A few weeks earlier…
“FRED!” I bellowed, running after my pathetic excuse of a brother down the stairs. “GIVE IT BACK OR I WILL STRANGLE YOU!”
“I like to see you try!” He laughed as he continued running. It was more than five minutes that I was chasing after him to get back my camera, which had been stolen by that little jerk. After more and more chasing around the entire house, Fred finally reached the parlor and came to a stop because he had reached the wall and had no other place to escape from.
“Dead end... bro. You’re so... doomed.” I smirked and placed my hands on my knees, panting. “Hand it over.” I raised my hand and waited.
“Don’t come closer,” said Fred warningly with a worried look on his face. “Or you will regret it.”
“Ooh, I’m scared; I wonder what you’re going to do!” I said sarcastically and walked toward him in a dangerously slow pace, but for an unknown reason he merely smirked widely. And that was the moment I finally realized that just like he had said, he was going to make me regret it.
Just as I was about to take another step closer toward his direction, his face’s expression suddenly changed to a scared one and yelled, “OW! MOM, MOM! REA IS HITTING ME! OW! MOM!”
“REA!” I closed my eyes as my mother’s voice came from the kitchen. “How many times did I tell you, do not harm your little brother?” She said with her British accent and so with her hands on her hips, she entered the hall.
“Mom,” I said, turning around to face her. “He’s got nine years old. He’s not little anymore!” I glanced sideways at Fred, who was leaning against the wall, his eyes full of fake tears, and his hands up defensively because of my non-existent-harming. “Unlike the way he acts.” I added the last part quietly.
“Now that doesn’t count as an excuse for hurting him!” She pointed one of her fingers toward me and started. “You better start to behave yourself! You are counted as an adult now that you are moving to college!” She dropped her hand and gave me the shame-on-you look. “What made you to hit him this time?”
“This time?” I scoffed in disbelief. “First of, I didn’t do anything to him. Second-”
“He took my camera!” I said and pointed at what Fred was keeping behind him. “He knows how I’m protective about it, so he takes it away to piss me off.”
“Fred,” mother turned to Fred and gently continued, “is it true?”
Fred, being the usual Fred-the-vermin as always, gave an innocent look and threw his head down in shame.
If Fred murdered someone, it would take him only a look to make people believe that he hadn’t done it and was as innocent as a new born baby. And if he wanted, in less than a minute all the blames would be on me and I would be thrown to a prison.
“Yes, mother.” he said in a sweet voice. “But I only wanted to see how good my sister’s pictures were.” and then by that mother’s face relaxed a bit. Fred turned to me with that so called cute face of his. “I’m sorry for my lack of behavior, sis.” He then placed the camera on the couch. “I promise you that this was the last time I made you upset.”
“Aw, that’s my little boy.” A huge smile appeared on mother’s face and she went closer to hug Fred.
Fred’s ear was against her stomach and his hands around her waist, with his face toward me. An evil smirk played on his lips as he mouthed, I warned you. Satan had taken his soul, I’m telling you; or better say he was Satan! Believe me; you won’t have a peaceful life while living with the devil itself.
“Now, this is it then?” said mother as our car stopped in front of my college’s dormitory building after a long drive which took three hours to say the least.
A scant smile tucked on my lips while my eyes wandered up and down the place, remembering every day that I used to await that certain moment. Sighing, I opened the car’s door and got off, my mother following me right behind.
“Are you sure that you didn’t want your brother to be here for farewell?”
I scoffed in my mother’s respond. “Yes, because I’m pretty sure I don’t want anyone to know that we fosterage vermin in our house.”
“Rea!” she threw me a warningly glance which I avoided casually. But she didn’t give up on the brother-sister bonding speech and kept going. “I don’t understand why you don’t treat Fred kindly. He’s so sweet-” I rolled my eyes at that point. “-and I’m pretty sure he loves you.”
“Sure thing.” I said sarcastically as I took my heavy bags out of the car and carried them toward the building.
Shaking her head slightly, she placed a gentle kiss on my forehead after we reached the entrance of the building. “I want you to behave yourself.” she said, but before allowing me to answer, mom took me in a tight and bone-crashing hug, leaving me in full surprise. “I can’t believe it! Oh, you’re growing up so fast!”
“Mom! Stop being dramatic! You’re embarrassing me even before I could get the chance to show off cool!” I joked, making her laugh lightly through her teary eyes. “I’ll be fine. I promise.” I reassured her and by that she finally pulled back, nodding her head. She finally managed to cry, ruining her mascara as she gently tried to whip away the tears with her thumb.
“Good luck, Rea. And don’t forget to call me every day–”
“And be safe–”
“Don’t get yourself in too much trouble–”
“Okay, Okay! I’m leaving!” she threw her hands up defensively. I watched her as she walked toward the car and entered it, waving one last time before leaving me and my bags alone.
By that, I finally turned around, breathed the fresh air in and let it out slowly, tightened my grip on the handles of my bags and walked in the building, beginning a new life which I hoped to be better than my last.
The entrance hall of the dormitory building wasn’t in its most sedate state as everyone was hasting around and rushing back and forth to carry their bags into their new dorms. Exactly in front of the entrance door, I sighted a big desk where people had surrounded.
It must be where they give the keys to the rooms. I thought and so I made my way over. Being in the car for more than three hours was exhausting enough, but worse was to stand there in line and wait for your turn to come.
“Hello.” The woman behind the desk forced a smile at me when I reached her. Apparently she was just as tired as me, if not more. “Your name is…?”
“Andrea Brooke.” I spoke clearly and waited for her as she typed my name in the computer before her.
At last, she bent down and took a key out of the drawer of her desk and handed it to me. “Dorm number forty-nine. Have a good day.”
“Thank you.” Nodding my head with a smile, I made my way through and past the crowd of people in line and grabbed my bags, carrying them upstairs. On my way of searching for my room, I couldn’t help but wonder who my roommate was and how on earth I was to greet her.
Hello, it’s nice meeting you. I shook my head at the thought. No, too formal. How about ‘hey what’s up?’ No… too casual for someone you just met.
I was still locked up in my head that I finally reached the room. Sighing one last time, I threw the key in and opened the door, but I found the dorm completely empty. The room, unlike my expectations, appeared to be a big mess.
There was a sea of socks everywhere I looked, one of the bed’s sheets was on the floor with an open sports’ magazine on it, and not to mention the trashcan that was empty from inside and instead was surrounded by ripped papers and other rubbish. There was also a basketball’s ball on the floor. Leave aside all these, but who on earth leaves her bra on her bed?
I was still looking around me that I was snapped out of my dazed state as I heard someone’s voice from behind the closed door.
“Damn it! I forgot it again!” and before I could even get the chance to react, apparently the person behind the door had thumped herself heavily against the door in order to break it open. Turns out, she was successful as the door broke and opened with a loud bang. The next thing I knew, the girl was tossed on the floor and groaned as I watched her with wide eyes, speechless.
“Jesus!” she hissed and stood up, her back facing me. She only sighted me when she turned her head around. “Err… who are you?”
“–You’re the roommate! That’s perfect!” she grinned widely before continuing, “I’m Lily, by the way.” She said, bending down to pick her sport magazine up.
“Andrea.” I said coolly. “But everyone calls me Rea.”
“’kay, Rea. What’s up?”
I shook my head. “Forget about me. Are you okay? It sounded like you hit the door pretty hard.”
“Meh,” she shrugged carelessly. “I’m used to it.”
“Used to it?” I repeated her words anxiously.
“Yeah, I always miss my keys. I even broke the door completely two times over summer– me and a few of my friends took the summer semester terms.” She added giddily as her eyes fell on me and saw the confused glance on my face. “Anyway, you wouldn’t mind helping me to clean this room, would you?” said Lily. “I suck at cleaning, if you haven’t noticed yet.” She smirked and picked up a pair of socks. I made my way over her bed and tucked the two corners of it, tidying it up.
As I finally brought myself to pay attention to her looks, I saw that she was wearing a loose T-shirt and shorts; Lily was a tomboy who had short and boy-like dark hair, unlike her eyes that were as pale as you could get.
After tidying one thing or two, a gasp left Lily’s mouth. “Holly shit; I’ve never seen my room this clean.” Said Lily sheepishly, running a hand through her short hair, making it messier than what it was already. “Well,” she sighed and placed her hands on her hips, pressing her lips together to make a thin line, “I guess it’s enough, isn’t it? I mean, if it gets any cleaner it would look un-natural.”
I shook my head in disbelief and smiled, but it quickly faded away as I heard a knock on the door.
“Oi! Lily! You there!?” the person called out.
“That would be Lukas.” By that Lily walked toward the door. When she swung the door open, a boy walked in. I couldn’t deny the fact that he was rather attractive when it came to his looks.
“Oops, wrong room.” He said after eyeing the room up and down for a moment, and was about to exit that Lily walked over to him and took his shirt’s collar to stop him from leaving.
“You’re either an idiot, or you’re acting like one.” Lily rolled her eyes while he was studying the room with raised eyebrows. Lily looked at him before adding, “I go with the first.”
“Lily’s room can never be this clean. So this is not your room. Or maybe...” He took a step away from her and muttered distantly, his eyes narrowing in a dramatically suspicious way. “You’re not Lily Hester.”
“Cut the nonsense, Luke.” Lily groaned with an eye-roll. “I want you to meet my new roomie, Rea.”
The boy’s eyes made their way through my direction and a grin appeared on his lips. He made his way over me and took my right hand in his, “Plaisir de vous rencontrer, mademoiselle.” he said in French before placing a small kiss on my knuckle.
It was a good point that I wasn’t the blush type. Otherwise I would’ve looked redder than a fresh tomato. Although my ears always went slightly red which was why I usually left my brown hair to fall over my shoulders and cover my ears.
“Oh, get out of this room, you freak!” Lily took the back of his shirt and led him out of the room. Or better say, threw him.
“I just wanted to meet your hot friend–” before he could finish his sentence Lily shut the door on his face.
My hazel eyes shut wide open as he said that, a grin appearing on my lips, and feeling my ears grow warmer.
“Beth sent me to tell you to be down in ten minutes or we will leave without you!” He shouted behind the door and then the sound of his footsteps slowly faded as he walked away.
“What did he say in French?” I asked Lily hesitantly.
“‘Nice to meet you.’ Or something of that sort, I suppose.” she answered, shrugging her shoulders.
I sat there on my bed awkwardly, waiting for her to leave so I could settle down more peacefully. “Well, I’m leaving.” She said after wearing a ripped jean and tying her jumper around her waist. “See you around, Rea.”
By that, she left me in the still-messy room and shut the door close.
After a while, I opened my bags to settle things in my wardrobe. What always pissed my mother off was my obsession over black clothing. Honestly, what’s wrong with parents disliking them?
I started tidying the room to pass the time. That girl really had to work on her cleaning skills so the next time she wouldn’t misplace her phone under the bed.
When I looked at the clock, to my great disappointment it was still six o’clock. A healthy and good photography wouldn’t hurt, I thought.
I took a careful glance out of the window, memorizing the view from the smallest leaves that were changing color because of the oncoming autumn, to the couples that were kissing each other or holding hands.
I couldn’t help but think back at the memories I shared with Eric, my ex-boyfriend. The images of us kissing and cuddling kept passing through my mind and I didn’t know whether I had to smile or cry.
I loved him and he loved me; I mean I thought he loved me. But turns out he was merely using my heart for his own fun, just because he had misunderstood me as his personal puppet.
I didn’t want anything like that to happen to me again, so I kept fighting against the urge of even liking someone for the time being.
But Eric’s story wasn’t counted as something even near bad, compared to what had happened to me when I was younger…
The pictures of that event were making their ways into my mind so I shook my head and turned on my camera, opened the window and sat on its windowsill.
After getting a fair few pictures of the view behind my window, I raised my camera up and took a good look at the images I had gotten. I giggled quietly to myself while looking down at the pictures.
“POLICE! We have a mental girl here!” A voice yelled from the door way, making me jump and giving me a huge heart attack.
I placed my palm on my fast-beating heart; if I was an inch closer to the window’s edge, that guy had to yell about a dead girl instead of a mental one.
But come to think of it, polices aren’t in charge of mental people.
What a dumbass.
I looked over at the guy and saw that it was that good-looking boy who visited this dorm earlier that day, with a playful grin now playing on his lips.
“I didn’t scare you, now did I?”
I put my camera at my side and threw a dark glare at his smiley face. Was he kidding me? I was an inch away from death! And he was asking me did he scare me?
“Now, now, love. Why so tense?” He said and then made his way in the dorm and went toward Lily’s side of the room and started searching for something.
“What are you doing?” I raised an eyebrow and asked with curiosity.
“I thought you were mute!” He gasped dramatically and smirked.
Oh, so many ways I knew to vanish that stupid smirk of his…
“Well, if you’re so curious to know, Lily is waiting downstairs and sent me all the way up here to get the thing she forgot to bring with herself.”
“And what’s that thing, may I ask?”
“No, you may not.” He gave yet another smirk and went back to searching.
“Why not?” I pushed the matter.
A brilliant way to take words out of people is to annoy them. And if there was one thing that I was good at, was to annoy others.
He sighed heavily before saying, “I’m looking for thickets.”
“Cinema or theater?”
“God! How many questions do you have in that head of yours?” He faked a shocked expression. “I wonder how they find any space there. Seeing as your brain isn’t big enough?”
“At least I do have a brain to worry about. I pity you, though. Seeing as you don’t have any?” I mocked, folding my arms together.
“Not only you’re not mute, but you also talk more than aVeronicage.” He threw out a small laughter but it shortly faded when we heard someone’s loud shrieks.
“LUKAS!” Someone bellowed from outside the dorm, scaring the boy to death.
“Shit.” He mumbled under his breath and started searching faster as if his life depended on it. But the speed was helpless because moments later a furious Lily came into view at the doorway, making him jump.
“I knew it!” Lily squealed, “I knew that from the beginning you had hidden it here!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t act, Luke! You suck at acting.”
“Why thank you, my love.” He bowed at her playfully.
“Oh, I’m so gonna kill you! Give me my damn phone, now!”
“Alright, alright!” said Lukas. “I only have to find it–”
“The phone under the bed?” I asked Lukas, who raised an eyebrow in confusion and gave a small nod.
I made my way over Lily’s bag and took the phone out, handing it back to Lily. “Here, I found it and thought you had accidentally thrown it under the bed.”
Lily sent a death-glare at Lukas, that if looks could kill, that guy could never smirk again.
“Thanks, Rea.” She turned to me and gave one of her nice smiles before looking up at me and adding, “There’s a bonfire at the campus tonight. Are you on for it?”
“Oh, please say no.” mumbled Lukas jokingly, loud enough on purpose for me to hear it.
I looked at him with an annoyed look and crossed my arms over my chest stubbornly before saying, “Sure.” and gave him one of his own smirks.
“Stupid ugly-face.” He teased as he made an exit over the door.
“I thought you said I was hot?” I spoke fast.
“Last time I checked, second thoughts weren’t a crime, now were they?” He left the dorm by throwing a small wink at my way.
“Get ready. We’ll be leaving in half an hour.” Lily said as soon as Lukas shut the door close behind himself.