My alarm goes off and I instantly feel nervous for my first day. I know I shouldn’t be this nervous but something about this town is unsettling.
Everyone here seems to know each other, I assume it’s because they attended the high school that was just half an hour away. Then there is me, the girl who moved two hours from her hometown because she couldn’t get into any other college. Pathetic right?
I have a shower and put a little extra effort into my appearance for the first time in two years. I pull on some high waisted jeans and a cream sweater with baggy sleeves. I glance in the mirror and dab a little concealer under my eyes. I leave my hair down and don’t bother styling it. It’s already pin-straight naturally.
Liv and Zach offer me a ride to class but I decline because I have a meeting with the Chancellor in the afternoon and I didn’t want to make them wait for me. But I follow them in my car. The campus isn’t far, only a five-minute drive.
We get there a little early and they show me around the campus. Zach is a sophomore, so he knows where everything is and Liv attended orientation day.
A light brown-haired boy notices us and instantly calls out to Zach. I watch as he runs up to us. “Hey man, didn’t I tell you to wait for me?” he asks.
His gaze flickers to me and his smile grows wider. As if on cue Liv turns to me “This is our new housemate, Calla. Don’t try anything funny,” she warns him.
I bite my lip and try and hide my smile. I’m beginning to really like Liv.
The brown-haired boy places his arm around my shoulder in a friendly manner, “Theo.”
“Hey! I said no funny business,” Liv swats his arm away from me and I let out a small laugh.
Theo scrunches his face up into a pout, he is kind of cute. He reminds me of a grizzly bear, he is even built like one. His shirt clings to his muscles and his tanned skin is beautiful. I am sure he’s not a stranger with girls, especially with looks like that.
However, I’m not looking for anything like that and I quickly dismiss the idea of anything but friends.
To my surprise, Theo is in two of my first lectures and I feel better now that I know someone. They all seem nice and welcomed me into their group.
From what I could gather, they all went to the same high school, but Zach is a year older. There is also Ace who I haven’t met yet but I’m sure he will be just as nice.
Theo lives in the frat house just down the road and honestly, I don’t expect anything less of him. He seems like the party type.
“What are you majoring in?” I ask Theo during our lecture.
“Legal studies,” he says proudly. I widen my eyes not expecting his answer and his grin widens.
“Wow smart and pretty,” I tease, and he gives me a wink.
His eyes dart back to the professor before facing me again. “So, what brings you here?”
“The only college that accepted my stupid ass,” I joke, and he cocks his head to the side. I feel like I have to explain, “School wasn’t on my mind for the last couple of years... personal reasons.”
I don’t want to bring the sob story out. I appreciate it when he nods and doesn’t press further.
There is a forty-minute break before my next class and Theo insists we go meet up with Zach and Liv. I am hesitant because I realise how close they all are and I don’t want to intrude but Theo assures me that it’s fine.
We arrive at a cafe down the road. This town is small, so everything seems close by, which I like. Saves me wasting money on fuel.
Liv spots us and waves us towards the corner where they are seated. Liv is seated next to Zach and there is a blonde guy across from them.
Theo walks up and slaps the blondie playfully across the back of the head. I guess they are close?
The blondie turns around and as soon as he sees who it is, his mouth turns up into a wry smile. In one swift motion, he is out of the booth and attempting to tackle Theo in the middle of the cafe. I stare at them with my eyes wide but by the looks of it, this is their daily routine because Liv and Zach completely ignore them.
“I see you found yourself a girl, finally Theodore,” blondie says running a hand through his messed up hair.
I am about to object but realise he is joking.
“I’m kidding,” he flashes me a toothy grin. “The day Theo gets a girlfriend, we will all be doomed. I’m Josh by the way,” he says.
“Speak for yourself, Evans,” Theo retorts clearly not impressed by his friends comment and slides in to sit next to me.
I wonder how Liv deals with all the testosterone in the air, these boys seem like a handful. But I guess she’s used to it by now and I want to ask how long they’ve known each other for.
“Are you coming to the party on Friday night?” Theo interrupts my thoughts and looks at me. Me? Party? Definitely not.
“Of course, she’s coming,” Liv replies for me and I glance around awkwardly.
“Uh I don’t really do parties,” I say, and they all stare at me like I just said the sky is falling.
“C’mon, it’ll be fun,” Liv says.
“You have to come. It’s the first party of the season” Zach joins in, “Everyone is going to be there.” In the past couple of days, I realised that Zach doesn’t talk much, maybe it is just around me. Somehow, the fact that everyone is going to be there, doesn’t sound appealing at all.
However, they are all looking at me, waiting for me to agree and I know there is no way I can get out of this one.
“I guess I can come for a little,” I say but it comes out more like a question.
“Great! I’m so excited!” Liv exclaims and a smile escapes my lips.
I wait out the front of the Chancellors office. Since I accepted the college offer so late, the Chancellor wanted to go over a few things. I’m not sure what they are but I assume it’s going to be just the standard.
I hear yelling and I wonder who can possibly be yelling at the Chancellor on the first day of college.
I try not to listen but it’s hard with all the shouting and swearing. I can’t decipher what they are talking about but whatever it is, it seems heated and not college-related. Something about a competition and unfair terms.
“You are so fucking lucky that I’m in a good mood,” the voice growls. Goosebumps crawl up my arms. If that is his good mood then I would hate to hear him in a bad mood, whoever it is.
There’s silence for a moment, followed by a loud thump, like a fist hitting a wooden desk. I gulp loudly and my heart beats faster. Maybe I should come back later.
I stand up to leave but at the same time that I stand up, the door flies open. Something hard collides with my body and I stumble back spilling my coffee and my bag slips from my shoulder, dropping onto the floor.
“Why the fuck are you in the way?” A voice growls.
“Sorry,” I manage to squeeze out in a small voice. This is the exact moment I’m trying to avoid. I don’t look at him, afraid to meet his glare. I eye his shirt making sure no coffee spilt on him, but it’s hard to tell since it’s black.
He sighs and bends down in front of me to pick up my bag, “Here,” his voice is rough, with anger still present. He shoves my bag into my hands and I notice that his arms are covered in tattoos.
I keep my head down, trying not to make eye contact with him. But I feel his eyes still piercing into me. Why is he still standing here?
Don’t look. Don’t look.
I look up at him.
The first thing I notice is his eyes. Intimidating and intense. They are the most intense I have ever seen, a mix of blue, grey and green.
He meets my gaze and when our eyes lock, I see a flicker of recognition. Something in them changes and shifts his demeanour.
“Are you done staring?” he snaps.
I instantly drop my eyes to the ground in embarrassment.
“Next time, watch where you’re fucking going,” he snarls and turns on his heel not giving me a second glance.
What the hell? We were both at fault.
I am left dumbfounded and angry. Why did I let him talk to me like that? I’m not usually the type for confrontations but I know how to stick up for myself.
He is exactly the kind of person I don’t want to deal with. An asshole. A bad boy with a bad attitude. I take a mental note to stay away from him. That should be easy.
“How was the rest of your day?” Liv beams at me as I walk inside the house. She is sitting on the kitchen counter, popping grapes into her mouth. Living the dream.
I roll my eyes and sigh.
“What happened?” she asks and I am still angry so I decide to get it off my chest.
“Ugh,” I groan, “Some bad boy, asshole -” I notice Liv’s attention isn’t on me. I stop in mid-sentence and I slowly turn around to follow Liv’s gaze.
The bad boy, asshole is standing right in front of me and he looks pissed.
“Ace.” Liv greets him.