Amidst the chatter, she thought about what she could do. Two Es and two Is, then an M, an F and a K. Keem? Is that even a word? Oh! Meek! Is that good enough? Could she even do any better? She picked up the pieces and laid them down in the middle of the board. She looked up and shrugged.
“Not the best start, I know. Believe me when I say I had nothing else.” She took four letters from the bag. An A, a B, a C and a Z.
“Thinking of yourself there, were you Polly?” Even though they had just started, Sophie thought to waste no time mocking Polly while intermittently looking down and fumbling with her pieces.
“You know me!” Polly temporarily abandoned her concentration face with a smile. She looked around again. “I still can’t believe how big your room is.”
“We know. You’ve said it about ten times so far!” Nola was still looking down at her pieces with an evil glee, itching to make her move.
“Nola, I can sense you already working out how you’re going to beat me, but that isn’t happening, yeah?” Emmie plucked her pieces and then clumsily put them down, only for Nola to immediately straighten them up. And then notice what she had spelt.
“Jealousy? You’re kidding. That’s amazing luck.” Nola was taken back.
“That’s a plus fifty for using all my letters, thanks Sophie!” Emmie shot a sarcastic smile at Nola, now incensed, not least because Emmie had ruined her word. A moment later, Nola leant to Polly’s ear, whispering just how badly she was going to beat Emmie.
“And to the spoils go the victor. Which, it seems, is me! Now what are the spoils?” Sophie pattered herself on the back, as Emmie and Polly congratulated her. Nola simply sat with her glass. “I guess bragging rights till next time.”
“I don’t know, it was looking a little rough there. Is another time even safe?” Polly leaned back onto the wall.
“I only threw a mild tantrum.” Nola kept her glass up to her lips as she rapidly sipped from it, stopping only to speak. “How was I to know that Emmie wasn’t actually stupid? She does a humanity!”
“Look, you only lost by,” a cough, “a hundred,” another cough, “points, so it’s not a big deal, eh?” This was a defining moment for Emmie. She hadn’t really thought that Nola had taken her too seriously up till now and she was correct in thinking this. All those times Nola had wrinkled her face in disagreement, or lowered and shook her head in disbelief. No, no more! This was Emmie’s time to shine. Granted she came third, but it was a moral victory and that was enough. “Hey, better luck next time, right? We can always get someone else in so fourth won’t be last!” It didn’t mean she wasn’t going to completely abuse this though.
As the afternoon hurtled into the evening, Sophie ceremoniously kicked the hall-mates out, so they could all have dinner before re-joining for Friday night festivities. Well fed, well dressed and more than ready for some fun, the four met-up and then proceeded to wait in the restless queue outside the club on campus. With hushed giddiness the four then went about the only topic of conversation they could agree upon in such a circumstance. The following fifteen minutes of standing in the just-cold-enough-to-complain-but-not-really-be-annoyed-about weather were then spent mocking the clothes of those not particularly well blessed with a fashion sense walking by. There was that one girl who had completely mismatching shoes and accessories, or that guy with the aggressively masculine-assuring chequered shirt and tight-fit jeans who, the group could only determine, was struggling to fight his girlfriend’s desire to clothe him with his own fear of losing his manliness. It was probably for the best these people couldn’t hear.
The line then motivated itself, somehow, as each gap between moving was reduced and the group after an arduous twenty minute wait, got to the door where they met whichever ‘cheery’ bouncer was on duty, who lovingly proclaimed “Awright laydees, aye dee, please.” Obviously eager to get in, they all had their ID cards ready to hand-over, being met half-way by an unnecessarily eager grip, tough scrutiny then then the actually-rather-friendly “Ohkay now laydees, yoo ave a safe everning, awright?” This, naturally, was followed by a curious exchange of glances, all of which saying “Wow, they weren’t moody for a change!”, “That was weird” and “I know.” Then, inside, they eyed up their surroundings and quickly headed to the bar, or at least to the back of the three lines of people of what Nola dubbed as “the eager volunteers for the world’s most obvious reality TV show to not be made, ‘I’m a student and I can’t wait to get laid!’” to which Sophie added that the viewing figures would only be high if it was shown during the day to all the hung-over students who elected that day-time TV was the safer option than a lecture.
With the music blaring away in the background, this produced the most unexpected comment delivery all evening, both from who and its content. “This is rubbish. Not even Go With The Flow? Laaaaaaame!” With one hand tightly holding her increasingly empty glass, Nola cupped her hands to her mouth and shouted it again, pointlessly, toward the DJ. This, of course, prompted the other three to drop their current thinking and stand there, startled. “I told you I can have fun! Woo! Yeah!” Nola threw her hands up, forgetting she still had a glass, bringing it back down to realise it was now, somehow, empty. “I may be a teeeeeeensy bit tipsy. Hey, that almost rhymes!” It was on this that the other three, admittedly only slightly less drunk, agreed that they would not divulge to Nola her silliness, fearing the danger that would surely come to them.