My Freshman Year: Day 122
Days as a Freshman: 122
Mood: Dissapointed in myself!
“What’s up? Heading home for winter break?”
Stacey leaned against the bureau, twisting her hair in front of her face and plastering on a giant smile, as though the guy on the phone could actually see her. Rebecca and I leaned forward, total disbelief keeping us attached to every word Stacey uttered. Could she really be talking to Justin? The same Justin? How did they know each other? …and how could he stand to be on the phone with her?
“Yeah, I’m taking off tomorrow. My parents actually called a limo to take me to the airport. Can you imagine? I know. I’m so embarrassed!”
As Stacey laughed, Rebecca jabbed me in the back with her finger, hard. Staying in the same breathing space was probably killing Rebecca, who usually got up and went somewhere else, anywhere else, whenever Stacey was around.
“So…what else is…?” As she listened, Stacey’s hand lowered from her hair and her smile faded a little. “Oh, really?” Her eyes slid over to me and she squinted, like she wasn’t able to quite keep me in focus. “Yeah…sure. She’s…she’s right here.”
Slowly, Stacey reached her hand out to me, her pink, bedazzled cell phone held in my direction. “He wants to talk to you.”
Everyone watched me as I took the phone.
“Hello?” I tried to breathe evenly, tried to make it seem like I did this sort of thing all the time, talking to random guys on someone else’s phone. I wasn’t feeling awkward. I wasn’t feeling nervous. I was fine. Totally fine.
There was static on the other end and what sounded like a lot of other voices, but I could still recognize the phone.
“Hey, Justin…” I felt Stacey lean in a little closer, her eyes still wide in confusion.
“Hey. Sorry about this…calling you on someone else’s phone and all. But I didn’t have your number and I knew Stacey was your roommate…” The voices on the other end rose in what sounded like cheering. “Sorry,” Justin apologized again, “I’m watching the game with some of the guys from the house.”
“No problem. What’s up?”
It killed me that I couldn’t say all the things I was thinking, that I had to pretend everything was fine. Getting up and going out to the hallway would signify some kind of big deal, and Stacey wouldn’t be able to contain herself from speculating on why I wanted privacy with some guy on the soccer team. She would speculate until my ears bled and the entire campus was in the know.
If I wanted to keep a shred of dignity, I’d have to remain completely still, and completely normal.
“I just…sorry we haven’t talked in a few days.” The cheering in the background rose again. “I keep saying sorry, huh? Anyway…I…I wanted to get your number so maybe I could call you over break. Or your email.”
My number or my email? I wished he hadn’t given me an option, because now I was forced to give him the less personal of the two.
“Sure.” I chirped out my email and felt like a total idiot. I didn’t want to give him my email! Lab partners traded emails!
“Oh…okay, cool. That’s easy to remember…”
There was a pause on the other end, a pause I desperately wanted to fill up, but had no idea how to do it without blowing my cover.
“Alright so…I talk to you soon! I have a good break, Grace.”
“You too!” I said, wondering if he could hear me over the now yelling voices on his end. “Be safe!”
And then I hung up.
As I handed the phone back to Stacey, who was no doubt about bombard me with thousands of questions, I tried to keep the horrible feeling in my chest from doing anything to my face.
I had been waiting to hear Justin’s voice for days, and when it finally happened, what did I do?
Pretend it was no big deal.