My Freshman Year: Day 135

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Days as a Freshman: 135
Mood: Not so glad to be back
As I heaved the last of my suitcases onto my bed, I couldn’t help but feel like everything would be a lot better if I only had one more week at home.
January classes were supposed to be a way for me to get my math requirement over and done with without a hassle, but when I made the decision to come back to college after only two weeks at home, I hadn’t anticipated how naked and lonely everything would be. Campus felt empty and silent, the usual crowds replaced by a few duos and trios dragging heavy backpacks and even heavier expressions.
It wasn’t a really thrilling thing, to be spending the month of January doing extra work.
Slowly, I unzippered the first of three suitcases and began to unpack the loads of clothes I never ended up wearing at home. Besides a few family functions and a few meetings with high school friends, I had spent my days in fleece pajamas and sweatshirts, reveling in a no make-up, no fuss lifestyle.
“This place is gonna feel so huge with just us two!” Stacey walked into our room wearing her pink bathrobe and carrying a dripping wet shower caddy. Squeezing her wet hair on the carpet, she looked at me and spoke/shouted again. “Isn’t going to be awesome to have all this space?”
“I guess…”
The only thing that could make January Term less appealing than it already seemed? Stacey continuously blasting me with fake cheer.
“It definitely feels bigger, Grace. You’re just in a pessimistic mood because you just got back.” Over by the mirror now, Stacey was rubbing her blond hair in a towel and spraying water droplets everywhere. “You’ll get used to it. It’s no big deal.”
Nestled deep inside my purse, my cell phone began to vibrate. Doing my best to forget I was about to spend twenty-five days alone with a girl I could barely handle for twenty-five minutes, I dug into the chasm of odds and ends I carried daily and pulled my phone out. It had stopped vibrating, and a little sealed letter was dancing on the screen, announcing a text a message.
“The entire lacrosse team is back…” Stacey’s head was buried in her towel, thankfully dulling her words. “How lucky is it that we’ll get like, three weeks with them all to ourselves?”
Clicking open my phone, I saw that the text was from a number I didn’t recognize. As it was wont to do, my heart surged into my throat. Having checked my email religiously the entire time I was home and jumping for the phone every time it rang, I had welcomed the new year without hearing so much as a peep from Justin.
Maybe he had forgotten about me?
“Hey. U back at campus? Thought U said you would B for Jan term.”
I stared at the message, trying to figure out who these abbreviated words belonged to. Who had I told about my January plans?
My phone vibrated again, jumping around in my fingers. Another message from the mystery number.
“This is Justin, BTW.”
So he hadn’t forgotten about me. My pulse began racing so loudly that even the sound of Stacey’s space age hairdryer was blocked out. He hadn’t forgotten about me, and he was on campus. Right now.

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