“Now make sure you don’t walk around campus without a buddy for the first few weeks! It’s a big place, you might get lost and Dad won’t be here to help if you do, okay Jane?” you just barely manage to nod before claws finally detach from aching cheeks. Your father had been lecturing you now for a good half an hour about staying safe in this new environment, and while you’re sure he has a point you also know it’s most likely a method of buying time and stretching out the minutes before he is forced to say goodbye and let go of his precious little girl forever.
You had arrived at the school bright an early that morning, your father wanted to make sure you would beat the crowd and have plenty of time to unpack your things and get a feel for the building. But your plans for hard work were quickly pushed to the back of your brain once you actually stepped foot on that grassy hill facing the school. Suddenly excitement took over, and all you could focus on was that itching desire to spring free and start your new life as an adult… well, a college student rather.
The dorm room was a modest size, not nearly as large as your room at home but you hadn’t expected that of course. Two twin sized beds were pushed against opposite walls and next to either bed was a desk with chair and matching dresser. It was hardly exciting, but you could not be happier to be there. Together with your father you decorated your side of the room swiftly. Things were put neatly in their place right down to the last sock, and before you knew it all that was left to unpack where your mustached funnymen posters… but you figured you’d wait for your father to leave before tending to that, which brings you back to this moment…
“Jane. Are you listening?” you snap back into attention, looking up at your fathers face as he weakly smiles. You didn’t notice the rings under his eyes until now; he must have been up all night worrying about this moment. You smile, “Don’t worry, I’ll be extra careful! Thank you for your help!” you assure him hurriedly, finally he takes the hint and reaches up once again to pat you on the head. “That’s my girl, I’m proud of you Jane.” He tells you for the tenth time today, and you swear you see tears forming in his eyes. Just then you hear voices,
“225 right? Goddammit read the paper, what does it say? Oh… I could have sworn it said 225 when I read it last night.” “Inebriation isn’t exactly known for leaving one with clear memories, it’s 217.” “Well shit, guess we’re here then.” A female and male speak back and forth, the conversation ending with a shrill laugh from the female. 217 is your room number.
Your father turns back to you before a knock is heard and the door creaks open, the two behind it immediately hush their conversation upon realizing they are not alone. They freeze, a bit dumbfounded, and your father wraps it up.
He kisses you on the forehead with some gusto, “I love you Jane, make sure you call me tonight okay? Tomorrow too! I want to hear how your first class goes. Make sure you set your alarm.” Your cheeks are burning bright red by now and you nudge your dad. “Alright alright! I’ll leave you to get settled, call me if there are any problems okay?” again you nod, too embarrassed to say anything after your new roommate and her friend had watched that display of affection by your father. He gives you one last wave before leaving the room and pulls his other hand up to his cheek to wipe away a tear. You notice that the girl at the door turns to watch him. Great.
For the first time you get the chance to look over your new roommate, as she sways into the room. The first thing you notice is platinum blond hair, styled very neatly to flip out chin length with side swept bangs forming an effortless looking curl aside what you could have sworn were pinkish irises with cat eye eyeliner around them. She was wearing a pretty white off the shoulder tee shirt and black jeans with a pair of pink sneakers that suited her very nicely, you thought. The boy with her was much taller, and you notice he’s got a nice strong set of arms jutting out of his shirt. His equally as blond hair is styled too look windswept, and pointy glasses sit on top of defined cheekbones. You catch yourself staring and shake your head to snap out of it.
You’re not really sure if you should speak first or allow the two some privacy. You settle for a smile and then quickly hop over to your crockertop and power it up, lending them a bit of space to get settled in, luckily neither of them seem to really notice you and they start chattering again as they drag pink luggage into the room, out of courtesy you try to tune it out.
They don’t seem to put the same care into unpacking as you and your father did, clothes are haphazardly thrown into the closet and dresser between jokes they share. You finish watching a couple episodes of modern family before finally noticing that they’ve finished. Her side of the room is surprisingly simple. Cat posters adorn the wall above a bright pink bed set; to your surprise she’s also lined the bookshelf with thick hardcover books. In all honesty your sides of the room complement each other quite nicely, you think.
She shoves her friend towards the door, feigning annoyance,
“Alright I let you help me unpack my shit now will to please leave me to be the responsible independent adult you know I am?”
“Just hold your horses for a minute, before I leave, I printed out your class schedule and left it on your desk next to all of your text books which I’ve labeled by color. Next to that is your student ID and a map of the campus, make sure you know what time the cafeteria is open so you get your three meals a day and I don’t get any calls in the middle of the day informing me that you’ve passed out and need me to sit at your bedside with a box of tissues and orange juice till you’re well.”
“Why would I even need tissues?”
“I’ve seen movies, Rox.”
“Fiiiine” she draws out with a groan, “I’ve taken mental notes of all your strange attempts to see that I take care of myself. Do you want me to text you when I’ve brushed and flossed my teeth for the night, too?”
“Fuck no. What am I, your babysitter?”
She resumes pushing him and this time he lets her, “Goodbyyyye Dirk! Go take care of your own shit now!” she slams the door shut with a sigh. A moment later you hear a faint “love you too, sis.”
With him gone you snap your head back around to face the computer screen, hoping that she didn’t notice your impolite gawking. Luckily she seems to pay no mind and immediately collapses on her bed; you think that kind of defeats the purpose of making it in the first place.
You panic briefly, wondering what to do. Should you introduce yourself? But that would mean starting a conversation with a complete stranger, and what if she thinks you’re boring? Maybe you should just fire up some more sitcom gold, but then will she think you’re a rude introvert with no interest in making friends? Why didn’t they teach you about these things in bible school…
“Whatcha watching Jane?” breath tickles your ear and you let out a loud squeak, jumping up from your chair only to be met by the arms of your roommate. Your cheeks immediately turn beet red upon realization of what you’ve just done. You scramble to compose yourself and the blond girl howls with laughter.
“Jeez calm down! I was just asking a question!” she says before giving another chuckle.
“How… how did you know my name?”
“It’s right there silly!” she says pointing to the name plaque your father had engraved for you. You curse the man and his inclination to label everything.
“Oh. Yes. Right… well, you sure did get me good there!” you say trying to play off your reaction. She flashes you a smile that could almost cause temporary blindness and you melt a little.
“Jane Crocker… it’s kinda weird, but cute.” She comments, “My name’s Roxy, you know it’s cool if you want me to just stay out of your way or whatever, I don’t want to be in your shit if it’s going to bother you…”
You hold out your hands and shake your head. “No no! It’s perfectly alright! I just didn’t want to interrupt you getting settled in with your…” you look towards the door.
“Oh yeah, that’s just Dirk. He’s a buzz kill, but we grew up together, so we are practically totally inseparable.”
“Is he… are you related?”
“What? No!” She lets out a sharp laugh, “He just calls me sis sometimes, and I call him bro a lot, but we’re not related or anything!”
You start to loosen up a little, and offer a smile in return. “The resemblance is almost uncanny!”
“No way! I am so much hotter.” She jokes… you think…
“Hey, speaking of hotties, who was that fine piece of ass all over you earlier?”
If spit takes where a real thing that happened in real life and not just in cartoons, this would be the perfect moment to have one. Your eyes all but pop out of your head as you sputter in response.
“You mean my father?!” you manage, shock resounding in your words. Roxy doesn’t even flinch, she just cocks her head.
“Really? He doesn’t look a DAY over 40 imo,” and it takes a moment to register that she just used chat abbreviation in real live conversation. She walks back towards her bed and reaches for something beneath it.
“Well I didn’t see a ring, but don’t worry, I know when to take a step back Janey.” She assures you, though you are still pretty mortified, you don’t even noticed that you’ve already been adorned with a nickname. However the surprises don’t stop there, Roxy snaps back up with what you are sure is a bottle of liquor (though you’ve never really seen one yourself, not counting your father’s scotch that he ONLY drinks on the weekends and keeps locked away safe from any what he likes to call “teenage experimentation” that he doesn’t seem to know could imply something totally different… you digress) and a fancy looking glass.
She walks over to her desk and pours herself a glass of what you now can tell is wine (you watch tv) and sips it daintily. She apparently notices your jaw hanging loosely and stops herself,
“Oh god, I’m so sorry! Did you want some too?” you vigorously shake your head no.
“Don’t you think you’ll get in trouble if the R.A. sees you?” you ask with a frown.
She answers once more with that bright laugh of hers, climbing up to sit on her bed. She seems nothing but amused by your concern.
“Oh Jane. Janey Janey Janey. I can tell that we are going to be bffsies forever!”
And frankly, by now, you are too overwhelmed to disagree.