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Mama you know you’re great!

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Katya did not expect anything special from those dormitories, but the rooms were VERY small. She had just started college and she was alredy complaining about something. She managed to get her luggage in the room and somehow opening the closet while making her bed and preparing her things. The room’s carpet smelled like an old basement and the desk was covered in dust. She glanced at the mirror, she looked like crap. Her bangs were dirty and the waves in her hair where starting to get looser and looser. She clearly looked like she haven’t showered (and she didn’t). While Katya was checking her smeared make up someone knocked at the door. Stomping on her luggage the blonde got to the door and opened. A black haired, slim, gorgeus showed up. She had piercing hazel eyes and a gaze that could melt a rock, she had something so royal about her appereance, poised, clean and didn’t look fatigued at all. Katya felt a bit dirty looking at her, she was the portrait of beauty and composure, and her...she could be mistaken for a homeless. Before speaking, the girl flipped her dark curls back: “I’m Violet, Violet Chachki”. Although she seemed full of herself her tone was nice, and she had a bright smile on. “I’m Katya, nice to meet you”
Violet got into the dorm “wow, they told me not to expect a lot but this dorm is...well...horrible” Katya laughed “wait ‘till you see the bedroom”. Katya went back to her room, she looked at the mess and wished she never decided to go to college. She took out some posters of her favorite russian punk band, some letters from her granny, a few postcards and her fresh bed sheets. Making her bed she heard someone knocking again. She could not reach the door that Violet was alredy there, a tall, slim girl with platinum blonde hair fading into a pastel pink color was waiting at the door. She smiled at Katya, her make up was flawless, and her blue eyes were shining highlighted by a perfect eyeliner wing. Katya wondered why she had to be in a room where apparently everybody was born a model or a showgirl. These two girls could have been working for Vogue, they seemed two angels, or mermaids, fairies, whatever, they where stunning. “I’m Fame Mikkelsen” she said.
Katya could feel her stomach tightening, she was so gay and so fucked. Being trapped in a dorm with beautiful girl seemed to be her dream, but it was presenting as a nightmare. Fame got in and went in the room between Violet’s and Katya’s. Two rooms were left, Katya hoped with all her heart that the next two would be ugly as fuck or at least assholes. She could not close the door that someone showed up again. Another slim, gorgeous, blonde girl was there. Teal eyes, fair skin and red lips. Katya’s heart sunk as she realized she had to live surrounded by gorgeous girls, probably running all over the place wearing shorts or just underwear and she had to watch the scene. “I’m Katya” this time she introduced herself first. The girl had this calming aurea, almost as if she was at peace with the world. “Pearl” she said with a soft smile. Fame and Violet got out their rooms and introduced themselves as well, the three of them seemed to get along quite nicely. Fame giggled and suggested to move to the common room, make some tea and chat. Pearl left her suitcase in a room facing Fame’s and joined the others. The common room was definitely nicer than their dorms, two couches were placed one in front of the other and a big armchair was in between. Violet climbed to the cupboard and took out a kettle. She looked for some bags of tea but there wasn’t any. “Girls this thing is empty...” she turned and her hair flipped again. Fame got up “I brought some with me” she said “I’ll get it”. Fame disappeared in her room and while she was in the last girl knocked. Pearl opened, and Katya almost passed out. The girl was blonde as well, she had bright blue eyes, a lot of make up on and a cascade of blonde curls tied up in a ponytail. She looked like a country version of barbie, with her denim skirt, pink flanel (pink flanel were a thing?) and ankle boots. She smelled like flowers and bubblegum, Katya couldn’t believe it, she was just as beautiful but in a different way. She was slightly thicker, curvier than all of them. “Oh honey” she shouted “this place is so tiny”. The russian felt her knees like jello and was pretty sure this year would be a wild one.
The new arrived introduced herself as Trixie, luckly everyone was getting along and that was a good thing. They all drunk tea together (Fame had some weird ass tea) and chatted about what they’ll be studying. Fame and Trixie were both into cosmetology and beauty, Pearl was in fine arts, Violet was in fashion design. Katya waited before revealing her course.
“Come on Katy, spill the tea” Trixie chirped.
She felt all their eyes on. “Ok I’ll tell you but promise me you won’t laugh”
Everybody nodded. Katya took a deep breath “Russian literature” for a moment everybody gagged. Katya knew a lot of weird questions were about to come.
“Russian literature? Are you russian?” Pearl asked.
“Yes I am, my name: Katya, is short for Yekaterina” The next questions came from Fame “You speak russian?” And Katya nodded “I also lived in Russia for a while”. All the girls were super enthusiastic and asked Katya a shit tons of question, she of course had to speak Russian to them, showed them pictures of Saint Petersburg and explained how she pingponged from Russia to the USA her whole life due to her dad’s work. After their cups of tea everybody went to their rooms. Trixie stopped Katya and held her. “Katya can you help me with my things?”. The Russian felt a bit disoriented, she had to unpack her clothes, but the idea of helping Trixie seemed much more appealing. She nodded with a big smile.
Trixie’s room was in front of Violet’s and looked like it was the biggest among all those tiny ass bedrooms. The girl took out from her luggage a lot of pink clothes and of course pink bed sheets. With Katya’s help she made her bed and attached her favorite fairy lights, shaped like little flamingos, on the window. She had a lot of makeup with her, endless shades of pastel colors and a collection of fake lashes, she also carried something like ten samples of her lipstick. “Wow girl you love to make up” said Katya admiring Trixie’s palettes.
“I see you noticed” said the pink one.
“It’s a bit difficult not to” Katya laughed, causing the same reaction in Trixie. “I have to unpack my clothes too, do you mind if I go?” Trixie shaked her head and let her go. In the corridor she noticed Fame’s door wide opened, the girl was folding her clothes and putting them in the closet. She already decored her room with fairy lights, a mirror and a board with some pictures on. She also noticed a statuette of what seemed to be a chicken, fully rindstoned with small diamonds and pink stones. In that moment Fame turned her head and saw Katya staring at her shining chicken. “Are you looking at my chicken?” Katya was able to put together a simple answer saying yes. “I grew up in a farm where I had no friends but I was surrounded by chickens, roosters and birds.” Katya could not stop herself from laughing “So the chickens where your friends?” Fame said yes and took some pictures from her board, she showed Katya all her three favorite chickens she named Donatella, Madonna and Linda.
While Fame and Katya were talking about birds, Violet got out her room wearing only her panties and bra. She held shampoo and conditioner in one hand and a towel in the other one. She was wearing see-through lace lingerie and her hair was falling on her shoulders. Katya’s cheeks got red in seconds, her palms were sweaty and cold. She walked out almost naked but was rocking that lingerie as she was wearing the most expensive gown ever made. “Can I take a shower, I’ll finish in minutes”
Thank god Katya was helding herself to the door “Sure Violet”. Fame smiled at her while she locked herself in the bathroom and the water began to pour.
“Katya you’re fine?” Fame asked getting no response.
“Hello? Fame to Planet Katya?” She asked again. The Russian was lifeless.
“Sooo you like her?” Said Fame giggling “you just met her and you alredy like her”
Katya woke up suddenly and shaked her head “nonono, I just...I, I’m not used to people walking naked around” she could feel her cheeks burning. Without saying bye she left, she locked herself in her room and threw herself on the bed. Damn, Violet was so beautiful, and so was Trixie and so were Pearl and Fame. She closed her eyes and wished she never came to that college.
She woke up hearing someone knocking at her door “Katya? You’re up?” She stood up feeling dizzy and managed to get to the door, she noticed her makeup was smeared all over and her red lipstick was not as bright as before. She opened and Violet was there, freshly showered, with her hair wavy hair smelling like jasmine and some other scent. She removed her make up but she was just as beautiful. “We all showered, if you wanna go” She mumbled a quick “thanks” and took all her shower things. Under the boiling water Katya noticed how many bottles they all had. She saw two pink bottles (for sure Trixie’s) some strange flacons that looked expensive, probably they belonged to Fame. A bottle and a pot that had something written on, she could read “For blonde thin hair” so she figured out they were Pearl’s products and finally some strange contenitors with jasmine flawers drew on it, she alredy knew the owner. Katya removed her make up with soap and washed her hair with the only bottle of shampoo she brought, she was not into beauty or anything; that’s why she kept her hair short and never bought conditioner. She got out of the shower, run a hand in her wet hair and realized, with horror, she forgot her towel. She panicked, what could she do? Be rescued by somebody out of her hot roommates? Even if she had zero willingness to do that she had to. She slightly opened the door and glanced outside. All the rooms seemed locked, nobody in the doorway. “Somebody can help me?”
Pearl opened, “yes?” she said getting out.
“I forgot my towel, can you bring it to me? It’s on the top shelf in my closet. “Sure Katya” the sleepy like girl run gracefully to her room and quickly got out with a red towel. She passed it to Katya and then disappeared in her room.
Katya was finally safe, she wrapped herself in the towel and sat on the toilet for a minute, feeling like her whole life passed in front of her eyes. She went back to her room, blow dried her hair, straightened her bangs a bit, put on a comfy black and red sweater and jeans. She could hear her mates laughing in the common room and decided to join. Fame was braiding Trixie’s hair, Pearl joined them and she was now checking social on her phone and Violet was eating a granola bar. “Here you are Katya” said Fame surprised. “We were all thinking to order some chinese take out as it’s our first night as roommates, we have to celebrate!” Katya had a moment of hesitation but they were all very nice, and the option of a crowded cafeteria wasn’t appealing at all. She sad on the armchair and chatted for a while with Violet, under Fame’s eyes. She realized how nice she was, she was from Atlanta, her mom was Ecuadorian, she never met her dad, that’s why she did not have an Ecuadorian surname. “I was borned Violet Dardo, but when my dad died my mom remarried and I took my stepdad’s surname, Chachki, and yes, he’s Jewish” Katya was enchanted by Violet, she was so put together. “You liked him?” Asked the blonde.
“Not really, he’s a douche and he doesn’t believe that fashion design will take me anywhere, but who cares? I like it”
“And you want to change your surname?”
“Not really” said Violet throwing the bar’s envelope in the trashcan “Violet Chachki sounds so fancy, plus my name doesn’t define who I am, I could be named Mary, Leanne, Naysha or Svetlana, still doesn’t define me”
Pearl put her phone in her hoodie’s pockets “who names their daughter Svetlana?” After a moment of silence Katya talked “It’s my grandma’s name”. Everyone busted into laughter as Pearl hid herself under the hood, begging pardon for her insolence. Katya had tears in her eyes, Pearl was unique. While laughing and joking the food arrived and they started eating.
“Who has lectures tomorrow?” Trixie asked. Everyone raised their hand while chewing. Katya ate a lot and ended up competing against Violet in a burping contest, she won easily. “Vi, I’m slavic, you had no chance.” Pearl nodded agreeing. “You russian transvestite hooker” Violet shouted. They tickled each other and got into a pillow fight. Then they stayed up until late chatting a bit more. At 1 am they got into their beds, Katya was smiling, when she fell asleep.
***
The loud sound of her phone vibrating woke her up, she felt super tired and realized she was sleeping in the sweat shirt she was wearing the day before. She jumped out of bed and the view outside the door wasn’t exciting. Violet and Pearl where both looking and the mirror, getting ready. Violet was wearing a black bralette, with a see through white blouse paired with black jeans, poor Katya tried not to stare for too long but Violet noticed. “Morning beauty, we’re having breakfast together, wanna come?” Katya nodded and got into her room. She took the pair of jeans she wore last night and took out the closet her make up bag. She applied black eye pencil, black eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara. The finishing touch was bright red lipstick. She put some notebooks and a pencilcase in her leather backpack. Katya wasn’t sure if she wanted to give a good impression to her teachers or just go on with her day with a dirty sweat shirt, she decided to change at least for the first day. Not that she had a variety of items to choose from but she wanted to look “pretty” even tho compared to her roommates she would for sure appear as the ugly duckling. She took out a red flanel shirt and a leather jacket, she slipped her foot in her trusty combat boots and sneaked out her room, she sat in the couch waiting for her friends. Pearl was the first to join her, she was also wearing a nice outfit, that looked so good on her. She had white pants and a grey cardigan. Her hair was braided into a french plait and she had lilac converse on. Fame came in wearing a cute nude silk crop top and skinny jeans, Violet threw a jacket the same color as her top to Fame who thanked her. While putting it on Fame chuckled. “Seems like someone didn’t get enought sleep” and pointed Pearl, who was sleeping holding her lilac backpack. Violet saw the scene and started recording a video “wake up Pearlie, it’s time to go to school” the blonde didn’t move at all, Trixie came in and Fame jumped at her covering her mouth with a hand silencing her. Trixie had a cute pink flowy dress on, and a jeans jacked to cover her, Katya had the same feeling she had when they first met, in comparison to the other three she had a one out of a kind beauty. She was not a little girl but she had an innocence that most of other girls did not have.
Suddenly Pearl woke up, making everyone laugh, they then went to the cafeteria, walking in the campus area, filled with trees that started to get brown and the fresh autumn air causing their skin to chill. In the cafeteria some people were already having breakfast, a line was forming, not so long but the girls immediately took their places. Fame kept tables for her friends while everybody got their food and started eating. “Ewww Katya what’s that?” Trixie asked. “It’s Rye bread with butter dunked in tea” the russian answered. “It’s very good, you should try it” the dolly shaked her head “no thank you, Russians are damn weird” she whispered taking a bite of her pancakes. Pearl agreed “I never saw people dunk bread in tea”.
As they where eating they heard someone busting into tears in the table at their right. A beautiful girl, with chocolate brown locks, was crying out loud, while another girl, with lavander hair dressed as an anime character was holding her hand.
“Come on Valentina, it’s just some coffee with cream and sugar, you can’t go the whole day without eating or drinking” said the lavander girl.
“No Aja, you don’t get it, it’s too much” said the cute girl, drying her big hazel eyes “it’s too much I feel like I’m about to throw up!”.
The girl named Aja took the cup to her friend’s mouth “just a small sip please, do it for your mum”. Valentina then took a sip of her beverage, closing her eyes and holding to the table. Another girl with bubblegum pink hair was watching the scene, she had a small plate in her hand, with just half a cookie on it. “You feel ok?” She asked concerned. The girl said no, with a hand on her stomach “Farrah please take me to the restroom”. The smaller girl looked at so called Aja, that took the small plate out of her hand and helped Valentina get up. Valentina was so beautiful but so...thin. She wrapped herself in her jumper and thanks to Farrah, managed to walk to the restroom.
The five girls looked at each other, Fame was clearly shocked, Pearl was staring down, Trixie grabbed Katya’s arm and Violet stopped eating. “Is your friend ok?” Trixie asked. Aja turned her head and inhaled “does she look fine to you?” She seemed on the edge of tears, but eventually took a deep breath and calmed down. “She has anorexia, we don’t know how to help her, she keeps throwing up!” Aja’s voice was low and lifeless, she was twirling her hair around her index, staring at the restroom’s door, waiting for her friends. They got out moments later, Aja stood up and took her backpack and another purse “I’m sorry, thank for asking by the way” Trixie smiled to the exhausted girl and to ger friends, making Katya a little sad.
Fame talked first “holy fuck, poor girl, anorexia is a lethal illness and she doesn’t even realizes it” Violet kept staring at her plate, even if she had a few more bites to go she couldn’t finish, so did Pearl. “I’m afraid she doesn’t have that much time left” said the black haired girl “she was skinnier than me”. “Yes Violet, but you seem like someone who eats a lot, even if you have 18 inches waist” added Fame “she couldn’t eat half a cookie and she felt nauseous after a sip of milk with coffee”. Pearl followed the three getting out “I hope she’ll find a solution” Katya nodded agreeing. They all got up without saying a word. “Don’t worry, she’ll be fine” a cute girl smiled at them “we’ll take care of her, I hope we will find a cure” she spoke with a thick spanish accent “I’m her friend, I know she’ll recover.” She had long flaming cherry red hair and small dark eyes. “Cythiaaaa!” Someone called the girl from across the room, it was another girl, with a bright smile, a head full of dreadlocks and well...a unique...makeup.
“I’m coming Thorgy” she waved at them and with little jumps she reached her friend and walked out.
“Ok, it’s a bit out of theme but...don’t you notice we are ALL girls?” said Pearl concerned.
“We are, basically” said Katya, not that she didn’t like it but it was true, she could not see a single boy out of all the people at the cafeteria. They walked out in silence, being a little shook from the previous scene but all excited about lessons. Katya had a feeling of inner peace she didn’t had in ages, the birds were chirping, she had good roommates and everything was just so simple yet so good. They arrived to the building that hosted their classes, a huge complex made of glass and steel with giant letter’s on the top saying “Rupaul University”. They all entered the building and a nice girl said hi to them, she was definitely older than all of them, probably a teacher or something. “Hello girls, I’m Chad and I’m here to help you if you need” she passed them a few papers and five lanyards “these are for the cafeteria and to get recognized in the campus, pay attention and NEVER loose them ok?” The girl thanked her and started walking around looking for some papers or anything to help them get into their classes. Katya was walking with Fame: “I can’t believe it Katya, we’re in college, it’s all about to start, so cool!” The blonde russian chuckled, she already loved Fame’s optimism, it’d be good if she could learn something from her, as she was a huge pessimist. Pearl run toward them, showing a papersheet with lots of info about classes and courses. They were all in the same building but in different floors. Fame was with Trixie, Violet with Pearl and Katya all alone at the last floor. “Better get on my way” she said exhaling, lots of stairs to do and no company. The girls started get into their classes too when Katya reached the stairs, after a long run she managed to get to the fourth and last floor. Katya looked around and no one was there, just many empty rooms. As she was down the hallway she noticed the only room that had desks in and entered. It was her and another girl, who was reading. She noticed Katya’s presence and smiled: “Hi”. She had an impeccable style, her hair was in a jet black bob with short bangs. She whore glasses and a french beret. “I’m Sasha” said the girl smiling “guess it’s just the two of us” and she got back to reading. Katya sat next to her (as if she had an option) and took out a black notebook. “You’re russian too?” the blonde asked, the other girl nodded. “I’m Katya by the way”. The girl closed her book and started taking out her material “I bet your name is Yekaterina” she opened her notebook “and how many surnames do you have?”
Katya turned facing her “Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova”. For once nobody ask her weird questions or to repeat her name again, instead she has a quick comeback “Alexandra Steinberg Velour” finally somebody could understand her: “doesn’t sound very russian I know, but I’m of jewish origins” Katya realized how soothing her voice was, a bit raspy but calming, not too fast but not annoyingly slow. They were chatting when a tall old woman entered. “привет, суки” she shouted. Sasha and Katya’s jaws dropped to the floor. Did that lady just called them whores?
“Pardon me?” Asked Sasha a bit shaken “сука блять, don’t tell me you are russian...” the lady facepalmed so loudly probably someone heard her outside. “We both are” Katya told, feeling kinda aroused. The old woman took a seat on a chair and took out a big blue book, she was probably annoyed by the fact that no one was in that class, but who would blame her? Having two students to educate probably wasn’t appealing. She took out some papers and examined them with care while Katya and Sasha stared at the floor. The black haired girl lifted her eyes and gave a little kick to Katya’s ankle to get her attention. The other girl glanced her, not knowing what to do, the atmosphere was getting creepy and silence wasn’t helping. Sasha accidentally dropped her book, when she tried to take it the lady stopped her hand, took the book from the floor and read the title: “memoirs of a dutiful daughter” she read out loud, she looked at poor Sasha with critical eye: “boring, you better start reading something like Tolstoj, in russian if you can”. Katya was not exactly happy about her teacher, and immediatly knew it would have been a long day.

Chapter Text

“Stop, you’re lying” Trixie shouted. “I’m telling you, she called us whores” replied Katya with a piece of food in her mouth, while eating with her friends. Violet laughed “at least you don’t have my teacher, some rumors say she fucks some of her students” as she lowered her voice she got closer to Katya, making the russian blush a bit: “you see that girl with blue hair, a piercing on her nose...” she tried to point her to her friends: “come on, the one with the leather jacket and a purple tee”. They all nodded, Violet sipped some water and flipped her hair “a girl named Trinity in my class told me Miss Del Rio slept with her, she’s called Adore I think”. Pearl analysed Adore, examining every inch of her “she’s pretty, and I like her name”. Fame agreed silently, after taking a bite of her salad she started talking about her lesson: “Trixie and I were with some girls from this morning, Farrah and Valentina, they’re nice, so is our teacher; Miss Benet” but then she lowered her voice a bit “but there’s someone I can’t really stand, two tables away, you see that tall girl?” They all nodded “she’s Alaska, I can’t with her” she massaged her head, then Trixie interrupted her “she has the most annoying voice on this planet, oh honey, and her friend, Willam, a total whore. But the other blonde girl is fine, she’s cute, Christie? Callie? No...Courtney!” Without any intention Trixie shouted, immediatly covering her mouth with her hand. So called Courtney turned her head and shyly smiled and them. “Good job Trixie” said Pearl. Violet finished her food “I’m in class with Aja, oh and another girl named ChiChi”. Katya wasn’t sure if she had to mention the fact that she was alone in her class with another unlucky russian girl, and that she was her only classmate. She couldn’t even decide that Trixie asked her. She bit her tongue, not knowing why she was so nervous about talking to her roommates, probably because she had huge trust issues. “I’m actually alone with another russian girl, Sasha”, her friends were gagging, expecially Fame. “You two, and nobody else?” She asked again worried, “how is it even possible to have a two student class?”. In that moment Sasha passed, holding hands with a beautiful black girl, who kissed her on the cheek smiling. “Hi Katya!” said the girl with glasses, Katya lifted her eyes and saw her “Oh, hi Sasha”, judging from how they holded hand and how the other girl looked at her they probably were a couple. So, not only they were both russians, but also gay. Actually, now that Katya noticed, they had a lot in common: russian origins, bob cut with bangs, probably gay, into literature...that could have been great, but also bad. “This is Shea”, Katya smiled and shaked her hand. Shea was taller than Sasha, she kept her hair in two cornrows with beads in it. Violet said hi to Shea, “we’re in the same class” and that explained how they knew each other. “It’s nice to meet my girlfriend’s only classmate” said Shea laughing. “I know, but I knew russian literature wouldn’t be exactly popular” replied Katya trying not to seem awkward. They chatted some time, then they left, saying goodbye. Katya could feel a strange sensation in her chest, that school was so good and so bad at the same time. She was there from some hours and she knew about teachers fucking students, anorexic girls throwing up and crazy old ladies giving lessons. She was sure she’ll never get bored, but for once she could have been just a normal girl in a normal college.

After they cleaned the table, Katya and her roommates went back to their dorm, some of them went to study, some others just wanted to rest. Trixie used her key to open the door, the room smelled like an old closed house and hairspray. Violet went opening all the windows and Pearl let herself fall on a sofa, with her shoes on. In seconds she was asleep, Katya never saw someone as sleepy as her, she had the impression that Pearl was someone very calm, the truth was she was always tired and that kept her away from fights and arguments. She got Pearl a blanket and covered her, so she won’t feel cold, then went to her room. She took out her backpack the notebook and a few photocopies the lady gave her. Her notes were always a mess. She didn’t like to use colors or highlighters, she only used a black pen and a gray sharpie, nothing more. She tried to understand something, but failed miserably. It was her first day and she was already struggling. She passed to the photocopie trying to focus hard; “The classic Russian novel Anna Karenina is considered to be Lev Tolstoj’s finest work and it’s a great masterpiece belonging to Realism literal movement”
Katya could feel her eyes closing, she knew that book by heart, she even read it in russian once, but she had to study Tolstoj’s life and Russia’s situation, historical context and how that influenced Lev’s book, and her notes were not helping. She grabbed her phone and went on instagram, scrolling down her home; lot of her high school friends were starting college too. Something came up to her mind, she clicked on the searching bar and typed “Sasha Velour”. Katya found her insta page, so she could ask her for help. Her pics were great, Shea and her looked so cute, she was definitely a cool person. Katya texted her, hoping for a quick response.

Katya: Hi Sasha, hope you don’t think I’m a stalker or smth, I’m really struggling tryna understanding my notes :( can u help me? -katya

Sasha: Hi dear! Nono don’t worry, I can help you, I’m in the library with some friends, if you want you can come and copy mines :)

Katya pressed the “follow” button and got a saw Sasha doing the same as she received the notification. She typed something real quick warning Sasha she was about to come. She threw her things in the backpack again and put her jacked on again. Out of her door she noticed Pearl was awake, looking tired as always but her eyes were open. “Pearl I’m going to the librabry, tell the others” she said in a rush seeing Pearl nodding while yawning.

The sun was up, but Katya could feel autumn’s air getting into her sleeves and her skin getting goosebumps, she loved cold weather, maybe it was because of her russian origins but winter was her favorite season. She remembered the times in which she lived in Russia, near Moscow, her family lived in a nice suburban area where they had lots of parks and in winter they played in the snow. Katya had an older brother named Dimitri, Mitya for short, and he loved winter too. After a long afternoon in the snow they’d go back home where mom made Solyanka for dinner and they would feel the happiest children on the planet. Katya smiled, while the wind was hitting her face and chunks of her wavy hair would get in her face. She took out the cigarette packet from her backpack and lighted up a cigarette. She took a long drag and exhaled.
“Sorry, can I borrow your lighter?” She heard someone saying. She turned her head and saw a beautiful girl with blue hair tied up on the top of her head and a piercing on her nose, it was Adore. She silently passed her the object and noticed she was about to cry, Adore’s eyes were red and she was breathing fast, her nose was a bit runny and Katya felt uneasy. “Is everything ok?” She asked taking her lighter back and putting it into her pocket. “Umh yes, I guess...thank you” said Adore, in moments she was gone.
The library was just as big as the other buildings, and Katya loved that. The hall was enormous and endless shelves full of books were just there, ready to be read. She texted Sasha asking were she was, ‘cause that library was VERY big, and even if she tried to, she could not see her classmate. Sasha texted back and Katya went on her way. She could recognise some of the faces she saw in the cafeteria, Valentina for example was writing something on a blue book, the other girl she met in the morning was there too, Farrah in fact was right next to Valentina with some sheets of paper here and there but chatting on her phone. Katya got to the second floor in a quiet area where she noticed Sasha at a table with Shea and two other girls. She approached them and Sasha got up, leaving her friends. She grabbed Katya by her shoulders and gave her a kiss on the cheek, near her mouth. Katya felt the urge to see if Shea noticed anything, but the girl was too focused on her book. As she approached she noticed the others girls, one was curvy, with dirty blonde locks in a long ponytail, the other one had the perfect body, a long sleek bob with silver hair and black roots, she looked like a yoga teacher or personal trainer. “Katya these are Alexis and Trinity” the russian smiled and waved, Alexis smiled back, Trinity just looked at her. “Trinity is in class with Shea, so she may know Violet” said Sasha, “Alexis studies English literature, I don’t know if you met people in that course”. Katya shaked her head and took place, and noticed Shea was staring at her, did she noticed Sasha’s kiss? Did she know it was only a thing russian people did? Her classmate passed her a colored notebook, opened on a page filled with a beautiful handwriting. Sasha had great notes, neat, simple and legible, the opposite of hers. She started copying carefully while the others looked at their blocknotes.
Halfway to the copying session Alexis stood up. “I’m going to starbucks, you want somethin?” She asked smiling. “I’ll take a chocolate frappuccino” said Shea too focused on her book. “I’ll take a chai latte with soy milk” said Trinity without looking at Alexis. “I’ll take a black coffee, no cream or sugar” said Katya, “me too” added Sasha. Alexis looked at them “what’s up with russians and black coffee?” Katya glanced at Sasha “simple tastes” they replied. They really had a lot in common. Shea groaned and laid on the table “Fuck my life” she mumbled, Sasha caressed her arm: “come on babe, just focus a little more” she whispered. Katya couldn’t relate more.
Her phone started ringing at a ridiculously high volume, she grabbed it and saw Violet’s contact.
“Vi, I’m at the library, what’s up?”
“Katya! We need your help!”
Violet’s voice was pretty concerned.
“What happened?” Katya started panicking a bit, meanwhile Alexis got back and passed her a cup.
“Trixie locked herself up in her room, we can’t hear her, we can’t talk to her, I don’t know what’s happening!”
Her heart skipped a beat.
“You can’t get in?”
“No, we tried everything, Fame went looking for an universal key”
“I’m coming” Ending her call she noticed everybody’s concerned face, especially Sasha’s.
“Sorry, I have to go” she said shovelling her things in her backpack. Trinity finally talked to her “You need help?” she asked worried. Katya thought about it and spoke “you know where I can find a universal key?”. Alexis looked and Trinity and vice versa “You can ask Miss Hides on Miss Dujour, if you are in building two or three”. Katya checked her phone, and stood up “thank you so so much” and she run away.

It was already pretty dark outside and the air was even colder, Katya could feel tears forming into her eyes due to the air. She had always been pretty fast, but she felt like that time it wasn’t fast enough. She stomped on a rock and landed on the ground, she got up and checked if she was bleeding, but everything was fine. She could glimps the dormitory getting closer and closer, her hearth was beating fast, she felt it in her throat. She entered and got up the stairs in seconds. The door to her room was wide open, Fame, Pearl and Violet were banging at Trixie’s door, Fame was sobbing. “Katya!” shouted Violet in relief “help us”; Katya banged even harder calling Trixie out loud. She heard Fame falling to the ground, sobbing even harder. Pearl was behind Violet, breathing heavily, looking very anxious. “Trixie please, open the door” she shouted, biting her nails.
“What the fuck is going on here?” An asian girl was standing at their door, she had a strange platinum chunk of hair in her black wavy mane.
“Our friend looked herself in, it’s been an hour and we can’t get in, she’s not answering” said Fame in tears. The girl entered and started banging too. Katya was very worried, what was going on? She hoped Trixie was fine, maybe she was just sleeping? She felt like she was telling a huge lie. The new girl stopped banging: “you need an universal key” she said, then she started screaming out loud “Raja! Get me the universal key! Raja?” The door in front of the room opened, revealing a tall, slim girl, with dark skin, almond eyes, and blunt black bangs. “Manila stop” she said tying her hair in a top knot. “I need the universal key” said the asian “we can’t get in”. Raja took something from behind the door and passed it on the device, opening the door.
Trixie was lying on the ground facing the roof, she was unconscious. Katya and Pearl immediatly entered, throwing themselves on the ground, shaking Trixie’s body. Raja got in too, she took Trixie’s pulse. “She passed out” she affirmed “we need to get her on the bed. Pearl and Katya lifted her and slammed her body on the bed. She was pale and cold. “Now you lift her legs up and see if she responds” Raja was calm, she seemed a cold blooded person, with everything under control. A few moments later Trixie opened her blue eyes, staring at Katya.
“What-what happened?” She asked holding her head. “You passed out” told Manila “try not to get up, lie down, we’re taking care of you”. Manila took Katya’s place lifting Trixie’s legs. The blonde got out her room, gasping for air. Her friend passed out but seconds ago she was thinking about all the bad things that could have happened. Raja reached her and put a hand on Katya’s shoulder. “You’re fine?” She asked with a big smile. “It happens, stress, emotions, blood in your vagina, it won’t be her last time” she said smiling. Katya moved her eyes to Violet comforting Fame, who stopped crying for being worried but started crying because she was relieved. Raja talked to her again “Give your friend something sweet to drink and don’t act like the world ended, if you need help, ask us, we’re right in front of you” and then she left with Manila. Katya got into Trixie’s room, feeling huge relief. Her friend was sipping water while Pearl was at her side. “You scared me mama” she said. “I faint pretty often, should have warned you” and she scratched her head “I promise I’ll be careful next time”. Pearl took the glass out of her hands and put it on the desk “what if you faint in the shower or you get stucked in here again?” she asked. “Those girls have a universal key, you can ask them” said Katya. She approached Trixie “and you should take some vitamins or something”. Violet and Fame entered, and the pink-haired girl hugged Trixie, almost as if she risked her life. Violet put her head on Katya’s shoulder “I almost shit my pants” she whispered “I was so worried”. Katya wrapped an arm around her. Luckily everything was ok...

The line to the cafeteria’s doors was shorter than usual, probably because a lot of people decided to stay in their dorms and study. It was not Katya’s case, neither her friends’. Trixie seemed pretty fine after all that chaos, she and her friends chatted a while before going to dinner, she explained she fainted quite ofter because she was a vegetarian and didn’t eat anything with iron in it and that caused low blood pressure and fatigue. Katya saw Manila and Raja at the end of the line, now that she noticed Raja was fine as hell, she immediately criticised herself, she was thinkinh way too much about all the pretty girls that surrounded her! But what could she do? She was just Katya behaving like Katya. Violet’s eyes glanced the two girls too, she leaned out of the line, waving at them and making signs to get them in the group. The two joined “it’s the only thing we can do right now” she smiled. Manila streched her arms: “it’s more than enough, at least we can get dinner faster” she thanked Violet so much. Pearl gently leaned on Katya’s shoulder yawning she looked at Raja and aksed her a blunt question “Are you a model or something?” They all looked at Pearl, raising their brows.
Raja nodded and took out her phone: “I was a model for Diesel and some other companies” she said as she was the most common thing in world, showing pics of her semi naked body with only jeans on. Trixie had her jaw down to the floor: “You are not serious” she screamed, it was evident that Trixie could not keep her voice low. Fame interrupted the conversation “I model too, what’s the deal?” she took out her phone as well “I was in Vogue”. Ok, Katya did not want to believe that, Vogue was way too much. This girl could not be in a cosmetology course in this university and be a model at the same time. But as Fame showed her some shoots, with great approval from Raja, she had to believe it. Then she heard Violet laughing a bit: “guys I modelled too!” Again they all got the chance to see more and more pictures of a girl in their uni modelling, this time it was for a Moschino Runway during Milano Fashion Week.
“Basically I can throw my whole body in that bin”, Trixie was always on point, this time more than ever. Manila tried to cheer them up “you are all gorgeous, no need to worry”. Easy to say, thought Katya, especially if you don’t have immage issues.
They finally got to the door and entered, taking some trays and lining up again for food. Katya could not think about anything different than her models-roommates. She could see that both Violet and Fame were beyond handsome, but she never thought they were models. But for some strange reason she thought the most beautiful among them was sweet country girl Trixie. She had something, a sparkle, whithin her that made her different. Maybe it was that childish look she had, her blonde curls, or her baby blue eyes. Or it was her quick humor. Katya couldn’t figure it out, as she waited for her food she got lost in her thoughts.

They sat in the same place, eating quietly, even Trixie’s mouth was shut. Katya could see all of them were tired, and she understood completely. At their left Aja, Farrah and Valentina were chatting, Valentina was eating a plain toast, piece by piece, very slowly, chewing took forever, but she was eating. She felt happy for her. She also noticed Sasha and her friends at a table in the center of the hall, but they could not see her. She ate some more of her baked potatoes and then drunk some water, Fame swallowed her food and then proposed something “I heard there’s a party this Saturday, a sorority is throwing it for a special occasion, one of the girls is in our course” and she pointed Trixie: “they invited us too”
Great, Katya was looking for something to do, she was not a big fan of parties, but she was in college after all, she needed to try it at least once. “We have sororities?” asked Violet curiously. Pearl informed her “yes, mainly two, Haus of Edwards and The Davenports” and then she took a bite off her food.
“The girl who’s with me and fame is from the Haus of Edwards, she’s called Laganja” said Trixie, Pearl tilted her head to the left “Laganja? Who names their daughter Laganja?”
“She could ask you the same, Pearl” Violet ended her in seconds. “It’s actually a pretty old name” said Katya with her mouth full “it’s very, grandma-ish” she laughed at herself, she made up the most stupid word ever.
“And you are always sleepy, it fits you!” exlaimed Fame.
“And who named their daughter Fame? What does it even mean?” Asked the sleepy girl. Fame answered giggling “Girl, I wish I knew what my mom was thinking, she was high or drunk...or both”. They all laughed. Katya was feeling great.

On their way back Trixie was walking at Katya’s left, while the other three were way forward. Katya saw her face, the moon and the lampstood enlightened the pavement, she could see Trixie’s clear eyes reflecting the light. The russian finally understood what was so beautiful about Trixie that the others did not have. It was a mix of semplicity, uniqueness and kindness than managed somehow to sparkle on the outside too. All those little things Trixie did, Katya noticed them even if they met yesterday. She knew Trixie liked to take time to shower, she knew she loved everything pink and Dolly Porton, she knew she loved sit with her legs crossed. Katya knew.
Trixie then got closer to Katya: “Kathy, can I call you Kathy?” she said a quiet yes, “can I ask you something? Do you think I could model?” Just when she was thinking about her beauty she got that question. “Mama, you look great, even if you’ll never be a classic beauty. You heard Manila right? And without any need for validation you should know you look great” Trixie moved her eyes to the ground, hugging her denim jacket and breathing the chilly air. Katya took out her cigarette packet and starting to smoke. “Ewww you smoke” said her friend stepping far from her “that thing is gross and stinks a lot” Katya chuckled “you should try” she proposed, approaching the cigarette to Trixie’s lips, it was smeared with her red lipstick. Trixie looked at Katya’s hand, doubting weather she should do that or not. Whining a bit she took a short drag, with her eyes closed. As Katya expected she started coughing and gagging, cursing her for making her try. The cigarette was now smeared with pink lipstick mixed with her red one, creating a weird fuchsia shade. Trixie popped her tongue and drank some water from her bottle, in a desperate attempt to get that taste out of her mouth. Katya wrapped an arm around her and started playing with her curls “I see you loved it”
“Shut up Brenda” said Trixie smiling.

Chapter Text

A pale ray of autumn’s sun woke up Katya. She turned her face towards the wall trying to get some more rest, it was saturday after all. Her mind quickly rehearsed all the things shs had done that week. She met her roommates on Sunday, on Monday one of them, Trixie, passed out and she found herself alone in a class with a crazy teacher and a very nice girl. On Tuesday everything was pretty much okay except for the fact that it rained all day and the heating went off, they were all walking around with three more layers than usual. On Wednesday Pearl thought it would be nice to steal a coffee machine because she wanted one, she want up to the teacher’s room, took the machine, renamed it “Maisie” and took it to the dorm. On Thursday her crazy yelling teacher was not there, so she chatted for two hours with Sasha before heading back to the dorms. On Friday they had a night in with Raja, Manila and another girl named Carmen who was also very nice. And there she was, waking up, already hearing her friends chatting. She rolled out of bed, her hair was a mess and she smelled like sweat, cigarette and perfume, she almost thought she was the reincarnation of her dead grandpa, Ilya, who smoked all day and yelled at people. As soon as she walked out of her room her stomach produced a weird whale-like sound announcing an immediate need for food.
In the common room all the girls were awake, Katya however couldn’t see Fame. Trixie was on the sofa braiding Pearl’s hair. Violet was on the table, she only had panties and a t-shirt on. “It’s not very hygienic” she mumbled at her friend, who rolled her eyes. “Fame went to Starbucks and is bringing us breakfast, I told her to bring some black coffee for you and the plainest thing she could find to match your taste”. Trixie’s answer made Katya smile, she loved how much she knew about her in just a week. She sat on the armchair checking her socials, Sasha posted a picture of her and Shea kissing, Raja uploaded a selfie they took the night before, the same did Manila and Pearl.
Fame got in minutes later, handing to her friends their drinks. A good smell of coffee and pastries filled the room. Katya thought about when she was a child and she used to have blin for breakfast, they had a smell similar to those pastries.
“Do we all have to shower?” Asked Violet holding a cup of cappuccino. Everybody said yes. “What if we pamper ourselves for today? Beauty masks, creams, hair masks and then we get ready for the party!” Katya cursed Fame with all her strength, she hated those type of things, but seeing her friends’ enthusiasm made her change her mind. Her pink-haired friend came back from her room with a lot of masks, they were in all sorts of pots and jars. Pearl put some slimy thing on her face, so did Trixie whining and complaining about the horrible consistency. All together they made honey-neutral henna nourishing mask for their hair. The paste smelled like wild woods and was sticky as hell, but Fame assured it was so good on hair. Katya helped Violet waxing her legs, she started screaming in paint at some point and Katya begged her to stop for a while, her black haired friend responded with a quote “beauty is pain” she said ripping another piece of wax.
At some point Violet took her panties off to wax her intimate parts. Trixie shouted (as always): “Aaaah! What are you doing!”
and she covered her eyes. Violet seemed unconcerned about all that drama, as if she waxed in the common room daily, but Katya was feeling too anxious. “Sorry Vi, I’m not waxing your vagina” she said keeping her eyes away from that vision laughing almost histerically. “Oh come on Katya, you never saw a vagina? You have one!” but Katya was pretty firm, she had no intention to help her. Partly because it was disgusting and she didn’t like it, partly because she would become as red as a bell pepper whithin seconds. Violet complained “how am I doing that? I can’t wax without seeing where I put my hands! And I don’t want to shave” this made Katya reced even more, she went on the sofa, where Pearl was massaging Trixie’s shoulder.
“I’ll help you” all their heads turned to Fame. She stood up and got closer to Violet. “Do you mind it?” She walked towards Violet that was still on the floor, half naked. Fame took a scrunchie and tied her hair in a messy bun. “Can you get on the table?”. Violet nodded and stood up, her black t-shirt barely covered her butt. She stomped on the table, while Trixie and Katya tried not to see too much of her naked body, even if Katya felt like doing that. The pink haired girl took a wooden stick and immerged it into a thick blue liquid. Violet was on the table, with her legs to her chest. Fame put her hands on Violet’s knees and gently spread her legs wide open. Luckly Katya, Pearl and Trixie could only see her back. Fame spread some of the substance on Violet’s inner thigh, making her moan because of the heat. She then took a stripe and placed it on top of it and ripped it without even advising. “You’re so good at this, I didn’t feel anything!” Exclamed Violet.
Fame went on, ripping and spreading, under her friends’ eyes.
“I have to put my hand there, if you donnt want to I can stop” she said mixing the wax on the pot. “Don’t worry Fame, go on” Violet’s voice was kind of raspy, but sexy. Katya looked at the scene in complete silence, Trixie was too focused on painting her nails and Pearl plucking her eyebrows so nobody noticed, but when Fame touched Violet in such an intimate place, and when she heard Violet’s delicate moans, she felt a rush of adrenaline through her body, and she turned red. How could she find waxing sexy? Oh well, maybe because her two roommates who were super sexy and aslo models were basically filming a soft porn movie for the audience(Trixie, Pearl and her). She tried to focus on something else, like her nails, she kept them short, but she tried to put some nail polish anyway. It was very hard to something else when Violet was moaning and Fame laughing, what on earth was going on in that room.
“You two look like a filthy lesbian couple from the fifties” said Trixie retouching her nails. In that moment Violet, with a delicate little jump, got off the table, took her lace panties and gently wore them. She turned to Fame and thanked her, giving her kiss between her mouth and her cheek. Katya thought that scene was beautiful.

They decided to order something from the chinese take away (again) and eat at their dorms, they kept pampering themselves with all sorts of beauty tricks and similars, they even washed their teeth with baking soda! Finally at past 12 am food arrived and they could eat. They talked about what they were going to wear for this evening’s party, even if it was too early. Fame had a shimmery silver dress, ridiculously short, but it would be so beautiful on her, thought Katya chewing some rice. Violet wanted to wear something “casual”, and Katya wasn’t sure if a black silky dress with white and golder details on the belt was casual. Pearl decided for a lilac top paired with a lime green skirt that Katya thought was too tight and too short. After finishing their lunch Trixie showed half her wardrobe to them, and following Pearl’s suggestion she picked a beautiful minidress, of course baby pink because it was Trixie, with long sleeves but so short that Katya was sure Trixie couldn’t raise an arm in that thing. “And what about you Katya?” Violet’s voice waked her up, she honestly had no idea what to wear, and she didn’t like to dress up so she didn’t own a lot of pretty things. She passed a hand on her hair, getting dirty with the henna stuff. “I don’t know, I have a black dress maybe”. Under her friend’s eyes she picked out her closet something she wore ages ago, a black leather miniskirt with a black see through top. “I. Love. That” said Fame “You would look soooo great in that”. Violet nodded “I love see through! What type of bra are you going to wear?” she asked touching the kight fabric of the top. Katya opened a drawer and picked out a bright red bra. She showed it to her friends: “You own such a thing?” said Trixie touching “I thought you were the type of girl that only owned sports bra”.
Katya smiled “I am”. She thought about that day, it was starting great.
Back in the common room they cleaned up and sat down watching some Netflix, all sitting on the couch and covered by a blanket. Katya was resting on Trixie’s head when she felt a hand caressing her leg. She opened her suddenly trying not to seem agitated. She saw Trixie’s hand going up and down, scrathing her skin a bit with her nails. So Trixie and her were...cuddling? She didn’t mind it, actually she really liked that. At some point Trixie’s hand slid to her inner thigh, making Katya blush, what was she doing?
Her first thought was that she was not flirting, it was impossible, but who touched someone in their inner thigh under a blanket? Katya couldn’t figure it out. However she was feeling great overall. She noticed Pearl and Fame both leaning on Vi’s shoulders, who was covering them with the blanket. On Netflix they were watching Bird Box, but nobody was really paying attention.

By four o’clock they were all back to their rooms trying to study or doing something else, Trixie got in the shower and she was singing, she was not aware that all her roommates could hear her, but her voice was so good. Katya opened her window and cold air blew inside, moving her book’s pages, she laid on her bed trying not to touch her pillow with her head full of henna. She heard again Trixie’s voice, singing some of her country things, and she clised her eyes.
For a moment Katya got lost in her memories, again, she ofted did that. She had a happy childhood but not a happy adolescence. Katya passed from being a cute kid with big blue eyes and long blonde braids to an edgy teen that loved troubles. Grades were not a big problem, neither was her behaviour, but all the things she did without her parents knowing. She thought about that time in which she smoked crack with two strangers hiding in a container, or when she hooked up with a girl in a wood. She was pretty wild but after she got caught by her brother while smoking pot she got herself back on track, she could never forget Mitya’s eyes in that moment. She stopped daydreaming when someone knocked at her door. It was Trixie, soaking wet, wearing a (obviously pink) towel wrapped around her body. “Kathy do you know how to blow dry hair?” What a weird question...Katya was OF COURSE not the right one to ask it, she had short hair, didn’t like beauty tricks and most importantly Trixie was in Cosmetology, so if she did not know how to blowdry her own hair that would have been a problem. “Why are you asking me?” Moments of silence came along.
“I thought we could chat a while, but if you don’t want to I’ll ask Pearl”.
Katya felt sooo dumb, of course she was trying to be nice, but as always she didn’t get it. “Oh sure, I’ll try something” she said quickly, grabbing her phone and walking into Trixie’s room.
The first thing she saw was a guitar, followed by some weird instrument shaped like a flat box. Trixie’s hair was very long, she never noticed, it reached her waist and it was sooo soft and silky. “Are you sure you want my hands in your hair?”
“Sure, why?”
“I don’t wanna ruin it”
“You won’t, I’ll try teach you”
Half an hour passed very quickly with Trixie trying to help Katya with the brush, Katya failing and Trixie laughing.
They managed to do something pretty ok with the curling iron and finally Trixie’s hair was dried. She stood up and took something from her drawers, Katya faced the wall. “Oh it’s ok” said Trixie “I’m fine with you watching, I mean, I don’t mind it” Katya’s cheeks got red, she blushed so easily. “Really Katya, I grew up surrounded by girls, I shared my room with three sisters and my mom, don’t worry” Katya looked at her “three sisters and you mom?” That was a lot of people.
“Yes, we did not have a lot of space, our house only has two bedrooms and we put all the girls in one room and the boys in the other one.” Katya felt like Trixie was a little sad, her voice was cracked. “I’m from Wisconsin, Milwakee to be precise, and some areas there are very poor. Expecially if you live in a reserve like I did”
She heard Trixie’s voice cracking again and felt the urge to hug her. “A reserve, like the ones for native people?”
Trixie put on a large hoodie, and sat on her chair while Katya took place on her bed. “I am Native”. Katya face cracked like Trixie’s voice, a native girl with blue eyes and blonde hair? “I’m gonna sound so stereotypical but you don’t look native” her friend picked her backpack and looked for something, from the front pocked she took out something like a book, it was a small yellow journal with pink stripes and the name “Trixie” written on it. She looked through the pages and stopped. “Oh Brenda, you’re not ready”. She passed her journal to Katya, who dropped her jaw making a weird sound. “This is not you!” She shouted, the girl in the pic had dirty blonde hair braided to one side, held with a ribbon. She had brown eyes and was wearing a flanel and overalls. Nothing was pink, not a single trace of make up...that could not be Trixie. “Look at you! You have brown eyes?” Trixie nodded and took out one of her contacts in front of Katya. “I’m Ojibwe, a tribe who does not have a lot of native traits, we have pretty fair skin and some of us even have light eyes or hair, not like mines right now, but close. Dying my hair and wearing contacts I just look white” The Russian could not believe a single word, she loved her friend so much! “Oh Barbara, you’re such a force of nature!” And they laughed.

It was finally time to get ready, the room smelled like perfume and shampoo. All the girls were getting ready: Pearl and Fame were chatting while putting make up on, and Katya got lost watching them, all those things they did were slightly turning her on. The way Pearl was combing her hair, putting her mane in a high ponytail...it was majestic. She started analysing every small detail in Pearl’s face, that was highlighted by the ponytail. She then passed to Fame, that was not wearing her dress yet, the shimmery silver minidress was laid on the toilet waiting for his moment, while the owner was touching up her makeup. Trixie got out her room, that dress was gorgeous on her, Katya had no doubt her friend would look so good in that. She sat next to her, waiting for the others to finish and she rested her head on Katya’s shoulder. “Has anyone told you you smell good?” she said looking at the pink tornado. “Actually yes, they say I smell like candy or cake”
“Bubblegum” Katya precised. Violet got out of her room too, she looked like a goddess, she pirouetted around the doorway and sat on the floor with Trixie and Katya. “This night is gonna be sooo fun” she twirled her hair around her index “tomorrow I’ll be wasted but it’s gonna be worth it” Katya giggled “I’m sure you’re gonna drink a lot” Violet grabbed her hand “I’m going to” and she turned to Trixie “You like to drink?”
“Not really, but I do it sometimes”
Finally Fame and Pearl finished their things and they all got on their way to the party. Excitement was in the air and Katya could almost touch it, it was her first time at a college party hosted by a sorority! It was not exactly the enviroment she was used to, but since everybody did that she wanted to try it.
After couple minutes they got to a huge house whithin the campus, alredy filled with people, music was pounding and Katya could smell alchol from outside the house. Violet rang at the doorbell and a girl opened: “Hello I’m Shangela, what can I do for you?” She was quite short, and had long braids decorated with golder beads, her smile was bright and in contrast with Katya’s ideas of a sorority girl she seemed nice. “Oh hi, Fame, hi Trixie, you decided to come! Ganja talked about you and showed me pictures, you look so good! Come in”. The house was huge, people were dancing, drinking, some even kissing and the music was great. Katya looked for a place that was not crowded and decided to make her way though the kitchen followed by her friends. In the center there was a giant table covered in alchol bottles: “uhuh guess I’m making cocktails” said Pearl grabbing some paper cups and starting mixing weird things “I worked in a bar once, I’m pretty good at this” and she kept pouring different liquids. “Man this house is huge!” exlamed Fame looking around “and look how many people came” Katya could see Aja and Farrah on a sofa, chatting and drinking, she loved to see someone she knew apart from her friends. Violet passed her a cup filled with something that smelled suspicious, she took a sip and surprisingly it was pretty good.
“You actually know how to make cocktails, I’m impressed” Violet complimented Pearl as she took small sips. “But what’s inside of this?”
“Cranberry juice, pineapple juice, malibu white rhum and vodka” she said counting the components on her fingers. “It’s called the Barbie Girl”
“I love that” whined Trixie “can you make some more?” Pearl nodded and mixed some more ingredients in a cup.
Katya was a bit annoyed by the music, she didn’t like pop or house, she was more of an heavy metal/rock/punk girl, plus she listened mainly to foreign music. But she was feeling ok, she liked her drink and wanted to have fun.
Violet, Fame and Pearl started dancing, Trixie and Katya took place at the table sitting on stools. “You don’t like to dance?” she asked while Trixie filled her cup with random things. “Oh mama, I grew up with hoedowns, it’s better for all of you not to see me dancing” Katya laughed “I don’t want to see that”
“What about you?” Katya cracked her knucles “I was a contorsionist and a rythmic gymnast for years, I don’t know shit about dancing but I’m flexible as fuck” Trixie looked surprised “why are all russian gymnast or dancers?” She asked, Katya didn’t really know. “By the way rythmic gymnast is the one with flips and card wheels right?” “No, that’s artistic, it’s the one with ribbon, clubs, hoop and ball” Trixie nodded.
They talked some more: about school, their hometowns, their hobbies. She found out Trixie wrote music, and played the guitar and another strange instrument shaped like a pizza box called autoharp. She also enjoyes taking long baths, she was afraid of bees, loved to eat dirt cake (some weird thing with crushed oreos and whipped cream) and also she drinked Kool Aid without sugar because her grandma didn’t want to. They then watched their roommates dancing, Violet and Fame were great, Pearl...Pearl was not so great. Trixie poured some more glasses for them.
A tall girl with lilac hair, cut into a bob with full bangs entered the kitchen, she was holding a jug full of something. “Trixie!” she shouted out “Girl you came! I never thought you would” Trixie looked at Katya “Laganja this is Katya, Katya this is Laganja” they both said hi to each other. “You want some jungle juice?”
“What is it” Trixie asked tapping the jug.
“Kool Aid, Fruit and a lot of vodka” said Laganja taking two cups and filling them “I have to go, have fun tho” and she left.
Trixie sat down again: “This is my time, I get the chance to try sugared Kool Aid” and she chugged the drink. Katya drank it as well, regretting it so much seconds after. “This is disgusting” she stated, looking for some water. Her head was lighter than before, she could feel alchol getting in her blood, and if that was happening to her, a girl of slavic ethnicity who grew up with Kompot and Kvass, she didn’t want to know what Trixie was feeling. Her friends seemed fine at first glance, but she was clearly lost in her thoughts. “Are you ok?” She asked caressing her hair, Trixie nodded and smiled “I feel light” she said almost whispering. She looked across the room to look for her friends, but was she saw was not what she expected. She only noticed Pearl, who was angrily kissing a girl. She was holding to her shoulders, and the other girl’s hands were on her ass. Katya could not believe her eyes, Pearl was gay? Or maybe bisexual, she was very surprised. She looked at Trixie that was now laying on the table, half asleep. She looked around for someone, she only saw Shangela chatting with a girl in the corner of the kitchen.
“Sorry Shangela” shs interrupted her “do you know who that girl with rainbow hair is?” Shangela got closer “the one who’s french kissing Pearl?” Katya nodded. The other girl that was chatting with Shangela reached them: “I think it’s Detox, but I’m not quite sure” Detox? What was up with names in that college, Katya thought.
“By the way I’m PhiPhi” She was a pretty girl, probably filipino or something, with copper hair and a very dark make up. “She’s in the same course as Ivy, Jinkx’s best friend, you know the girl with red hair?” Shangela nodded, Katya shaked her head.
Her eyes went back to Pearl, this time she was grabbing Detox’s ass. She felt uneasy, looking at her friend smooching someone.
At some point Pearl stopped kissing Detox and pointed at the door, Katya could see her lips moving and saying something, she then saw Detox nodding and similing, now she could see her face. She noticed her peculiar features, she assumed she had lips injections. Pearl and Detox made their way out of the crowd, holding each others hand. Katya stood up “look at Trixie, I’ll be right back” she told PhiPhi and Shangela. She reached the door and grabbed Pearl’s hand, regretting her choice when Detox looked at her suspiciously. “Emh Pearl, I assume you are not coming back right?” Phew, she saved her ass last minute. “Emh yes why?” “Uh, just to know, so I don’t have to look for you when we’re leaving” Pearl seemed to believe her and left with her prey. Katya got back in the kitchen, she did not know what had just happened, but she had the urge to almost “save her”. She knew everything was more than fine, Pearl was ok, but she knew something was not ok. She grabbed her phone and texted her just in case.

Katya: if you have any problem text me

She pushed her phone back into her pocket and glanced around again to see if everything was ok. And it wasn’t.
This time she saw Violet sleeping on a sofa, with some weird guys looking at her. She stayed quite for a bit, hoping everything would be ok, but she had again that feeling. Shangela and PhiPhi were gone, but Trixie at this point was heavily asleep. Katya looked at Violet again, one of the guys was way too close, she decided that Trixie could be left alone for a minute or so.
What she saw when she reached the sofa was unbelievable, one of the guys had his hands up Violet’s skirt, that was unconscious or asleep. Katya couldn’t tell. “What are you doing?” She asked angrily. The boy smirked and hold Violet’s body even closer “I’m doing what I want to do”
“Don’t touch her” Katya was infuriated. The way he touched Violet was so disgusting that it was difficult for her to watch. “Touch her again and I’m killing you”. The guys laughed “yes, little lady, let me just finish here” he was about to kiss Violet when she woke up, her eyes wide open and fear in her pupils. Violer grabbed his hands, and tried to escape him, but he managed to held her still. Katya tried to help her friend, in vain, but then another pair of hands came for help, Sasha was right behind her, and Shea was there too. “We got your back” said her classmate. “Leave her right now” said Shea red with anger. The boy however pushed Sasha, she fell on Katya. He grabbed Violet and stood up, nobody in the crowd seem to notice even if Violet was screaming. Shea tried to help Violet by holding onto her tiny waist, but he was stronger and pushed Shea away too. Sasha helped Katya getting up, when she was finally up she saw Violet being slammed to the wall and the guy putting is hand under his skirt again and kissing her violently. She wanted to cry, she could see all of that, she saw Violet mumbling and weeping, she saw her tears and her terrified eyes. But then a miracle happened. Fame arrived from the crowd, she kicked the guy in the ass, literally. He turned and she kicked his balls, and while he was in pain laid on the floor she took Violet’s hand and escaped. “Where’s Trixie?” She shouted. Katya pointed the kitchen where she could glance the blonde who was awake chatting with someone. They run to the kitchen, telling Sasha and Shea to get out, when they arrived Trixie was with Laganja and Shangela chatting. Katya didn’t even say hi, she took Trixie’s arm and dragged her outside. “What’s happening?” She asked confused. “We have to go” responded Fame with cracked voice. Violet was crying desperately holding onto Fame’s arm, she was in pitiful conditions. “Don’t leave me, don’t leave me” she was whining, coughing. Katya’s heart died a bit, she realized in that very moment that Violet was assaulted.
On their way back Violet only sobbed, Fame was petting her head, Katya and Trixie walked closer, watching out for strangers. When they arrived to the dorms Violet was just shaking, Fame couldn’t let her go, when she tried to push the elevator’s button Violet grabbed her hand and looked at her with desperate eyes. Katya felt Trixie’s hand tighten. In Violet’s room Fame and Trixie tried to undress her, putting her the tank top she used as pajamas. Fame got rid of her make up and helped her get into bed. “Fame, stay with me, don’t leave me” Violet whined in fear. “Katya can you stay with her a minute? Trixie and I are removing our make up”
She nodded quietly and slipped under the covers to feel Violet’s body shaking and her cold hands wrapping around her shoulders. “Katya, that man touched me, he touched me, he touched me. He touched me where he souldn’t have touched me” She was obviously shocked. Fame got back in a few minutes already in her comfy clothes. “I’m staying with her tonight” she said. Katya saw her hugging Violet who started crying again, holding to her chest. She went to the bathroom and washed her face, the fresh water made her more lucid and she looked at the mirror with thousand of small drops down her face. Trixie knocked at the door, Katya opened, the blonde was ready to get in bet, but Katya could not unnotice her wet eyes. “Is everything ok?” She asked. Trixie sniffed “I was sleeping while Violet almost got raped, I’m not ok” she almost started sobbing but Katya stopped her “It’s not your fault, it’s not her fault, it’s that guy’s. Now get ready to sleep, I’ll check on her”
She knocked at Violet’s that was open, she slightly opened and saw Violet asleep in Fame’s arms. She showed Trixie the scene, and that made her a little happier.
“Katya” Trixie grabbed her hand.
“Can...I mean...can I sleep in your room?”
Katya scratched her arm, she couldn’t leave her friend alone, so she let her sleep in her bed with her.
Before closing her eyes Katya made sure Trixie was sleeping. She was breathing slowly, with her face covered by her curls. Last thing before sleeping Katya checked her phone, Pearl answered her message.

Pearl: sure Kathy, have fun, and stay safe!

Chapter Text

*7:00 am in the morning, somewhere in a dorm*

Pearl woke up, she streched her arms and tied her hair in a bun. She got back under the covers, and felt and arm wrapping around her waist. “Good morning” said the girl next to her, kissing her neck. Pearl kinda wanted to leave her, shower in her dorm and get some proper rest, but she also liked being there. “Morning” she answered facing the girl. After some kissing they got out of bed and went in the common room, where Pearl saw Detox’s rommates. She saw two of the blonde girls from the cafeteria, the ones Fame shit talked about, and another one with a familiar face. “Hi gals, this is Pearl”. She felt everyone’s eyes on her. “You chose a pretty one this time” said a girl with brown sitting on a sofa. Detox laughed “Shut up Roxxxy”. “She’s right” said one of the blondes with a slow, raspy voice “Shut up Alaska”. Pearl thought it was nice from Detox to watch her back and protect her from her roommates, but she couldn’t care less. A girl with black long hair was sitting on Alaska’s lap “Don’t worry about them, they’re just wicked witches” her laugh gave Pearl chills. “I’m Sharon by the way”.
“Pearl.” she introduced herself, and the last girl, with blonde messy hair finally spoke “Pearl? Like my grandma”. She thought about that time Katya told her name was gradma-ish and giggled. “Willam, you never shut up right?”
“Thought you knew that”.
Pearl sat on a chair and she noticed some unread messages

Trixie: Pearl, something happened to Violet yesterday, I think you should come back.

Pearl suddenly found swallowing very hard. Katya also texted her...

Katya: Pearl don’t freak out but Violet was assaulted at the party, when you can come back.

She felt her eyes itching, but she was not gonna cry, not in front of strangers.
“Hey, is everything ok?” Detox rubbed her shoulders. “I-I have to go”. She run to Detox’s room and put on her clothes. In that moment a tear run down her cheek, and her nose was runny, but she promised herself not to cry. But with the thought if her friend probably scarred for life because of some dude was too shocking to hold back tears. Detox got in as well and grabbed one of her sweat shirts. “Put it on, it’s cold outside” Pearl dried her eyes in the sleeve “thank you Detox, last night was great, maybe I’ll text you later”
She smiled as her friends let her go. Outside the dorm she started crying, she texted Trixie, her screen was wet from her tears.

Pearl “I’m on my way”

*7:30, Violet’s room*

Fame could not process what happened last night. When she woke up, Violet was still wrapped around her, and her t-shirt was wet from tears. Last night’s memories came to her mind, when she saw that guy kissing Violet, her kicking him in the balls, and all the tears Violet shed, sobbing endlessly. Her friend was breathing slowly, she was a bit of a mess, but she seemed calm. Fame wanted Violet to sleep forever, she didn’t want to wake her up and saw the fear in her eyes again. She took her phone and texted Katya.

Fame: u asleep?

Katya: I’m at Starbucks grabbing something for all of you

Fame: thanks, how’s Pearl?

Katya: she texted Trixie, she’s coming back

When she put her phone back on the bedside table she noticed Violet’s eyes opening. Her heart skipped a beat, thinking her friend would start cry again. She instead woke up and sat, looking at Fame. “Please, don’t bring it on, don’t talk about it” she said putting her hair in a bun and getting out of bed. Fame took her arm “Violet don’t do that, it’s gonna make things worse” she could see Vi’s eyes filling again with tears. “Vi, you are not alone, we’ll help you, but please don’t keep it all on the inside”.
Violet sat back on her bed and put her head in between her legs. “I just...just feel like garbage” she curled up, grabbing her own legs and hugging them. “Why did he do that to me?”
“Guys are assholes, and he didn’t know what consent is”. Fame curled up near her friend, with her left arm she petted her back. “But for know you just need support, Katya is bringing you a hot cappuccino”. She finally saw Violet smiling “that will help”.

Katya couldn’t believe how much line was actually there on Sunday, why were people up so early? She kept in her phone active just in case someone called, even if she knew only Fame and her were awake. She thought about Trixie sleeping in her bed hugging her slim body. She felt her shaking and breathing heavily in order to prevent herself from crying. What had happened yesterday was unacceptable, she started thinking about all the things she could do to help Violet, but apart from warning the campus police she couldn’t think of anything.
She suddenly felt a cold hand on her wrist that made her jump a little, when she turned a lady was staring at her. “You must be Katya, aren’t you?” she spoke with a southern accent, her hair was big and wavy, the same colour as chocolate and Katya couldn’t not notice her brigt red lipstick that resembled hers. “I am” she answered when the lady let her wrist free. “My name is Alyssa Edwards, ex students in this college and Shangela and Laganja’s landlord even if I act like a mother” Katya recalled the moments in which Fame was talking about sororities in that university, especially the Haus of Edwards, that’s where the name was from. “I heard about you friend and I’m so sorry”, Alyssa sounded truly regretful. “Ganja and Shangie are going through the lists of people that came yesterday, they want to find the responsible”.
“Thank you so much Miss Edwards” Katya was not too impressed, but she knew it was something, better than nothing.
It was her turn and she asked for a black coffee, two cappuccinos, an iced latte and a chai latte. She hold her cups in one hand, said bye to Alyssa and went back to her dorm. When she arrived Pearl was back, and she was hugging Violet. The poor girl besides her puffy red eyes seemed fine, better than yesterday for sure. “Oh, coffee!” said Fame grabbing the cappuccinos for Violer and her. Pearl took her chai latte and waited a while before drinking it. Trixie’s iced latte was there, waiting for her owner, that was probably asleep. “I’ll try to wake up Trixie” said Katya.
The sleeping girl was holding to her pillow, her body half covered and her curls everywhere, Katya remembered trying not to eat Trixie’s hair while sleeping. She was so peaceful, unbothered by her presence. Katya got on her knees and caressed Trixie’s face, in an attempt to wake her up. She opened her eyes a bit, yawning covering her mouth. The russian handed her the drink “Goodmorning Margaret”. Trixie took it and immediatly put it on her bedside table “‘morning Elisabeth, let me sleep some fucking more” said as she turned facing the wall and putting the covers all the way up to her head. Katya leaned forward and left a little kiss on Trixie’s cheek, she thought it was warm and pleasant.
In the common room Violet was sitting on a chair looking outside the window, her big cup of cappuccino in her little hands. She was wearing a hoodie so big her body seemed to drown in it her long legs crossed and an expression of confusion on her face. Pearl and Fame looked at Katya half smiling, knowing what the situation was about, Violet had to process what happened to her.
Katya came closer and put a hand on Violet’s leg, she jumped a little and the blonde took it off as soon, she instead put it on her shoulder. “I talked to someone” she said “they’re looking for your aggressor”. Maybe it was not a good idea to talk about it, Violet’s eyes filled with tears. She dried her eyes with the back of her hands, sniffing and sobbing. “Ok” Violet mumbled while drinking some of her drink. She got up slowly. “I have to study” was her excuse, she locked herself in her room and didn’t exit until it was dinner time.

Monday came too soon, Katya thought first thing waking up. The weekend they had didn’t help for sure, she was feeling sooo tired. She was however pleased to see that Violet’s door was open, and she could clearly hear someone showering. Pearl showed up at her door, wearing a pair of jeans and covering her chest with her pj shirt. Her eyes met Katya’s, greeting her with a soft smile, Katya thought it was a good start. Back in her room she took out some of her clothes from the drawers, they were already a mess, she couldn’t help it. She put her glasses on, she was too tired to wear contacts today, and she prepared for school. While throwing things in the backpack her phone vibrated, someone sent her a message, it was Sasha.

Sasha: Hi Katya, is Violet ok?

She was so happy to see people worrying about Violet, they were all super nice, and very close to her. Somebody knocked at her door, Katya opened to see Violet’s face, she had her arms crossed on her chest, and she was covering her mouth with the turtleneck of her dark gray cardigan. She jumped a little bit seeing her, she seemed worry.
“Kathy, you want to have breakfast with me at Starbucks? I feel like a need to get some fresh air, Pearl is coming too.” Katya nodded “What about Fame and Trixie?” She asked grabbing her lanyard: “They have lectures later in the morning, lucky them” said Violet adjusting her high waisted heans. Katya didn’t feel like Violet was too shocked in that moment, she was regular every-day-of-the-week Violet, poised, put together and polished. Pearl reached them with her backpack and jacket on. She also had a wool beanie, Katya thought it was exaggerate, but remembered Pearl was from Florida, so that weather was already too cold for her. In fact she saw Pearl’s face crack when she only put on a heavy burgundy red pullover. “You are not wearing anything on it?” She asked innocently, while Violet was putting on a light coat. “I was born in Boston and lived in Russia for a while, I don’t get too cold”. Pearl laughed, but passed Katya her leather jacket “Trust me, you’re gonna need it!”.
Pearl was sooo right, the weather was getting colder and colder, even for Katya it was starting to get a bit chilly. They chatter along their way, talking about all the homeworks they had and all their assignments. The Starbucks building appeared, and at 9:00 am was already filled with some people. They saw some of her friends from classes and a few of them from the cafeteria. They entered, carefully closing the door, and some girls from a table turned. There was a moment of silence, eveybody shut up, but few seconds later everybody started talking again, glancing rapidly at Violet expecially. The girl hold onto Pearl’s hand, looking a bit worried, she got in line and rapidly glanced around the room. A lot of people there where also at Shangela’s party, Katya also noticed that. The girls from the table were apparently interested in Violet. There was also a guy, sitting in that table staring at them, Violet held tighter. Katya started getting that feeling again, and if life taught her something it was to trust ger guts. She hid Violet with her body, and looked at the girls’ table. The guy stood up and went towards them, he had a smirk that reminded her the one of Violet’s aggressor. As he approached them she felt Pearl wrapping her hand around her wrist and whisper to her hear “We may have a problem”. The guy smirked again: “Hello ladies” he told with a fake sweet tone that made Katya sick. “One of my friends wanted to ask you something” he continued, poiting at Violet. “You know the guy from Saturday night don’t you?” She saw Violet staring at him, with her big hazel eyes and an innocent expression. She wanted to punch that guy already, for attacking her friend that way, she knew what was about to come up. “Well, his name’s Santino, and he really enjoyed spending time with you”. Katya didn’t want to turn and see Violet crying one more time, she just wanted that guy to leave and spend time with her friend. But when she turned she was shocked to see her friend’s reaction. She saw a spark in Violet’s eyes, a determination that she didn’t expect. She knew Violet had attidute, but she doubted to see her that way right now.
“Oh did he?” She asked with a bitchy tone. “Tell him a did the fuck not, that he’s ugly as fuck, he should learn some manners and so should you and you whores back there.” She then got out of line and started shouting “You ladies, no excuse me, you whores, you should at least have the guts to come here and ask me in person. So here I am, in person, answering your questions, it was not fun, it wad not pleasant. If you think assault is nice you should review your ideas of nice, and review you fashion sense too”.
Violet then got back in line, murdered the guy with a stare and fiercely flipped her hair back, with a satisfied smile.
Katya couldn’t be more speechless, Pearl and her hold hands during the whole conversation. She literally killed them, throwing shade and coming back with such style, only Violet could do that. As they were ordering Katya spotted Raja in the line and waved at her. The gorgeous girl waved back and skipped the line until she reached her. Her long hair looked so pretty, and she smelled like incence and honey, she loved that. Raja had a worried look on her face, and the moment Violer and Pearl left she looked calmer. “I’ll take a small americano, no cream no sugar” Katya ordered “another as well” added Raja. As they waited Raja took Katya’s hands and held them, her eyes were full of sorrow “I heard about Violet” her voice was concerned. “I’m so sorry Katya, she did not deserve it, did you warned anyone?”. Katya nodded “the campus police, also, do you know anyone named Santino?” She remembered the boy that tried to came for Violet, he named that guy clearly. Raja let Katya’s hands free and massaged her temples, she looked stressed. “I know he’s like the popular guy in high school, a douchebag if you ask me. Why?” Raja’s eyes then opened widely with shock “Wait...did he? Oh my lord” She held onto Katya’s hands again, and covered her mouth. They called their names and grabbed their drinks. They walked towards the table, in silence. Although the chaos that just happened Violet seemed calm, she was sipping her cappuccino like a queen and probably couldn’t care less about what just happened. She was scrolling down her instagram, looking at posts. Raja sat next to her, visibly uncomfortable and unsure about what to do, so she just drank her coffee. Too much was happening all at once, Katya was anxious, but she tried not too care too much.

When she got to her class, making sure Violet had someone waiting for her in her class, she saw Sasha on her phone, dangling her foot. She got to her desk and took out her things, she took a pink pen and started doodling on a piece of paper, that pen reminded her of Trixie. She drew a ghost in heels, a flower, some stars and a smiley face. She exhaled and put her hair in a bun, she was not ready for another intense week. Sasha turned to her, putting her phone in her backpack. “How’s Violet?” She asked concerned. Katya did not know the answer, but she tried anyway. “I’m pretty sure she’s ok, she acts like Violet but she doesn’t like to bring it on”. Sasha turned all her body facing Katya and bit her nails while listening to her. “Maybe she’s processing the thing, and everything, but we all feel useless. If that thing happened to Alexis or Trinity what would you do? I feel like...like garbage”. Sasha sat straight and scratched her arm, then she passed a hand through her hair. “You know Katya, sometimes people need support and sometime they don’t. I don’t know Violet but she seems like the type of person that doesn’t want to be seen as weak. You should see if she can go through the whole thing alone or if she needs support, but whatever she is up to never give her the impression you don’t care. Make her feel beloved.”
Sasha gave some good damn advices, she thought, and she figured Violet out before she did. She tapped her fingers on the desk, smiling at Sasha. Some minutes after the teacher came in and started teaching. Her voice was particularly annoying that day, and Katya could not focus. She kept taking notes even if her head was not there. “So that’s why Tolstoj wrote about it on Anna Karenina...” Informations passed from one ear to the other one, unprocessed by Katya’s brain. Her friend was taking neat notes as always and listening carefully. Katya realized she somehow was very very envious of Sasha. She was pretty, she had a pretty girlfriend, a lot of good friends, a good handwriting and she was always put together. On the other hand she was a messy, blonde gay girl that didn’t like to shower in the morning and smoked like a chimney. Finally lecture was over, and she only had one on Mondays, she flew out if the class, mumbling a quick goodbye to Sasha. Once out, she lit a cigarette and took a loooong drag, calming her nerves. She felt she was shaking, she thanked autumn weather for being colder than usual so people would think her shaking was because of the cold. She was devoured with anxiety and just wanted to lay in bed and sleep all day long. From a distance she saw Trixie coming, and for a moment she felt the need to hide somewhere, but she was not quick enough. Trixie waved, and reached her in seconds, she was always so pretty to Katya, even if today she was wearing bright yellow instead of pink. “Hi Mary, everything ok?” She asked. Katya shaked her head “I’m so worried about Vi” and she took another long drag. Trixie’s face immediatly changed expression, she had the same expression Raja had when she heard about that guy. “I know you may be worried” she said “but hey, it’s Violet! She’s a force of nature, you saw it”. Katya surely knew, but that was not an excuse. “She seems...emiotionless”
“She is for the majority of time”
“Yes but she is...colder?”
“I suppose it’s normal?”
Katya tilted her head and threw the cigarette away. Trixie hugged her “with our help everybody is gonna be alright”.
Katya wasn’t feeling great, but that hug helped a lot.

Chapter Text

There was just something about Trixie that Katya couldn’t explain. The way she talked, or screamed, how she was always so bubbly. Her passion for pink or her dark and twisted sense of humor that was the opposite of her bright pink look. She loved when Trixie called her with average old white lady names like Eloise or Mariah, she loved when she casually grabbed her hand or when she was shouting “oh honey” all over again. And now she was walking to the cafeteria, listening to her talking about how much she loved to play the guitar, and she found it extremely relaxing. In the hall they spotted their friends sitting with Raja and Manila, talking about something that made Fame laugh. In the line Katya noticed one of the girls at the table that morning. Her eyes went on Violet’s face, she was smiling and laughing with Manila, Katya felt calmer now. However the dark thought of meeting that guy again made her anxious again. What if Violet started panicking? Maybe she would cry, or maybe she’d confront him like she did with the other guy. But all in all Violet truly was a force of nature, and she was sure that with a little help she’ll overcome it.
When they sat Violet greeted first and made some space for them. Fame was talking about how much she enjoyed today’s lesson, and she showed them their notes, which were neat (not as mush as Sasha’s thought Katya) but soo pretty. The Manila, who was one year ahead, tought them a trick to smoke in their rooms without anyone finding out. The atmosphere was light, and Katya forgot for a while about her anxiety and enjoyed her lunch. She however noticed Valentina a few tables away, sitting with Aja, Farrah, Sasha, Shea, Trinity and Alexis. She was again struggling with her food, but she ate a few pieces, making Farrah very proud. A smile formed on her face, her day was getting better. After they were done eating everybody got back to their dorms and started studying, except Pearl, Pearl never studied, she just...did nothing. In fact she was wandering aimless, from her room to the common room, from her room to her bathroom. Katya would have loved to be careless like she was, but she was feeling too pressured. She begged Sasha once again for sending pic of her notes and copied them, went on reading some more about Tolstoj life and wrote a small section of her essay about Tolstoj’s thought about aristocracy and women’s role in society. She went to the common room, jumping on the sofa and closing her eyes. She really needed some rest, some good rest. After some moments someone entered as well, it was Trixie with an empty cup on her head and a lilac highlighter on the other one. “Oh wow, maybe I should switch to russian literature if that is what you have to do” She put her cup in the sink. Katya sat “You did not say that!” Trixie faced her and nodded “hell yes I did”. “You think studying skin types and how to apply mascara is harder than Tolstoj’s life?” Trixie laughed “emhhh maybe”, she said freeing her hair from the bun. She sat next to Katya, and then laid on the sofa: “I’m studying some marketing shits right now” she added closing the highlighter’s cap. “But at least you don’t have to deal with Tolstoj’s problems and afflictions”. “I do not” she told streching her arms, Katya got lost looking at Trixie’s curls bouncing following every little movement she did, her hair was gorgeous, and she recalled that moment when she tried to blowdry it. She noticed Trixie was not wearing contacts, and she was so beautiful with her brown eyes. They got a little closer and Trixie put her head on Katya’s lap, making the russian blush violently. “I don’t know why I decided to go to college, I could have just looked for a job”, her pink lips moved so fast, and Katya looked at every small movement, enchanted by it. “You know, sometimes it’s not the best thing to do, you are talented with make up so you chose the right thing to do” she said caressing the blonde main poured on her legs, under her fingers those shiny golden locks had the same texture as silk. Katya asked herself how Trixie managed to have a perfect skin and perfect hair considering how much make up she used and all the bleaching she had done. “You wanna go in my room?” Katya woke up from her daydreaming and nodded.
Trixie’s room was always and explosion of pastel tones and bubblegum perfume. However it was welcoming, just a bit messy but not as much as Katya’s. They sat on the bed, holding pillows. Outside the rain started to pour and in minutes a storm hit the campus. “Oh god I hate thunders” complained Trixie, playing with the fringe from the pillowcase, “back in Winsconsin it was very common to have thunderstorm, even in summer”. Katya knew that Winsconsin was a desolated state somewhere in the midwest, not much more. “How’s Winsconsin?” A moment of silence was broke by Trixie’s voice. “Oh my god, I’m from rural Wisconsin so there’s nothing for kilometres except fog in winter. I’m from a place near Milwaukee and that city is where all the serial killers are from...and also there are a lot of fat people.” Katy was not a big fan of Winsconsin, she decided. Not that Massachusetts was better, but at least Boston was big. “How’s Russia?” Now she did not know what to do, she lived in many places in Russia and never find it appealing, she loved her origins but she would have never lived in Russia. “I lived mainly in three cities, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinenburg and Nizhny-Novgorod” then she explained her whole family thing: “Both my parents are from Moscow but for work my dad was always flying to America, so we moved in Boston, we moved few months later in Russia again. I was born in Yekaterinenburg and that’s where I got my name, then at four I moved to Boston, at six in Saint Petersburg, at ten to Boston again, at twelve to Nizhny-Novgorod but I luckly stayed there for less than couple months, I hated that city. For highschool however my mom wanted me to get good education, so here we are in America again and I didn’t move since” Trixie seemed lost “that a lot of informations”. They both stayed in silence for while, Trixie once again put her head on Katya’s lap, resting for a while. The russian glanced outside the window where she saw people running to their dorms trying to escape the water, she spotted a couple holding hands, a few boys under a porch and a lot of people closing windows in their buildings. She heard Trixie’s breath slowing and her hand, that was holding her ankle, gently fell on the mattress. Katya played some more with Trixie’s hair, creating small braids and detangling them. She decided she had to finish her homework, and tried to move slowly to get her way out of her friend’s room. Trixie mumbled, she tunrned facing the wall, she grabbed a pillow and went back napping. Katya took a light blanket she saw on Trixie’s desk and covered her body, she had the urge to kiss her and even if she was not supposed to, she left a small kiss on her cheek, a kiss that was very close to Trixie’s lips. She then closed the door behing her, her heart was beating faster and she could feel her face burning. Out of her room there was Violet, sitting on the floor with her phone on her hands. She looked lost, in fact when she saw Katya she seemed surprised. “Oh, hi Vi” she said sitting on the floor too, her friend turned off her phone. “Hi Katya”, Violet leaned her head towards the wall, bringing her arms to her shoulders. “How are you?” She asked, playing with her black hair. “You know, I’d be happier if I did not have to study a thousand pages about some depressed russian writer, plus my period cramps are killing me and I feel like throwing up all I ate today!” She felt like she overshared, expecially knowing that Violet’s situation was worst and that she never talked too much. “I woke up in my own blood, so, I feel you” she aswered Violet with a small smile that made Katya a little bit happier. “You want a cup of tea? Fame brought me some”. Katya nodded, she jumped up and helped Violet getting up as well.
She put the boiler on the electric cooker, she heard Violet taking out two mugs. Her mug was a simple white mug with a quote “Pain is beauty and I’m the prettiest” written in cursive, while Katya’s was a traditional Russian tea cup, with red and green flowers drew on black ceramic. She used it in Russia when she drank tea from Samovar. Violet grabbed it and laughed “You must be very attached to your mug, because if you like it because of the design you must have a problem”. Katya was glad that Violet’s pungent humor was still there. “It’s a traditional cup we use for tea, it’s hideous but I’ve been using it for years now”. The teapot whistled and Katya put two teabags in the mugs, pouring hot water on them, the room was filled with vapor and a spicey aroma. They sat at the table, stirring their teas and blowing to cool them off.
“Violet, I must ask you, are you truly fine?”. Katya wanted to facepalm herself so much, but something deep down her guts suggested she needed to do that, Violet was for sure there, she was everyday Violet but Katya knew something was up. Black-haired beauty took a deep breath, and held her hands on the cup. Katya felt like the first time she saw Violet, she thought her eyes were piercing, nothing could describe Violet’s eyes better than piercing. “I like to think I am fine, but I’m not. I don’t feel dirty or responsible. I know it’s his fault.” She took a sip of her tea and crossed her legs, her eyes stared again into Katya’s soul. “I only wish to see him again, one more time and beat the fuck out of him. I know how this thing will end, no fines, no punishment. So I should be the one punishing him”. Her voice cracked a little bit, but Katya knew Violet was strong, and nothing would make her cry now “I would love to see his face knowing he did nothing to me”. Katya was so impressed, she thought for a while about what would could’ve happen if Fame, Pearl or Trixie’s were at Violet’s place. She was assaulted and managed to keep her head up always, even when she was being pointed out as a slut, like that morning at Starbucks. Katya stood up and hugged Violet tightly, she breath in all her perfume, all the jasmine scent of her shampoo. “You are so strong Violet, but remember you are not alone”
“I’m not, I’m not” said Violet, hugging Katya back.

After dinner Katya decided to take a shower, she needed to shower and she also wanted, for once in her lifetime. Under the boiling water, with a load of shampoo on her head she thought aboud that lady named Alyssa that told her she was looking for that guy. She also remembered the guy from Starbucks that called him Santino. She had a Pearl moment, asking herself why someone would name his son Santino, but she tried not to think about it. Santino was not a common name, and maybe he was the only one around the campus to have that name.
It was like receiving an electroshock, she knew what she may do to help Violet. She rinsed the shampoo quickly and wrapped the towel around her chest, got out of the bathroom and knocked at Trixie’s door. Her friend opened, holding a music sheet in her hands. “Emh, Katya is everything ok?”
“Yes yes yes, I know something that may...well can I get in?” Trixie opened her door and let Katya in. “I was telling you, today at Starbuck someone molested Violet about Saturday night”
Trixie nodded “Pearl and Raja told me” and then she took place on her bed. “Ok, so, the guy attacking Violet told the guy’s name, Santino, I thought his name was rather rare, and ugly, but maybe we can find him somewhere using the college site”. Trixie lighted up, she jumped out of bed and took out her PC. “We must look in the student section, maybe he’s in some club or sport team”. Her small fingers clicked here and there, scrolling down the page and looking for something. “Do you remember how the guy was dressed? He had a shirt or a hoodie”.
Katya tried to remember “Oh, oh, yes he had the College Jacket, you know, the dark gray one, with the college symbol on”. Trixie typed faster and faster, and she opened a page with a list of all the players in the school football team.
“I found him” Trixie exclamed, grabbing Katya’s forearm. “Holy fuck it’s him” told Katya. “He’s in...oh my god” Katya leaned forward to see better, on the page she read out loud. “Santino Rice, junior year...FASHION DESIGN?” Katya grabbed Trixie’s arm back and they looked into each other’s eyes with shock. “How is it possible they are in the same course” Trixie’s voice was low, she was clearly in shock. “Should we tell Violet?”
Trixie turned off her PC “Katya, maybe we should wait until tomorrow, she had enough troubles for today don’t you think?”
“Trixie, today she told me she wanted to beat him”
“She wants to? You are the one that saw him, but judging from the pic he seems quite big”
“And Violet is quite small”
Katya tightened her towel, uncertain about what to do. She looked at Trixie, hoping she had an answer.
“Let’s do a thing, I tell Fame, you tell Pearl...we’re telling Violet tomorrow all together ok?” Katya nodded, Trixie always had good ideas.
They both got out their rooms, together they knocked at their doors. Pearl and Fame both opened at the same time, Fame was already wearing her pj and telling from Pearl’s face she was probably already sleeping. “Come with me” said Katya whispering, Pearl was not quick enough processing the words, Katya grabbed her arms and dragged her into her room. Pearl threw herself on top of the bed, moaning while covering her face with the pillow. Katya grabbed her underwear from a drawer and her t-shirt from the chair and she unwrapped the towel. With only her panties on she turned, facing the wall, covering her breasts with the wet towel.
“You can turn” warned Pearl from behing her “You think I’ve never seen a pair of boobs?” Her tone was friendly, and so was her laugh. In Katya’s mind the memories of the girl that took Pearl at her dorm Saturday night appeared for a brief moment. “I bet you did” she joked getting her t-shirt on. She comber her hair back, parted it in the middle and then brushed her bangs. “Do you actually have something to tell me?” Asked Pearl hugging the pillow. “Uh yes, I do”.
Pearl sat straight, putting her hair on her left shoulder. “So what’s up?”.
Katya crossed her naked legs on the floor and exhaled: “Trixie and I found Violet’s aggressor”. Katya saw her friend almost freezing on the spot: “What’s his name?”
“Santino Rice” she answered.
Pearl took a deep breath “Katya, honestly I don’t think why we should look for him or anything since Violet is so mad, we should wait for a response from the police” she then sat on the floor as well, coming closer to Katya: “Violet would seriously beat the fuck out of him and I think you know that, she has the balls to do that and if that happens we’re the ones in trouble, and trust me Katya when I tell you that I kill him too with my bare hands”
Katya noticed that for the first time she felt a slightly more emotional voice from Pearl, that always talked the same way. “We have a problem, Pearl” the russian grabbed the blonde’s hands and held them very tight. “He’s in fashion design”.
Pearl glanced outside the window, she could only see fog and the darkness, some small drops were on the window and the noise of wind could be heard. “We’re all fucked” she told, freeing herself from Katya’s hand. “Pearl, we have to tell her, she’ll have time to think about it”. Her friend was not responding, still looking outside motionless. She then turned her face and her teal eyes stared at Katya “Maybe it’s a good idea”. Pearl stood up and massaged her temples. “We’re telling her tomorrow”. After a quick “yes” Pearl reached the door, but before she left she asked Katya a thing. “Katya, how would you react at Violet’s place?”
Katya was preparing her backpack for the day after, she was holding her notebook, she put it on her desk and leaned on the chair. “What do you mean” she asked sliding a hand in her wet hair.
“Fame told me what she saw, if someone puts a hand on your private parts like that, what would you do?”
Katya found herself thinking about it from the first time, she had experienced some harassment, but no one ever did it that way. “I don’t know” she answered with cracked voice. Pearl smiled tiredly at Katya, her slim figure disappeared behind the door. When Katya heard Pearl’s door closing too she slipped under the cover, with her hair quite humid, and fell asleep holding the pillow.

Chapter Text

Katya couldn’t stand when bad thoughts disturbed her as she was trying to get more sleep. She had the worst night, she had a lot of nightmares and her past came visiting like it did long time ago. She dreamed of Violet and her, of the weird Santino guy and Trixie looking on her PC. She was exhausted, she did not felt like going to classes, after all she only had one lecture and no more. That’s why she loved Thursdays. However she did not want to leave Trixie alone after the decision they made the night before. She rolled out of bed, even if it was 5.30 and she grabbed her hoodie, and went to the sofa in the main room. All she wanted was to get good sleep after anxious nights. She then had a great idea. So she went towards Trixie’s room, she remembered in fact that her friend had a calming effect on her, and her sleep got better that night they were together. So she knocked gently. Surprisingly Trixie opened, half asleep and with her face with an evident mark left from the folds of her pillows. “Katya I swear if it’s not important I’m killing you” she said not even opening her eyes. “I have nightmares, can I sleep in your bed?”.
Trixie was not even that bothered, she just opened her door and let Katya in. The dolly girl threw herself back on the matress making some space for her good friend, so she could slip under the covers and relax. Katya hugged Trixie’s body and felt her warm skin against hers. She soon realized Trixie wasn’t wearing a bra, or shorts. She was wearing an XL t-shirt and panties. A few days ago she would have been uncomfortable, but now she was used to Trixie’s habits and she was kinda into it. She felt way more protected than she did in her room, and the warmth coming from Trixie’s body was so pleasing. She wished she never had to wake up. Trixie moved again a little, now facing Katya. Her lips were pouted, her cheek was pressed against the pillow, without makeup she looked much younger. Katya passed a hand through Trixie’s hair, feeling how soft they were even after bleaching and ironing. The girl opened her eyes a bit, revealing her natural brown eyes that were normally hidden behind blue contacts. A little smile formed on her lips, she got closer to Katya, and she passed a hand through her hair too, caressing her bangs.
Then Katya got closer too, and they were just an inch apart. Katya’s blue eyes shined in the dark as Trixie eliminated the distance between their lips and gently posed hers on Katya’s. From an innocent small kiss the thing evolved into something more passional, with Katya’s hands on Trixie’s back and Trixie sliding a hand under Katya’s shirt. They took their breath together, smiling at each other, they hugged, and they fell back asleep tangled in a tender hug. Needless to say, Katya couldn’t sleep anymore, she started rethinking about that kiss, so innocent yet so passional. High school Katya would have freaked out, but college Katya was rather calm, happy about it, she felt like the connection they had was evolving into something more.
At 7.30 Trixie’s alarm woke her up, Katya was sitting on the bed, watching her.
“You’re a fucking creep”
“I know” she said helping her getting up. Katya went to the bathroom first, showered quickly and brushed her teeth, her roommates were getting up as well, except Pearl, who would probably wake up last, rushing to get herself ready. Fame was on the floor, applying eyeliner with surgical precision. Violet was using her curling wand, creating soft waves. When Trixie got out Fame rushed to get in and locked her up. “Katya havr you seen my cardigan? The one with red, white and black stripes?” Asked Violet from her room. Katya looked around the common room where she was. “Does it have a turtleneck?” “Yes, you found it?” “I did”
Katya threw the item to Violet, that took it rapidly and put it on. She reached Katya and sat on the couch with her. “God, I’m so tired, I just want to get some rest, this weekend I’m staying in”, Katya laughed “I know you won’t”. They both giggled as Fame got in as well, although she looked tired, her makeup, hair and clothes were perfect. She sat on a chair, closing her eyes. “Fame?”. The pastel pink haired girl opened one eye, glancing Violet. “You slept?” She nodded and closed her eye again. Katya took her phone out and saw a message from Pearl.
Pearl: Fame texted me yesterday, she didn’t sleep very well
Katya: y?
Pearl: cuz anxiety
It was more than understandable, thought Katya, Fame was the closest one to Violet, since week one they bonded, every night they talked, and when the accident happened, Fame never left Violet alone. When the other two arrived they went to the cafeteria, where they had breakfast, talking about what they wanted to do that afternoon apart from studying. Breakfast was quite fast and everybody ran to their classes, Katya entered her class to see Sasha, who was also quite sleepy, resting on her desk.
“Hi Katya” she said streching her arms.
“Hi Sasha, you’re tired as well?”
“Oh yes I am, Shea and I watched a movie, but we lost track of time and ended up going to bed at 2 am, I need coffee”
Katya couldn’t relate more, she needed one as well. “I own you one from last time, so I’m paying when we’ll have the break.”
“You’re an angel” said Sasha with a big smile.
When she sat the crazy teacher came in and started teaching about another great russian writer, Dostoevskij and his works.
Katya once again tried to take notes, failing. But luckly the hour passed faster than expected, and ended pretty soon.
Katya decided to go for a walk, she warned Sasha and walked here and there around the floors. When she was on the stairs she noticed Violet getting out her class, she stomped down and reached her. “Hi Vi” “Hi Kathy” they said together, and they giggled. “You wanna go for a walk together?” More and more students were getting out their classes for the break, Trixie and Pearl arrived then, and so did Fame after a while. They stayed at Violet’s floor, with all that cold they did’t felt like going out at all.
“And that’s Dostoevskij’s life!” Said Katya resuming her lecture. Pearl tilted her head “I feel incredibly stupid around you”
“So do I” said Trixie.
As they where talking someone reached them. He arrived from a class in a corner, walking slowly, with an horrific grin on his face, Katya had chills down her spine, recognizing his face among the others. She felt the world slowing down and as he approached small drop of sweat were dripping down her forehead.
“I see you’re beautiful, almost as you were that Saturday.”
His voice, his hands touching Violet’s waist, his grin. Her friend immediately became pale, and couldn’t turn as she froze.
Santino was standing there, with an idiotic smile, holding Violet by her waist, looking at her like she was her property.
“Get off her, now” Fame tried to separate them, but Santino quickly moved Violet to her side, wrapping an arm around her. “I told you to get off her”, the girl stood up again for Violet, trying to hold onto her hand. Santino laughed out loud, he started caressing Violet’s shoulder, with that smirk that gave Katya chills. Pearl and Trixie were hugged in a corner, scared, you could tell it by their faces.
It was in that moment that Violet took a deep breath, quickly escaped Santino’s “hug” and slapped him. “I hope you die” she screamed “touch me ever again and you’ll see”. Warm tears dropped on the floor, Violet’s cheek were red and her eyes got puffy, she breathed quickly and sobbed dramatically. Katya could feel like someone sat on her chest, she turned looking at Fame, who was also crying. Santino seemed impressed with Violet’s move, but once again a smirk formed on his face: “we will see”. He walked away, keeping his eyes on Violet, saying goodbye and entering that class again. Violet dried her eyes without smearing any of her makeup, her face was burning, bright red. “Get her some water” said Pearl sending Trixie to the drinking fountain. Fame got her a chair, and even if everybody was getting back to their classes they all stayed there. Violet refused to drink more than a sip, she kept saying “I have to go”, and Fame took the decision to take her back to the dorm. “You two can go, Katya and I are staying” she said to Trixie and Pearl, who hugged Violet and ran to the class.
“Go grab you things and hers” said again the model, running a hand in her flawless mane, Katya nodded and ran up the stairs, where she could see Santino’s class. On her way to the class she met Sasha, running too; “The teacher is not there, we can make it” she said with a bright smile, that cheered Katya up just a bit. “Sasha, I’m leaving, Violet’s not feeling very well”. Sasha got the message, with a concerned expression she put a hand on Katya’s shoulder “Go, she needs you, and if you need someone, I’m here”. She was glad she had friends like Sasha, that cared about her health too.
She threw all of her belongings in the backpack to run once again down the stairs and reach her friends. Violet was calmer than before, but that was not a good sign, in fact she still had some drops down her cheekbones, and her cheeks were red.
When they opened the door their dorms greeted them with the same stale odor that haunted the building, making Katya even more sick, Violet was just behind her, held by Fame. She sat on a chair and asked for a cup of tea to calm her nerved so Fame prepared the teapot on the eletric stove and got some of her trusty teabags, this time it was lime flavoured green tea with ginger essence. Katya wondered why she had so many strange teas. Violet was massaging her temples, and breathing in very harshly, making strange sounds from time to time.
“You’re feeling better?” Asked Fame putting a hand on her shoulder. “Better than before, thank you girls” aswered Violet, her voice was calmer and she was way more relaxed, Katya started relaxing as well, knowing her friend was alright. She texted Trixie and Pearl to let them know that the situation was under control, just when she finished sending her texts the teapot whistled. She poured some of the boiling water in Violet’s cup, and Fame took some of it as well, throwing a teabag in. As she sat Katya decided to talk to Violet face to face, she couldn’t keep pretending everything was fine, because it was not, but only those four seemed to care. “Violet, I know it may sound odd now, but I think you should see a therapist” she spitted those words out, but Violet seemed unbothered by her advice. She was drinking her tea calmly, glancing at Fame. “Violet, seriously, I’m worried”. She drank some tea again and pretended not to hear a thing. Katya looked at Fame, she was concerned, she could see it from her big blue eyes, highlighted by her makeup, always flawless and precise. “I know Katya, I’m working on that. Finally Violet talked, maybe the anwer was not something Katya expected, but it was something. She was actually quite relieved to hear that her friend was considering getting help.
Fame smiled at Katya, in a motherly way that warmed her heart, relieving all the tension. “Ok girls, now that you seemed to be relaxing, why don’t we all go to Starbucks and get something?” Violet pungent tone was there, and a sparkle appeared in her eyes as she grabbed her light coat and took her lanyards, followed by her friends. Katya’s phone buzzed just out of their dorm, it was Trixie’s answer to her message:
Trixie: ok, Pearl and I will come after lunch.
Katya threw her phone in the pocket, and looked in front of her, where Violet and Fame were walking, holding tight. She thought they made a perfect couple of besties, so different yet so similar. Although it was not usual for her to make bad thoughts about her friends her minds wondered how they’d behave in a intimate relationship. She never thought about them that way. After that morning she was quite sure Trixie was not totally straight, that was for sure. Pearl...Pearl was definitely NOT straight, after Saturday with that girl Katya couldn’t deny it. But what about Fame and Violet? She was quite sure Fame was straight, at least she looked like she was. But after Trixie and Pearl how could she be so sure? Both Fame and Violet were very girly, poised and so far from the girl she previously slept with or her ex girlfriends. But so were Pearl and Trixie. Katya then got lost staring at Violet’s dark curls bouncing to the rhythm of her steps and Fame’s slim legs moving. Katya understood what made Fame and Violet so intriguing; they were the exact portrait of what people expected from women. Violet was like the drawing of a woman, in a cartoonish way she resembled one of those ‘50’s stay at home moms on ads, her style was overall very ‘50 inspired. Fame instead looked like and old hollywood diva, expecially now that the pastel pink from her hair faded and left place to a platinum blonde mane curled to perfection. She stopped daydreaming when they reached the small building that hosted Starbucks. As they got in the girl that was always making the drinks smiled at them, she was always there always working. A gentle expression formed on her face, and when they got in the line the girl waved at them. “Two cappuccinos and a plain black coffee right?”. They were there so often that the barista remembered eveything about their orders. Fame nodded “I see you have good memory” she smiled “I absolutely do!” and she run back to the counter and started making their drinks. When she was done she handled Katya all the cups. “Thank you by the way for being so nice” she told as she grabbed all the drinks, getting a little help from Violet. “By the way, what’s your name?” The girl smiled kindly again “Max” she told with low voice. “Thank you so much, Max” aswered Violet who was already looking for a table.
They sat on a table that was way too big for just three people, Fame burned herself with cappuccino and Violet did the same some minutes after. Katya texted Trixie again, saying they were at Starbucks in case they wanted to see them. She patiently waited for her coffee to cool off, and took a long sip of it, thanking god for creating such a good drink.
She spotted someone she knew in the crowd, the girl with brown locks that feared food so much. What was her name? Veronica? Valerie? She remembered someone calling her with a V name. Then the name popped in her head. Valentina, she was called Valentina, and she seemed scared. “Girls do you think Valentina is ok?” she asked her friends, who immediately turned back to see her. The girl was holding a cup, and she was curled into a ball, sitting on a chair. Violet followed her movements “maybe we should ask her if she wants to sit with us” she told staring. Fame agreed and walked towards the beautiful Valentina, they had a brief talk, that ended with Valentina smiling and standing up. “Hello” she said smiling, her teeth were perfectly white and bright. Katya thought that for being ill she looked quite fine, but you never know what goes on in people’s life. She sat next to Katya, and put her cup on the table, she was drinking tea. “Thank you for letting me stay with you guys” she thanked smiling again. “It’s a pleasure, how was your day?” Fame asked sipping from her cup. “Oh I woke up minutes ago and wanted to drink something so I came here” she said putting a strand of her hair behind a ear. They then talked about a lot of things, fashion, make up, cafeteria’s food, dorms, cars even smoking. Valentina revealed herself as a caring girl who had a lot to offer and loved to help people, but forget quite often to take care of herself. She loved the color red, roses, eyeliner and she was obsessed with latina icons. Katya and her only talked about red lipsticks for hours.
Without noticing time passed, half an hour became a full hour, they stayed some more time even after lunchtime, laughing. Some time later a girl reached them, it was Aja, she was very noticeable with her lavander hair tied up in two space buns. “Valentina! I found you!” She shouted out with surprise “sis, I’ve been looking for you”. She had an high pitched voice, and a little bit of a lisp. Katya thought about the fact that Aja and Valentina were completely different but seemed good friends. There were two types of friendships for Katya: Violet and Fame; similar people with a lot in common or Valentina and Aja; polar opposites. She didn’t know however were Trixie and her belonged. “Sorry Aja, I just lost track of time.” said calmly Valentina, her friend put a hand on her shoulder “it’s fine girl, Farrah was a little worried but she’ll be ok” then she poited at the door “I’m going back at my dorm, I have a shit tons of things to study”. “I’m coming with you, I have to study too” she said standing up and reaching the lavander girl.
When they were alone Katya, Violet and Fame looked at each other, there was always something bitter about Valentina, bitter in a sad way, knowing all the problems she had. Fame looked at her phone, it was pas 13, a lot later than they all expected. “Maybe we should go too?” She said worried, thinking probably about Trixie and Pearl. So they walked out too, in the light air of mid autumn, with their hair flowing and their noses getting red. When they got to the dorm they found Pearl and Trixie at the table, with a mug of burning coffee, and laughing about something. “Oh hi, you decided to come back” said Trixie with a giggle that made Katya profoundly happy. “Yas Linda I’m back” she said sitting or her lap and stealing some of Trixie’s coffee. “Thief” said the pink lover, “this is my coffee”. Violet shared the armchair with Pearl and Fame stood still. “Days are getting colder don’t you think?” Asked Pearl trying to warm herself up rubbing her arms, “and I hate cold weather”. Not getting enough warmth Violet wrapped her in her coat “I noticed, you’re wearing something like three layers”, Pearl came back “bitch, I was born in Florida”.
One after the other one they all locked up in their rooms studying, and in the dorm silence took the place of laughter. You could hear someone going to the bathroom or someone else answering a call. At 15 Trixie played the guitar a little bit, at 15:30 Violet made some tea, at 16:10 Pearl asked Fame if she had a hair tie she could borrow, Katya never knew there were longed haired girls without a trusty hair tie. At 18 Pearl and Fame went in Violet’s room, locked themselves up and talked about something, so Katya decided to visit Trixie. She went at the front of her door, knocking five times: “Hello Jane, do you have a moment to talk about our lord and saviour Satan”, Trixie opened “you freak” she said letting her in, and she took place on her bed, leaving the usual space for Katya, that jumped on. “Ugh I should have been a hooker, not a literature student” she said rubbing her hands. Trixie leaned on her shoulder “I know Barbara, it’s hard” and she inhaled, noisily. “Do you like winter Katya?” Trixie asked, poiting outside where little drops ticked out the window. The doorm was at the eighth (and last) floor, so they could see a lot going on from their windows, people running to get shelter, the city from far away. “I actually do” answered Katya, putting her hair in a little messy bun. “Maybe it’s because I’m russian, maybe it’s because I lived in Boston, but I love it” Katya did love russian winter: snow, hot spiced wine, samovar and a lot of delicacies her granny made her, she wondered how winter was in Wisconsin. “You like it, Brenda?” and a pair of blue contacts stared at her “No way, I’m a summer country girl, sweet iced tea and lemonades, endless fields and crickets’ sounds all day long”. Katya imagined young Trixie, dressed in a flanel and overalls, with her brown hair in two plaits running in a corn field during a hot summer day.
“No way bitch, hot cups of spiced wine, snow men and that little cloud forming when you breath cause it’s so freezing outside!” She said with a little bit too emphasis. Trixie laughed “Summer is better anyway”, “winter is, you whore”. There was a moment of suspense before Trixie attacked Katya with her pillow, then proceeded to tickle her. Katya laughed hard, and attacked Trixie back, tickling her neck and cleavage. A cascade of blonde curls fell on her face as she tried to lift her friend who fell. Her bun got even messier and her rings got tangled into Trixie’s hair multiple times. The window was slightly open and cool air entered the room, they both had goosebumps from the breeze, and laughed. Trixie was on top of Katya, her hair was messy, her make up a little smudged, under her hands she felt Trixie’s silky skin. With strands of hair moving to the rhythm of the winds blowing in, and a lampstood lighting her from behind Katya thought Trixie was an angel. “Had anyone told you you look amazing?”
“Thank you, but I don’t think so”
“You’re a fucking goddess”
“No need to brag”
“Oh, I’m not bragging”
“Yes you are”
“I’m not”
“Oh shut up”
“Make me”
Katya tried to lift herself up, so that she had Trixie’s face half an inch from hers.
“Trixie, make me” she said with eyes sparkling with desire.
When her lips touched Trixie’s she felt like that angel was bringing her to heaven. There were no words to describe how many emotions she was feeling, joy, confusion, lust...and it was so great. She grabbed Trixie’s legs and tried to lift her, and she even succeeded. “Oh Katya, you strong indipendent russian woman” she said holding onto her shoulders “how can you lift me up with those twigs you have as arms”. Katya laughed and gently laid Trixie on the bed, putting her body on top of hers. “I’m actually stronger than you may think”, she then kissed Trixie’s neck and jaw, making her giggle and moan a bit. “Wait wait wait, lock the door” said her trying to stop all the kissing and cuddling “I don’t want the others to know, even if I heard them more than once ahah”. Katya stopped midway, instant face crack, dropping her jaw “They brought guys in here?” She asked gagged. “Oh honey” exclamed the curly girl “boys? Which boys?”, and left Katya even more gagged. “They bring GIRLS IN HERE?” Katya tried to keep the volume of her voice as low as possible but kinda failed. Once again Trixie wheezed, she grabbed Katya’s hand. “For being a lesbian you seem pretty shocked, by the way there’s no need to bring girls in here when you have full dorm”. That time Katya couldn’t hold herself from screaming “WHAT?!” She shouted out, with Trixie trying to cover her mouth. “Tell me they’re not fucking each other!” But Trixie’s laugh was not exactly showing negative answer. “Tell me everything now, now, now”. They sat with their legs crossed, Katya had her eyes wide open. “So, Violet is fucking Fame” and Katya screamed again, high pitched and Trixie was sure eveybody heard her. She kept going on “and also Pearl” this time preventing a scream by covering the russian’s mouth. And then spilled all the T “and did you know how many couples are there? Aja and Farrah are a couple! The girl Pearl fucked, Detox has two roommates who are in a relationship, Alaska and Sharon. Raja and Manila are friends with benefits, Sasha and Shea are quite known, then there’s the story about Miss Del Rio and Adore that is actually a thing...” she stopped after seeing Katya almost crying. Her friend held her forehead, drenched in sweat. She looked into her eyes “I’m a gay girl surrounded by gay girls, is this a nightmare or a dream?”. Trixie chuckled “I wish I knew too” she answered before kissing Katya again. Things evolved quickly, Katya was topping Trixie, kissing every small piece of her body. Starting with Trixie’s neck, to her stomach, then she went back to her mouth, and then down again. Trixie’s curves under her fingers felt like a soft pillow, and looking at that girl now, half naked on a bed, was so good. Katya kissed Trixie’s inner thigh, hearing her cute moans and her little hands covering her mouth, trying to be silent. Katya could not resist anymore and removed the light sheer underwear Trixie was wearing, leaving her with just a bra. “Are you sure you want this?” She asked worried. The girl lifted herself, and stared at Katya for a while: “of course, why?”.
There was a brief moment of silence in which Katya wasn’t sure about what she should have done, so she just answered quickly “no, nothing, just asking”, she then kissed Trixie again. The girl however stopped her, with a lot of concern she asked “Katya is there something I should know?”; her hair was messy, all over her face, covering one of her blue eyes. Katya put her hair behing a ear, freeing her face from the blonde locks. “Nothing, it’s just that maybe we’re not doing the right thing...not that I don’t like you or anything, it’s just that I don’t want just to use you, you know?”, Trixie once again tried to lift herself so she could look Katya straight into her eyes. “Katya, we’re humans, we make mistakes, and if we’re making one than that’s ok, because it’s how things go!” she said caressing Katya’s cheek, making sure she felt comfortable. “I don’t see anything bad in what we’re doing, but if you don’t feel ok we can stop”. Katya was kinda about to cry, but stopped herself from doing that...”I know Trixie, but sometimes I’m just so wriggled with anxiety that I can’t use my head properly”. In that moment Katya found holding tears back very difficult, expecially looking at Trixie’s worried face, knowing she was making a deal out of nothing. She was never able to figure out her feelings. A flashback brought her back to her high school year, the years in which she thought love was not a thing, and she just had sex like animals did. She also remembered how badly she reacted to her mom trying to help her or her friends concerning about the situation. So now, seeing Trixie’s distress, her mind was ince again blacking out. “Katya, if something is not ok we can stop” she told once again holding her hands. A tear ran down Katya’s face, falling on the bedsheets. “You’re such a wonderful person Trixie” she told sniffing, Trixie hugged her tightly and whispered in her ear “Don’t worry, it’s ok”. Together they laid down, hugging each other, tangled in a burden of arms and legs, Katya resting on Trixie’s chest, who was running her hands in Katya’s thin hair.
***
When Katya woke up Trixie was looking at something on her phone, she was chatting with someone named “Kim”. When she tried to move the curly girl looked at her, “hey, feeling better?”. Katya streched her arms and nodded in silence, she felt like she had been sleeping for months withouth waking up. Trixie smiled, “while you were sleeping I called Pearl and she brought us some food, you want some?”.
Katya wasn’t feeling great at all, she had nausea and her head was spinning, but she wanted Trixie to talk to her, so she accepted. In the common room she saw the clock, it was 8:30 pm, she was so tired she slept for almost three hours. And Trixie let her do that without moving. Some paper plates and napkins were on the table, and a small note with purple glittery ink was left on a tray with two cups. “Have a nice dinner -P, F, V”. Katya sat, and Trixie followed her, they opened they’re containers, Katya’s had white rice and a slice of toasted bread, Trixie’s was filled with a variety of vegetables, rice and fries. “You don’t eat a lot, don’t you?” Asked Trixie. Katya shaked her head and smiled “I don’t, if there was a food pill I would love to take it” she said eating a piece of her bread. “I’ve always been skinny, and always ate shitty food: sugary cereals, fries, candies...I have the palate of a five years old, except when I eat typical russian foods.” Trixie took a big bite of her food and nodded. “What’s your favourite russian dish?” She asked covering her mouth while chewing. “Actually, I don’t know. I love solyanka, a soup with meat and veggies, syrnik, they’re pancakes with cottage cheese, also I really like halva, and I don’t know how to explain you what that is” she thought about her grandma and mother making food on sunday, she loved that as a kid. Trixie was staring at her with a big smile: “I never knew russian food could sound good, but it does” she said mixing rice and vegetables together: “I was poor as fuck so I ate a bunch of shitty things too”. They ate in silence for the rest of the night, and even if Katya was feeling more and more sick while eating she kept shovelling food down her throat, just to see Trixie in front of her. When they were done they just sat there together in silence, staring at each other from times to time, that silence however was pleasing to Katya, it was not an awkward silence that made her uncomfortable, it was a peaceful silence that made her happy. Trixie got up and threw all the garbage in the trashcan, and then turned to Katya, that was sitting cross legged on the table. “Katya, if something is worrying you please tell me” she said reaching her. “I don’t know but I feel like you are not feeling ok”.
Katya smiled and held Trixie’s hand “Oh Brenda, it’s fine, I’m just a very anxious person”. Trixie smiled once again, warming Katya’s heart. “Ok, I’m going back to my room. If you need anything knock on my door” Katya nodded and let her go.

Chapter Text

The week passed fastly, between lectures and activities the five roommates hardly ever had free time to spend together. The weather got colder day by day, ending with all the girls never leaving the dorm. As their building was quite far from the cafeteria none of them wanted to walk out, so they just went one day at the minimarket and bought a lot of food, so they could stay in without having to eat at the cafeteria. On Friday Katya was boiling water for another instant meal they were making, that day it was instant rice. Fame was cutting some veggies to make a salad and the other three were chilling around. The atmosphere was so comforting, it reminded Katya of a real family. When they were done they sat all together eating. While eveybody was chewing in silence, Pearl decided to make a big announcement. “I have to tell you a thing” she said putting the fork on her plate “a friend of mine invited me to this party...”. That nasty little word made everyone turn to Violet that was torturing a spinach leaf with her plastic fork. “She told me it’s something quite fancy, again it’s organized by a sorority, but it’s an only girl party...” Violet seemed to calm down a bit, and put the leaf in her mouth chewing slowly. “Honestly Pearl...” she began with a low tone, making everyone nervous. Violet skipped a lot of parties due to her unfortunate accident, she always stayed in or went out eating with girls only. “I’ve been staying in for too long, maybe it’s time to go out!”
Everyone cheered up, Katya hugged Violet, that hugged her back. Fame went towards the fridge and opened it. “This calls for something special” she said pulling out a small bottle of rosè. She opened it and poured it into mugs, cause they did not have glasses. Everyone got just a bit of wine, but Violet had a little more, to honor her. “To Violet, who finally decided to come out of her shell!” said Fame, standing on a chair and screaming out loud. “Cheers!” they all screamed together.
When they drunk the wine, they all sat on Violet’s room, picking out dresses for the big night, Violet had a huge wardrobe in terms of clothes; everything was organized. T-shirts and tops in the top drawer, pants and skirts in the second one, lingerie in the third one, comfy clothes and pjs in the fourth one. Dresses and warm cardigans/jerseys and jumpers were hanging, and at left, on the shelves, Violet lined all her shoes. “Fame do you like this one?” She asked showing a shimmery black dress. “Bitch, can you put something on that is not black and shimmery?” said the platinum blonde reaching her. Together they looked at all her clothes, looking for something that was not black or shimmery. “Wait wait wait” said suddenly Pearl standing up, she reached the other two and put her thin arms in Violet’s closet and grabbed a dress, that was, needless to say, gorgeous. It was a burgundy red silky dress, with spaghetty strips. A black leather belt with a golden bukle decorated the dress’ waist. “Oh god Violet, this would look so good on you!” Exclamed Pearl. Fame agreed with enthusiasm, grabbing both their hands. “I’m wearing my pastel light blue dress, the one with the silver belt!” She told. Pearl smiled and instantly looked and Violet’s wardrobe, almost as if she found an answer there. “I’m going for the beige and brown dress”
Instantly Trixie and Katya looked at each other, worried. “I have nothing to wear except the black things from that night” Katya mumbled, already biting her nails. Trixie scratched her head, with a visible confused face. “I don’t know, I have a fuchsia minidress, but I don’t like it very much.”
“We’re thinking about it later!” said Fame, pushing everyone out the room, except for Violet, who was sitting on the desk. “I really have nothing to wear” said Katya passing a hand through her hair nervously. “Mama some of my clothes belonged to my mom, and she lived under the comunist dictatorship in Russia”, Pearl and Trixie laughed, “you should definitely consider shopping as an option” said Pearl crossing her arm...”as if I had anything to wear either” said Trixie playing with her hair, she opened her door and entered “by the way Katya, if we need something tomorrow morning we can go out to the city and find something”. Katya thought about all the things she had to do the day after: studying, copying notes, showering, cleaning her room, laudry and making her bed. “Sure, I’m free” she said with joy, even if she knew she was gonna regret it Sunday morning. Trixie closed her door, Pearl and Katya were left alone. The blonde tall girl looked at the shorter one with a suspicious grin “You’d make a cute couple” she whispered patting Katya’s shoulder, and then she disappeared as well in her room, followed by Katya. Once in her room she looked at all the mess on her bed and the pile of dirty clothes she had on her desk. The room also smelled like cigarettes and hairspray, disgusting, she thought. She decided to sacrifice her Friday night cleaning, as she would have been busy on Saturday morning. She grabbed all her unwashed clothes, that also smelled like cigarettes and grabbed her soap, her mom made her bring cleaning products cause it was better to have it just in case. Katya realized that she was actually nasty, and when she was on the elevator she hoped no one entered, because those clothes did really stink. She run towards the laudry, hoping no one was there, and loaded the washing machine, suspiciously looking around. Then she put the soap in, smelling the liquid that she loved. She sat on the floor, getting lost watching the rotating movement of the machine, looking at the bubbles forming in the water and all her clothes being shut here and there. She didn’t notice someone entered as well, and started putting loads of clothes in the machine as well. When Katya was aware that someone was in there with her she followed her movements with the corner of her eye. The girl had pale skin and ginger hair, tied up in a messy bun with hair escaping the top knot. She seemd fatigued, as a matter of fact all her laudry looked heavy. “Can I help you?” Katya asked without even thinking about it, the girl, whose face was now bright red, nodded and smiled, Katya noticed she had some crooked teeth but looked so sweet. “Thank you so much!” Her voice was very low, almost like a whisper, and so high pitched. “I’m Katya by the way” said the blonde, helping the girl with her laudry. “I’m Jinkx, Jinkx Monsoon” Katya thought about two things: first that Pearl was fucking right about the name things, in that college no one had a normal name, second that someone mentioned her earlier. “Nice name” she told, she was really thinking the girl had a pretty name, it was just...unique. “Thank you, yours is pretty too”. She then offered Jinkx some of her soap and they talked about school. Jinkx was studying musical theatre, she loved singing, she had an amazing voice, she was also very good a making people laugh, and she had three roomates: Dela, Robbie and Ivy; she also had narcolepsy.
When Jinkx nominated Ivy she recalled the moment in which she heard about her, it was at Shangela’s house during the party, when Trixie was drunk from that drink. “Jinkx, do you know Shangela?” She asked. “I do, I also know PhiPhi and Laganja” she said with that cute voice, she let her hair loose, and Katya noticed how messy they were; she loved them. “You were at her party right?” Asked the ginger then, tying her hair once again, Katya nodded, resting on the washing machine. “I was there with friends” she added.
“I know, you were with Trixie” Katya jumped a bit and looked at her, she saw her? “I know her, she writes amazing songs, you now?”. Katya knew Trixie played the guitar and that weird wooden box called autoharp, but she did not know she also wrote. “She keeps this little journal, it’s very cute” said Jinkx looking at the corner of the room. Katya remembered the pastel journal Trixie showed her. Katya wanted to say something but a beep sound brought her back, her laudry was fresh done. Jinkx helped her putting all her clothes in the dryer and restarted the process. “Do you have any other roommate?” Asked Jinkx. “I do, maybe you know them: Pearl? Fame? Violet?” Jinkx nodded, the beep sound started again, coming from her machine. “Pearl is in sociology something right? I think she knows Dela, and Fame and Violet are the two that looks like models?” She definitely knew who they were. “They are” answered the russian “they are very kind” she added, it sounded so lame. Jinkx loaded the dryer too, Katya helped her in the process. “How are you roommates?” Katya asked, even if she did not care a lot. Jinkx smiled and laughed, she sounded like a fairy. “Dela is very nice, tidy...Robbie is Robbie, always in a rush, kinda messy. Ivy is my best friend and no one gets me like she does” Katya immediately thought about Trixie, her heart fluttered. “You know Katya, I’m a bit of a freak, and people ususally make fun of me, Ivy never ever did.” Katya grabbed the cigarette packet she had in her pocket. “Don’t worry Jinkx, I’m a freak too.”
Finally the dryer stopped working, Katya took all her clean laudry and waved at Jinkx quickly, she really needed a smoke break. Once she threw all her clean clothes on her bed she run down the stairs, without even taking the elevator and went outside. It was dark and cold, Katya was only wearing a hoodie with leggings she used to sleep in, she begged her russians genes will do their work and avoid shivers, unluckily they failed. Drag after drag Katya was shivering, she tried to warm herself up rubbing her arms, but it was almost winter and her attempt failed. She finished her cigarette and threw it away, running inside. Her right hand was completely numb, her fingers were red and swollen. In the elevator Katya hoped her roommates were all out of the shower, she really wanted a hot boiling waterfall on top of her. She opened the door and saw Pearl and Violet chatting on the couch, Pearl had her hands on Violet’s inner thights...so what Trixie told was true, they had a thing going on; she waved at them quickly, having a “hi Katya” as a response while locking herself up in her room. Her breath was getting quicker, and suddenly a wave of heat hit her. She tried to gasp, desperately wanting air to get to her lungs, her chest was going up and down, making her fatigued. She felt like she was underwater and someone was trying to push her down. Her warm face got red, she tried to stand up, but her body stopped responding and she found herself slipping on the door and falling to the ground. Her mind simply stopped working, it was like a complete check out, and Katya didn’t know out to get herself out of that situation. She tried to shout, but neither her lungs could help her, so she just kept gasping, hoping to faint and end all of that. She knew how bad her panick attacks were, to the point in which she often fainted while having them. She talked to herself trying to calm herself down, “ok Katya focus, focus on the ceiling”, she thought facing up, and her breath kinda slowed. She realized she gained some strength to pull herself up. An immediate feeling of dizziness and nausea got her, as fast as she could she slammed her door wide open, and hold herself onto the wall, dragging her body to the bathroom. “Katya? Are you ok?” She heard Pearl’s voice from what seemed far away, but was just a couple meters away. “Katya?” This time Violet spoke, and she noticed a lot of concern in her voice. Her body once again stopped working, Katya fell on her knees and coughed. She needed to get to the bathroom, with her last strength she reached the door and opened it. Basically crawling she got herself to the toilet, and all of a sudden she vomited. She felt a sore pain in her chest, and her head was just about to explode, hair was getting into her way...god she hated vomiting so much. She took a deep breath before puking again and start over. The dizziness and the vomiting were taking each other’s places, one minute it was throwing up all she had in her tiny body, the minute after it was feeling the room spinning.
“I got you baby” she felt fresh hands grabbing her forehead, and pulling it up, Katya could finally rest her head; another pair of hand tied her hair up and laid her on the ground. “Katya can you hear me? Katya?” she thought the light was too intense, and that someone was wearing too much perfume. “Katya I’m Raja, you are having a panick attack”, she knew, oh god she knew. “I-I can’t b-breath” she told gasping, she squeezed her hand, and opened her eyes wide open. “I-I have to...” Raja immediately got her message and with some help made her reach the toilet so she could throw up. When she finished her breath was better and the dizziness was fading. “Put her on your lap” said Raja helping that someone, when Katya was finally breathing normally again she figured out who that other someone was, Manila was holding her hand and caressing her cheek. She turned to the door and saw Violet and Pearl waiting, Pearl holding Violet’s hand so tight her fingers were purple. “I’m sorry girls” as she tried to seat helped by Manila and Raja “I should have warned you about the panick attacks” Raja gave her a glass of water, and she sipped it calmly, even if she felt like puking again. “Bitch I was so scared” said Violet reaching her and sitting. “I thought you were dying” she whispered with that note of irony in her voice. “It felt like I was about to, god”.
Raja took some more water “you need to rehydrate your body, you probably vomited half of your liquids in that toilet”, Manila took the glass and put it down “can you stand up?” and when Katya nodded the girl, with a surprising strength, took her from her hips and made her stand still. The russian girl saw herself in the mirror for a while, and good lord, her face looked like it was hit by a brick. They took her to the common room, where Raja insisted on giving some sugar to Katya, and after all it was not a bad idea. Chewing on a candy Katya gazed around, and remembered it was her turn to do the dishes, so she stood up and went to the sink. When she grabbed one of the plates Pearl stopped her, her thin fingers grabbed the dish and left it on the counter, “not tonight Katya? Worry about it later” she told with that calm smile, so the girl nodded and went back to the armchair. After a while Manila and Raja left, giving Violet and Pearl some advices on how to act in case of another attack, even if Katya hoped not to have another one. “Girl, you better stop that panicking thing, I was so scared” told Violet once again “you seem pretty tired lately, why don’t you go to sleep?”. With a gentle movement she seemed to show the way to the blonde, whose eyes were already closing. Katya and resting were two concepts too far from each other, but that day Katya thought it was a good idea to start relaxing. So after Violet’s advice she just slipped under her covers, wearing leggins and just a sports bra as her hoodie was smeared with vomit. She untied her hair and closed her eyes. However she kept tossing and turning, tormented by something. What triggered her so much? And why was that attack so violent? She had her last one years before, when she was an angsty goth teen and loved to do drugs. Drugs caused her a lot of problems, but she had passed that phase and did not want to live all that nightmare again. Katya took a deep breath, she was never triggered by something so quickly, she thought about all the things she did that day, except for regular studying lessons and tried to find out what was her major trigger. Nothing seemed to stand out that much except how much time she was passing on her books. As she kept wondering someone knocked at her door, and Katya did not want to go and open so she just yelled “come in!”. Trixie’s face popped in, with a Starbucks tray in his hand and two smoking hot cups on it. “Hello Trisha, how are you? Heard you had a panick attack”. Everybody was just so concerned about her panick attack, while Trixie was just lightly joking about that, she always found her kinda dark and dry humor to be a perfect match to hers. She loved her approach, not like an apprehensive mom worried for her child, but a good friend who likes to take things not too seriously.
“Oh Tallulah, you have no idea, I probably vomited my guts in the toilet”. Trixie approached her and handed her one of the cups: “I got you a special thing, I don’t know if you’ll like it however”. Katya smelled the cup carefully, she recognized a spicy smell, something exotic. She really hoped it was not pumpkin spice latte, she hated that, it was so gross and it made her gag. When she took a sip she found herself quite surprised, it was chai tea. And she loved chai tea. “This is sooo good, but how do you know I like it?” Katya asked, staring at her good friend that sat on her chair; “I saw you getting it more than once at Starbucks, and I supposed you’d love something warm to calm you nerves”. Katya took some more sips, getting pampered by the vapor coming up the cup warming her face. Trixie was drinking from her cup too, and she was glancing outside, were a lampstood was lighting the road to the dorm. “Katya by the way, if you need to talk I’m here” she said keeping her eyes out the window. “Sure, it’s just that I’m so anxious right now, so many things to do!” Told Katya whining, holding her cup tightly, Trixie turned this time and looked at her: “if you want we can stay in tomorrow instead of going out”.
It was not what Katya wanted, Trixie was a good way to distract from everything else in that moment, she really wanted to go out. “Nono, I wanna go, I think relaxing may help me, and I absolutely NEED a dress for tomorrow, I do a lot mama, I look like...hot garbage” she said pointing at her outfit and then at her wardrobe, mainly composed of t-shirts, leggins and strange accessories. Trixie laughed, in that bizarre way that made Katya happy. “Ok, but now rest, I need you to be in perfect shape tomorrow”
“I highly doubt I’m gonna be perfect by tomorrow”
“At least be functioning”
“That I can work on it”
“Good night Katya”
“Good night Trixie” and as her friend switched off the lights and closed the door behind her, the russian found some peace and finally rested.
***
When Katya woke up her mind recalled her panick attack from the day before, not a great way to wake up. She jumped out of bed, her body was drenched in sweat and smelled like an hospital hallway; it was time to shower. Katya grabbed her towel, she remembered how the first day she forgot and had Pearl to help her while she was completely naked and wet (maybe in more than one sense). The water washed down all her sweat and grease, cleaning her skin making it soft. While she was shampooing someone knocked, who could it be at that time? She stopped the water from going and screamed “Who is it?”. The answer was clear “It’s me Barbara”. She let her in, at the beginning of the year she would have never, but know she learned how to deal with it, kinda forcefully but she was feeling ok. “Sorry to bother you, you still wanna go?” Trixie’s voice was worried.
“Of course I want to, I’m showering for you!”
“What an honor” she said grabbing some things from the cabinet, she was moving stuffs and then closed it. Trixie got closer to the shower “do you think we’ll find a dress for this night?” She asked concerned. Katya really hoped to find at least something wearable, the last thing she wanted was to feel judged for her clothes. She loved parties, but the type of parties she used to go to were mainly focused on drugs and alchols so no fancy dress was needed, she also hated formal wearing, it reminded her the catholic school she used to attend. Rinsing the shampoo off her hair Katya answered “Trixie, there’s plenty of stores in Boston, we will find a thing to wear”, she got out the shower grabbing a warm, fluffy towel. Trixie whined “yes but I’m afraid I won’t look good in anything! Today I saw Pearl in her outfit, she’s gorgeous, how am I supposed to feel good? I’m a 4 surrounded by 10s” she said leaning on the sink, she tied up her hair in a bun getting it out of the way.
Katya came closer and cupped Trixie’s face with her wet hands: “Listen to me young Winsconsinite woman, you are a beautiful human being inside out, and you deserve love, say it with me”. Trixie rolled her eyes: “I deserve love” she said repeting the words Katya said. With a satisfied smile Katya took anothet towel to dry her hair “and now you go prepare yourself so we can go out and shopping all morning!”. Trixie got up and kissed Katya’s cheek gently, and she left the bathroom. Katya couldn’t do anything but smile like and idiot, why did Trixie made her so happy, she didn’t know. It was not proper “love” but it was surely more than just friendship, it was a deep feeling of trust, affection and care she couldn’t name. When she left the bathroom too, leaving her wet footprints on the floor, she thought about what she could actually wear to the party. She knew that if she wanted to wear pants Violet and Fame probably would choke her to death, a dress was out of discussion, last time she wore a dress she was 12 years old and going to church, probably looking like a dumb doll. She started drying her hair, sitting on her bed and texting people. Sasha wrote her because she heard Violet was coming to the party, she was concerned about the situation happening again, Katya was too, but she would have done anything possible to help her avoid a similar experience. She then started doing her make up, quite in a rush as she noticed she was late. She grabbed the clothes she wore Friday and threw her black coat on. She knocked at Trixie’s door, her friend already had her coat and scarf on, and was about to put her shoes on. Katya was speechless, Trixie’s warmest coat was gray, and not pink. “Trixie, why is your coat gray?” and in her voice you could hear a lot of surprise. The answer was very blunt: “‘cause I’m not eight years old maybe?” but Trixie’s final laugh broke the tension. Katya laughed along “fair enough” she said putting on her ankle boots “you’d look cute tho”.
Trixe’s face was telling another thing “Katya, I’m eighteen going for nineteen, I’d look ridiculous” she took a pause “not that I look serious right now”. Katya wheezed, looked at Trixie’s right in her pupils and said “do I have to tell you how great you are once again?”. Trixie nodded “please, Brenda” she whined spraying perfume on her.
They got out the dorm and walked together until they got to the bus stop. As they were approaching they saw a similar blue haired girl sitting on a bench and smoking. It was Adore, same messy hair, painted nails and baggy clothes; her cheeks were lined by black dirty tears, probably her eyeliner or mascara was a mess, from far away they could not see. When they finally got closer Adore was an actual mess, when she turned facing Trixie and Katya she was shaking and sobbing, and she also looked uncomfortable, probably because she was aware of how bad she was appearing. “Sorry girls” she said drying her eyes while smearing her makeup even more “please don’t look at me, I’m a disaster”. Trixie got on her knees and ruubbed her hand on Adore’s leg, with a sweet tone she tried to cheer her up: “hey Adore, don’t worry! It’s gonna be fine, something happened?”. Adore nodded and took Trixie’s hand, her voice sounded cracked and it was difficult for her to talk, when she started explaining it was hard to understand: “I passed I group of guys, one of them complimented me, but another one screamed not to think about me cause I’m the young lesbian who is fucking her teacher only to get good grades”. She then carried on crying: Trixie sat next to her and hugged her, Katya tried to cheer her up too: “Adore, even if you are sleeping with your teacher don’t make it a big deal! You know what’s going on between you two, you know the truth and don’t let other people speak for you”. This seemed to cheer Adore up a little more, she looked up to meet Katya’s eyes and smiled, she thanked both of them and stood up, she grabbed Katya’s hand but adressed to both: “Thank you girls, that helped”. Katya however, felt like it was not totally true, Adore stopped sobbing, but she had a bitter expression on, maybe she knew Trixie and herself were not judging her, but a good 90% on the campus was. Adore thanked them again, before the bus got there. Trixie and Katya got on and waved at Adore as the bus moved and started his brief journey to the city. On the seats Katya felt Trixie gently resting her head on her shoulder, and closing her eyes for a while; they couldn’t have breakfast so they planned on eating it lately in the city, but the lack of caffeine in their bodies was hard to face. Katya made sure not to close her eyes, so they wouldn’t miss their stop, but found it challenging. Finally after twenty minutes or so they got to the city center and got off the bus. Boston was full of people that day, even if the weather was cold and the sky was dark. “We have to eat breakfast” said Trixie worried, probably she was starving, even Katya was. The russian took her hand “I have to take you to this amazing cafe I love” she said prancing. Trixie smiled at her, they then started walking close, to “keep them warm” and got to a small cafe on a quiet street, it was not too crowded and had a welcoming atmosphere. It was Katya’s favorite coffee spot, she passed her high school years there with her friends, and she also loved all the options they had. Once inside a familiar smell greeted her, making her feel at home, they took place on a table in a corner, left all their stuffs there and got in line. Katya would of course get the same thing, a coffee, black, no cream or sugar, and something very plain to eat. The boy at the counter grabbed a cup “hello how can I help you?” He said too fastly, without even looking at her. “I’ll get a black coffee, no cream no sugar and a vanilla cupcake”, she gave him the money and turned to Trixie, who was reading the menu. Katya grabbed her things and went back to the table, and looked at the building on the other side of the road, it was not too tall, but quite imponent. She kinda missed the privacy of a house, dorms were great, but she really wanted a house on her own. A sick idea popped in her head, and she also felt an urge to tell Trixie about it. The girl came back with an iced latte (as usual) and a pastry. She sat down and drank some of her icy drink, getting comfortable on the chair. “Trixie, do you think we could move out the campus?” Katya just put it down there, spitting words out, when she looked at Trixie her friend was surprised. “Katya, why?” she said putting her drink down “you don’t like the dorm anymore?” she asked concerned. Katya did not know how to answer, the dorm was smelly and small, the bathroom was so tiny it was difficult for her to stay in, the bedrooms were uncomfortably small and the whole building was too far from the cafeteria. She explained that to Trixie, she loved the girls, hated the place, quite easy. As she kept slurping her iced latte Trixie could just agree “you know Katya, I hate to say that but you are so right, but how can we provide an apartment for the five of us?”.
“We can find jobs Brenda! It ain’t that hard” said the russian without containing the excitement, she was so happy. “We have to ask the girls!” she kept going on, trying to convince her friend, who eventually gave up. “Ok Katya, we’ll try!”
***
It was lunchtime and Trixie couldn’t find anything she liked. Katya was truly a blessing, she never complained even after four hours of trying dresses. Katya found something very pretty: leather pants and a backless shimmery top, so trash it was glamour.
“How many shops are left?” Trixie asked when they sat to have lunch. Katya was too exhausted to answer. “I can’t find anything pink!” she kept complaining.
A waiter came in and served them fresh water, Katya was so happy and blessed, finally something to quench her thirst. “Then why don’t you try on something in another color?” Even if Katya knew the answer she tried. Trixie tapped her fingers on the phone’s screen, the sound of the small taps calmed Katya. Trixie seemed interested, she wore something more than pink, like purple or light yellow, but maybe it was time for a change. “What if I try on something light blue?” she asked to Katya, who answered with joy “mama, you’d look soooo good!”. She also suggested white, green and black, but Trixie only agreed to try on white, cause she hated green and black made her sad. During lunch Katya texted Violet to make sure she was not freaking out.

Katya: hey Vi, is everything ok?

Violet: yas, waiting to shower, you found something to wear?

Katya: yes, bought a pair of leather pants and a cute top

Violet: great! See you later

She turned her phone off to focus on Trixie that was eating quietly, she had her hair in a hot pink scrunchie that Katya found adorable, and she rolled her sleever up to the wrist. Katya never met someone like Trixie, her humour was so dark and twisted, but she looked bubbly, childish almost, and her personality perfectly matched hers. She loved how things simply worked out between them, and that affection that linked them was simply too good and pure.
They finished food, payed with a credit card and rushed out, looking for a place that sold clothes, one they did not went too; Trixie analysed every single shop they passed on the pavement and Katya looked on her phone to find a nice place, even if she knew Boston better that she knew herself her mind was not able to bring them to a decent store. They desperately walked around Boston for an other hour, but nothing matched Trixie’s taste, nothing until they stopped in front of a bus stop. A small store was just behind it, the kind of store that sold vintage dresses and only freaks/hipsters knew. From the outside you could only see two mannequins in display: one with a pair of baggy jeans and an orange sweater on, the other one with a flowy red dress. Katya pointed it out: “Trix, look there” and her friend turned facing the shop. Her lips curled up, and she brought a hand to her chest with surpise. “Isn’t it cute?” Katya asked happily, Trixie nodded and grabbed her hand, dragging Katya inside the store, were a smell of old wood and scented candles welcomed them. At the register a guy was drinking from a cup, he had a lighter in his hand and was looking for something on his pc. He did not notice the girls immediatly, but when he did a big smile formed on his face: “hello girls” he exclamed, “need help with something?”. Katya stared at Trixie and vice versa, waiting for each other to speak, Trixie broke the silence...”I’m looking for a white dress, something pretty for a college party”. The guys rubbed his chin and took a small catalog from a drawer and quickly browsed it, his hands stopped to a page, he then faced the two girls. “I don’t really have a white dress BUT I have a combination you may like” he said. He disappeared behind a door, judging from the sound he was looking for something in some boxes, some things fell from the shelves making him curse. When he got out he had something in his hands: “et voilà” he shouted, showing them a white, long sleeved, shoulderless blouse. “You can pair it with this denim skirt” he added taking the item out. It looked gorgeous for sure, and Trixie was waiting to try it on, she took the clothes and the guy took her to the changing rooms, not shutting up about how cool she’d look. When Trixie came out she was so beautiful, Katya was genuinely surprised, she was not used to see Trixie without pink on, and white looked great on her, her long curls complimented the whole outfits, and her white cowboy boot were just the cherry on top of the cake. “Trixie, this is so good” screamed Katya, grabbing her friend’s shoulders to make her face the mirror, “you have to buy it, it’s just perfect on you”. Trixie looked shocked, with one hand she covered her mouth, with the other one she held onto Katya. Trixie almost screamed. “I looke like my twelve years old self but stylish” she pranced around the room, imitating her younger self, “I love it so much”. The guy was happy too, she staret at Trixie the whole time, satisfied by his outfit. Trixie couldn’t stop smiling, something that was not pink but made her look gorgeous and confident, such a rare occasion. When they walked out, after a lot of compliments from the boy at the register, they hugged and jumped carelessly on the road, to get at the bus stop, Trixie could not shut up for a moment, “we’ll look sooo good, you’ll be all dark and I’ll be all white, we’ll be like the angel and the devil except we both behave like the devil” and she spinned around, holding to a pole from time to time, and laughing with her distinctive (unnecessarily loud) laugh. When they took the bus at 15:30 Pearl called Trixie, Katya heard some bits of the conversation.

Pearl: “Hello, here it’s Pearl Liaison and I wanted to report someone missing”
Trixie: “Hello Miss Liaison, sorry to inform you I couldn’t care less”
Pearl: “wow, you are so fucking funny, nevermind, where are you?”
Trixie: “15 minutes away”
Pearl: “good, Fame wants to know if pizza will be ok for dinner”
Trixie: “I mean, it’s 15:35 but ok”

Trixie kept talking to Pearl, and Katya got lost gazing outside, the landscape of the city disappearing, leaving place to smaller buildings and residential palaces. They were lucky, the campus was not too far from the city center, so they could easily go out.
When they got off the bus Trixie and Katya walked back to the dorm, where their three roommates were clinged together on the sofa watching a movie on Pearl’s PC. Violet’s head was on Fame’s legs, and Pearl’s legs on Violet’s tummy, her head resting on Fame’s shoulders. They looked so cute all together Trixie took a picture of them, then she bounced in the room and stopped the movie. “I’m pretty sure this is an average straight male wettest dream” she stated, taking a chair from the table, after sitting she gave the girls the news. “I bought something not pink, and Katya is wearing pants to the party.” After all of them stared at Katya with pure disapproval she tried to come back: “they’re made of leather, they’re sexy, they show off my body!”, and that made her fashionable friends less disappointed. Katya took place too, and saw “The devil wears Prada” playing on the laptop. Such stereotypes, she thought, it talked about fashion and hot girls, perfect for those three. Fame yawned, “damn, this is my favourite movie, but I’m getting bored”, and she tried to strech her arms. Pearl did the same “I don’t have a favourite movie, but I really like Romeo + Juliet, even if I know nothing about Shakespeare”. Violet smirked, “mine is Burlesque, love the setting” she announced with a raspy voice. Trixie also added her movie to the list: “Mean Girls”, Katya was not surprised. “Mine is called Contact, and it’s probably the only movie I’ve seriously watched” she finally said.
They kept watching the movie, even if they had to prepare, but that lazy atmosphere just couldn’t let them free.
***
*a couple hours later*
“Holy mother of god” Fame screamed, with a visible red burn on her hand. Katya rushed to help, putting Fame’s hand under fresh running water, that seemed to help.
Pearl was nervously walking around, putting bobby pins in her blonde up do while also trying to wrap a colorful headband around her forehead. She tried to knock at Trixie’s door with an elbow, so her friend, that had half of her hair curled, came out and finally secured the headband, and also zipping up Pearl’s dark brown skirt. Violet was already standing at the door, playing with the details in her burgundy dress, with her slim fingers she followed the trails made of sequins and shimmery yarn. Pearl reached her after buttoning up her blouse, and spraying an uneven amount of hairspray on her head. Violet laughed: “You look like a nightmare in beige” she pointed out, making Pearl petty.
Katya would have loved to have dreams in beige if they did actually look like Pearl, she thought about it, adjusting the last details in her outfit. As she planned Violet almost killed her because she was wearing pants to a party, but she survived, so everything was good for now. Once Fame and Trixie finished their looks they got on their way, half of them dying of cold in mid November breeze, people like Violet who were wearing nothing but a dress and a coat, or Pearl who was just born in Florida and not used to such cold weather.
When they got to the house they could finally warm up, a girl, probably someone who lived there, came up to them with some cups filled with hot tea, to Katya that was an absolute dream. The girl the recognised Pearl and gave her a big hug, and introduced herself to the others. “I’m Aquaria” she said, flipping her jet black hair back. “You must be Pearl’s roommates! And you all look so good, let me introduce you to some people so you can all hang out”. Even if she was in college Katya thought she was looking like an high schooler, she was so slim.
The so called Aquaria led them to a big dining room where all the people were, dancing and drinking, and even if no visible guy was there, Katya checked on Violet to see if she was fine. She seemed at her ease, and not particularly bothered by the situation. Another girl came up, she hugged both Aquaria and Pearl with much more emphasis, and also compliments the girls. “I’m Naomi, Naomi Smalls” and Katya once agains can’t help but notice how she may be a model too, maybe she had earned her name because she could easily be compared to Naomi Campbell, if not more beautiful. She starts chatting with Violet and Fame, and engage a pretty long conversation that leaves Katya bored, and once again, alone with Trixie, whose outfit turned out so much better than it was at the store, now she looks like a cute girl escaped from some indie movie you find on Netflix.
They decide to get themselves some snacks and drinks, and sit on the couch, so that they can relax.
“Do you think Violet can handle this?” Asks Trixie with a nuance of worry in her voice. Katya’s eyes land on the girl with black hair, laughing with her friends, holding a cup of some drink in her light hands. She adjust her bangd and answer Trixie: “She’s a tough bitch, Trix, she looks fine now”. Her friend however doesn’t seem to agree, she take a long sip of her beer and exhale. “Yes, maybe I’m worrying too much” she says running her fingers in her long hair.
Katya knows perfectly Violet is hard to break, she is resilient, consistent and powerful, anybody who was in touch with her agreed saying Violet was fascinating to a point were you could just “look and not touch”. She looked like a doll, a super pretty porcelain doll, with her dark curls and pink cheeks. Katya’s thoughts got interrupted by a someone tapping her shoulder, it was Valentina, smiling at her. “Hi Vale, how are you?” she asked, behind her Trixie waved, the brunette girl took a seat and her expression changed, wrinkles formed on her face as she gazed around, worrying. She grabbed Katya’s hand and whispered to both girls: “Guys, Santino is here”. Four words that broke the girl’s spirit, Katya looked around as well, hoping not to see the guy’s face, she would have kicked his ass if she could. Trixie’s face cracked, and she immediatly waved at Pearl, that was talking to Aquaria. The slim girl received the message and stomped to get to Trixie, trying to avoid touching people; she leaned on and listened to Trixie.
Pearl covered her mouth, and got back up, Trixie was staring at her motionlessly, the blondes both got up, Trixie whispered to Katya’s hear something about using an excuse to get Violet out, the russian nodded, as she was left alone with Valentina, who rubbed her arms to warm herself. Her big brown eyes expressed all the worrying, and when she turned to Katya, she almost let a tear fall out her eyes. Suddenly Valentina froze to her place, she turned so pale she looked like a paper sheet, she tried to say something poiting behind Katya’s back, but the pnly thing that came out her red lips was a weak gasp.
Katya looked back, and understood why Valentina was so shocked.
He was there, leaning on the doorframe, staring at her favorite prey.

Chapter Text

Katya never felt more shivering in her life. Santino was there like nothing, chatting with a girl, but Katya could see his eyes looking at Violet like she was a succulent prey. She did not know what to do, from one side her heart was telling her to choke him and on the other side her brain was telling her to breath and find a more reasonable solution that could avoid getting into prison.

 

Valentina was standing at her side, with her hands on her chest and concerned expression on her perfect face; she was staring at Santino like she had seen a ghost. Turning back to look at him Katya noticed a bit of discomfort in Santino’s eyes, maybe he caught her staring? Maybe she spotted Fame? Last time he had interaction with Fame she was beating the hell out of him, trying to save Violet. Unluckly Santino moved a bit, making his way to the armchair and sitting on it, a couple feet away from innocent Violet; in that moment Katya’s phone buzzed, and she saw a text that made her so happy.

 

Fame: we‘re bringing Violet upstairs with Raja

Katya: does Raja know?

Fame: yas, so does Manila, she’ll come and take you

Katya put her phone back in her pocket and started scratching her arm violently, it was a tic she had since she was little, when situations were getting out of hand. She ordered her mind and started thinking properly again: first of all, reach her friends, second, enjoy the evening in a confined room, third, make the evening short so they can get out of here, fourth, take Valentina with her to avoid other assaults. In the crowd she spotted Manila, trying to make her way into a bunch of drunk girls dancing around. Katya helped her get thought it and pulled her away from all those people. Manila had short breath and a scared face, Katya thought it was because of Santino’s presence, I mean, who wouldn’t be nervous?

 

“Katya, we need to go upstairs now” she told the girl, catching her breath with difficulty. She pulled her hair back in a bun and dried her sweaty forehead, her eyes were expressing way too much concern, Katya nodded calmly but pointed at Valentina and firmly stated they needed to bring her up as well. It was not that much of a deal, Manila just agreed and made her way again avoiding drunk or stoned people.

 

The upper floor was less noisy, Katya could hear the songs blasting from downstairs with a softer tone. Up there, people just chatted, drank from their cups and occasionally made out; nothing to worry about. The constant click clack of Valentina and Manila’s heels made Katya nervous, almost as if Santino could hear them from downstairs, they walked until the end of a long hallway, Manila opened a door to reveal all of Katya’s friends sitting in a bathroom and drinking/smoking. 

She noticed Pearl lying in the bathtub almost asleep, as always, Fame and Violet at the window smoking, Raja on the sink and Trixie on the floor. 

Katya could not stop herself from laughing : “this looks like one of those dreams I have when I smoke too much” she said; Raja handed her a cup with something brown in it, then proceeded to pour some more of the thing in it, her voice was kinda raspy: “Drink it babe, we will have fun” she said with that familiar tipsy voice. Katya glanced briefly at her reflection in the mirror, and thought it looked like her 16 years old self, ready to get wasted at a party, even though she passed that phase long time ago; she swallowed a big quantity of that liquor that turned out to be Jack Daniels, the taste was familiar to her, she got drunk with that shitty liquor so many times. While alcohol was burning down her throat she took a moment to admire Violet, she was so calm and poised, yet her aggressor was downstairs, but she was innocently having fun not aware of the danger.

 

Trixie’s hand wrapped around Katya’s cup, the flatter just let it go, so that the blonde’s hand could hold properly the cup and take a long sip.

The russian was not pleased, althought she found durnk Trixie so funny, “bitch that’s my booze” she told trying to grab her cup again, without success. Once again she put her eyes on Vi, just to check her, even if she knew she was safe.

She decided to share some of her Jack Daniels with Trixie, that was basically drinking it all, without leaving any for her slavic friend, Katya was carefully listening to Manila talking about her studies or something, but her mind was, as always, somwhere else. She felt Trixie’s head resting on her shoulders, and her long blonde hair tickling her arm, she also saw it in the mirror, and thought Trixie was super cute. She took out her phone and took a selfie, Trixie was too drunk and tired to notice her friend taking pics of them. 

 

***

*3 am in the morning, in a bathroom*

It was her fifth or something cup of liquor, Katya was barely aware of what her friends were talking about, she just held her phone with one hand and the bottle with her other one. Pearl have been sleeping for quite sometime now, her skirt way too up her tights revealing her rosed skin. 

 

Violet and Fame were drunk, Vi on Raja’s lap and Fame on the floor, with her head leaning on the wall. Maybe it was time for them to go, even if Katya loved the atmosphere and wouldn’t have changed it for anything in that moment, but if she wanted to get some decent sleep she needed to get out of there. Probably people were leaving, she guessed because the music stopped and a lot of the people outside the door were just disappear one by one. From the corner of the room Fame decided it was time to go, she somehow managed to get up and mumble “shall we go out?” helding herself on the wall.

 

 

Pearl opened her teal eyes and slowly got out her loved tub, helped by Trixie who looked like a sleepwalker.

When they opened the door a thick coat of smoke was freed in the air and the tremendous smell of booze, weed and tobacco filled the hallway, making other people gag. Getting dow the stairs was a challenge; especially for Valentina and all the girls who wore high heels, Fame fell once, Pearl twice, making all of them laugh. Finally at the door they were greeted by freezing air from outside, that kinda made them wish to stay a little more, but it was time for them to leave. 

On their way back it started snowing, heavily snowing, and all the girls struggled with heels and everything; being a lady was hard, thought Katya, and she was feeling cold being one of the most covered among them, maybe Fame or Violet would froze on their way to the dorms. Under the moonlight the walk was a lot different than under the bright sun of the day, all the objects around her seemed to make Katya very nervous, she watched a lot of horror movies and most of them included girls attacked during the night. Her anxiety kicked in, making her body trembling like a leaf. 

 

What if someone kidnap her?

Well she was with a large group of friend, they’d help?

Yes but you know that the blondes always die first? 

But Pearl, Fame, Trixie and I are all blondes!

Then they’ll pick the most gorgeous?

Does this mean I’m out of troubles?

The voice in her head kept going on, Katya tried focusing on something else, like the moon that was barely visible under all the clouds full of icy snow, the flakes falling down, wetting everyone’s hair, Valentina’s locks bouncing up and down, her shoes on the concrete...but nothing would make her voice shut up.

 

A pale hand grabbed her shoulder, it was Trixie, slightly less drunk than before, looking at Katya with the eyes of someone that need some good rest, she leaned on her and rolled her eyes: “Katya I want to sleep” it was a delicate whisper that only the two of them could hear, Katya tried to pass her hand though Trixie’s hair, they were wet and heavy, due to the snow. “I know babe, but you should get to your bed before” she whispered back. 

Finally they saw the dorm’s lights, and Katya thought she saw the most beautiful thing in the world, she needed a comfy change, a shower and a cup of hot tea. She was literally freezing, strands of her wet hair had small icy flakes forming on them, and her nose got numb, and if she was feeling cold she did not want to know how all the others were.

 

At the entrance the night guard, Ginger, greeted them and hold them the door, wishing a good night to her gals; once in the building Katya noticed how the flakes forming on her hair were formed on her friend’s hair as well, on Raja, Manila and Violet’s hair the effect was so cool, the white color of the snow popped in contrast with their dark locks, Katya thought it was super pretty.

***

Entering her dorm never felt so damn good, yes it smelled like stale water and mold but who cared? It was warm and dry, at that was enough for her. She saw Violet rushing to the bathroom and the familiar sound of the water splashing, of course she was going to take a shower, and all of them had to wait, Fame immediately dropped her wet stilettos on the carped and got rid of her soaking wet dress, revealing her model’s body.

Pearl while entering the main room shouted “can you cover yourself? We know you’re pretty” and then proceeded to throw herself on the couch, with wet clothes and hair. 

Katya and Trixie leaned on the wall, smiling at each other, the russian observed every little detail in Trixie’s face in that moment, small drops of water running down her cheeks, her makeup smeared all over and her blue contact lenses almost shining through the black mess her eyes were. With the back of her hand she tried to remove some of her black from under her eyes, failing miserably.

 

The russian girl hanged her wet coat and so did the other one, mirroring her same movement, Katya tried to follow Pearl’s step and almost got into the common room, but Trixie’s firm hands wrapped around her waist, and she was dragged in the hallway. 

 

Trixie’s eyes met Katya’s, in a way that made both of them shiver, for a moment none of the two dared to speak a word, it was Trixie that with the lowest tone possible talked to Katya, “I have to show you something” she told gradually walking towards her room, in a hallway only enlightened by the lampstoods outside. When they got in Katya smelled her friend’s fragrance everywhere, she didn’t notice Trixie decorated the place some more, the pink fairy lights on her bed where shining, and she also added some pillows and hanged a board with pictures. She also noticed Trixie’s instruments in a corner and her notebook/journal on the desk; besided smelling Trixie’s perfume she also smelled alcohol in her breath as she was approaching, her tone was once again soft, and so were her movements. 

 

“Dear Katya, I want to play for you”.

“Uh, ok...I guess?” 

 

Katya answered, she knew she didn’t have a choice, Trixie had her own thinking mind and it was a very stubborn one, in fact she saw her grabbing the weirdly shaped wooden box (was it called an autoharp?) and take her notebook, opening to a page full of words and doodles.

She then took some small metal rings and place them on her fingers, and she tried to tune the weird instrument, closing her eyes and focusing on the sound; Katya stood there, enchanted by the vision of her friends, dressed in white and holding a harp, she looked like a modern nymph trying to enchant her, and she was succeeding way too easily.

“I want you to listen carefully ok?” Trixie told, taking place on the chair; Katya nodded and sat on the bed, grabbing a pillow to hold onto.

A joyful tune started playing as Trixie’s fingers slid though the strings, creating the ethereal sound from nothing.

It was the first time Katya heard her roommate play in the same room she was in, she had only heard the muffled sound from distance, separated by walls.

But listening to her at this distance was too different from what she had heard before, she was overwhelmed by the sound of that weird instrument, held by the purest creature.

And when her voice began to sing Katya couldn’t explain the feeling that got her all of a sudden, Trixie’s voice was not the clearest sound, it was not the voice of an angel, it was not a lyrical opera voice, it was not powerful and enchanting, it was so simple yet so magical. It was like her own voice was showing Trixie as a whole, the essentials of Trixie’s personality. It was just Trixie’s voice, but the sound of it, only accompanied by a simple tune, was just right for Katya.

 

Someday it’s a story

and it’s the one I’m sticking to

Loving from the red side of the moon

 

And like that Trixie ended her song.

Katya jumped on her, hugging her so tightly that the other girl stopped breathing. “Kathy you’re suffocating me” chirped the girl, petting her friend’s hair that blurted out: “I don’t care, I love you with all my heart Tallulah”.

Trixie’s crazy laugh made Katya’s heart lighter, she loved making her friends laugh, and with her it was like making a little baby laugh: so easy but satisfying.

“I’m glad you liked it” Trixie said, putting her autoharp in the corner it belonged in, carefully positioned in her case, she then sat on her bed too, grabbing another pillow and held it like Katya did.

“My grandpa taught me how to play, to these days I keep thinking it’s the best present someone could do to me”

Her voice was emotional, Katya could tell by the pitch that was slightly higher than normal.

“As a young girl I loved to play, it was my way of being special and escape all the darkness around me, it was not only my hobby, but also my way of relaxing, letting it go” she then leaned on the wall, and stared at Katya, and whispered to her, even if no one could hear “I don’t know if you had a thing like that growing up, but if you did you know how it feels”.

Katya did, she did so much. It got her all at once, all her memories aggressively took over her mind. The make up, the combs, leothards all over her room, the smell sweat on the synthetic fabric of her bodysuit. She excelled at gymnast like no one did, and she wore it as a badge of pride, she was made fun of for being russian, but that made her a brilliant athlete. She used four ribbons and four leothards, her favourite was the black one, it had a synthetic bodice decorated with lace and short satin sleeves, embellished with crystal rindstones. She paired it with lace gloves and her black ribbon. She was strong in all fields, ribbon, clubs, ball and hoop. 

 

“I actually know how you feel Trixie, I was a gymnast”

 

Her friend got back up and took her hand, a shade of excitement in her voice “please Katya tell me you did the ribbon thing”

Katya answered with the same energy, “hell yes I did” making Trixie shout again.

She wanted Katya to show her as many videos as possible, and insisted on taking Katya to the gym so they could do gymnastics together and learn how to cartwheel.

So the russian took her phone and looked for her videos, not ready to see herself so young; the first video that popped out was the one in which she won one of her last prizes, before she quitted, she was wearing her second favourite leothard, the  one with a complicated russian fabric her mom bought for her, it was red, turquoise and embroided with gold thread all over, she was performing with the hoop.

 

Trixie’s face was just priceless, her lips formed a small “o” and her eyes were glued to the screen, watching Katya jumping and pirouetting, throwing the damn hoop to catch it and split.

“I love it so fucking much, do you have more of these?” 

She absolutely did, she showed her one in which she was doing a group routine, dressed in gold, with girls from her school, Trixie stopped the video mid-way, and looked at Katya right in the eyes.

“Is this Chi Chi? Chi Chi De Vayne?” And pointed at the black girl lifting Katya.

Katya nodded, Chi Chi was one of the few she could stand in her group, she was made fun of for being a charming southerner the same way Katya was being shamed for being russian.

Trixie was beyond shocked: “Do you know Chi Chi is in the same class Pearl goes to?”

Katya’s heart skipped a beat, she never thought someone that knew her before college could recognise her now. 

 

“I don’t think Chi Chi would remember me, I used to be very different”

 

She eventually paused and took a deep breath.

 

“I quitted gymnastics because I became a drug addict when I was fourteen, I got caught and they kicked me out”

 

It was the worst moment for Katya, she remembered every single detail. She started only smoking from her brother’s blunt to relax, it was just an innocent drag, nothing to worry about. Then her friends convinced her to try some cocaine in a club, but she only did it once. However she passed to crystal meth, and that was the point of no returning for her, the first time she used it was the time she got addicted to it. Before tests at school, competitions or parties she would smoke it and get ready, that gave her an extra kick, but soon addiction’s signs showed off. She lost her appetite, and became so thin she was barely there, she also stopped sleeping, insomnia kicked in and under her eyes two dark circles appeared. She was incredibly weak out of the gym, but found a magical strength to do all her exercises. But when they’re trainers found out she was in trouble. 

 

Katya was kicked out in the most cruel way, they kept all her trophies but forced her out. She cried while one of her beloved teachers dragged her out the door, screaming at her with anger. At the time Katya was not developed yet, her fourteen years old body was so small, her features were angelic, she had those bright blue eyes and blonde locks framing her red cheeks, it was cruel to sent her out that way.

 

Katya left with shame, but came back years later keeping her head up.

After her forced goodbye to gymnastic her addiction got worse. And then she totally lost control, she went to her bathroom, cut her long locks into an edgy bob with bangs, got rid of all her clothes and bought a new wardrobe, she developped into a beautiful teenager with an athletic strong body, but kept ruining it. She would have intercourse with eveyone to get some money and spend it on drugs. One day she even went back to her gym, and when she entered eveyone was speechless; the cute girl with a huge talent for gymnastics had turned into a cold hearted bitch, she went into the office and grabbed all her prizes; no one spoke a word as the blonde girl, with her blue eyes now circled with black eyeshadow, left. 

 

Katya told the entire story to Trixie, opening her heart to her, hoping she wouldn’t judge. She told her the reason she didn’t want to see Chi Chi was because she hated her past image, and probably Chi Chi was stuck to that old Katya. With much surprise Trixie opened up too, and told Katya her story.

 

“I was twelve and my mom was in a relationship with this man, when I was little he didn’t pay attention to me, but when I started growing up things changed. He was looking at me differently, as if I was a prey, at the beginning I didn’t notice, but at thirteen I became more...feminine, and he was staring, always. One day I was changing in the room I shared with my sisters and he got in, he grabbed my wrist and put my hand on his crotch. I screamed in horror and he started beating me so I wouldn’t tell anybody”

 

Katya didn’t blink at all, she just stared in shock. 

 

“But you told your mom, did you?”

 

Trixie shaked her head and leaned back on the wall, playing with the edge of her skirt. Katya just followed her and leaned on her shoulder.

 

“I’m glad we talked about this” Katya whispered. Trixie agreed. Tangled into a weird hug they fell asleep.

 

Chapter Text

Katya woke up and the snow was falling heavier than before, the sound of the shower stopped, and Trixie was laying in her bed, with her hair still wet and her party clothes on.

Katya made an effort not to make any noise, but then she remembered that Trixie would sleep through a war going on, so it wasn’t a big deal; she tried to unbutton her denim skirt, and left Trixie’s soft tights exposed, only to cover them with the pink duvet.

She silently stomped out of the room and closed the door carefully, once out she noticed Pearl’s door slightly open, opened enough to show what the blonde was doing.

 

Something was telling Katya not to look, but something else was forcing her to do it, so she took a breath and looked inside.

What she saw was nothing exciting, Pearl was on the floor, wearing a grey hoodie and watching Netflix, on her desk there were so many sheets, drawings, notes and some doodles, her laptop was opened and it showed the school’s site. Katya realized that among her roommates Pearl was the one she knew the less, she had that sleepy attitude that made her quiet, so she rarely spoke to her, but she was very nice. 

 

The girl inside the room moved a little to reach a blanket to cover her legs, Katya hid behind the door so she wouldn’t get caught.

She thought about Trixie’s comment about Chi Chi, the fact that her ex teammate was in Pearl’s course, and they probably had conversations, texted to get infos about lectures, maybe they even copied each other’s notes like Sasha and herself did, or borrowed each other’s pens, all those usual stuffs classmates do.

 

Katya want sure if Chi Chi would have liked to talk to her right now, she was curious to know if they’d get along. 

The last memory she had of Chi Chi was during a competition, one of the last ones, in which they did a duet using clubs. And it was long time ago.

But Katya couldn’t live with doubts, so he found some courage and knocked at Pearl’s door.

 

“Trixie I swear if it’s you I’m fucking killing you”

 

“It’s Katya”

 

An awkward atmosphere formed whithin seconds. Katya heard some footsteps, so light they were almost inaudible, and the door squeaking, revealing Pearl’s slim figure. She had no make up on, her hair up in a clip; her bare face was so innocent, the Pearl Katya knew was a cheeky girl that didn’t listen to anybody, but this Pearl looked like a little girl from a small town with a sweet face that everyone loved.

 

“Umh, sorry to bother you, Pearl, I wanted to know if you could do me a favor”

 

Oh, if only she knew how to read Pearl’s face, was she pissed? Was she ok? Was she angry? Her face was so flawless that not even emotions showed, she was an actual porcelain doll.

 

“Sure, I guess” said the girl, leaning on the wall.

 

“There’s this girl they told me it’s in you class, Chi Chi, can you please ask her if we can meet on Monday at lunch at the cafeteria?”

 

Pearl face finally showed a veil of feeling, and judging from the lines forming on her head, she wasn’t sure about Katya’s question. But she just nodded, with her usual careless attitude.

 

“Thank you Pearl” Katya told with the lowest voice possible.

 

Pearl smiled and closed the door behind her, not living the space that was there before. And Katya stared at the door for a couple minutes, before going to the bathroom and wash her face from the make up she had on.

On the mirror she looked at her reflection, while step by step her face got cleaned, in seconds her eyes were free from the heavy smokey eyes and her lips had they’re normal pink shade.

She then went to her room, and laid on her bed, thinking about all the things that could go wrong meeting her ex teammate, but eventually fell asleep.

 

***

 

Katya woke up on monday with a familiar feeling coming from her tummy, the anxiety already kicked in. She jumped out of bed and took a deep breath so she could relax, the sound of her friends moving and talking as usual made her calmer.

She took a pair of black jeans hanging on the chair and looked for something in her wardrobe to keep her warm. She found a black wool sweater that she put over a white shirt, she adjusted the collar, put the heavy jumper on and proceeded to paint her usual dark eye make up, when she got out of the room Trixie and Pearl were done, as usual, and Fame and Violet were doing their things, locked up in their rooms. Katya brushed her teeth and applied the last step of her make up routine, the cherry lips that she loved so much. Out of the bathroom she saw Violet reflecting in the mirror down the hallway, for a while she wished she could curse her, how could someone look pretty during snow storms? Her outfit was so on point.

She girl turned and saw Katya, greeted her with a smile and laughed.

 

“You look like Wednesday Addams and Taylor Swift’s child”

 

Katya laughed too “Is that supposed to be an insult?” 

 

The other girl grabbed her arm and took her to the common room where finally Fame reached them and they all went to the cafeteria. 

 

The air was fucking freezing, Katya had a terrible flashback of their “party night” were Raja, Fame, Valentina, Pearl and Violet almost froze to death. She loved the idea of winter, she loved snow and ice, but not when it would bother her college life. Everybody was leaving soft footprints on the snow covered concrete, and the sound of shoes into the snow was relaxing.

 

The cafeteria was almost empty, and Katya could imagine why, the weather was not exactly pleasing, and who would get out. She spotted only couple girls, Aja, Jinkx, Sasha in the line. 

At least her classmate was there, so her teacher would be more tolerable.

She got her food, so coffee and a toast, receiving her usual critiques by her friends, and took out her notes to revise. 

 

***

 

Here she was, walking once again on the stairs to her class, where she would be chatting with Sasha before her crazy russian literature teacher would get into the room and start shouting something in russian and english about how sad Anna Karenina’s life was, or how we all have some Karenina in us. 

Last time they studied russian writer Gogol’, and man his mind was crazy, Katya kinda related to him, he wrote some weird shit, but he pretty much liked the almost surreal genre Gogol’ followed. 

She kept her notebook open and revised until she reached the lonely class where Sasha and her spent most of the time.

 

Sasha was sitting at her place and smiled at Katya when she came in, they settled and waited for the teacher.

 

Miss Vassilyeva arrived seconds later, with the chaotic aurea she always had. Like a hurricane she dropped photocopies and books on her desk, and opened her laptop, blurting out obscenities in russian as if the girls didn’t undestand.

Miss Vassilyeva greeted her students and slammed one of the copies on the desk.

It was an extract of Gogol’ s book, the one they introduced last lecture.

 

“This is a story about a nose, a nose you might ask? Yes a nose. But the point is exactly the nose. Nikolai Gogol’ used something so surreal in his book that people would be amazed, and they would be even more amazed seeing the character’s reaction seeing this nose.”

 

Katya was not really following the lesson, she just scribbled things on paper, calling them notes would have been an euphemism.

 

“In the story a barber wakes up and smells fresh bread his wife made, so he wants to eat some before work. When he cuts though a roll of bread he finds a nose in it, his wife gets mad and kick him out. But what’s craziest is that the barber knows the nose, it’s from one of his clients. 

But the overall reactions are just average, not crazy like someone would expect them to be.”

 

But who cared about that nose? Katya didn’t for sure, she glanced her classmate carefully writing all the informations given, her hands grabbed a number of pens, pencils and colored highlighters, her handwriting was so pleasing to look at, so neat and organized, just like Sasha was.

 

“Zamolodchikova instead of falling in love with Velour you can pay attention, what did I said about the book?”

 

Katya felt her cheeks burning, Sasha’s eyes were on her the minute the teacher told her to follow the lesson. Why did that old soviet garbage can had to make her life a mess?

 

“There’s a barber who wakes up and smell bread, he wants to eat some of it for breakfast, when he takes a roll he finds a nose in it” Katya hoped her answer was right, but of course it wasn’t. 

 

“Zamolodchikova, do you really think Gogol’ wrote a book about a nose in a piece of bread?” 

Miss Vassilyeva’s face was red from anger, her eyes were full of fury, and Katya wasn’t ready for the screams that came afterward.

 

“Do you really think I got a degree in russian to talk to you two about bread? You think I am that stupid?”

Sasha grabbed Katya’s hand, surprised by how strong her teacher’s voice was. 

The professor took a volume from the desk and threw it behind the girls’ desk, almost hitting them.

 

“You are a filthy homosexual who get fucked by a black girl, did your parents even talked to you about how you can catch disease from them?”

A moment of silence succeeded, leaving the air as heavy as it was before.

Sasha’s eyes filled with tears as she heard all the obscenities the teacher told her.her cute face wet with tears, black from her mascara. 

Katya couldn’t believe to what she’d heard, she knew russians had prejudices, but she didn’t expect her teacher to be so mean and narrow minded.

 

“And you, you seem fucking reatarded, don’t you realize how stupid you are? You always had your head somewhere else you never fucking listen! And you fantasise about girls too! I can’t anymore, I’m out!” 

Miss Vassilyeva put couple things into her bag and slammed the door behind her, leaving Sasha and Katya speechless, the calm aurea that formed after scared both of them. 

Everything was so quiet but so overwhelming.

 

Sasha bursted out in tears, covering her eyes with her hands, her body moved to the rhythm of her sobs. Katya put a hand on her shoulder, comforting her, or at least trying to. 

The fuck was going on?

 

After the storm her mind started working again and she recaped all the things her teacher told them.

Was that even legal? And why did her college life had to be such a mess?

She didn’t expect to have a crazy professor screaming at her for being distracted. 

 

The familiar feeling of discomfort possessed her body in seconds, her hands became cold and sweaty, but inside she felt like she was burning.

Her heart accelerated and so did her breathing, warning Katya that another attack was coming.

She took a deep breath and squeezed the fabric of her jumper tightly.

 

“Not now Zamo” she told to herself, focusing on her breath.

“Sasha needs you” Katya though, looking at her friend crying on the desk, she needed help, and she couldn’t call Shea or Trinity, she had to face it.

 

Outside the window the tree was full of snow, and the landscape of the big campus was candid white. 

The snow falling got slower, and Katya tried to think about things that made her happy, the snow, the cold weather, Trixie, a cup of black coffee.

 

“What else Katya, what else?” She asked herself.

She liked gymnastics of course, and red lipstick, redbull, chai tea, her weird russian traditional mug or a good cigarette break.

 

It worked.

Her breathing got better, her beat too; she finally prevented an anxiety attack. 

She really wanted to be proud, but instead of celebrating her success she cupped Sasha’s face and looked at her straight in the eyes.

 

“Alexandra Steinberg Velour” she begun her speech.

“You are a wonderful human being that deserves love for everything. You are the best classmate, the best student, the best girl to copy notes from, the best fiancée and the best russian lesbian in the world”

 

Sasha’s face relaxed, the tears that were flowing like a river down her cheeks slowed down to then completely disappear.

“I really want you to know that our teacher is obviously wrong, I mean, who screams at her students like that, but trust me when I tell you that my love for you is infinite. Of course I mean platonic love, I love you as a friend, but please stop crying!”

 

Sasha finally stopped crying, she grabbed Katya’s hands and thanked her a million times before asking her if she could call Shea.

Katya did immediately, she grabbed her phone and got out the classroom, in her contacts she clicked on the girl’s name and waited for a response.

 

“Katya are you fucking crazy? Why did you call me?”

“Shea...”

 

Katya’s tone left Shea speechless.

 

“Kat, what happened?”

“Our teacher had a moment, she started screaming and she called Sasha a filthy lesbian or something, she started crying but I calmed her down...”

“...say no more I’m coming”

 

Before Katya could finish, Shea ended the call, leaving the blonde with her phone in her hand, alone in a hallway.

The first thought Katya had was to call Pearl and tell her she couldn’t meet with Chi Chi, not today at least; she peaked thought the door and told Sasha Shea’s coming.

 

The sound of shoes on stairs caught Katya’s attention, more than one person was coming. 

The first one to appear from the stairs was Shea, with short breath and sweat down her forehead, after her Violet showed up, Katya remembered they were in the same class, with much surprise after Violet, another black girl peaked.

She didn’t change much from when they were kids, Chi Chi only looked taller and with longer wavier hair. 

 

They both felt the awkward feeling you get when you meet someone that may or may not recognise you, that kind of sensation that stopped you from saying something but got you to look at that other someone for so long.

Meanwhile Shea slammed the door open, Sasha run to her and jumped on the poor girl, almost making both of them fall to the ground.

 

Violet poked Katya’s shoulder, her piercing eyes still had that same effect since they met. 

“Is your teacher crazy or something?” She asked with her bored tone.

Katya answered curling one of her blonde strands: “she’s not ok for sure, but coming from me...”.

Shea’s voice came from behind: “at least you don’t scare my boo girl”.

 

Sasha and Shea got closer to the ofher three, holding hands like kindergarteners, revealing that soft side they both had.

“You should warn someone” Violet told, adressing the two of them.

“This is not regular, and it can’t be, ask advice to Miss Del Rio, she’s kind of a cunt but she’s here to help anyone”

 

Katya nodded, and for a moment Adore’s face appeared in her mind, and she recalled the last time she saw her, at the bus stop, crying tears of pain.

Shea petted Sasha’s head and then asked if she wanted to grab some water and redt a while, just to calm down.

“I’ll go and take both your backpacks, take her to the restroom Shea” told Vi, putting both the backpacks on her thin arms.

 

When she was gone Katya and Chi Chi stared for a while.

Katya looked at her long lost friend, the only one that believed in her skills.

“You didn’t change much, Chi Chi”

The girl nodded and passed a hand through her long hair, separating her curls.

 

“I mean, you did girl”

Chi Chi’s accent sounded so nostalgic yet so close, and all the memories she had with Chi Chi occupied her brain.

The smell of Chi Chi’s hair, a mix of coconut and allspice, all the times they shared their lunch, or when they put cents together to eat sour patch from the vending machines after the competition.

“Come here” told her friend, pulling her in a tight hug, making Katya inhalate the smell of coconut oil in her hair.

 

“I’m glad to see you’re better” Chi Chi said.

“You still train?”

 

Katya heart dropped, she wished she could say yes, but shaked her head instead and tried to compensate smiling.

But that made Chi Chi laugh, in contrary of what she thought, and again she heard the familiar sound of her childish giggle.

“Neither do I bitch” 

 

“You should have kept training, you were good” said Katya.

“Not as good as you, I’ve never been” replied Chi Chi.

Katya tried, but she knew Chi Chi was below her level, but she tried not to make her feel any less better.

Chi Chi sat on a chair outside the door and threw her old backpack on the floor.

“We should hit the gym sometimes, just to see how much of two fucking retarded human we are. I could have been a gymnast right now and here I am wasting my time on books”.

Katya laughed, she didn’t really change a bit, she was as lazy as she used to be, and laid back more than ever.

“We should, for real” she replied.

 

***

“That’s crazy!” Said Pearl, with her ethusiasm, if you could call that enthusiasm.

Katya nodded and took a bite of her chicken.

After their small talk Chi Chi and Katya decided to go to the gym that same day after lunch.

Katya talked some more with her and she found out lots of things.

Chi Chi was majoring fine arts just like Pearl but also shared some classes with Violet, she knew Shea because they went to the same hairstylist and Trixie because they both attend the same afternoon’s clubs.

 

“I mean, I think I can still do a split or a cartwheel, but if I try something more I’ll be on the floor with a cracked tooth and an exposed fracture.”

Pearl chuckled: “Kat you have a great body, I think you can do way more, you were great, and the red leothard looks bomb on you”.

 

Katya stopped chewing, how did Pearl know she had a red leothard? Nobody knew about her past in gymnastics, at least almost no one; but a specific name came to her mind...

Trixie...

 

“That fucking cunt...” she blurted swallowing a whole piece of her food. But Pearl’s attitude calmed her down.

“She was so hyped when she showed me the videos, she loved all those girly girls stuff”

Katya, withouth finishing her meal, grabbed a cigarette from her pocket. 

“It takes a lot of effort Pearl, don’t underestimate...smoke break?”

The sleepy girl abandoned her sandwich and grabbed a cigarette ad well, following the russian into the mass directed to the revolving door.

 

Out in the snow they grabbed their lighters and took the first drag from the cigarette, after a long time on books they both needed it.

“I mean, it’s been so long Pearl, I don’t want to look like a dumbass”

Katya exhaled a cloud of smoke and tucked her hair behind her ear.

 

Pearl looked at her: “you already are” she laughed.

Katya pulled her ponytail and then procedeed to throw some snow in her coat, making Pearl scream like a little girl.

“Who’s the girly girl now?” Katya asked burying her friend in snow.

 

They made their way to the dorm snow fighting, with Katya as a clear and undiscussed winner. 

Pearl had snow coming out of every pocket in her coat and her hair was soaking wet, once again, just like the party.

In the elevator Pearl left a wet spot from the ice that melted, she formed a tray all the way to her door where Katya forced her to undress and leave her shoes outside.

Inside Katya went to her room and packed a small bag with all she needed for gymnastics: a pair of black shorts, a skin tight tank top, a roll of pre-wrap and some water.

 

After quickly saying bye to Pearl, that had turned into a popsicle, she headed out, in the cold Boston weather.

The gym was too far away from her dorms, maybe Chi Chi was closer, she damned herself for accepting Chi Chi’s suggestion and go to the gym crossing the entire campus basically, but deep down she was satisfied.

It had been years she didn’t do gymnastics, besides occasional cartwheels in the grass, and beginning again was particularly thrilling.

 

The gym smelled like a typical gym: sweat and rubber, and thousands of students were getting in and out.

She spotted Farrah running on a treadmill and Aja doing squats, far away she saw one of the girls she met at a party, Aquaria maybe, doing yoga.

Holding her bag she asked were the locker room was, and the boy working there gently showed her the way.

 

Chi Chi was already there, wearing the same shorts Katya had, fitting her perfectly shaped body. 

She recognized the leothard they used for training, a piece of synthetic cloth in a shade of lilac. 

The girl turned to Katya, greeting her with a great smile, inviting her to take place.

 

After they completely changed they headed to an open space in the middle of the gym, a square area similar to the one they used to train in.

They wrapped their ankles in complete silence, securing their ankles with the bandage-like cloth. Once up, Katya attempted to start her “workout” but Chi Chi stopped her.

 

“I have a surprise four you” she said, going back to the gym.

When alone Katya tied her hair in a small bun like she used to do.

In the mirror she saw Chi Chi running back, in her hands she had two flowy ribbons, one lilac just like the leothard, the other one burgundy red. She recognised those, they were the ones they used in the gym, and her heart fluttered.

 

“You should see your facecrack miss Katya” joked Chi Chi, passing the red ribbon to her friend.

“Did you stole these?” Asked Katya out of surprise, and laughing at Chi Chi’s affirmative answer.

 

She grabbed the stick and focused on her body, taking control of all her limbs, the torso, her head.

She isolated herself from the world a started moving around, making the ribbon fly, it was like she never quitted.

She took some speed from a little run and then jumped high making the ribbon follow his movements, she landed and immediatly threw her head back, creating an arch with her back, sustained by her hands she threw her legs up in the air and held the stick to the ground to then throw it hight in the air.

 

She grabbed it when it fell, and made the ribbon pirouette along with her body, after ten turns she cartwheeled three time dragging the ribbon behind.

 

Her eyes captured every single move of that fabric, almost like pieces of a puzzle some small glances of the roof, then the floor, then the ribbon, all those fragments one after the other one succeeded while Katya danced.

 

When she ended the small routine she invented she heard Chi Chi’s gasp.

On her face a huge smile formed, and satisfaction was all over her expression.

“Girl you rocked it!” She shouted, running towards her.

 

Katya hugged her, just like they used to do when they were younger, and she felt like she never really stopped gymnastics.

Chi Chi’s face was bright, showing pride for her ex companion, Katya couldn’t be happier. 

The fact that she made someone so proud was an irreplaceable pleasure, her entire body was tingling with happiness.

 

“We have to do our famous routine, the one that made us win the gold medal” she shouted recombing her hair back in a messy bun, even if her short hair didn’t really allow her so.

Chi Chi nodded and prepared her ribbon, positioning her body in the middle of the gym, warming her legs by jumping and stretching her arms.

 

Katya approached her friend and prepared too, the routine was on a piece of classical ballet music: “Kitri’s variation”, the tune was ispired by Spain’s trational songs and ballads and was very difficult to perform, but Katya and Chi Chi always had the right approach to face such challenge. 

 

They both arched their backs and started with a pirouette when the music played for Chi Chi’s phone.

The ribbon started flowing around gracefully following the girls’ movements and directions. They threw the ribbons in the air, catching them at the same time, bending over to the floor and throw their legs in the air, landing on a split.

They jumped up, and procedeed to splut again jumping in the air and doing a series of grand jetés.

They pranced and jumped together, slightly touching each other or using each other as supports.

From time to time Katya coul smell the scent of Chi Chi’s air, and when they got near each other she could see her sweet southern smile, that smile that charmed the jury.

When the music ended they did a final pirouette and ended facing each other.

 

A small crowd of people had formed in a corner, and they all started clapping hysterically, some people even shouted. Farrah and Aja waved at Katya, Aquaria was the loudest and couple other girls were just watching amazed.

Aquaria left the group to reach the two of them, that were trying to catch some of the lost breath; she was beyond amazed: “you snatched my edges!” she kept saying thrilled.

 

Everything was so familiar, so well known.

The excitement of the crowd was that, it was simply the best reaction. And Katya couldn’t do anything but smiling.

Chapter Text

On her way back to her dorm Katya was so happy she pranced all the way back. She said hi to every single human soul crossing her path and she even grabbed five cupcakes to share with her roomies.

The adrenaline was rushing through her body, completely erasing her need for nicotine or caffeine; something that didn’t happen in a while.

 

In the elevator she heard some noises from her phones, mainly instagram and twitter’s notifications, but as her hands were busy keeping the cupcake’s box and her bag she didn’t really check.

In front of her door she spotted Raja about to enter her room, the girl was always gorgeous, even wearing a pair of blue jeans and a black t-shirt.

When Raja saw her she greeted with a big smile, and she came in help, grabbing Katya’s bag.

 

“Girl, you are an amazing gymnast, I could never!”

 

How did she know? Was Raja at the gym? Not that she noticed, so she just smiled and thanked, then she threw all her stuff on the table, keeping an eye on the box.

Katya greeted Raja, who left, and put some order in the place, looking for something to snack on.

She grabbed some sugary cereals, fruity pebbles that were her favorite, and proceeded to eat them straight out the box.

 

Pearl entered the room, and she giggled at Katya, that just looked at the blonde with her bright blue eyes.

She swallowed and refilled her mouth with cereals, then ironically adressed Pearl: “why are you giggling hoe?”.

Pearl took a sip of her water and then opened the cupcake box, thanking Katya for the sweets.

“Who knew you were such a rubber band bitch, that must be useful in bed”

 

Katya almost choked, while coughing Pearl handed her the glass filled with water, and then proceeded to grab a strawberry vanilla cupcake.

 

“Chill, I’m joking, but who knew. Detox sent me your video and I was gagged, you have Elena Zamolodchikova’s surname but you’re ten times better”

 

Katya grabbed a cupcake as well, choosing the coffee flavoured one, she took a bite and went throught her phone, not being prepared for what was waiting.

Aquaria posted a video she made of her and Chi Chi while at the gym and hundreds of people around the campus liked or shared it, commenting on how good they were.

 

 

@itsphiphi: Katya is stunning!

 

@laganjaedwards: Come on legs!

 

@alaska5000: Omg, those two are from my school! Go bitches

 

@naomismalls: and I thought I had great legs?!

 

@brianna_craker: can a human actually stretch that way?

 

All the comments were super positive, and Katya smiled with her mouth filled of cupcake and cereal, making Pearl gag.

“Bitch, swallow, I know it’s not your thing but please”

Katya threw a handful of fruity pebbles at her, Pearl escaped Katya’s madness by hiding under the table.

 

Katya texted Violet to warn her she left a red velvet cupcake for her and an Oreo one for Fame in the box, only to receive some more congratulations from the two girls.

She loved it so much, but she wanted to see if someone else in that crazy dorm knew about her performance, so she took the chocolate raspberry cupcake and knocked at Trixie’s door.

 

“Did someone order a chocolate raspberry cupcake? No, but I brought you one!”

 

She heard her friend’s scream for behind the door, and her cute little stomps, the face Trixie made when Katya handed her the cupcake was so cute.

“I love you Denise, did I ever told you?” She mumbled taking another bite of her delicacy, dragging Katya in.

“I saw the videos, you should consider a gymnastics career, you’ll avoid the crazy bitch teacher too”.

Katya laughed, she took place on the bed as always and grabbed her favourite pillow to hug.

 

“Nah, I can’t leave poor Sasha like that”.

Trixie finished her cupcake in one last bite and nodded, giving a silent sign of agreement.

“For real tho” she said after getting a sip of water from her bottle “you should try to train more often and get back on track”

Trixie sat next to Katya and leaned on her shoulder, they both loved that kind of affection.

Hearing compliments from stranger was good, hearing them from roommates was better, hearing them from Trixie was the best.

 

“Maybe I can teach you some”

“No way”

“Come on you can do it”

“No”

“You could be a good gymnast”

“Sure, as much as you can be a good musician”

“Fuck you”

“Sure I will”

 

They chuckled simultaneously, and Katya hugged Trixie tightly whispering a gentle “thank you” into her ear.

Trixie smiled and whispered something back into her friend’s ear.

“You smell”

Katya laughed with her usual hysterical movings, wheezing; so she stood up and and decided it was time for a shower.

“I’ll shower, see you later”

“Good shower bitch”

 

Under the warm water Katya washed her hair, relaxing listening to the sound of water falling on her shoulders relieving her body. If for a while she hated showering she was now changing her mind and started enjoying it.

She walked down the hallways singing a little tune, with a towel on her shoulders and wet hair, wearing her oversized t-shirt and short sport pants.

In the main room everybody was getting ready for dinner, to be more honest everybody was waiting for someone arriving with the food they ordered.

 

“Look who’s here!” Said Violet, hugging Katya, surprisingly, Violet was never a hugger.

Fame followed and left a small kiss on her pale cheek, making Katya blush.

“We both wanted to congratulate for you amazing gymnastics routine!” They said, and everything was way more clear now, of course it was about the ribbon thing.

She took place on the sofa with Trixie, that once again leaned on her shoulder to rest.

 

The food arrived shortly later, filling the room with a warm aroma of spices, indian food have always been their favorite.

Katya ate silently, she had three bites of naan bread and a few spoons of biryani, leaving everything on the table.

“Something’s wrong?” asked Fame immediately, even if she knew Katya’s eating habits.

“I’m full” she answered, taking a sip of water; if Fame didn’t knew her well she’d probably worry, but Katya was Katya, and she didn’t like food.

“That means the rest is mine” told Pearl, about to grab Katya’s plate, but was instead blocked by Trixie that forced her to share some of the leftovers.

 

Katya felt the usual feeling of warmth given by her friends, Violet eating the smallest bite witg so much posture, Fame chewing each piece for 30 times to help her digestion and then Pearl and Trixie that were like two children arguing.

That day had been a pretty good day, even if her teacher screamed at her, attacking she and Sasha on their most vulnerable aspects, she ended up having a great time with Chi Chi and people were loving her video.

When she laid on the sofa her phone ringed, warning about a newly arrived mail, Katya opened the mail app and read...

 

From: Miss del Rio

To:Yekaterina Zamolodchikova

 

Dear Miss Zamolodchikova,

I have been warned by your classmate, Alexandra Velour, of the outrageous behaviour of your Russian Literature teacher, Miss Vassilyeva.

As one of the teachers who are in charge of your mental health and well-being I would like for you and Miss Velour to come to my office tomorrow morning instead of attending lectures to discuss about eventual decisions to be made.

Don’t be late,

Bianca del Rio.

 

Katya thought it was strange for someone not to say goodbye at the end of a formal mail, however she knew Violet had Miss Del Rio as a teacher, and she also knew Adore was close to her, so she wanted to ask.

“Violet?” the girl raised her head while eating, and nodded.

“Do you think Miss Del Rio could be a good counselor?”

Violet almost choked and laughed out loud, her laugh was the only not so graceful behaviour she had.

“Miss Del Rio doesn’t have a heart, she is as cold as ice, and screams at everyone. She was nice to me once, she said I made almost acceptable garments, why?”

Katya froze to her place, that was not great news, she maybe had to ask Adore about it, as she knew Miss Del Rio better.

“She wanted to see me and discuss about the awful accident with my professor”.

 

Violet threw all her stuff in the sink and cracked her knuckles.

“Good luck then” she said nonchalantly, worrying Katya even more, before she left she sent a message to Katya, with the contact of Adore.

“Ask her, she know better than I do” to then leave.

Katya stared at that phone number for a while, and decided to text Adore.

She addressed Trixie to ask help.

Her friend finished her food and sat with her at the table to text something.

“Try with something not too creepy”

Katya typed and mocked Trixie “I know how to be a normal girl you know?”

“I couldn’t really tell, weirdo”

“Fuck you”

“I sure will again”

Katya ended up typing and erasing five texts, without concluding much, to then just text something real quick.

 

Katya: Hi Adore, I have to ask u smth, smoke break in front of your dorm?

 

Adore: Sure bb, I’ll wait outside

 

Katya run to her bedroom to throw a pair of jeans on and a big sweater and cover herself with her coat, cursing whoever made her do that.

She run down the stairs like crazy and crossed the road to reach building C, the block where Adore lived.

Out the revolving door the messy grungy girl sat on a bench, playing with the ends of her blue mane, wrapped in a giant jeans jacket filled with fur and a giant scarf covering her neck and shoulders.

When Katya arrived she smiled at the girl, who got up the bench and hugged her tightly.

They both took out a cigarette and started smoking, checking out for guards.

 

“You wanted to ask me something?” She said taking a rapid drag from her cig.

Katya closed her coat and nodded, sitting on the bench with Adore.

“Miss Del Rio e-mailed me, it’s a long story, I wanted to ask you if she’s nice...”

 

She realized her story was so weird it sounded fake, the worst of the excuses she could find, great...what if Adore was thinking it was an excuse to see her? How could she explain?

She tried to relax taking in a lot of smoke and exhaling slowly, with her eyes in Adore’s ones, which were bright green even under the moon.

 

“I see why you wanted to see me then...”

Adore’s voice was almost like a whisper, and the slightly sad tone in her voice made Katya feel guilty, she didn’t thought that maybe Adore could be offended by her request.

However the blue haired girl smiled, and exhaled in one long breath.

“You knew, a lot of people think we are dating or something, but we actually know each other for different reasons”

Katya listened carefully, as she finished her cigarette and dumped it somewhere behind her, in the snow.

Adore dumped hers too, and then invited Katya in her dorm, just so they could be warmer.

Inside the small elevator Adore started her story: “I was a foster child most of my life, and I had dozens of families in my hometown, Azusa, but I wasn’t feeling fine, I always got in troubles, smoked, did drugs, and got drunk...I slept with a different guy every night”

Katya listened carefully, feeling a deep connection between Adore’s story and hers.

 

“At seventeen the foster system decided to move me to Boston, to see if a change would benefit me, turns out: yes.

The family where I stayed hated me so much, so I escaped once again, but meanwhile I turned eighteen and had nowhere to go”

 

It was incredible how much they had in common, even if minutes ago they were almost strangers now they had a sort of link tying them.

Adore’s dorm was not too far away from the elevator, she had a five room dorm just like her, her roommates were nice too.

Among them she only knew Courtney, the girl in Trixie’s course.

 

In her room, that was even messier than Katya’s, they finished the story.

“So Bianca found me on a street once, I was crying and she payed for my lunch, she took me to a shelter and we became friends, eventually I almost became like her daughter, and I’m so thankful”

 

Katya felt terribly guilty, she was always one of those girl that thought Adore was Bianca’s personal young hoe, she judged before knowing and now she felt like shit.

From what she was hearing this Bianca seemed like an angel, clashing with Violet’s side of the story.

Adore’s smile told everything she need to know about this famous Bianca, a day later she’d meet her, so she’d have seen.

 

She thanked Adore for her hospitality, waved at Courtney and took the elevator to go to the ground floor and go back to her dorms.

In the quiet campus Katya struggled to see anything and not fall into the snow as she walked back.

In addition Shea was texting her on how nervous Sasha was, how much she tried to calm down but fail.

 

Shea: I mean, she didn’t eat and she’s biting her nails like crazy

 

Katya: I’d expect that from her

 

Shea: I know she’s not very nice in person, she can come off as rude, I hope Sasha won’t get to emotional

 

Katya: I hope that too, I don’t have your same amazing caring selfless disney-princess-like comforting powers

 

Shea: thanks ? I guess...

 

If Sasha was nervous, Katya was sure there was something to be worried about.

Up the stairs she tried to organize her mind and find a way to calm herself even if the anxiety hadn’t kicked in yet.

She truly wanted to face Miss Del Rio without crying, passing out or having breakdowns.

She knew she had a good medicine for her pre-anxiety, so as always she knocked at that door and asked politely: “Tallulah can you let me in?”

 

Trixie’s face was covered by a thick layer of green mud, her eyes had no contacts in and she looked like she was just about to go to bed.

“You thanks Jesus because I really like you and I’m letting you in at this time”

She said.

Katya laughed and layed down on the bex, breathing in all of Trixie’s room scent, a mixture of any type of candy on the earth and allspice.

“You’re upset for tomorrow?” asked the wisconsinite removing some of the mask.

 

Katya nodded and procedeed to explain the whole process of Violet’s story clashing with Adore’s one, the mail, and Sasha freaking out.

She kept scratching her arms and torture the hemline of her sweater, trying to relieve her nerves.

Her wrist was full of straches to the point it swelled and had patches of dry skin on it.

“I need a smoke” she said frenetically looking for her packet.

Standing up from the bad she accidentally hit Trixie’s bed side table, making one of the picture frames fall, she caught it midway throught the fall, put it back to her place and excused herself.

She scratched her arm some more, opening a small wound.

 

Trixie blocked her arm midway, and she moved to Katya’s side.

Her eyes were filled with concern, making Katya even more nervous.

“Now you calm down” Trixie told her.

Katya wished she knew how to be calmer.

Trixie sat down, forcing Katya’s head onto her lap, she wanted to cuddle her a bit, maybe that could have helped, Katya felt Trixie’s nail scratching her scalp, her fingers drawing small circles on her head.

 

“Sometimes I just feel like I can’t have a moment for myself and relax” Katya said on the edge of crying, she sniffed, feeling like a disgusting human being for using Trixie as her therapist.

“I’m not ready for tomorrow, I don’t want to talk to Miss Del Rio and I don’t want to talk about my crazy russian teacher”

 

Trixie kept petting her, trailing her hands down her neck, getting back to her scalp and massaging the temples; everything to calm her friend, that now was trying to hold back tears, keeping her pain inside.

She thought about anything she could do and an idea sparked in her little blonde head as she brainstormed.

 

“Kathy, do you feel like going out with me?”

A pair of blue eyes looked at her face in complete confusion, she probably thought she was crazy.

But as everyone knew, Katya was crazy, so she calmly agreed and got out of bed, looking for her coat.

Trixie followed hear, and grabbed her powder pink coat, and a warm white scarf.

 

Before heading out Trixie knocked at Pearl’s door.

The girl was wearing a face mask that covered her smooth skin, making her look funny.

“Katya and I are going to Boston” she said dry as hell.

 

Pearl looked at her watch and raised an eyebrow.

“It’s almost midnight, you know after 00:30 there are no more buses or trains right?”

She didn’t sound worried, more like annoyed, in true Pearl style.

She loved them and she cared so much, but she hated having to deal witg weird shit.

“We’re taking an Uber”

 

She then left without saying bye, and left Pearl at the doorframe.

Of course the weather was freezing, more than it was when Katya first left, now she regretted not wearing another hoodie.

Walking to the bus stop was difficult, she couldn’t make it without her eyes watering and fingers freezing; so she just hid behind her scarf and tried to walk behind Trixie so the wind wouldn’t freeze her cheeks.

 

They were able to take the last bus to Boston, with Katya wondering why she was doing this, and why she had to force herself to stay up this late at night, seeing her crazy schedule the day after, but Trixie was with her, so she was calm.

The landscape changed: small houses and dorms, some high some not, all builts in red bricks, left their place to high skyscrapers and bright lights, feeling both of them with a the same feeling someone has when they get to see something way bigger than them.

 

“Those buildings are so high”

Trixie’s whisper was only audible to Katya, who nodded and smiled, she knew Trixie was only familiar to her small town in Wisconsin, and probably was not used to city lights.

“Do you ever get the feeling that we are too small for this world?”

She asked playing with one of her perfect curls.

Maybe they were too small, but who cares? They were so small that they could be unnoticed, so what was the big deal?

They could mix whithin the mass and just live their little moment.

 

“Maybe we are, but I feel like I am at my place you know?”

 

“I am too”

 

***

 

After a couple of stops they ended their trip in the middle of the city, where people where partying, eating and chilling.

If only they could drink something, Katya thought, maybe a drink would not be to bad.

“Wanna go for a drink?”

Trixie’s face of course was telling “no” but her head nodded in agreement.

“I know this pub that does some bloody good old fashioneds”

 

“Who uses bloody anyway?”

 

“I do, Tasha, so get used to it”

 

They only had to walk a couple more blocks, so they engage a small talk.

“Do you know there’s a small talent show this year?” Trixie asked, trying to distract Katya from her dark thoughts.

 

“I think I heard someone talking about it, maybe Chi Chi and I could try something out and perform...”

Katya would never have the guts to perform in front of an audience, not anymore and not now, so she faked it so Trixie didn’t worry.

 

“I thought about it as well...”

Katya couldn’t see why Trixie couldn’t make it, she was such a good singer, and she was loved by all, she had everything someone needed to compete and maybe even win.

 

When they got to the pub they took out their coats and ordered something to drink, without their IDs they were worried someone would be suspicious but they passed as olders and got some alchol.

 

“This is so good!” Trixie mumbled taking down her “barbie doll” glass, and Katya laughed, her reactions were so tipical straight girl mood.

Katya got her cup to her mouth and sipped a cold whiskey down, smiling.

 

“Do we do that cheers thing?” she questioned, she saw everyone do it, but in Russia she was just used to chug down what they gave her without thanking anyone.

 

“Oh yas please!” Trixie exclaimed, raising her glass.

 

“To us!” She screamed a little bit to loudly, getting some attention to her table.

“To us!” Repeated Katya, clashing her glass with Trixie’s.

She looked outside were some snow was falling again, snow made her happy, and she then looked inside where Trixie was lost looking at something, Trixie made her happy.

 

Katya knew she was at her place.

 

 

Chapter Text

It was after their third drink they decided maybe they should have left, even tho Katya was having way too much fun, she didn’t realize how much Trixie and her had bounded over those three months.
She didn’t know when they started getting along so well, or when their small pecks became usual, or when bringing up each other’s favorite Starbucks order became normal; she just knew Trixie had something special that other people didn’t have. And gosh...she was so funny, she looked like a doll but her humour was rather dark, dry, and Katya loved it.

Outside the air was colder than before, the light as intense as ever, a big cloud was covering Boston, threatening people with a heavy rain about to come, maybe even snow, Katya hoped it was not snow, not again at least.
She walked holding Trixie’s hand in her pocket because outside it was too cold, she’d get frostbites.
“We should hang out more” told Trixie, with a little cloud forming everytime she opened her mouth.
Katya agreed, and she announced out loud how happy she was of their friendship.

“I’m glad too Kathy, I love all of this” she kept telling, but Katya didn’t really listen, she knew what Trixie was thinking so she just concentrated on how pretty that moment was.
Literally: it was aesthetically pleasing, two friends walking in the snow, in the city lights during a cold winter evening.

“Maybe we should really call an Uber” she asked then, Trixie agreed and took out her phone.
She checked some of the messages and saw a bunch of texts.

Pearl: did you get lost somewhere into the woods?

Fame: Hi honey, tomorrow can I borrow your notes for cosmetology class please?

Pearl: Trixie, where are you, I’m kinda worried...where r u?

Trixie looked at the time and gasped, gaining Katya’s attention.
“It’s 2am!!” She screamed, covering her pink lips with a hand.
Katya gagged as well, 2 am was really late, considering she had a meeting the day after with a teacher and a full day of study and essays to do.
She felt again her stomach tangling and a sense of nausea rising, but she kept her face straight. Trixie worried enough for her, she needed to grow up and be a damn adult; she decided to light up a cigarette, just to help her nerves, so she took a few steps away from her friend.

Trixie hated smoke, and smokers, Katya was maybe the only exception; everyone else who smoked was absolutely banned from Trixie’s room.
Pearl sometimes smoked too, and Trixie would close her door to her.
Adore smoked, Trixie never sat nearby her during classes.
Her mind wandered, helping her with stop thinking about her meeting with Miss Del Rio, still, she had to reach the dormitory, shower, prepare a speech and see if Sasha would be with her.
The more she inhaled the smoke the more she felt dizzy, maybe alchol and tobacco weren’t a great couple.

“Kat, here’s our Uber” screamed Trixie, poiting at a car not far from them.
She threw the cigarette in the snow and followed her friend into the fancy car.
“Hi, you’re Sean right? Great” told Trixie explaining were in the campus they had to get off.
The driver started the car, Katya’s muscles got stiff, she probably was heavy breathing as well.
She was feeling Trixie’s eyes on her, in a desperate attempt to avoid her she kept her gaze out the car, defining the skyline of her hometown, watching the lights fade into the sky; a warm hand gently took hers, Trixie’s thumb was rubbing her palm, drawing small circles and figures.
Katya’s breath slowed down.
Her phone buzzed, showing a piece of a text sent by Trixie herself.

Tracy: you know you can trust me
Something is making you nervous right?

Katya faced her friend, immediately nodding, hiding behind her short blonde hair.
She really couldn’t figure out why anxiety was taking over her life bit by bit; first panic attacks, then the stress of doing everything, now putting walls between herself and her friends, it was all going towards a very bad direction, and she couldn’t allow it, not again.
She needed to get her life back together.

***
The sound of her alarm have never been so annoying, pumping in her ears and ruining her deep sleep.
Katya turned and tossed for minutes before getting out of bad and sit straight.
The memories from the night before came one after the other, making Katya regret every single glass of beer she drunk.

She tried not to think about all the things she had to do that same day, because otherwise her body wouldn’t move any more.
Starting the day with a list of things to do was the best thing, first: wear something appropriate, no hoodies, no ripped jeans and no skirts. Second: relax, have breakfast so you don’t pass out, call Sasha and go to Bianca’s office. Third: figure out a way to talk to Miss Del Rio without freaking out.

Katya started to think about an outfit while she was brushing her teeth, a flanel and jeans could be her choice, or maybe a simple woollen sweater and leggins.
She reminded of that black turtleneck her mom loved and that Violet kept stealing from her closet, maybe that was good!
So she paired it with jeans and boots, she looked more put together than usual, it was a good thing.

After fifteen minutes, onlg when Vi was done dressing up, they went to the cafeteria, where they all enjoyed their food.
“So, today you are meeting up with Miss Del Rio” said slowly Pearl.
As much as Katya didn’t want to talk about it, or think about it, she nodded and explained.

“I don’t even know how to approach her, she seems so cold”
Violet swallowed a good amount of coffee and replied “because she is”.
Katya made a mental note to stay away from Violet when she needed support, she was a great friend but such a bad influence at times.
Fame held Katya’s hand, with her slender soft fingers. “I’m sure she’ll understand”.

She wished Fame was right.
While bringing back all the dishes Katya noticed Sasha leaning on a wall, holding her phone tight and typing furiously at times.
It was clear that her friend was just as stressed as she was, handling anxiety was something that Sasha probably never did in her life. Katya threw all her stuff on the counter and ran towards her classmate, while trying to put on her coat.

“Katya, thank god you are here” whispered Sasha, gluing her hands to Katya’s the moment she arrived.
“Yesterday at night Shea was not feeling well, she woke up with high fever and she couldn’t come with me”
There it was, the reason why usually calm Sasha was not so calm that day.
Her blue eyes looked like the ones of a little kitten abandoned on the road; it made Katya slightly uncomfortable.
“Come outside with me, some fresh air will help you” she told Sasha, maybe it would help for real.

Snow was covering the campus, and students were desperately looking for a place to warm up and finish their assignments last minutes; little clouds of smoke were forming out of people’s mouth, winter was now close.
“Do you know were Del Rio’s office is?” Sasha questioned.
Katya realized on that very moment that she didn’t look it up, that was a problem, they were running 10 minutes in advance, maybe that would have helped.

They both sat on a bench and looked up on the college’s site, hoping to find something, after a couple minutes they found their answer.
Miss Del Rio’s office was on top of a building on the opposite side of the campus, were Katya and Sasha had never been.
There were mainly labs for science students and a football field, as well as the basketball court.
“Katya, you know were it is?”
“Kinda, we have to start walking if we want to get there on time.”

They sure imagined the office to be organized, but nothing prepared them for what they were about to see.
Every single piece of furniture was shining, the windows were immaculate, and the chairs were lined with precision in front of the door.
Sasha looked at Katya and Katya looked at Sasha, that office belonged to a skyscraper in Manhattan, New York City, not a filthy campus.
“Bitch, do you think we can seat?” asked Katya looking around.

Sasha remained at the door while Katya explored the space.
“I’m good staying up, don’t worry” she said intimidated.
Katya analysed every single framed picture, mostly they were campus’ teams and award winning students, couple of then were also certifications and prizes, all of them had the name “Bianca del Rio” written on the paper.

“Well well well, two students that came on time, that never fucking happens!”
A raspy voice came from the closed door in front of the chairs.
Katya felt like a burglar caught in the act of stealing, her gaze went to Sasha, that was froze on her spot.

A slim, tanned lady was looking directly at them, with a little bit of a grin and eyes that would have scared anyone. Her expression was harsh, and the body language was pretty much telling the same thing. Katya’s thoughts went to Violet, she didn’t wonder why her friend told her to be careful, Bianca was not the type of woman to joke about.

“Come in, ladies”
Sasha moved first and disappeared inside, followed by Katya’s steps.
They took place on two chair, Bianca sat behind her oak wood desk, giving her a much more intimidating aura, if that was even possible.

“So, who is...Zamol...Zamodch...who is Steinberg?”
Katya wanted to giggle, her surname made it difficult even for someone like Miss Del Rio, somehow seeing her struggle with her surname calmed her.
Sasha raised her hand, her expression seemed calm, but Katya knew that inside, she was freaking out.
Miss Del Rio took out a pen and started fidgeting it in a surprisingly relaxed way.

“Alexandra right?”
“I prefer Sasha, Miss Del Rio”
“Ok Sasha, so I know that Miss Vassilyeva adressed some heavy homophobic insults to you, can you confirm that?”
Sasha answered nodding, Miss Del Rio’s anonymous tone didn’t give her hints on what she thought about the teacher.
She could be a homophobe, she could not be.
“Sasha, did she adress also your girlfriend, and had racist opinions about her?”
“Yes Miss del Rio, she told me that I could catch some disease from her”
Bianca took out a post it and wrote something down.
She then projected her melting gaze on Katya, who was sure she was turning as red as a tomato.
“Pardon me, but I really don’t know how to pronounce your name nor surname, how do I call you”
“Katya”
“Ok Katya, can you confirm me that your teacher called you retardet, stupid and filthy homosexual?”

Well, that was...straightforward.
“I confirm that Miss del Rio”
“Did Miss Vassilyeva got mad because you were not paying attention?”
“Umh, yes, I had my mind somewhere else, so she asked me to answer a question about a book’s plot, which I answered incorrectly, she then told me that instead of fantasise about Sasha I should study more”
Bianca stopped taking notes and inhaled, she massaged her temples and adjusted a strand of auburn hair in her updo.

“Ladies, what happened to you was unacceptable”
Sasha immediatly distended her muscles, and started breathing normally again, Katya’s eyes opened up and her jaw dropped.
All that anxiety and Bianca was acknowledging that their teacher was crazy, that couldn’t have been a better happy ending.
Katya was so worried that she would turn out against Sasha and herself, and now she was in front of her and she was on their side. A wave of relief finally cooled her off, and all she wanted to do was jump, hug and kiss Sasha and run outside.

“Miss Dascha Vassilyeva will no longer be your teacher, unluckily we won’t be able to find a teacher until January”
Sasha interrupted Miss Del Rio: “Wait, so what will we do? All out lectures were hold by her”

It was true, russian literature was held by her, as well as culture, philosophy and russian history.
Technically they also had russian grammar, but as they spoke russian already they skipped all the lessons.
Miss del Rio looked low key pissed by Sasha’s worries.
“I’m sorry to inform you that until the end of this trimester you won’t have lectures”

And that was...weird. It was barely the beginning of December and they had nothing to do until the 21, when everybody was going back home for Christmas.

Sasha and Katya’s eyes met in clear discomfort, it was not that bad, but what will they do?
“Sasha, I saw your GPAs, test results, SATs...you are a brilliant student, Katya...maybe you are a little behind Sasha but if I can give you an advice use this free time as a moment to catch up with lessons, maybe helped by your friend.”

They both nodded.
“Ah, and last, for what I can assume you are both queer right?”
They answered with a synchronised “yes” when they were already up and about to leave.
“A couple years ago we lost a students due to suicide, she overdosed because a couple idiots were bullying her because she had a girlfriend. I will not tolerate any more of these behaviours, ok?”
After another quick nod they left.
Outside the building they started jumping and hugging, letting out little squeaks of joy, the crazy ass russian maiden was now past, and they had more than two weeks of spare time.
What could go better!

“We have to go to Starbuck, I’ll buy you a drink!” told Sasha dragging Katya to the other side of the campus.
After all it was a good day.

***

In front of a good cup of hot chocolate Katya and Sasha were talking about how happy they were.
Sasha didn’t even touch her steaming hot mug, she just kept talking and talking, she also called Shea, that was so happy for her.
Katya was chugging down her chocolate, finally she had one least thing to worry about, actually more than just one.

No crazy teacher, no homework, no lessons. She had so much time to catch up on lectures and stay on her own, after a long three months of cohabitation with her crazy (yet lovely) roomies.
She also gave the news to Trixie, who was happy to hear that everything went well.

Sasha started playing with a napkin, smiling like a twelve years old with a crush.
“Katya, I was thinking, there’s a party this Saturday...maybe we should go, I’ll bring Shea, you bring...all the girls”
Sasha asking her to go to a party was something new, she was such a couch potato, if she wanted to go to parties it meant that it was truly a special occasion.

“Sure Sasha, were is it”
“Do you know Aquaria?”
Katya had heard her name before, but she needed time to recall where.
The figure of a tall, slim girl appeared, she then linked the name to the girl that showed her around at another party, the one with a weird sense of humor.
“Ah yes, I do”
“Well, she’ll throw a party in an old sorority house, no one use it, so...”
It was a good idea, sorority meant mainky girls will be there and that probably a lot of people she knew will come too.
She texted Trixie, the blonde confirmed Fame and her presence, and couple minutes after Vi and Pearl informed Katya as well.

“So, my roomies will be there, did you ask Shea?” asked Katya before taking a big sip of her hot cocoa.
Sasha nodded: “If she’s feeling better by Saturday she’ll come, she doesn’t like the idea of me being left alone at parties” she said while mixing whipped cream and hot chocolate with her spoon.
“After what happened to Violet she was so afraid it could happen to someone else”

Nobody liked to bring up Violet’s assault ever, partially because the victim didn’t like it, partially because of how much they were left in shock.
“You know Katya, everytime I think about it I feel like it could have happened to anyone here...”
Sasha was right, just because it happened to Vi it didn’t mean it couldn’t have happened to Fame or Pearl, or even other girls like Aja, Farrah or Valentina. Everybody was at risk, and the fact that the person responsible for that was still free around the campus made Katya nauseous.

“Sasha, the point is that it could happen to anybody, and Shea is right about worrying for you...Santino is still around”
The way Katya spoke was almost like a whisper, an exasperated whisper.

“Kat, do you think maybe Miss del Rio can help? She was really nice after all”
It could actually be a good idea, Violet was even one her students, so maybe she’d be understanding as much as she was with them.

Katya slammed the mug back to the table
“It’s actually a good idea, but we have no evidence it happened.
“We can tell her what happened, we witnessed that, but it could be just bullshit”

Sasha gulped: “what do you mean? It happened...”
“Yes Sasha, it happened, but we can’t just go and tell her what happened. The only people that clearly saw that were you, me and my roommates...doesn’t sound like a good bunch of witnesses.”
Sasha’s enthusiasts was put off by Katya’s point.
It did sound like a trap, some type of big lie to make Santino look like a bad person.

Sasha abandoned the spoon in the cup.
“What a shitty situation. Hope it doesn’t end like the thing Miss del Rio talked about”
Katya’s eyes opened wider and wider, what was Sasha trying to say?

“What do you mean, the suicide case?”
She asked Sasha, but her friend was more focused on looking around.
She then leaned back on the table and got closer to Katya, so that her gentle whispers could be heard.

“There’s a bunch of girls all of the same family: Honey Davenport, Rajah Davenport, Akeria Davenport, Kennedy Davenport...”
Katya saw Kennedy couple times, she heard about Honey but nothing more.

“The student that killed herself was a Davenport, her name was Sahara, it happened last year”
Katya listened carefully, the way Sasha was telling the whole story was thrilling.
She felt guilty for being interested in someone else’s misfortune however.

“Now, promise me you are not telling anyone what I am about to tell you ok?”
Katya whispered a small yes.
“She was gay, her family didn’t really accept her, rumors started spreading, her life was a mess...her grades went down, people looked at her with different eyes.”

“Sasha, I know how depression works...”
“That’s not the point Katya...the point is that you know who Sahara’s girlfriend was”
Katya froze on spot. She didn’t really know a lot of people older than her, and even if she did they were far from being gay girls.

“It was Manila” told Sasha.
Katya’s heart broke into a million pieces, and in her mind a lot of things were made clearer.
When Trixie passed out Manila knew how to react, when she had the panic attack Manila was the first one to help, when Violet was assaulted she was there to comfort her.

Manila knew how to behave because she had dealt with those type of behaviours because of Sahara.
Katya brought a hand on her mouth, and felt the familiar itchy sensation of tears about to come out her eyes.
That sweet angel of Manila, how bad she must have felt.

Sasha moved to Katya’s side of the table when she saw her friend’s face covering with tears.
“I know Kat, it’s hard, but it’s part of life, sometimes people can’t make it, but we don’t have to forget this, it’s something everybody must learn from, it’s an example of why we should fight for acceptance”.

Katya hid in Sasha’s neck, her friend was damn right.

Chapter Text

“KATYA, have you seen my shoes?”

If there was a thing that Katya was sure about it was that Fame’s voice could be loud enough to break a window.
She damned herself for accepting Sasha’s invitation to the party, in fact the fashion-panic feeling developed immediately within Fame and Violet, otherwise called the fashion wives.

“NEVERMIND KATYA, FOUND THEM”

Gosh, that voice, she grinned when she saw Pearl rolling her eyes after thirty minutes of waiting.

Meanwhile Katya and Trixie started playing poker out of exasperation, waiting for the fashion wives was now a regular part of their routine during the weekends.
Usually Fame would finish first, leaving Violet with the award of last of the leasts, but that night both of them were breaking a new record.

Pearl leaned on the door in the common room.
“I wonder how they both start to get ready hours before it’s time to go and still be late”
Pearl had a good damn point.

Finally both girls were out of the bathroom, flawless as always, looking like statues carved in marble and decorated with the best jewels.
“Let’s go! I need a drink” told Violet wrapping her coat around her shoulders.

While walking to the place were the party was hold Katya noticed that this time the area was really close to Bianca del Rio’s office, which was a really weird area to throw a party, in fact some of the lights were on, people moved in the building, probably tidying up before leaving.
Still, throwing a party, were students not yet 21 drank and smoked pot, near the teacher’s offices was a really dumb idea.

“Here we are” said Trixie poiting at a small apartment block that looked empty.
“Errr, you sure?” Asked Pearl knocking at the door.
From the outside everything seemed dark and quiet, but when someone opened the door they were left speechless.

Waiting for them was Aquaria, looking gorgeous as alway, and behind her a stairs led to a basement were music was blasting full volume and the smell of alchol was felt all the way up.

“Hello ladies, please come in! Have fun”
Aquaria disappeared down the stairs leaving all five of them at the ground floor.
“That was a surprise” told Violet trying to get a glimpse of what was going on downstairs.

They all went down, were the air was barely breathable, Katya was not Christian but if hell really existed that place was the closest thing she could imagine hell to be like.

She could recognize some familiar faces, but prefered to glue her entire body to Trixie’s.
“Well, it be like that sometimes” told her friend looking around.
“Look Kat, there’s Adore, should we go?”
“Trix, don’t try to tell me you want to talk to her, you want to go there just because she’s filling glasses with vodka, you pig”
“Wow, you know me pretty well”

They both made their way to the table were piles of cups were being filled with any sort of drink, from vodka to beer anything was there.
Even the go-to college drink, the jungle juice, was there.

Katya opted for a bowl filled with sangria, which was a fun and light way to start her party.
“Have you fill Barbara” she said handing a second cup to Trixie, that thanked her with a little kiss on the cheek.

“Hey gals, whatcha doing?”
Adore cheerful voice came from behind, her usual naive smile greeted them.
“Can’t believe you came, you never come to college parties!”

“Not really our favourite way to kill time” told Trixie handing filling a cup of sangria to the blue haired girl.
“Should we sit somewhere?”

They took place on an old moldy sofa and talked about school and stuff.
Katya told Adore about Miss del Rio’s help and Miss Vassilyeva’s firing.

“That’s good news, we have to party, I’ll open the rhum” screamed Adore with her hands already on the bottle.
“I’m happy she helped you, I told you she was nice”
She filled some cups that were left around and chugged half of her portion.

“I’m surprised Violet is here you know, she’s not scared?”
Trixie glanced at said girl that was chatting with Aquaria and then focused back to Adore.
“Why, I mean, she’s more of a party animal than Katya and I”

Adore put the cup back to the table, she had her cheeks filled of liquid looking like a chipmunk, and her big green eyes staring at Trixie.
She swallowed and answered: “Santino’s team is going to be here, himself as well”.

Of course something had to go wrong, and that something was the freak that almost raped Violet showing up.
“I think we should tell her...”
But the moment Adore looked back at were Violet was, she was not there.

“Holy fuck Trixie” said Katya grabbing her friend’s arm.
“Where did she go?”
“Should we call her?” asked Adore
“I have no signal” blurted out Katya
Trixie got up first: “everybody look at their phone, we split up and look for her, who finds her first call the others, I’ll warn Fame and Pearl, Katya you tell Sasha and Shea, and try to call her, go upstairs”

Katya left the group and digited Sasha’s contact before going upstairs and hiding in one of the rooms.

“Kat, we’re coming...we’re about to...”

“Stop Sasha stop, we found out Santino is coming at the party with the whole fucking team, we lost Violet we can’t find her”

“Kat, it’s Shea, we are outside the building, we’ll look for her around, what is she wearing?”

“Oh fuck, umh, I think she has a black turtleneck and a black miniskirt, red shoes and her hair in a ponytail, please find her”

“We’ll try Kat, now go and look for her”

Katya hunged up and let herself fall leaning on the wall, hiding her head in between her legs.
She reminded that the black turtleneck Violet was wearing was the one she had on just a couple days before, when she talked to Bianca about her teacher.
Violet asked if she could borrow that for the night.

Her phone ringed again, this time it was Adore.

“Katya, we have bad news, the team just arrived, Santino is here”

Fuck, thought Katya, they needed to find Violet now and take her out of there.

“Adore, who is there with you?”

“I asked Aquaria and Valentina to help me, they’re the only ones that know her”

“Ok, listen to me, all of you. Black turtleneck, black skirt, red shoes, ponytail and red lipstick”

“Ok, Pearl and Fame went upstairs to look for her”

“Great, I’ll look too”

Katya jumped back up and started exploring the ground floor.
Besides empty rooms and hallways nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary.
She looked also in the communal bathroom, opening every single shower, every single curtains.

“Come on Vi, where did you hide?” she asked herself closing the bathroom door behind her.

Upstairs Fame and Pearl were searching the bathroom as well.
Outside, Sasha and Shea explored the surrounding area, looking into bushes and trees.
Trixie tried to make her way in the crowded space hoping to see a pale young woman adjusting her bangs looking at her phone’s screen or coating her lips with some more red.

Katya sat down in discomfort while trying to reach Violet one more time.
It was her third attempt calling Vi, and the third time she wasn’t answering.
She gave up eventually and texted Fame telling her to try with calls as well.
After all they were besties, a call from Fame was the only way to reach out to Violet, right?

Katya decided to look outside, and without grabbing her coat she went out in a simple sweater and looked for her friend.
She bumped into Shea and Sasha, but neither of them were able to find Violet.
When they all went back down Adore called once again.

“Katya, Valentina was keeping an eye on Santino, now she can’t find him”

“Пиздец”

“Wait what?”

“Nevermind, what do we do Adore?”

Everybody waited in silence for a solution, the only audible thing was the music coming from Adore’s side of the phone.

“Nothing Katya, keep looking, Fame is upstairs trying to call her, we’ll see”

Sasha and Shea hugged each other and waited for Katya’s reaction.
The blonde just sat in the snow and held her face with her palms.
There was really nothing they could do.

***

Violet tried to rub the remaining of her red lipstick from her lips using soap.
She needed to remind herself more often that plastic cups and lipstick were not made to stay together, in fact her distinctive red lips were smudged after couple sips.
Some of the pigment was still of there, giving more of a natural redish look to her perfect mouth.
She applied some chapstick before unlocking the bathroom door and sit on the floor.

Hiding in a secluded area of the building wasn’t the best idea she had, but she hated crowded stalls, so a desert area was perfect to freshen herself up a bit.
She swept her bangs away and repositioned it as she liked, a little parted in the middle, and then checked her phone.

Miss Fame (5)
Katinka (3)
Pearlie (3)
Pearlie: Vi, answer please!!
Tracy: Where did you go!!

“What the fuck is happening here?” She said before inserting her password and calling Fame back.

“Holy mother of god Violet, where are you”

Fame’s voice cracked the moment she picked her phone up.
It seemed like something serious was up.

“Girl, Santino’s whole team is here, we have to go, please, go outside, Katya is there”

“Fame please calm down, what do you mean he’s here?”

“He’s down in the basement, where are you”

“Basement as well, but in a closed area, like in an abandoned wing of the building”

“Well, get out of there, as soon as you’re out call me ok?”

Violet opened the door and walked back the hallway looking for the door the came from, that fucking place looked like a nightmare, with the lights barely lighting the place and doors screeching when being opened.
And thinking that the guy that couple months ago stuck a hand up her skirt was now in the same building were she was gave her even more chills.

She wrapped her arms around her shoulders, rubbing her arms furiously.
That turtleneck she was wearing was her favourite, even tho it was Katya’s.
She could smell the russian’s scent, it was similar to the smell of old wood in a moutain house.

When she was about to take the last turn before she could reach the door, two masculine voice seemed to come towards her.

“I told you bro, you are losing time over that chick, she ain’t even that hot”
“Just because you like blondes doesn’t mean I can’t fuck black haired chicks”

“Fuck my life” thought Violet, she run in the opposite direction, hoping to find a place to hide, but besides rooms she couldn’t see anything.
So she got inside one of those empty rooms and hid behind a door and called Fame.

Meanwhile one of the guys told the other one he heard someone running, and to call the rest of the squad.

“Fame, someone is here with me”
Violet tried to whisper into the microphone while the guys started to regroup.

“I think they’re coming to look, I’m hiding in a room, look at my position and find me, please”

“Vi, I’m outside with the girls, I’ll come and look for you”

“Fame don’t dare to come alone!”

“Bitch, I don’t care, I have to help you”

“Not if it means you’re putting yourself in danger”

“I’m coming with someone then ok?”

“Ok, please hurry”

Her last whisper sounded like a prayer, if there was something she really wanted in that moment was to get out of there safe.
She hid her face in the turtleneck inhaling Katya’s scent to calm her down, while she heard the voices coming closer and closer.

“Dude, do we really have to look for her? Fuck another one already!”
“Matt, I told you I like Violet, I want Violet”

Chills went down Violet’s spine, she really hoped they passed her room and avoided looking inside.
She crawled into a ball and hoped for the best when they finally reached her.
She covered her mouth and nose with a hand and hid her phone.

“What was her name again Santino?”
“Violet, Violet Chachki”

The voice was now so close it could only be right outside the door.
Violet was about to cry a river of tears, she was so stressed she was about to explode.
She saw his face reflected in the small high window in front of the door, with the pale hallway light giving him a fucking creepy look.
She kept staring waiting for him to go, but he was there, still.

“Do you realized that I can see you reflected in that same window, right Violet?”

The world crumbled down her feet.
A tear left Violet’s eyes, sliding across her pale cheeks, he found here.
Before he got in he sent a “SOS” message to Fame and waited for the group to surround her.

She stood up and looked at all the muscly guys around Santino, and his aggressor looking at her with an icy gaze.
“I think I have to finish something”

Violet knew she had no escape, so she figured out the only way to survive this was by getting hurt.
She needed to get wounds, scratches, bruises, and show them to someone, naming Santino and ending his fucking life.

“Violet, do you want some help?” Asked Santino while coming closer.

“You tried once, but this time is different” Violet came back.

“You can do whatever you want to me, but you’ll never take away my pride, my strenght”
She backed up until she hit the wall: “I’ll end your fucking life if it’s necessary”

“Oh sweet little Violet, I don’t think so”

***

“I got her position” Fame shouted while holding Trixie’s hand.

The group all looked at the screen, a small blue point was lost in a maze of hallways and dorms.

“We have to go there using the emergency door” said Aquaria.

Trixie stopped her: “yes, with a bunch of tall and strong guys that can knock us all down”
She looked at Katya that was on the verge of tears, she had been for the last twenty minutes.

“What do we do?” Asked again Fame, looking at the blue dot on her phone.

Valentina, Aquaria, Fame, Katya, Sasha, Shea, Trixie, Pearl and Adore.
What could they do? For sure going against a gang of pumped up dudes was not smart, but leaving Violet alone was out of discussion.

Adore’s eyes then sparkled in the pale bathroom light.
“I know we are going to get out asses handed to us, but if I call Bianca...”

Aquaria almost passed out instantly: “Adore, she’s going to kill us, are you crazy?”
Adore stared at the taller girl’s eyes: “so do you think she cares about the party when a girl is being...I don’t even want to think about what Santino could do to her.

Katya then spoke ending every fight.
“Adore, call her, we can’t let this happen”

The girl locked herself up in a stall and started talking.
Meanwhile Fame monitored the situation, the blue dot didn’t move, it was still in an ex dorm, in a small corner of the room.
Thinking that the blue dot was in real danger was surreal, it was just a dot indicating a phone, but the owner of that phone was probably scared to death.

“Bianca is coming, Aquaria, tell everyone and let them go away from the second stairwell, I’ll meet Bianca outside”
The girl disappeared behind the door, and they all heard the music got lower and lower and people starting to leave creating chaos.

“Fame, did she move?” Asked once again Katya, tightening the grip on Trixie’s hand.
The platinum blonde’s face was paler than ever.

“No, but she texted me an SOS”

Even motionless Pearl had an explosive reaction. They all looked around, hoping for Bianca to magically appear and put the word end at this disaster.

“I swear I’m so sorry girls, I shouldn’t have invited you to this party” said Sasha with a tone full of regret.

“It’s not you fault Sash, it’s Santino’s.” said Pearl, rubbing a hand on her shoulder.

Then Adore showed up at the door, out of breath and reddened by the cold air: “she’s here”.

Adore didn’t even finish the sentence.
Katya and Fame sprinted out of the room and started a run against time.
Chased by Trixie and Pearl, all the others, even a very concerned Bianca, sneaked into the secluded area following Violet’s friends.

Katya was now fully crying, holding Fame’s hand so she could be guided to the room were their friend was probably surrounded by strangers wanting to hurt her; and when a choir of coarse laughs came from a small room, Katya knew what she was about to see.

They reached the room, without Trixie and Pearl that were left behind, and saw the horrific scene they were expecting.

Santino, once again with her arm up Violet’s skirt, with two guys holding her in place, pinned down to the floor.
Her eyes filled with tears, horror but also relief.

All the guys stopped, Santino didn’t move a finger, an odd moment of silence filled the room, only Violet’s little breaths to fill the air.

“I’ll fucking kill you” that silence was broke by Fame storming in the room and throwing her whole body onto Santino’s, who left the grip on Violet.
The blonde slapped him and then shielded Violet’s body before Santino could come back up and hurt her.

At this moment Katya’s inner rage exploded, and she kicked Santino right in the face.
He left Violet and Fame to focus on the girl in front of him, he tried to slap her, but Katya avoided his hand and instead gave him a punch.

“Don’t joke with me whore, I’ll fucking break you” he told hitting Katya on the face.
She didn’t flinch, instead she responded with two more kicks hitting the guy right in the chest.

“It’s better for you not to joke with me” Katya told hitting him one more time.

“I was a drug addict and I’m Russian, I did far worst” and with a last final punch, broke his nose.

In that moment Bianca entered the room screaming like crazy, scaring all the boys, with her terrifying threats she silenced all of them.

Santino came back up and screamed back at her: “this fucking whore broke my nose!”

Bianca looked af him with a gaze that could melt a rock; the room was silent, and Bianca’s words were spitted out like a curse.

“If you’re big enough to hig girls you are also big enough to be hit by one”

A couple campus’s guard came into the room, blocking the team from escaping the room, and letting all the girls in.

Violet was sitting, hugged by Fame, holding her hand, in her eyes now there was nothing but fear.
Bianca sat down and took Violet’s hand as well, her hand cupped Violet’s face and forced her to look into her eyes.
“Violet, we’re bringing you back to your dorm, I’m calling the police and I’ll be in charge of everything, don’t stress out now, you’re safe”

Violet didn’t let out a tear, she just nodded and hid in Fame’s cleavage before letting all her pain out.
Everybody at this point was waiting in silence.

Bianca got back up and intensely looked at the gang all crawled up in the corner.
“You’re staying here until the police comes, I swear I’m fucking suspending all your asses, freaks”
She then passed onto Santino: “and I’m sending your ass to jail”.

Katya, that was now protected by Trixie’s arm run out the room, slamming every door she found.
Once out of the building she breathed the freezing air before letting it all out.
Tears poured out her eyes, and a desperate moan of sorrow filled the air, her body was shivering and moving to the rhythm of her sighing.

Trixie was able to reach her and hug her before falling into the snow with her.
“Katya, Katya please breath!”
But Katya was only able to cry and moan.

“I shouldn’t have brought her here, I hate parties, look at her now, I destroyed Violet’s life”

“Katya, look at me, now” said Trixie, forcing Katya to turn and stare at her face.
A pair of blue eyes locked into a pair of brown ones.
“Santino is guilty here, he’s the fucking problem, not you, not Sasha, not a single other soul besided his fucking team and himself.”
She pettet Katya’s head and dried her tears with the hem of her sleeves.
“We caught them in time Katya, we arrived just in time”
Katya slightly calmed down, the violent shaking stopped, but tears kept running down.

“And if there’s something I’m damn sure is that nothing can break Violet, not even this”
Katya nodded, before exploding into a new wave of tears and despair, held by Trixie’s sweet embrace.

***
That night nobody, but Violet, was able to sleep. They did turn to monitor Violet in her room, passing fingers on her soft hair, or holding her hand.

Some turns were made by Aquaria, by Sasha, by Shea. Everyone came to help.
Adore decided to stay with Bianca while calling the police and explaining that Violet needed time before giving any information.
Raja and Manila stayed up with them, outside the door, to see if anyone came to seek revenge.

During her turns Katya felt like someone had just jumped on her ribcage, even the physical pain she felt was unbearable.
A small bruise formed were Santino was able to hit her, on her collarbone, but with her trusty russian band t-shirt the blue area wasn’t even noticeable.

For someone that was assaulted once again Violet was sleeping like a little angel.
Katya thought she kinda looked like snow white, with her black hair and pale skin, soft breaths came out her mouth once in a while, or she’d turn to the other side, shielding herself from the lights outside the window.

At 4 AM, after and hour, someone knocked at the door, and Pearl showed up.
“You can go Katya, Fame is going to buy us coffee, get some rest”

For some reason Katya didn’t leave her spot, did she really deserve to leave her friend like that?
“Katya, she’s in a safe place now, I’m here”
Pearl’s word woke her up a little bit, causing the motionless reaction of standing up and leaving.
Before she could get out the suffocating room Pearl blocked her and took her hand.

She left a packet of Marlboro gold in her hand.
Katya looked at her, almost to thank her.
“You’ll need them” said Pearl leaving her grip and closing the door.

Trixie was outside waiting for her, with the same concerned expression she had before.
She didn’t even change, or removed her make up, she already did two turns, her eyes were red and swollen.

“Trixie, maybe you should go showering”
Said Katya with a tired smile, she put a hand on Trixie’s shoulder, and flipped her long hair behind it.

“Maybe, can you stay in with me? I need company” told Trixie rubbing her eyes, smearing her eyeliner looking like a raccoon.

The vapors from the shower also helped Katya relax, hearing her friend splashing water on her was weirdly calming.
“Do you think the police will believe her?”
Asked Trixie while shampooing her locks.

“Well, we all saw what was happening, I think that having a hand stuck up a girl’s skirt is an evidence of assault”
Katya tried to sound positive, even if she knew how many girls were abandoned or not believed, and had to deal with that for the rest of their lives.

“Violet is a tough bitch, I think she can handle this” said Trixie.
After all, the first time it happened Violet was able to face all of that trauma and went back to partying and everything.

“I know Trix, but you know this time I feel like something was different...”
“Something like what?”
“I saw it into her eyes, she was scared to death”
Trixie got out of the shower and wrapped her body in a fluffy towel, and putting her soaking wet hair in a wrap.

“When I was running inside that room, I felt like nothing could stop me from killing the fucker”
Trixie’s reddened face had a look of disappointment painted on it, without make up she looked much younger.
“Katya, you broke his nose”

“Going back I’ll do it again”
The Russian waited for her friend’s response, that was a simple exasperated look, before she started to get dressed again.
She slid into a pair of mom jeans and pink t-shirt, Katya felt guilty of thinking that she was impossibly beautiful, Vi was in her room probably having the worst fucking day of her life and she was focusing on how great Trixie looked.

“I should get changed too, I smell like swear and booze” she said disappearing in her room.
A pair of jeans would work, she thought, and threw her trusty burgundy jumper on, then she went to the common room, where Fame was finally back with steaming hot coffees.

Her body still wrapped in the navy blue fitted dress she had on the night before, same elegant bracelets decorating her fine arms.
Somehow not a single curl was ruined or looser, her lipstick intact from when she got out the dorms almost six hours ago.

“Fame, maybe you want to shower or...”
“No.”
Despite Trixie’s attempt to give a break to the poor girl, Fame sat there, on the chair, indecipherable expression and taking sips from her cup.
“I’ll shower after” she said quickly after seeing Trixie concerned expression.

“At Starbuck’s I met Adore, she told me a police officer is about to come here and interrogate us”
Katya almost dropped her cup, she immediately turned facinh Violet’s closed door. Couldn’t they wait some more?
“I tell you, we’re all going before Vi, she needs time”

Fame didn’t even need a confirmation. The answers were of course a yes.
They then alm heard knocking at the door, Trixie was the closest, so she went opening the door, and to her surprise Miss del Rio and a police officer were standing there.

The police officer, a woman in her fourties, had a pile of papers in her hands, every file labelled by a name, the first one that was visible had the name “Valentina Leyva” on it, followed by “Aquaria Palandrani” and “Adore Delano”.

Bianca stepped in and introduced to them officer Nina West, that took the documents and slammed them on the table, taking out three blank papers to begin the interrogation.

“Name?” She asked to Fame first.
“Fame Dam-Mikkelsen”
Moving to Trixie, that almost forgot her full name “Beatrice Mattel, but call me Trixie”
When it came to Katya the officer decided simply to label her as Katya Zamolodchikova.

“So, Fame and Katya were the firsts in?”
Fame nodded and silenced Katya before she could talk.
“I got in and saw Violet surrounded by Santino’s team, she was behing held down to the floor by two guys and his hand was inside Violet’s skirt”
Officer West scribbled something down, proceeding to lay her eyes on Katya.

“Is it true you fought with Santino and broke his nose?”
“It is, and I’ll do it again” she said, thinking about Trixie’s reaction when they were locked up in the bathroom.
“Do you realize you put yourself in danger, and that probably this will affect your school career and public image?”

Katya wanted to scream, was this officer really trying to tell her that she was going to be criticised for her behaviour? As if she cared anything.

“Officer West, without any offence, I used to be a drug addict and I couldn’t care less about what people think about me, plus, as I told to the motherfucker that tried to violate my friend, I’m Russian, I lived in the russian steppe and in the worst neighbourhood in Moscow, I think I know how to protect myself”

Officer West raised a brow and questioned her again: “so you would describe yourself as a violent individual?”
Katya facepalmed so hard that Fame jumped on her chair. At this point Trixie answered: “who wouldn’t be when their friend is in danger?”

Nina West sat back on her chair and piled up the few files she kept writing.
“Do you think I can talk to the victim soon?”

“Not before my morning shower”
Here she was, Violet Chachki, wearing only Katya’s turtleneck and panties, hard expression on her face and dramatic dark circles under her eyes.
“And I don’t care about your schedule miss officer, I have my damn thing to do, so you sit down and wait”

As Trixie said, nothing could break Violet Chachki, not even this.