When the more-than-eventful (Aren’t they all?) day is ending and Britta’s accompanying her towards the bus stop (It’s late for young girls to walk alone: Annie refuses to get mad at Britta’s nice and caring patronizing ways), Annie’s still clenching her eyes every few seconds, trying desperately (and ineffectively) to un-brand the image of Jeff’s turtleneck thing off her eyes so nobody notices it’s been hours and she’s still blushing like a stupid school girl. She’s walking distracted, light-headed, but, thankfully, so is Britta. Britta keeps mumbling under her breath stuff Annie can’t hear, fingers twitching nervously, fidgety laugh stuttering out every few minutes. Annie doesn’t wonder. She just assumes Britta is distracted thinking along the same lines she is thinking. Jeff. Nakedness. Wrapped-ness in a blanket-ness. Stuff.
But then Britta starts speaking out loud.
“Okay, Annie, now that we’re alone, I have a confession to make. I mean, I don’t have to confess, right? I’m doing it because I want to. I’m a free woman and I am not afraid to speak out my mind and it’s not like there’s anything to be ashamed of, you know? We’re all adults, right? These things… well, things do happen when people are free and grown-up and… because there’s nothing childish or weirdly submissive-dash-masochist about this.”
See? Annie was right. It makes her slightly uncomfortable that Britta is going to open up now, to her, about her futilely resisted feelings for Jeff who have all of a sudden come to an explosion at seeing him playing not-ridiculous-at-all-but-pretty-pretty-hot naked pool, but Annie is a good friend (she really is) so she smiles and nods and thinks she already knows what Britta is going to say next, if she ever stops rambling, so it won’t hurt at all.
“The thing, Annie, is that I might or might not have a crush on vampire!Abed.”
Abed would say: awkward pause
“Did you say vampire!Abed?”
One thing certainly happens: Britta’s confession does un-brand the image of Jeff’s giant thumb off her eyes. Instead, all Annie can see now is herself sitting on a stupid school chair with Abed whispering in her ear, leaning closer and closer until her eyes have closed and her lips are half-open and she’s desperately wishing for him to kiss her already, before she melts into a puddle of Annie-woo-poo. Seriously, what is with this stupid community college running out her crushing-on-wierdos energy? Still – Don Draper!Abed? Hot in the most unexpected way. Vampire!Abed? Dangerously scary.
“Well…” Britta is looking awkwardly at her tapping-against-the-pavement feet. “I might or might not have had a thing for vampires ten years ago, when Buffy was still running hot. You know, not the girlhood degrading ‘I’ll dazzle you with my paleness’ Twilight shit, but the feminine empowering ‘I-get-horny-when-you-beat-me’ Buffy vamps.”
And to that, one big: “What?” Annie feels her frown is eloquent enough. “I think I was in elementary school when Buffy started but I totally agree about Twilight,” she snorts, a little too forcefully. “Who could fall for those emo pale… emo vampires, right?”
Britta cringes, smiling apologetically. “He’s… nice, isn’t he?”
“Yeah…,” Annie agrees vaguely. Abed is very nice, but Annie isn’t thinking about his niceness at all. Once again she’s hearing his velvet voice in her ear (How in the world does he do that, by the way?) and her kneels are buckling just at the thought. Luckily for her, they don’t have to walk anymore. She and Britta are standing by the bus stop now, but Annie isn’t thinking of going home anymore. She barely registers where she is. She’s still thinking of Abed, and of how awesome it would be if there was a different version of Abed for every girl on campus. Like, Britta could fool around with vampire!Abed and maybe beat him up (Is that what she said?) and they would be horny and empowering together, and Annie could hang out with Don Draper!Abed and feel like one of those woman Don Draper comes onto, with perfect clothes and perfect hair and perfect determination, because they always make eye contact and they’re always assertive and they always achieve results and it’s so cool that in their time it was socially acceptable to smoke. Makes them look thirty-per-cent hotter. It would be awesome, Annie imagines, to be one of those women to Abed’s sexy Don Draper. Then, she wouldn’t have to worry about getting too serious with a twenty-something year old hacky-sack player who doesn’t care how not hygienic it is to never wear shoes or shirts. Or about developing very inappropriate (if irresistible) feelings for a thirty-something year old silver-tongued, manipulating, ladies-man-y, sometimes sweet-as-candy ex-lawyer who could break her heart with just a snap of his fingers. Or about Britta’s undercurrent feelings for Jeff or Vaughn or…
For a few seconds—for the time it takes the bus to turn around the corner and reach the stop while she hugs Britta goodnight and gets on—Annie misses high school. Surprising, right? In high school the only things she had to worry about were tests and more tests and pill-taking schedules and that’s it. Not growing up and having grown-up relationships that mess with her head and her hormones. Not Vaughn’s bad-smelling habit of smoking pot after making out. Not Jeff’s lingering glances and definitely not lingering turtleneck p-word. Not Abed’s hypnotic effects on her psyche.
She sighs as she sits next to the window, eyes fixed on the Greendale grounds. Of course—the feeling of missing the worst time of her life barely lasts. As the bus starts driving away from Greendale Community College, Annie rests her forehead against the cool glass and smiles widely. In high school, no boy would have ever gone Don Draper all over her, and she wouldn’t have had the guts to kiss The Cool Guy in front of an entire auditorium. Not in a million years. Also, she wouldn’t have been kind-of-officially going out with an older blonde hacky-sack player musician. No—Annie doesn’t miss high school. She doesn’t even miss the high. It might have taken a pretty bumpy road to get to where she is now but, right now, she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.
No. Really. She means that.
All the way to her parents’ house, she can’t stop grinning happily. She’s still blushing like a silly school girl, but who cares? She truly can’t believe Abed said she was smoking.