For all the crying and bellyaching that went on for Nick reconnecting with Caroline, nothing could’ve prepared their apartment for the sound that Schmidt makes on that Tuesday afternoon in June.
Jess’ eyes bug out and she freezes with the small, delicate invitation in her hand. Schmidt pulls himself back together and from Jess’ vantage point, it’s almost as though he floats over like a hunchbacked ghost at full speed, and grabs the envelope right out of her hand, eyes scanning over the contents like he's part cyborg.
He tears it into fourths, then eighths, then eats what’s left. Right there, a foot in front of her.
Jess can only keep quiet for so long before her scared slash bemused expression shifts into a small laugh at his action. “What the hell, Schmidt?”
“That was from Nick’s ex.” Schmidt pulls a cell phone from his front pocket and is already pressing buttons before Jess can come up with a follow-up question. “Winston, we have a code Mars! CODE MARS!”
He ends the conversation before saying anything more and moves over to couch, looking genuinely panicky. “Schmidt, what is going on?”
“It’s a code Mars, Jess. A CODE MARS. Now, can I have some quiet while I write a fake suicide note in case we need a back-up plan?” He pulls out a sheet of paper and begins scribbling out nearly illegible words.
All Jess can make out is Goodbye, my best friend Schmidt and others---
“SCHMIDT!” Her voice breaks and her amusement is beginning to quickly turn into annoyance as she shakes him to get his attention back.
Winston walks in the room, brusquely, having a stern conversation with the Post Office and how to block mailing addresses. He doesn’t even look up on his way to his bedroom.
“WHAT THE FUCK, GUYS?” Jess screams to what feels like an empty room, even though two of her best friends are in a few arms lengths away.
Schmidt pushes the paper aside on the table and gives Jess an aggressively impatient look, but she’s gotten deep dark secrets out of Cece who is professionally enigmatic.
Jess gives him her best You’re Getting Detention If You Don’t Fess The Hell Up look and he cracks like a near sighted third grader.
“It’s a code Mars, Jess.” Schmidt repeats with his trademark disbelief that anyone could possibly be this behind the times. When she says nothing in response his eyes roll as if on their own accord. “Code Mars. Veronica. Betty and Veronica. Nurse Betty. Ann Perkins, RN.”
“Okay, let’s pretend for a minute that what you just said was anything resembling English.” Jess frowns. “Who’s Ann Perkins?”
“Nick’s first,” Schmidt says, importantly, his head swiveling forward and everything.
“SECOND!” Winston calls from the other room.
“YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR SECOND DOESN’T SOUND AS CATCHY, WINSTON!” Schmidt screams back into the empty corner of the room where the bedrooms branch off from. He flattens his hands in the air, wordlessly conceding the argument and continues. “She’s the first that counted, okay.”
“First what? Girlfriend?”
Schmidt’s eyebrows jump. “First everything.”
“Oh,” Jess answers, eyes wide again. “Oh.”
“She and Nick went to high school together before he decided he wanted to be a lawyer and she went off to med school. It was very Romeo & Juliet.”
“HAVE YOU EVEN READ ROMEO & JULIET, SCHMIDT?”
“I’ve seen the Baz Luhrmann adaptation.” Schmidt keeps trying to pronounce Luhrmann as ridiculously as possible to the point where by the fourth time it sounds like he’s saying LAKURMANNAH and Jess has totally lost track of what the word even started out as. “With Leonardo Di--Lee-Leee on ardo--Leo--”
“Schmidt--enough!” Jess screams out so loudly that it feels like her body’s doing as much as her mind’s. “What’s the big deal? Is it like a Caroline situation? Should I hide the beer and switch out his Morrissey albums, again?”
Winston walks in, looking grim and holding his phone at his side. “Well, I blocked the mail, so that’s at least not going to happen again any time soon. They said that the request to block mail only worked for his Evanston address and since she somehow got his new one it ended up here. A new mailcarrier must have gone rogue and not checked this address for any previous listings.”
“FOOLS!” Schmidt yells violently enough that his face scrunches up uglily, his hands wave out in indignation, and he’s propelled to his feet.
Jess puts a hand to her forehead and takes a breath. Counts to five. She’s not singing a showtune chorus, so she immediately knows that she’s at least handling this better than last time. When she tells people she’s an elementary school teacher there’s a lot of people who question how can she put up with a bunch of screaming, needy children all day.
If only they could live in her apartment for a week, they’d understand how little credit they gave her students.
“So what are we doing about all this? Schmidt’s eating paper and you’re calling the post office. What did the invitation even say, Schmidt?”
Schmidt’s jaw ticks like he’s not sure if he should reveal the information. But Winston looks equally curious and for all the subterfuge that he would try against any single person, Schmidt is very easily intimidated by numbers.
“It was a political thing. A fundraiser for some nobody. It was nothing.”
“Wait, I thought Ann went to med school.” Winston pulls out his laptop and Jess watches him log on to Facebook.
“Ann has a Facebook? How has Nick not stumbled across that, yet?”
“Nick’s Facebook still lists him as being in law school, so that says about as much as needs to be said about his internet habits.” Schmidt crosses his legs as though he’s still holding a grudge over that fact. “I also had one of the IT guys put a worm in Nick’s account that blocks Ann without him realizing it. Unless he ever figures out how to navigate privacy features to find a specific list labeled UGGOS.”
“She did go to med school,” Winston interjects, turning the computer to his right so Jess can see it better.
“Wow, she’s. Who’s the blonde?” Jess points at the woman with her arm around Ann’s shoulders and her face cracked open in the middle of a cackle. “Is she--is that why--?”
If Jess sits a little straighter, it’s totally unrelated.
“No, well, maybe.” Winston’s eyes narrow and suddenly the guys jump on Jess’ implication and run with it.
After a few more clicks, Winston’s face contorts in definite if reserved disappointment. “No, that’s her friend Leslie Knope, who’s in a relationship with some guy who looks like a skinny Paul McCartney.”
Schmidt holds a hand up as if to protest this comparison. “Wait, just a second. Are we talking Angela Lansbury Paul McCartney or Diego Luna Paul McCartney? Because there is a huge difference between the two.”
Winston turns the computer around and Schmidt looks even more annoyed. “He looks like neither, Winston. Not all white people look alike, okay. Jess and I are offended.”
“I’m not offended,” Jess clarifies.
“Diego Luna is not white,” Winston says with a stern look.
“Well, he’s white adjacent!”
Schmidt’s neck cranes forward as if he’s begging for someone to argue the point. Both Jess and Winston are too busy rolling their heads around the room in annoyance to continue.
Before anyone can say anything more, Nick walks in the front door holding a bag of groceries. “Hey, can someone grab this? I have another one by the elevator and I’m gonna drop one if I bend down.”
The three stare up at him, unmoving.
“Okay--what’s going on? Did Schmidt show you that--”
Nick’s almost smiling until he steps another foot in the door and seems to immediately sense the room’s mood.
“What happened?” He walks quickly over to put the groceries on the kitchen island and turns on where they’re sitting.
“This cat. It--” Jess points to the screen and trails off.
“Jumped off a window ledge!” “Bit a puppy.” Winston and Schmidt say simultaneously.
Jess looks down in shame at their inability to keep their shit straight for a single second.
“It did both, one after the other. Cats! Who knew?!” Schmidt smiles up at Nick so blindingly bright that Nick immediately starts for the computer with suspicion.
“What’s really going on? Winston?” Winston turns the screen down and grabs the laptop. Nick recoils, mouth gaping in disgust. “Winston, not you too!”
“IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, NICK.” He cries out, face serious and stony.
Jess watches them attempt to outrun each other but she’s googled Winston’s basketball stats. He’s probably always been more of a power forward than a point guard, based on his scoring record.
Nick bats down the laptop at one point and it drops to the ground with a loud thwump and there’s a shriek, Jess can’t tell if it’s Winston, Nick, or Schmidt (who is still sitting on the couch near her body tensing in an awkward posturing that reminds her of her great-grammy).
Nick gets the laptop first and for whatever reason Winston lets him open it without any more protest. Maybe because he’s still staring at where it dropped, in shock. Or maybe because he’s never been great with secrets. None of the guys are.
She’s the only one that can keep a secret worth a damn. (Okay, so. Most of them are about other people because she’s a pretty open person herself, but still.
- No one knew her parents got divorced until three years after her dad had moved out.
- Up until a year ago, Nick (the bartender) thought scotch and bourbon were the same thing.
- Winston cries when he watches Apollo 13. Hard.
- Cece’s actually only 5’7”, despite what it says on her modeling photos and driver’s license.
- She kissed Cece first.
- Schmidt uses Kraft parmesan in his baked tilapia.
- Her ex-boyfriend, Spencer, loved when she french braided his hair.
- She’s not sure how her boss can pass drug tests.
- She knows things about Schmidt’s preferences in the bedroom that she wishes she could unlearn.)
Nick laughs and her attention is back on him hunching over the laptop near the kitchen island where the groceries are leaning at an unsafe angle. “Who’s this guy?”
He turns the laptop towards where Winston was lasting searching, a picture of Not Angela Lansbury Paul McCartney, and they all let out a sigh. Whoops.
Nick frowns and his hands return to the keyboard, his gaze going suspicious and not breaking contact with where Jess and Schmidt are sitting on the couch until he’s finished typing. It only takes one, maybe two more clicks before he catches up and the look on his face explains so much about Schmidt and Winston’s earlier freak outs.
“Ann,” Nick says, like he’s just exhaling sadly. “Is this what you guys were hiding? That she has a Facebook? It’s been fifteen years. I’m not really surprised. I mean, even I’ve got a Facebook.”
“Barely,” Schmidt whispers from where he sits, body language screaming in resignation.
“She looks--Wow. Wow.”
Nick leans forward, an elbow bending to lean on the tabletop and his hand curling into a fist beneath his chin. Jess could already see the lovesick puppy side of him bounding out of control.
“We just don’t want you to get caught up in another post-Ann spiral. They put Caroline-spirals to shame,” Winston says. His voice is low and earnest.
“I just don’t get why you’re hiding this from me, it’s not that big of a deal. Everyone has a Facebook.” Nick can’t even tear his eyes away from the screen as he says this. But the silence he gets in response is enough to startle his distraction. “This is what you were hiding, right? What else would there be? Did she call or something?”
Jess tries to stop herself, but she feels her head tilt to the side. As she makes eye contact with Winston, Nick has already taken that as a sign that something else is going on.
“WHAT? What is it?” Nick looks almost amused, although clearly annoyed. His excitement over the Facebook page is still flooding him with adrenaline, no doubt.
That was one of her least favorite things about Nick. He can look totally dejected and depressed while cracking jokes, but is also equally smiley and happy while about to start a screaming match. Yell or be funny all you want, but Jess is sure she’ll never get used to being surprised on a dime, in either direction.
“There was a letter!” Jess says, louder than intended but still not screaming.
Schmidt gives her the dirtiest hanging jaw and look combo she’s gotten since high school.
“A letter? From Ann?” Nick looks at the computer, confused for a minute before looking back over at them both. “Where is it?”
As if on cue, Schmidt tries to muffle a burp. Or maybe the paper’s finally giving him indigestion. Regardless, Nick lets out a sigh and rolls his eyes at the ceiling. “Schmidt, what the hell, man?”
“It was a judgment call, Nick. It was for your own good!” He raises his hand up towards where Winston is standing, as if that validates his point.
“What did it say? Did you read it before you... ate it? God, why are you so weird?”
“Do you really want me to answer that question, Nick?”
“Yeah, I do, Schmidt? Who eats a letter? There are a hundred things you do before eating it.”
“I don’t know, Schmidt. You could’ve thrown it out. Or shredded it in your ridiculous over-priced Sky Mall shredder that you never actually use for shredding anything.”
“You could’ve burned it up,” Jess points out.
Winston tilts his head. “Or flushed it down the toilet.”
“Well, I guess you’re never going to know what it said because you’re all so rude I want to die.” Schmidt re-crosses his legs to the left and makes a point of avoiding eye contact.
“They--we--were just trying to keep you from getting hurt. Does it matter what it said?”
“It does, Jess. Yeah, it does. She was like--Ann--I haven’t thought about her in years. She was amazing and she wasn’t like Caroline. She wasn’t bad for me or whatever you guys think about her. Ann was way too good for me and was going places. She was going to med school to--” Nick trails off and lets his eyes drift to the computer screen. “She’s a nurse. Wow. I’m sure she’s married with kids or something, it’s not like Caroline. I promise. I just want to know what was in the letter because I miss her. I miss what my life was like when I knew her.”
Schmidt leans a little back towards everyone, so slightly it was almost imperceptible.
“You remember me, Schmidt. My biggest concern back then was if someone forgot to tape Night Court.” He smiles a little sadly, but if it’s because he’s actually sad or just nostalgic it’s hard to tell. “What was in the letter, Schmidt?”
“It was for fundraising, for her hot blonde friend in the pictures.”
Nick drags his finger across the touchpad until the Facebook pictures tags pop up. “Leslie Knope?”
“Knope We Can,” Schmidt says robotically. Everyone but Nick is sluggish and dejected, while their friend clicks around with a big grin on his face.
“Knope We Can,” Nick repeats. “That’s clever.” He continues to search around while the others sit in silence as if they’re waiting for the sound of him hitting the pavement after jumping off the side of a building. “Oh, my god. She’s part of the campaign, that’s probably why they sent that letter. Her number’s right here.”
The silence is deafening.
“Should I call her? I should call her. Just tell her I got the letter so she doesn’t think I’m being a dick and blowing her off. I don’t really want to write ‘my idiot friend ate the letter’ in the notes option if I donate a few bucks to the campaign online, you know?”
Nick continues the conversation with no one until he’s talked himself into getting out his ancient cell phone and is pecking the numbers in one at a time while reading them off the screen.
“I can’t watch this. I don’t have the stomach to watch this,” Schmidt says before getting up and walking out of the room. Winston walks over to the couch and leans against the armrest, looking both fascinated and disturbed by the display going on in front of them.
“It’s ringing,” Nick stage whispers, conspiratorially, to the two of them. “Hey, Ann? Hi, this is Nick Miller--I don’t know if you remember me but--hey, how are you?”
Leslie tries to lean to her side to hear Ann’s conversation but is batted out of the way playfully by Ann, who ducks out of the campaign bus with her left hand holding her ear to hear better.
“I’m so great, I can’t believe I’m talking to you. It’s been--God--it’s been too long. Are you still in Chicago?”
“No, no. I moved out to Las Feliz, actually. The Golden State,” Nick answers, sounding goofy in an attempt to be goofy.
“Oh, my god. You’re really doing it, huh? LA Law for real?”
She can hear him clear his throat and his voice cracks just so slightly as he starts to respond. “No--oo-ah. I, um, I didn’t end up doing that. I moved out here with one of my friends from college because I--I just got sick of Illinois, you know?”
“No, I totally agree. Too many memories? Although I’m jealous you’re near LA, I only made it to Indiana.” Ann looks at Leslie’s huge, smiling face on the side of the bus and her gut makes her backtrack. “I shouldn’t say that, I love it here. I really, really do. I wouldn’t live anywhere else, but it’s because I found the right people. If you’d told me that you moved to LA eight years ago, I’d probably be ready to hop on a Greyhound and move in with you.”
Nick laughs. And laughs. And continues laughing until he coughs. “Well, you should come out and visit, sometime. Just to catch up, you know. Catch some rays, of the sun, to catch some sun rays. Get a tan, you know.”
Ann breaths a laugh into her hand and grins. “You have not changed at all. Literally, I think I’ve heard you say that before. Only back then it was about trying to get me to go up to your cousin Gary’s cabin up in Racine. In October.”
“Hey, it was still sunny. You don’t need seventy-degree weather to work on a tan. You just hated that cabin because you thought it was haunted.”
“It was haunted, Nick! Well, no it wasn’t because we were seventeen and now I’m definitely sure that ghosts aren’t real. But that fire was totally put out before we went to bed. To this day, I can’t figure out what could’ve possibly lit it back up again.”
“Can I tell you something?” She can hear the smile in his voice, already and shakes her head.
“I lit that fire. You were still asleep and I was kind of cold, but then I fell back asleep and when you woke up and started freaking out, I just went with it because you were terrified.”
“You asshole. Seventeen years and you were okay with letting me believe that the laws of nature were broken and it was really just you being a narcoleptic.”
“I am not a narcoleptic, I’m just easily tired.”
“Easily tired. That’s one way to put it.”
“How would you describe it?”
“Falling asleep during Pulp Fiction?”
“SHHH--ANNN--You were never supposed to tell anyone that!”
She laughs. “Oh, I’m sorry! I wasn’t aware you were still holding onto that embarrassment this far into your adult life.”
“I know, I know. It’s okay, I forgive you. Do remember the rest of that trip, though?”
“Which part? All I can remember now is the fact that you lied to me about a formative trauma for over a decade.”
Nick lets out an awkward chuckle and mumbles a few apologies. “The other stuff, you know. The hot tub and then, oh, and then the game.”
“True American! Probably the best idea I’ve ever had.”
“I still play it with my friends.”
“Wow. I can’t believe you remember all the rules. There were hundreds of them and I’m pretty sure I made half of them up just to piss you off.”
“You could never piss me off.”
Ann has to pull the phone down from her ear and take a breath because it feels like he’ll see the look on her face and know exactly what she’s thinking, even though he’s thousands of miles away. “Now I’m going to have to get our whole campaign to play it at some point because, wow, it has been too long since I’ve played it.”
“Too long since you kicked everyone’s ass at a game you invented? Wow, you really haven’t changed either, Perkins.”
“So, can I ask why you’re calling me out of the blue? Fifteen years later? You didn’t secretly have my child, right?”
“No, no. My, um, my roommate said I got a letter from you in the mail, so I thought I’d check to see what it was about. So--I--you know, before I got home and read it -- before I read it for myself.”
“A letter from me? I didn’t write a letter to you, Nick. I’m sorry, I think he gave you some bad info.”
“What, no, he said it was from Ann. Addressed to me, from Ann Perkins.”
“How many Ann Perkins do you know, Nick? Are you running a game on us Anns? Moving state to state finding new Anns to charm?’’
“No--not--no. Not at all. You’re the only Ann Perkins for me.”
There’s a silence just the right side of awkward that would be a lot less welcome between two less kind and historied people.
“It was something about a fundraiser-- the letter-- Schmidt, my roommate, said it had something to do with a fundraiser for your friend.”
“OH! OH MY GOD. I’m sorry, yes. That probably was from me. God, I totally forgot about that. One of the volunteers here asked to see our cell phones and email contacts to send emails and letters to. She probably got your number off my phone and then sent it right over to you. I didn’t see the compiled list, so I’m sorry you got some random fundraising invite for a city council race in Indiana. It obviously has nothing to do with you--feel free to just--”
“I’m donating money. Knope We Can! It’s a great slogan. My donation should be put towards bumper stickers with that slogan. I would buy one.”
“My best friend is the Knope who can, so now that I have your address, I’ll send one for free.”
Nick lets himself just smile, long and genuine, for a second at that and at everything. “I can’t believe you still have my number in your phone.”
“Why? Am I not in your phone?” Her voice is joking, but he knows her well enough, even after all this time, to hear the mild worry.
“No, no. Of course you are. I’m just surprised. Fifteen years is a long time.”
Ann looks around and bites her lip, internally trying to convince herself not to say what she’s thinking. “You always remember your first.” Her eyes squish up at how tacky that is, but damn if it’s not true.
“Wow, maybe I should delete your number. I thought I was your first.”
Nick scratches his head and seriously debates continuing this line of conversation, but it’s Ann Perkins and it’s as good as a blue moon, so why not. He covers his mouth with his palm so that at least it’s not completely audible from the couch. “My first, yes. Your second.”
“First that counted, let’s be clear.”
“Oh, man. I missed you. I miss you.” Nick can feel that dumb puppy dog smile creep back across his face. “Let’s promise to not let fifteen more years go by before catching up.”
“It’s a deal. Next time you come home for the holidays, you should look me up and we can go hit up the usual spots and make a night of it.”
“We have ourselves a plan.”
“And now I know who to call up if I ever make it out to the West Coast!”
“Yeah, my numbers in your phone. Under Nick Miller.”
“Thanks, I’ll write that down. So I don’t forget.”
There’s another lapse into silence that feels almost electric, but neither has another thought to spare outside of nostalgia and glee.
Ann can tell that their pit stop to the Ramsett public bathrooms has been over for almost ten minutes, but Leslie’s never been the type to yell at people to get back to business. But Leslie puts so much of her own efforts into staying on task, she squashes the delight at hearing from Nick, and wills the blush on her cheeks to calm down. She’s got more work to get done and it’d be great if she could make it through the afternoon not feeling like a teenager.
“I should go. We’re on a tour around Pawnee giving speeches and---”
“Say no more, I’ll let you get back to your friend. Wish her luck! She’s got four absentee ballots from the LA area that wish they could be counted in her favor.”
“I’ll let her know. I’m sure she’ll appreciate it. Don’t be a stranger, Nick Miller.”
“You too--I won’t--okay. Bye.”
Ann ends the call and climbs back up the stairs to the bus where Leslie looks like a puppy that’s been waiting patiently at the door, tail wagging, just dying to go for a walk. She squeezes her eyes shut at how obvious that must’ve looked to her.
Instead of jumping up and down and shrieking, like she obviously wants to, Leslie tries to come off as extremely nonchalant as possible. “So, was that a work call?”
Ann’s not even sure what she was going for there and gives her a look.
“Okay, whatever. You know I’m dying, so spill.”
“That was Nick Miller. From high school.”
“Wait.” Leslie has to stop and turn herself to balance the crazy hands above the head swirling in dramaticized shock routine that proceeds. “Nick Miller, Esquire?”
“Well, he’s apparently not a lawyer. But, yeah. That Nick Miller.”
“Oh, my god, but you haven’t heard from him since that three page high school yearbook message, right?”
“Well the summer after that, but yeah. That was maybe three months before he left for Northwestern.”
“This is like a fairytale, Ann. This is a real life fairytale. I wonder if Disney will want to buy the movie rights. I WONDER IF PIXAR WILL WANT TO BUY THE MOVIE RIGHTS.”
“Leslie--LESLIE--relax. It was just a catch up phone call. April sent him a donation invitation because he was still in my phone and he wasn’t sure what the letter was about, so it was just a check up.”
“I brought you two together. My campaign brought you back together. This is fate, Ann. This is like every song by The Fray, only real.”
“I don’t think they fake their songs.”
“YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, ANN.”
“He lives in LA, Leslie. It was just him telling me he got the letter and donated to you.”
“He donated to the campaign?” Ann’s insides pinch at the look on Leslie’s face. Someone could donate pocket change and she’ll still take a second to appreciate it down to her core. Every cent.
“Yeah, he said he did. He likes your slogan, so I told him we’d send him a bumper sticker.”
“Send him all the bumper stickers, Ann!” Leslie declares, waving her hand left to right like a rainbow. “Okay, no. We need to give out bumper stickers to other supporters, but consider that a metaphor. Give him all the metaphorical bumper stickers.”
“Have you slept yet?”
“No, but I’ve had three waffles and a frappucino.”
“Okay, so the last ten minutes make much more sense.” Ann grins even though she’s concerned that Leslie isn’t sleeping enough, if at all, with the stress and planning in overload.
“Ann, promise me one thing?” Leslie’s tone drops, immediately Ann leans in because she sounds much more serious and much less like she’s just riding a whipped cream high.
“Can I be the maid of honor at your wedding?” Leslie’s eyes shine, wide and hopeful.
Ann pulls out a piece of paper from her notebook and writes: Leslie Knope will be my maid of honor. and signs her name below. “Whoever I marry, this is always going to be iron-clad. Okay?”
Leslie lays her head on Ann’s shoulder and lets her eyes close for the first time in two days. “Can we get it notarized on our way home, later?”
Ann knocks her temple against the top of Leslie’s head and grins as the wheels beneath them start to move again.
“Nick are you still looking at her Facebook page?” Jess asks, pouring herself a bowl of cereal.
Nick’s crouching over on the edge of a couch cushion, eyes darting from left to right.
“No, I’m not.”
Not believing the short answer, Jess carries the bowl over and sits next to him, expecting to see him clicking through old albums or friends of friends. She surprised when it’s several tabs full of local colleges and universities’ websites.
Nick turns and smiles. Clearly they had misjudged the situation. Ann is not Caroline, at all.
“I think I’m going to try and go back to school. You know, see what might transfer into getting a masters. Not going to go to law school or anything, but I want to try and do something with my life. I’m going to try and make a difference to someone, somewhere.”
“Nick, I think that’s a really mature decision. Is this because you talked to Ann?”
He frowns, but then smirks immediately after. “I don’t know, maybe. I’m just sick of this, Jess. All the laying around being annoyed at everyone who does what they want to do. I’m sick of trying to figure it out, to figure myself out. Maybe if instead of sitting around thinking about what I could do to be happier, I can just get some of the basic shit out of the way and see if that helps.”
Schmidt and Cece come out of Schmidt’s bedroom to see the two of them finish up their conversation. “Are you really going back to school, Nick? This isn’t like 09?”
“This is not ‘09, Schmidt. It’s not for a tax break and it’s not because I want to be a lawyer again. I’m tired of wondering if my life would be better if I’d taken classes that I wanted instead of the classes that I had to take. It’s probably a waste of money, but--”
“No, it’s not. It’s beautiful.” Schmidt leans down and takes advantage of Nick’s sleep deprived state with a Fredo kiss followed by a very loud and phlegmy L’Chaim.
Nick looks slightly annoyed for a second, but he can’t stop from smiling afterwards.
Cece pours a handful of coffees, in the kitchen. “Congratulations, Nick.”
“What’s with all this celebration? Did Nick change his Facebook relationship status or something?” Winston aks, sleepily, with a wide grin from the side hallway.
“Ann Perkins did this?” Schmidt asks, genuinely surprised. He grabs the laptop and pulls up her Facebook page for effect. “Ann Perkins, I’m sorry I underestimated your talents, you sly little minx.” He pokes her nose, on screen, with his index finger.
Cece clears her throat. Everyone looks up from the computer screen at where she’s got one hip popped and a very unimpressed look on her face. “Who the fuck is Ann Perkins?”