A Reversion To Type
by Josephine Daskam
A REVERSION TO TYPE
By Josephine Daskam
Copyright, 1903, by Charles Scribner's Sons
She had never felt so tired of it all, it seemed to her. The sun
streamed hot across the backs of the shining seats into her eyes, but
she was too tired to get the window-pole. She watched the incoming
class listlessly, wondering whether it would be worth while to ask one
of them to close the shutter. They chattered and giggled and bustled
in, rattling the chairs about, and begging one another's pardon
vociferously, with that insistent politeness which marks a sharply
defined stage in the social evolution of the young girl. They irritated
her excessivelythese little airs and graces. She opened her book with
a snap, and began to call the roll sharply.
Midway up the room sat a tall, dark girl, not handsome, but
noticeably well dressed. She looked politely at her questioner when
spoken to, but seemed as far in spirit as the distant trees toward
which she directed her attention when not particularly addressed. She
seemed to have a certain personality, a self-possession, a source of
interest other than collegiate; and this held her apart from the others
in the mind of the woman who sat before the desk.
What was that girl thinking of, she wondered, as she called another
name and glanced at the book to gather material for a question. What a
perfect taste had combined that dark, brocaded vest with the dull,
rough cloth of the suitand she dressed her hair so well! She had a
beautiful band of pearls on one finger: was it an engagement-ring? No,
that would be a solitaire.
And all this time she called names from the interminable list, and
mechanically corrected the mistakes of their owners. Her eyes went back
to the girl in the middle row, who turned her head and yawned a little.
They took their education very easily, these maidens.
How she had saved and denied herself, and even consented to the
indebtedness she so hated, to gain that coveted German winter! And how
delightful it had been!
Almost she saw again the dear home of that blessed year: the kindly
housemother; the chubby Mädchen who knitted her a silk purse,
and cried when she left; the father with his beloved 'cello and his
deep, honest voice.
How cunning the little Bertha had been! How pleasant it was to hear
her gay little voice when one came down the shady street!Da ist
sie, ja! she would call to her mother, and then Hermann would come
up to her with his hands outstretched. Had she had a hard day? Was the
lecture good? How brown his beard was, and how deep and faithful his
brown eyes were! And he used to singwhy were there no bass voices in
the States?Kennst du das Land he used to sing, and his mother
cried softly to herself for pleasure. And once she herself had cried a
No, she said to the girl who was reciting, no, it takes the
dative. I cannot seem to impress sufficiently on your minds the
necessity for learning that list thoroughly. You may translate now.
And they translated. How they drawled it over, the beautiful, rich
German. Hermann had begged so, but she had felt differently then. She
had loved her work in anticipation. To marry and settle downshe was
not ready. It would be so good to be independent. And nowBut it was
too late. That was years ago. Hermann must have found some
yellow-braided, blue-eyed Dorothea by thissome Mädchen who
cared not for calculus and Hebrew, but only to be what her mother had
been, wife and house-mother. But this was treason. Our grandmothers had
She looked at the girl in the middle row. What beautiful hair she
had! What an idiot she was to give up four years of her life to this
round of work and play and pretence of living! Oh, to go back to
Germanyto see Bertha and her mother again, and hear the father's
'cello! Hermann had loved her so! He had said, so quietly and yet so
surely: But thou wilt come back, my heart's own. And always I wait
here for thee. Make me not wait long! He had seemed too quiet
thentoo slow and too easily content. She had wanted quicker, busier,
more individual life. And now her heart said, O fool!
Was it too late? Suppose she should go, after all? Suppose she
should go, and all should be as it had been, only a little older, a
little more quiet and peaceful? The very fancy filled her heart with
sudden calm. A love so deep and sure, so broad and sweetcould it not
dignify any woman's life? And she had been thought worthy and had
refused this love! O fool!
Suppose she went and foundher heart beat too quickly, and her face
flushed. She called on the bright girl in the front row.
And what have you learned? she said.
The girl coughed importantly. It is a poem of Goethe's, she
announced in her high, satisfied voice. Kennst du das Land
That will do, said the German assistant. I fear we shall not have
time for it to-day. The hour is up. You may go on with the translation
for to-morrow. And as the class rose with a growing clamor she
realized that though she had been thinking steadily in German, she had
been talking in English. So that was why they had comprehended so well
and answered so readily! And yet she was too glad to be annoyed at the
slip. There were other things: her life was not a German class!
As the girls crowded out, one stopped by the desk. She laid her hand
with the pearl band on the third finger on the teacher's arm. You look
tired, she said. I hope you're not ill?
Ill? said the woman at the desk. I never felt better. I've been
neglecting my classes, I fear, in the study of your green gown. It is
so very pretty.
The girl smiled and colored a little.
I'm glad you like it, she said. I like it, too. Then, with a
sudden feeling of friendship, an odd sense of intimacy, a quick impulse
of common femininity, she added:
I've had some good times in this dress. Wearing it up here makes me
remember them very strangely. It's queer, what a difference it makes
She stopped and looked questioningly at the older woman.
But the German assistant smiled at her. Yes, she said, it is. And
when you have been teaching seven years the difference becomes very
apparent. She gathered up her books, still smiling in a reminiscent
way. And as she went out of the door, she looked back at the glaring,
sunny room as if already it were far behind her, as if already she felt
the house-mother's kiss, and heard the 'cello, and saw Klara's tiny
daughter standing by the door, throwing kisses, calling, Da ist
Lost in the dream, her eyes fixed absently, she stumbled against her
fellow-assistant, who was making for the room she had just left.
I beg your pardonI wasn't looking. Oh, it's you! she murmured
vaguely. Her fellow-assistant had a headache, and forty-five written
papers to correct. She had just heard, too, a cutting criticism of her
work made by the self-appointed faculty critic; the criticism was
cleverly worded, and had just enough truth to fly quickly and hurt her
with the head of her department. So she was not in the best of tempers.
Yes, it's I, she said crossly. If you had knocked these papers an
inch farther, I should have invited you to correct them. If you go
about in that abstracted way much longer, my dear, Miss Selbourne will
inform the world (on the very best authority) that you're in love.
I? What nonsense!
It was a ridiculous thing to say, and she flushed angrily at
herself. It was only a joke, of course.
The other woman laughed shortly.
Dear me! I really believe you are! she exclaimed. The girls were
saying at breakfast that Professor Tredick was ruining himself in
violets yesterdayso it was for you! and she went into the
A chattering crowd of girls closed in behind her. One voice rose
above the rest:
Well, I don't know what you call it, then. He skated with her all
the winter, and at the Dickinson party they sat on one sofa for an hour
and talked steadily!
Oh, nonsense! She skates beautifully, that's all.
She sits on a sofa beautifully, too. A burst of laughter, and the
The German assistant smiled satirically. It was all of a piece. At
least, the younger women were perfectly frank about it: they did not
feel themselves forced to employ sarcasm in their references; it was
not necessary for them to appear to have definitely chosen this life in
preference to any other. Four years was little to lend to such an
experiment. But the older women, who sat on those prim little platforms
year after yeara sudden curiosity possessed her to know how many of
them were really satisfied.
Could it be that they had preferredactually preferredBut she
had, herself, three years ago. She shook her head decidedly. Not for
nine years, not for nine! she murmured, as she caught through the
heavy door a familiar voice raised to emphasize some French phrase.
And yet, somebody must teach them. They could not be born with
foreign idioms and historical dates and mathematical formulae in their
little heads. She herself deplored the modern tendency that sent a
changing drift of young teachers through the colleges, to learn at the
expense of the students a soon relinquished profession. But how
ridiculous the position of the women who prided themselves on the
steadiness and continuity of their service! Surely they must find it an
empty success at times. They must regret.
She was passing through the chapel. Two scrubbing-women were
straightening the chairs, their backs turned to her.
From all I hear, said one, with a chuckle and a sly glance, we'll
be afther gettin' our invitations soon.
An' to what? demanded the other quickly.
Sure, they say it's a weddin'.
Ah, now, hush yer noise, Mary Nolan; 'tis no such thing. I've had
enough o' husbands. I know when I'm doin' well, an' that's as I am!
'Tis strange that the men sh'd think different, now, but they do!
They laughed heartily and long. The German assistant looked at the
broad backs meditatively. Just now they seemed to her more consistent
than any other women in the great building.
She walked quickly across the greening campus. The close-set brick
buildings seemed to press up against her; every window stood for some
crowded, narrow room, filled with books and tea-cups and clothes and
photographshundreds of them, and all alike. In her own room she tried
to reason herself out of this intolerable depression, to realize the
advantages of a quiet life in what was surely the same pleasant,
cultured atmosphere to which she had so eagerly looked forward three
years ago. Her room was large, well furnished, perfectly heated; and if
the condition of her closet would have appeared nothing short of
appalling to a householder, that condition was owing to the hopeless
exigencies of the occasion. With the exception of that whited
sepulchre, all was neat, artistic, eminently habitable. She surveyed it
critically: the Mona Lisa, the large Melrose Abbey, the Burne-Jones
draperies, and the Blessed Damozel that spread a placid if monotonous
culture through the rooms of educated single women. A proper
appreciation of polished wood, the sanitary and aesthetic values of the
open fire, a certain scheme in couch-pillows, all linked it to the
dozen other rooms that occupied the same relative ground-floor corners
in a dozen other houses. Some of them had more books, some ran to
handsome photographs, some afforded fads in old furniture; but it was
only a question of more or less. It looked utterly impersonal to-day;
its very atmosphere was artificial, typical, a pretended
How many years more should she live in itthree, nine, thirteen?
The tide of girls would ebb and flow with every June and September;
eighteen to twenty-two would ring their changes through the terms, and
she could take her choice of the two methods of regarding them: she
could insist on a perennial interest in the separate personalities, and
endure weariness for the sake of an uncertain influence; or she could
mass them frankly as the student body, and confine the connection to
marking their class-room efforts and serving their meat in the
dining-room. The latter was at once more honest and more easy; all but
the most ambitious or the most conscientious came ta it sooner or
The youngest among the assistants, themselves fresh from college,
mingled naturally enough with the students; they danced and skated and
enjoyed their girlish authority. The older women, seasoned to the life,
settled there indefinitely, identified themselves more or less with the
town, amused themselves with their little aristocracy of precedence,
and wove and interwove the complicated, slender strands of college
gossip. But a woman of barely thirty, too old for friendships with
young girls, too young to find her placid recreation in the stereotyped
round of social functions, that seemed so perfectly imitative of the
normal and yet so curiously unsuccessful at bottomwhat was there for
Her eyes were fixed on the hill-slope view that made her room so
desirable. It occurred to her that its changelessness was not
necessarily so attractive a characteristic as the local poets practised
themselves in assuring her.
A light knock at the door recalled to her the utter lack of privacy
that put her at the mercy of laundress, sophomore, and expressman. She
regretted that she had not put up the little sign whose Please do
not disturb was her only means of defence.
Come! she called shortly, and the tall girl in the green dress
stood in the open door. A strange sense of long acquaintance, a vague
feeling of familiarity, surprised the older woman. Her expression
Come in, she said cordially.
Iam I disturbing you? asked the girl doubtfully. She had a pile
of books on her arm; her trim jacket and hat, and something in the way
she held her armful, seemed curiously at variance with her
tam-o'-shantered, golf-caped friends.
I couldn't find out whether you had an office hour, and I didn't
know whether I ought to have sent in my nameit seemed so formal, when
it is only a moment I need to see you
Sit down, said the German assistant pleasantly. What can I do for
I have been talking with Fräulein Müller about my German, and she
says if you are willing to give me an outline for advanced work and an
examination later on, I can go into a higher division in a little
while. Languages are always easy for me, and I could go on much
Oh, certainly. I have thought more than once that you were wasting
your time. The class is too large and too slow. I will make you out an
outline and give it to you after class to-morrow, said the German
assistant promptly. Meanwhile, won't you stay and make me a little
call? I will light the fire and make some tea, if that is an
The invitation is inducement enough, I assure you, smiled the
girl, but I must not stay to-day, I think. If you will let me come
again, when I have no work to bother you with, I should love to.
There was something easily decisive in her manner, something very
different from the other students, who refused such invitations
awkwardly, eager to be pressed, and when finally assured of a sincere
welcome, prolonged their calls and talked about themselves into the
uncounted hours. Evidently she would not stay this time; evidently she
would like to come again.
As the door closed behind her the German assistant dropped her
cordial smile, and sank back listlessly in her chair.
After all, she's only a girl! she murmured. For almost an hour she
sat looking fixedly at the unlit logs, hardly conscious of the wasted
time. Much might have gone into that hour. There was tea for her at one
of the college housesthe hostess had a day, and went so far as to
aspire to the exclusive serving of a certain kind of tinned fancy
biscuit every Fridayif she wanted to drop in. This hostess invited
favored students to meet the faculty and townspeople on these
occasions, and the two latter classes were expected to effect a social
fusion with the formerwhich linked it, to some minds, a little too
obviously with professional duties.
She might call on the head of her department, who was suffering from
some slight indisposition, and receive minute advice as to the conduct
of her classes, mingled with general criticism of various colleagues
and their methods. She might make a number of calls; but if there is
one situation in which the futility of these social mockeries becomes
most thoroughly obvious, it is the situation presented by an attempt to
imitate the conventional society life in a woman's college. And
yetshe had gone over the whole question so oftenwhat a desert of
awkwardness and learned provincialism such a college would be without
the attempt! How often she had cordially agreed to the statement that
it was precisely because of its insistence upon this connection with
the forms and relations of normal life that her college was so
successfully free from the tomboyishness or the priggishness or the
gaucherie of some of the others! And yet its very success came from
begging the question, after all.
She shook her head impatiently. A strong odor of boiling chocolate
crept through the transom. Somebody began to practise a monotonous
accompaniment on the guitar. Over her head a series of startling bumps
and jarring falls suggested a troupe of baby elephants practising for
their first appearance in public. The German assistant set her teeth.
Before I die, she announced to her image in the glass, I propose
to inquire flatly of Miss Burgess if she does pile her furniture
in a heap and slide down it on her toboggan! There is no other logical
explanation of that horrible disturbance.
The face in the glass caught her attention. It looked sallow, with
lines under the eyes. The hair rolled back a little too severely for
the prevailing mode, and she recalled her late visitor's effectively
adjusted side-combs, her soft, dark waves.
They have time for it, evidently, she mused, and after all it is
certainly more important than modal auxiliaries!
And for half an hour she twisted and looped and coiled, between the
chiffonnier and a hand-glass, fairly flushing with pleasure at the
Now, she said, looking cheerfully at a pile of written papers,
I'll take a walk, I thinka real walk. And till dinner-time she
tramped some of the old roads of her college daysmore girlish than
those days had found her, lighter-footed, she thought, than before.
The flush was still in her cheeks as she served her hungry tableful,
and she could not fail to catch the meaning of their frank stares.
Pausing in the parlor door to answer a question, she overheard a bit of
Doesn't she look well with her hair low? Quite stunning, I think.
Yes, indeed. If only she wouldn't dress so old! It makes her look
older than she is. That red waist she wears in the evening is awfully
Yes, I hate her in dark things.
The regret that she had not found time to put on the red waist was
so instant and keen that she laughed at herself when alone in her room.
She moved vaguely about, aimlessly changing the position of the
furniture. How absurd! To do one's hair differently, and take a long
walk, and feel as if an old life were somehow far behind one!
Later she found herself before her desk, hunting for her foreign
letter-paper, and once started, her pen flew. There were long
meditative lapses, followed by nervous haste, as if to make up the lost
time; and just before the ten-o'clock bell she slipped out to mail a
fat brown-stamped envelope. The night-watchman chuckled as he watched
the head shrouded in the golf-cape hood bend a moment over the little
Maybe it's one o' the maids, maybe it's one o' the teachers, maybe
it's one o' the girls, he confided to his lantern; they're all alike,
come to that! An' a good thing, too!
In the morning the German assistant dismissed her last class early
and took train for Springfield. On the way to the station a deferential
clerk from the bookshop waylaid her.
One moment, please. Those books you spoke of. Mr. Hartwell's
library is up at auction and we're sending a man to buy to-day. If you
could get the whole set for twenty-five dollars
She smiled and shook her head. I've changed my mind, thank youI
can't afford it. Yes, I suppose it is a bargain, but books are such a
trouble to carry about, you know. No, I don't think of anything else.
What freedom, what a strange baseless exhilaration! Supposesuppose
it was all a mistake, and she should wake back to the old stubborn,
perfunctory reality! Perhaps it was better, sanerthat quiet
taken-for-granted existence. Perhaps she regrettedbut even with the
half-fear at her heart she laughed at that. If wake she must, she loved
the dream. How she trusted that man! Always I will waitand he
would. But seven years! She threw the thought behind her.
The next days passed in a swift, confused flight. She knew they were
all discussing her, wondering at her changed face, her fresh, becoming
clothes; they decided that she had had money left her.
Some of my girls saw you shopping in Springfield last
Saturdaythey say you got some lovely waists, said her
fellow-assistant tentatively. Was this one? It's very sweet. You ought
to wear red a great deal, you look so well in it. Did you know
Professor Riggs spoke of your hat with wild enthusiasm to Mrs. Austin
Sunday? He said it was wonderful what a difference a stylish hat made.
Not that he meant, of courseWell, it's lovely to be able to get what
you want. Goodness knows, I wish I could.
The other laughed. Oh, it's perfectly easy if you really want to,
she said, it all depends on what you want, you know.
For the first week she moved in a kind of exaltation. It was partly
that her glass showed her a different woman: soft-eyed, with cheeks
tinted from the long, restless walks through the spring that was coming
on with every warm, greening day. The excitement of the letter hung
over her. She pictured her announcement, Fräulein Müller's amazed
'Butbut I do not understand! You are not well?'
'Perfectly, thank you.'
'But I am perfectly satisfied: I do not wish to change. You are not
'Only of teaching, Fräulein.'
'But the instructorshipI was going to recommenddo not be
alarmed; you shall have it surely!'
'You are very kind, but I have taught long enough.'
'Then you do not find another position? Are you to be'
Always here her heart sank. Was she? What real basis had all this
sweet, disturbing dream? To write so to a man after seven years! It was
not decent. She grew satiric. How embarrassing for him to read such a
letter in the bosom of an affectionate, flaxen-haired family! At least,
she would never know how he really felt, thank Heaven. And what was
left for her then? To her own mind she had burned her bridges already.
She was as far from this place in fancy as if the miles stretched
veritably between them. And yet she knew no other life. She knew no
other men. He was the only one. In a flash of shame it came over her
that a woman with more experience would never have written such a
letter. Everybody knew that men forget, change, easily replace first
loves. Nobody but such a cloistered, academic spinster as she would
have trusted a seven years' promise. This was another result of such
lives as they ledsuch helpless, provincial women. Her resentment grew
against the place. It had made her a fool.
It was Sunday afternoon, and she had omitted, in deference to the
day, the short skirt and walking-hat of her weekday stroll. Sunk in
accusing shame, her cheeks flaming under her wide, dark hat, her quick
step more sweeping than she knew, her eyes on the ground, she just
escaped collision with a suddenly looming masculine figure. A hasty
apology, a startled glance of appeal, a quick breath that parted her
lips, and she was past the stranger. But not before she had caught in
his eyes a look that quickened her heart, that soothed her angry
humility. The sudden sincere admiration, the involuntary tribute to her
charm, was new to her, but the instinct of countless generations made
it as plain and as much her prerogative as if she had been the most
successful débutante. She was not, then, an object of pity, to be
treasured for the sake of the old days; other men, toothe impulse
outstripped thought, but she caught up with it.
How dreadful! she murmured, with a consciousness of undreamed
depths in herself. Of course he is the only onethe only one! and
across the water she begged his forgiveness.
But through all her agony of doubt in the days that followed, one
shame was miraculously removed, one hope sang faintly beneath: she,
too, had her power! A glance in the street had called her from one army
of her sisters to the other, and the difference was inestimable.
Her classes stared at her with naïve admiration. The girls in the
house begged for her as a chaperon to Amherst entertainments, and
sulked when a report that the young hosts found her too attractive to
enable strangers to distinguish readily between her and her charges
rendered another selection advisable. The fact that her interest in
them was fitful, sometimes making her merry and intimate, sometimes
relegating them to a connection purely professional, only left her more
interesting to them; and boxes of flowers, respectful solicitations to
spreads, and tempting invitations to long drives through the
lengthening afternoons began to elect her to an obvious popularity.
Once it would have meant much to her; she marvelled now at the little
shade of jealousy with which her colleagues assured her of it. How long
must she wait? When would life be real again?
She seemed to herself to move in a dream that heightened and
strained quicker as it neared an inevitable shock of wakingto what?
Even at the best, to what? Even supposing thatshe put it boldly, as
if it had been another womanshe should marry the man who had asked
her seven years ago, what was there in the very obvious future thus
assured her that could match the hopes her heart held out? How could it
be at once the golden harbor, the peaceful end of hurried, empty years,
and the delicious, shifting unrest that made a tumult of her days and
nights? Yet something told her that it was; something repeated
insistently, Always I will wait.... He would keep faith, that grave,
But every day, as she moved with tightened lips to the table where
the mail lay spread, coloring at a foreign stamp, paling with the
disappointment, her hope grew fainter. He dared not write and tell her.
It was over. Violet shadows darkened her eyes; a feverish flush made
her, as it grew and faded at the slightest warning, more girlish than
But the young life about her seemed only to mock her own late
weakened impulse. It was not the same. She was playing heavy stakes:
they hardly realized the game. All but one, they irritated her. This
one, since her first short call, had come and come again. No
explanations, no confidences, had passed between them; their sympathy,
deep-rooted, expressed itself perfectly in the ordinary conventional
tone of two reserved if congenial natures. The girl did not discuss
herself, the woman dared not. They talked of books, music, travel;
never, as if by tacit agreement, of any of the countless possible
personalities in a place so given to personal discussion.
She could not have told how she knew that the girl had come to
college to please a mother whose great regret was to have missed such
training, nor did she remember when her incurious friend had learned
her tense determination of flight; she could have sworn that she had
never spoken of it. Sometimes, so perfectly did they appear to
understand each other beneath an indifferent conversation, it seemed to
her that the words must be the merest symbols, and that the girl who
always caught her lightest shade of meaning knew to exactness her
alternate hope and fear, the rudderless tossing toward and from her
They sat by an open window, breathing in the moist air from the
fresh, upturned earth. The gardeners were working over the sprouting
beds; the sun came in warm and sweet.
Three weeks ago it was almost cold at this time, said the girl.
In the springtime I give up going home, and love the place. But two
years moretwo years!
Do you really mind it so much?
I think what I mind the most is that I don't like it more, said
the girl slowly. Mamma wanted it so. She really loved study. I don't,
but if I didI should love it more than this. This would seem so
childish. And if I just wanted a good time, why, then this would seem
such a lot of trouble. All the good things here seemseem remedies!
The older woman laughed nervously. Three weeksthree weeks and no
You will be making epigrams, my dear, if you don't take care, she
said lightly. But you're going to finish just the same? The girls like
you, your work is good; you ought to stay.
The girl flashed a look of surprise at her. It was her only hint of
You advise me to? she asked quietly.
I think it would be a pity to disappoint your mother, with a light
hand on her shoulder. You are so youngfour years is very, little. Of
course you could do the work in half the time, but you admit that you
are not an ardent student. If nobody came here but the girls that
really needed to, we shouldn't have the reputation that we have. The
girls to whom this place means the last word in learning and the last
grace of social life are estimable young women, but not so pleasant to
meet as you.
Three weeksbut he had waited seven years!
I am very childish, said the girl. Of course I will stay. And
some of it I like very much. It's only that mamma doesn't understand.
She overestimates it so. Somehow, the more complete it is, the more
like everything else, the more you have to find fault with on all
sides. I'd rather have come when mamma was a girl.
I see. I have thought that, too.
Ah, fool, give up your senseless hope! You had your chanceyou lost
it. Fate cannot stop and wait while you grow wise.
When that shadow covers the hill, I will give it up forever. Then I
will write to Henry's wife and ask her to let me come and help take
care of the children. She will like it, and I can get tutoring if I
want it. I will make the children love me, and there will be a place
where I shall be wanted and can help, she thought.
The shadow slipped lower. The fresh turf steeped in the last rays,
the birds sang, the warming earth seemed to have touched the very core
of spring. Her hopes had answered the eager years, but her miracle was
too wonderful to be.
A light knock at the door, and a maid came toward her, tray in hand.
She lifted the card carelesslyher heart dropped a moment and beat in
hard, slow throbs. Her eyes filled with tears; her cheeks were hot and
I will be there in a moment. How deep her voice sounded!
The girl slipped by her.
I was going anyway, she said softly. Good-by! Don't touch your
hairit's just right.
She did not wait for an answer, but went out. As she passed by the
little reception-room a tall, eager man made toward her with
outstretched hands. Her voice trembled as she laughed.
No, noI'm not the one, she murmured, but sheshe's coming!