At nine in the evening, Guy and Sally's place in College Terrace was already crowded.
Guy was one of François's classmates in the department.
Unlike most students he was already married, which, even though he was still in his twenties, gave him the clout of an elder.
He and his wife had organized a party to celebrate the master diplomas.
Guy: Hello François. Margaret didn't come with you?
François: She had some stuff to finish. She'll come later, she told me, if she can make it.
A lot of members of the department were there. François saw Vicky, Gaby, some professors and many other people. Joe and Betty were there too, as well as Bob who knew everybody.
Joe, a glass of punch in his hand, seemed already sloshed.
Joe: Hey, François, do you know the difference between California and a bowl of cereal?
F.: Tell me.
J.: There is none: once you remove the fruit and the nuts, you're left with the flakes! And he roared with laughter. François smiled.
F.: Excuse me, I need some booze.
He elbowed his way to the buffet, followed by Joe.
J.: The drinks are for a children's afternoon party. If you need to spike yours up, I've got this, he added, pulling out of his pocket a flask of spirit.
Vicky, with her round smiling face and curly hair making her look like a daisy, came to François. She was one of the smart students in the dept.
V.: Nice to see you! I saw Brad the other day. I'll stay for the doctorate. I heard you too.
The music was Billy Swan's « I can help ».
F.: Will you dance?
They danced a frenzied rock and roll. The crowd even made room to watch them.
During the evening, François talked to many people and danced a lot.
Joe, by now totaled, was asking someone: do you know the difference between... Betty apparently had gone home.
Eventually François saw Margaret in great conversation with Bob.
F.: Hello, you finally made it!
M.: You dance well...
F.: Not as well as you.
M.: I'm more classical.
F.: I have been accepted in the doctorate program starting in September!
M.: That's great.
F.: Before that, during the Summer, I'll go and work in Paris. But I'll be back at the end of August.
M.: I won't be there. I've accepted a job as a model in an agency in New York.