the half.

Although I had seen CAVEmen play a few times on television, I had never seen an actual concert. The halftime show, with all its special effects, was spectacular. Pat and Walter thought differently as they watched their father and uncles playing.

“The drumming’s off again,” Walter muttered during one song. He had complained about the same thing at New Year’s. I still couldn’t hear what he was talking about.

“Whoa,” Pat and Walter exclaimed at the same time.

I turned to Pat. “What?”

Walter never looked away from the screen. “Uncle Eddie just sang Uncle Vinny’s part.”

Erica sent him a puzzled look. “How can you even tell?”

Walter shrugged. “They’re family. I just can.”

When the halftime show was over, people began to trickle out of the room. By the beginning of the third quarter, only the people sitting in front of the television remained.

During one of the commercial breaks in the fourth quarter, when the network was just airing ads for their own shows, I decided I had time for a quick bathroom break. I was on my way back when Walter swore loudly, as did most of the other students. I immediately returned my attention to the game just in time to see the replay.

The white team had passed the ball, but a player on the blue team caught it and ran halfway across the field to score. I nestled myself against Pat in time to see the blue team score their extra point to tie the game. I hardly blinked as I watched the last few minutes of the game. In the final seconds, the blue team scored another three points.

I cheered loudly as my classmates groaned, but I waited until Pat and I were alone in the rotunda after the game before gloating. “I believe you owe me an ice cream.”

“I don’t mind.” He showed me by kissing me for so long, we nearly missed curfew.

Pat’s Story

When I returned to campus, I brought my groceries to my dorm, then decided to bring my brother all the sodas for him and his friends. He wasn’t in his room.

When I knocked on the open door across the hall, Larry’s roommate informed me my brother had gone to supper. Of course he had. Walter was always eating. I left the sodas on Larry’s bed and headed to the dining hall.

After making myself a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, I went to our usual table, where I found my girlfriend eating alone. I kissed the top of her head as I sat beside her. “How was dancing?”

“I didn’t go. Stayed in my dorm all afternoon.”

She sounded a little sad, so I pulled her close. I could eat spaghetti with one hand. “What happened?”

She told me how Brody had canceled and she decided against going outside in the nasty weather. I couldn’t blame her. Then, she asked what I had been up to all afternoon.

I put a small forkful of pasta in my mouth. “Helping Brody with his car.”

Melinda sat up. “You were what?”

I made sure to swallow before answering this time. “Helping Brody.”

My brother joined the table, but Melinda ignored him. She seemed to be having trouble processing what I had said. “So, you were with Brody all day?”

“Pretty much.”

“Then why’d you ask me about dancing?”

I shrugged. “I figured you went by yourself. I know how much you love it.”

“What’d you guys do?”

Man, what was with the third degree? It wasn’t like I was with another girl. With a shrug, I explained about how I had helped with his car and ended up staying for the game. While I was talking, my phone played Grease Monkey.

I glanced at the message. Brody wanted to ask my advice about something.

With a smile, I stood. “I’ve got to take this. I’ll meet you in the common room? We’ll walk over to Stanton together?”

Without waiting for an answer, I brought my tray to the dishroom. As I crossed the senior section, I called Brody. “Hey, man. What’s going on?”

“I need your advice. I told you a friend of mine drives for Drive Me Home, right?” When I nodded, Brody continued. “So, we were talking a little while ago, and he told me his partner had to quit. He’s failing math or something, so his parents won’t let him do the program anymore. So I was thinking of helping him out.”

“With his math?” I was so confused.

“What? No. I’m horrible at math.”

“But you just said you wanted to help him.”

Brody’s confused expression was almost comical. “Huh? No. I want to help my friend. Volunteer and be his new partner.”

“Oh. Okay. So, why are you calling me?” I sat on a couch in the common room.

“Well, I wanted to know how to do it. Sign up and everything.”

“Just out of curiosity. Why are you asking me and not the friend you’re volunteering with?”

Brody’s face turned a red. “Well, I kind of want to surprise him.”

“Well, I went to the community service director at my school. Told her I was interested in the program.”

Brody furrowed his brow. “Oh. I wonder if there’s one at my school.”

“There is. My director told me there is.”

“Sick. I’ll shoot her an email tonight. So, what can you tell me about it? Do you get to stay with the same partner? Or are you randomly assigned? Because I’m signing up to spend time with Nicholas. I don’t want to do it if I’m going to be rotating partners. Oh, and do you get to pick your hours? Because I spend a lot of time at the studio. And do—”

I held up a hand. “Dude. Give me a chance to answer before I forget the question.”

I spent a few minutes sharing what I knew about DMH. Eventually, I saw my brother and girlfriend coming toward me. “Hey man. I gotta go.”

Brody nodded. “Yeah, sure. And do me a favor? Don’t mention this to anyone?”

“Meaning Melinda?”

“Meaning anyone. Thanks again. Later.” Brody ended the call with a wave.

I returned my phone to my pocket and followed Melinda and Walter out of the building.

At the bottom of the steps, Melinda turned to me. “So, you were on the phone for a long time. Everything okay?”

There was something about her tone. Something I had only heard once or twice before. It was almost as if she were jealous. It was kind of adorable.

But Brody had asked me to not share our conversation. I shrugged. “Yeah. I was just helping someone out with something.”


“Yeah. Brody. So?”

“So, you spent all day with him.” There was anger in her voice. I didn’t understand it. I also didn’t care for it.

“He wanted my advice about something.”

Walter had been silent as he walked along with us. Melinda was probably making him uncomfortable. But he chose this moment to interrupt us.

“I’m just going to ask this once and then never say it again. Have you considered the possibility that Brody keeps calling you because he has a crush on you?”

That was just going too far. “What is it with you two? Do you not want me to have any friends?”

I started walking faster, veering away from them and heading to my dorm. I needed to get away from them. As I crossed the street, Walter’s words bounced around my head. But as I contemplated the time I spent with Brody, I didn’t see how it was any different from when I used to kill time with my roommates. Brody had never once made a move on me.

I was pretty sure Brody didn’t like me like that, but I wasn’t really sure. But even if he did, it wasn’t as if I liked him that way. So, why was Melinda upset with me?

I knew I should go find her so we could figure it all out. The question was, where would I find her? Would she go to the Super Bowl party without me? Or was she angry enough to skip it and go to her room? I didn’t really want to go look for her in her dorm.

I stopped in my room and shoved the chips and dip into my backpack. Then I headed toward the third form dorms. I found my girlfriend having a snowball fight with my brother on the baseball field. As I headed toward them, I made the perfect snowball, surprising myself when I managed to hit Melinda square in the back.

She whipped around, yelling “Get him!” as she began launching snowballs at me. Walter gleefully obeyed.

It was two against one. I had a difficult time getting both of them. I needed some sort of advantage.

Walter and Melinda were darting back and forth, skillfully avoiding me. I managed to get close enough to Melinda to grab her waist and pull her close. I kissed her and I could feel everything between us becoming right again.

But I was not about to lose. I carefully peeled back her coat and used a finger to pull her shirt away from her neck. Then I slowly smashed my last snowball against her.

She pushed me a lot harder than I expected. I landed in the snow, laughing. But she didn’t seem to think it was funny.

“I can’t believe you did that!” She spun around and started for her dorm.

“Melinda! Melinda, wait! It was a joke!”

I quickly scrambled to my feet and followed her. Before I realized what I was doing, I was inside her dorm and halfway up the stairs. I reached her room just as Larry was being kicked out of it.

I sent her a pleading look. “Melinda, I’m sorry. It was supposed to be a joke.”

Melinda glared at me as she slammed the door.

Larry smirked. “What did you do?”

I swore. “It was supposed to be a joke. We were having a snowball fight. I kissed her. And then I may have put a snowball down her back. While I was still kissing her.”

“Ooh. Bro, you are in so much trouble.”

I leaned against the wall. “I know. She was already mad at me, too.” I slid to the floor and buried my face in my hands.

A moment later, the door opened. “Where’s Pat?”

I stayed where I was and let Larry explain. “He wants to know if you’re still mad at him.”

Melinda just shut the door in his face. Larry turned to me, unable to contain his laughter. “Yup. I’d say she’s still mad.”

I made a rude hand gesture and went back to the door. When Melinda opened it again, I sent her the most apologetic expression I could muster. “I’m sorry?”

Melinda looked like she was trying to be mad and laugh at the same time. “I will get my revenge. When you least expect it.”

I took her hand, and we returned outside, heading for my brother’s dorm. I squeezed her hand. “I’m sorry about the snowball. But what’s really going on?”

She sighed. “It’s not that I’m jealous of Brody but, I don’t know. You spent all day with him. And that kind of made me upset. And I was trying to talk to you about it and you up and leave. To go talk to Brody.”

I shook my head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t even realize you were upset with me. If I had, I would have waited to call him back.”

“Why didn’t you tell me it was him who called?”

I shrugged. “He was asking me something confidential, and I didn’t want to betray his trust.”

“Then why couldn’t you just tell me that? Pat, you need to be able to talk to me. That’s why we broke up in the first place.”

I squeezed her hand again. ““I know. I’m sorry. But you need to tell me when things are bothering you.”

She rolled her eyes. “I was trying to. You walked away.”

“Fair point. I give you permission to yell at me if I ever do that again.”

She sent me a mischievous smile. “Nah. I’ll just sic Walter on you.”

I gave her a quick kiss on the head before we stepped over the baby gate into Smith’s apartment. A lot of students had already arrived, including my brother. After bringing the chips into the kitchen, I introduced Melinda to some of my classmates. We ended up talking to Bethany and Will until the game started.

When the final pregame show was nearly over, Bethany declared the seniors had the privilege of sitting on the couch. I sat beside my brother on the floor in front of her. Melinda snuggled against me. I was relieved to see everything between us was alright again.

When Walter’s girlfriend arrived, she asked who to cheer for. Melinda immediately announced she wanted to cheer for the blue team. The poor girl. She didn’t follow sports at all. She had no idea that this team had only made it through the playoffs through sheer luck. Everyone favored the other team.

Although Walter and I tried to convince her she was wrong, she decided to take a page out of Bethany’s book. “I’ll bet you an ice cream the blue team wins.”

How could I turn that down? I just hoped she realized she was going to lose.

Dad was playing the halftime show. As I held Melinda in my arms, I realized this was the first time I had ever watched one of his shows with her. Although we had been together for months, I had never asked her if she was a fan of CAVEmen.

The band played a medley of several of their hit songs, including one from their newest tour. The last few shows I had seen, the drumming had been off by less than half a beat. I wasn’t sure about anyone else, but I could notice the discrepancy. I heard Walter mumble something about it just before Uncle Eddie started singing.

“Whoa!” Walter and I had both caught the change.

Melinda looked between us. “What?”

Walter was staring at the screen. “Uncle Eddie just sang Uncle Vinny’s part.”

I tried to see if I could figure out why, but the camera was zoomed out too far. I made a mental note to call Dad tomorrow afternoon.

After Melinda’s team won, we thanked Smith for hosting the party and headed toward the Rotunda. Part of me was surprised that no one else on campus seemed to realize what a great make-out spot this place was. The other part of me was relieved we had the place to ourselves.

Melinda sat beside me with a sly smile. “I believe you owe me an ice cream.”

“I don’t mind.”

I pulled her close, kissing her gently. Her fingers danced in my hair and my heart started racing. We stayed like that for so long that, if my watch alarm hadn’t signaled, we would have missed curfew. As it was, I reached my dorm just as my advisor was taking attendance.

Attention Hammerheads

Melinda is always trying to build her vocabulary. What were some words in this episode that were new to you? She will add them to her vocabulary journal.