After his noontime meal, Spock exited the Academy’s cafeteria to finish last-minute preparations for the newest simulation test, which a new group of Academy attendees would take tomorrow. The wind was blowing hard, and he saw a dark figure enter the library just before he did. She was obviously feminine—but was not wearing the Starfleet uniform required of midshipmen.
She was sheathed in a long black skirt, with a dark gray long-sleeved thermal shirt on top. Spock was unsure of who this odd stranger was. She had pin-straight hair and a stack of books in her hands. It was Saturday on campus, but Spock had not seen anyone dressed that casually on campus. Many of the female students attending the Starfleet Academy and, it seemed, every other woman he’d ever met in San Francisco were dressed to impressed the opposite sex.
But this young woman seemed like she was not the type to let others influence her.
She sat down at a library table and pulled out a leather-bound book and began to write in it. Spock knew that people still wrote with pen and paper, even in times of great technology, but he noticed something different about the way she had walked. It was as if her steps were unsure, and it was oddly charming.
Shaking his head, Spock headed over to the literary section of the library before finishing the simulation test. He had just finished The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner and was looking for new material. After finding something of his interest, he ran it over his scanner, checking the book out.
Spock turned back to glance at the young woman writing in her notebook, only to find her gone. “Eco, huh?” said a woman from behind him.
Turning around, Spock realized who it was. The girl with the pin-straight hair, long skirt and grey shirt. But what bothered him most was that it was Angeni.
“Yes,” Spock replied, holding up his book, Foucault’s Pendulum.
“Personally, I prefer As You Like It,” said Angeni, pulling down a playwright from the shelf above her head. “By Shakespeare.”
“‘The best playwright in history,’” Spock said, quoting Angeni on the night they met. As their conversation continued, Spock had a gnawing feeling inside.
“Angeni,” Spock started. “May I ask a personal query?”
Suddenly embarrassed, Angeni looked down, and grabbed a piece of her straightened hair. Silently, she nodded.
“Why have you straightened your hair?”
“It’s not what you think,” she blurted out. “I just . . . felt like a change. It’s not permanent. I . . . only . . .”
Spock had heard of women who did this sort of thing after breaking up with their boyfriends. He would have never guessed Angeni would be one of them. The clothes, however, seemed to be what she wore normally when she didn’t have to wear the Starfleet uniform.
“I didn’t change for Brian,” Angeni assured Spock. “I would never change for a parasite like him.” As shesaid this, Spock calmed down a little.
Angeni was silent for moment, then asked quietly, “Does it look that bad when it is straightened?”
Spock shook his head. “You only look more like yourself with curly hair.”