Josh set down his textbook and stretched his arms high over his head.
“Tired?” Carrie asked. She sat curled in the easy chair in the living room at Josh’s house.
It used to be that that chair was his father’s exclusive real estates, to the point that sitting in the thing never really appealed to Josh. He and Carrie opted to sit apart from one another in the house, a preemptive step to keep his mother and father from checking in on them every few minutes. It was those little annoyances of living at home more than anything that made him look forward to moving on to a four year college. As unglamorous as dorm life would be, the prospect of merely giving a roommate the eye to get some privacy as opposed to having to work around a parental force field seemed like remarkable freedom.
“A little bit. I just didn’t think studying hotel management would be so much reading. I thought we’d, you know, just sit around hotel lobbies and make observations.”
“Lot of theory, huh?”
“Apparently hotels are businesses.”
Carrie shifted, crossing each leg over the other into a tight bundle. “Maybe you could get in touch with a local hotel and get a gig for the group singing in the lobby. Sort of a two birds with one stone number.”
Josh shrugged. “Maybe the group will be ready for that next semester. For now, I’m just hoping we can get through this end of semester show.”
Citing a need to reserve performance space and get the word out, Amanda had scheduled their end of semester show in October. After the open mic debacle, Josh would have been content to wait until competition. But then, he reasoned, they should have at least one more live run-through before they tried to compete.
“I’m sure you’ll be great,” Carrie said. “You probably just needed one show to get a feel for the stage.”
Josh struggled not to take what Carrie said as empty platitudes. He tried to remind himself of how supportive she had been, of how she got him going on starting an a cappella group in the first place. But the more time that went by the clearer it was that she didn’t really know anything about what he was trying to do, and would just say supportive things regardless.
He didn’t want to think that way. And he wanted to mind that she was sitting all the way over on that easy chair, rather than close enough to hold his hand, close enough to spontaneously make out. But he didn’t really mind.
“And I’m sure you and Amanda will get more ideas from the The Grand Standers show on Friday.”
He regretted telling Carrie that he and Amanda were going to that show, but then supposed he wouldn’t have felt any better if he had lied. Still, just the way said Amanda’s name had something to it. It carried a weight of knowing something, understanding something, but just barely holding back from saying it—just waiting Josh out before he ‘fessed up to however much Carrie already knew to be going on.