My Freshman Year: April 29th, 2008

[So I took a small hiatus. And by small I mean a couple of months. I had to. Writing it all down…I became increasingly nervous someone would find out. And nothing is more endangered on a small campus than a secret you want to keep. If you’re new to all of this, check back at everything here.]
Mood: a little antsy
Currently listening to: Black Cat by Janet Jackson
“Have you come up with anything?” Rebecca walked into our room, dragging her bulging laundry bag behind her. “Heard back from any of those internships?”
“Not yet.” I clicked through webpage after webpage, my eyes already watering and blurry from one too many hours staring into the glowing screen of my laptop. I had spent all afternoon sitting on my bed, willing my inbox to fill up with internship opportunities and summer job offers. So far…no one had complied with my wishful ESP.
“I have no idea what I’m doing this summer either,” Rebecca dumped her still wet laundry onto her bed. “So don’t feel so bad. Maybe we can just go on a three month long road trip. See every single weird thing the United States has to offer.”
Our bedroom door opened again, and Stacey walked through, freshly showered and clad in her furry pink bathrobe. As soon as she stepped into the room, I was hit with the power of flowers and sugar and tropical sunsets. Stacey had about 4 different kinds of scented soaps in her shower caddy, and made a point to use every single one whenever she showered, causing all the scents to collide into some kind of overbearing perfume of femininity.
“Someone left a used condom on the bathroom floor.” Stacey dropped her shower caddy on her bed and reached for a towel. “That is seriously disgusting. I mean…it’s a Tuesday. Who’s having shower sex on a Tuesday?”
“Lucky people.” Rebecca mumbled and continued to sort her socks, a splash of bitterness coming out with her words. The spring semester had seen the demise of her relationship with Sammy, mostly because of “the stress of finals” (at least, that’s what Sammy rationalized as the reason), and Rebecca hadn’t been too happy with love since.
“But it’s gross!” Stacey dried her blond hair roughly with her towel. “I would never be that disrespectful. I mean, what if there are diseases in that used condom?”
“Can we stop talking about that?” I looked up and rubbed my eyes, Stacey’s high-pitched disgust doing nothing for my already annoyed state.
“You on your period or something, Grace?” Stacey turned around and faced me. “Why so freaking hostile?”
“This is the third week I’ve spent looking for internships and jobs, and the third week nothing has come through.” I snapped my laptop shut. “It’s frustrating me.”
“Ugh. I’m just gonna work for my dad at the bank.” Tightening her robe around her, Stacey opened her dresser drawers and began to look for clothes. “It’ll be soooo boring, but at least I’ll be making money.”
“I wouldn’t work for my dad if you paid me a million dollars.” Rebecca held up a t-shirt that looked like a size XXS. “Sh*t. The dryer totally shrunk this! Why does it leave some clothes wet and shrink other things?!”
“Hey, by the way,” Stacey straightened up and faced me again, “I know you’re like avoiding him and all, but I saw Justin today in the common. He told me to tell you hi.”
I willed myself to keep steady at the mention of Justin’s name, but I’m pretty sure I flinched anyway.
“Oh yeah?” I asked, falling back onto my pillows and doing my best ‘not interested at all’ impression. “That’s cool.”
“When are you gonna stop pretending he doesn’t exist?” Stacey was still looking in my direction. I could feel it. “He’s way too cute to ignore all year!”
“Well, I’ve only got a few more weeks to go before summer. I think I’ll try.”
I closed my eyes, hoping Stacey would get the hint and turn her attention back on herself (something we all knew she wanted to do anyway). The truth was, part of me really wished I hadn’t done such a good job of avoiding Justin for three months. Part of me really wished I had faced my problems instead of deciding to completely shut down and shut Justin out. Part of me wished I hadn’t been so good at focusing on work that I had no time for a social life.
But Justin – and everything he was connected to – had caused way too much stress in my life for way too long. I had never expected freshman year in college to be easy, but I had also never expected to get swept up into a school-wide scandal within months of stepping onto campus.
Only three more weeks. All I had to do was hold out for three more weeks, and I could forget anything had ever happened.
And maybe I could forget about the feelings I had for him too.

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