If I had but known about everything that would transpire on Tuesday and transpire as a result of things that transpired on Tuesday, I would’ve just faked sick, stayed home, and skipped the whole sordid affair. Did I seriously just say that? Great. I can now add, “Talking like Elan does when he’s trying to be melodramatic” to the long list of horrible things that wouldn’t be happening to me if it weren’t for that fateful Tuesday.

Ironically, the day started out agreeably enough; I woke up to a good morning text from Haley:

Rise n shine cutie! <3 Dont 4get its band room day!

A good morning text. Band room day is a little tradition Haley and Celia came up with. Basically once a week (Haley usually picks the day), Haley, Celia, Elan and I will all meet up in Elan’s favorite practice room during lunch and… No need to draw a diagram, right? The first band room day was a couple of weeks after the weekend at Celia’s and amazing, and every one afterward has been better than the last. At this rate, a band room day will eventually top even the most treasured highlights of the weekend at Celia’s.

Ah, Celia, the best part of every four-way escapade Haley’s coerced us into. I guess we’ve been more-or-less a couple ever since Elan invited me to that would-be threesome. Sometimes I wish I knew how the hell that ditzy band geek manages to be so lucky, but I guess I should just be happy to be along for the ride without any complaints from the girls. As I sleepily mulled this over in that fluffy part of the mind only present when you’re just falling asleep or just waking up, my phone began playing my favorite Country song. Speaking of Celia…

I’m sick :( Celia’s message read, get my homework?

Frowning as the fluff faded, I carefully texted back, I’ll pick up your assignments, but are you sure? It’s band room day.

Vaarsuvius tells me (texted me once, actually) that the way I consciously make sure to text with correct spelling and grammar is overcompensation in rebellion against the “jocks are dumb” stereotype. That’s probably true, but there are texts in my inbox with words like “ubiquitous” and “ennui” (not to mention “overcompensation” and “stereotype”) that serve as proof that V of all people shouldn’t be one to criticize that particular habit.

My phone went off again.

I know :,( but I cant stop throwing up

With a sad sigh I replied, Okay, then. I hope you feel better soon! and put my phone on vibrate. As I got dressed for school, my stomach knotted a little. Celia’d been sick two days last week, and now she was texting me once again with the same complaint: woke up this morning and couldn’t stop throwing up. I feel like I’m “jinxing” it into happening just by thinking it, but, I don’t have to tell you what this could be mean…

I could be wrong, you know, it’s possible; it’d be a lie to say that what the four of us have been getting up to lately isn’t stupid (glorious, but, I must admit, stupid), but we’ve always used protection. Still… I wanted to talk to Durkon about this, since, aside from V, he’s the smartest friend I have, but I know he’d be so shocked by the whole thing and besides, Haley decided that we shouldn’t tell anyone. Even Vaarsuvius didn’t know, and Haley’s even closer to V than I am to Durkon, so she must be really serious about this secrecy thing.

I tried to shrug the matter off and just look forward to what was left of band room day (which was a struggle in and of itself; if someone had to get sick on band room day, I’d much rather it be Elan), but the way my gut twisted with worry forced me to skip breakfast as I headed for school.


Of course I was starving to death by lunch time, so I scarfed down a bag of miniature chocolate-chip cookies from the vending machine as I headed for the practice room. When I got there the “occupied” sign was already displayed, and when I opened the door Haley was straddling a shirtless Elan on the floor.

“Thanks for waiting,” I said sarcastically, closing the door. Haley was still fully clothed, but her jeans were already unbuttoned and unzipped. They slid down a little on her hips to reveal black panties with white polka dots as she stood up to greet me. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I caught Elan watching me look at her. I think that when he originally invited me into this beautiful mess he thought that the weekend at Celia’s would be a one-time thing and that our foursome would split into two couples. I formed this theory the other day when I saw the look on his face when he found out that the “good morning cutie <3” texts from Haley that had replaced his broken alarm clock were going out to both of us (possibly all three of us, but I don’t know; Celia was sick the day we made this discovery while talking at lunch). He clearly doesn’t like that I get some of the same treatment that he does from Haley. I think even the things she does with Celia are starting to grate on his nerves a little; what he and Haley had before all this looked like a serious deal. Maybe he’s afraid he’s losing that.

“Sorry, baby,” Haley said, putting her hands on my shoulders, “Guess I just got excited.” She kissed me on the lips while Elan stared intently at the ceiling. “Mm, you taste good. Where’s Celia?”

“Sick,” I said. Haley frowned, probably thinking the same thoughts I had that morning.

“That sucks,” said Elan, sitting up, “Maybe we should do this tomorrow.”

“Maybe…” said Haley, still standing close to me, absently sliding her hands down to my hips and fidgeting with my belt, “But we could still do this now and tomorrow, right?”

“It’s not as fun without Celia,” Elan grumbled dispassionately.

“Aw, come on,” said Haley, undoing my belt while looking at Elan, “I think I can be enough fun to cover both us girls.” She turned her gaze back to me as her fingertips slid between the waists of my pants and my boxers, sliding both the slightest bit downward. “Don’t you, Roy?”

I really like Celia, and I know Elan more than really likes Haley, but, well, damn. The look she gave me while her soft, warm hands cupped my bare waist and began slowly nudging my jeans lower drove me mad.

“Yeah, okay,” I said, honestly surprised that I could still articulate words.

“All right,” she said, yanking my jeans down further and pulling me toward Elan, “Let’s do this!”

We didn’t even get all that far. If that day were a movie, it would be PG, maybe PG-13. Elan was in the process of helping Haley peel off her skinny jeans when we heard a sound.

“Did anyone else hear that?” Elan whispered, stopping cold.

“I thought these rooms were soundproof!” Haley hissed back.

“Well…” said Elan.

We heard the sound again. It was a violin, no, two violins playing the same note.

“You’re flat,” we heard a female voice say.

“Oh my god, we can hear what they’re saying?” Haley whispered desperately while my heart started pounding. If we could hear them…

“Sorry,” Elan whispered, “Most people don’t use the rooms back here. The rooms down the hall are better.”

We all froze, Haley glaring at Elan, Elan staring at the floor, and me gazing longingly at where my pants had landed on the other side of the room. We were all still in various states of undress, but we were too terrified to move.

A metronome started clicking in the other room, the female voice counted off quietly, and the two violins began to play. It sounded like an adapted segment of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto (that’s right, I’m a jock and I know about classical music). Didn’t V say something about doing some of a duet version of that piece with Miko for Solo and Ensemble Contest?

“I think that’s V and Miko,” I whispered, “Crap. I hate that chick.”

“That’s not what you told me last month at her volleyball game,” Elan muttered with a grin.

“Shut up!” I shot back. Fine, I’ll admit, Miko’s really hot, but trust me, you lose sight of that fact very quickly once you get to know her. Having to be partners with her for a three-day lab in our science class was enough to teach me to loathe her as much as my friends do.

“Sh!” said Haley pointedly, glaring at both of us.

The violin duet stopped. Don’t panic, I told myself, One of them probably just messed up and they’re going to start over in just a few seconds…

“You heard it too?” we heard Miko ask.

“Oh,” Haley moaned, “You guys have really done it now…”

“What did I—” I began to ask.

The door swung open, getting caught on my jeans while Miko and Vaarsuvius just stared.

Elan was speechless. I was paralyzed with shame. Only Haley tried saying, “Okay, look. I know this looks bad, but, I can expl—”

“You guys are disgusting!” Miko exclaimed, “I’m reporting you to principal Shojo!” She hurried off down the hall.

That might not be so bad. Shojo’s allegedly a senile piece of work that school officials have been trying to talk into retiring for years. Maybe he’ll be too distracted to care.

We looked at V. All we got was a face palm and a muttered question that sounded like “Why should I even be surprised?” before our purple-haired friend wandered off as well.

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