Hello. :3 This is my short story for my creative writing class. To summarize quickly, it's about a girl learning to handle a new life. Enjoy! Feedback is always appreciated as well. Posts will be five pages per post as they appear on my word document. The total story is 18 pages long, totaling 5,074 words. ~ (Page 1-5) My duffle bag of semi-dirty clothes hit the floor of the dormitory room as I took a deep breath of Monterey’s ocean air. The room was empty since my roommate hadn’t moved in yet. The walls were bland and white, and they did nothing to offset the disgustingly mottled green and purple carpet. There was nothing inviting about them or even the entire room. One hand pressed down on the bed was enough to make the frame squeal like a dying pig. The closet doors weren’t much better when I pried them open. I thought I had a lot of clothes, but after putting everything away, the closet still gaped with space. I have never complained or even thought about what I had or didn’t have, but staring into the half empty void that was now my closet, I felt like it was a reflection of my life – something that wanted to be filled and never quite got that far. A key scraped the doorknob, shattering what few thoughts were scrambling around in my head. Providing help to the person on the other side of the door was not one of those thoughts, but whoever it was didn’t need it. I shrugged and turned back, tipping my foot against one of the boxes to open the lid. “Hiiii, new roomie!” I turned to find Tinkerbelle standing in front of me. The only thing distinguishing her from her fairy counterpart was the pair of fat-rimmed sunglasses perched upon her nose. “Uh… hi.” Eloquent as always. She was already moving around by the time I worked up my pitiful greeting. “I know we talked a little over email but I’m just so excited! I’ve never had a roommate before.” Her things were already flying out from the two suitcases she had, and time I nudged my duffle bag under the bed where she couldn’t see it. It hit me then that her name was Amanda and that I knew next to nothing about her. The emails had been for room arrangements and what to bring. Amanda was having a tall, burly man drag in a mini-refrigerator box with another sitting on top of it, this one for a microwave. Amanda and her family had thought of everything while my side of the room was painfully bare. “You said your nickname was Fish, right?” she asked. She was busy setting up a laptop on her desk, something I hadn’t gotten around to. “Yeah. Old family nickname. It stuck around,” I answered. Talking about me wasn’t something I wanted to do, so I did my best to change the subject. “Where did you live before you came here?” My question launched something I wasn’t expecting. Most people I knew said city and state, end of conversation. With Amanda, I opened up a box of stories. She chattered on and on about her hometown, Sacramento, and about the fun she’d had with her friends in high school. I didn’t want to interrupt her with my own, since I didn’t have many friends during most of my school years. While she spouted stories, I managed to get my boxes unpacked. Her voice, not surprisingly, managed to attract someone else to our room, slowly growing inhabitable by the addition of stuff. “Oh, hey, Tony!” I heard Amanda greet the new person. I glanced up to find a chubby but tall boy giving Amanda a quick hug. The sight was comical, to say the least. The awkwardness between their heights was clearly noticeable. Tony looked over at me and smiled, releasing Amanda to let her do her thing. That thing turned out to be introducing us. “Fish, this is Tony. We went to high school together!” She clapped her hands excitedly, as if the news was groundbreaking. I had to admit, they didn’t look like the type to be friends. She seemed so popular and prissy, and he, well, wasn’t. He was everything I envisioned a nerd to be: a little overweight, messy hair, torn pants with no belt, and a shirt depicting some obscure video game as far as I could guess. Amanda opened her mouth to continue but noticed Tony’s confused expression as he looked me over. I knew he wasn’t scrutinizing my dark hair done up in a ponytail or my blue eyes or my face in general. Like everyone else, he was curious about my name. “Fish?” he asked. I sucked in my lips, pushed my hands to my cheeks, and pumped out like gills. “Glub, glub.” Both of them laughed and I could help but give them a bit of a smile too. “I like swimming,” I added, but it didn’t matter since they were both still snickering. I meant to turn back to my empty boxes but Amanda piped up again. “Come have dinner with us! You can meet some of the people we met during orientation!” People meant talking, and while Amanda and Tony weren’t so bad to know, I wasn’t ready for a crowd. “No thanks. I’m not hungry. I’m going to try and get my computer set up.” Amanda wasn’t the least bit phased, but she waved and they departed. I heard her say goodbye to her parents and it then dawned on me that my father had dropped me off, got my boxes inside, and then left without so much as a hug. I wasn’t attached to my family like Amanda was. I didn’t realize I was gripping the bed so hard the metal was beginning to whine a protest. I lashed out with my bare foot at a box, launching it under my bed. It was here to stay, and so was I, even if I felt as empty as the box. --- Amanda and I found enough time to discover each other’s schedules, and somehow, Tony got mixed into it all. Amanda and I wouldn’t see one another for most of the day since I had morning classes and hers were later, but I wouldn’t be alone. As it turned out, Tony had a class with me, but it wasn’t until later in the week. For now, he’d taken it upon himself to be my personal tour guide. I let him fill the air with random words while we walked. He was guiding me to the science building on campus, the only one distinguishable one from every other broken down building at the large California college. The science center was big with its three floors and spacious rooms. The school wasn’t exactly known for its science degrees, but despite that, the massive building was the first to get an upgrade. The wood was bright and inviting with gaping windows surrounding the third floor. The stone ramp leading up to the door was lined with rock walls on each side and there was a fresh garden popping up around the entire building. It was a nice place, but as soon as I stepped inside, the walls were grey and bland. I could see classes already in session, large rooms with at least fifty students and more filing in as other classes were starting. “Well, here we are. You are in… room E110. Right here.” Tony pointed forward into a room that didn’t really look like a room at all. The walls were the temporary flimsy things that separated rooms, like the classroom was unfinished. I thanked Tony and didn’t look back as he left. I was alone, and my finger fiddled with the corner of my schedule until I gathered the strength to move forward. People must have been waiting behind me because I heard mutterings about being held up while I found a seat. It was in the back, thankfully. Screw seating arrangements. That was before the teacher entered. She clip-clopped like the most expensively dressed horse with her wide, black high heels and long face. She took a calculating glare around the room, glanced at her watch and, satisfied that class time was going to start when she wanted it to, she launched into a description of herself. All I got from her was that she was Paula Theodore and that she wanted to be addressed as Professor only. Her and her fancy PhD allowed for such a title.