The clock above the Dean’s desk was out of sync with his own watch. It made it seem like time was going twice as fast even though the meeting was taking forever. The Dean hadn’t spoken a word to him since telling him to sit down, instead looking through the file on his computer, sucking air through his teeth every few seconds. James knew what was on those files, his flying GPA score and AP grades, the praises he had received for his extra curriculum drama school classes and soccer team practices. But he knew what Dean Burns mouse kept coming back up to the long paragraph underneath the bold title of criminal records.
“So,” the Dean said sharply, swirling round in his chair and intertwining his hands in front of him, “Ryan.”
The name was still unfamiliar but he smiled regardless.
“I don’t want you to feel like this conversation is about isolating you. We’re certainly not about to turn round and kick you out of your first day.” The Dean laughed as if this hadn’t been a huge worry in James’ mind. He made a note to himself to stop referring to himself as James. That name would only leaded to question. There was a pause as the Dean fiddled with his glasses, making them more lopsided than before. Jame-Ryan twitched.
“But given this a special case, I felt like we should talk. Now, I’d like say first and for most that here at Rooster Teeth University, we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to crime.”
Ryan tried not to react to this, with smile twitching at the corners of his mouth. It sounded the thing you’d say to someone with a history of B’n’E or assault, not three first degree murders.
“But we also are a place of community, if you ever have any difficulties at all, you can just talk to us. We have a great councillor for you to talk to if need be.”
Now Ryan had to smile, though he hoped it came across as kindly. He doubted the low-ranking university to provide any more help than the psychiatrists on the mental ward. There was a reason they had been the only university to accept him.
“Don’t worry sir, I’ll about I’ll need it. But, if I ever do…” he trailed off smile fading, in a way that he hoped said he was remembering memories of those tragic days and though he didn’t wish to talk about them, he did fully regret it. It was a lot to get out in one facial expression but he seemed to manage, the Dean looking at him with pity and nodding his head.
“Well, I won’t hold you back from finding your dorm anymore.”
They haven’t given him his own dorm. Not that it was necessary but he thought they would have slightly more afraid for his dorm mate's life. Though he wasn’t stupid enough to do anything like that. However, the sight of his dorm made that decision slightly difficult. His dorm mate could have barely been there twelve hours yet clothes littered the floor and the bin had been completely disregarded, crisp and chocolate wrappers thrown onto the carpet. Both beds had been slept in and the top bunk was still occupied. He took a deep breath in, then out, before entering. He slowly walked into the room, settling his bag on one of the unoccupied spots on the floor and went to straighten his new bed, trying to ignore the shaking feel, at the thought of someone else sleeping in it.
“Who are you?”
Ja-Ryan looked up. The boy hung over the bar of the bunk, floppy red curled hair hanging over his face, speaking in a thick New Jersey accent.
‘remember the name. remember the name,’ “I’m Ryan.”
He offered out his hand, wondering if this boy would have preferred a fist bump of sorts but Ryan didn’t think he was ready for that. The boy looked at his hand as if it had offended him before taking it, gripping hard as though to prove something. Ryan smirked at that.
“What’s so funny?” the New Jersey boy snapped.
“Nothing,” He moved away, smiling his best smile at the other boy. It only seemed to make him hate Ryan more. He turned over muttering to himself. Ryan sighed, pulling his bag towards him as he sat down on the bed and took out his notebook.
‘To Dr Phillips,
I promise not to kill-’ he realised he didn’t know his roommate’s name. he looked up at the mattress above him and decided he was too tired to act like a social creature.
‘Not to kill my roommate.’