Someone knocked at the door. “Come in,” Jordan called after a moment. He stuffed the two letters into the top desk drawer.
The door handle twisted, and the hall RA walked in, a clipboard in his hand. “Room checks!” he announced in that obnoxiously bubbly voice of his.
“Go ahead. I don’t have anything to hide.”
“Pizza boxes and Chinese takeout? Are you doing okay? It’s not like you to leave this stuff lying around.”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
Jordan hesitated, then opened his laptop. “You read a lot, right?”
The RA shrugged. “More than most, I think.”
“If you were going to title a book of poetry you’d written with your girlfriend, what would you call it?”
“What is the poetry about? I mean, obviously your love, but what does your love center around?”
Jordan awkwardly shoved a pizza box away from the foot of his bed. “She has a heart disease. Called ‘hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.” Had a heart disease. But whatever.
“Do you actually talk about the disease throughout the poems?” The RA was now checking the mini fridge, only to find more Styrofoam boxes.
“Not really, but throughout the poems, you kind of get the sense that we’re writing these because something’s wrong.”
“Why don’t you name it after the disease, then? As a capstone, kind of. To give a name to what neither of you have actually talked about in the poetry.” The RA wrote something on his clipboard, then smiled. “Looks like your room is all good. Thanks, Jordan. And by the way, my dad had a heart attack when I was thirteen, but he’s fine now. I hope everything works out for you and your girlfriend.”
Jordan didn’t have the heart to explain what had happened. Instead, he smiled. “Thanks.”
The RA left then, leaving Jordan alone with the poetry. He retrieved the letter from his desk and sighed, though not out of misery. This time, a genuine smile lifted his lips ever so slightly. “‘Hypertrohpic Cardiomyopathy.’ Figures. You’re still calling the shots, Olivia.”
He turned on his laptop and opened the poetry document in which he’d typed all the poems he and Olivia had written for their book. The first page was empty, just waiting for a title. He knew what to write now.