**NOTE** I don't have anything against Christians, the town of Waco, Muslims,

homosexuals, Hindus, God, and/or any other specific group I am referring to/pointing out in

this story. I am so sorry if I offend any of the readers, as it is certainly not my intention to do

so. All of the characters in this story are purely fictitious, and any case of resemblance

to people that you may know in real life is utterly coincidental! **NOTE**

Hey guys!

I had this nightmare the other night, which left me a little rattled. Sort of the "you can run, but you can't hide" variety.

I might as well make the most out of it . . without further ado . .Still Screams. Enjoy!

- Verona :)

P.S. Check out my profile for a character gallery!

I was walking down West 4th St., and was about to turn into Mercer St. when I ran into Antoine. Devesh had texted me just moments before, stating that the rest of the gang was already there. I thought Antoine received the same text as well, as he was looking down at the phone in his hands when he almost bumped into me.

He halted just in time, not that it stopped me from tripping, and almost taking a face dive onto the sidewalk. I said almost, because he reached down, and held me right at the nick of time.

"Whoa Suze, you really need that coffee don't you? You almost crashed here!" Antoine joked in that ever so sweet Haitian accent of his, as I lost myself deeply, into those dark, brown eyes. Yes, everyone knows that I'm the model, hardworking student that doesn't have time for any partying, let alone sleep. I just wish that he knew more . .

Me, Susanna White, the born & raised Catholic, has been lusting over Antoine Dupont, this handsome, half-Muslim exchange student from Haiti, ever since I laid my eyes on him, the first week of freshman year. Now, we're juniors, and I can most definitely say that not much has changed. I wish I was a bit more courageous as to approach him. This "waiting for the guy to make the first move" thing has gotten old a while ago.

However, just thinking about my overtly bigoted, ignorant, and conservative, Caucasian parents, who live in the 'Bible belt' town of Waco (in Texas), is unnerving enough. I mean, the town itself is named "Waco." Although it's pronounced 'Wah-ko', I choose to believe the strange resemblance to the word "wacko" is of no coincidence. They have been trying to control, and brainwash me ever since the first time they sent me to Sunday School. I went to this crazy, extremist public school that wouldn't even teach me the chapter on "evolution" in AP Biology, since the ideology went against the Holy Bible.

Believe me, I have nothing against God, but I choose to believe that religion, and science can coexist harmoniously. To top it all off, calling my parents conservative might be downgrading the whole ordeal. Their ancestors supported slavery, and at times, my father still can't stand 'them negro folks.' Yes, that is what he chooses to refer to people of African descent. Who does that? I mean, we live in the 21st century for God's sake! That's the whole reason why I jumped on the first bus out of Waco, and came to New York for college. It's the best thing I've ever done, as I met a whole new variety of people that changed my outlook, on a lot of things. .

I shook my head, and blinked my eyes a few times, and played the "I haven't slept in a few days, and desperately need my coffee to continue" routine, so as to dial down the embarrassment that clearly showed on my face. I could feel my cheeks reddening by the moment. About three seconds passed, before I actually willed myself to pull away from him.

"Andy, yeah I think we should get there as fast as possible! You see what happens when I don't have my coffee now. ." I looked away from his eyes, and tried to laugh away the whole thing. He laughed as well, and what a cute laugh that was!

At times, I do wonder how oblivious the guy can really be. I mean, I fidget so much whenever he is around, and I never fidgeted about anything, up till I met him. Then again, how could I expect him to know that? . .

"Thank you," I said finally, my voice just decibels above a normal whisper.

"Ah. . Pa gen pwoblem Suze! . . I mean . . "

"Yeah, I got ya!" I replied, and flashed him one of my brightest smiles. I guess he can't help the fact that his Creole often surfaced at certain points in time. Not that I would know what that feels like. I mean, my family is "American", and that was all they could say about our heritage, back when I questioned them in 6th grade for a project. .

By this time, we reached Think Coffee, which has turned out to be our regular hangout since freshman year. As a matter of fact, it is a local hangout for many other NYU students as well. Antoine opened the door for me. Ah he's such a gentleman!

I noticed the rest of the gang at our regular table. I waved as I walked over, with Antoine following close behind. I sat down, and he sat right next to me, as that was the only seat available. Let me introduce the rest of the gang, and you will understand the reason for this.

There is the beloved Carina Kalberg, a natural, born to be leader. I wouldn't be surprised if she just wakes up one day, and decides to run for President. Sitting next to her, is her highschool sweetheart, Joshua Luo. He has this goofy personality that generally tends to brighten anyone's mood. He is also an aspiring nurse. Opposite of Joshua sat Devesh Malhotra, the kind, quiet guy that pulls us all together as a group. Next to him is Jaromir Kostecki, who is probably the most amicable guy I've ever met. He's taken as well . .by Devesh. Yes, our gang is very well complete with a gay couple! Then, there is me, and Antoine. Now you see why he couldn't sit anywhere else, not that I'm complaining . .

Aside from the fact that we are all friends, we don't have much similar interests. Me? I'm planning on becoming a psychologist sometime in the near future. Carina is majoring in political science. Jaromir's one goal in life is to become an successful economist. Devesh loves children, as he puts in a lot of hours at the local community center as a part time tutor. Thus, he figured that he would be a darn good kindergarten teacher someday, and is working hard to become one. Antoine, well, he is majoring in English at the moment, and hopes that he would get to work as an English lecturer in NYU itself, when he graduates . .

Now, you are probably wondering where we all met, as our group is very diverse. Well, long story short, an elective course named 'Approaches to Gender & Sexuality Studies'was what brought us all together. I took it because I thought that it would be an easy grade. Antoine, on the other hand took it because he was genuinely interested. Carina, and Joshua wanted to share a class, and this was the only 'interesting' choice left. Jaromir wanted this class because he loved friendly arguments, and he figured this specific class might just be the place for him (boy was he right!). Devesh's is a completely different story. He took it as part of a requirement for an elective, and couldn't get into any other class. Apparently it was his last choice!

I can surely say that none of us regretted that decision, now that I look around the table, as it brought about friendships that are probably going to last for a lifetime . .

However, not one of us would have thought that the end would be this near . .