1: "No bread, no mayo, no extras."
I stared at the board before me, trying to work out where the tiny square with 'C-1' was hiding. A mass of blue squares with arrows pointing this way and that, and a tiny red dot indicating my location did nothing to help me.
I sighed, glancing around me for a friendly face to ask, but everyone seemed to be in such a rush. The hallway was huge, and I thought the universities back home were big. I blew my hair out of my eyes before I saw a sign indicating the general office.
I made my way there, finally relieved that I had formulated a plan. I opened the the door to find a huge queue of people in front of me, waiting impatiently.
I sighed, but being typically British I decided to complain internally instead of voicing it.
"Excuse me, do happen to know where the literacy building is?" I tapped the shoulder of the girl in front of me who turned to me in irritation.
"Sorry, I just wondered if you knew where the literacy building is..." my voice trailed off as she gazed at me, before throwing her hair over her shoulder.
"I know it's near the football field, but that's it."
"Thank you, do you know where that is? I'm new here and I've-"
"Talkative aren't we? Why don't you try looking outside?" she sneered, her eyes rolling as she groaned loudly. I felt my cheeks begin to blush, as I backed out of the room in embarrassment.
What was her problem?
I checked my watch, groaning when I saw I had less than fifteen minutes to locate my class and grab a seat. Looks like I'll be at the back after all, I sighed, pushing through the main doors to see the huge football field looming in front of me. I stared in awe, genuinely astounded at the sheer size of things here compared to England. My school field had been the size of about three aisles of Walmart, so this was insane.
I'd never seen a game be played here either. I noticed the goal posts I was used to seeing on the floor were sky high in the air.
I swept my gaze over the field, before seeing it was surrounded by more buildings, even bigger than the one I had just stepped out of.
"Heads up!" called a voice suddenly, as I turned to quickly dodge a ball flying towards me. I watched as it rolled away, turning to see the owner jogging towards me. He wore these shoulder pads I'd seen on tv, making him look intimidatingly broad, the fabric of his clothes stuck to his sweaty skin. He tugged his helmet off as his hair tumbled into his eyes, all tousled and sexy.
"I'm sorry I didn't stop it," I grimaced, indicating the ball behind me. He shook his head, pushing his hand through his hair as he shrugged.
"No sweat. It's cool, I'm sorry I nearly knocked you out. My bad."
He jogged behind me and kicked the ball back effortlessly across the field, as I tried not to gawp. Shit, he had skills!
"It's fine." I smiled politely as his eyes widened slightly. I sighed as I stared around me, wondering if the American answer to David Beckham knew where the literacy building was.
"British are we? You're a long way from home," he whistled as he studied me. "What are you doing out here on the soccer field?"
"I could ask you the same question," I mused as he chuckled, his gaze sweeping around us with amusement.
"Well, I'm playing football."
I realised his teammates were waiting for him as I cringed.
"Why are you apologising?"
"You've apologised twice and not once have you done anything wrong."
"Oh, I didn't even realise. So, do you have any idea where the literacy building is? I'm new here and-"
"Literacy? Yeah, its the closest building to us," he pointed at the building to my right as I sent him a grateful look.
"Wonderful, thank you."
I smiled awkwardly as I walked away, hearing him call after me.
"No problem, Rose."
What? Did I say my name was Rose? I frowned as I jogged towards the building, aware he was probably able to see my flab jiggling. I was beyond caring, wondering whether C1 was on the bottom floor.
God I hoped so.
I was already sweating, aware I was ridiculously unfit. My problem was I loved food more than I craved perfection, so I settled for copious amounts of tea and biscuits to pass my evenings. My Aunt Dottie loved having me here, and she looked so like my mother it made me feel like I was that little bit closer to her.
Even though I'd never met her.
I was snapped out of my thoughts when I saw with joy a sign on the wall indicating that C1 was on the same level as me.
I huffed my way to the room, pushing the door open to a sea of eyes, all staring at me curiously as I stood in horror.
"Yes?" said the professor with irritation, peering at me over his glasses.
"Um, I'm looking for the Arts and humanities-"
"Name?" he asked in a bored voice, sighing as he made a note on the notepad in front of him.
"Which is it, Marshall or Victoria?" he sighed, peering at me.
I heard a titter around the classroom as I gulped, wanting the floor to open up and swallow me up.
"Victoria," I said quietly, avoiding the gaze I felt burning into me from every direction.
"Take a seat, Miss Marshall. Oh, and try not to be tardy again, I won't tolerate it."
I nodded, walking up the steps to the nearest seat, sinking into it as he cleared his throat.
"So who here has read 'Great Expectations?'"
I glanced around, as I put my hand up slowly. The professor raised his eyebrows before his eyes flickered over to me.
"Ok, Miss Marshall, was it for pleasure?"
Again, another titter of laughter broke out amongst the students. But I didn't worry because this was my forte; books.
"Actually no, I studied it for my GCSEs," I answered calmly.
"Interesting. And what about you, Mr...," he continued, glancing to the side of the room with an expectant expression on his face.
"Doherty, Sir," came the deep voice, causing me to peer at the owner with curiosity. He was sat close to the front, his blonde hair resting on his neck as he leaned back confidently.
"Pleasure?" repeated the Professor, again waiting patiently.
"Indeed. I had quite the crush on Estella," he confessed, as I felt myself smile. He turned to me as he made eye contact, returning my smile. "I wasn't fortunate enough to study it at school."
He turned back to the professor as I felt someone tap me on the shoulder.
"Hi, I'm Jones. Do you wanna be partners?" whispered a red haired girl, her eyes soft and friendly as she waited for me to respond.
"Partners?" I repeated, unsure if I had missed something.
"God, your accent. Yeah, partners! You know help each other out with study..." she waved her hand around as I nodded.
"Yeah, that would be great," I smiled, as she winked at me.
"Maybe Brad Pitts younger brother over there wants to join our little club," she murmured, her eyes on the the guy named Doherty. I felt myself snigger as I turned back to listen to the class.
I made enough notes to keep me going for about a week, before grabbing my bag to head to lunch.
Oh god, where is the cafe here? I must've stood looking perplexed, because Jones slipped her arm through mine, tugging me down the stairs with her.
"When's your birthday?" she demanded, her eyes scouring the room for Doherty.
"He's over there, if you're looking for him. May, why?"
"Gemini or Taurus?"
"Wonderful. You can talk to him if I lose my tongue." she declared, marching us over to the table where Doherty was gathering his things slowly, like he had nowhere to be.
"Hey there, I'm Shannon, and this is Victoria. She's British," she beamed, as he stared at her with a bored expression.
"And what would you like me to do with that information?" he asked, raising his eyebrows as I felt the familiar blush creep up my cheeks.
"Urgh. Why are all the hot guys dicks?" She hissed at me, as we walked past him. I was pretty sure he heard us, because I saw a smile playing at his lips.
"Shannon? I thought you said-"
"Yeah, Shannon to the boys. Jones to the girls," she shrugged, her arm still linked with mine. Once we were back out in the hallway, I felt relieved to have her with me.
"So shall we go and grab lunch? I'm meeting Hayley at the canteen. She's doing Art, honestly you should see some of her designs. She wants to be a tattoist! Can you imagine how awesome that would be? Free tattoos!"
I chuckled as I followed her, almost tripping over when I missed the step.
"Are you ok?" Jones asked with concern, her nose wrinkling up as she studied me.
"I'm proper clumsy," I explained, rolling my eyes. "Oh, and I'm always hungry. Is the food any good here?"
"Good? Doll, wait till you see it. You know this place has to cater for the sports teams, right? Those guys can EAT."
My mind drifted back to the football player I met earlier, remembering how built he looked.
"Yeah, I saw one earlier. He was huge!"
Jones nodded, before turning left down the side of the building, pushing open a metal door as it opened up into what could only be described as a supermarket filled with students.
There were rows and rows of food, hot food stations, salad bars, vending machines, burger and wrap stations. One wall was completely lined with drinks- bottles in every flavour and size.
"Wow," I mumbled, feeling overwhelmed.
"You need a card for food. Have you got one yet? Don't worry if not, you can use mine. Ooh, look. Campfire stew!" She squealed, grabbing two trays and slapping one against me. "Come on Victoria. I can't believe you're named after your fucking Queen."
"Jones, our Queen is Elizabeth. The second, actually," I couldn't help but laugh as she stared at me.
"Oh. I thought it was Victoria."
"It was, in the eighteen hundreds," I roared with laughter as I followed her to the hot food station, my eyes gazing at the doughnuts as I passed the dessert cart.
"Oh god, look. The footballers are here, fuck me." I heard her mumble, nodding over to the entrance.
I turned to follow her gaze, my eyes instantly seeking out the hottie from earlier. He was dressed in clean clothes now, his tanned forearms folded in front of him as he joined the line for the burger bar.
"Victoria. You're staring."
"I'm not, I was just-"
"Staring. The question is who at?" Jones followed my gaze as the hottie in question turned to look directly at me, making me whirl around instantly.
"Oh, wow. You're going straight to the top? Drake Anderson. Star quarterback from his school, insanely talented and not just on the field if rumours are to be believed."
I forced myself to stare at the menu, when I heard Jones inhale sharply.
"Queue jump," came a voice from beside me, as Drake slid under the barrier.
"Rose," he smirked, making my heart beat a tad faster than usual. I mean, he was smooth, I'll give him that. He was also divine looking, but the problem was he knew it.
"It's Victoria, actually." I corrected him, before turning my gaze back to the menu.
"Okay then, Vic-tori-a," he mimicked my accent; appallingly actually. He gazed at me briefly before looking up at the menu.
"What are we having?"
"Yeah, us. Lunch, students. Canteen. Ya know? I'm starving. I take it you ain't a salad kinda girl?"
I stared at him in disbelief, as he frowned at me.
"What? You're in the hot food queue..."
"I get it," I said quietly, before waving Jones in front of me. "You go first."
Drake was still frowning as he watched me, his pale eyes flickering over me.
"Campfire stew is shit hot. Do you have that in England?"
"Drake!" I heard a voice screech from across the room, as he turned to look in the direction of what can only be described as the most perfect girl I'd ever seen.
Waist length beach blond hair, styled in waves that fell effortlessly around her, wearing a skimpy outfit that highlighted her incredibly long legs and flat, toned stomach.
Wow. I didn't think I'd ever seen anyone so perfect in real life. She reminded me of someone famous, but I couldn't place who.
Her deep blue eyes glared at me as she folded her arms.
"Drake. Salad bar. You are training, stop eating carbs and shit."
"I'm fucking hungry. I'm having campfire stew." he retorted as she pursed her lips.
"Urgh. Don't have any bread or extra potatoes. Hold any mayo. I'll save you a seat," she ordered, sending me one final glare before she walked away, her heels clicking on the floor as she did. I noticed at least ten guys drool as she walked by and I shook my head.
"What?" Drake asked, a smile on his face.
"I just saw my first cliche," I mused, as Jones finally finished ordering her mammoth meal. "The hot player and a trophy girlfriend."
"Oh really?" he laughed softly, before he leaned over to me. "Its nice to know you think I'm hot, but I'm afraid you're wrong. She's not my girlfriend. She's just a...friend."
"I bet you have many of those," I replied dryly, before ordering my food. He watched me with a smile on his face as I exchanged a look with Jones.
"Wanna be my next one?"
I thanked the server before turning back to Drake.
"No bread, no mayo, no extras. Oh, and no thank you."
He gazed at me as I smiled sweetly, following Jones who was squealing like a micro pig.
"Did you just reject Drake Anderson?!"
I shrugged my shoulders as I let Jones sort the food bill out, refusing to make eye contact with her.
"The last thing I need right now is some jock who wants to add notches to his bed post. Anyway, I've seen enough films. Guys like that don't go for girls like me. They go for girls like that," I nod over to the prickly blonde who was watching Drake with terrifying interest.
I shuddered, glad to be away from them both.
Now try Campfire Stew, with bread and all the extras I could order.