A DATE FOR JEROME

by Lawndale Stalker

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"Come in, Jerome," Daria said, holding the door open. Raising her voice, she called up the stairs, "Quinn! Jerome is here!"

"Three minutes!" came Quinn's voice from upstairs.

Daria shook her head. "Never on time. Must be a fashion club rule."

"It's worth it. She's so beautiful!" Jerome bleated sappily.

Daria smiled lopsidedly. "I'm glad you think so, but if you tell Quinn that, don't mention her eyes specifically. And don't stare at them, especially the glass one. She's a little sensitive about it."

Jerome's eyes widened. "Uhh... okay."

The silence lengthened; Daria standing quietly and Jerome seeming increasingly nervous under her dispassionate gaze. "Quinn... that's such a pretty name. So... different," he ventured.

Daria nodded. "They named her that when they found her."

"Huh?"

" She was found in a dumpster in Quinnipiac, Michigan, in a bag of dirty diapers. She was only about seven months old, poor thing."

"You're kidding!"

"Yeah, can you believe it? I mean sure, she was a very cranky baby, but still…"

"That's awful!"

"Oh, but she's mellowed out since then. Hardly ever has those fits any more."

Quinn appeared at the top of the stairs. "I'm ready!" she said, smiling brightly.

"Uhh... hi, uh, Quinn," Jerome managed.

"You look great, Quinn. Be nice to Jerome, and have a good time," Daria said, and headed up the stairs past Quinn.

Quinn's smile took on a slightly quizzical tilt. "Um, thanks," she said.

La la LA la la.