The Opportunist
Author:Tarryn Fisher

I made a gagging noise.


“Olivia,” she begged. “There is more to life than just books and studying!” she flung my textbooks off my desk for show. “Boy’s are…..they can… things,” she finished, nodding at me.


“You,” I said poking her in the ribs “are a slut.”


I rescued a textbook from the floor and started studying.




I squeezed my eyes shut. I hated it when she said my name like that.




She snatched the book from my hands.


“You listen to me, you ungrateful prude,” she grabbed my chin in her hand and yanked it up until I was looking at her. “He is going to talk to you again, just because you rejected him. He kind of liked it—and when he does,” she clamped her hand over my protesting mouth, “you are going to talk to him and flirt with him. Do you understand me?”


I shrugged.


Cammie shrieked, “Agghh!” and locked herself in the bathroom.


I certainly didn’t care what effect he had on the females on campus. Caleb Drake meant nothing to me. He would never mean anything to me. I was un-shmoozable. The end.


Cammie turned out to be right. Later that week, I had been studying all day when she started nagging me to attend a basketball game with her.


“I’ll buy you a hot chocolate.”


“With extra whipped cream?”


“With clouds, if you’ll just hurry up!”


Ten minutes later, I was sitting in the stands sipping hot chocolate with extra whipped cream from a little Styrofoam cup. Cammie was ignoring me and I was already regretting my decision to come. Caleb Drake was whipping around the court like an egg beater and frankly it was making me dizzy to watch him.


Halftime came and I stood up to find the bathroom. I was trying to knee my way past Cammie when the president of the student body stepped onto the court and held up his hands for silence.


“Laura Holberman, one of our students, has been missing from the dorms for over five days,” he said into the microphone. I stopped to listen. “Her parents, as well as the staff, are urging anyone who has any information about Laura, to come forward right away. Thanks guys, enjoy the rest of the game.”


I shared a few classes with Laura my freshman year. College students sometimes liked to disappear for a few days when things got stressful. She was probably holed away at a friend’s house somewhere, eating chocolate and bitching about professors. People always made a big deal about nothing.


“She dated Caleb Drake her freshman year,” Cammie whispered. “I wonder if he will be able to concentrate on the rest of the game now that he knows.”


I looked at Caleb, who was sitting on the bench, drinking from a water bottle. He looked relaxed. The jerk.


It was during the fourth quarter, when there was a minute left in the game, that the opposing team made a parting of the Red Sea comeback, tying the Cougars 72-72. I wouldn’t have known this if Cammie hadn’t told me, since I had spent the last twenty minutes picking fuzz balls from my sweater. Caleb Drake stood at the free -throw line, preparing for the most important shot of the night. He looked calm, like he already knew he was going to make it. For the first time that night, the gym was strangely quiet. Intrigued, I forgot my fuzz ball picking, and sat up straighter. I wanted him to make it. I know it was shameful, but I did. For once, I understood the Caleb mania. He was like a jalape?o, bright and smooth, but dangerously hot. A small part of me wanted to bite him.


I turned to Cammie, whose eyes were big with anticipation. This was major stuff—right here. My eyes drifted back to the court. I jerked. Caleb was watching me. The entire student body was watching him and Caleb was watching me. Before the ref could blow the whistle, Caleb tucked the ball beneath his arm and jogged over to his coach.


“What’s going on? What’s going on?” Cammie was hopping from one foot to another, her pigtails bouncing in time with the music.


Something didn't feel right. I shifted in my seat, crossed and un-crossed my legs. Caleb was handing his coach the ball. I suddenly felt like I was sitting in a sauna.


“He’s coming up the stairs, Olivia! He’s coming this way!” Cammie squealed.


I slunk lower in my seat. No way was this happening! He was headed right for me! I pretended to be busy digging around in my purse for something. When he stopped next to my seat, I looked up in surprise.


“Olivia,” he said, resting on his haunches to look me in the eyes. “Olivia Kaspen.” I saw Cammie’s jaw drop open and a multitude of heads turn to look at us.


“Bravo, you found out my name.” Then in a lower voice, “What the hell are you doing?”


He ignored me. “You’re quite the mystery on campus.” His voice was raspy, the kind that if whispered in your ear would give you goose bumps. I cleared my throat and did my best to look annoyed.


“Are you going to be making a point any time soon, or are you holding up the game to brag about your detective skills?”