The Latte Rebellion
Students for Social Justice was okay, but I cringed at the idea of them finding out about the Latte Rebellion, and me having to explain why I wanted to keep doing it after the club proposal was shot down. They might support the ideas, but they would not be okay with me “wasting” money, or wasting time on what they’d consider a futile endeavor.
    “Don’t tell my parents either,” Carey said. “Oh, and for god’s sake, don’t tell them about Leonard. I’m supposed to be at your house tomorrow night, studying.”
    “You’re eighteen, Care; they can’t do anything.” Her parents, like mine, were protective, but surely they were used to the constant stream of would-be suitors by now. I didn’t see why I had to be her convenient excuse to see Mr. Snoogums. “Since when are you going out with Leonard?”
    “Yes, dish, please.” Miranda put her chin in her hand and focused her attention on Carey.
    “We’re not going out ,” Carey said unconvincingly. She couldn’t suppress a tiny, self-satisfied smile.
    “The hell you aren’t,” Miranda said, laughing. “Look at your face!”
    “We’re just going to a comedy show at the University Theatre. And dinner first,” Carey added in an undertone.
    “Going out to dinner!” I practically squealed. “Why didn’t you tell me before ?”
    “Because I knew you’d screech,” she said. “You know, I felt bad … after running into you that time.”
    “Why did you feel bad ? You can go out with whoever you want. You don’t have to tag along to my boring crap.” Even if that “boring crap”—i.e., Students for Social Justice—led directly to more inspiring ideas for the club, more popularity for the Rebellion, and, of course, more T-shirt sales. I took a sip of hot chocolate and tried to look like I didn’t care, even though my hands were trembling a little. “Knock yourself out.”
    “Gee, thanks,” Carey said, sarcastically.
    “Simmer down, kids!” Miranda said. “Why don’t we finish this problem set?”
    I let myself be distracted, but the truth was, it really got to me. It wasn’t the fact that Carey was going out with Leonard the Tattooed Lamewad so much as my growing suspicion that Carey was losing interest in the Latte Rebellion, in the scheme we’d had so much fun hatching together. The suspicion, which I realized had been burgeoning inside my head for a while, that she wasn’t as interested as I was in seeing it through.
    She hadn’t wanted to turn the Latte Rebellion into a club in the first place, after all. I knew she was more worried about getting a scholarship, about finally getting out on her own without three brothers hanging off her like monkeys. But this—clubs, activities, socially worthwhile endeavors—this could only help her get a scholarship, if she’d just put in the time. Time we would spend hanging out together, as an added bonus.
    Instead, I felt like I was seeing her less than ever.
    That night, although I kept thinking about Carey, I finally worked up the nerve to call Thad. I had no idea what I was going to say to him; I didn’t really have any questions about colleges, since I knew where I was going to apply and the deadlines weren’t for another month or more. But I felt like he’d asked me to call, like he might wonder why I hadn’t. And it wasn’t a chance I wanted to pass up.
    So I dialed. After a couple of rings, he picked up.
    “Hi, this is Asha, from the U-NorCal seminar,” I said in a rush, half-afraid he wouldn’t remember me.
    “Oh hey, I was hoping I’d hear from you,” he said. “Thanks for helping me wind down after my trained monkey speech.”
    “No problem. I specialize in inane, non-challenging conversation.” I squeezed my eyes closed and smiled so hard my cheeks ached.
    We exchanged a few pleasantries, but my mind kept wandering back to Carey. I found myself asking Thad whether he and Greg had ever had any disagreements when they were figuring out their clinic plan.

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