How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?
Overheard in the Student Services Office…
“Hey, first request this year for change of faculty advisors, K. A. Possible wants to switch to Dr. Kemal in Linguistics. That's the first I can remember anyone requesting Kemal.”
Monique lived at home to save money, and with her extra hours at Club Banana there wasn't a lot of Kim time. Ron lived at home because the dorm didn't allow pets, and he had to care for the ailing Rufus -- now about nine hundred in naked mole rat years. The Guiness World Book claimed a lack of documentation to prove it was the same rat. Wade's theory was that the various rays, beams, potions and magical auras Rufus had encountered in his travels had kept him alive this long, but clearly his time was nearing its end.
Bonnie's microwave fit nicely on top of Kim's fridge, and a cloth covered them both well enough to allow the RA to pretend she didn't know what was there if she looked in. Stereo equipment took most of Bonnie's shelf-space, but she didn't always turn off Kim's music the second she walked in the room and Kim gave up one shelf to Bonnie's text books.
Kim bought an answering machine and Bonnie reluctantly agreed to share the cost of a land line -- pointing out that she never planned on being out of service range on her cell phone.
Bonnie tried to dress when Kim was asleep or out of the room. Kim complained, but went down to the lounge for a few minutes when she was awake and Bonnie needed to change.
The biggest pain, as far as Kim was concerned, was Bonnie's early bedtime. It interfered with phone time. In the best of all Possible's worlds Kim would be in her pajamas at the end of the day, crawl into bed, and talk with Shego for a half hour before they both drifted off to sleep -- the next best thing to being there. Kim tried that one night in the room. The next morning Bonnie turned the light on at 5:15 and made enough noise to waken the dead -- or Kim, a far more difficult task -- before she left for the dance studio in the theater department.
The lounge and student union were too noisy, the library was quiet -- but wouldn't let her talk, C2K was too far away, and a bench on the Green allowed anyone walking by to listen in -- and provided no protection from rain. The bathroom offered privacy, but was out of the question. It took four days, but Kim discovered what was euphemistically called a study lounge in the basement of the dorm. It smelled of mildew and neglect and the reference materials consisted of an old Webster's with pages missing and an almost-complete set of out-of-date Britannicas, along with three cast-off computers which were old enough to be coal burning. Reception was poor in the basement, but it allowed Kim quiet and privacy. Some nights Kim called from her dorm room before lights out, but the prospect of Bonnie walking in and listening took much of the joy from that.
Shego and Kim alternated calls.
It was easily the high point of the day for Shego. With Drakken hard at work on his latest doomsday device there wasn't a lot to do around the lair -- a girl can only spend so much time filing her gloves’ claws, training, and reading Soldier of Fortune for the funny parts. For Shego the calls were a chance to put her feet up and listen to a world of normalcy she had left years ago. She would not admit it to Kim, perhaps not even to herself, but no only had life in hiding lost any glamour years earlier but now, even though the thrill of the next battle, heist or other challenge could be exciting, the down time in between was simply boring. The mood swings didn't help. Some days she hoped that Kim might grow away from her during the month and keep her normal life, and other days she despaired at the same prospect.
Kim's days certainly weren't dull. New classes, new people, catching lunch with Monique or Ron a couple days a week and the occasional mission kept her busy -- Jamaica announced they would release a postage stamp with her picture on it for her rescue of their bobsled team. But the time on the phone was every bit as important to her as it was to Shego. She tried to analyze why and failed. She could talk about anything with Ron and Monique, although Ron could go out of focus and might give her a non sequitur instead of an answer. Monique wasn't like that, but Monique was so busy they lacked time. Yet it was more than the fact Shego was there to listen, to laugh with Kim or to sympathize or tease as the situation required. Sometimes Kim felt they were the same person, only different -- each one needing exactly what the other had and only between them being whole. Kim wanted to feel Shego's lips on her own, and for the two to explore each other in ways Kim had never experienced. But the phone time, the conversation, was not simply a poor substitute for physical presence it linked them in a way that was equally important.
Bonnie wasn't sure what the biggest pain was in living with Kim. It was probably the fact Kim was a pig. She did her evaporating woman routine most nights, leaving a pile of clothing on the floor. And did she even know what a waste basket was? How could anyone work with that much litter on her desk? Bonnie took to throwing Kim's dirty clothes onto Kim's bed -- and necessarily Kim -- before she left each morning for the studio. She wasn't about to clean up Kim's desk, she hoped that someday the pile of litter might collapse and bury Kim.
In some ways even more annoying than Kim's lack of room hygiene was the burden of having her as a roomie. On learning she shared a room with Kim every guy she met asked Bonnie about Kim. What did she like? Was she seeing anyone? How did it feel to room with a hero? Could she and Kim come to a party? It was never just, ‘Bonnie, can you come to a party?’ Bonnie wanted to grab the throat of the next person who asked about Kim and scream, “She's a fuckin’ dyke! Get over it, loser!” As wonderful as that scenario sounded to her, however, Bonnie feared what it would do to her status if guys knew she lived with a lesbian.
If it weren't for the satisfaction she knew it would give Kim, Bonnie would have asked for a transfer to another room.
Kim adjusted to college life. She made it a point to sit with a group of people every meal in the cafeteria. By the end of two weeks people recognized her and came over to eat with her. On the few occasions when Kim saw Bonnie at meals she was alone or with one of two other women from the theater department.
Kim could not adjust to Bonnie. She woke up and took the dirty sock out of her mouth, third morning in a row. Bonnie had to be aiming. Ten minutes until nine. “No time for breakfast, got to throw something on and get to Comp. Hope Monique saved me a spot. Hope I'm not too late.”
“Are you okay?” Monique whispered to Kim, “You don't look like you're taking care of yourself.”
“I hope you two ladies will excuse us, but the rest of us are here for English Comp.”
The announcement on the bulletin board in the gym said there was one opening for a JV cheerleader, and posted the tryout time.
“I saw it first,” Bonnie snarled when Kim mentioned that she planned to try out.
“Did not. And even if you did, I didn't know you were going to try out.”
“Screw you, Possible. You're just going to top me again.”
Getting that spot from the other would really rub her roomie's nose in the dirt.
About a dozen girls were there for the tryout. Kim and Bonnie recognized most of them from various high schools Middleton competed against. Kim and Bonnie were allowed a joint routine, one they'd practiced to perfection. Neither would have minded making the other look bad -- if she knew how to do it without making herself look bad.
“Watch your hands, Possible,” Bonnie hissed.
“You never cared in high school.”
“You weren't a dyke in high school.”
“Fine, I'll drop you on your head -- will that make you happy?”
The coach didn't need any time to go over her trial evaluations. “Frick! Possible! Rockwaller! Please stay for a minute. The rest of you, thank you for your time and coming out. You were all very good and I hope to see you back for future openings.”
The three young women followed the coach to her office.
“Frick, you have the JV opening. Good job. See you at practice next Monday afternoon.”
“Possible, Rockwaller. I heard about you at Middleton High. You look professional. The varsity could use you. Miss Possible, your upper body strength is fantastic. Miss Rockwaller, your balance amazes me. You really have to trust her for that vault.” Coach Simmons looked down at the forms they'd filled out before competition. “Oh, I see you're roommates. Best friends since high school?”
“Not even close.”
“Well, you don't have to be friends to work well together. Welcome to the squad.
Cheerleading practices and games were the only place the two could work together. There was the unfortunate webcam incident… Kim resented the way Bonnie made her crawl to ask forgiveness. It wasn't like Kim forgot to turn the camera off on purpose. And it wasn't like it went out over the internet. And Kim was pretty sure Wade would delete it from his hard drive.
“Message on the machine for you.” Bonnie complained when Kim came in from class. “Where do people get that number?”
“I think Wade gives it out to people who contact the website.”
“Can you remember to turn the damn ringer off at 10:00?”
The message asked Kim to return the call.
“Hello?… Really? … It was no big. I don't think one bad speaker would have ruined the concert. I'm just glad I knew hair gel is a conductor. … No, toothpaste is an insulator, it wouldn't have worked. … A limo? When? … Okay, great. See you tonight.”
Kim started making calls. “Monique? … Drop it all girl, limo ride, front and center seats, and backstage passes for a Rolling Stones concert tonight! … What do you mean? … Can't you find someone to take your place? … Yeah, I'm sorry too, later.”
“Ron? … Rolling Stones concert tonight, four free tickets and limo ride. … Great! Be here at five.”
“Mom! Can you come with me to a concert tonight? … Okay, sorry. Bye.”
“Shego, How about a concert tonight? … Yes, I know the month isn't over -- but it's close. … Will you try to remember I fell in love with you before you got all ethical on me? … Yeah, I'm counting the days too.”
“Wade? Could you leave the house for a Rolling Stones concert? … You need to get out more, you know that?”
Several calls later… “What is wrong with people, where is their spontaneity?” Kim wondered. “Do they think homework is really more important than concert tickets?”
A little after five Ron knocked on the door.
“C'mon in Ron.”
“Oh, love what you've done with the place, Kim. It makes a statement. It says, ‘Dorm.’ Hey, Bonnie, how are classes?”
“Fine, Stupible. Thanks for asking.” “He worked out over the summer. He's almost buff.”
“So, who's going with us to the concert?”
“Just you and me, Ron. Seems like everyone else was busy.”
“Aaah. What was your excuse, Bonnie?”
“Well, for one thing, Kim didn't ask me.”
“Well, she was right in the room. She could have said something.”
“Come on Bonnie, the more people the more fun!”
“The Rolling Stones? Why don't you ask my grandmother -- I think they belong with her generation.”
“C'mon, Bonnie. We can all sing along if they do ‘Honky-Tonk Woman.'”
“How about you promise not to sing along and I'll consider it -- if it's okay with Kim.”
“Fine Bonnie, I'm sorry I didn't think to ask you.” “Ron, why don't you keep your mouth shut?”
Back in the limo for the ride home after the concert Bonnie admitted, “Okay, that was a great concert, but they're ancient!”
“You should be so active when you're that age, Bonnie,” Ron said. “Did you like meeting them? I think Mick has a wild sense of humor.”
“Maybe… Keith pinched my bottom.”
“Oooh, not surprised. Did you see they were selling t-shirts that said ‘Keith Richards pinched me bum!’? You could have asked him to autograph it.”
Bonnie glared at Ron.
“Oh, I meant autograph a t-shirt, not your, uh…”
She smiled at him. “That's okay Ron. Thanks for asking me along. This is way past my bed time, if I fall asleep on your shoulder don't wake me up until Middleton, okay.”
“Actually,” Kim thought, “it was a pretty good night. Bonnie and I were civil to each other, and she got to see it's better if we're friends.”
Which were not the thoughts in Bonnie's mind as she drifted off. “Bitch! Let's me know I'm the last person in the world she wants around and then shows off her celebrity friends. At least Ron isn't a bad guy for a buffoon.”