Chapter 1: Welcome to Mayville
I opened the window to let in the fresh air, my new lungs expanded as it took in the air. I instantly felt squirmish and sick and put back my mask on. Moving to Mayville was a welcome change for me. Trees lined every home’s front yard and the air smelled so full of oxygen. I could see some people sitting on their front porch reading the newspaper whilst drinking their morning cup of tea while others rushed towards their cars to go to work. The place echoed of a certain tranquillity never known to me before.
I was free of the curse of cystic fibrosis with my lung transplant and with the way I was progressing, my doctors said that my lungs would work along with my body in coordination and it would last me for the long-term. In the case of most cystic fibrosis patients, lung transplants don’t work out so well. But in cases like mine, where the type and configuration of the lungs are just right, things will be alright. It had been 6 months since that horrific night. I still remember as though it was yesterday. It seeps into my dreams, my thoughts and exaggerates my anxiety and stress levels to an incomprehensible extent, to the point I don’t even know what’s going on with me. My doctors said that my lungs would take some time to get used to the normal atmosphere and suggested that I wear a mask so that my lungs could get the time they need.
It had always been my dream to live in this town as this was where the university I idolized since childhood, stood. Saint Gregory’s University of Sciences had been my dream alma mater for more than a decade. I worked off my back and didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get into this prestigious university, as I attained a scholarship due to good grade performance. I applied for a course in Pathology and was to attend Bellington’s Institute of Pathology. The entire thing seemed so surreal 6 months ago. My parents were accompanying me on this short journey. I could tell they were tensed and would have even attended college with me if it weren’t for the rules and regulations instituted by the university. I could comprehend with the overprotectiveness they had for me. The last time I was sent somewhere alone I was seriously assaulted and injured to the point I was mere inches away from death’s door. I guess that’s when God decided to help me fight for my life.
The university stood in the centre of town, surrounded by shops and cafes of all kinds. The grandeur of it overwhelmed me entirely. The mammoth campus was surrounded with lush greenery and I wondered whether I will have to use a navigation app to find my way through here. All this while, I was perturbed and preoccupied with my thoughts. I was for sure tense, because the last time I moved places, even temporarily, I was assaulted. I was afraid anybody would cause me any more trouble. And I have had enough trouble and injuries than any person could bear with. I was afraid I would be bullied for being different. At school, I was bullied for being a CF patient, and I wondered if I would be bullied for wearing a mask and being aloof. To this day I have had only one serious best friend and I already learned my lesson not to trust other people a long time back. I just couldn’t handle history repeating itself because that is mental torture than a human being can handle.
My dad parked the car into the parking spot in front of the administrations building situated at the right side of the massive wrought iron gates that guarded the entrance. I got out of the car with my bag slung over a shoulder. I removed my hair tie and put a simple headband to keep my hair out my face. I had worn black jeggings paired with a white hoodie that had the FRIENDS logo. I looked back at the gates wondering at its enormity. It was like as if it kept guard of the university from unwanted people.
“Mom, dad I can handle this...You guys can leave...let at least please get my hostel room by myself...” I told them before entering the threshold of the administration’s office.
“But, Rosie...” my mum started but stopped as my dad raised a hand, indicating her to stop.
My dad came forward and hugging me, said “We don’t want to leave you alone, okay. But we know we have to ’cause that’s just how life is. It’s our responsibility as parents to let you do some things on your own and I know we haven’t let you do that for quite a few months ever since the incident...” my dad sighing.
My eyes were filled with tears and my mum’s face was glazed with them. My mum came forward as my dad stepped back and hugged me tightly. I enjoyed her embrace and hoped it would last longer. In between sobs, she said “Take care of yourself okay... If you have anything you wanna let out or talk,... just let it out, don’t bottle it up. Attend your therapy sessions on time. Don’t forget your meds and stay safe...” my mom sobbed into my shoulder. Then she let go upon my dad’s touch on her shoulder and he spoke “If anyone gives you a hard time in there, let me know, I mean,( my mom pinched him in his arm) let us know...they will be having a quick session with my fist...” my dad ended off, menacingly. “Daaaaad...” I sobbed with a knowing face and rushed to hug both of them. I let go after a few seconds, waved goodbye and entered the threshold of my new beginning.
I entered the office which was warm opposing to the gentle cold breeze outside. It was huge. Upon entering I noticed a huge desk taking up nearly the entire central part of the room where an old lady was busy with some papers. There were white cushioned chairs on either side of the desk, which I guessed was a waiting area of some kind. A potted plant guarded a side of the desk.
“Hello...um Good Evening...My name is Rose Marlene Mayfair and...I am new here...I was hoping you could show me where the women’s dormitory is?” I stammered.
“Oh yes, darling...don’t be nervous...Rose...Rose(she was saying this as she pored over a list)...ah yes...Rose Marlene Mayfair...Welcome to Saint Gregory’s University of Sciences. Here are your locker keys and your daily planner along with your notebooks and textbooks. Also here is your map for the campus. Your locker number is 201 and dorm room number is 903, and yes you will be sharing it with a Daphne Mitt I presume? And do you have any more questions?” the old lady asked me kindly.
“Um...yes...where is the women’s dormitory?” I asked, holding the bags of books she had handed over to me.
“It’s just opposite this building sweetie...I am your matron and dorm warden by the way and I warmly welcome you to the Lavender Dormitory for girls!” she replied happily.
I thanked her and beamed a smile at her as I left the counter. On my way out, I saw a really grumpy looking guy. He had black hair that was messy and apart of it hung over on one side. I could see droplets of sweat clinging onto his hair. I bumped into him really hard, which inflicted a sharp stab of pain in my chest. My books fell as I did. I could see the guy reluctantly bending down and within that time I tried to gather up as much of my books as I could and as he reached in level with my head, only a single book was left on the floor and we both grabbed it. I looked into his grey eyes as he looked into my plum-coloured eyes. I yanked the book from him and with all the energy and strength I could muster, got up and hurried out of the office and out into the open ground.
Hey there lovelies!!!