3.6: Ginger Snaps
I was hard to hide my excitement—my feet hadn’t touched American soil since Zac and Aaron’s funeral. Although the circumstances of me coming back were not pleasant, it was nice to take in the chattering of people, the honking of cars from impatient drivers, and the way life in New York went by faster than any other place.
I imagined my first day living away from my parents would go something like this—me taking in the city and the culture. Butterflies roaming my tummy as I try telling myself this is what I dreamed of since I entered high school. It’s sad for me to still wonder what life could’ve been if nothing planned out the way it did. I like to think I managed to get into college and start my early adulthood getting wasted in parties and having mental breakdowns every week due to homework.
I found myself chuckling quietly in the car, gaining a glance from my Uber driver in the mirror. College life wasn’t going to impress me; my eyes had seen things far beyond imaginable than frat guys doing keg stands. Somehow Amelia expected me to fit in with the college crowd—that women had faith in me. Or she was smart enough to use me in her grand scheme; if I am being sincere, I don’t even care what she really is plotting. We need each other to get to Daniel, unless she finds some other girl willing to set herself up to come face to face with Daniel- I am her best option.
The Uber driver stopped the car in front of a tall building, “this is the address you gave me,” the blonde girl, Megan, said.
“Thanks, you have a good day,” I smiled and made my way into the main lobby. A security officer was sitting behind a desk and he smiled at me as I approached.
“Hello, are you visiting a resident?”
I shook my head, “I am actually moving in, my name is Sasha Del Rey,”
He nodded, “of course, I have been waiting for you to arrive,” I watch him pull out a large white envelope and pull out a key card. “This key will open the elevators on the far back of the lobby and take you straight to your loft. I was also asked to give you these,” he hands me a pair of keys for a car. “It’s parked in our garage in space thirteen,”
“Thank you. How do I get to the garage?” I raised a brow.
“The elevator will have a button with the letter ‘G’, simply press the button and the car will be to your left,”
The instructions weren’t hard to comprehend; take the elevators at the end of lobby, swipe the card, and it took me to the eighth floor. The metal doors opened and I was standing on a long corridor with two wooden doors. One was right next to the elevator and the other one was on the leftside. I was confused, the security card said the elevators where going to take me straight to loft, not a hallway.
I quickly noticed both doors had a pad on-top of the door handle, meaning my key card didn’t just give me access to the elevators but also unlocks the door to my place. I figured my only choice would be to swipe my card on the doors and hope one opens. I decided to swipe my card on the door to the left. As soon as the card swiped the pad, a green light turned on and the door unlocked.
I got lucky. Opening the door, my jaw drops open a bit; the loft was an open floor plan with a glass windows exposing the view to the city. I dropped the car keys and key card in a decorative bowl near the entrance of living room and took a seat on the couch.
Amelia sent a list of instructions which I followed carefully; she wanted me to go to the loft and settle in. It didn’t take me long to unpack my belongings and make the room feel cozy. I had debated bringing a photo of a group picture we took last year; the less evidence I had of them, the better. Sadly, it was impossible not to bring a picture to remind myself I wasn’t alone. Staring down at the picture I sighed, I hope they are doing just fine without me.
Going to the room across from me, I entered the office and went to the desk where a secret safe was inside of the drawers. Entering the pin Amelia provided, I took out another white envelope and place the picture of my friends inside. I wanted to follow her instructions in her order, except for me to be able to feel secure ,I needed to do modification.
I was provided with a black bag with a few guns and pistols inside. My first task was to scatter the weapons around the house and hide them in case of combat. Secondly, I needed to have a bag ready to leave in a emergency; in my backpack I placed a spare of clothes, running shoes, my passport and money. Before placing the backpack underneath the bed. Thirdly, I sent a message to the group, letting them know I had arrived and settled into my new place.
Opening the envelope the security officer handed to me, I took out the stack of papers and sighed heavily. “I’m going to need coffee for this,” I muttered. Amelia had precisely organized every document to perfection and made sure nothing was left out.
I had learned about Ashton basic life before going to the auction, but now I had to learned about him in every way possible. From his college schedule to his close friends, there was no way for me to study all this in one night. I was going to have to settle knowing his schedule and learning the rest as time goes by.
Putting the paperwork in the office, I went to my room and entered the walk-in closet. A part of me still has it’s guard up, I want Zariah McAlister to run the streets like she used to. However, the brunette girl who stares back at me in the mirror is far gone; for the next few semester Sasha is going to be a ginger. Gluing down my long ginger wig, I said good-bye to another persona I had grew accustom to. Sasha was going to be a normal college student- a personality I have a feeling I am going to struggle to nail down.
I rubbed off the eyebrow dye exposing the new shade of orangey-red eyebrow hair. I looked myself in the mirror and gave myself a thumbs up; there was no trace of Zariah McAlister in the reflection. With this new persona; I had to venture out into the city and see what it has to offer.
As I stepped into the lobby, the same security guard from earlier looked up from his desk. “Ms. Del Rey did you get yourself situated?”
I nodded, “thank you, have a goodnight.” I pushed open the door and stepped into the busy night.
So, what do college students do on a weekend? Amelia had mentioned about a local college bar where Ashton is known to hang out, although tonight I wasn’t in the mood to stake out; I figured I might as well get familiarized with the place.
As I approached the strip where the bar was located on, it dawned one me how this is the first time I am out with no one with me. Back in London, I’ll leave the house to do errands, however anything semi-dangerous one of the guys was always glued onto me. I handed the bouncer my I.D. and waited for him to examine it, before handing it over to me, giving me the pass to enter.
It seemed the stars had align in the right way, as soon as I stepped into the bar from behind me I heard his low-laugh, Ashton was here tonight.