As usual, I’m the first one there. I make it up four flights of stairs to the fourth floor where I come on to a large square landing, with two doors to my left and one door to my right. The single door on the right reads ‘403’ – my apartment. I take a deep breath and open the door with my newly issued keys and drag my luggage into a long narrow hallway, carpeted dark grey. The walls are tall and white and the smell of fresh paint fills my nostrils. As I walk further along there are two doors either side of me exactly opposite each other, 403A and 403B. My key reads ‘403A’. I step inside to find a decent sized room with a large window and grey curtains at the far side. A desk sits in front of the window. Next to the desk is a double bed and behind the door is a spacious wardrobe with a mirror. I like the room, it seems quite homely and efficient. I drop my luggage inside and continue to explore the rest of my new apartment. Next to 403B is another door which leads to a newly refurbished bathroom. At the end of the thin hallway is an arch which leads into an open plan lounge and kitchen area, all fresh with the same white walls following through. The kitchen is a decent size, with polyvinyl flooring and a rectangular breakfast bar that splits the kitchen from the lounge. Four stools are tucked underneath it. The lounge is cozy, with a hefty sofa, a chair and a low coffee table. There’s plenty of space for extras like a TV and I can’t wait to start making this apartment my home. But the best part is what lies beyond the lounge covered by grey curtains; as I draw them back, the evening sunshine flushes through the glass door and ignites the lounge. I squint and feel a smile taking over my face. I open the doors and walk out onto a small balcony with a rail that comes up to my belly button. The balcony itself is small but the view beyond is grand. Below lie the university gardens, carefully decorated with soothing water fountains, colorful flowers, freshly cut green grass, cute benches and carved footpaths. Beyond that, in the distance is a spectacular view of the city’s high rise. The whole sight is magical and I take my time to admire it for a while letting the cool breeze brush my hair back. I’m enjoying the beginning of my new life. The moment is interrupted by the sound of the front door opening.
“Oh, hey!” A tall, slim girl with blonde hair and bright, green eyes walks in, her luggage toppling over as she gasps for breath. “They really need a lift up here,” she laughs still gasping.
I empathize with her exhaustion and laugh with her. She’s really pretty and looks girly, but who am I to judge.
“I’m Jennifer Kostigan,” she holds out her hand.
“Kyara Averoni,” I say, greeting her with a handshake.
“So we’re room-mates? Flat-mates really, I mean we don’t share a room, LOL,” she says looking up and around the hallway.
From what I gather, Jennifer has her own type of humor, which surprisingly, I actually find funny. She walks further into the apartment, making conversation in a bubbly and confident tone. Not like me, I’m shy with new people, it takes me a while to trust them. Plus, she is beautiful and tall which makes me feel slightly intimidated because I know I’m not the obvious kind of pretty, but I try to let go of these stupid judgmental thoughts. It is weird how they just pop into my head when I don’t actually want to be judgmental. Human nature is hard to understand.
“Wow, this is nice!” Jennifer says.
“Yep, it is, and it’s a lot bigger than I expected,” my confidence begins to settle in after I clear my thoughts and since I got here first, I have about ten minutes more knowledge than she has.
Jennifer unlocks and kicks her room door, shoving her luggage inside and following it in.
“Ooo, it’s nice! Wait. Is that all of my wardrobe? It’s small! Is yours the same?” she asks.
I take a look around, “Err, yeah, pretty much, although I think my wardrobe is a little bigger because the bathroom is on your side. Here, take a look,” I say, leading her into my room.
“Oh man, see this is nice, I mean it is the same but that wardrobe space is bigger. Oh well.” She doesn’t seem to mind too much, but I don’t need all the space and I definitely don’t have as much luggage as she does.
“Do you want to swap?” I ask.
“Oh no no no, that’s okay, mine’s pretty much the same anyway,” she politely backs away.
“Honestly Jennifer, it’s totally okay with me, plus you’ve got more stuff, you’ll have more space to put all…that,” I point at her pile of bags.
She looks at them as they topple over and then looks back at me, “Are you sure?”
“One hundred percent.”
We do a quick swap of keys and bags and then I give Jennifer a quick tour of the apartment.
A few moments later we hear chattering on the landing, so we head out to meet our neighbors. A tall, dark skinned, young man with a short afro walks out of the apartment opposite ours followed by another young man, light skinned with brown hair. Both of them look decent, confident and are actually quite handsome, again I get a little nervous.
“Hi!” says the first one, holding out his hand walking closer until we meet in the middle.
Jennifer shakes his hand, “Hey! I’m Jennifer, this is Ky…ara?”
“Yes, Kyara,” I confirm shaking both their hands.
“Jennifer and Kyara, I’m Marcus Marley,” says the first guy in a strong deep voice.
“And I’m Brian Walker, nice to meet you, although I’m just telling you now, I’m not very good with names,” says the second guy.
“Yeah me neither,” Marcus thinks of something quickly, “Can we just call you Jen and… Kye?”
“Sure,” I reply for both of us. I like it, nobody has ever given me a nickname and it’s not like it’s hard to derive one from my name. “So, what will you be studying?”
“Oh, actually this is our second year, I study medicine,” Marcus says.
“Ooo Doctor Marcus, hey,” Jen nudges him cheekily. I’m also impressed and I’m really happy for him, I know how hard it is to get into Medicine.
“Ah, yeah, I hope so,” he smiles shyly, “And you guys?
“I’ll be doing physics,” I say.
“English literature,” says Jen.
“Really!” Brian steps forward, “I do lit too, Jen, I’m on the master’s course, so I’ll graduate at the same time as you.”
“Nice! How’s first year?” asks Jen.
“Easy,” says Brian, “But if you need any help, I’ll be right across the hall,” he gestures.
An excited voice yells from below, “Well, well, well, there are girls on my floor!” A cute, muscular guy with his black hair tied up in a messy man bun stands a few stairs down. His tanned face glows in a cheeky smile. His facial hair is dark black and scruffy. He joins us on the landing. “What’s up guys, I’m Rio Fernandez,” he shakes everyone’s hands and tells us he will be studying mechanical engineering.
Jennifer and I introduce ourselves as Kye and Jen. This is going to stick and stay with us throughout our university lives now. Rio is living in the apartment opposite ours and next to Brian and Marcus’. We’re later joined by Dequan Lee or Deq as we decided to call him and Lia Davis. Deq is Rio’s flat-mate and studies software and computing, his Asian features hide behind his glasses, he’s thin with a clearly toned physique and looks rich, but sweet, but nerdy all at the same time. Lia is a home student studying Law, she’s also pretty with brown hair and is a tiny bit shorter than me. Both are also in their first year and had met today on campus. I’ve already made six friends, which is quite a lot for me. They all seem good fun, genuine and different in their ways. I wonder how things will pan out. Usually people make better friends with their course mates but we shall see.