Quinta is laying, half asleep still, in a narrow single bed in a room on someone else’s corridor. The bathroom door is closed, but she can hear the sound of the shower running and, faintly, of someone whistling.

She doesn’t know what he has to whistle about – he might have come all over her tits, but she didn’t come at all – he didn’t even try to make sure she got off, too.

In the future, she’ll grow tired of this – going out to clubs, getting drunk and dancing, letting men she recognises from lectures buy her a vodka and coke and then, at the end of the evening, take her back to their room for a fuck that, nine times out of ten, is deeply underwhelming.

It’s the chase part she prefers, or not really even the chase – the anticipation of the chase, the fuck twice removed, as she likes to think of it. The possibility, when she’s drawing her liner on so it flicks out perfectly catlike, or stashing a handful of Durex in her clutch, that whoever she attracts tonight might actually know to put his thumb on her clit.

The man in the shower now wouldn’t have known what to do with her clit even if she’d taken his hand and put it there directly, she’s pretty sure of it. That too though, is something that she won’t really start doing with guys she’s fucking for another five years or so. At this point, she’s lucky if they remember to use their fingers first.

Still, she has her way of punishing them. She waits until the shower has stopped and the sound has changed to tooth brushing – it makes her feel like the risk of getting caught is greater – then she takes the book on top of the pile on his bedside table – the same one she’s studying for an essay that’s due in two days, and rips the final chapter clean out.

He’s not the first guy she’s done this to. She’s hoping to get a reputation on campus. But she never does. It’s almost as if the boys don’t bother reading the books they’re assigned – they just base their opinions on nothing.

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