“Have yourself a lovely evening,” John Arthur said. “And do let me know if you run into any more trouble.”
“I will,” Frederica said. “Thank you.”
He tipped an imaginary cap and walked away. Frederica turned back to her friends and showed off the passes. Nila started to squeal.
“Oh. My God.” She threw her arms around Frederica’s neck. “You are my goddamn hero.”
“Yeah,” Frederica said. “I guess I am.”
So they spent the rest of the night backstage, drinking and hanging out with various metal bands that came through to play. Nila even had a conversation with John Arthur at one point, and didn’t freeze up this time.
Sometime before dawn, Tommy drove Frederica and Nila back to campus then continued on to drop Magh off at her apartment. Frederica passed out on top of her blankets the moment she hit them.
Frederica woke with the sun shining on her face. Her head was pounding and her mouth tasted like death. She got out of bed and stumbled down the hall for a drink of water. Nila apparently had the same idea.
“How you feeling?” Nila asked.
“Like shit,” Frederica replied.
“Me too,” she said. “But it was totally worth it.”
“I’m sure I’ll agree with you on that someday,” Frederica said, rubbing her temples. “If I don’t curl up on the floor and die first.”
“You’ll get used to it,” Nila said. “Do you think you can handle lunch? I’m buying.”
“Lunch?” Frederica muttered. “Wait, what time is it?”
“Like, quarter to one,” Nila said. “Why?”
“Shit!” Frederica took off back to her room. “I’m supposed to be visiting my sister!”
Nila laughed and said, “Have fun!”