Frederica was across the room before the second knock even struck. She opened the door and was greeted by Nila, dressed in one of her usual band shirts.
“Lunch?” Nila asked.
Frederica sat on the front of a Turkish restaurant, listening to Nila recap a party the ninth floor threw last night. It ended with two suspensions and a flooded bathroom. It sounded way too intense for Frederica, but at the same time she almost wished she’d gone there instead of to the movie premiere. At least then her conscience would be clear.
“So how’d your thing go yesterday?” Nila asked. “You were meeting that guy, right? The one with the wings?”
“Yeah, I hung out with some of his friends,” Frederica replied. “One of them works on the school paper. She… offered to get me on the front page.”
Nila studied Frederica’s face for a long moment.
“What’s the catch?”
“She wants celebrity gossip,” Frederica replied. “The kind I’m ‘perfectly equipped’ to dig up. There was this red carpet movie premiere last night. I went. And I dug.”
“And you found something?” Nila asked.
“I found a lot of somethings,” Frederica replied.
She reached into her bag and placed her notepad on the table. She flipped quickly through the pages. Nila whistled.
“What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know,” Frederica said with a shrug. “I really want Griff’s friend to like me. And I figure if I get a couple of these stories in the paper, raise my profile a bit, then maybe I can do some real journalism later. But I’m just not sure the end justifies the means. What do you think?”
“Well, I may not be a celebrity,” Nila said, “but I know what it’s like to have people invading your privacy, treating your secrets like cheap entertainment. And, to be honest, I think you’re better than that.”
“I used to think so, too,” Frederica said.