Annie's fingers shook a little as she texted Britta to meet her by the old student union building, urgently. This was so the worst time for something like this to be happening! Good thing Britta was such a trustworthy and reliable friend, not to mention discreet. If anyone would know what to do in this situation, it was definitely Britta. Okay, maybe ordinarily Annie would rather go to Shirley with her girl troubles. Britta was a great friend, but everybody agreed she wasn't always that great with girl things, even Abed. But the best thing about Britta was, even if she had no idea what she was doing, she was always willing to help.
Luckily Britta showed up in no time flat. "What's wrong, Annie?" she said, making her Britta-wants-to-help face.
"Oh, I hope I'm not making you miss any important classes," said Annie worriedly.
"Just statistics, nothing important," she said, waving her hand in the air as though to dissipate the importance of the statistical science. "The important thing is, what can I do to help?"
"This is so awkward," said Annie, her voice sinking to a whisper against her better judgment.
"It's all right, Annie," said Britta. "You can tell me anything. I don't judge."
Annie pointed at the building behind the old student union.
"Student health services?" asked Britta, puzzled. "What's there? Is it a boy you want to go out with? Annie, are you finally coming to me with your boy problems? I'm so touched!"
"No!" hissed Annie hastily. "It's not a boy thing, I swear! It's a, uh. I need..."
"Spit it out already!" said Britta, starting to become visible irritated.
"My prescription ran out, and I need a refill, okay?" she spat it out. "I'm on the pill," she added under her breath.
"Really?" said Britta. "Good for you, practicing safe sex. Don't let the government's sexist brainwashing get to you, just because some douchebag calls them slut pills, doesn't mean--"
"I'm not a slut!" cried Annie, a lot louder than she intended.
Across the street, Star Burns and Magnitude stopped in their tracks and turned to stare at her.
Annie buried her pink face in her hands and wished she could sink into the sidewalk and disappear.
Britta put a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry, Annie, their judgment can't touch you if your mind is free. If you use the word slut the way you choose to define it, you can reclaim it, and then it loses its power over you! Isn't that great?"
"It's fantastic," she mumbled from between her hands.
Britta glanced up. "It's okay, they're gone now."
She dared a peek. The coast was clear. "Look, Britta, I appreciate all your good intentions, really, but I'm not trying to reclaim the word sl- uh, you know. I mean it. I'm not even taking the pill because of that. I just get really awful cramps, and, uh, other stuff." She blushed again. "I don't want to talk about it."
Britta nodded understandingly. "Sorry. I guess I just got carried away. Anyway, so what's the problem with your subscription? Are they refusing to fill it? They're not allowed to do that! You should write your Senator, and I'll stage a protest, I think I already have some signs--"
"Uh, Britta!" said Annie, her hands flying to her hips. "You just said you weren't going to get carried away!"
Britta looked sheepish.
"I didn't used to have a problem getting my pills," said Annie. "Ms. Charles, the pharmacist, she knew I didn't like going in there and asking for them in front of everyone. She knew how people gossip, so she would always slip them to me in a white paper bag when I asked for Tylenol."
"Like pot," said Britta.
"What?" said Annie.
"What? Nothing," said Britta quickly. "Back to your problem."
"Well," said Annie, "Ms. Charles retired last month. Now there's a new pharmacist, and she scares me."
"Annie," said Britta, "do you want me to go into student health services and refill your birth control prescription? 'Cause I can do that, no problem."
When she put it that way, it sounded pretty childish. Annie didn't want to be childish. She was twenty one, after all. She was a woman, and that's how she wanted people to treat her, so she guessed she had to act like a woman, too. The only problem was, acting like a woman was hard to get used to.
"...No," she finally decided. "I think I can go in and face her. I mean, I'll have to do it, sooner or later, right? Only, if you come in with me, I won't mind so much if people are looking at me. You don't care that I'm on the pill, and if you don't care, then they shouldn't, either. So... Can you come in with me? Just this once?"
Britta smiled brightly. "No problem, Annie. Hey, if I organize a Greendale Slut Walk, will you march with me?"
"Um..." she stalled, not wanting to seem ungrateful.
"Heh, just kidding."