“Remember Thea, perfection is required at whatever cost.” My mother tells me. I just nod my head along and follow her down the grand staircase. My luggage was littered throughout the foyer and I was already starting to get nervous, even though we hadn’t even left the house.
“Are you sure you have everything?” My mother asks as she scans over my luggage once more.
“Yes mom, you’ve checked them about a hundred times.” I groan.
“I’m sorry. I just want to make sure you have everything, so you can just focus on your schoolwork.” She tells me.
“I promise I’ll be fine. I looked it up, there’s a mall near campus, so if I ever need anything I’ll just go there.” I tell her.
“Ok, but remember focus on school. I need you to be ready to take over once you finish college. With Josie going to law school, I need you to take over the business for me when I step down.” She says and I plaster a fake smile on my face, nodding my head along.
“Yeah, I know.” I murmur.
“I’ve already talked to the school, you have a nice dorm and no roommate.” She grins.
“You didn’t have to do that.” I say.
“Don’t be ridiculous, you will not be living in squalor, with a roommate.” She says, as if it’s absurd to have a roommate. I knew she never had to deal with it, she had grown up in a wealthy family and had everything to her. I did too, but the difference between us was that I didn’t want everything handed to me. “Well come on now, Josie’s meeting us downstairs in the lobby. She can’t wait to help you move in.” Mom tells me.
“Wait, Josie’s here?” I ask.
“Of course she is Theadora, you’re going to college. Your sister wouldn’t miss that for the world.” She says and I cringe in response to her using my full name. I hated it, I preferred Thea, short and sweet. I sigh in response to my mother’s statement, I should’ve guessed my mother would do this. She uses every chance she has to bring Josie home. It’s blatantly obvious to me that Josie is her favorite, but I always shrugged it off. Well, until she started comparing every single thing I did to Josie, that was when I started to get annoyed.
She straightened out her perfect business dress and lead me to the elevator and I grabbed my backpack, while the two bell boys my mother summoned, grabbed my other stuff. I stay quiet the whole ride down, my mother was going on about how beautiful the campus is, she had visited it when she was a guest speaker there. I wasn’t too sure about living in Massachusetts, I had heard about the frigid winters and the humid summers, but at least it was close to New York. At least I knew if I wanted to visit back home, I would be back quickly. That was the only reassuring thing about going to Hudson University. It was a well-known private university. It was up there in the ranks, but usually got overlooked because it was so close to Harvard and M.I.T. The only reason I knew about it was because of mom, she went on and on about how amazing their business program is. She had been asked to be a guest speaker my sophomore year of high school and it was then when it was decided I would be attending Hudson University. Mom never really let me have a say in where I wanted to go, but it was okay because I had checked out the school and liked it a lot. It seemed like a great fit for me. Like always, my mother knew what was best for me.
As soon as I step out of the elevator I see a tall brunette standing by the antique sofas. She was typing away at her phone, typical Josie, always working. Mom practically sprinted towards her and engulfed her in a hug and I trudge behind her.
Josephine Coldwell. My older sister. Probably one of the most beautiful girls to ever grace this planet. Josie was perfect. Literally. She was smart, beautiful, talented, and did charity work whenever she could. It was no wonder why she was mom’s favorite. Josie smiled at me and pulled me into a hug, I only came up to her shoulder. She was tall, an attribute she got from our father. Probably the only thing she got from him, other than her height she was a replica of mom. They shared the same jade green eyes and chestnut brown locks. While I had sapphire blue eyes and caramel hair, attributes I had received from my father or as my mother likes referring to him, he who shall not be named.
“God, I can’t believe you’re going to college Thea. You still seem like a baby to me.” Josie tells me.
“I’m only five years younger than you.” I point out.
“Still, you’ll always be my baby sister.” She says, emphasizing the word baby.
“Well, we mustn’t waste anymore time. It’s a three and a half hour drive.” Mom says as she ushers us out of the apartment building.
“I thought we’re taking the jet.” Josie says as we climb into the town car that was waiting for us.
“I decided not to take the jet, it’s a waste of fuel. Even though I know we’d be there much earlier if we took the jet, I decided it would be better if we just took the car.” She says. The car ride was filled with mom and Josie catching up, while I watch the bustling streets of Manhattan pass by.
Soon we reached the “Welcome to Massachusetts” sign and I felt a twinge of sadness. This was it, I was actually moving out and going to college. But that twinge quickly disappeared as I thought of all the things I would be able to do, without my mother constantly hovering over me. I knew it was it a great thing that I was going to college.
“Oh Thea, it looks so pretty here, maybe I’ll have to move here after law school.” Josie tells me.
“Yeah, it is pretty.” I murmur as I look out the window.
I see the gates to Hudson University appear through the thick trees, it was just how it looked on the website. My excitement starts to grow as I watch the campus pass by, it truly was gorgeous. As we pull up to the commons I notice that it’s flooded with students and parents alike. I start tapping my foot in anticipation, Arthur, our chauffeur, pulls up to the curb and lets us know he’ll go place my stuff in my dorm. I practically jump out of the car and admire the beautiful buildings surrounding me.
“It’s just as beautiful as I remembered.” Mom says as she too looks around.
“Maybe I’ll just visit you every week Thi.” Josie jokes.
“Come on, let’s get to orientation, we don’t want to miss anything.” Mom says as she tugs us along.
After a long and boring orientation, we’re heading up to my dorm. I’m beyond excited, this was the first time ever that I would be staying away from my mother. My dorm was on the east side of campus in the Whitmore building. I felt giddy as we walked up to the room. My mother has the key to the dorm and insists on opening it for me. She slides the key in the keyhole and pushes the door open. I let out an excited squeal as I rush into the room, taking everything in. It was definitely smaller than my room back home, but still had a homey feel to it. There was an overall theme of grey going on around the room and I loved it. I saw that my stuff was placed down next to the closet.
“I love it.” I tell my mother as I swivel around to face her.
“Of course you do, I was the one who designed it after all.” Mom says and I have to refrain from rolling my eyes.
“It’s so pretty mom, I’ll have to have you do my apartment now.” Josie tells her. The two go on to further discuss Josie’s apartment and I crouch down and start unpacking my stuff.
“Well Thea we should get going.” Mom says. I smile and nod my head at them. She pulls me into a tight and quick hug.
“Bye mom.” I say. Josie wraps her slender arms around me and squeezes me.
“I’ll miss you so much Thea, call if you ever need anything.” Josie says.
“I’ll miss you too Josie.” I tell her.
“Well, Thea, I’ll see you soon.” Mom says. “Just remember no partying, no drinking, and no boys. Only studying.” She reminds me and I roll my eyes.
“I know, I know.” I mutter.
“Good, now rest up, you have classes to prepare for.” She says.
“Bye mom, bye Josie.” I say as I practically push them out. They both give me one final last wave before I close the door. I let out a sigh and place all my focus on unpacking.
I let out a heavy sigh as I climbed out of bed. After a long night, I had finished unpacking my whole room. I was exhausted afterwards and passed out immediately. I was pretty proud of what I had accomplished though, my room looked pretty great. I was still confused on how my mother had gotten me a single room that was decently sized for a dorm.
I grabbed my bathroom necessities and headed towards the bathrooms on the floor. Unfortunately I still had to deal with shared bathrooms, but you win some and you lose some. I let out a silent groan as I saw the co-ed symbol on the door, but sucked up and walked inside.
It was humid inside and I could hear the water dripping onto the cold tile floors. I found an empty stall and placed my robe on the shelf and hung my towel on the hook. I turned the knob of the shower and let the water cascade down my back. I take a quick shower, eager to get out of the shared bathroom and slip my silk robe on before heading back to my room. I push the key into the keyhole and push the door open. I grab a simple floral dress and slip it on. I decide to take the casual look and slip into some white vans. My mother would have a heart attack if she saw me in this, my mother loved being formal, no matter when and where you are. But she wasn’t here, so I could wear whatever I want.
I decided that I would explore campus a bit today, just to make sure I know my way around campus. I grab my purse and head out. I pull out the map that I had gotten yesterday at orientation and try and find the nearest coffee shop. I find a small cafe a couple blocks away from my building and decide to head there.
The walk to the cafe was short, which I am glad for. I am starving by the time I walk through the door. I quickly walk up to the counter and order a danish and some coffee. I’m soon sitting down and eating my breakfast, which is delicious, and reading over my course schedule. I’m happy with my classes for this semester, since I took so many AP classes in high school and got good scores on the AP test that I opted out of a lot of classes. I had a intro to music class that my mother had made me sign up for, she had told me that it would be a helpful start on understanding how to run a record label. I wasn’t too thrilled about it.
In all honesty, I don’t want to takeover mom’s record label. It’s not my thing. I don’t like the music industry, I would much rather go into fashion design or literature. Two things I was passionate about in high school, but mom never seemed to notice. But to notice, she would have to be home. I quickly shook those thoughts out of my head and cleaned up my table before heading back out to explore the beautiful campus.
When I finally made it back to my dorm room it was late, the sun had already gone down and I had ate dinner. I let out a sigh as I flopped onto my bed exhausted. I didn’t even bother changing out of the dress, I was too tired to do so.
The next morning I was back at the cafe, eating a danish and reading. It was peaceful here, I could definitely see myself studying here. I was about to flip the page of my book when the door burst open a bunch of boys wearing HU hoodies walked in handing flyers to everyone. One came up to me and shoved the paper into my hand, winked, and then left. I was left utterly confused. I looked down at the paper to see it was an invite to a party. ‘END OF SUMMER BASH’ was written in bold letters across the top and below where details of where and when. I saw that it was tonight. I had weighed my options as I decided whether I wanted to go or not. This was my first Saturday of college and I had never been to a big party, but I should be inside preparing for classes, my subconscious reminded me. I decided to think it over some more as I walked around the garden on campus. I looked down at the paper once more before letting out an exasperated sigh and deciding to let loose tonight.