william burn

10

FIRSTS WOMEN WHO ARE CHANGING THE WORLD

Issa Rae (First black woman to create and star in a premium cable series)

Oprah Winfrey (First woman to own and produce her own talk show)

Serena Williams (First tennis player to win 23 Grand Slam singles titles in the open era)

Shonda Rhimes (First woman to create three hit shows with more than 100 episodes each)

Ava DuVernay (First black woman to direct a film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar)

Gabby Douglas (First American gymnast to win solo and team all-around gold at one Olympics)

Dr. Mae Jemison (First woman of color in space)

Mo’ne Davis (First girl to pitch a shutout and win a game in a Little League World Series)

Patricia Bath (First person to perform laserphaco cataract surgery and the first African-American female doctor to receive a medical patent)

Aretha Franklin (First woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Ursula Burns (First black woman to run a Fortune 500 company)

Rita Dove (First black U.S. poet laureate)

Loretta Lynch (First black woman to become U.S. Attorney General)

#TheyAreTheFirst #BlackExcellence

         On moving-in day, emotions are high, as is the radio, and mostly everyone is sweating and/or in some kind of state of undress. Nursey, who falls into both categories, as he is glistening and smelly as well as shirtless, is busy carrying boxes up and down the Haus stairs. Having already transferred all of Lardo’s stuff into the moving truck that is taking her, Holster’s, and Ransom’s stuff to their newly leased apartment in Boston, Nursey is now transferring his own things from the carts the that he and Dex borrowed from Faber that are traditionally used for moving around large amounts of equipment to his and Dex’s new room.

         His and Dex’s. It’s stupid, but there’s a little fluttering, not unlike the butterflies that Nursey finds to cliché to reference, in the middle of his chest at the thought of theirs. Even if it’s a shared room. Even if it’s a forcibly shared room. Nursey, who is now painfully familiar with the tango of unrequited love, takes what he can get.

         He sets down the newest box next to a couple of other ones on the desk that Shitty left, Lardo kept, and is no handed down to Dex and Nursey. They managed a pretty good set up, considering that the room really is meant for only one person. One bed, which Shitty had pushed up against the right-hand corner when you first enter the room, has been put back from where Lardo had it up against the wall of windows. It’s a raised bed, the same one Shitty used, and it had been salvaged from the basement and cleaned and checked thoroughly for weaknesses prior to being installed by Dex. Where the closet used to be, but now is just an alcove-type thing due to a mishap with a sledgehammer in Johnson’s frog year, houses the other bed. That bed takes up the entire space of the alcove and is a cozy place to study. Nursey got dibs on that one, simply because he and Dex decided that a drunk, clumsy Nursey would never be able to get up the ladder to the raised bed. A desk is shoved next to Dex’s bed and a dresser and a clothes rack have been squeezed in to make room for their clothes.

         Dex says that he’ll put up some shelves for their stuff in the fall, but he wants to wait until he can get back home to get the wood. One of his uncles runs a lumber yard and will give him a discount on planks, and his part-time job at a hardware store up in Maine has an employee discount on the various hardware that he needs (Nursey stopped listening after Dex started mumbling to himself about bolt sizes. It was easier just to watch his lips move and sigh.)

         It’s a good set up and they won’t be on top of each other if they’re both in here at once. They’ll probably survive. They might even be able to manage a few good memories. Nursey’s eyes catch on the slit in the flooring, where a quarter rolled itself not three months earlier, and his subconscious starts spewing musings of fate. His lips quirk into an unbidden smile, just like they had that day. No, he hadn’t been able to conceal his excitement at the thought of sharing a room with Dex. He had been incredibly disappointed to learn that Ollie and Wicks had gotten the attic, and not just because that had meant, at the time, that he and Dex would have to fight over Lardo’s dibs.

         “Nursey, honey, come downstairs!” Bitty calls. Nursey shakes himself and follows the voice down to the kitchen, where most of the SMH, plus a few more, are congregating over an apple pie alamode because it is fucking hot. Caitlin came over to help move them in, so she and Chowder are sharing a piece of pie- fine, Nursey thinks, but doesn’t say. The season’s over; no more fines. Dex had gotten his dryer back in February and everything Valentine’s Day entailed. Nursey had spent his birthday fining the team right along with Dex, and then they watched Monty Python movies and ate the birthday pie Bitty had made Nursey together on the couch. Nursey considered it to be one of the best birthdays he’d ever had.

         Aside from Chowder and Caitlin, most of the SMH couples were present as well; Jack and Bitty, Lardo and Shitty, Ollie and Wicks, Ransom and Holster (who weren’t dating, but everyone considered them a couple), and Ford and her most recent drama girlfriend. Sadly, none of these girlfriends stuck long. As well as the couples, Johnson had also come back to visit, and Tango, Whiskey, and Whiskey’s lax bro friend, Baby Chad (who everyone had agreed was kind of alright) were there to help move as well. It was a big job; clearing out Lardo’s room and the attic and then moving all of the new tenants’ stuff in. Nursey’s stuff had taken the longest, boxes and boxes of books, so he’d been left to finish up his own stuff alone as the rest of the guys set up the stuff for a picnic.

         Dex slides into place next to Nursey, offering him one of the pink hard lemonades that Bitty had gotten everyone addicted to. Nursey takes it with a small smile and marvels a bit at the similarities between the color of the drink and Dex’s skin in the almost-summer heat.

         “I have to set up some shelves and we’ll definitely need more space for all your fancy hipster clothes, but I think it’ll be okay,” Dex says, eyebrows pulling together seriously before smoothing out as he finishes the sentence, offering Nursey a small smile.

         “Hmm, yeah.” Nursey takes a sip of lemonade. He glances at Dex and grins. “It might not suck.”

         “Of course, you will have to keep your books from getting underfoot,” Dex says, the tone he uses for their banter tinging his words playfully.

         “And if I step on some kind of hardware thing, I’ll wake you up with a bucket of water.” Nursey nods seriously. Dex nods back.

         “Of course.” He takes a sip of his own drink. “And if you try to talk to me while I’m tweaking over school work, I’ll put a live lobster in your bed.”

         Nursey can’t help but laugh at that one after all the references to lobsters that he’s made Dex endure over the past two years. Dex smiles back, arm paused halfway through the motion of bringing up the lip of his bottle to his mouth, and it’s such a good look on him that Nursey can’t help but sigh through his nose.

         “Look!” Chowder cheers, smiling brightly and a little too much- he’s probably hit the hard lemonade too. “ They’re getting along!”

         The rest of the group laughs as Dex says, “Don’t get used to it.”

“I bet this’ll be the last time they get along until graduation,” Holster says, grinning happily even though his cheeks are tear stained from earlier.

Dex flips him off good-naturedly. Then he rolls his eyes, sharing it with Nursey, as if to say, they’re ridiculous. Then he grins, a bit of mischief in his eye, and Nursey takes this to mean, let’s prove them wrong.

         Yeah, Nursey thinks, let’s.

signs as Romantics era poets
  • Aries: John Keats
  • Taurus: Christina Rossetti
  • Gemini: Robert Burns
  • Cancer: William Wordsworth
  • Leo: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Virgo: William Blake
  • Libra: Hannah More
  • Scorpio: Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • Sagittarius: Thomas Moore
  • Capricorn: Lord Byron
  • Aquarius: Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • Pisces: Mary Robinson