Well here goes nothing, as I sit and stare out my car window looking at the vast campus that lies before me. Still griping the steering wheel tightly, I realize I’m not moving. Nope, I’m basically frozen in place with no intention of getting out of this car. I wonder if I can reach Wi-Fi on my laptop and just do online courses and never have to leave the safety of my car. Glancing in the mirror I take a deep breath and slowly peel my hands from their resting stop. After 14 hours of driving they are sore and stiff, almost looking like raptor claws, a great look and first impression for my “new and improved” life. I reach over to the passenger seat and to grab my purse, only to find somewhere in the last leg of the journey it has spilled the entire contents of my life on the floor. Shit, seriously why do I feel the need to have such a giant purse that allows me to stuff that much crap into it? I rifle through the mess that is now my floorboards and find my wallet and envelop that contains all the information I’m going to need to start this chapter of my life. Alright let’s do this, as I grab the handle and swing open my car door. “Hey watch it” I hear a voice say as I glance up and catch their eyes. The scowl on their face suggests I about creamed them with my door, wincing I manage to squeak out an “I’m sorry” as I quickly climb out and shut it. Leaning up against the car, I tip my face to the sky thinking; great first start Lauren. I seriously think I should look into that WI-FI.
Whoever said college would be the best years of your life obviously didn’t have to unload their car of all their stuff alone. After finding the hall I would call home for the next year, I made it back to my car parked of course in the opposite direction. A small sigh escaped from my lips as I pop the hatch to the trunk, what was I thinking packing all this junk. As I basically stalled the inevitable of the massive unload I was about to partake in, my mind began to wander. Memories began to flood back into my mind, things that I have buried so deeply in my soul, things that I am trying to run away from. I only realize that I’m off in la-la land when I feel the hot moisture from tears on my cheeks, and quickly wipe them away with the back of my hands. Well here goes nothing I murmur to myself as I grab a tub and some hanging clothes from the pile of never ending crap. Closing the hatch I begin the daunting hike to my dorm, looking around and watching all the families drop off their loved ones, helping them with their own massive load of crap. Suck it up I thought, don’t sweat the small stuff, it’s going to be fine. Wow, I sound like a stupid hallmark card, as I shake my head to rid me of past thoughts. I reach the door of the enormous building and pull it open, shock creeps over me at the amount of people milling about the lobby. Fear starts to creep in as I quickly scan the room. It’s all in my head I say to myself, they are not staring, take a deep breath and move forward. I opt to take the stairs, as I’m only on the second floor and waiting in line for the elevators is going to cause more anxiety then needed today. Reaching the door to my shared room I don’t know if I should knock or just walk in. Standing there like an idiot, I raise my hand to knock and the door swings open. “Oh hi” a loud and gorgeous blonde blurts out, blocking my entrance from the room. “I’m Tammy, and I’m betting your Seven!” she says with enthusiasm and almost a bounce in her step. “Um yeah”, I managed to struggle out. I’m guessing I look like a deer caught in the headlights as Tammy seems to be looking a little worried that her roommate is weirdo. “Sorry, I’m totally in your way huh” as she steps aside and motions to come in. I take that first step into the room and slowly scan my surroundings. My face must have given me away because Tammy starts to talk real fast. “I’m sorry is it too much? I’m always over doing things and I just want our room to be perfect, and well you know started over here, then that wall looked bare and well then I had to rearrange the furniture, and you hate it huh?” I glance over at my roommate who is still holding the door wide open and biting her lip in fear of what I was about to say. “Oh no it’s fine, I take it that’s my bed” giving her a reassuring smile I have come to master for situations like this. The look of relief washes over Tammy’s face as she shuts the door. “Oh good, I was completely worried that you would hate it, and in return hate me, and then it would be a miserable living arrangement, and oh my gosh I’m rambling huh?” As she stops just inches in front of me, twisting her hands nervously in front of her. I quickly take a step back and turn towards my bed in the corner, tossing the bin and the clothes in a pile. “Don’t worry about it” I throw over my shoulder a smile and act like I’m digging through the mess I created. I can feel the awkwardness in the air as a tentative few moments pass with no other words spoken. Closing my eyes I remember this is my chance for change, to be the person I always wanted to be. So what do I do, plaster a smile on my face and turn around to bring that new girl out.
“I was just about to head over to the lodge and grab a bite to eat, wanna come with?” Tammy looks a little relieved when she sees the smile I’ve managed to muster up. “I’ve got so much to unload and of course I’m parked clear across campus, so maybe next time” I say to her as I walk to the door. Just as I was to turn the knob and walk out Tammy blurts out “I can help if you want?” shrugging her shoulders. Hesitating at the door, I mull the offer over in my mind. Its only help and besides, I’m going to be living with his chick better make nice now. Besides I’ve got so much stuff and really don’t want to make five million trips across campus alone. So what do I do, turn around and flash that winning smile of mine; “sure I’d love help!” I swear she is going to see straight through my fake BS; but nope, she gives me a smile and follows me out the door. The moment we step outside she starts to ramble again, and I find myself letting my mind wander once more. I catch snippets of information on her life; 1 brother, cheerleader, single, loves to talk (yeah go figure), and I think she said she was rushing. We get to my car and she smiles “Thank god you have a nice car, my parents wouldn’t let me bring mine and I hate showing up to parties in a junker, wow that sounded shallow, I swear I’m not that shallow, it’s just that I like nice things, and hot girls should always……………….oh wow I’m just gonna shut up now,” as she bites her lip again. I laugh as I walk to the back and hit the latch button. Yes my car was nice; White 2012 Honda accord, however the circumstance behind owning it makes the car look ugly to me. “Your parents must really love you for having this nice of a car” as she grabs more clothes and a laundry hamper. “Something like that” as I reach for another tub and a duffle bag full of shoes. At this rate two or three more trips and we should have it all, and then maybe I can get some peace from her incessant talking.
I was down to my final box of crap when Tammy comes skidding threw the door. “You will never believe who is throwing a party tonight!” I contemplate giving her a smartass answer as I place the last picture frame on my desk, however go with a questioning look and a “who?” “Phi Kappa Tau!” She squeals, jumping up and down like a fricken pre-teen at a Bieber concert. “You have to come with me, I mean please come with me, pretty pretty pretty please”, as she grabs my arm and gives it a shake. “I don’t know” ripping my arm from her clutches. I flop down on to my freshly made bed and look at my roommate standing there like a kid on Christmas complete with the twinkle in her eye. She really is pretty, I’m betting 5’8, long blonde hair, southern belle style, and truly seems like a nice person. Tammy immediately walks over to my side of the closet and starts to fling clothes in every direction. “Wait, I just put everything away” as I start to gather the ever growing pile of material on the floor. “Ah ha, I bet this is amazing on you!” Tammy twirls around and I’m almost afraid to look at what she is holding. I slowly glance up with an arm full of clothes and wince. It was that dress, you know the dress one can’t seem to ever get rid of, yet never want to wear again. The dress that holds so many memories that always resurfaces no matter how far down you push that emotion? Crap, yep it’s that dress. As I stand there basically dumbstruck and mouth open, Tammy is already digging for shoes. “This is going to be the hottest back to school party tonight, and I can’t fly solo, AND we are going to be best friends so basically that requires you to go, and TA-DA look I’ve already got your outfit ready” as she comes up holding that dress and a pair of red strappy heals. Why can’t I just get rid of that dress!
How I let Tammy talk me into to this I’ll never know, however I’m starting to realize that my decision to tag along was a dumb one. This stupid dress keeps riding up on my things, and I swear my hands are going to be fixed at its hem tonight, pulling it down over and over again. I can’t believe I’m even back in this dress, it’s been almost a year since that night and this stupid dress still fits like a glove. A wave of emotion crept over me as I slipped it on earlier this evening, but I managed to push it down, and now is not the time for it to come back up. I glance up at the tall two story brick building, wondering what I got myself into. I was just about to turn around when Tammy linked my arms and pulled me up the walkway. “Tonight is about networking, finding the hottest guys at this party, and taking numbers. But never leaving with them, gotta leave them wanting more!” I glance over at Tammy and she has got a wicked smile plastered across her face, somehow I know tonight is going to be trouble. We reach the steps and you can hear the music at full blast inside the house, some sort of new aged pop crap. I grimace at the thought of listening to this all night, letting my mind wander back to cool evenings around the bonfire with a little Cash in the background. However that memory was quickly removed from my mind when an idiot pushes past Tammy and I and barely makes it down the steps before losing his dinner all over the grass. “This party is going to be amazing! We can’t lose each other okay?” as Tammy slips our linking arms apart and grabs my hand to walk in the front door. The door is already open and the room is packed, and I’m talking Cowboys playing the Steelers on a Monday night bar packed. Tammy manages to squeeze past a few people and I’m almost thankful that we are holding hands now, cause there would be no way I could manage to get anywhere in this crowd. I have to remind myself to keep looking up, as truly I find the floor much more interesting than saying excuse me or oops sorry to everyone we bump into as Tammy forges forward to the unknown.
Tammy is almost pulling my shoulder out of its socket when she gives me a quick jerk. I take my eyes off the floor and glance up “Keg straight ahead!” she shouts. “Aye matey” as I roll my eyes still being drug across the room that I’m thinking is a formal dining area? “Okay remember the rules Lauren; no taking drinks from anyone other than each other, no losing track of each other, and finally find a hot piece of ass but no bring him home” as she hands me a plastic cup and smiles like a Cheshire cat. The coldness of the liquid in the cup shocks my senses; it’s been awhile since I’ve had a drink. Well actually it’s been 11 months and 14 days since that night, not like I’m counting or anything. As I stare at the beer in my hand I start to panic, closing my eyes I try to mentally talk myself down from the ledge my mind feels like its standing on. I can do this, no one knows, I’m going to have fun. Deep breathe in and slowly exhale is what my therapist always told me to do, however that didn’t seem like a good idea for the time being. No, let’s just slam this beer down see if it takes the edge off. “Holy shit girl that was totally hot” Tammy exclaims as I sit the plastic cup down on the counter. I just shrug my shoulders “What can I say; it felt like the right thing to do”. Tammy throws her head back and laughs “Let’s go dance” as she grabs my hand and starts pulling me to the make shift dance floor.
Why I come to these parties I can never tell ya, oh wait its required for my frat. The frat that I didn’t want to join however is basically forced down my throat since I’m a legacy. Guess I better find the damn keg and get this evening over with as I wander down the hall to find the beer. “Hey Stone” a blonde throws herself on me as I walk by. Glancing over at the chick I have no clue who she is, but at least she is hot. “It’s been a while hot stuff, wanna head upstairs” she asks while throwing her hands up around my neck. Now any other night I would have said sure, however I was already in a piss poor mood for being at this party when all I wanted to do was sit on my ass in my lonely apartment and drown my sorrows away alone. I pull the drunken girls arms off my neck and steady her on her feet, “not tonight darling”. I turn and walk away bound to find a drink and try to forget I’m stuck here. “Whatever Stone, don’t call me ever again” the blonde shouts out to me. I smile and shake my head, I never call them anyways.
I finally find the keg in the stupidest spot the pledges could have put it and head out to the back yard to think. I catch girls basically eye fucking me as I walk out of the house, however have no intention of stopping and talking with any of them. Stepping out on the patio I notice for once the backyard is somewhat clean, and actually a decent place to be considering this house belongs to bunch of guys who can’t even pick up their own socks from the floor. I wonder if they made the pledges do some yard work or if our “president” had his daddy hire someone. Yeah I bet it was later thought, stupid fucker. I spot a chair not being used and pull it over to a corner of the yard that currently has no drunken visitors. Last thing I need is another chick to come and try to catch my attention with her boobs or a pledge asking if he can do anything for me. I throw the hood of my sweatshirt over my head and slouch down in the chair, tipping the beer back slowly. Whoever bought the keg should have got better beer, this shit is gross as I swirl the brown liquid in the cup. This is disgusting as I throw the cup behind me, the pledge can clean that shit up later.
I close my eyes for only a second and my chair is tipping back. “What the fuck” as I smash into the grass. “What up you lonely ass wipe” says a voice standing over me. “You dumbass, help me up” as I reach over to my loser of a best friend. Hunter grabs my hand and pulls me to my feet as I immediately take a swing at his shoulder. “Ouch, what the hell man” as he rubs his arm wincing in pain. “I prefer to stay upright jackass, you totally deserve that” as I try to dust off the crap on the back of my hoodie. “Why aren’t you in there hitting up all the fine back to school tail” as he nods to the back sliding door. “Cause I just wanted to make my appearance, have a couple drinks, and get home” in reality I just wanted to get the hell out of there now, but I did the brotherly thing and show up. “Whatever man, this party is hot and there is so much fresh meat out there, I can’t even begin to know where to start!” Hunter tosses over his shoulder walking away. Even my socially challenged best friend doesn’t want to hang out with my sorry ass tonight, and I know he isn’t going to get any women to believe his lines. I glance at the deck that is starting to fill up with people escaping the heat inside; and figure what the hell I’ll go find the presidents stash of whiskey, at least if I’m gonna drink it might as well it be the good stuff.
I make my way back inside and head to the stairs, knowing for damn sure the good stuff is going to be hidden in douche bags room. I reach the door I was looking for and pause for a second. I can hear noises coming from the other side of the door, and for a second think I recognize the voices. Well wouldn’t that be funny interrupting him in mid freak, hopefully making the dumb chick that is hooking up with him panic and leave. I turn the knob and throw the door open, and it hits me like a ton of bricks. “What the hell Tammy!” I stride over to the bed and rip the stupid mother fucker off my sister. Tossing him to the floor I glance back at my sister. She is sitting on her knees in the middle of the bed, thankfully still clothed and seeing red. “What the hell Stone” she shrieks. I glance down at Preston sitting in shock on the floor and bend down to grab his shirt. “Hey man, cool down, I didn’t know, no harm no foul” he spits out of his mouth trying to twist his way out of my grasp. “Stay the fuck away from my sister I’m serious”, as I toss him to his bed. “Seriously Stone, I didn’t know it was your sister, I’m your brother man you gotta believe me” Preston rambles. For being our chapter president and having as much money as he does he sure seems like a whiny little bitch when he is backed into a corner. I shake my head to try and clear the thoughts of pounding his ugly face in, but turn and look at Tammy still on the bed. “Tammy, get the fuck off of the bed and into my truck” as I grab her wrist and yank her to the door. “Knock it off Stone, I’m 18 now and you can’t control me!” “To hell I can’t” as I grab her and throw the little twit over my shoulders and stomp down the stairs. I hear I’m sorry being yelled from the room as I pound down the stairs however clearly could care less. Right now I needed to get my little sister back to her dorm and away from all the horny frat brothers lurking around.
“Put me down you Neanderthal” as she pounds her fists on my back. I just laugh and walk down the steps to my truck. “Seriously put me down, I can’t believe you did that!” her legs are now kicking over my shoulders so I hold on tighter. I reach my truck and set her down to unlock the passenger door. She looks pissed, face the color of a baboons ass and her hair is going in every direction kinds like medusa. I snicker at the sight of her and she shoves me into my truck. “You think this is funny asshole? I am so embarrassed by you!” and she turns to walk back to the house. “Oh hell you’re not going back in there” as I reach out to grab her arm. “I’ve gotta go find my roommate, I bet she is having fun with some guy in there and not being mortified by older brothers who can’t seem to stay out of my business.” “You’re not going in there alone, I know a majority of the guys are on the prowl for freshman and I’m keeping you far away as possible from them” as I match her step walking back up the walkway.
“Yo Stone who is that fine honey you walked in with” Hunter questions as he walks over from the beer pong table. I throw a disgusted look to him “My sister dumb ass and glance around looking for that tall blonde head of hers. “Tammy? Oh Shit man when did she grown up” he was now to glancing around trying to find the direction she went. I start to get irritated at the amount of people in the house, I’ve just gotta find my sister so I can get the hell out of here. “If you see her tell her to head out to the truck and text me” as I try and make my way in the crowd, only to get pawed at by drunken women as I walk by. “Can do bro, can do!” Hunter yells over the music and laughter. I turn the corner to the kitchen and run smack into my sister. “Can you embarrass me anymore” she glares into my eyes. I almost start to say yes, but realize that I value my nuts and I know that’s the first body part she would go for. Instead I glare right back “find your roommate yet?” “No, but I texted her to meet me outside” I grab her arm and start pulling her to the front door. “You need to let up, I can get there by myself you know” she yells as we walk out the door and down the steps. “Well maybe if you weren’t trying to get naked with an asshole upstairs I wouldn’t feel the need to babysit you” as I drop her arm and cross mine against my chest. “Where is this roommate of yours” I ask impatiently. Tammy glances up at the steps “there” and smiles. I look over to where she was facing; holy shit.