It was my first day on my own, alone at college, ready for the world to hit me full force. I was nineteen, and I felt pretty damn invincible. I had been specially assigned to a single-person room, and I had already unpacked my trunk of clothes, the single desk now cluttered with textbooks and composition books, sketch pads, a case of pencils, a bag of my always growing Sharpie collection, as well as the painted carousel music box my grandmother had given me as a going-away present. Eager to review what classes I had, I pulled out my schedule from a notebook and looked it over, humming under my breath. So far I was signed up for chemistry, calculus, English—the basics—as well as several art workshops and a dance class to help keep off the weight I had managed to lose over the last eleven months. Not bad for a freshman.
The first night in my new room, I spent hours simply staring up at the plain white ceiling, winding the carousel up over and over again until I had drifted off asleep to the slightly off-key tune.
My first class of the day started at nine-thirty, so I had set my alarm to go off two hours beforehand, my usual waking time back when I was in high school. Once I had rubbed the sleep from my eyes, I took a quick shower to wake up further, then got dressed in my lucky holey jeans and my favorite Celtic-knot-patterned t-shirt. As I ran to the dining hall, I tied my hair up into a braid, using my trusty dark purple hairband to hold it together. I was snagging an orange juice bottle to accompany my plate of fruit ad eggs when I first felt like I was being stared at. I tried to ignore it at first, but years of living paranoid finally forced me to turn around, ready to ask if my jeans were too revealing or something like that… Except there was no one there when I turned. Great.
With a self-conscious sigh, I stalked outside to the patio tables and sat down, rubbing my eyes again before I finally dug into my breakfast to silence my growling stomach. Maybe these jeans were a bad idea for my first day…
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