The of my dorm was not something I had in mine. In the magazines, the college dorms were always colorful, lit up, and looked bigger.
My room looked like the size of two broom closets smushed into one, with bricks that looked like leftover material from a prison building, and I was sure there was a damp in the air.
“Biology major,” I told my new roommate. She was moving boxes around, and I couldn’t help but stare at her. She looked so odd, I didn’t want to look away, in case I missed something. She didn’t say hi or any greetings, she just got right down to business. She scared me, but I liked it.
“Oh, that’s . . . not my style, but sounds cool,” she said, dragging her suitcase to her side of the bed. She did get there first, so I didn’t have much of a choice when it came to choosing sides of the dorm. “I’m an Art major.”
She looked like it. The energy she had to her was too large for her not to be.
I nodded, “Oh, that sounds nice . . . um,” I tried to read her name tag, the ones they gave out to all the freshmen. “Debbie.”
“Yeah, it’s an interesting one. My parents aren’t too big on the idea, but hey, I got the scholarship that’s paying for it, so otherwise, it’s my choice.”
I just smile. I wasn’t too great at making friends, I didn’t really know what to say to people. Most of the time, I had my nose in a book, or finishing homework, or hiking outside with no one around. Basically, I did everything by myself, it was what I was used to.
But, I did promise my mother before I left to actually make some friends.
“What type of art do you do?”
“Sculptures, mostly. Hey, you could be a model for me. Would you like that?”
“I can keep my clothes on, right?” I asked, turning red.
Debbie laughed. “Yes! Of course,” she looked at my name tag, “Pe . . .Pe . . um.”
“It’s Persephone, but call me Steffi. It’s easier.”
Debbie laughed, “Oh thank god.”
I just nodded, and put my suitcase on my side of the room. I didn’t have as much as my new roommate. She has posters of bands I’ve never heard of and weird art with weird . . . blankets? Hung on the wall.
She was too hip for me, and I was an old lady.
She had doc martins, with ripped blue jeans and a black shirt. She had heavy eyeliner and bright purple hair, bringing out the piercings in her nose and the 19 in her ears. I felt so plain compared to her.
“Where is all your stuff? Is it just that?” she pointed to my suitcase.
I shook my head. “No, my mom is coming up with my box right now. Though, I really don’t have that much,” I said. I started to unpack my suitcase, hanging up clothes already in the very small closet they gave us.
Was this college? Was this a prison? We both had our own desk, own closet, own bed . . . but that was about it. Maybe this was the suite room in prison.
“Persephone?” my mom called out from the hallway. Her voice had always carried out as if she was always singing. Sometimes I swear her voice could be called miles away.
“In here, mom,” I shouted.
She came through the door, smiling at me. She had been doing that a lot in the last few weeks coming up to the start of school, the smile of sadness, not wanting to let go of her only daughter.
“Oh good, you found your room. And you have a roommate,” mom said. “What is your name dear?”
“I’m Debbie,” she said, jumping off the bed, and walking to my mother. It would seem that my roommate looked more like my mother than I did.
My mom had a hippie vibe thing going on, with long blonde hair, always putting flowers in it, and always wearing those hippie skirts old people donate to the thrift stores after they died. She owns a shop, selling crystal rocks and other odd items.
She tried teaching me all the gems when I was 15, but I only got so many. And I wasn’t so sure if it was for me.
Now, I was 21, and starting a new life in college. I felt a little older than the rest of the freshmen since I took a few years to start. It wasn’t really my choice, but it was no matter. That was all in the past, and I could look forward to my future.
I was just praying no one asked me to buy drinks for them.
Debbie kept looking at my mom as if she were a painting. I guess for her, that would be her thing.
“I’m about to get going, honey. Just remember, I am only two hours away,” my mom said, hugging me. She’s always been . . . clingy (I suppose that’s the nicer word for it).
“I know mom,” I said, hugging her back. It was actually a miracle that she let me leave the house, to live in the dorms. She tried hard to get me to go to the community college in town, but truth be told, I just wanted to get away, even if it was for a little bit.
“I love you, Persephone,” she said, tears in her eyes. I knew she was going to be this way.
I felt bad, but my mom needed to leave and just let the bandage rip off. “I love you too, I’ll call tonight.”
I closed the door and was able to breathe. The way over to the campus, she was partly crying, partly guilting me and partly crying some more. Debbie returned to her unpacking.
“Is your mom going to be okay?” she asked.
“No . . . but she’ll get there.”
Debbie laughed. “Your mom seems nice though.”
“She is . . .in a way.”
“Come on, let’s get this room together.”
I smiled and started to gather everything around me. I looked out the corner of my eye, to the window. I saw something move in the bushes, catching my eye.
“Hey, Steffi, you okay?” Debbie asked, getting me out of my thoughts.
“Uh? Oh, yeah, sorry,” I said, getting my stuff together.