“You’re continuing that?” Madeline, Lennon’s best friend, said through the phone line. “That’s awesome! I loved that story!”
Lennon giggled, wiping away some tiredness from her eyes. She’d stayed up all night for the past two days, unwisely, perhaps. But she’d never been able to think clearly and write intelligibly in the daytime. She thrived at night. Though it made her tired during the day at work, as the story grew in size and depth, Lennon felt a private little glow of contentment.
“It was fifty-five pages the way I left it,” Lennon said. “It’s seventy pages now. That’s after two days of revising.”
“Wow! How much of it are you changing?”
“There’s this new character who is kind of worming his way in. I’m not sure who he is yet, but he’s got his eye on Amanda and might steal her away from Jake.”
“Hmm. Yeah. You were stuck on that relationship, weren’t you?” Madeline said. “Because he’s so patient and calm and kind to her, but she’s a fucking mess. Really. Inferiority complex caused by an unstable childhood.”
Lennon chuckled. “Um, thanks for diagnosing my fictional characters?”
Madeline laughed. “Oh, Len, I miss you. You sound really happy.”
Lennon chewed on her lip and leaned back in her desk chair. “You know, I think I might be. I’m working on being more comfortable with myself. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do after school’s over and I’m not sure how I’ll react to being back in New York, but I’m not unduly worried about all that.”
“There’s this guy,” Len started. “Gabriel. And we kind of…have a thing…I guess.”
“You guess?” Madeline repeated.
“We’ve made out a few times. It’s weird, though. I’ve had no sex dreams of him. Not one.”
“Have you dreamed about him at all?”
“Yeah,” Len said. “It goes no further than we actually have in dreamland.”
“Your subconscious sounds pleased with the progress,” Madeline replied. There was a definite smile in her voice. “So am I. Is he cute?”
“Just checking. What does he look like?”
“He’s a little under six feet. Brown hair, blue eyes. Big arms.”
“Brown hair and blue eyes. Nice. What does he do?”
“He’s a musician, but he did go to college, so reserve your judgment. He’s a bartender at the local joint in town right now. He’s not exactly starving.”
“He can make you drinks!”
“Oh, he has my drinks memorized, girl,” Len laughed.
“Hell, I wouldn’t want to come back here if you’ve got Mr. Man in Missouri. Who would’ve thought? When did this antipathy for New York start anyway?”
“On the subway.”
“Oh,” Madeline answered, dragging out the sound. “Yeah. They’re so depressing, aren’t they? So dirty.”