Alexa – The Singles: First Contact
We walked across Delaware Street hand in hand as was our typical way. We entered onto the large courtyard area that sat between the four dormitory buildings here on the southeast corner of campus. We were on our way to ‘officially’ welcome Hayley to campus. Hayley was Jessica’s little sister and we figured the first weekend on a campus was a good day to come check on her. It was still quite warm on this early September day and I was quite glad I had decided on the short skirt I was currently wearing. The unfortunate part is that some of the underclass boys sitting in the courtyard were happy I had worn one too.
“I remember this walk so well. It sucked in the winter, but on days like today it was great to get outside.” Jenny said. I began to giggle and then launched in on her. “You just liked showing off for the boys back then.” Jenny blushed a bit and then decided to tease me. “I remember one shy boy who would always check me out” and now it was my turn to blush, because I was that boy. I do remember sitting under one of trees out here on a nice day and looking at all the girls that would walk by. But there was one girl who always got me excited and that was the one I currently called my wife. But also, back then I was a boy named Alex and not a woman named Alexa. We continued our walk to the old building that Jenny and our best friend Katie called home that first year, Pioneer Hall. Back then the place was falling apart, but a few years back the University had sunk $36 million into renovating the 80-year-old building and this was going to be the first time either of us had been in the building since the pair had moved out.
As we approached the building Jenny commented on our past again. “God Lex, do you remember what a dump this place was when we lived here?” Jenny asked as we eyed up the venerable old building. “I never lived here Jen, I lived in over in Centennial, remember?” Jenny nodded. “How did you ever wind up in the crappy place?” I asked, “I figured you would have lived in one of the apartments or somewhere else rather than here.” Jenny sighed as she thought back. “Yeah, well it was pretty much my only choice. I needed to get away from Marilyn and one of the caveats of the whole going to the U was we had to be like any normal student. When Julie went here she was in Sanford and the twins lived in Middlebrook since they had got into the Carlson School. But not me, I got shipped off here. But some good came from it” she said as she cuddled up to me “I met you, didn’t I? Now look at us Mrs. Quinn-Thompson.” The smile she flashed, melted my heart as usual but I couldn’t help thinking back to that first time.
“Come in” I heard Katie say as I knocked. I opened the door to room 303 and stepped in. If there was ever a room that had two sides decorated completely opposite, it was this one. Katie’s side of the room didn’t look all that different than her room back home. The Justin Timberlake poster that hung over her bed was a new one, but the rest of it seemed like it came right out of her room back in Faribault A picture of Katie and her mom sat on her desk alongside a smaller picture of her and me at graduation. We both looked silly as we smiled for the cameras with our cheap sunglasses on, but it might have been the only time that night I smiled.
The other side of the room looked like something from a bad movie. Everything was extremely girly. Lots of pink and lace. Everything seemed to be in a perfect spot, right down to the four or five stuffed animals that sat at the head of the bed. The funny thing was I didn’t notice anything personal other than those stuffed animals. Not a picture or a poster or anything. It seemed like it was staged, not like that anyone would actually live in it. Who was the person?
Katie was lying on her bed paging through a book as I came through the door. “Hey, Alex.” She greeted me. “Dickhead and Char finally gone?” I sighed as I flopped down on the bed next to my best friend.
“Thank god! I don’t know how much more I could have taken. He had to bitch about everything in my room and what a crap hole it is. And then it was commenting about all the people on the floor. ‘Bunch of sissies; I think is the exact quote.” I told Katie as I closed my eyes, trying to erase the memory of my father from my head.
“Well he is gone, and you won’t have to see him for a while” Katie told me. I could see the concern in her face as she gave me the mini lecture. The relationship between my father and me was strained at the best. My father had never been one to hold his feelings about me in. I knew I had been a disappointment. Katie rose from her place on the bed and slid up next to me. “You ready for this?” she asked. I shrugged my shoulders.
“I guess. It will be weird. How about you?” I asked.
“Excited.” Katie answered enthusiastically. “So glad to be out of the hell hole.” I knew Katie was talking about our hometown. Neither of us had been real popular. “Faribault can burn for all I care. I don’t plan on ever going back there except to see mom and only because I have to. Time to make new friends, right?” I nodded but Katie could sense my apprehension. “We both will, don’t worry. There have to be some decent guys on your floor?” I shrugged my shoulders again.
“The few I have met so far seem OK, but there are some jerks too. One guy is already all over a kid down the hall. Calling him names, just like we never left high school.” Katie knew the crap I went through with some of the idiots we went to high school with.
“What about your roommate? What’s he like?” Katie asked.
I shrugged my shoulders. “Seems like a decent guy, though I think he is a complete stoner.” Katie asked me why I thought that. “I think the Grateful Dead wall hanging was the first giveaway. That and the Bob Marley poster.” Katie laughed. “What about yours?” I asked, Kate let out a groan.
“Complete bitch. Came in here and started complaining about everything right away. Didn’t like the side of the room she had gotten. Begged me to switch with her. Actually, more like ordered me to switch.” I looked over at the corner and deduced that Katie had given in. Katie continued, “Nothing in here was good enough for her. And she didn’t think too much of my mother.” I laughed. Barb was an interesting woman. She wasn’t as much of a mother as a distant older sister to Katie, I think that is one reason we found each other all those years ago. I looked over at Katie again and could see the frustration in her face.
“Well we still have each other” I said.
“I know, and we always will, but I want us to come to college and make more friends. We both deserve that.” Katie said trying to cheer me up, and I think herself, as we sat there trying to accept the new adventure ahead of us.
Under my breath I responded, “I will be happy just to make one more good friend.”
We continued to talk a bit about nothing, school, our dreams when we heard a commotion in the hallway. Katie groaned as she heard the voice. “If this chick doesn’t relax I may have to move or kill her.” Just as the confrontation in the hall died, the door flew open and in walked an angel, though one with a frown. Her blonde her perfectly framed her beautiful face. Unlike Katie, this girl was dressed immaculately in a perfect short skirt and matching top. Her long legs were perfectly tanned, and I was smitten right away.
She dropped her purse on her desk and spun around. With a sneer, she spun and addressed Katie. “Who is this?” the beautiful girl said. I stood up and extended my hand.
“Hi, I’m Alex. Katie’s best friend” I said. I looked into her eyes and I saw a bit of sadness, which seemed out completely contrary to the grumpy attitude she carried. She took my hand. I never believed that electricity between two people was real, but when I touched her hand it was like a bolt of lightning hit me. I noticed her expression change ever so little. A slight smile came across her face.
“Hi, I’m Jenny”
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