The Secret Gets Out–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–October 1992, Part 2

A few days later, on Tuesday the 6th, I wrote this in-class assignment, myself from the point of view of Counselor Dude:

She’s very quiet, especially in class.  Then you can’t usually get a word out of her unless you ask her a question.  She will talk to her friends, though.  When she does say something, you have to get her to speak up, or else strain to hear her.

Sometimes she acts like I’m going to bite her.  I think she only sat at my end of the table because she’d be close to her friends, the people she did talk to.  I remember once when Julie sat next to her.  D–n, did she laugh and laugh!  I believe she said some funny things to Julie, too.

Oh, and that’s another thing.  You should see her wince when I cuss.  That’s one thing you never hear her do, besides speak up in class.  Wouldn’t that be a d–n fun thing, getting her to say “F–k!”  I wonder how a person could do it?  I hear I “corrupt” people that way, so maybe, if I keep at it, and keep using such words in class….

After Fiction, I was in Pearl’s room with Pearl, Rachel and Catherine.  Somehow they forced me–with Catherine’s help–to come out with everything, so I revealed my secret of seven months.

I didn’t want to, but they threatened to take away my blue Flavor-Ice so I’d quit eating it and talk.  There were plenty of loud “ooooohs” whenever they tricked me into revealing something Shawn and I had done, such as frenching (I did not tell them everything).

Catherine asked me, “If Peter and Shawn both asked you to the Homecoming Dance, which one would you go with?”  I don’t remember my answer, or if I could decide.  She said, “You should choose Shawn.  Shawn’s nicer.”  Peter had recently done something she witnessed that really ticked her off.

I looked at the time and fled; they called it an excuse.

I also told them then about a silly dream of a beetle.  That’s where I got my “signature.”  Some of my friends began calling me Bebe based on this dream.  When I worked the dinner shift, their trays came in with three messages written on napkins, one with a drawing of a beetle.

I didn’t have time to read Rachel’s message, so I stuck it in my pocket, but I threw the other two away so no one would see them, trying not to grin.  But part of it read, “Guess who heard us talking about you at dinner?”  Oh geez….

With them calling me that and Catherine calling me Stella, I began to sign my name as Bebe-Stella on Pearl and Cindy’s message board.  Then they tried to give me another nickname.  Sharon or maybe Pearl took my name and started playing with it until she got “Stu.”  This one lasted quite a while.

I don’t recall when exactly Shawn told me this, but guys would ask him what was going on between us, and occasionally say, “Nyssa’s looking really pretty today.  You should see her.”  It sounds like people were shocked that we weren’t “going out,” and maybe they wanted Shawn to make me his actual girlfriend.


On October 7, my hopes for a restored friendship with Peter were blown apart.  I waited for several days–no answer.  Then I talked with Pearl, who told me that her friend Dave O’Hara had been driving outside my dorm with Peter.

I remembered that day, having seen the two of them in Dave’s red car as I headed off somewhere.  I was on the sidewalk beside the drive, or very close to it.

Dave did not tell Pearl Peter’s exact words, probably to spare her feelings.  But Peter saw me walking and made some sort of nasty comment.  I suspected he called me a rude name.  I was furious.

Soon afterwards, he called to me by the dorm to return my stuff.  “Here’s your discs,” he said, with the air of someone who wants to slap you or throw you into the river.

“Where’s my notebook?” I said, wanting to do the same thing to him.

“What notebook?”

This may have been when he told me that he had gone through his room and not seen a notebook.  So, to this day, my precious writing notebook is lost, along with all the notes and other things I had so painstakingly made in it.

So, even though he’d acted like we were friendly again, I wasn’t allowed to be friends with him?  I couldn’t even make an overture of friendship without him treating me like mud on his shoe.

This may have been when I began to view the before-mentioned “words” more as something that was supposed to be fulfilled rather than something that I wanted fulfilled.  I hated Peter.  I wanted Shawn or James, not Peter.

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995: