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Chapter 11
show-and-tel l "This is Yale in the baby blanket I got her at Hermes. And this is her and Kitty Minky watching Breakfast at Tiffany's with me in the rocking chair. See, she even has on kitten socks with tiny ears and whiskers!" Friday senior homeroom was the sacred half hour during which the Constance Billard seniors sat on the floor in the senior lounge—a tiny, empty fifth-floor classroom—drinking cappuccinos, trading gossip, and exchanging personal opinions about their new clothing purchases. This Friday was Blair's first day back at school since The Baby, so the half hour was given over to show-and-tell. "And here she is sleeping in her little Moses basket." "Aw," thirty girls chorused together. "And where did she get that fantastic silver cow-jumping-over-the-moon mobile?" Laura Salmon demanded. "It's from Tiffany. It was a gift." From Nate, Serena added silently from where she sat on the outer edge of the group. Nate had even called her from Tiffany so she could help him pick something out. "The basket she's sleeping in is so precious," added Isabel Coates. "I love the way the pink ribbon is woven into the handles." Thanks, Serena thought to herself. She'd ordered tin basket from a baby boutique in southern France and had it flown over especially. "It was hand woven by Alsatian monks from the branches of willow trees," Serena blurted out. "It's supposed to stay in the family and become an heirloom." Meaning that it was a gift to Blair, too. Blair looked up from her digital camera. She and Serena hadn't spoken since their unfortunate college-acceptance-letter opening party, and it was pretty obvious that the generous baby gifts Serena and Nate had sent to her mom were meant as peace offerings. But Blair had never been one to forgive and forget easily. The first bell rang and the tightly packed group of girls moaned and began to dissipate, collecting their books and pens and gum and hairbrushes and whatever else they'd need to make it through the day, while still hanging around to listen to Serena and Blair face off. Serena stayed where she was, hugging her knees and watching Blair rearrange her school stuff in her too-small-for-hooks baby blue Fendi backpack. "She's beautiful," Serena told Blair earnestly. Blair allowed her a smug half-smile. Yes, Yale was beautiful. "How'd last weekend go?" she demanded. "Where do you think you want to go?" It was a trick question. If Serena said Yale, Blair would shoot fire out of her eyeballs and burn her to the ground. If she said another school, she'd be lying, since she still hadn't made up her mind. But Yale was closest to the city, and it had Lars and the Whiffenpoofs, and that uptight New Englandness that reminded her of home. Plus, how much fun would it be if she and Nate and Blair were friends again and all went there together? She scooted her butt across the plush red carpet towards I (lair and began to explain. "Actually I fell in love. With all of them. Every school." She blushed as she tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "I fell in love with my tour guides. They were all boys and I hey were so— Blair held up her hand and rolled her eyes. Did anyone or anything ever change? "I don't want to know." Actually, she did, but she knew Serena would eventually tell her anyway. "And what about you?" Serena asked curiously. "How'd it go at Georgetown?" Blair rolled her eyes again and touched her hair selfconsciously. "You don't want to know." Serena shrugged her shoulders. "It doesn't matter. You're going to get into Yale anyway," she stated confidently. The second bell rang but the other girls dawdled, watching Serena and Blair out of the corners of their eyes as they pretended to drink out of empty cappuccino cups. "I heard Serena got a huge modeling contract for next year so she's going to give Blair her spot at Yale. Blair just has to pretend to be her," Kati Farkas whispered to Isabel Coates. Yale. Blair just has to pretend to be her," Kati Farkas whispered to Isabel Coates. "I heard she and Blair are going to take their babies to Yale with them and start a lesbos-with-babies support group," Isabel hissed back. "Oh my God. I totally saw Serena at my mom's gyno yesterday," Laura Salmon volunteered. "I'm waiting for my mom, and then I hear Serena telling him how she'd gotten all these diseases from the guys she slept with this weekend. Ew!" "Wait, I thought they were fighting," Kati pointed out. "Look, they're hugging." Each girl turned to gape over her shoulder as Serena and Blair took hold of each other. "Nate's been calling, like, ten times a day every day to ask about you," Serena murmured as she pressed her cheek against Blair's. Blair bit her lower lip. "He sent Yale some really cute stuff." "You know he loves you," Serena said, even though she didn't need to. "And we're all so much happier when we're not fighting." "Yeah," Blair admitted. But Nate was going to have in prove it to her on his own. Not that she'd be that hard to win over. glinda the good witch and her munchkin helper "Can I sit here?" Elise asked Jenny at lunchtime on Friday. "I don't know why you'd want to," Jenny grumbled. Ever since her ghastly picture had appeared in that magazine, she'd been creeping around with her head down, avoiding public places at all costs. Just being in school at all was excruciating. But her father had forced her to go, and now she was parked at her usual beside-the-mirror table, glaring at her reflection. "I brought you an ice cream sandwich." Elise sat down across from her and pushed the ice cream toward Jenny. Jenny pushed it away. She was on a food strike. "I'm not hungry. Actually, I was about to leave," she added grouchily. So Elise was making an effort to be friends again? Ho............
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