The Last Normal Day
"Hey Elle! Wait up!!", shouted Phillip, running across the hall towards Eleanor.
Whipping her head around she put up a fake smile, she knew what he wanted to ask, it was the same old routine every time. She would have to give him credit for never giving up.
"So, Elle, there's a party tonight at my place in honour of us finishing our finals. Will I see you there?"He said slightly out of breath, swinging on the balls of his feet.
Grimacing, Eleanor replied, "Oh I would but I've got plans. I'm sorry."
"Oh come on!! We both know your plan is to stay in and either watch a movie or turn on music and read."
Eleanor couldn't understand what was wrong with wanting to relax after a hectic week. Many liked to party to let loose while some special people like her loved to stay in and enjoy solitude.
She didn't know what to say so she simply shrugged in reply.
"Elle, how many more times are you gonna break the poor guys' heart. Cut him some slack." , Shouted one of Phillip's friends.
To be honest Phillip wasn't a bad looking guy per say. He totally had the guy next door vibe down with his sandy blonde hair, lean figure, blue eyes and a few freckles scattered across his nose, though he might be naive.
That was the reason she didn't want to lead him on. He was a good person by all means but he didn't know how to take a hint and she liked her personal space.
"Please, it's probably the last time we're gonna be together. At least once give me the honour of calling you my date.", Argued Phillip, pouting.
"Fine, but I won't stay for long. Text me the details, I'll be there.",she relented. "Bye"
Phillip looked at her with a shy smile, rubbing the back of his neck. All of his friends were hooting in the background, they looked happier than him. That's what true friendship is.
Eleanor couldn't help the smile that graced her lips with the scene unfolding in front of her.
Leaving them to their shenanigans, she turned and left.
Eleanor could finally relax after a whole month of rigorous studying. She was ready to unwind for the summer break. She had just completed her pre-med from Berkley. Both of her parents were doctors and she had always been fascinated with everything relating to the human body. It didn't really help that most of their dinner time conversations consisted of hospital talk which could more often than not become a little depressing.
Currently Eleanor was on the way to her favourite bookstore. She had come across this quaint little store when she had gone exploring after a possibly bad quiz. It didn't account too much in her final score, but she knew, had she not partying and out clubbing and had stayed and studied for it she would have done well. That was her slap to reality. She finally understood that it wasn't like high school where without much effort she would ace her exams.
After that she slowly withdrew from her new group of friends and worked hard to make up for the lost time. In the end, it paid off. She was now considered to be one of the top ten students in her course. She was proud of what she had accomplished. Now, her final result would determine how much she had improved.
Reaching the store she could feel her nerves diminishing. The owners of the store had become like a second family to her. Within books was where she found solace.
She pushed open the door to the store and was greeted with the smell of books and coffee.
"Ellie!! How have you been? It's been awhile.", Greeted Sherry, the owner of the shop. Sherry was a sweet woman in her sixties. She had only opened the store after retiring. She had been an English teacher in the nearby high school.
"I've been good Sherry, just busy with exams. It was a headache and now I'm here for some relaxation." Replied Eleanor, moving in for a hug.
"I don't have much time today. I got a party to attend so I'll just take the books I ordered if they're here?"
" You know honey, it's been a long time since I was a college student."
"Yeah, almost 40 years.", Teased Eleanor.
"Oh hush, let me speak, so as I was saying, when I was in college back in the day college parties used to be all the rager. Why do you sound like you would rather contract a stomach bug than go to this party?", Asked Sherry.
"You know why"
"Create so many good memories that the bad ones seem as if they never existed. Go to the party, have fun and forget the bad experience. Come catch me up on what's going on in your life. That's what they say, right?"
The conniving little woman made Eleanor stay for an hour. Frankly, she was only blaming the woman when it wasn't entirely her fault. Now, she didn't have enough time to take a nap and catch on some shut eye.
She hadn't showered for the past two days and deodorant could only work for so long. The first thing on her to-do list is to take a longass shower and then worry about other things.
As she was walking, she bumped into a man or woman she didn't know. What she did know was that they were weird as hell. Dressed in all black with a mask on.
She got a weird feeling from the encounter. The whole way to her dorm room, she couldn't decipher. Deciding to worry about it later, she pushed open the door to her room.
Eleanore looked one last time in the mirror before leaving. She was wearing a black two piece, a black crop top and high waisted black pants. It was the perfect mix of classy yet casual. She had gone easy on the make-up (and it wasn't because she was just naturally bad at it),her brown hair was curled into beach waves.
Taking a deep breath she locked the door and was on her way.
The music was so loud that it could be heard from the first floor though the party was taking place on the third floor. She already felt wary of this whole event. But she had promised and had to follow through.
On the third you could see students spilling around. All out for a night of fun. Almost everyone with a solo red cup in their hands. Laughing, shouting, playing and just letting loose after finals.
Avoiding the crazy drunks to the best of her ability she set out in search of Phillip. She swore she would kill him if she found him already inebriated after he had been the one to force her to come.
"Oh hello, Elea-Elsa?", Slurred Sophie. "It's been awhile,huh? You jusst ditched us bitch"
Sophie was one of her previous party crazy friends. She knew after drinking with her for a long time that Soph was an angry drunk. She tried to find an excuse to ditch her but unfortunately was a bit slow.
"Yeah, you ditched us. Do you think your shit smells better than ours or some shit?", her already drunk high volume rising with every sentence.
Let the excuses be damned, Eleanor turned around to leave. She wasn't here for this shit show.
"Whoa! Look at Miss my shit is better than yours going around thinking she owns the place.", Sophie continued, holding her arm so as to stop her from leaving.
"Soph, you're drunk. Let go of my hand."
"What you gon do bitch?"
Before Eleanore could reply, Phillip jumped between them, breaking Sophie's hold on her arm.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Everything good here? We gonna have a problem Soph?"Said Phillip, well aware of Sophie being an angry drunk.
"Phil, please just make sure I don't have to see her again. Please?"Requested Eleanor.
Maybe she wasn't acting the best towards Phillip who only just wanted to help her and Sophie who once used to be her friend. In her defense, she was just annoyed. She was here at a party she initially never wanted to come to and then having to face drama was just the cherry on the top.
Plus, she never said she was perfect.
"So, you came. And you look…. beautiful.", Said Phil with a charming smile on his face, upon his return.
"Thanks. So, where can I get a drink?"
"The bar's set up in the kitchen. I'll drink, since you're my date."
"Sure, lead the way.", Said Eleanor, letting Phillip pass her by. A genuine smile on her face for the first time this night.
She spent the rest of the night with Phillip and his friends. She was buzzed enough to flirt and laugh at all his jokes, maybe share a few kisses here and there but not enough to do anything else.
Around three at night she finally decided that it was time with the party winding down. She had a flush to her face, that only comes with drinking. She had a smile on her face that she couldn't wipe even if she wanted to.
In all her time trying to avoid parties she had forgotten why she had loved them in the first place.
She believed that it was finally time for her to let her hair down. If only she knew that it would be the last normal day for a long time to come. It was time for her to put her hair in a ponytail rather than down.