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Enna's Medium Sized Adventure
I passed by the familiar ancient paintings of wrinkled adults with frightening scowls plastered on their faces. One last time, I thought, my footsteps pounding with an echo shadowing each one. I might never return to this empty corridor, as I am leaving this drab, un-friendly boarding prison…uh, I mean school. This happens to be the last hour of the last day of high school for me and my 70-student class. Every single soon-to-be-free senior is counting the slow-ticking seconds until un-restricted fun. All the seniors are going to be traveling from the hot, dreary Floridian boarding school, to thrilling new places scattered across the globe. Even Evan.
Evan is my best friend at the school. He’s the only friend I ever remember having, seeing I’ve attended the school since 3rd grade. I am supposed to meet him here today at the end of this picturesque haunted hallway. My foot-falls are met with purpose at the absence of Evan. We were supposed to meet at 1:00 for lunch, and although it was only 12:45, I was anxious. Yet, knowing Evan so well, he’ll be here in 2 minutes. This is an opportunity for me to share my thoughts with you.
In aproxomently 45 minutes, Evan is coming over to help me cram everything I own into a couple of dull, brown cardboard boxes. After a week, I am going to attend Duke University: home of the blue devils! I was already assigned a roommate- someone named Elena Fringer. We will share a room, and are two of the luckiest girls on campus because of our personal bathroom. I am a bit afraid, though. What if everything on her side of the room is modern and sleek? My stuff is all hand-me-down.
Evan is going to the University of California Los Angles. Which is all the way across the country from North Carolina. I will only get to see him once in the next year, at Christmas with our families. I am going to miss him, but I am onboard with meeting new people and everything. College is going to be great! Just think- no teachers to keep you from doing things, go to bed whenever you want, go to parties, and get up in the middle of the night for McDonalds that is on campus!
At 12:50, Evan and I practically ran down the hallway to my room on the third floor. We have been dreaming about moving away to college, or really anywhere but our school, since 5th grade. This is our time to shine. “Grab a marker, you’re on labeling duty” I said with a dash of attitude. “We have a lot to finish”. “I know Enna! Were gonna get through this packing part. I know you’ve been looking forward to it, but I’ve been dreading it. Does womans underwear count as clothes for the boxes?”, Evan said playfully, and with food spilling over his lip. “ Yes of course it does. Should I bring this dress with me?”
It was a mid-thigh length silky white dress, with beaded lace embroidered along the edges. Its my favorite dress, but boys are known to have thoughts completely different from girls. “ Yeah, you should. So you gonna miss me?”, asked Evan. This is something that we do. We act like were superior to all other friends even though were really not, but we know it. “Yeah, I actually will. You know, you’re my best friend?”
He just nodded.
My mother’s voice. That is all I heard when we pulled up to Duke three days before school started. I realized, only then, that my eyes were glued shut, and my steady breath was absent. I had never seen the school before, other than in pictures with unfortunate angles. Finally, I dragged my thoughts and body together and joined them to pry my eyes open. As one always does, the first thing I saw was light. Fresh, new light that danced on my corneas, but only for a moment until everything else took a shape.
We were parked outside the freshman dorms, where I would be living for the next year. The buildings were cathedral-style and, although new to me, very old. I absorbed my surroundings using all of my senses. I saw those incredible structures before me, took in the scent of damp foliage from the rain that stopped an hour ago. I picked two manageable boxes, while soaking in the sound of other kids laughing and playing Frisbee. Yes, Frisbee, the ultimate cliché outdoor college game (which was a silly thing to play because of the soggy grass). And finally, I sensed the taste of nervousness in my mouth, but in a good way. In a way that told me I had no idea what lies ahead of me.
I trotted to my room on the third floor (AGAIN??), occasionally ramming the walls with my boxes. When I got to my assigned room, the door was cracked open, so I nudged it lightly with my hip. I held my breath, like this was something I had to remember, and that I had to pay close attention.
The walls were light blue. There were two beds on the opposite sides of the room, two dressers, two desks, and two closets. The room looked empty because the beds were just mattresses; we were supposed to bring the sheets. I set the boxes that were slipping out of my fingers down on the bed I decided was mine, because I got there first. There were definite sides of the room, looking like a clone of the other side.
What was in the boxes I was carrying? Oh, clothes. This is the fun part Evan was saying I was waiting for. Not the deciding what gets to go with and what doesn’t, but deciding where everything goes. Bras, underwear (which are most definitely woman’s clothing), and socks go in top drawers, and everything else falls into place. Just like im hoping everything else will too.
After all the boxes were in the room, my mom and I said goodbye. It wasn’t hard at all. We really haven’t talked much since I enrolled in the prison school. I was finally alone. Or so I thought…
This is not good at all.
The girl that strutted in my new half-decorated dorm was bad news. She had rings and studs running down her ear and across her eyebrows. She didn’t seem uncomfortable with her “snake bites”, and her bull ring looked as ridiculous as her 7 ton makeup. She picked at her eyebrow.
“So you’re Enna?” She decides to speak, I thought, biting my lip. “Yeah. You’re Elena?” I was a bit angry inside. I deserve a better roommate then this girl who shouldn’t have ever gotten into this school! I was extremely confused, and probably looked scarlet red. I quickly focused my attention to my roommate as her lips parted to speak. I might as well make a good impression.
“No, Im Katie, your dorm advisor for the whole freshman year. I came by to see how you’re doing and to meet you and… Elena. Do you know where Elena is by any chance?” I shook my head while she scanned her clipboard like it might hold the answer. “Hmm. If she arrives before lunch time, send her in to my room. Im in room…” Katie was cut off by the vigorous opening of the oak wood door from the hall. It was a girl with light brown hair, the kind that people would argue to say its blond. She was short and petite and walked with a bounce in her step. She had hazel eyes, and her teeth were noticeably straight and white. Some people are born with confidence, and don’t realize how lucky they are.
“Hi im Elena! And hopefully one of you is my roommate?” It was, of course, a statement, but she said it like a question. As to say one of you is my roommate, I know it, im just trying not to sound like a know-it-all. I responded, “That would be me.” I tried to mimic her self-confidence with my tone, but I ended up sounding bored with life and ready to kill myself. Katie introduced herself to Elena, then I introduced myself to her, and she grinned the whole time. Katie announced that she would talk to us later, and headed out the door.
As soon as the door clicked shut, Elena’s shining smile devolved to a slight smirk of victory, and she let her shoulders slack, like any 18 year old would normally do. Her smile faded until she met with my confused eyes, where it grew larger then with Katie present. She hesitated, and then spoke. “I’ve decided that I really shouldn’t keep secrets from the person I am living with for the next year. So I’ll just come right and say it.” Now im baffled. Besides the fact that a secret has never been kept from me, I have 0% of an idea of what on earth she’s talking about. I finally spit out,” Say what?”. “I am really not that preppy and confident. I came in here so forcibly, because I am really excited for college. I started acting all full of my-self, because you seemed so sure about everything in that split second before I said anything. I really am a big nerd.”
I opened my mouth to speak, but I didn’t know what to say to that. I blurted, “What’s your first class on Monday?” What was I supposed to say to such a confusing concept? “Umm…” She seemed scattered and unsure now. I realized that she was as observant as I was, to notice that I was trying to act really “grown-up” in front of Katie. “Microbiology” She said finally. “Sweet! Me too!” I was genuinely happy about it, too.
This is going to be an adventurous year.
How weird that since the 7th grade, I’ve only pictured myself at duke for college. I’ve always imagined what that first day might be like. I’ve analyzed every possible way for the outcome to turn out. Although all of these thoughts were helpful and important, I realized (while laying in bed soaking up my jitter-bugs) that I had never once dreamt of a way that my first college class would turn out.
Elena and I have the same classes for the most part. College level classes in high school, I can handle. There’s not as much pressure. If you earn yourself a “B” or a “C”, then it’s okay because you’re so much ahead of so many students. Compared to given a special treatment in high school, “grown up” classes, as Elena called them, were either going to be hard, or extremely hard.
I must confess my newfound fear of newfound things. When im feeling brave and courageous, I am more open to new ideas and changes in all aspects of my life. Even my horoscope tells me that about myself. Something about permanent changes in life makes me sorrowful. Like things will never be the way they were before, no matter how much you try. It’s like having a baby in middle school. Your life will never be the same.
Dangit! I thought, as my extravagant alarm clock buzzed as loud as a train. I rolled out of bed, and noticed that Elena was a really heavy sleeper, since im sure that my alarm clock woke people up from across the hall. I’d known her for a couple days know, and we’d decided to be best friends here, so we would always know and get along with at least one person. So as a best friend, what I was about to do was in her best interest. I calmly walked to the opposite end of the room from where she was sleeping, and started to run. I lightly launched myself into the air as to not hurt her, and for less than a split second, I was flying. In that second, I realized that everything would be okay, as long as I let it be okay. I landed on Elena like a spider-monkey, and she immediately awoke. “Time for breakfast.” I whispered. I hopped of her bed. “Or you could skip breakfast and go back to bed, while potentially missing the first day of class. Or even worse, you show up right in the middle of class with an empty stomach.” That got her up.
We ate at this place called the marketplace. As we walked in, there was a gush of cold air. Although it was only Fall, it was still really hot from the summer. I got the jitters again when I walked by a table of guys eating. One of them stopped eating for just a moment, and looked right into my eyes. He had bright green eyes, and chocolate brown, short hair. I cocked my head, looking right back at him. Then I focused my attention back on food, and walking to the breakfast counter, but it was too late. CRASH I ran into someone carrying their breakfast. I fell to the ground, slightly shrieking on the way down. Everyone that was eating in my vicinity turned their heads in unison. The guy I was staring at quickly jumped up out of his seat to help me up. He took my hand and tugged at it until I was steady on my feet , then he picked the scrambled egg off my shoulder and tossed on the ground with the rest of victimized food. This was more embarrassing then the time I thought my male teacher was a girl, and accidentally said it to his face.
“Are you okay?” he said softly as though he was trying not to scare me off. “Yeah, im fine now.” I replied, with a crack in my voice. “Well, ok.” He said, like he didn’t believe me. He continued, “I’m Austin, by the way.” “Yeah ok. I’m Enna” I said with hesitation in my voice. “So what classes do you have today?” I asked, moving the conversation along. “Microbiology.” He replied in a soothing tone. “Wow that’s amazing! I’ll see you there then?” I said, two seconds later realizing I hadn’t mentioned that I had it too. “I have that also…” I finished my thought, trying to make myself sound clearer.
I had met my first crush.
When I finally arrived at microbiology, everybody was simply and shamelessly staring at me. There was whispering, and giggling, and quite a bit of pointing and straight up laughing. Did I notice though? Surprisingly though, the part of me that cares what people think of me was unconscious. My eyes were drunk on Austin’s lush brown locks and vibrant green eyes. He sat at the perfect angle in class, where I could stare at him for every minute, ignoring the curriculum. There wasn’t many people in our class, and I already knew Elena and Austin (sort of). But the others in the class, were secretly laughing their heads off at Austin and me.
Mr. Henry was my professor’s name. He was partially bald on the top of his head, and was sporting a pair of wire-framed glasses and khaki pants. He looked like a cliché “wise” teacher that would also be your best friend/mentor. But I have been known to misjudge people for the better.
After sitting through a lecture on things I already knew, I still felt confused. I’m one of those people who believe that everybody has a niche. I have always thought I had a talent in sciences. Lately, though, it feels forced. It’s harder to get through then usual. Not like a we’re-in-college hard, but a I’m-gonna-kill-myself-if-I-have-to-do-this-one-more-time hard. So maybe I will switch out of microbiology until I find my calling. I’m not really sure how though.
Elena and I made our way back to our room in a hurry. This information that I had just shared with myself, was building so much pressure in me, and I felt like exploding, because anything would be better than the anticipation. My decision as a college freshman can impact the rest of my life. Who I meet, who I marry, who my kids are, and what my job is! That’s pressure if I ever felt it. Something about this choice seems crucial, and makes me nervous.
“I need your help” I said in a concerned tone. “What is it” she Questioned. “Can you help me find myself? I don’t think microbiology is for me.” “Weeeellllll….. I can try, I guess.” “I would love that” Something told me this wasn’t gonna be easy.