In Which A Pillow Case Is Ruined
I woke up the next morning with a pillow being held against my face. I’m pretty sure it was the pillow that woke me up. It was just kind of lying there, and I wondered what the hell I was doing underneath a pillow, but as soon as I tried to sit up and slide out from underneath it, somebody pushed down… hard.
I tried to push it off… I’m a little bit strong for my size, but whoever was doing the holding had arms like iron. I tried to wrench myself to the side, but they were holding me in place. I kicked out, hoping to hit somebody. I felt the weight of somebody else shifting on the bed, but I never connected.
The weight on the pillow increased.
Panicking, I started to scream, though of course, it was muffled… and then, suddenly the pressure was gone, and I heard laughter… laughter I didn’t recognize in a voice that I did. I threw the pillow aside.
“Good morning, Puddy,” I said sourly.
“Good morning!” she said brightly, still laughing. “Oh, Khers… I mean… you should… you should see the look on your face! And the way you were thrashing around…” She did a little imitation, standing up, of somebody flopping around like a fish. I wondered what effect an all-pudding-pop diet would have on somebody’s brain, after six years. I think it showed on my face.
“I… I just wanted to wake you up so you didn’t miss out on the doughnuts,” she said. She sounded hurt. I felt bad. Why the hell did I feel bad? I hadn’t done anything to her.
“And naturally you figured that attempted murder was the best way to do it,” I said, sinking back against my bed.
“Gotta get the blood flowing somehow, right? Hey, there’s scorch marks on this,” Puddy said, picking the pillow up off the floor and examining it.
“No shit?” I said. “You scared the crap out of me.”
“Well, I guess it’s yours now,” she said, tossing me the burned pillow and yanking the one out from beneath my head.
I sat up, swinging my legs off the bed. I’d get my pillow back later. It wasn’t worth fighting over.
“Anyway, where’s your girlfriend?” I asked.
“Who?” Puddy asked.
“Mariel,” I said, wondering if I was the one who’d just woke up. “The sylph you had glued to your lap at the meeting.”
“She’s not my girlfriend,” Puddy said. “Anyway, I think I broke her… she just wanted some ice for her pussy and then she went back to sleep. I tell you, Mack, you should never fist anybody a fifth your size.”
“Fist?” I repeated, not comprehending. “You mean, you hit her?”
“No, I fisted her,” Puddy said. At my blank look, she added, “Fist fuck. You know? Fucking… with a fist?”
I stared at her, with what seemed like a very anatomically unlikely picture involving the end of Puddy’s wrist and the beginning of that gossamer thin four-armed girl I’d seen the night before.
“I have an image in my head…” I said. “But… it can’t be…”
“Oh, it’s a very simple concept,” Puddy said. “But elegant in its simplicity. Maybe it’s easier to show than tell. Here, take off your pants…”
She actually made a grab for my shorts when she said this. I shrieked and pulled my legs up onto the bed.
“Kher… khripes, what’s the big deal?” Puddy asked, climbing on to my bed and following me as I backed into the corner where the walls met.
I yelped, pressing back into the walls. I was almost as close to panic as I’d been under the pillow.
“I just wanted to show you,” Puddy said, backing off the bed. “You don’t have to make such a big deal about it. Kh… I mean, man…”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, you can say ‘Khersis’ in front of me,” I said. “I’m not going to melt. Anyway, did Mariel try telling you to stop when you were… last night?”
Puddy blinked. She actually had to stop and think about it before answering.
“Well, her exact words were something like ‘Oh, there’s nooo way that’s going to fit,’ but I don’t know how I’m supposed to take that except as a challenge,” she said. She gave a little shrug. “I don’t think she ever actually said no.” She shrugged again, as if it didn’t really matter that much. “She was laughing when she said it,” she added, a little defensively.
I’d laughed when she’d shouted come-ons at the tiny little gnomes, but I was starting to wonder if there wasn’t something kind of predatory about Puddy. In the sixteen or so hours I’d been at MU, she was the only friend I’d managed to make, and the only person in my dorm who didn’t look at me like I was from another plane of existence… but even so, I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to sleep in the same room with her every night.
“Puddy, you know I’m not like you, right?”
“Well, no shit… I can’t iron a pillow case with my face,” she said.
“No, I mean… whatever you do with other girls isn’t a problem for me,” I said. “But I’m worried you’re going to come in here some time and try to do something I don’t want you to.”
“Like what? Finger your pussy? Suck your clitty? Nibble your tits?” Puddy said. She gave me a grin that, though definitely friendlier, still reminded me uncomfortably of Sooni’s canine smile. “Why don’t you just tell me everything that you don’t want me to do, and then I can…”
“Puddy, I’m serious,” I said. “I don’t want this to be a problem between us.”
“So don’t make it one,” Puddy said. “It’s not like I could even do anything to you that you didn’t want.”
I looked at her incredulously.
“If you hadn’t let go of that pillow, I’d have suffocated,” I said. “I really thought somebody was trying to smother me.”
“No,” she said. “No, you didn’t. If you really thought I was trying to smother you, you would have toasted me.”
“Which is another reason you shouldn’t pull shit like that!” I shouted. Well, screamed. Well, shrieked. I don’t have a very commanding voice when I’m angry. Consequences of being 5’4″ and skinny.
“Calm down!” Puddy yelled. “I don’t know why you’re bein’ all stupid about this.”
“I’m being stupid?”
“Yeah, you are,” she said. “Because a minute ago you said I could have really killed you, and now you’re saying you could have killed me. Which is it?”
“You could have killed me unless I’d killed you,” I said sullenly. I did not like having logic thrown at me in the morning.
“There you go,” Puddy said. “So, obviously I couldn’t do anything to you that you didn’t want. Are you coming down for breakfast?”
At that moment, I didn’t really feel like going anywhere… but I also didn’t want to stay in the room and sulk all day, which is what I’d end up doing if I stayed. I’d promised myself yesterday that I wouldn’t let anything get in the way of what I wanted. I’d promised myself that I’d get my first full day at college right. I’d also promised myself doughnuts.
“Yeah, are you?” I asked.
“Yeah, that’s the other reason I came in here, actually,” Puddy said. She knelt down, opened up her fridge, and rummaged around with a couple different boxes. She pulled out a handful of wrapped pudding pops in a couple different sizes. “Okay, I’m good. You ready?”
I was already pulling on my jeans and t-shirt. Yeah, I’d worn them the day before, but I didn’t have a lot of extras and was very mindful of the fact that I’d be washing my own clothes here. With my own copper. I tried to tell myself that in a couple weeks I’d be ignoring Sooni, Puddy would have figured out my boundaries, the rest of the dorm would have warmed up to me, and little practical matters like scraping together enough change to do a load of laundry would be my biggest worry outside of classes.
Yeah. That seemed real likely.