December 21 2012 was prophesied to be the end of the world. And it perhaps it was? ?There was no catastrophic event. No armageddon. No judgment on the righteous or evil. Somewhere, it rained.
Somewhere else, there was an earthquake. An estimated 56,597,034 people died, and another 73,485,898 people were born. The next day, a man named Steve drove to work. On the way back, he stopped to
buy a pastry for his daughter. No tragedy befell Steve that day, but his boss’ mother-in-law did die after a long battle with cancer. ?And somewhere, four girls slept soundly.
Chapter One- Friday 13th April
To passers by, they saw a short girl become smothered by an over enthusiastic girl who had just gotten off a bus. It putted in the lane outside the station, as the people trapped in it’s belly
marched out in a continuous, solemn stream. Some grabbed their bags and made straight for home. Others were greeted by family, or friends, and started chatting immediately. This particular girl had
moved from her defenseless short friend to a freckled girl on her right. She too received a death hug. And finally, having watched her friends suffer, the tallest one was hugged.
“Yay, I’m back!!! Urgh, six hours, I need a wee soooo bad.”
The short girl was moving to help get her friend’s bag. The returner did too, telling her friends to ‘hang on’. It may have surprised onlookers, as the girls all looked and acted quite young, but
they were all first year university students. It was the Friday before the end of mid semester break, and Aileen, the enthusiastic one, had just gotten back from a week at home. The others would
have had to fly, which was too expensive, as they lived in the North Island. Their university was near the bottom of the South one, but was one of the two best in the country, and recognized
overseas. The two girls returned, suitcase in tow, and various things were shared out to lighten the load. Aileen took her suitcase, as it was heaviest, Rowan, freckles, was to hold the carry on
bag and Sam, the shorty, held the pillow. Taryn was lucky to get away with nothing, but she was in charge of opening all the doors. Luckily, it was only a ten minute walk to their Hall of
Residence. The girls were already telling their friend of the escapades they had gotten into while she was away. Apparently, they had gotten very drunk, along with Taryn’s twin sister (who had come
down to arrived to visit the same day Aileen left, so she had missed meeting her), somehow ended up in one of the Residential Assistant’s beds, been far too noisy and been told off by Rosemary, the
deputy Head of College. They’d spent the next day terrified she would forever be disappointed in them but the whole thing had blown over.
“I leave you alone for five minutes!” said Aileen, shaking her head. She had curly brown hair, that fell just below her chin. Her eyes were so dark a brown they were almost black, but this was
mostly unnoticed because her oval purple glasses drew most of the attention. Of half British, half Seychellois lineage (or half-white, half-black in layman’s terms), her skin was just a shade paler
than olivey brown. As with all mixed race babies, there was a interesting array of what people had thought her ethnicity was. Her favourites were Mexican, Romanian and Egyptian. She was laughing
now, more of a cackle, which she had inherited from her mother. She proceeded to recount for them some of her exploits, especially in relation to her dog, Molly, a fat black labrador whom she’d had
since moving to New Zealand, 11 years ago. The girls stayed in Aileen’s room for two hours after her arrival back, laughing and telling each other stories. Eventually, exhaustion overtook her and
she affectionately kicked them out. She hugged all but Taryn, who did not like hugs and received a pat on the head as substitute.
They had met purely through serendipity. Sam was on the same corridor as Aileen, and, armed with that surge of friendliness and confidence one gets in such situations as moving school or entering
Halls, had struck up a conversation with her. Amazed and glad someone was actually talking to her, she happily chatted back, trying to be as least socially awkward as possible. With apparent ease,
Sam made conversation about the drawings on Aileen’s wall, the Dalek poster was mentioned, Dr Who brought up and Aileen found herself walking to Sam’s room to see her T.A.R.D.I.S cookie jar. It lit
up and made that whirring noise like a machine with tuberculosis. She was most impressed (and envious).
Through Sam, she met Taryn, who was also majoring in Psychology (although as a Bachelor of Science, rather than of Arts, as Aileen was. Apparently this would allow her to start work immediately,
without getting a Masters). At first, she was annoyed by Taryn, who talked almost constantly and seemed standoffish. But now she had learned to tune out, or politely ask she shut up, and that the
stand offishness was nothing more than a protective cover. Taryn was one of the warmest and considerate people she knew, she just had a unique and sometimes complicated way of showing it. Somehow,
Sam had met Rowan, who then met Taryn, and then Aileen. Rowan was a take-me-as-you-see-me girl, with a passion for laughter. She reminded Aileen of her Mum, making her all the more endearing. Both
Rowan and Aileen had thought the other had been friends with Sam and Taryn since high school, and were surprised to find out this was not so. The other two had attended the same high school in
Auckland, but Rowan had lived in Wellington, the capital, while Aileen had live in various parts of the South Island. It was amazing the ease with which they got on. Despite their differences, and
they were all rather distinct, they seemed closer than any of the other groups which had formed. They laughed frequently, and loudly, proud to be the odd ones out.
It was mainly just the four of them, but sometimes they were joined by Michael, and Jay on even rarer occasions. Michael was a big, blonde boy, with a pondering beard just on his chin and a love
for My Little Pony. Often they crashed his room, decorated with Pony posters and figurines, and proceeded to annoy him until he let them watch one of his sci-fi or Disney movies, while he played
Skyrim. Doomed from the start, being virtually the only male in the group, he showed great patience and tolerance of their girlish nonsense. Again, as the fate of all only males in a group of girls
is, he was mercilessly teased. Aileen had taken to hiding his Ponies in safe places around his room, but he had threatened to lock them all out of his room, which had put a stop to her fun. When
they went out clubbing, which was rare, they took him with them to deter perverts. There was something about a towering Michael in his RAF coat that put them off. Jay was sweet. He came from a very
small town but was quite easy going and accepting, unexpected of a “small town mentality”. He did have a bad habit of sneaking up on people though. Not that he meant to, he just walked incredibly
quietly and saw no reason to announce himself. So you would be having a conversation and suddenly a voice behind you would pitch in with a comment and you would almost jump out of your skin. And
then you discover he has actually been there for five or ten minutes. The girls were dealing with this though, and training him to at least cough when he approached. He was a dear and, despite this
one creepy habit, they liked him.
On Mondays and Thursdays, they had hot chocolates and watched a TV program. On Wednesdays and Fridays they were supposed to go to the gym, but somehow usually managed to excuse themselves. With
differing timetable, Taryn and Aileen had lunch together on week days, while Rowan and Sam did. For dinner, Taryn and Aileen would go down at quarter to six, 15 minutes after the begging rush but
also 15 minutes before the 6‘o clock end-of-lecture rush. By quarter past, Rowan and Sam had usually joined them. Jay came most of the time too, and Michael would show every now and then, eat his
dinner in the blink of an eye, and return to his lair. Often they would linger long past dinner’s end, talking and laughing, until they were the only ones left. One of the Kitchen Staff, Tracy, had
become friends with the girls, pretending to make them leave and threatening them with a mop. She was affectionately known as Gertrude, for reasons now in known to the girls. On weekends, they
would gather in Aileen’s room, 15 or 20 minutes before dinner began. Her’s was the room for gathering. Through unspoken agreement, it had been arranged, mainly for convenience reasons. Her’s was
the tidy enough to enter (unlike Sam’s), comfortable and on the floor just above the dining hall (unlike Taryn and Rowan, who lived on second and third floor respectively).
Tonight was Saturday. The summoning txt had been sent round and Aileen sat on her laptop waiting for their arrival. Rowan arrived first, with a knock that just fell the wrong side of musical. Like
Aileen, she was also a mixed race baby. Her father was white, and her mother Maori, and it showed in Rowan more through her body shape and mannerisms, than her actual colour. Most of her colour
came from the freckles that dotted her body. She had a round face, with dark brown hair that she usually kept in a bun. Aileen loved it down, the long corkscrews falling past her freckled
shoulders, but Rowan found it cumbersome. Her hazel eyes were mainly brown, with beautiful green and yellow, and were framed by beautiful long lashes.
“Heya.” she said, swinging her room key, which was here hanging from a lanyard around her neck, with her left hand. Today she wore a grey dress, with no bra, as usual. Aileen couldn’t understand
how she managed to pull it off. She marveled at it.
“Oh God, I got through two cells lectures, in an hour.”
“Ooh, well done.”
“Yeah but it almost killed me.”
Rowan and Sam were both doing Health Science First Year, and, like all Health Scis, were slowly loosing their minds.
There was a shuffling down the corridor and Aileen prepared for Sam’s arrival. A tentative knock at the door confirmed her suspicions.
“Hi.” she said with a wave, in a voice that would be a whisper in anyone else. She stood her a good head shorter than Aileen, who, having always been teased for being short, took an uncalled for
glee in teasing Sam about her height, or lack there of. Sam had a weak right hand and indeed whole right side, due to being born premature. On the plus side, her fingers could bend in the most
interesting ways. Her long brown hair always had a slightly wild appearance, no matter how much she brushed it. And her dark brown eyes always reminded Aileen of some sort of dog. Had she wanted
to, Sam would have been the best at puppy dog eyes. Taryn arrived shortly after, with a firm, demanding knock. At five ft seven, Taryn was the tallest of the four. She had an oval face, with a
slightly pointed chin, and incredibly pale skin. Her hair was interesting mix of strawberry blonde, gingery blonde and light brown, with a centimeter of dark regrowth. Her blue eyes had yellow
rings around the pupil, and turned green when she was particularly upset. Like Aileen, she wore glasses but her’s were brown, rectangular and Guess.
“It’s freezing.” she announced after the ‘Hi’s had been exchanged.
“Mmm” agreed Aileen
“Really?” said Rowan, “I’m not cold at all.” she continued with a giggle. Taryn looked at hers though she’d just grown another nose. Her arms came untucked from each other in order to support the
“What’s wrong with you? I’m wearing a singlet, a merino tap and then ANOTHER top and I’m still cold!!” Rowan just laughed again. Sam, quietly watching the proceeding decided it was time to leave.
Everyone was ushered out of the room, had to wait while Aileen found her key, so she could lock her door, then they headed down for dinner.
Early, as usual, they got comfortable by the heater. For five or so minutes, they engaged in some banter or other. When others came,they were forced to move away from the heater and nearer to the
serving doors in order to prevent people pushing in front of them. It had happened once before, a group of flippant girls crowding in front of them. Not only that, but they then invited all their
friends to join them, leaving the girls with 20 or so giggling creatures in front of them. This had infuriated Taryn, angered Aileen, amused Rowan and Sam was put out a bit, but accepted it as she
accepted so many things. Since then, it had been agreed, without words, that they would not let it happen again. Even Sam did not want a repeat of such of rudeness. Eventually the hall filled up on
opposite ends with rowdy, hungry teenagers who got more rowdy and apparently hungry as it got closer to 5:30. At some point, decided upon by Taryn, she handed out plates and cutlery to them, as was
their ritual. Aileen always got a bit lost when Taryn was not there to do this, although the others seemed to manage. At 5:27, the doors were thrown open and the bustling began.?“Ooh, they have
vegetables, I don’t have to get salad!” exclaimed Taryn. “What?” she added, at Aileen’s wee shake of the head. “You wouldn’t want salad too if you had to have it with dinner every night. For. A.
“True.” Aileen conceded, as she conceded every time Taryn started this story. Her (evil) step-mother had not worked for a year, and had been too lazy to cook vegetables and so made salad instead.
And they had all had to eat it. Since then, Taryn had apparently harbored a deep, burning hatred for all things salad related. Pudding, which was displayed before the mains, was bypassed. It was a
suspicious looking fruit salad that none of the girls were particularly inclined to eat. The main carbs for that day were rice and pasta, although it could sometimes be potatoes (roasted or mashed)
and even cous cous.
“Ohmygodpeas!” Aileen loved peas. As for the main, of the two choices, Taryn, Rowan and Aileen had the fish, while Sam had the sausages (which she later regretted).
They sat down at a mostly empty table near the back of the hall, opposite the windows that looked out on the tennis court. A ginger boy in a torn checkered shirt and grey jeans with writing all
down the front came past with a tray. Karl was on Aileen and Sam’s corridor, and had also known Sam and Taryn since hugh school. Sav, his girlfriend, arrived beside him, greeting them all. She had
blue hair, which was fantastic, and she was incredibly lovely. Karl absolutely adored her and they were the cutest couple if a bit odd. Karl always wore women’s jeans, finding he preferred the
style, and always came out with the strangest things to say. Sav seemed normal enough but she was dating Karl, and she had moved into his room, from her’s on ground floor. They swept off to sit at
their customary table with their friends. The girls ate, and talked every now and then. Michael appeared, ate at his inhumanely fast paced, then left again. Eventually only Rowan and Aileen were
continuing to eat, the prior because she talked so much she hardly had time to eat, and the latter because she was a slow eater.
Karl was creeping up on Aileen. Sam could see it. She thought creeping didn’t quite describe it, because he was walking quite normally. It was more like walking with a sneaky purpose. Although she
gave not hint that he was coming, she tensed herself for inevitable consequences of his sneaking. He reached Aileen, and with her completely unawares, bent low to her ear and said
The scream shattered the room. Everyone, in a swift, unified head snap, turned to look at them. Sam had moved her hands to her ears in the split second between Karl’s hi, and Aileen’s scream. She
lowered them now. Taryn was complaining about the pain in her ears, Aileen was hitting Karl while he professed how hurt he was that she reacted this way to him and Rowan was laughing hysterically.
Inwardly, Sam sighed.
“Hey guys.” The others continued to talk to each other.
“Guys.” someone laughed at another’s joke.
“Guys.” She seemed to be completely ignored.
“GUYS! SPEAKING!” Taryn eventually screeched. They turned to look at her now, both annoyed and amused. ?“Okay,” she said with an over dramatic sigh. “So, I was thinking maybe we could do something
at the end of next week, to celebrate being back and having done one week of lectures. What do you think?”
There were nods of agreement. Aileen said it’d be better to go on Friday or Saturday, seeing as Sunday they’d want an early night. Taryn was to look up times and movies, and they would take a vote
later. They then left the table, cleared their plates and went to their respective rooms.
© Copyright 2016 AngelaLeaonard. All rights reserved.