“Izzy you need to get up,” her mother Stella Rossetti called from the doorway of her daughter’s room
“Ma, it’s 6 in the morning,” she whined.
“I know this but your Dad and I need to get you on the road. It’s almost 4 hours to Cambridge.
“Why couldn’t I just go with Tony yesterday?”
“Because your brother lives with 4 guys. You don’t need to be around a bunch of 20-year old guys doing god knows what.”
“Okay,” Izzy said as she laid back down on her pillow and pulled her sheet over her head.
“Elizabeth! Come on!”
“You busted your ass to get into Harvard. Let’s get a move on. You can sleep on the way down there.”
“Fine,” she told her mother as she pulled herself out of her bed.
Elizabeth “Izzy” Rossetti had graduated from FDR High School in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn that May with a full scholarship to Harvard, where she would be joining her brother Tony as he was starting his Junior year. She and Tony were the only children of Anthony and Stella Rossetti. Anthony was a Captain for the FDNY while Stella was Assistant Principal of Forest Hills High in Queens.
Once she got dressed and her dad made sure everything was loaded, Izzy took one last look around her room that she grew up in, the city she loved as they crossed the bridge on their way to Massachusetts. The sun had started to rise, hitting behind the World Trade Center just right.
“Are you ready for this, kid?”
“Yeah, Pop. I think I am,” she said with a smile as she laid on her pillow in the backseat of her parents 1994 Ford Explorer. She hoped not to wake up until they arrived at Harvard.
“It’s Pennypacker, right, Izz?”
“Yeah, Dad. Like Kramer’s alias on Seinfeld. I told you it was meant to be.” “Looks like you already have some help,” Anthony said pointing to Tony walking up.
“Hey, you finally made it...nerd.”
“Oh, shut up and help me unload this stuff please, big brother?”
“Oh, why not,” Tony said while hugging his little sister. “Glad you’re here.”
Izzy was in a room with only one other roommate. All she knew was the girl was from Chicago. Stella had went to make sure everything was in order paperwork wise while Izzy, Tony, and Anthony unloaded the SUV, which took about 45 minutes going up and down the stairs.
A man with a very gruff voice, a nice looking dark-haired woman, a boy and a girl around Izzy’s age came in, the boy might’ve been a little younger actually. “I sure hope you’re the roommate’s father and not the roommate,” the man joked as he shook Anthony’s hand.
“Captain Anthony Rossetti FDNY. This is my daughter Izzy, who is the roommate, and my son Tony who also goes to school here.”
“I’m Detective Hank Voight Chicago PD, this is my wife Cindy, our son Justin, and our…goddaughter Erin Lindsay. It’s nice to meet you all.”
They exchanged pleasantries, made sure the girls were settled before Anthony and Stella invited Hank and Cindy to lunch, which they gladly accepted. The girls were pretty silent as they unpacked their things.
“Do you mind if I turn on some music, Erin?”
“Uh, no not at all. I might work faster if we had some noise going.”
“Me, too. You like Alanis Morrisette?”
Izzy put in “Jagged Little Pill” as they sang and continued to work. After a few hours they got hungry and went to hunt down some food to bring back to their dorm and started to get to know each other.
“Yeah, Hank and Cindy took me in a few years ago. Saved my life actually. I mean my mom is a drunk and junkie, my dad’s in prison. I was determined I wasn’t going to end up like that. Cindy is actually a teacher and she helped me get my scholarship out here.”
“Damn, Erin. I couldn’t imagine. You’re on scholarship, too, huh?”
“Oh yeah. Hank could’ve paid my tuition but I felt I needed to prove to myself and everybody else that I deserved it. I didn’t play sports, hang out with friends or even date very much, or anything. I just studied.”
“I played basketball but that was it. I dated but I was usually home with my nose in the books on weekends myself. I could’ve went to NYU, I mean I love New York, but I guess there’s more to life than the Big Apple.”
A few days later, Erin and Izzy went to the bookstore after finalizing their syllabuses to get their books. Behind the counter was a guy in a gray Harvard t-shirt that clung to his muscular arms, the most beautiful skin tone, short dark brown hair reading “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut.
“Can I help you,” he asked quickly as he took Izzy’s syllabus from her, barely looking at her. He even scoffed her schedule.
“What?” Izzy asked.
“I was just looking at your classes.”
“You’re overly ambitious, you have a chip on your shoulder, and you plan to party.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your class schedule is overloaded,” he said as he sat the first books on the counter, “but none of your classes are before 11, and no one takes Professor Michaelson’s course unless they have something to prove because Professor Roberts covers the same ground and grades easier,” he said with a smirk as he laid the last book down.
“Well, thanks for that.”
“No problem. Welcome to Harvard,” he replied with the smirk still plastered on his face.
Erin was at the other guy behind the counter but heard the entire exchange and was trying not to laugh.
“Oh my god that guy was such a jerk.”
“Izzy are you serious? He was totally flirting with you.”
“Well, he needs some pointers. I should tell my brother but I won’t cause I’m a big girl. I just hope I don’t see him around.”
“Yes, you do. You want to see him around.”
“Oh, this is going to be a long year.”
“How was work,” Tony asked Rafael as he walked into their suite at Cabot Hall.
“Man, I saw this hot freshman today.”
“Yeah. Blond hair, brown eyes, nice body…just…wow.”
“Did you ask her out?”
“Not yet. I’m sure I’ll run into her again. I mean we do have other things in the bookstore she might need.”
“I got ya. You gotta stalk your prey before you pounce, huh?”
“I wouldn’t put it in those terms but…yeah that pretty much sums it up.”
“Did you get her name?”
“It was Elizabeth something. You know I just have to worry about her ID number more than anything.”