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The Literary Girlfriend: Book Report Grades

July 28, 2013

LIterary Girlfriend: Grades

The first thing Danielle said in the morning was, “Coffee.”

It had been a great night with some rough moments.  Danielle took up 3/4ths of the bed and had hogged all the sheets.  I was a light sleeper so every time she had moved, I became alert. My paperback copy of Animal Farm had been ruined (don’t ask how), and I had a hangover-like headache even though I didn’t drink.  I knew what had caused it, though, and I wasn’t complaining.

Danielle was in even worse shape.  She didn’t budge.  It might not have been from anything we’d done; she had spent Saturday night dancing at the club while I had been asleep, so I had simply been better rested.  But still, I felt good about things.  Even as I stumbled around the bedroom, tripping over her thick-heeled shoes, she didn’t move.  After I had showered and returned to the bedroom to put on clothes, she was in the same position, but her eyes were open, barely.  I could tell she was watching me.

That’s when she had said, “Coffee.”  And she closed her eyes again.

I wasn’t a regular coffee drinker, so I had to run (or walk quickly) to a fast food place across the street from my apartment complex.  It was a good time to think.

I really hoped that this hadn’t been a one-night stand. I’ve always been against the one-night-stand.  I had several friends who were proponents of the one-nighter.  They appreciated the lack of attachment that went with it.  I wasn’t morally superior in my distaste for the one-nighter; I just thought it was impractical.  It took time and effort (and maybe incredible luck) to find a woman who would spend the night and do more than rest her head on my shoulder.  To me, it was stupid to start the whole process over and over again.  In college, I’d had several debates about this (not in any classes, though), but I don’t think the arguments changed anybody’s minds.

When I returned to the bedroom with two large coffees, Danielle was still in bed, curled facing the door.  I sat on the edge of the bed and gave her one coffee.  She propped herself up, took the coffee, sipped it, set it down on the side table, and gestured for my other coffee.  I gave that to her, and she sipped that one too and kept it.  Then she said, “Give me an hour.”

I lamely pointed at the second coffee.  “But that was… I was going to…okay.”

I decided it would be easier just to go back to the fast food place.  So I left, bought two more coffees, and plotted out the rest of the hour.  It was late morning, and the sports station was running pre-football analysis.  I tried to read the newspaper (this was in the early 1990s), grumbled about a few things, and made breakfast when the coffees kicked in.  I could have bought breakfast from the fast food place, but I liked mine better, and the smell of eggs and bacon and toast might wake Danielle up more quickly than something greasy in a bag.  By the time I had finished cooking, the hour had passed, so I knocked lightly and opened my bedroom door.

Danielle sat up and rubbed her temple.  “That was my first book report in bed,” she said.

I noticed she was wearing my Johnny Quest t-shirt, a rare Johnny Quest t-shirt.  I had mixed feelings about this.  I was elated that she was wearing my t-shirt.  She looked a lot better in it than I did, especially with the contrast of her brown skin against the white fabric of the shirt, but I was a bit uncomfortable with her going through my dresser like that already.  I hadn’t had time to evacuate some stuff that I didn’t want her to see.

“If I remember, you started it,” I said.

She fell sideways onto her pillow and buried her head into it.

I sat down next to her again.  “I hate to mention this,” I said, “but you failed your book report, the factual part, at least.”

Danielle remained on her side but lifted her legs onto my lap.  “That wasn’t fair.  You asked at a bad time,” she said, which was true.

“You asked me about Animal Farm at a bad time,” I said, which was also true.

“Just wait until tonight,” she said, and pulled herself back up, resting her feet on my lap.

Yes!  There would be a tonight!  I wasn’t sure what Danielle and I had, but it wasn’t a one-night stand.  An emotional burden had been lifted, but now I wasn’t sure about how to handle the rest of the day.  I didn’t want to seem needy by asking if she was going to hang around all day, but I didn’t want to seem callous by asking her when she was going to leave.

“You have plans today?” I asked.

“The game starts at 12:00,” she said.  Our local football team had an away game, and she was a fan, maybe more so than me.  “There’s a sports bar I know about.  They have lots of TVs, and the foods supposed to be good… if you want to go.”

“Yeah,” I said.  We still had a couple hours.  “I made some breakfast.”  I stroked Danielle’s leg a little bit and left.

Sure enough, Danielle joined me in the kitchen.  Even though her hair was a tangled mess that flopped over part of her face, I could still see red eyes and the hint of crust in her nose.  Crust?  It was our first morning together, and I had noticed what she would think of as an imperfection.  I thought her nose crust was endearing.  I wondered if she made loud noises when she went to the bathroom.  That wouldn’t be so endearing.  Then I wondered if we were taking things too quickly.  If we were, it was too late to change that now.

I had expected Danielle to compliment me on a breakfast masterpiece.  Instead, she inspected the plate I gave her.

“Have roaches been on this?” Danielle asked.

“I pulled these from the middle,” I said.  I figured if roaches were in my cabinet, only the top dishes would affected.

“What about these?” she said, holding the silverware.  I squeezed some dish soap on them and ran them through hot water and gave them back.

“I can’t move into a place with roaches,” she said as she ate standing up.  “I’ll get somebody to come out tomorrow.”

Move in?

“The owners say they’re going to deal with the roaches,” I said.  “They don’t want me to call anybody.”

“What are they gonna do?” she said.  “They’re not gonna throw us out,” she said.


“They might hold my security deposit,” I said.

“So?” she said.  “Threaten to sue them.  We pay a lot to live here.  There shouldn’t be roaches.”


A part of me wanted to argue with her about whether or not I/we should call my/our own independent exterminator, but I was locked in on something even more important.  Just a few minutes ago, I had been worried about Danielle being nothing more than a one-night stand.  Now she was talking about moving in with me.  I didn’t just have myself a literary girlfriend.  I had myself a live-in literary girlfriend, and I wasn’t sure if I even had a choice in the matter.


To be continued in… The Literary Girlfriend: Keys to the Relationship.

And to read “The Literary Girlfriend” from the beginning, start here.

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  1. I knew it! She’s a moocher!

  2. I came upon your blog and started reading. Then I couldn’t stop: like Miss One night, who kept going, demanding and assuming.
    So what’s a gal to do, but follow your blog?

  3. This story just took a huge turn…

  4. Fascinating story. 🙂

  5. Everything about this made me grin. I like grinning. Thank you.

  6. Wow, the girl was fast. I have a feeling that the relationship didn’t last long, either.

  7. sbdiaries permalink

    oh wow. The girl has some guts. I want to know what she was thinking.

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