Survival of the Freshman

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Sequel to Never Alone. Lizzie Maddin is ready for college. Or is she? She's not sure what to expect, but with Anna by her side and Ben not too far away, she's pretty sure she can handle it. At least that's what she told herself going in. Unfortunately, it quickly becomes apparent that Anna won't be around nearly as much as they had planned and Lizzie will have to fend for herself. She's got a nasty case of homesickness. She couldn't be more different from her roommate. She's horrified that she has to take speech for the first time in her life, and the teacher of the only class she actually cares about, hates her. And if all that's not enough, she's pretty sure Ben is getting bored with her. She'll have to figure out a way to keep him interested and survive the semester.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Survival of the Freshman

Submitted: October 14, 2010

Reads: 365

Comments: 3

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Submitted: October 14, 2010



I stared morosely at the door to my new dorm room. Ben closed it only a minute ago and I already missed him so much. It had been a wonderful surprise to be able to spend a few hours with my boyfriend today. I hadn't expected that to happen until the weekend.

I called him as soon as I got my room assignment this morning and he showed up at my door roughly 20 minutes later. I wondered how fast he had been driving since I could swear the trip from his school to mine, should have taken at least 30 minutes.

He intended to help me move in, but since I didn't have that many things - hardly anything compared with my best friend, Anna - it was mostly done by the time Ben arrived. The only thing left was my pillow. He proudly carried it up to my new room before he helped Anna with the rest of her stuff.

Anna's parents and mine had worked it out so that they would trade off trips to and from school when Ben wouldn't be driving us. At first I felt guilty about having more time with my parents today while Anna had to say goodbye at home. Now, however, I realized how much harder it was to say goodbye here. At least at home I could pretend I was just going out for the day. Everything was so much more real and final in my new room all full of unpacked boxes, both mine and my new mystery roommate's.

That information was quite upsetting to find out when we arrived - Anna wasn't going to be my roommate like we thought. We put in a request to room together, but apparently the school didn't take freshmen rooming requests very seriously. She wasn't very far away, just down a floor. But it was still alot farther than either of us had anticipated.

I said goodbye to my parents after everything was transferred from the car to our rooms. Mamma wanted to stay and help me unpack, but I knew she had to work later and I didn't want her to be more tired than she already would be from the drive. So, with alot more confidence than I felt, I said I would be fine by myself.

Ben held me tightly and I managed not to cry too much as they drove away. I hated to see them go, but they couldn't stay forever and I was supposed to be a grown up now. I certainly didn't feel like one, I felt like I was five years old again and I wanted to cry and scream so they would come back and comfort me the way they used to when they would try to leave me somewhere.

I now suspected that this was the real reason Ben came to visit today. I loved how he always knew when I needed him.

We headed back into the dorm and Anna left us to go sort through all of her stuff. Ben walked me to my room and I burst into tears as soon as the door was closed. I was glad my roommate wasn't here to witness my little episode. I hoped to make a much better first impression than blubbering all over my boyfriend.

At first Ben had seemed a little nervous when he found out Anna wouldn't be my roommate. He relaxed when he saw the unmistakably feminine comforter and hot pink storage bins on the other bed.

"Well," Ben said. "Either your roommate is a girl, or a guy I really don't have to worry about around you." He grinned.

I smiled despite my disappointment about not being with Anna. At least the school took into account my preference to room with a girl. Although, given the set up of the room and the complete lack of privacy, they probably would have done that anyway.

When I was able to stop crying, Ben started helping me unpack. I was grateful he took care of all my books for me. That was really most of what I owned. I couldn't bare to leave any of them home. They were my security blankets.

As Ben was putting the last few books away, I realized that he almost filled the entire bookshelf. I wasn't used to sharing a room, so I hadn't thought about it.

I looked around my new room. Having been in it for over an hour, I noticed it was small, but it was just occurring to me exactly how small.

When you first walk in, there was a tall bookshelf to the right, now full of all my stuff. On the other side of the door, was a dresser and a closet. Neither were very big. I wasn't really worried about that too much. I didn't own alot of clothes and I didn't bring everything. I wondered how Anna was going to make it work.

On the opposite wall, In between the two beds, was a desk. Just one. I guess if we both wanted to work at the same time, one of us would have to go to the library.

Behind the desk was a pretty big window. I was glad for that, I loved waking up in the sunshine.

I was also happy we had our own bathroom. Like the room, it was tiny, but at least I wouldn't have to share with the entire floor.

My room at home was definitely not this big, but it was for just me. I wasn't even sure all of my roommate's stuff was here yet. And considering that there looked to be a decent amount piled on her bed already, I was slightly nervous.

After pointing out the problem with the books to Ben, we rearranged everything so that I only took up three of the six shelves. I even planned on letting my roommate use most of the very top for herself. I only put a picture of me and Ben up there, she could have the rest. I wanted to get on good terms right away. How miserable would the year be if my roommate didn't like me?

After that was done, I went back to the suitcase I'd been working on. I grabbed the freshly folded stack of shirts and turned to the dresser.

"Oh." Ben said nervously.

I looked back to see him hastily closing my small, blue duffel bag.

I felt my face get warm, as I realized that he'd just opened the bag with my underwear and other feminine things that I really didn't want him seeing. I loved Ben. We had been together for over two years by now but he hadn't exactly seen my underwear yet.

I knew it was kind of stupid to be embarrassed. I was closer to Ben than I had ever been to anyone, but we hadn't gotten quite that close yet.

"Oh," I bit my lip. "I can do the rest. There's really not that much more."

That was true, it was pretty much just clothes left to put away. Mostly, though, I was afraid of Ben coming across something else embarrassing. I couldn't remember at the moment exactly what was in the remaining containers.

He finished zipping up the bag and tossed it off to the side. I noticed him trying not to laugh at our awkward moment and I couldn't help grinning too. Anna laughed at us all the time for being so innocent.

'You guys are going to be together forever. What are you waiting for?' She must have asked me a dozen times. I didn't doubt that at all, but I just wasn't ready and Ben never pushed.

Ben glance at his watch and sighed. "I should probably go anyway." He said. "I have a class in 45 minutes."

My smile disappeared. "Ok." I felt the depression start to set in all over again as I dropped the shirts, that I was still holding, into the open drawer.

Ben walked the few steps it took to reach me and I fell into his arms.

"I won't be that far," He assured me. "And we can talk all the time."

I wasn't so sure about that. I had no idea how busy either one of us would be. But at least we still had the weekends.

I nodded. "I just hate that I won't see you every day anymore."

"Me too," He agreed. "But try not to think about it. You have enough going on already."

Ben kissed me goodbye and promised to call me tonight before he left me alone to finish unpacking.

I didn't feel like doing anything but sulking as I sat on my messy bed and began to stare at the door.

I sat unproductively amidst the clothes for a little while before I heard someone at the door.

At first I stupidly thought that it was Ben, maybe he decided to skip his class and stay with me for a while longer. But he really loved his classes and I knew he was probably half way back to his school by this time. Anna would be more likely. She would still be organizing her room, though. That only left one person - my new roommate.

I stood up and watched the girl all in black enter the room. She had a streak of bright blue in her dirty blond hair and a nose ring. She stopped when she noticed me.

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