Coming to America
Nothing will ever be the same again. Saying goodbye to friends and loved ones to set off on my new adventure, I'm a mixture of excited and scared out of my wits. I'm going to college in America. I've been in college here in Dublin for two years, but this is different. Different school, different people, different continent even. Different way of life. Everything will be different. When I return someday, everything will be different too. I'll be different.
When you're leaving home for the first time, making sure everything is going as planned is essential. Especially when you have no idea when you'll be back. When it falls apart at the last minute it can certainly cause trouble. I'm finding this out the hard way, of course. Moving across the world from Ireland to the USA, California at that, I might as well be traveling to the moon. I'm definitely speaking a different language than these folks.
"What do you mean you can't take me? I'm at the airport now waiting to leave!" It was as if my new beginning was cursed. Damn fairies always throw a wrench into the mix. Already there's a problem and I've got no idea how to fix it. "Don't you think you should have told me this a week ago? Do ya not keep your word then?"
My host family is backing out of the deal that was made through the admissions department of the school. I was to stay with a family and go to finish my last two years of college and now just as I'm to board my plane, I find out they've changed their mind. I don't have a backup plan for this. I don't have any place else to go. I've spent almost every dime I have on this trip and now I can't even get the car trip home.
"I'm so sorry dear, but we just don't think having you here is something we can do right now. Maybe next semester." My host mother says and hangs up. What do I do now?
My mind begins working fast. I was so excited for this. My friends told me not to get my hopes up for fear of failure, but I did anyway. I didn't expect to get a call as I boarded the damn plane that I was out of luck. Luck is what you make it though. Somehow I'll find a way to right this. My mum always said I could land my feet every time I fall no matter what I'd gotten myself into. I hope she's right.
I don't have much time as they call over head to starting to board the plane. My heart is pounding as I pace by the window looking out at the big 747. I've paid my airfare, fees for college. Everything I own is on that plane. I've nothing left here for me. What do I do?
I don't see a way through this one. The school arranged for my host family. The school connected us, matching us up for the two years. The school should be the ones to rectify the problem and find me a new host. There has to be a way.
Quickly, I call student services and hope I can get a dorm or something. I don't even know the time change. When the woman answers I give my name and explain it all. She says that another family was going to host as well but their student back out. Immediately, she assigns me to the other family and student guide and says she is emailing me with the address I'll be staying. She will notify the family immediately and have someone at the airport to pick me up. By the time I get into my seat I've gotten the new address and I'm set. Again.
Feeling a bit calmer now my carryon is tucked securely in the overhead compartment, my seatbelt is latched tight and I'm holding on for dear life. The woman across from sends me a polite smile and the man next to me grunts a grumpy hello as he takes his seat. Brushing against my side as he sits I catch a whiff of him and wish I'd taken the aisle seat instead. At least then I could escape his stench.
I'm not a good flyer but I'll figure a way to get through. It's a long flight to be doing alone and I won't arrive until tomorrow. By then I was assured the new family would be ready for me. I grip tight on the arms of my seat as the plane begins to move. Looking out my window I watch as the green pastures and mors disappear and all I see are dots below us.
"Would you like a drink?" I'm asked as soon as the light goes off.
"Whiskey please." I answer and take several deep breaths. The lady disappears for a moment then returns with a mini bottle and a glass of ice for me. Making my drink quickly then tossing the empty bottle in the bin.
"First time flying for you then?" She asks as she hands me my drink.
"Yes. I'm a bit nervous." I tell her as I sip on my drink. She smiles nodding to me but moves on. I'm sure I'm not the first nervous flyer she's run across.
With my head resting against the window, my earbuds in playing to drown out my sleeping smelly companion, I slept a good portion of the flight but woke to the sun setting over the ocean. Seats are returned up and everyone gets ready for landing in Los Angeles. My new home for the next two years. I watch out my window at the busy freeways and buildings. It is very different from home.
The wheel hit the asphalt and the plane slows making its way to park at the terminal. When the light goes off it's like everyone is in a mad dash to get off the plane so I wait. I'm not one for getting run over. When the bulk of the passengers are gone I grab my bag from overhead and head off for the rest of my belongings.
The amount of people pushing me around is insane. Watching the carousel begin to move it seems like it takes forever before any suitcases begin to appear and even longer before I see my own come through. After I finally get my luggage and work my way outside. I looked for a sign with my name on it as instructed. I moved through the airport searching but there's nothing. Many drivers are here picking up businessmen and others, none look like a college student or host family for me and now standing outside in the noisy crowd getting in and out of cabs outside, I see no one still. The sun goes down and darkness falls, exhaustion is setting in on me and I'm stuck in an airport of a foreign land and no one I know is here.
A bit of concern about my well being and a doubt in my decision to come here alone begins to creep into my subconscious. Doubting my choice, I wonder if I should just get back onto a plane and head home or do I keep moving forward with my plan for my future.
"Do you need help miss?" A deep voice interrupts my thoughts. Turning an airport porter stands before me with a friendly smile on his face.
"Yes, thank you." Relieved for some help at last. Digging into my purse, I dig for my phone and show him the address. "I need to get here. I was supposed to have a pickup but I don't see anyone coming for me."
His friendly face looks down and nods. I expect he has had to direct many people here who are like me, a bit lost. His graying hair blows a bit in the soft breeze as his kind eyes twinkle in the fading light. The creases deepen around his eyes as he gives me a sympathetic smile andi see just a hint of a dimple in his cheek.
"I'll get you a cab, miss. They can take you." He helps me with my luggage and escorts me over to a line of waiting cars.
The heat hits me like a hot wave from the ocean. My long blonde hair curls up from the humidity almost immediately. Once the car is packed up I thank the man and get on my way. I have some choice words for the one who left me standing alone for hours there.
It was quite the drive through town and the jet lag is starting to catch up with me. Headlights blurs as the pass us, overhead lights fly past illuminating the darkness. Tall buildings surround us like metal mountains then open up to houses. I feel my head tilt and rest against the cool glass and my eyes starting to get heavy wanting to close over for the night. It's really been a very long day.
I'm tired, irritated and just a bit drunk from the several drinks on the flight I needed. Sleep is waiting to take me over, but I'm fighting to stay awake, my temper keeps me going. The more I let myself think about the chain of events today, the more irritated I become. I'm not normally a cranky person or one who lets my temper get the best of me, but it's been a long day.
"Here you go miss." I hear the driver call as we pull up outside of a very busy house.
My eyes widen at the sight and I have to wonder if I was given the proper address. I quickly scroll through my messages and check the address to be sure. This can't be right. I'm to stay with a family not a flop house. I stay put looking at the mess of drunken students coming in and out of the house. This can't be right.
The driver has already unloaded my belongings when I step out of the car. There has to have been a mistake. Scanning the yard, the mess of a house my mouth drops. Red plastic cups litter the yard, noise is screaming from the inside, lights strobe and it looks like the place has been overcome by the drunk and unruly.
I grab my things, piling smaller bags on top of the bigger ones and drag them to the door just as a young man tosses another to the lawn. "We don't do that shit here, man. We've already warned you about that." He roars at the boy before glancing my way and sizing me up. His eyes roaming up and down my body, I feel I'm under careful scrutiny. "Hello beautiful! I'm Cam, allow me to welcome you to our humble home." He eyes my belongings, narrowing his view on the pile of bags I'm dragging behind me and questioning my stay here as well. "Wow, you know the party is just for tonight, right sweetheart?"
I blow out a long frustrating breath, and hastily brush my hair away from my face. I hope this wasn't my guide. "My name is Delaney Finnigan. I'm an exchange student from Ireland and I was supposed to be meeting my student guide at the airport this evening, but I think I was bloody forgotten about."
"Ah, an Irish lass!" Cam grins merrily, but it disappears quickly when he doesn't see any humor on my face. Normally I have a good sense of humor, but having been traveling all day and the hard time I've been getting to find my way here. I'm a wee bit out of sorts. "We've got a place we can store these for now, then I'll see what we can do for you. They directed you here? Not that I'm complaining, but this is a frat house. Guys only. Girls aren't allowed to live here with us."
"Aye, they did. Got it in writing too. It was last minute, ya see. My host family backed out and I was just boarding the plane when they called me. They were setting me up with a new family, the Stafford's. Do ya know them?" I explain as Cam stopped at the door entrance.
Cam has quite the cheeky look about him as he recognizes the name. "Uh, Yes. Only I don't think he knows you were coming."
We've finally got the house ready and our guests are arriving. After making sure doors are locked to the bedrooms we work our way down the hall. Checking doors and bathrooms we make sure they're cleaned and presentable. There are eight guys that live here so it's important the new kids know what they can and can't do. It definitely takes some training on our part, but since most of the guys are on the team it's usually is only a couple of times before they get it.
"This is gonna be a party for the books, man." Cam claps my shoulders proudly looking down the stairs at the party that's laid before us. He's just as ready for our last year here as I am.
The music is blaring, the bass pounding the walls and rattling the windows. Drinks are flowing. The team is there to support the house and enjoy all that have come out. The team are all house members just most don't live here. Girls are grinding up on guys and each other. I can be proud, my senior year will be going off with a bang.
When I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket for the fifth time in the last hour, I don't even pull it out of my pocket. My mom has been pestering me all week about my priorities for this year. Academic then football she says reminding me of the conversation I had with my dad before I left this summer. She has been calling all day and I've ignored every call. I don't want to hear it tonight. I want to enjoy myself for once before I have to buckle down this year.
Cam and I head down to sample the merchandise, or girls, that are here. There's the girls that are at every party we throw. They're our sister house down the road and help with planning, alternating parties with us. Most of the girls are on the squad and travel around with the team. We know of them and we know that some of those girls only want what comes with us. That game is getting old. Then there's the new students just coming in. Those are some beautiful fresh looking girls that are in need of my company tonight.
"Ready to meet the new recruits?" Cam grins, he's as anxious as I am to meet the new student body.
"Absolutely!" I agree wholeheartedly. It's time to get my hands on something new, something different.
Three hours go by and I'm a king for the night. Sitting outside at our fire pit I've got a girl on each side of me. My feet propped up nicely on the ledge and my ex girl, Sloan, is in my lap. We aren't together, but I know she wants me back. She's been rubbing up on me all night. Nothing could be better. I've got a nice buzz going from the beer but sitting out here under the stars I can finally breathe. Inside this time of night always gets me claustrophobic. Too many bodies and too much noise.
When my phone goes off again, I finally decide to see who it is bugging me. My mom will only keep calling and worry until she hears from me. Moving Sloan from my lap, I pull out my phone seeing I'm correct, it's her and decide I better answer it this time. "Hey, mom! I'm sorry I..."
"Tell me you got my messages and picked up Delaney!?" Uh oh. Who the fuck is he? When my mom doesn't even greet me I know I'm in trouble. I should have answered earlier but things were so busy. I figured it was just the same old lecture again. But I can hear the worry in her voice.
"Who's Delaney?" I ask completely confused. Did she tell me about a Delaney?
"This would be the very beautiful Delaney." Cam answers my questions.
Turning around my eyes widen as my phone slides from my face. I'm completely confused and feel like I've been punched in the gut, and my chest hurts. Rubbing my fist over my chest my mouth goes dry. Taking a long drink of my beer, I try desperately to quench my thirst.
Holy shit! This girl is stunning. Reddish blonde hair and green eyes, soft looking porcelain skin and so small. She could easily get run over with these meatheads. She looks tired though, like a party wasn't what she had in mind for tonight. Her curious and heated eyes look around the yard stopping on me and I'm flubbuxed.
How does my mom know her?
"Breyden Alexander Stafford!" I hear mom boom through the phone. Shit! I fucked something up.
"Yeah! Mom, Delaney is here. We've got her." I assure her and will answer questions later. "She just got here, so I gotta go. I'll call tomorrow." I disconnect the call and stand up to fully take in this beauty.
She's a good foot smaller than me, placing the top of her head just under my chin. Perfect size. Nice curves, small and that face is just mesmerizing. How the fuck does my mom know her?
I smile and reach out to greet our guest. "Welcome Delaney, I'm Breyden."
"You're a right arse is what ya are! Leaving a girl to fend for herself in a strange country. For hours I've been sitting waiting for ya. Is that how ya greet someone?" She chews me out and with a fire I've never seen.
Damn it! I'm in trouble.