Willem-Jan had already been slumped on the sofa for half an hour. On the telly Matthijs van Nieuwkerk was rabbiting on about the hype of the day, but mentally he had already zapped on to another topic. Namely the new girl who had been living in the attic for three weeks now, but whom he had only seen once since she moved in.
'A great gal. A real gem.' Derk was mildly annoyed.
'What do you mean, man? Vera is a very nice girl. She is probably busy with a project or something.'
'Bullshit, she is never here. I have never seen her in the living room.'
'Oh, so, at last you are sitting on the soda full time. Great stuff, boy.' Willem-Jan ignored this sneer, switched off the TV and walked over to the beer fridge.
'I am telling you, she is another ghost in the attic, just like Berend. I hoped that at last we would have a more sociable housemate.'
Derk shrugged and turned up the radio. End of conversation, was the message. While Willem-Jan was taking his pizza out of its packaging, the kitchen slowly filled up. Meanwhile, the front door opened and someone came clattering up the stairs. Just as Willem-Jan wanted to go and have a look, a head emerged.
'Look,' he growled. 'There is our new girl.' All eyes turned to the staircase. She is cute, thought Willem-Jan, although the second-years get younger looking every year. For a moment he thought she was blushing from all the attention but it seemed she was actually flushed.
'So what have you been up to?' asked Derk in astonishment.
'A drink at the Vlaamsche Reus,' Vera mumbled, shedding her snow-covered jacket as she staggered into the room and sank onto the sofa, causing her sweater to ride up.
'Well, looks like you had one Tripel too many,' said Willem-Jan, his gaze alighting on the expanse of exposed midriff. Vera closed her eyes with a sigh. 'Everything is spinning around,' she groaned. By now, Willem-Jan had butterflies in his stomach. Suddenly Vera jumped up and ran to the loo. As the Belgian beer was emptied into the pot, the assembled company burst out laughing.
'What do you mean, a ghost in the attic?' said Derk, grinning at Willem-Jan. 'She is totally your type.'