����������� Monica came over at around noon on Monday.�Ella was
between classes, so she had a couple hours to show Monica
around.�Kim was just about to go out the door to meet a friend
for lunch when Monica came in.�After making quick introductions,
the three girls headed out together.
����������� Ella showed her around campus, pointing out all the
different historical buildings and statues and explaining what my
freshman year had been like so far.�Ella was hoping to become an
official tour guide her sophomore year, so she was glad to be
Monica's unofficial guide.�
����������� After about an hour of walking around in the fall
sunlight, Ella heard her stomach start to growl.�"Are you hungry
at all?" She asked Monica.
����������� "A little.�It's like pretty close to lunchtime
����������� "Are you in the mood for ice cream?"
����������� "Well, there's this awesome little place on campus
where we could grab a hot dog and a shake or cone or whatever."
����������� "Sounds perfect."
����������� After a few moments of silence as they changed
direction, Monica ventured, "So…what's it like going to a school
so many kids just dream about attending?"
����������� "Actually, it doesn't really feel like that big of a
deal.�I mean, yeah it's an Ivy League school - woohoo!" Ella
threw her hands up in the air and smiled, "but to me it just
feels like my new home."
����������� "Aren't there a lot of stuck up rich people here?"
����������� She laughed, inevitably noticing Monica's designer
jeans, expensive purse, and killer shoes.�"Well I wouldn't
exactly call them 'stuck up' but yes there are quite a few kids
here who come from wealthy families."
����������� "Oh.�I was just wondering because I've grown up
around, like, stuck up rich kids my whole life." Smiling, she
added, "And some people might think that's who I am as a
result."�So Ella was right, she was rich. "I hope you
don't think I'm a snob though."
����������� "No, no of course not," Ella responded without
hesitation.�"My first impression of you was the exact
opposite.�Come on…offering to pay the grocery bill of a stranger?
How much nicer can a person get?"
����������� "Thanks Ella.�That means a lot to me.�As much fun as
it is to live in Cali, sometimes people there can just be so…"
her eyes darted to the left as she searched for the right
word.�"Shallow," she finally said, rather quietly with a faraway
look in her eyes.
����������� "Yeah, I know how that can be," Ella gazed at the
ground as they walked.
����������� "I really feel like coming here - to the East Coast -
is what I want: something different.�I just…"
����������� "You just want to get away from home, start your own
life, right?" Ella finished for her.
����������� "Yeah, that's exactly it."
����������� "Well, that's how a lot of people feel about college
- that's definitely how I felt last year.�But just watch out,
because once you've got freedom, you don't want to…" Now Ella was
the one at a loss for words. They finally reached the ice cream
parlor and Kim opened the door for Ella who was fumbling around
in her purse. "What am I trying to say?" she mumbled, half to
herself.�She just couldn't think straight.�"There's my wallet,"
She sighed with relief. �"You don't want to abuse it," Ella
finally finished, with grace.
����������� "Yeah, I know.�I've heard plenty about that
from my parents."
����������� Not sure whether to be insulted or just ignore
Monica's tone, Ella took the chance to change the subject.�"So
your parents.�What are they like?"
����������� Fortunately that got Monica talking for a good twenty
minutes after they ordered, sat down inside and then decided to
go sit under a big elm tree to eat their chocolate cherry ice
The ice cream had been a nice refresher, and since Ella actually
had cash on her, she had insisted on paying for Monica's lunch.
By 3pm their stomachs were full and they were just arriving back
at the dorm.�Ella unlocked the door and they stepped into the
cool, air-conditioned little living room.
����������� "Man that feels good," Monica said as she took a deep
breath and walked towards the TV. "Looks like you've got a few
messages," she looked down at the blinking light on my answering
����������� "Oh yea that's probably Sam."�Ella had completely
forgotten that one of her friends had promised to call and tell
her whether she got a job she interviewed for or not.�Ella
pressed the play button, and two messages began to play.
����������� The first one was what Ella had expected - Sam just
saying to call her back - but the second was an urgent.� It was