The noise of two guys shouting in the corridor about laundry woke me up and rendered me momentarily confused. My eyes blinked in the sight of Liams dorm room, white walls filled with posters of sweaty athletes. Liam mumbled something inaudible and then grabbed my body tighter. I closed my eyes trying to drift myself back to sleep now the corridor was a little quieter.
I must have been lightly dozing for no longer than ten minutes before I heard a fumble of keys in the lock. My heart rate increased and I shoved Liam hard in the chest to wake him up. His silver eyes opened wide immediately and a fearful expression troubled his handsome face.
Regretfully, I know I caused that.
I pointed my head towards the door and he quickly realized what I was trying to tell him. He sat up in bed and rubbed his tired eyes. I pulled the sheet higher to conceal my body.
“Olivia I-” Liam started nervously but he didn’t finish his sentence before the door flung open.
“Reece!” Liam squealed in a ear piercing high pitched tone, he cleared his throat “I thought you had practice till three.”
I watched as Liam rubbed the back of his neck and wore a guilty expression that made my gut wrench. I was frozen to the core at the display in front of me. Liam had neglected to mention that Reece was in fact a girl. A very attractive girl. She walked into the room with ease, shooting me a small wave with her perfectly manicured fingers but I was unable to move my arm to wave back.
Did I even want to wave back?
“Just grabbing my stuff.” She said as she pulled a gym bag out from under her bed. Her perfect brunette hair was swished back into a ponytail and she had a natural contour to her face that highlighted her understated beauty. Her body was toned and beautiful showing off the obvious sign that she was an athlete, like Liam.
“Sorry to disturb you, I’ll get out of your way now.” She looked at me with a perfect smile that sparkled her hazel eyes “You must be Olivia.”
I couldn’t talk so I just nodded like an idiot.
Why did I have such a problem with this?
“Well I’d love to stay and finish this conversation but like I said I’m late.” Her tone was sarcastic and mocking. I instantly disliked her.
I pulled away from Liam, getting out of bed and dressing immediately. Suddenly I felt extremely self conscious. He watched me warily.
“She seems.... nice.” I lied with an aggressive tone that I tried to keep hidden from Liam who looked like I had just caught him red handed in the cookie jar.
“Liv?” He said nervously, testing the waters.
“Hmm?” I replied trying to act nonchalantly but failing miserably because there was a rush of emotions running through my body right now and not a single one of them was good.
“It’s okay she’s a girl, right?” He was awkward and shy.
“Yeah, why wouldn’t it be?” The lie made my voice strangely high pitched but underlined with an angry tone.
“I can request a change if it’s going to be a problem.” He seemed sincere enough and I wanted to scream at him to put that request in right now.
I didn’t want him sharing a room with this gorgeous girl who obviously has a lot in common with him. I wanted him to myself. But then I remembered his words from last night, he could have flew off the handle about Luke but he didn’t. Maybe this is why he didn’t. Either way, he remained calm and placed his trust in me, so now I needed to repay the favor.
“I trust you Liam.” I repeated his words from last night back to him and I did trust him, it’s her I didn’t trust.
“I trust you but I would still hate it if your roommate was a guy.”
“It’s fine. I answered wearing my fakest smile.
He searched my face for any doubt and he probably found it but didn’t question it any further. I think deep down he liked having Reece as his roommate. Somewhere at the back of my mind I felt betrayed that he didn’t tell me and I couldn’t shake the feeling like he intentionally tried to hide it from me.
I was distant with him the whole morning, I knew he could sense it but he was smart enough to avoid discussing Reece with me. When I couldn’t handle the overbearing heaviness any longer I made an excuse to leave telling him I needed to check if Lola was still alive. To make the doubts running through my head worse I think he was relieved when I left because he couldn’t get me out of the door quick enough.
As I walked through my college campus my body was present but my mind was elsewhere and somehow my legs weightlessly carried me back to my dorm.
Lola was still in bed with the curtains closed and the pillow resting over her head to block out the slither of light in the room, no doubt she was hungover. I lay on my bed with a sigh and pulled out my phone, needing to talk to someone familiar right now.
“Hey girl! I miss you!” She spoke with such enthusiasm but I knew I couldn’t match it so I just poured my heart out from the start.
“Tia! Liams roommate is a girl, we’ve been here for weeks and he didn’t tell me. I only found out because she came back early when she was supposed to be at soccer practice. What does this mean?”
Lola sat up in bed instantly, her ginger hair sticking up in every direction possible. She squinted in the light but her bloodshot eyes were hooked on me and I didn’t like the expression she wore.
“It means trouble for your relationship.” She said straightly.
“Why would he not tell you Liv? Liam has always been a player, a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots. Watch your back.” Tia said in a comforting tone.
She’s always been cautious of Liam and maybe coming to her for advice wasn’t the best thing because of that. But Lola’s words also chilled me to the bone.
“Is she pretty?” Both Lola and Tia asked simultaneously.
I closed my eyes, not wanting to live through the reality of this situation.
“Stunning.” I whispered to both parties without opening my eyes.
“Oh Liv.” Tia said sadly.
“Yeah, you’re doomed.” Lola pointed out with no empathy whatsoever.
“I’m so stupid, they had posters of male soccer players on the walls and I didn’t even question it. The other day at the cafe he sat texting her for ages, forgetting I was even there. He lowered the volume down on his phone when he called her and whenever I mentioned his roommate he got weird, rubbed his neck. Why wouldn’t he tell me?”
“Rubbed his neck?” Lola asked with scrunched up facial expression.
“Yeah he does this thing when he’s nervous.” I waved off the unimportant part of my conversation and concentrated on the facts.
“Maybe you should talk to Jordan, he knows Liam best.” Tia suggested.
“Jordan would defend him no matter what.” I pointed out.
“Listen.” Lola sat up more and straightened her hair out with her fingers, I knew whatever she was about to say would be something I didn’t want to hear but maybe I needed to hear it.
“That girl is gonna see your man change, shes gonna see him when he’s fresh out the shower, she’s gonna be there when he’s frustrated and jerks off secretly under the covers, maybe she’ll help. She’s gonna be the first face he sees when he wakes up and the last face he sees before he falls asleep. Those late night deep chats where they reveal their secrets to one another and then he’ll invite her back home to meet the fam when we go on term breaks because they’re just so close. He’ll play it off as best friends at first but everybody knows the first step to a relationship is friendship. Get off the phone and go get your man before she does.”
Her words took a moment to sink in and as soon as they did a slow smile spread across my lips because she put everything into perspective for me. None of those things were going to happen. Liam had a hard enough time showing his emotions to me, never mind a stranger.
“What are you smiling at?” She complained with a frustrated tone.
“You don’t know Liam like I do.” I said through an escaped giggle.
“I give up.” She muttered and threw herself back down on the bed covering her face with the pillow.