Uncovering Quinn

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There were two name tags on the door. Mine said “Leslie”. The other said “Quinn”. The student housing computer matched me with a girl named “Quinn”. I hoped beyond hope that Quinn would be a geek, or a nerd, or even a gothy loner. Just anything but a popular cheerleader princess. As Dad and Bryan caught up to me, carrying the foot locker between them, I put my new key in the door of my new dorm room and opened it for the first time.

Quinn was already there, sitting on the bed by the window, watching something on her phone, earbuds in place. I could tell immediately that we had almost nothing in common.

I had the good sense to wear ratty cut-off jeans, an old T-shirt, and grungy tennis shoes. I knew that moving into a dorm in August was going to be hot and sweaty, so I’d skipped makeup and jewelry entirely. Not that I often wore either anyway.

Quinn, on the other hand, was wearing red, high-waist shorts and a frilly sleeveless blouse. Her makeup accentuated her Asian features perfectly. She wore dangling earrings, a subtle choker necklace, and several bracelets. An anklet adorned one bare foot and a toe ring the other. A pair of strappy heeled sandals sat on the floor next to the bed. Her long, black hair was braided and hung down her back and off the bed.

She looked like a fucking Disney princess on her day off.

Quinn looked up when I walked in and her face lit up. She pulled the earbuds out and jumped up, crossing the room with her hand out.

“You must be Leslie! Hi, I’m Quinn.”

“Hi!” I forced a smile and shook her hand, stepping out of the way as the guys maneuvered the foot locker through the door. “It’s nice to meet you. This is my dad, and my cousin, Bryan.”

“Hi! Sorry, let me get my stuff out of your way,” she offered quickly, and pulled two large suitcases across the room and tucked them under a bed. “I didn’t want to start unpacking until you got here. I checked in first thing this morning because my parents had to catch their flight back to San Francisco.”

At least she seemed like a considerate princess.

“You’re from California?” Bryan asked, setting down the foot locker. “What brings you all the way out here?”

“Oh, I got a scholarship,” she replied, smiling. “Performing Arts.”

“Oh yeah? Music or theater?”

“No, dance… ballet.” She did a thing where she bent one leg at the knee and went up on her toes and rotated just once, a perfect 360 degrees, with her hands out in front of her. I didn’t understand how she did it, but it was fluid and graceful.

So she’s a ballerina. That is literally only one step below actual “Princess”. Fuck.

Dad and Bryan applauded. “Thank you,” she blushed. “What are you studying, Leslie?”

“Oh, um… Engineering. Either materials or aerospace.”

“Wow,” it was Quinn’s turn to be impressed. “The engineering program here is no joke. You have to be really smart to qualify.”

“She’s a nerd,” Bryan cut in.

“Geek,” I muttered.

“Leslie makes the rest of us look bad,” he continued. “My mom used to compare my grades to hers all the time. What was your GPA when you graduated, Les? Four point oh?”

“Four point one.” And now the princess thinks I’m a nerd.

“Yes, we’re all proud of Leslie, but nobody’s studying anything until we get the car unloaded,” Dad interrupted, bringing us back to the task at hand.

Bryan suggested that if we wanted to rearrange the furniture, we should do it before we brought up the rest of my stuff. He’s a senior now, and had lived in the identical building next door during his freshman year, so we trusted him as our expert. Quinn and I discussed it and we decided to bunk the beds to make more room. We figured out how to best arrange the dressers and desks—there were only so many options. Dad and Bryan did most of the heavy lifting.

After that, it took Bryan, Dad, and I many more trips to bring everything up from the van. Quinn offered to help, but I declined. I wouldn’t want the princess to ruin her manicure. So she unpacked her suitcases into her dresser and closet. Then she disappeared for a bit, but just as we were setting down the last of my milk crates, she returned with four bottles of ice-cold Coke.

I had to admit, Quinn was more thoughtful than all of the bitchy, stuck-up, popular princesses I went to high school with. I was a little chagrined to realize I would not have done the same for her. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Since I lived less than an hour from campus and Mom still drove a minivan, I didn’t really think twice about packing nearly everything I own. I had my laptop for class, my desktop for games, my X-Box, my NES classic… You get the idea. Quinn had mostly packed clothes, figuring that she could buy any school supplies, sundries, or decorations out here rather than carrying them on the plane. I felt very self-conscious now, seeing how much I had compared to Quinn’s two suit cases.

“Do you want to try to do some shopping before I just… take over everything?” I offered, awkwardly.

“The campus shuttle runs out to the shopping Betturkey center,” Bryan offered. “I can show you where to catch it.”

“Sure. That would be great,” Quinn agreed.

“Alright, well In that case, I’m going to head home.” Dad stood up from my desk chair. “If I’m quick I can beat the rush hour traffic out of the city. Thanks for all of your hard work Bryan. Here… Here’s a little extra pizza money.” He opened his wallet and handed Bryan a fifty dollar bill.

“That’s not necessary, Uncle Jim,” Bryan protested, but he pocketed the bill anyway.

“Can I have pizza money, too Daddy?” I asked with puppy-dog eyes.

“Sweetheart, you have money. If you stick to the budget we planned, it should last you all semester. Now come here and give your dad a hug before I start to cry.”

He wrapped me in his arms and held me for a long minute. We said our goodbyes and when Dad finally let me go, his eyes were wet and he made a quick departure.

I decided I should probably change clothes before we went shopping so Bryan went downstairs to wait in the lobby. Quinn sat at her desk while I dug out a clean outfit.

“So… why engineering, Leslie?” she asked as I kicked off my sneakers.

“Oh, my Uncle Mike is an engineer,” I replied peeling off my T-shirt. “He encouraged me.”

“Is that Bryan’s father?” Quinn asked.

“Yeah, but he’s not really my uncle,” I explained as I tossed my shorts in a pile with the T-shirt and struggled out of my jog bra. “Uncle Mike and my Dad grew up together, and our families always spend holidays and vacations together. He’s kind of an honorary uncle.”

As I turned around topless in my underwear, Quinn quickly averted her eyes and looked down at her phone. That seemed odd. I figured she had probably spent lots of time changing in front of other dancers, but I guess she was shy. “What are you watching?”

“Oh, it’s, um ‘Agent Carter’,” she replied with eyes downcast. “It’s this TV show about a secret agent in the 50’s. Have you ever seen it?”

“Are you kidding?” I asked, stripping off my sweaty underwear and reaching for a new pair. “Peggy Carter, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.? From the MCU? I love those movies.”

“Really?” she exclaimed, looking up and staring at me for just about a half second too long before blushing and averting her eyes back to her phone. “Me too. I um, own them all on my Amazon Video account.”

“Have you seen any of the Defender’s stuff on Netflix?” I asked turning my back to finish changing and making a mental note that Quinn was uncomfortable with nudity.

It turns out we had more in common to talk about on the ride out to the shopping center. We both have December birthdays—Quinn is only three days older than me. We both have older brothers. And amazingly, we both think chocolate is overrated and prefer vanilla.

So I was totally wrong about Quinn. She’s just as big a geek as I am, but she’s like a “fashion geek”. Is that a thing? She knows all this stuff about how fabrics hang and drape and what to wear to suit your body shape and how to hide one thing or show off something else. I had never really paid too much attention to clothes before. Fashion was always for the popular girls, not me. Nobody ever told me clothes could do all that.

We were in this one store, and Quinn picked out an outfit for me to try on. I was reluctant, but since I had misjudged her so badly earlier in the day, I decided to be a good sport. The pants had a subtle floral pattern and the waist was way lower than I normally like. The top was a kind of long blouse that crossed over in the front and had a deep neckline. The shoes had a bit of heel but not too extreme. Quinn even picked out a bra for me and guessed my size right.

I swear I did not recognize the girl in the mirror. She looked so tall and elegant and pretty, even without makeup. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me clothes could do that?!

I bought the whole outfit and blew two weeks of my budget the first day. Quinn bought me a necklace to go with it. She also bought toiletries and laundry supplies, an actual living plant, some school supplies—I helped her pick out a great laptop. But she came out here knowing she was going to need to buy stuff. Her budget wasn’t quite as strict as mine.

That night, after unpacking and setting up the room, we had the first of what would be many intimate bedtime conversations. Lying in the bunk above me, Quinn called down quietly “Leslie? Are you awake?”

“Yeah,” I replied.

“Can I ask you a personal question?”


“You grew up so close to here… there must be a lot of girls from your high school here. Why didn’t you sign up to be roommates with one of them?”

“I didn’t really… get along… with any of the girls at my high school.”

“Why not?”

“We didn’t have much in common. I mostly hung out with the boys in the computer club, the math team, the robotics team. The girls at my school… they didn’t like that stuff.”

“Oh… So… do you have a boyfriend?”

“No. Betturkey Giriş I was kind of the Queen of the Nerd-boys,” I laughed. “They all thought I was so cool because I played video games and watched sci-fi movies and porn… I guess I fooled around with almost all of them to one degree or another. But I never really got serious with any of them.”

“Why not?”

“I’m kind of waiting for someone… special.”

“Oh… Do you mean just generally, or do you have someone in mind?”

I hesitated. I’ve never told anyone this before.

“…I have someone in mind. He’s… older.” Nope. I couldn’t do it. It was too big a secret to confess to a girl I’d only known for twelve hours. So I changed the subject. “Do you have a boyfriend back in California?”

“I dated a boy named Dylan all senior year. We decided it was a bad idea to do the long-distance thing, so we broke up after graduation. I dated a lot of guys over the summer, but I knew I was coming out here, so I didn’t get serious… Leslie?”


“The girls at your school… Were they like… me?”

“Nope. Not a single Asian ballerina in the bunch,” I quipped.

“No. You know what I mean.”

“Kind of, I guess. But… you’re different. You love clothes and jewelry and stuff like they did, but… you don’t use them to make other people feel bad. You love to share what you love with other people… You’re like a geek trapped in a princess’s body.”

“Aw, thank you!… Leslie?”

“Yeah, Quinn?”

“I’m glad you’re my roommate.”

“…Me too.” I was a little surprised to realize how much I meant it.

The next few days were a whirlwind of orientation, tours, and ice breakers run by the dorm’s Resident Assistants. After meeting the other girls on my floor, I was so lucky to have gotten Quinn as a roommate.

But all too quickly, orientation weekend was over and classes started. I was going to wear my new outfit for the first day, but Quinn convinced me that I should start the year dressed like me.

“If who you are evolves over the year, then your every-day clothes can evolve too, but don’t try to get ahead of it,” she explained. “People will get used to seeing the clothes instead of who you really are.” I never needed to ask Quinn about her GPA to know that she was smart.

It turns out I didn’t need the pretty outfit anyway. By the end of the first day, I had a dozen invitations from boys to join study groups. Engineering was still kind of a sausage-fest. Quinn knew how hard my program was, but it turns out Performing Arts scholarships were really competitive. Quinn had to be cast in a production every semester in order to keep hers. And there was no guarantee that there would be enough parts for everyone. After sizing up some of her competition, Quinn expected to spend as much time in the studio as I would spend in the books.

That first week of school I got a text from Bryan inviting Quinn and I to a party at his frat house on Friday. Quinn liked the idea, so I replied that we’d be there.

Friday after classes I thought I’d have a chance to unwind with some video games before we went down to the party, but Quinn had other ideas. I had already planned on wearing the new outfit we’d bought, but she talked me into letting her do my hair and makeup too.

I got to play my X-Box while she futzed around trying to make my curls behave. But when she was done with my hair, all I could do was sit still in my desk chair with my eyes closed as one makeup brush after another was applied to my face. Quinn wouldn’t let me see the progress—I had to wait for the finished job. All the while she kept telling me how pretty I am.

Normally I’d be skeptical, but after seeing the difference one outfit made, I was prepared to trust her on this. Finally she swiveled my chair around to face her makeup mirror.

“Wow!” I gasped. “Is that really me?” I looked like a girl in a magazine.

“Of course it’s you. You have really nice cheek bones. If you took better care of your skin, you wouldn’t need as much concealer though… Hey hey hey! Don’t touch it!”

I was mesmerized. I couldn’t look away from the girl in the mirror. With Quinn’s clean face next to mine, I thought I might even be the prettier one.

“You did all this with my makeup?”

“Oh, no. I’m sorry Leslie, but your makeup is kinda crap. I bought you some good stuff. Here, put this one and this one in your purse in case you need a touch up.”

“Quinn, you didn’t have to do that. Thank you!” I wasn’t even offended. How nice was it that she thought about me far enough ahead to do that?

“You’re welcome,” she shrugged.

Quinn did her own makeup while I brushed and braided her hair into two long plaits that she twisted into an intricate series of loops. Quinn’s hair is so long, hanging past her butt, and so straight that running a brush through it is almost meditative. I thought we were ready to go, but then we had to paint our nails—we both used Quinn’s colors, of course. Then we had to do our toes. While they dried, Quinn helped me pick out jewelry.

Patience has never been something I excelled at, but looking nice is what Quinn does best, so I bit my tongue.

When our nails were dry, we finally left the dorm, me in my new outfit that showed off enough cleavage and midriff to feel daring, and Quinn in a backless sundress with a bold floral print, tiny buttons all the way up to her throat, and a short hem that made her legs look a mile long.

By the time the shuttle bus dropped us at Bryan’s frat house, it was nearly ten at night and the party was in full swing. A boy at the door was checking IDs and wrote our names on two blue cups.

We’d only been there about 5 minutes when Bryan spotted us.

“Leslie! Quinn!” He shouted over the music, “You made it!”

Bryan wrapped his arms around me and gave me a big hug. Wait, when did Bryan start hugging me?

And then he did the same to Quinn. Oh.

He handed each of us a red cup with our name on it, tossed out our blue cups, and lead us over to the bar. Aside from a dozen two-liter bottles of soda pop, there was only one choice. The boy behind the bar filled our red cups with beer from a keg and passed them back to us.

While our cups were filled, Bryan called another boy over.

“Leslie, this is Jerome. He’s a Materials Engineering major, and the house video game champion,” Bryan announced.

“Nice to meet you.” I offered my hand.

“Jerome, this is my cousin Leslie I told you about. She’s been kicking my ass at Mario Kart since middle school.”

“Hi Leslie,” he shook my hand. “What else do you play?”

In retrospect, it was kind of impressive the way Bryan split Quinn and I up. I didn’t see her again that night. Jerome and I ended up in his room playing video games and fooling around, just like in high school.

Jerome was nice enough, but I knew right away that he didn’t measure up to the man I was waiting for. So when he went to pee, I got dressed and slipped out through the party. I sent Quinn a text asking if she was ready to go. She texted back to go on without her, so I hopped the shuttle back to the dorms.

I was still asleep when Quinn got home around nine-thirty the next morning. She was only there long enough to grab her studio bag and tell me she’d see me for dinner. But at dinner, we didn’t really talk about the night before. And we didn’t really talk after dinner. It wasn’t until we were both in bed that I got up the courage to ask what I really wanted to know.

“Hey Quinn,” I called up to the top bunk. “Are you awake?”


“Can I ask you a personal question?”


I took a breath and just asked it. “Did you sleep with Bryan last night?”


“…What was he like?… In bed I mean?”

“Uh, Leslie… he’s your cousi- Oh my God! I forgot he’s not really your cousin! Oh God, I’m so sorry, Leslie! Is Bryan the older guy?”

“What!? NO! Eww! No. Bryan? God, they used to make us take baths together! No. No romantic interest in Bryan at all. Seriously, he is all yours.”

“Mm…” she replied when I stopped babbling. “I don’t think I’m going to see him again.”

“What? Why not?”

“He was just… kind of selfish… kind of dismissive… I think I was just a one-night thing for him.”

“Oh, Quinn… I’m sorry…”

“It’s ok. I didn’t really expect anything more… But I think he stole my underwear. At least I couldn’t find it this morning. Guys don’t usually keep trophies if they want you to come back.”

“Oh my God, that’s terrible!”

Quinn always wears such nice underwear. At least her panties are nice. Her bras are all kind of basic which is odd because she is small enough that she could wear any lacey little thing she wants. Her wardrobe must have cost a small fortune, but my video game collection is probably just as expensive, so who am I to judge?

“I am going to call Uncle Mike first thing in the morning and make sure Bryan gives it back,” I insisted.

“No,” Quinn demurred. “Don’t do that. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it… It’s not the first time it’s happened.”

“Really? Did Dylan steal your underwear? Did the boys you dated over the summer?”

“A couple of them… So what happened with Jerome?” she asked, changing the subject. “You two seemed to hit it off.”

“Oh, so he invited me up to his room to see his game rig. I knew it was a line, but I kinda wanted to see it anyway. And then he challenged me to Mario Kart. And when you’re alone with a boy, that always ends up turning into strip Mario Kart.”

“Seriously? You play strip video games?”

“Oh yeah. I used to play strip games with boys in high school. Jerome was pretty good, but as soon as my bra came off, he started losing badly.”

“I can imagine,” she laughed

“Yeah, boys always start losing once the tits come out. After a few more games, he was all out of clothes, so I gave him a blow job.”

“Really? Why? You were winning!”

“Yeah, but he was sitting there all naked and hard and it was getting awkward. He was a nice enough guy… Polite… He didn’t pressure me or anything, but I knew what he wanted. So I sucked him off and he relaxed after that… We played a few more games, he had to pee, so I got dressed and left. I came back here and jilled off.”

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