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As I stepped out of my car, I took in the cool September air, and the sight of my new life.
Here I would spend what would hopefully be the best four years of my life. I could be the new me. The new Leighton Carter. To think, just yesterday, I couldn't contain my excitement, I was bubbling with anticipation, and now, standing here, I'm sick to my stomach. Something is very wrong me. I am beginning to think those jokes my sister used to make about me being dropped as a baby, were true! On the other hand, maybe I was just homesick or about to completely go insane. The last time I was with my family was clear in my head. It felt as though I was reliving the moment in my mind. The sight of my mother, Lisa, and my sister, Nadia crying tears of joy.
“Wow” my mother said between sniffles. “I can’t believe my Leighton’s going away today.”
“Yeah.”My sister Nadia said hugging me tightly, as so did my mother. “I’m really proud of you sis. Call and email me everyday…Or whenever you get a chance, ‘Kay?”
I began to feel the tears fall from my eyes as I replied, “Thanks Nadia, I will. I am just as proud of you too! Just think, by next year you’ll be joining me at Islington!”
“I know, right?” she said sarcasticaly with a groan, rolling her eyes.
We broke into laughter, as we held onto one another even tighter for the last time. My mother hated the idea of having one little girl away from home, but to think that only in a year’s time the other one would be gone too, along with my pesky little brother. But of course, my mother, being her tough self, would never show how hurt she was in certain situations. She was a “softy” with a “rough spot”. I used to think that was the reason for the easy communication with her and my father. He was so much like her at times, my sister and I would joke around with him, calling him “mom”. And maybe for goodtime sake, play dress-up.
After our little “girly group-hug”, I went over to my father, Leo, and my brother, Ben trying to be manly, and fight back their tears. Just the thought brought a faint smile to my face.
“Dad” I said hugging him. “I can’t believe it’s time. I’m gonna really miss you.”
He took a deep breath before he spoke, “I’m gonna miss you to honey. You mean more to your mother and me than you could ever imagine. And the same for your brother and sister.”
“Yeah, I know you do.”
He kissed my forehead whispering, “Good luck, Leighton.We love you.”
“Thanks dad, I love you too.” I said turning in my brother’s direction to see his face wet and red.
I ran to him and hgged him tightly until he said, “I really do love you, but I can’t breathe!”
“I love you lil’bro,” I said letting him go. “Be good, and look after your sister. Even though it should be the other way around.”
He laughed moving away and said, “Chyea right! I love you L.C.”
We started to play fight, and then my mother said,“ That’s enough! We better let Lieghton be on her way before she’s late for her first day!”
“Thanks mom,” I said gathering my bags as I headed toward my car. I threw my bags into the trunk, and I took one last glance at them before I jumped into my car.
I was startled back into reality, when I felt a warm hand touch my shoulders. I quickly spun around with a scream, hitting the unknown person with my very heavy duffel bag. Only to see that it was my friend Henry Winston.
“Bloody hell Naomi!” he said clutching his stomach. “Are you trying to kill me?”
“Henry!” I squealed, hugging him. “I’ve missed you so much!” I had not seen Henry since the day he left for London. “How was it? Who did you meet? Spill, Henry!”
“Maybe if…you let go…I can…tell you…love,” he said between gasp.
Not noticing how tight my grip was, I let him go, “Sorry”
“Yeah, that’s ok,” he said, picking up my fallen duffel bag. “It’s nice to be back in America, and have an American girl hugging me again.”
“Shut up, Henry,” I laughed, punching him lightly. “Now can you help me with my bags, so we can get to my room? They’re in the trunk.”
“Yeah, sure.” He said walking to the trunk, grabbing the three suitcases. “Ready? C’mon.”
Without a response, I followed him up to the big black gates, then up the cobblestone pathway.
“Well, you sure didn’t pack lightly,” he said under his breath. I didn’t bother to say anything, as my attention was taken by the beautiful campus.
I looked around at the place surrounding me, which made me love this time of year even more. There were flowers everywhere, the trees looking more amazing now than I have ever seen. However, all the beauty was instantly ruined with the loud joyful shouts of some guys playing football in front of what I was guessing to be the “Frat House”. They were probably on the college football team, but the campus looked so amazing that the utter thought of a bunch of hot sweaty guys running around seemed so wrong but so right. I was never the type to look at the high school jocks, but these, my friend, were the college jocks. They were smart, mature, and more romantic. Alternatively, at least what I was hoping they were. But this year is not going to be “boy-crazy”, this year was going to be strictly “ALL WORK and NO PLAY”.
“There you go again”, Henry said catching my attention.
“There I go again what?” I asked curiously.
He sighed and said, “I saw you looking at those jocks. You were thinking how no matter how handsome they were; this year was “ALL WORK and NO PLAY”.
“Aw Henry!” I said patting him on the shoulder. “You never fail to surprise me. And that’s why you’re one of my best friends!”
“Yeah, but I come before Taylor, right?” he asked, trying to give me his best “puppy dog eyes”.
Trying to mimic his English accent, “Of course, love. Forever and always! We are like peanut butter and jelly, because you can never eat one without the other!”
“Of course! Right on, Leighton” he laughed.
When it came to choosing between Henry and Taylor, I could not bear hurting either of them. My friendship with Henry was so different from the relationship with Taylor. I tried to convince myself that I could keep each of them happy, but that sometimes never worked out.
“But speaking of Taylor, where is she?” I asked curiously.
“I don’t rightly know.” He said, shrugging his shoulders as if he could care less. “Last I heard, Taylor was still in Paris.”
“But…I …thought …and…us…” I said, feeling the tears well up in my eyes.
“Hey cheer up.” He whispered. “You’ve got me. And plenty of other people to entertain you this year.”
“Yeah, your right.”
This could not be possible. I remember the day before Taylor left for Paris, she promised to come back. We had mapped this whole year out. There would be “Movie Fridays”, and Taylor’s favorite of all “first Saturday of the month shopping sprees”. She could not do this to me, not me. Maybe a phone call, e-mail, or letter! Just something! Something that would have eased the pain that I now have to face, because my “best girlfriend” could not even bother to let me know of the change of plans. What a great, loyal, and very honest friend I have.
But how could Henry have known before me? We hang out with almost the same people, so we would've been told at the same time. Something was up, that I could not seem to put my finger on. At this point, I could feel my cheeks running red hot. I needed to cool down before Henry noticed, I could not let this one “minor” mix up ruin the school year. I would make the best of this year with or without Miss. Taylor Shad.
Before I knew it, we came to a stop at the doors of the dorm. They were two beautifully carved wooden doors, which looked as though they belonged to a palace.
“Are you ready?” He asked, letting of my luggage handles.
I inhaled and exhaled loudly, “As ready as I’ve ever been, Mr. Winston.”
“Well then, welcome home Miss. Carter,” He said, pushing open the two beautifully carved wooden doors.
“Whoa” I said trying to keep my balance. “This is unbelievable, Henry!”
“Yeah, well it was a little worse this morning. Trust me, they were and still are all over the place!”
The open doors revealed a truckload of students swarming around like killer bees. Laughing away as the greeted new and old friends, picked up dorm roomoo keys, and so on. But the setting was so beautiful; I could feel the butterflies approaching within me, then the nausea flow over me.
“C’mon,” Henry said nudging my arm softly. “Let’s get your room key, and then we can go for a quick tour.”
“I’ll take my bags, you just lead the way,” I said taking my luggage from him.
He smiled, and began to walk through the pool of students. It was harder than I would have thought possible to walk through the crowd lugging two big suitcases. I hated to push, but there was no other option as I began to lose sight of henry.
The deeper we got into the crowd, the harder it was to get through. I could feel anxiety attack waiting to happen. I needed space to be alone and breathe. I couldn’t do that now as I was beginning to completely lose Henry. I needed a way to get his attention before he was gone.
“Hen-”, I said before someone ran me down. “Ouch.”
I fell to the ground landing on my back, between my suitcases.
Great Naomi...Just great! I thought to myself. The year had just begun, and I was already creating a reputation for myself. And it was not a good one if you ask me. I just wanted to lie here until Henry came and found me.
“Are you okay?” a husky voice asked me.
I tried to pull myself together and sit up. When I opened my eyes, my heart froze. This guy was an absolute God. He was a tall, handsome, blue-eyed, and had dark-blond curls. He extended his hand to me, which looked big and strong like the rest of his body. He was wore a blue polo shirt with gray cargo pants.
“Yeah, thanks”, I mange to say, reaching for his extended hand. As he helped me up, I admired how surprisingly soft his hand was. It was a nice feeling, though.
“Anytime,” he said smiling, as he walked away, toward a group of guys who were just as cute as him. My face turned red as they looked over at me.
I stood there dazed at the beauty that had just saved me from a possible death. He was so amazingly goregous that I couldn’t seem to rip my gaze from him.
“Leighton! Leighton!” I heard Henry calling me.
I wonder if he is single or dating.
NO! This is where I draw a line with myself. I swore that I wouldn’t be carried away with boys this year. It’s a vow a promise that will never be broken, because I, Leighton Carter, have complete control over my actions. Or atleast I hope I do.