Reality

By , Flemington, NJ
Chapter 1: Move out

"Hurry up and put the boxes in the truck!" Exclaimed Bailey’s mother. Bailey had been living in the same big, beige house at the end of Maple Drive since she was born and she could not believe that today was the day she was leaving everything and going to college. She was leaving all of her friends that she has known forever behind and she can’t help but think that they will all soon forget about her, she already felt like it has been ages since she's seen them. Bailey sat in her room looking through old pictures and laughed at some of them, but a tear rolled down her cheek until she tasted the saltiness and wiped it away, when she came across one of her and her ex-boyfriend, Drew, at prom. “Bailey….Bailey!” Bailey could hear her mom calling her name but was ignoring her, trying to avoid the fact that it was time to go. When her mom called for her the fifth time, she finally put the pictures back into the boxes and slowly walked out of her room looking back one last time at the bright pink walls and the cleanest she has seen her room since she first moved in.
"Where is my yearbook?" Bailey yelled down the stairs.
"We talked about this Honey...Did you pack your brush and glasses?"
"Yes Mother."

Her mom was standing at the end of the stairs and pushed back Bailey's blonde piece of hair that was covering her eye when she saw Bailey’s splotchy face and red eyes. She hugged her and said, "Things are going to get better." Bailey was going to miss her mom's hugs and the smell of oatmeal raisin cookie on her shirt every Saturday. Bailey squeezed the last box of pictures in the backseat and plopped into the front seat. She immediately put her iPod headphones in her ears and shut her eyes.


Chapter 2: Move in
After the two and a half hour car ride through construction work, hills, and traffic was over, Bailey jumped out of the truck and fixed her black coach purse back onto her shoulder. Bailey and her mother stood in front of the building that would be her home away from home for the next four years. Bailey walked in the door and saw a light skinned, grey haired old lady sitting at a desk. “Welcome Sweetheart, how can I help you?” she gently asked Bailey. “My name is Bailey Shepperd” she said shyly and the lady told Bailey to go to room 158. It all became real to Bailey now. The look, smell, and sounds of the hallway and building were what she had to get used to from now on. She put the key in the lock and twisted the gold knob slowly to an isolated room with just a bed, dresser and desk inside. Bailey was lucky enough because she got her own room, and just had to share a bathroom with another girl. The bathroom connected the two rooms, so she hoped that she could get along with her “bathroom-mate.” Bailey’s mom came knocking on the door with her knuckles trying to balance the box on her leg and support it with her left arm, “Am I going to have to bring these boxes in myself?” Bailey opened the door and let her mom in, “Sorry mom, just wanted to check out the place first.”
Bailey and her mom carried in box after box until their arms felt like noodles. “Here let me help you with that” Bailey heard over her shoulder. She turned around to see a tall boy, probably about 6’2, with brown shaggy hair and a little bit of scruff on his face who reached down to grab the box from her hands. “No really its fine, I got it.” The boy took the box from Bailey’s hands anyway and smiled at her and said,
“Hey I’m Collin”
“I’m Bailey.”
"Where are you from?"
"Chicago, how about you?"
"Ah, the windy city. I'm from Indiana"
Collin walked with Bailey to her room where Bailey’s mom was unloading the boxes teary eyed. Collin saw the look on her face and said, “I’ll let you guys do the rest, I’ll see you soon Bailey” and closed the door behind him. Bailey sat next to her mom in the bed and curled up in her arms like she used to do when she was little. “I’ll be home before you know it” Bailey said to her mom. Bailey’s mom pulled herself together and helped set up most of Bailey’s room before she left. After a long hug goodbye, Bailey was left on her own. It was bittersweet for her, but every time she was alone her mind immediately jumped to Drew, her ex-boyfriend. Bailey decided to write him a letter because his phone has been taken away for the last month and she didn’t know when he would get it back.

Dear Drew,
I just got moved into my dorm room and my mom just left. Reality is actually settling in and I am pretty lonely even though I just got here. The first thing I wanted to do when my mom left was to talk to you. It really sucks that I had to leave for school when we left off on such a bad note. I wish I was still home with you. I love you always… write back soon….
Bailey

Bailey put the note in an envelope and sealed it closed and slowly slid out of her freshly made bed onto the cold floor. Bailey opened the door and saw Collin walking down the hallway towards her. “I told you I would see you soon” Collin said with a side grin on his face. “Funny running into you again, want to point me to the mail room?” Collin looked at the letter then pointed out the slot next to the desk where the old lady was sitting. “So is that for your boyfriend?” Collin asked as he followed Bailey to the desk. “Ex, actually.”
“Well that’s awkward, why are you writing letters to your ex-boyfriend?”
“It’s complicated, but we ended on bad terms and he doesn’t have a phone to talk.”
“So you’re technically single?”
“I suppose…”
“Good enough for me.” Collin chuckled and walked away.
Bailey headed back towards her room and saw a girl walking into the room next to hers. Her brunette raggedy hair was tied back in a messy bun on the top of her head and it looked like she stole her clothes straight off of a hobo, she clearly didn’t care about first impressions. Bailey walked up to her, “Hey neighbor” she said hoping to not get a door slammed in her face. “My room is 158”
“Oh sup?” The girl gave Bailey the head nod.
“Uh nothing” Bailey said awkwardly not knowing if she was actually supposed to answer that question.
“I’m Bailey by the way.”
“Nice, I’m Riley.”
“Well it’s nice to meet you.”
Riley stood leaning against her door with her lips together, nodding her head and tapping her fingers on the door knob, clearly uninterested in talking with Bailey.
“Alright well I’m going to go….” Bailey said.
Riley didn’t even respond and turned and rolled her eyes. Just her luck, Bailey thought. As Bailey was put her key in the lock to go back into her room, she heard a couple of obnoxious boys walking down the hallway in her direction. She looked out of the corner of her eye, and of course it is Collin with two friends. Bailey tried to get into her room before he saw her.
“Woah what’s the rush, Bailey?”
“Oh sorry, didn’t see you there.” Bailey said shyly.
“Come get dinner with us.”
Bailey really had no friends around yet and she was not about to turn down an offer to get food. “Alright, fine. I’m Bailey” Bailey reached her arm out to shake hands with both the boys to the left of Collin.
“Simon”
“Jeremy”
"Jeremy and Simon are actually heading to the library, so it looks like it’s just you and me" Collin said as he put his arm around Bailey and looked for the approval on Simon and Jeremy's faces. Bailey pushed Collin's arm off of her and Bailey and Collin walked towards the cafeteria, the opposite way of Simon and Jeremy. Lucky for them, the food court was connected to their building. Bailey looked around at all of the unfamiliar faces, feeling alone in a crowded place. Bailey got a meatball sub, not realizing how messy it would be in front of the Collin, not like she cared.
"So is this like are first date?" Drew asked as he raised his perfectly bushy eyebrows.
"I wouldn't go that far"
"ha ha, so what made you come here?"
"I was ready to get away from my old town, and my mom thought it would be best for me to go away, but not too far. This was the perfect fit for me."
"That's good, I'm glad you're here."








Chapter 3: Dear Drew

When Bailey woke up everyday; the first thing she would do was go to the lady at the desk and ask if she got any mail.
Dear Drew,
I hate that you’re still ignoring me. At least let me know you are doing alright. I have been to each of my classes once, and only once. I can't focus in school with you always on my mind and not knowing what you are thinking.
Love always,
Bailey

Bailey laid on her bed and placed the letter by her side when she heard two knocks on her door that lead to the bathroom, it had to of been Riley who she hasn't talked to much after their first awkward encounter. "Come in?'
"Hey it's Riley, sorry about the other day, I was having a bad day didn't mean to start us off on a bad start."
"Oh no, it's fine. So where are you from?"
"Iowa, what about you?"
"Illinois."

"Sorry for being straight forward but I don't know how else to ask...do you have any drugs?" Riley asked looking straight into Baileys eyes.
Bailey just stared at Riley with a blank stare. "What kind of drugs?"
"I''m not picky, honestly anything will do right now."
"No, I don't do drugs actually. Do you do them a lot?"
"Used to. My mom sent me away to get help, but its hard to just stop.."
"Oh wow, so getting help didn't work?"
"It did, I just get random out breaks where I feel like I need it."
"Well I'm here for you if you need me."
"Thanks, well I have to get ready for class. Don't you ever have class? I feel like you are always in your room."
"I go to class.."
"Okay good. See you later,Bailey"

Bailey walked to the desk to put her letter in the slot, when the lady reached her wrinkly fingers out holding a letter for her. Bailey's heart skipped a beat when she this. She snatched it quickly and saw it was from her mom. She was a little disappointed that it wasn't from Drew, but she was happy to hear from her mom.

Dear Bailey,
I miss you so much! This house is lonely without you around. Since your birthday is Tuesday, I am going to come visit you for the weekend. I hope you're doing better!
Can't wait to see you,
Mom


Bailey smiled without even realizing it because that meant her mom was coming tomorrow, but then thought, how will she tell her mom she hasn't been going to class? Bailey hoped that she would understand because she was having a hard time adjusting and still had time to raise her grades. Bailey snapped out of her thoughts when Collin slowly creaked open her door while pointlessly knocking. "Ready for dinner?" Bailey and Collin have been going to dinner together every night since she got there. Although Bailey was still waiting for Drew, she liked having Collin around, even if she was leading him on.
Bailey and Collin ate dinner when Collin reached across the table for the ketchup and his long sleeved shirt inched up. Bailey noticed scares on his arm.
"What's on your arm, what happened?"
"Oh it's nothing, really don't worry about it." Collin said as he tugged his shirt down his arm.

Bailey could tell he was getting defensive about it, so she didn't want to ask anymore questions if he didn't want to talk about it.
"Well I think I am going to go back to my room and get ready for my mom coming tomorrow for my birthday."
"Okay I'll walk you back."
Before Bailey could fully walk through the door Collin pulled her back and kissed her. Bailey immediately pulled back,
"What are you doing?!"
"I just thought..."
Before Collin could finish Bailey interrupted and said "I'm going to bed." Bailey shut the door behind her and went right to bed.





Chapter 4: Truth
Bailey woke up and slipped her feet into her tan Ugg brand moccasins, and headed toward the desk to see if she had any letters. There were none again, but when Bailey looked up, she saw her mom walking in through the main door. Her mom walked straight to Bailey and hugged her without saying a word. "Come on, let's go to your room." Bailey's mom finally interrupted.
"So how is everything going here?" Her mom asked when they got into her room.
"It's Okay, Mom I want to tell you something before you hear it from anyone else."
"What is it, Sweetie."
"I haven't exactly been going to class..."
"Oh no...You know what; I think you should see your counselor so we can solve this as soon as possible."
"Okay that's fair."

Bailey and her mom spent the day together and went out to dinner. Bailey didn't tell Collin she wasn't going to be able to do dinner with him, and she wasn't ready to see him after the day before anyway. Bailey agreed to see the counselor the next day.






Chapter 5: Reality
Bailey hesitated to go to the counselor, but new she had to make her mom proud.
"So what brings you here, Bailey?"
"Well, I have no motivation to go to class anymore. I have my ex-boyfriend, Drew on my mind a lot."
"Class? There are no classes here."
"What? What do you mean?"
"You do know what happened to Drew right?"
"Is he OK? What happened?"
"You killed Drew when you heard he cheated on you, Bailey. That is why you are here with the other patients."
Too many thoughts ran through Baileys mind as she tried to move from the chair, but was strapped into a bed.





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