* * *
Elphaba hated her roommate. Looking at Galinda felt like looking at herself in a trick mirror. Galinda being everything she was not was haunting. She even hated to watch Galinda drink a glass of water, so she'd left dinner early, to sit alone in their room.
Galinda brought her tea, and asked, "Elphie, what is the nature of evil?"
"Evil is knowing that you'll have to take what you want, because no one would give it to you freely," Elphaba said, glaring at Galinda for asking.
"I don't understand," said Galinda, who had brought her tea, and wanted to brush her hair.
"We're at Shiz. No one here needs to be evil. We're--"
"Smarter than that?"
"Yes. Aren't we?"
Elphaba closed her eyes, and said, "Then I guess people are evil just because they are."
Galinda sat next to Elphaba on the bed and slid her arms around Elphaba's waist. So surrounded by Galinda's perfume, enfolded in her warmth, Elphaba didn't have the nerve to protest Galinda's chanting in her ear.
"Are not, are not, are not."
Elphaba looked down at her green hands, half-covered by Galinda's pale ones. "Whatever you say."
Galinda said, "Then I'll say that evil is not understanding. Like when I met you, and you were all green."
"I'm still green."
"But I understand." Galinda's mouth was still against her ear. She said, "I am the arbiter of good."
So then, Elphaba decided, she must the opposite.
* * *
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