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CLARKE HAS GROSSLY MISCALCULATED the size of her boarding room.

Standing in the center of it now, she realizes this. Stacks of books - Oscar Wilde, miscellaneous poetry, some sappy teen fiction her mom bought her (that she won't even go near) - loom in the corner, piled to eye level. The rest is scattered across her floorboards. She picks up Plato's Republic and adds it to the mountain, on top of a motivational (ocher yellow) guidebook entitled How to Win at College. The resultant action causes the entire mass to wobble, just slightly, like a bad move in Jenga. Clarke briefly wonders if this will be how she dies - suffocated by an avalanche of her extensive paperback collection in a tepid, white-walled eight by eight room. Murder by The Hunger Games.

What a way to go out.

"Hey! Clarke!"

There's a determined knock on the door. Clarke twists around just in time to watch it swing open, lending view to Lindsey Leclerc - Clarke's boisterous next door neighbour - standing squarely in the hallway. She's dressed head to toe in a vibrant shade of red, leggings so tight they could be painted on, complete with mammoth silver earrings and a bedazzled scrunchie to organize her tangle of auburn hair. She looks like a fire hydrant. A rush of wind floats through the room. Clarke looks back at the stack of books. It teeters ominously, testing her.

Lindsey takes a tentative step through the threshold of her doorway, as if she's undecided as to whether or not it's socially acceptable to waltz right in (which, in any other situation, a girl like Lindsey Leclerc would certainly do). "You doing anything tonight?"

Clarke eyes the mound of books in the center of her room she's yet to stack a little wearily. "Not really."

"Do you want to be doing anything tonight?"

"Should I want to be?"

"Definitely," Lindsey says. She's bouncing up and down on the spot like a yoyo, grin plastered so wide on her petite face it seems to swallow her whole. She's positively radiating. 

"A couple of the returning staff are setting up a bonfire for tonight. It's a start of summer sort of thing - a tradition. Last year Derek upchucked all over the beer pong table and Lo skinny-dipped in front of the entire kitchen staff, but I promise it'll be more low key this time around." Lindsey considers this for a moment, then adds, "Much more low-key. If last year was at one hundred, this will be at like, sixty, I promise. Maximum."

Clarke raises her eyebrows. "Lo?"

"Willow," Lindsey replies. She's got that French Canadien accent that makes every word staccato and fluttery. "She tends bar at the restaurant, maybe you've seen her around? She's kind of hard to miss."

Clarke remembers Willow; tawny skin and ridged cheekbones and hazel eyes - all piercing and gutsy - that shifted from green to brown underneath the bar lights. Willow isn't exactly the type you forget. Not to Clarke, at least.

"Yeah." Clarke smiles marginally. "I met her."

"What'd you think?"

Clarke knows what she thinks, that Willow's goddam gorgeous and brash and does goofy spider impressions, but she doesn't want to say that, because that would be weird (and Clarke tries to avoid unnecessary weirdness) so she just settles on, "She's interesting."

"She's a total wild card, that girl."

"That's sort of what Sawyer said."

Lindsey nods. "Those two are pretty close."

"Him and Willow?"

"Yeah," She leans against the doorframe, one leg still bouncing in place. "I mean, it makes sense. They're around each other all day, and they've been working together for years, way back to when Willow was..." Lindsey trails off, and Clarke can sense her picking her next words carefully, brow furrowing, as if she doesn't want to say too much or too little or the wrong thing. After a moment, she mutters, "...dealing with stuff."

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