Catch a Falling Star

My entry to the BeatGirl fanfiction competition- hope you enjoy! :D
Amy is a realist in a dreamer's world, which is hard work when you want to make a fantasy come true. This is the story of how Amy and Steve found each other. Can Amy ever get her feet off the ground and fly? Or will she become a falling star?
(apologies for the clichéd rhetorical questions, can't think of a way to avoid including them)

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2. Uni and other aspects of Hell.

Everything was disturbingly clichéd; the sweet and stale sweat that mingled gently in the warm, unwavering air with the smoke that wafted in through the paper-slit window crack, the medley of worn-out pick-up lines and the scatter of thread-bare sofas that were distributed around the crowded common-room. It all seemed worryingly staged and I felt goose-bumps begin to gather on my bare arms. Mum and Dad would have been half way home by now, Mum probably fretting about the colour jumper I was planning on wearing the next day, or if I should forget how to use a plaster. The were boys probably on the sofa, lapping up the rest of their summer holidays. God, I'd even have welcomed Grandpa's presence, with his familiar dementia, swearing addictions and beanie baby collection. Stupidly, I scanned the room for Heather, half-expecting to see her beaming at me, with those signature ruddy cheeks of her's. But I was alone. Alone amongst strangers. Uni.... and other aspects of hell.

For the months before the start of term, I was determined to ensure that I wouldn't belong to any clique or group. I wanted to be defined by my style and for once, it was a necessity to stand out. And, the fact that my father had gone half with me on a small flat near Soho (Ok, yeah, it had belonged to a drug dealer 18 months previously) simply sealed the deal: I could become a trend-setter. For once, I would not have worries to weigh me down. I could be a student- more importantly, a dreamer. I could drink vodka and milk and eat baked beans on toast and be that individual that I wanted to be- hell yeah, right? But at that moment, in that sticky common room that circulated stale air, I was not a student. I was a little girl, with over-sized glasses and multi-coloured ribbons in her hair, who needed someone to come over and talk to her and pretend that they had known her since the beginning of time. Of course, my style had been displayed perfectly, and I let my clothing define me. I stood out... but so did everyone else.

Couches sagged with the weight of excess students and every corner of the room seemed to be laced and polluted with impenetrable chatter. I managed to move my legs over to the back of the room, as subtly as I could. Making eye-contact with no one, I traced a path to the side of a pin-ball machine and leant against a mill-dew glistening window sill. I extracted a copy of "Bleak House" from my bag and pretended very well, if I might add, to read it. Instead, I thought about vodka and milk, chain-mail tights and the little flat in Soho with a broken washing-machine that used to belong to a drug dealer. 

Having not read the entirety of chapter 4, I tucked my book back into my back and instead extracted my "London College of Fashion Welcoming Pack". I scanned the desperately long Head Master's message on the front of the pack. "I know, that as developing young adults, you will need the space and opportunities to grow and develop." I looked around the room: not even a flower could flourish in here. "Remember to engage with your fellow students; they are as much a key to success as myself and the other members of staff." I studied the individuals around me; engage with them? Sure, if I could get a word in edge-ways first. "Your welcome assembly begins at 15:10. In the meantime, you will be stationed in the College common room, a place I am sure you will get to know very well during your time here at London College of Fashion. Feel free to relax and get to know the other students. I anticipate excellence from you all." I studied the pack further, having read the monotonous and bland opening. Pictures of portfolios, brimming with brilliance, students interacting with sewing machines, fashion and culture story boards that exploded with colour and appreciation came to life from the page. It truly was my fantasy, my dream. So why couldn't we just skip to the fun parts? I asked myself, deflatedly. 

I heard a voice near me- soft, that billowed lightly around my corner of the room. I looked around and found the voice, that did not falter or quiver as it continued to echo out. It belonged to a guy and I locked my eyes on him. And, no, I am not going to say that he was "no ordinary guy". Because, at the time, every guy in that room was "no ordinary guy". There was something utterly... fabulous about what he was wearing, though: the vintage-scottish infused kilt, the salmon-pink Tory-banker style shirt that was ironed to an immaculate crisp and the rustic military boots. It was truly inspired- kind of like Stephen Hester turned gender-confused RAF pilot. His face was well chiseled - not entirely handsome, but nice nonetheless. And I smiled; because he may not have had Heather's signature rosy cherub cheeks, or Grandad's missing teeth and obsession with beanie babies, but he seemed delightfully insane, yet ordinary too. I tuned into what he was saying: "Unless, like me, you are mad and gay, it's probably best to give it a miss." I had no idea what he was talking about. But I walked over to the guy. 

"Top three designers?" I demanded, with a lot more confidence than intended. The guy swiveled around facing me completely.

"Haider Ackerman, Dries Van Noten and Kohji Jamamoto." His voice slit the air, without any traces of hesitation weighing it down. The answer was almost premeditated, as though he was waiting for me to ask. A grin spread across my face and I saw it mirrored in him. He had just listed my three favourite designers, and he knew it too. "Steve," He reached out, creases curved around his warm smile. 

"Amy," I returned, grasping his hand in mine. 

 

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