Chapter 1- Show you I’m the one
"Lillian, dear your blouse is untucked." My mom walks into my room, her English accent fuller than ever. She moved from England to Queens when she was 16, she hates the city and patiently waits until the day she can move back home. Her makeup is done to perfection, her hair pulled into a bun. She frowns at me as I pack away the last of my belongings.
I nod, tucking my light blue blouse into my white jeans. She shakes her head as my best friend, Josh, grabs a box off my bed. "Honey, are you sure this is what you want I mean, psychology is well, you know how psychologists can be! And in Boston? Lillan, there's better schooling in England!" She thinks because I want to work in clinical psychology, that I'm going to turn out like Freud. It's completely crazy.
Her last ditch effort to get me into England is no surprise and I saw it coming. Hating America is one of her passions, though she has a deep hatred for Boston.
"Mom, I'm moving in my dorm today! Too late, sorry." I shake my head, thankfully I do not have that pointy British accent. It makes my ears ring, I seriously do not get the hype. I pull out my box of notebooks, all sizes, all colours imaginable. I have a problem with hoarding them, sue me! I would say writer problems but really not, I love them they're like my babies. Smiling, I look over at josh.
"Josh, thanks so much for the help babe." We aren't dating we're just extremely close. "I am so going to miss you, ugh." Pulling him into a bone crushing hug, his big arms wrap around me. My mom makes a throaty noise, telling me that I had too much contact with a male. Leave it to my mom to be weird about me hugging my high school best friend.
I'm so looking forward to living alone.
"Don't give me any thought while you're up there Lilly," he says, quietly. His voice turns to a whisper for the next part, I know it's so my mom can't hear. She's not down for people cursing, Josh learned it the hard way. "Fuck everyone who says you're not good enough, you are the strongest person I know." I nod, fighting back tears. Realizing now I'm actually leaving my home city and the only full out friend I've ever had. I pull back.
"Thank you for everything, I'll call you tomorrow." He nods, "Let's get on the road then, I'll see ya when I see ya Josh." I smile at him taking him in for the last time. His brown floppy hair and sharp jawline, his full lips and eyebrows. He nods at me, giving me a high five as he saunters out of the small room. His head just brushing off the 6 foot doorframe, I hear his heavy footsteps walking down our carpeted stairs and then he's gone. I turn back to my bed and pick up my suitcase full of clothes looking at my dad who has just entered the room.
His bald head reflects the light and his brows are furrowed, his chest heaving. An alcohol induced nightmare was certainly in his recent past, I frown at him; pushing past him in the doorway. "Bye pops, I'll be back Christmas." I hug him briefly. Can you tell we have a good relationship?
I flop into my car, eager to start the day. Pulling out of my driveway, my mom in the passengers side working on a case or something. She was a lawyer, of course it's another thing to add to the resume of her perfect life. I turn on the classic rock station, obviously I have a great taste in music: Bob Seger, the eagles, the black crows. These artists were quite simply ma jam. Pulling into dunkin' I order an iced latte with skim milk and veggie egg white omelet. My mom turns up her nose at the latte, I open the window letting in the early morning late summer air.
It's 11am by the time when get to my dorm building in Boston, I carry up all my boxes. My mom is certainly no help, standing there on a phone call. She walks up and down the stairs doing nobody any help at all by blocking their paths.
Yes, she's one of those parents.
Now, leaned over in the bathroom, I touch up my makeup. Let me just say, makeup on moving day was not a good idea. Whilst I pick at my face a girl comes in behind me. Long black hair that reaches her mid-back, she wears a short black AC/DC crop top. Her face is diamond shaped with a thin-ish nose; her perfectly shaped eyebrows bring out her striking grey eyes.
She leans over the mirror as well, picking at her thick eyelashes with dark red acrylics. "You new here or what?" Questioning me, she seems uninterested. Not even giving me a second glance.
"Well yeah, I'm moving in today." Cringing, I realize how awkward that must sound. Almost everyone is moving in today, except for the people moving in tomorrow. If this is how my conversations will go for the rest of the year, I'm screwed.
"Well, I'm Talia. Sophomore and music student here, you're a psychology student. Am I right?" How the heck did she know that? I'm weary of her, radiating an intense demeanour and that tattoo of five tally marks probably means she's in a cult.
I'm just like, a suspicious person? It's not my fault, it's really not.
"Okay, Shorty. You're new here, this is my number." Quickly, she scribbles down a number on a napkin from her pocket. Handing it over, she has an unamused expression on her face.
I nod, I didn't think it stood out that much; that I was new. I definitely didn't have a New England accent, but a lot of people don't. Why does it matter that I'm not from here? I just want to sleep.
"Hit me up if you're looking for a good time, I don't mean it in the way you're thinking but think it if you want, babe." With that, she walks out of the bathroom. What a weird exchange, I definitely won't be using the number but I tuck it in my pocket so I'm not rude.
When it's finally time for my mom and I to go back to the dorm, we find a girl sitting on the opposite bed. Her blonde hair frames her face, closing in on her small features. She wears a blouse with blue jeans, slip on sketchers on her feet. Looking up as I enter, she smiles form ear to ear.
"Hello! I'm Marie Kelly, we're roommates!" Shaking my hand, I take time to grasp the fact that this, this girl is who I'm living with for the next year. It could go extremely well or she could be crazy and turn my whole year on it's head. As of now, it seems like the former.
"Hey, I'm Lillian Cross, where you from?" I say as I start unpacking my desk things, starting with my laptop and my notebooks.
"I'm from Halifax, Canada." She says quietly, moving to unpack her closet. I note that her clothes are all black and thin, mostly revealing.
Why she's dressed so differently now? God only knows.
"Oh! How lovely, You must love living in Canada!" My mom approaches, smiling with her teeth showing. Like I said, my mom loves every single country but America. Marie shoots me an uncomfortable look, asking for help but that doesn't stop my mom.
And she thinks I'm the embarrassment?
"You look like an amazing roommate for my daughter!" She wraps her into a hug before turning back to me, kissing her teeth. She shots me an obviously fake frown, she really doesn't care about leaving me. I bet she sees it as a relief; though, that'd make two of us.
"Love, I'm leaving now, I need to get back home. The firm needs me!" I nod and she kisses me goodbye.
Keeping at unpacking my room for hours, I make small talk with Marie. Hours pass and I learn she wants to be a social worker and she has a boyfriend back home named Daren. Smiling as a flop down on my bed, I breathe out a sigh of relief. Finally done!
I didn't over decorate my room, it's simple. With a blue bedspread and minimal pictures on my wall from my senior trip to Australia with Josh; it feels a bit more welcoming. Of course I have my grad picture, again, with Josh put up as well.
My desk is fairly empty with a lamp, laptop and some notebooks. That'll fill up with time, I'm sure. My closet is also unpacked.
Marie lays a picture of a skinny boy named Daren, still good looking though. They stand together, out by a fire pit that overlooks the ocean. "Done!" She says smilingly, going to sit down on her lumpy desk chair.
"Do you want to head out for dinner? She asks. I mean, why not? I don't know what I'm doing in this city and I don't know this girl very well. Against my better judgement I agree. Changing into a grey, slightly cropped tank top and highwasted ripped jeans. I never would wear this at home. My mom would have my head, I'm trying something different and I don't exactly hate it.
Marie dresses in a extremely short black crop top and does her makeup nice. Confusingly different from earlier, I shrug it off.
We decide to go out to a hotel restaurant named Champions, I've never eaten there before. Our waiter is a young guy who looked about a year older than us. With black hair and a sharp jawline, full pouty lips and strong arms covered in tattoos, he looked like trouble.
Faking a smile as he walks over to us, no doubt happy that he's serving two college age girls. I bet he gets a lot of tips on nights like these.
"The name's Hayden, I'll be your waiter. What can I get you?" His voice deep but still marble smooth. I notice his slight Italian features but full American accent. We make eye contact but my eyes flutter away from his. Feeling my blush intensifying as I let my eyes skim down his mass of tattoos that decorate his body.
"Just two waters and I'll have the Buffalo chicken tender salad, thanks Hayden." Marie smiles at him sweetly as he writes it down on the notepad. Looking at me, I can tell I'm looking a mess. My feet kick at each other and I bite my lip, pretending to look at the menu while I regain my composure.
"Can I have a uh," I stutter, looking down at the menu and back at his green eyes, they're laughing at me. "Tomato and mozzarella pizza please?" He nods and writes it down, shaking his head. I can tell he's trying not to laugh.
"Alright then, Jesse will be over with your waters in a second." He walks away, heading behind the bar. My head falls into my hands, first night of being by myself and I completely embarrassed myself. Love that.
A girl with green hair styled in a pixie cut brings us two ice waters, we thank her and she smiles. I sip on my water, trying to cool down.
"Ohmigod Lillan, that was so embarrassing." Marie bursts out laughing, her shoulders shaking. I glare at her which only makes her laugh more, she snorts.
"Stop it!" I say, whining. "I can't help it, he's hot." I say quieter this time, she nods sipping on her water. I feel better that she agrees and that I am not crazy.
"Give him your number, he'll never see you again. Girl live for once!" She says, talking me up. I shake my head, I will not. Besides, someone like that would have to have a girlfriend. Unless he's that 'I don't do relationships, I only want sex' type. He very well could be. I wouldn't want that either.
"Uh uh, now can we talk about you for a second?" She nods. "First off, why were you so different when my mom was in the dorms? like I thought you were so like goody two-shoes!" I laugh and she snorts again.
"The parents expect it from me, please I could never be that bad or should I say good." She laughs. "What about you? Pretty goody two shoes yourself?" She nods to my outfit, it's not even bad.
"I'm not goody two shoes but I'm not edgy or anything. I'm normal." I say in my defence, I don't wear too much black but I don't act like a child. I don't drink because well, I'm underage and I don't do drugs, I use the occasional cigarette when I'm overly stressed. It's not a big deal.
She shrugs, I look around. This restaurant is very nice it has a bunch of Tv on the walls and this light up glass looking thing. It's noisy and chatty as I look around. Im talking to Marie about Josh when she sushes me.
"He's coming over now, don't get embarrassed this time. Please." She says, mocking me again. I nod at her as Hayden saunters over, my food in one hand and Marie's in the other. He places hers down on the table, followed by mine. His striking green eyes trail down my body lazily he doesn't care that I notice.
"Anything else, ladies?" His voice slow, sensuous. He runs a hand through his hair, looking between us. Smiling briefly at someone behind our table.
"No, uh we're good. Well I'm good, are you good? Marie?" I ramble, blushing again. He smirks, knowing what's going on. Marie and I eat the rest of our supper, going over our plans for Monday. She talks about her sister, someone in the music program. She says I can meet her soon, she has friends that Marie likes. I guess if Marie likes them, I'll like them too.
We make our way back to our dorm around 9pm, I don't know my way around this city and I end up getting lost twice. I end up having to shut off Marie's music that she plugged into my car just to be able to look at google maps on my phone. I know that doesn't make sense but it's like turning down the music when I back in. It's just something people do! Or maybe I'm weird.
Once getting back in I get into my sweatpants and oversized T-shirt. I pull my black hair into a bun and hop in bed. I grab my laptop and text with Josh for a few minutes. Tomorrow I decide to prepare for my first class on Monday and explore the city a bit more, Marie doesn't like that. Marie tells me I should come to meet her sister tomorrow, I agree. If she's anything like Marie, I'm sure I will love her.