Thanks for Laura A. Lord’s Accidental Witch post which led me over to The Beacon’s writing prompt, which is as follows:
“Monday’s Prompt – Week One
The best part about leaving your tiny, rural hometown is that no one at your new college knows who you are. You have moved all the way across the country and for once, you can be who ever you want. When you arrive on campus and finally find your dorm, your new roommates are already inside and unpacking. Your roommates immediately start asking you questions to get to know you. You end up telling an entire life story that isn’t yours. Write part of the story you tell your new roommates. Who are you when you get to make up your own personal experiences?”
Life’s Little Dilettante
Move in day in what might as well have been a foreign country. There was a mix of young adults raucously jostling for parking spots, hallway space, and glancing from paper to door numbers and back again. Some people had entire cars jam-packed full of belongings and I wondered how it was all going to fit in their rooms.
To be honest, I think I was more anxious than excited to be here… It was so different than what I’d grown up with. To be honest, I’d basically grown up in a petri dish.. a small cult sort of convent in the middle of the never changing sunlight of California. The citrus always blossomed and the temperature never dropped below maybe 60 degrees. The crisp autumn air sent shivers down my spine and goosebumps on my skin as it passed through what I had decided was a decorations only kind of sweater that I used to think was warm. I didn’t have much of anything warm in the box I held or the backpack on my shoulders.
I tried to blend into the walls and avoid being in the way as I joined the glances masses of people. I finally found my door. The door. The threshold that sealed my freedom from the little patch of secrecy away from the world but also locked me out from ever going back… to what I knew… to what both terrified made and made me feel safe.
I reached for the doorknob and froze. I’d pictured this moment for so long… to finally be able to be myself and have a real future… but now… I was terrified.
Then the door was pulled open and a head of bouncy ed curls filled with enormous blue eyes almost collided with mine.
“Oh, Lord, I’m sorry,” She said with a smile that looked just la tad leprechaun given the mischievousness in it. “I was just about to get some more of my things but meeting new friends is way better than holding on to old things!” and she grabbed my outstretched hand and pulled me across the portal.
“I’m Ardra, nice to meet you! And this is Felix” She said leading me over to a milk chocolate skinned girl who looked like a princess from paradise with her long dark hair and stunningly dark eyes…
“Hey,” She responded, “What are you in for?”
And I just stared.
“Yeah, where are you from? What are you studying? Isn’t this place amazing? Have you seen the guys in the next dorm?” Ardra kept talking… and Felix kept watching… seeming to expect an answer while silently laughing at the lack of verbal space with which there was to answer in.
“Um… I’m… I was…” I just stammered.
“Well, here, let’s get you sorted then you can tell us all about it since you’re tongue-tied. It’s a lot to take in, I know.” And Ardra kept talking like a songbird and Felix kept watching like a cat and I suddenly felt like the toy caught between the two. “We kind of already took the top bunks in here but that just means that you get to choose who you’re bunking with, but don’t worry, you won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t pick my side, so choose where you feel comfortable.
And I stared… it was like trying to choose between the light side, which might drive me crazy but still made me happy, and the dark side, which had a certain kind of peace but kind of scared me.
“So, are you at least going to tell us where you’re from?” Ardra pouted with batting eyelashes.
“I, uh, I’m from California but, you see, I was a librarian down in… San Diego… so… I spent a lot of time sorting books but then I worked downtown in one of the clubs at nights.” I don’t think I’d ever seen more than our textbooks growing up but librarians didn’t do much, right? But clubs were fun so they wouldn’t think I was boring, right?
“Smart and fun! This is gonna be a blast!” Ardra squealed while she hugged me and Felix covered what looked like a small chuckle with her hand.
“Yep, we’re gonna need to show the dancing librarian around,” Felix said, looking me over like she was deciding just what to do with me.
College was not what I had expected so far…