You ever feel different? Like you aren’t supposed to belong here, or that your special and you don’t understand why? Welcome to my world.
When I was a child, my mother handed me a lottery ticket for fun, and I won the top prizes eight consecutive times in a row. Though, my mother was humble and just told me all my life that sometimes those things just happen to people I didn’t believe her. I think she knew I was different but kept it to herself to make sure I don’t feel like an outcast of some kind. I was already outcast enough by not having a father, like all the other kids.
I mean, it never bothered me. Mom told me he died of a heart attack but that she had a fairy tale love with him before he died. Which, now that I think about it, we don’t have any pictures of him or anything. But I guess, that would be normal if you lost your one true love. The only constant of a man that was in my life was probably my mom’s best friend Raphael, Raph for short. He has been around my entire life, and I can’t ever recall my mother making any kind of move on him or romantic gesture. He was just kinda always there.
“Are you sure you have everything?” Raph says to me. He’s tall and tan, filled out but definitely not a bodybuilder of any kind. His eyes were kind and blue but don’t let that fool you, his voice fills a room with every syllable. It’s almost terrifying sometimes. He normally wore a collared shirt and cargo shorts and carried his gun on his side wherever he was. Raph was a detective and normally on duty.
“I’m sure Raph, your car, and Mom’s car is all empty. And between you and I, I think she is unpacking my room for me as we speak.” I chuckled to him, flipping my braid behind my shoulder. I had one long blonde side braid going well past my chest and closer to my belly button. I was slim and olive-skinned, like my mother, but I worked out to make myself not look like a size four jeans. I have green eyes that are normally covered by my glasses, I had contacts but as an engineer, I wanted to look as mature as I could. Plus, I don’t turn eighteen until tomorrow, so looking older than I am has always been a top priority. My style normally consisted of plain. But, today I wore a yellow polka dot sundress with my Birkenstock sandals. Probably the most patterned thing I own.
“You know she only does that because she loves you, Elora.” Raph said to me as he sat on the back of the moderately new Outback that he rented a few days ago. “Berry College. I can’t believe you chose here over Yale.”
I gently punched his arm. “Yale was too crowded. I didn’t want to be in a classroom of hundreds of people. Plus, I’m closer to you and Mom.”
Raph chuckled and we watched my hippy of a mother walk toward us from the entrance of the hall that was my dorm for the next year. Mom, Aida, was moderately short and thin like me, but she had such a hippy style about her. Her tan tank dress went all the way to the floor, and her flip flops were definitely recycled from the plastics from the shores of Africa. Her wildly curly hair was tied into a bun and she was so happy all the time. It was so liberating to see the brightness in her face every day. I will definitely miss it.
“Alright my lovely Elora.” Mom said embracing me in a hug. “I guess this is the beginning of the end of your life as my baby girl.”
I chuckled. “Mom, you and Raphael are like four hours away I can still come home and do my laundry on the weekends if I wanted.”
“I know, but it will never be the same. Are you sure you don’t want us to stay for your birthday tomorrow?” Mom pressed nicely.
“I told you guys at dinner last night that it would be fine to spend the day myself. Plus you guys got me everything I could have ever wanted for college for my birthday. I’ll be fine.” I reassured them as they now stood side by side.
“Alright, then I guess we’ll have to give you the last two gifts then.” Mom said excitedly looking up at Raphael.
Raphael took out his wallet, and took a plastic card out and took the keys from his other pocket into one hand, placing it out to me. “Take care of the car, and now that your going to be 18, you have the access to your lotto money account that we have set aside for you.
I thought I was going to faint. “This is my car?”
My mother shook her head up and down and clapped her hands in excitement running over to the car door and opening it for me to sit in. I followed and basked in the excitement of my new car.
“So you legit lied to me when you said you rented this car, shame on you Raph.” I teased placing my hands on the wheel, he walked over to stand next to my mother and bask in the glory of the surprise that they pulled over my eyes.
“And what’s funny, is you drove it most of the way here, so technically you don’t even need a test drive.” Raphael added into the glory of his surprise.
Giggling they backed up and I hopped out of the car and embraced them. I was so excited about my birthday gift and thanked them a million times. When the thanking and tears were over, I stood next to my car and watched them drive away in Mom’s Ford Flex. I was alone for the first time in my life, but I felt like I was being watched. A wave of anxiety took over me, and I was nervous, so I quickly locked the car and started walking toward my dorm hall.
I passed a group of boys while walking back and one caught my eye. Mainly because I must have caught his. He was mysterious, but I felt almost pulled to him. He had long black hair on the top of his head that was messy from putting his hand through it. His blue eyes were almost luminescent when they met mine, and if that wasn’t distracting enough. His face was angelic, perfect skin, chiseled jawline, and just enough stubble for a bad boy look. As I glanced down his body, I could tell he probably lived at the gym. His upper body is built, he could probably lift me with one arm, and his black t-shirt barely fit his body. One movement and he would rip it to shreds. And his jeans were also a tight fit against his muscular torso. And as I was caught staring at that point, he moved away from his group and walked toward me.
I watched in awe, as he approached me. I don’t do well with people. Men, in particular, like him. Where you don’t know if he’s going to tell you to hand over his lunch money or take you away in a flying car while dancing and singing. But either way, I was as still as a statue in his presence.
He knelt down and picked up a pair of keys, “Are you alright? You dropped your keys.”
“Yeah. Oh my gosh. Thank you.” I scrambled checking my pockets. “I hadn’t even noticed I dropped them.”
“They were in your hand.” He said, taking my hand and placing the keys in them. “I watched you drop them.”
I’m bright red at this point. “Well, um. Thank you, again. You didn’t have to do that.”
“Oh no, I bet my buddies that with this one act of kindness it’ll wet your panties for the rest of the week. The pleasure is all mine.” He said to me with a disgusting tone.
I began walking off after that comment. What a way to treat women, how gross.
“I’m Louie by the way! In case you ever need me to take the pleasure of being in your presence again.” He yelled as I was practically sprinting away. The guys a little ways behind him were hooting and howling at me and hyping up their friend as he made disgusting hand motions near his genital area.
I’ve never been so humiliated in my entire life. Once I got into the hall, I walked past the common room area on the first floor, into the dormitory beyond it. Third door on the right, and placed my key card against the pad. Tears streamed down my eyes. But once I was inside my dorm with my back against the door I was greeted by my roommate who was concerned.
“Are you alright? Did someone hurt you!?” Angela jumped up to my side as I took deep breaths against the door to stop the sobs. Angela was a similar size to me, but she was more filled out. She actually looked like a woman effortlessly, beautiful mid-length brown hair, charm for days with her hazel eyes, and natural curves.
“I had- a guy - humiliate me!” I sobbed, placing my keys on my desk on my side of the room that was partially filled with boxes. “I thought - he - was nice - and all he did was - say his act of kindness would wet - my panties for a week!”
I hadn’t noticed until I sat on it that my mother must have made my bed for me after I had Raph raise it for the extra space. How sweet of her.
“What was his name? What did he look like?” Angela asked placing her arm around my shoulder. That was nice of her, we only met a few hours ago, so showing a kindness when I know so little of her is sweet.
“Louie is what he said.” I said to her, calming down. “He was so handsome until he was a jerk!”
“Well, maybe his handsomeness will catch him something stinky, like crabs! And karma will do her job.” Angela said to me with her sweet notion of inconvenience to him. “Screw him though, you're sweet.”
Angela wasn’t a hoverer and went to her side of the room that was already done and ready to go. Her bed was simple and clean, kind of reminded me of Raphael. White comforter with a baby blue accent to the edges. Dresser showing pictures of her and a best friend, and a Keurig. Desk holding her books on nursing and life coaching. Minimum little items on her white desk that gave her a simplicity I can only hope to achieve.
I dove into my mess of a room and tried to not think about the most beautiful man I have ever seen. But that was hard, considering my fingers were still tingling from where he touched them. Weird. Maybe he had some weird lotion or something. Or as my mother would say, lingering tingles are a sign that your chakras are aligned. Which, I had no idea what that meant, but she always seemed like she was teasing me when she said that. So I dismissed it.
Whatever, my room is as unpacked as I’m going to get it before tomorrow. I’m just going to ready my bag for the morning and go to bed. And not think about Chakra's aligning or hot guys or anything.
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