Part 3 of The Story

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The last week went by in a blur. I didn’t want it to go fast but it seemed to fly by, in spite of the spike in tension in the house. 

Brooke had told our parents that she was moving out. She felt like it was time, and with me gone she wouldn’t have much to do at home anymore, since Mom and Dad were always at work. They argued that with me gone they would need her here, and, also, what would they do without her they would be home alone, and, also, their two babies are just going to  disappear without giving a thought about their parents? They weren’t at work that much, and in fact, did she not want them to make money to pay for her food?

It was a guilt trip on their part like no other but Brooke was determined. She didn’t need them to pay for her, either. Apparently she had been planning this for a while, ever since I got into college and she convinced me to dorm, to live my own life. Her bakery job she worked at a couple of times a week could cover the rent of her living with three other roommates in a two bedroom, and while she wouldn’t have a ton for food left over there would be enough. She also had enough saved to make it easy for the first four months so she could write more music, maybe take a class and become a yoga teacher like she always wanted, and generally be more independent. They heard what she said and while they disagreed they were powerless to stop her. She was twenty one and she needed to grow up and they couldn’t stay mad for forever. 

I was worried that her leaving would mean my parents would make it harder on me to go, but at least that didn’t end up happening.

The night before I was scheduled to move into the dorms, we all went out to eat at a nice place. The relationship between the three of them was shaky at best, but they held it together for me to celebrate my last night of being what they called a child. Apparently, college was the real world and I was becoming an adult tomorrow. They said all this with a pointed look at Brooke as if the fact that she hadn’t gone to college meant that she would never be an adult. It was a topic they had argued endlessly about when Brooke was my age, but she was the same then as she was now- determined and unstoppable. She didn’t see the point in going to college if she was going to create her own music, or do something where a degree would get her nowhere. She didn’t see the point in what she called a ‘waste of four years’. They were scared I would end up like her but what they didn’t realize was it was just how Brooke saw herself. She never tried to push her ideals onto me, claiming that everyone needed something different. 

Now, tonight, she was as supportive as ever, volunteering to pay for the drinks, as well as offering to Dad that she would stay on water so he wouldn’t have to drive home. He declined but it was still very nice, and the fancy cocktails the waiters kept bringing out lent a festive air to the whole evening. Our choice of place was very end-of-summer as well, offering wings and burgers and more fries than any one person could reasonably eat. We ended up having a grand old time, and when we drove back and everyone trooped up to bed I barely had time to stay up all night and worry. I set my alarm for early the next morning and crashed. 

The bleeping wasn’t what woke me the next morning. It was Mom, with a kiss on my forehead. 

“Hmm?,” I garbled sleepily, looking up into her tired face. “Is it time to go already?”

“No sweety, you can sleep a bit longer. Dad and I just have to go into work early. There’s some sort of minor emergency. Brooke said she’ll take you, ok?”

While this wasn’t the most surprising news, since I did already assume that they wouldn’t find time, I couldn’t help but feel just a little irritated. I tried to hide it though, and reached up to give her a hug. 

“I’ll see you so soon, ok? Thanksgiving, it’s just family time. I might even tell Aunt Stacey she can’t come.” I laughed and Dad, who had walked into the room just then came over and gave me a quick squeeze. 

“Call if you need anything, ok?,” he said in that gruff tone he used when he didn’t want to get emotional. “We’re on the other side of the city but that’s only a skip away on the train. See you soon,” he kissed the top of my head, and my parents turned around and walked away. 

I turned over into my bed but it was no use. I was already up and I wasn’t going to be able to fall back asleep. 

The time was six fifteen. The dorms were open from noon and then stayed open throughout the whole day with supervisors and dorm counselors walking around ready to help anyone. I wanted to get there early so I could be the first to choose a bed and I would be able to unpack without my roommate getting in my way. But even so, we wouldn’t need to leave for at least another four hours, so I decided I would make some coffee and go sit on the back deck, enjoying the weather before it got unbearably hot again. 

Brooke was already out there and I gave a small gasp of surprise as I joined her. My heart rate slowly returned to normal. She was already dressed, but then I made a mental scratch out. She was still dressed in the same clothes from last night. It looked like she had gotten the barest amount of sleep again, her eyes unfocused, looking further off than our backyard. 

I wanted to ask her if everything was ok but she hadn’t acknowledged me yet so I let her have her space out and drank my coffee, the most perfect I had ever made so far. It was a cool morning and I shivered slightly. That seemed to wake her from her stupor and she shook her head a bit as if to clear it from cobwebs and gave me a wide smile. 

“Hey good morning sleepyhead,” she teased me, poking me in the arm. I reacted swiftly, stretching my mug out of her reach. 

“Careful! It’s hot!”

She gave a little chuckle that sounded nothing like her which I blamed on tiredness. 

“Are you alright?”

“Fine,” she responded. “Just up all night trying to figure out my roommate situation.”

Two were girls she went to high school with and one of them was an unknown. They had a whatsapp group, she told me, and they were all figuring out when would be a good time to meet with the landlord so they could sign the contract. 

“Is it really so difficult to set up a meeting?”

“Well, Abby is in her last semester of college and she’s had some summer classes she’s had to take so there’s working around her schedule. Fee started a new job working as a secretary for a big firm or something so there’s that. And Miranda isn’t even in the state yet. She’s visiting her grandparents in some random place like Oklahoma. It feels like I’m the only one around who can actually get anything done.”

I wasn’t surprised. Brooke was always the one who took care of things. She had a take charge attitude not a lot of people possessed, and she made it look like she didn’t mind doing everything. Most of the time it was probably true. Usually it was easier to do it yourself rather than relying on the masses to get it done for you. 

“Can you just go get it signed yourself?,” I asked. 

She scoffed. “And what, risk having to pay for everything when we inevitably come up against damages and debts and the like? No thank you.”

“Never mind then,” I shrugged. “Where’s the apartment anyways?”

“Queens,” she said shortly. 

“No, I know that but where exactly. I was looking up trains to see how I would travel to you.”

She gave me a sharp look. “You’re going to stay in college and you’re going to enjoy it. You’ll make new friends, you’ll go to interesting classes, and you won’t need me at all. If you keep using me as a crutch, Parker, then you’ll never be able to do anything.”

Her words were harsh and I reeled back from them. It wasn’t like I had been planning to be a fifth roommate or something, it was just nice to know my sister was close. 

I ran a bunch of responses in my head but too late I realized she was getting up. I felt like a fool, stunned into speechlessness, rejected by the only person who always had my back. 

“I’m going inside to shower. See you soon.” This was so unlike Brooke that I was almost worried. But I didn’t want to let anything ruin this day. It was the first day of four years where I could be anyone. I knew no one that going to college with me, and I wanted to use that to my advantage. Who knows where that could take me?

I took some more sips of coffee and calmed down, the anger dying down to nothing but a sizzle inside of me. Brooke could be a jerk, it didn’t matter, I was leaving. 

A little while later though, when my coffee was done and I realized I was hungry I went looking for her. The sun was officially out, and it was too hot to sit there in my light sweater. I needed to go inside and I wanted pancakes. And Brooke made the best ones. I figured she would do this for me since it was our last day living in the same house. 

Woah, I hadn’t thought about it like that. 

She saw me wiping tears from my eyes as she came into the kitchen. 

“What’s wrong?,” Brooke said nicely, and I assumed the shower had washed the nasty off her body and her spirits. 

“I just realized that last night was the last night we’d be living under the same roof,” I replied, wiping the tears away with my whole palm. All the emotion was catching up to me, I wasn’t ready for Brooke to be a jerk.

“Oh, Parker,” Brooke walked over to me and wrapped her arms around me. 

“Let’s not think about it like that. Let’s remember that we’re both starting new chapters in life and it’s going to be wonderful. We’ll call each other and visit and tell each other all about it.”

“But you said-”

“We’ll definitely talk, Parker. This isn’t goodbye forever. I just want you to have a good start, make some good friends. Leave behind high school and that drama and realize college will give you so many amazing opportunities. Life has so many opportunities! Just you wait, everything will be great. Now, let’s talk about what’s important now. Breakfast? You hungry?”

I nodded shakily and took a big shuddering gasp. “I was actually thinking of pancakes? Your specialty?”

“I don’t even know why I bothered asking,” Brooke said, rolling her eyes and giving a little giggle. 

She pushed her wet hair back with a headband and got to work. Miraculously, we had every single ingredient in the house, and neither of us had to run out to buy anything. The milk wasn’t spoiled, and there was enough left over to make another mug of coffee for each of us. 

I was set with my caffeine level, but Brooke chugged another one down as if her life depended on it. She wasn’t someone who generally drank a lot of coffee, just the usual one in the morning so I knew that she hadn’t slept well but didn’t comment. 

The pancakes were delicious, made all the more better with a drizzle of maple syrup and chocolate sauce Brooke always made herself. 

She was a one of a kind girl. I was going to miss her. 

The tears felt like they were welling up again, so I quickly licked my plate and tossed all the plastic into the garbage. And then I washed the dishes, because as Brooke always said, if she had to cook everything then I was going to have to clean. It was the least I could do, and I really didn’t mind a couple of dishes. It was better than the flies that would instantly appear out of nowhere, swarming over any piece of food we happened to have left over. 

When all was said and done we were still two hours away from leaving. 

“Do you want to start packing up the car?,” Brooke suggested, as we lay on the couch inside feeling too stuffed to move. 

“In a minute,” I groaned. “I feel like I just ate enough pancakes for the rest of the year.”

“Yeah, and you’ll never be able to eat a pancake again,” Brooke teased. “You always say that. You’ll be fine in a couple of hours, in fact I guarantee you we’re going to grab lunch while we’re in the city.”

I knew she was right, it was just fun to complain sometimes. 

We had the car packed within the hour and all that was left was to go over my room and make sure nothing was forgotten. All seemed to be in place and I decided it was time to shower and get ready for my first day!

Brooke gave me a dress for my ‘first day first impressions’. She said everyone should own something that makes them look and feel beautiful so I could choose something from her closet.  

There were endless amounts of dresses to choose from, as Brooke was quite an avid thrift shopper, but there was one that I always had my eye on since the day she bought it. It was a tight piece and I had always assumed that since I barely had any curves to speak of that I wouldn’t be able to fill it out. But it was flattering, its color a light coral with tiny stitching on it that looked like sailboats. Starting from the top it was square necked with short sleeves and went straight down, unassuming, doing a little flair out at the bottom as if saying it was not to be underestimated. 

Brooke knew I would pick that one and she warned me that I could have it but she would totally be borrowing it if she ever had a charity dinner or was going out clubbing. It was just that kind of dress – super versatile depending on the right shoes. 

Today I chose to wear them with a low slingback sandal. As I got out of the shower, I wrapped a towel around me and rubbed away the fog from the mirror. I examined myself critically. I could do this. I was smart, I was a hard worker. And I was friendly. I could do this. I bared my teeth, checking for hidden scraps waiting to embarrass me. All good. 

I went to go get dressed. 

Rather surprisingly, as almost nothing seems to work out perfectly in life that way, we were on the road at the exact time I had planned to leave. The car was packed and we were both dressed and ready and there was no reason to drag on. 

There was no traffic as we crossed over the bridge, and Brooke spared a moment to glance over at me. 

“Nervous?,” she asked, noticing my clasped hands and the fact that I wasn’t singing along with the radio. 

“Nope,” I didn’t want to talk about it. 

We pulled up not soon after, the entrance to the college already packed with people. 

Brooke got directed to a temporary unloading zone, and we quickly moved to unload all of my things. 

I had two big suitcases and three heavy boxes. I had thought it was a lot but watching other people unload showed me how minimalistic I was. Girls were slinging bean bag chairs out of cars and guys were carrying long rectangular boxes containing stuff I couldn’t imagine. Brooke quickly went to park the car – well as quick as could be done in New York City while I waited. No way was I leaving my things on the sidewalk for any homeless man to lay claim to. When Brooke got back she watched my things while I made my way to the check in table. Despite the fact that there were hoards of people milling about, check in went fast and I made my way back to Brooke with my room keys. Together we each took a rolling duffel bag and placed a box precariously on top. There was one box left which I wasn’t sure how to bring up in this first go. I debated going myself and letting Brooke wait with the rest of it and just make two trips when someone came up behind us. 

“Hey, need a hand?” It was a tall girl with ebony skin and black curly hair that encased her head like a halo. She gave a nod over to the box that was left on the floor. “I don’t mind carrying that, I’ve already done my trip.”

“Oh, so you’re early then,” Brooke replied, assuming my shyness had prevented me from answering. I shook my head slightly and mentally berated myself while listening to the girl’s reply. She carried the box with no hitch to her voice, her strong muscled arms clad in a black tank top easily taking the weight. 

“Yeah, I’ve actually been here all day helping set up. I’m Gloria but everyone calls me RiRi.” she looked between the two of us. “Are you guys twins?”

Nobody thought that when we were apart, but when we stood together we had similar mannerisms that identified us as sisters. 

“No, I’m the older one, helping Parker here drop her stuff off. I’m Brooke”. She smiled and held out her hand as we waited for the elevators. We both shook hands with RiRi respectively. 

“So you’re a freshman?,” I asked tentatively, ready to insert myself into the conversation. 

“Junior,” RiRi replied. “I’m actually your RA.” RA’s were resident assistants, there as peer counselors, as resources or referral people, as advocates, programmers, policy enforcers, and group leaders. I had gotten that mainly word for word from the NYU website but I still wasn’t sure what their job was. 

“Oh?,” I replied, at a loss for words again. She sounded like she was someone in charge. 

“Yeah, I’m the one who’s going to get you in trouble if you do something wrong.” Her eyes twinkled mischievously and I knew she was just messing with me. “No, but actually if you need anything, I’m here to help.” 

We finally made it into an elevator and traveled up to the fourth floor. It wasn’t too high up, and I wouldn’t mind taking the stairs on occasion, but today with the amount of baggage it was worth it to wait. 

My room  was at the end of the hall, and I put my bag down to grab my key and turn the lock. 

Mercifully, I was the first one there. I was going to be sharing a room with an unknown and I was not ready yet for a new face. 

RiRi placed my box down on the desk. 

“I’ll be around all of today helping people bring things back and forth. If you get bored and want to help as well just come on down to the front desk and look around. If you get hungry, there are about fifty places to grab pizza or hot dogs or sushi. This is New York City afterall! See you around”.

And she was gone, letting the door swing softly shut behind her. 

Brooke made her way fully into the room and looked around. It was a nice size, with two twin sized beds at opposite ends, each with their own desk and closet. The closet had two sides, one with a bar for hangers and the other side with shelves. It was a decent amount of space but I noticed that there were draws under the beds as well. 

“Yeah, awesome!,” Brooke exclaimed, rolling them out. “I love these types of beds. This’ll be super helpful for you when you finally decide to start shopping.” She dodged my playful slap and then said, from across the room, “No seriously, maybe I’ll even start keeping things here there’s just that much room!”.

“Oh, shut up and help me unpack,” I giggled, rolling my eyes at her. 

We started with the clothes and while Brooke set me up in the neat way only she knew, I unloaded my books and set them up at the back of the desk I claimed as my own. One drawer beneath the bed got turned into a sock and underwear drawer and the other was left empty for the meantime. 

Lastly, I unpacked my new laptop. I drew in a deep breath as I took it out from the box, marveling at how new it was. There were no scratches anywhere, the screen clean from smudge marks. It was remarkably light as well, and I couldn’t wait to bring it to classes and take notes. This is what got me hot – the freshness of a new school year, and the ability to take perfect recordings of my courses. 

My new roommate still hadn’t arrived yet and we were almost done, Brooke helping me spread a sheet over my bed and put the blanket cover over my quilt. 

“Whew,” she said, wiping her brow and sitting down dramatically. “I think we both deserve some lunch, yeah?”

There was nothing more to do, nothing else she could help me with, but I could tell she didn’t want to leave yet. And I didn’t want her to go yet either. 

“Yeah, let’s go grab something to eat.”

We made to step out of the room, when just then the door was flung open from the outside. 

A girl of Barbie proportions stalked in on high heels, giving us once overs as she came inside. Her legs were clad in the barest minimum of what could be called shorts and her crop top might as well have been a bra. 

I could see my shock reflected in Brooke’s face. Well I suppose this is what you got when you chose potluck.

“Jennifer?,” I asked unsurely. 

She whipped her massive sunglasses off and turned to face me, having been in the process of giving my hanging clothes a thorough inspection. 

“Yep,” she replied in a southern drawl. “Now which of y’all are Parker?”

“That’s me,” I volunteered, her accent making me slightly more comfortable. “This is my sister, Brooke.”

She brought out her hand that I noticed was perfectly manicured and offered a shake with each of us. 

We looked at each other. The silence stretched on. It got slightly awkward. I could feel the sweat pooling underneath my arms and beading up on my forehead. I struggled to find something to say and looked anxiously over at Brooke who was determinedly avoiding my gaze, glorying in my struggle. Finally she conceded to look up and I gave her a pleading look. She rolled her eyes and took charge. 

“So, do you need any help? Where are your things?”

“Oh, that’s mighty nice of you. Thanks Booke. I’ll be fine, my Pa is just downstairs dealing with admissions or whatever. I just came up to see the space.” She eyed it critically. “Honestly y’all, I thought it’d be smaller, yeah? You find a place for everything?”

I nodded bravely. This girl gave off an intimidating impression but the second she opened her mouth that typical warm southern hospitality seeped from all her pores and she wasn’t so scary to talk to. Of course then she immediately took out a nail filer and sat down on the chair near her desk, looking for imperfection and buffing them to a blinding shine. 

Was this girl for real? Brooke decided that it was time we both left, as she had to be getting back for a shift later that night at the bakery. 

“Well, it was nice to meet you Jennifer,” she said, grabbing my elbow. “Parker will be back later but I need to get going soon.”

“Everyone calls me Jenny,” she said, waving her hands grandly. “See you later Parker, it was nice to meet you too, Brooke. Hope you’ll be back around to visit.” She winked at her and I winced. Already people were gravitating towards Brooke, it was what she did. She couldn’t help it, but I resented her ever so slightly.

We left the room and I noticed Brooke holding her breath. She made it around the corner before she burst into giggles. 

“That girl could have come straight out of a TV show,” she said, smothering her laughter behind a turned hand. With that, my grumpiness shattered. 

“But she does seem nice. It’ll be good for you to get out a bit, see the world through some non New Yorker’s eyes.” She gave me a sidelong glance and could see me nervously biting my lip. While my anger with Brooke faded faster than sugar in hot water, I still wanted to know how she effortlessly made people feel good about themselves and gave off vibes of calm, collected, and cool. I wasn’t the best around strangers, it took me a while to warm up to them. I especially wasn’t ready for someone who looked like they belonged on a runway but spoke like they came from The Ranch. 

“I just don’t get her,” I replied nervously, looking over my shoulder to make sure she wasn’t right behind us or something. “Like, she looks like she’s a freaking model, right? She could be famous!”

“Yeah, and did you see her checking out your clothes? She totally wants to become sisters with you. Just please don’t replace me!,” Brooke said the next part half jokingly, with a dramatic hand on heart pose. “Either way, you’ll be fine. I bet there are so many people around, if you hate her you never have to interact with her. Now where do you want to go?”

Surprisingly, despite my nerves, I was hungry for food. Ravenous, in fact. I could eat a whole pie of pizza. And that was what I told Brooke. She acquiesced, and we were off to follow the closest one we could find on Google Maps, called Joe’s Pizza. We ended up walking past it and looking for another one as they didn’t even sell fries, and what type of pizza store didn’t sell fries?

We found a chain store and sat down, me ordering two slices and fries with an iced tea, and Brooke got a greek salad. Of course, she ended up eating most of my fries and when it was time to go she held me so tight that I stopped breathing for a moment but I gave back nothing less. She refused my offer to walk her to the parking garage and we parted, me watching her walking away slowly, her hand raised in farewell, the swarms of people quickly swallowing her up.

I walked back to my residence hall feeling rather dejected. Mom called me just as Brooke disappeared from sight and I spent a couple of minutes outside on the phone with her reassuring her that I was fine, that my roommate was nice, that my whole place was set up neatly. She promised to visit some time next week but I had low expectations. 

I didn’t see RiRi as I walked into the entrance hall and took the stairs up to my room. The place was even more packed, if that was possible, parents and siblings of all the students making their way in and out of the building, getting room keys and luggage from cars. Jennifer was in full swing when I made it back to our room, the door flung wide open and music blaring out. I walked in nervously, wiping my sweaty palms on the outside of my dress and then immediately felt gross like I needed to wash them. I made an abrupt turn before she noticed me and walked down the hall to the bathroom that was shared with the whole floor. It had six different stalls and four fully separate showers of which I was grateful for, and a row of ten sinks in the middle with five on each side. That would come in handy when you had the whole floor wanting to brush their teeth at the same time. I went to the bathroom and came out, giving my hands a thorough scrubbing and then realizing there was no soap. Ok, step one is definitely to acquire soap, I thought to myself.

I made my way back to my room, knocking tentatively. 

“Hey! Parker!,” Jennifer called loudly over the music, in her southern drawl. She nodded over to a tall man who had his head in her closet, hanging up some of her clothes. “This is my Pa. Pa, this is my roommate Parker.”

I held out my hand the man who had pulled his face out and was grinning widely. He was very good looking for someone of his advanced age, kind of like a Johnny Depp type but very weatherbeaten. His face was lined but his body was buff as if he did a lot of heavy lifting. 

“Hi, nice to meet you.” It was up to me to make conversation now that Brooke was gone. “Do you guys need any help?”

“Ooh, yes, you wouldn’t mind?,” Jennifer said eagerly. She pointed to some boxes down the hall. “Haven’t had a chance to bring them in yet, would you mind helping me?” She left some letters off of her words and I just knew that this was the girl all the guys would be clamoring to sleep with. 

“Sure,” I gave a jerk of the head, and all three of us traipsed down the hallway to bring in the last of her boxes. 

She had so many things, I wasn’t sure how she was planning on fitting them until I saw in one of her boxes a pile of shelves. 

“Pa’s helping me nail these to the wall,” she said, in response to my gaze which had lingered on the shelves. “I ain’t got a place for all everything I brought.” She chuckled lightly. “Back home I got the place to myself. Never occurred to me I mightn’t have room.”

Her Pa produced a drill and some nails and proceeded to put the shelves up. It was so loud and I needed to get out of there so I gestured I was going out and quickly walked down the stairs to what they called the 2East Lounge. The room was empty, obviously, everyone being otherwise occupied and I looked around casually. It had a big TV, and all the important tables, ie; foosball, ping pong, and pool. There were comfy couches lining the walls and a bunch of tables where I assumed one could play cards or do their homework if they were so inclined. It was a comfortable space and I swung my body down onto a couch and brought my phone out to scan in order to while away the time. 

There was supposed to be an activity later that day, organized by our RA’s and I was looking forward to doing something because coming so early had me really bored. I was debating going to find RiRi and offer my help when I got a text from my Dad. 

Hey sweety hope you hv a gr8 time mkng frends! Hv fun!! 🙂 

I instantly missed him with an ache in my chest but texted back assurances that I was fine. I didn’t need anyone worrying about me and besides it had only been a couple of hours since I was home. Why did I have to act like such a baby?

I decided to get out of the room and go see if anyone needed help. Distractions were the key to homesickness. 

By the time our activity came around later that night, I had met a bunch of different people, all of whom I was sure I wouldn’t be friends with in a month. Dave, the Californian whose shorts were almost shorter than Jennifer’s, Sandra, who seemed very type A, Samantha, who wouldn’t let me help her because she was sure I would break everything, Kyle, who made me carry his load when I offered my help, and Randy, who just screamed ‘nerd’ and ‘video games’. No, he actually screamed them from the top of his lungs. It was written on his shirt as well, NERD WHO LIKES VIDEO GAMES, and when I asked him about it he said it was better to own it than be made fun of. I suppose he was right on that front. 

The activity that the RAs had set up for us was just a bunch of ice breaker games, joined by lots of non alcoholic drinks. They were forbidden to serve us beer (even though most of the people here would jump on their first chance to join a college party consisting of alcohol) and when it was over I knew only slightly more than I did before about a handful of people. I felt very alone when the organized entertainment broke up and everyone wandered away or stayed there chatting. No one was really talking to me and I was too shy to make that much of an effort. I left the lounge, walking slowly back to my room, ready to just watch a movie and go to sleep. Jennifer – no, Jenny as she had assured me again – wasn’t back yet but her stuff was everywhere on her side of the room. Mine was still clean, and I fell back into my made bed, not even having time to switch my new laptop on before falling asleep after the exhausting and emotionally draining events of the day. 

I woke up groggily at what felt like the middle of the night to the sounds of banging on my door. I glanced over to Jenny’s side of the room and saw no change. The moon was casting a bright light into the room, causing shadows of unfamiliar objects everywhere. I gave my body a second to wake up so I could roll out of bed and open the door. 

“Thank you so much,” Jenny was there, with a grateful and sorry look on her face. “I left my key. Sorry, did I wake you?”

I assured her that yes she did but it was fine and then I asked her the time. 

“Oh, it’s just past one AM,” she replied, glancing down at her watch. She flicked the light on and picked some clean clothes from a newly attached shelf on her wall. 

“Just gonna go shower!,” she replied cheerily, opening the door again. Now that I was a little more awake I heard the unmistakable sounds of late night partying happening outside. It seemed as if the whole dorm had decided they were going to get to know each other and had left me out of it. While I knew that was unfair, since I had chosen to go to bed, I still felt left out. I promised myself I would work harder tomorrow, and I texted Brooke to see if she was awake to get a little pick-me-up.

Her response was immediate:

All good?

Feeling kind of left out. e/o partying outside w/o me.

Why don’t you go join them? I knew she would give me the encouraging push I need.

Too shy. I could always be honest with Brooke. Tomorrow. Promise. 

Ok Pancake remember your awesome and theyd be lucky 2b friends with you. 

Gnite.

Gnite, xoxo

I went to sleep feeling much better and this time I slept through Jenny coming back from her shower and didn’t wake up until the morning. 

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