"Here we are!" My mother squeals as we drive through the stone gate and into the campus.
The campus looks just as great as in person as it did in the brochures and online, I'm impressed. The buildings are old and elegant. Hundreds of people, parents hugging and kissing their children goodbye, clusters of freshman, dressed head to toe in Washington State University gear, and a few stragglers, lost and confused, fill the area. The size of the campus is intimidating but hopefully after a few weeks I will feel at home. The orientation is short and I sit alone, my usual forte. A seemingly nice middle aged woman gives me my dorm key and sends me on my way. I already feel more freedom than I have in the last eighteen years.
"I want to see your dorm room before I go, honey. I just can't believe you are in college! My only daughter, a college student, living on her own. I just can't believe it." She whines and wipes her eyes, careful not to mess up her makeup. Noah follows us, carrying my bags as we navigate through the corridor.
"Now, just be sure you remember everything I told you, you don't want anything to ruin your future," t She checks the time on her watch, a watch she certainly couldn't afford but purchased anyway.
"It's B22.. We are in C hall," I tell them. Luckily, I see a large B painted on the wall. "Down here," I instruct and they follow. I'm thankful that I only brought a few clothes, a blanket, and some of my favorite books with me, giving Noah less to carry.
"B22," My mother huffs. Her heels outrageously high for the amount of walking we have just endured. I slide the key into the old wooden door, it creaks open and my mother gasps. The room is small with two tiny beds and two desks. My eyes travel to the reason of my mother's surprise. One side of the room is covered in music posters, mostly bands I have never heard of, the faces on them covered with in piercings and tattoos. The girl laying across the bed has bright red hair, eyes lined with what looks like inches of black liner, and her arms are covered in tattoos.
"Hey," the stranger says, offering a smile. Her smile is quite intriguing much to my surprise. "I'm Steph," she says and sits up on her elbows.
"h..hey.. I'm Tessa," I choke, all of my manners flying out the door.
"Welcome to WSU, where the dorms are tiny and the parties are huge," the crimson haired girl grins. Her head falls back into a fit of laughter. My mother's jaw is resting, wide open on the carpet, and Noah shifts uncomfortably. Steph walks over, closing the gap between us and wraps her thin arms around me. I am taken aback by her affection but I return her kind gesture. A knock sounds at the door as Noah drops my bags onto the floor and I can't help but hope that this is all some sort of sick joke.
"Come in!" My new roommate yells, the door opens and two boys walk inside before she finishes her greeting.
Boys inside female dorms on the first day? Maybe Washington State was a bad decision. I assume by the pained expression covering my mother;s face, she is thinking the same. the poor woman looks like she may pass out any moment. I wouldn't blame her.
"Hey, you Steph's roomie?" the blonde boy asks. He doesn't have as many tattoos as the other boy, but he has them.
"Um.. yea. My name is Tessa," I manage to say.
"I'm Niall. Don't look so nervous, it throws people off." He says with a smile, reaching out to touch my shoulder. "You'll love it her," his smile is warm and inviting despite his harsh appearance.
"I'm ready guys," Steph says, grabbing her thick black bag from the bed. My eyes shift to the tall brown haired boy leaning against the wall. His hair is a mop of waves on his head, pushed back off his forehead and he has metal in his eyebrow and lip. My eyes travel down his black T-Shirt to his arms which are covered in tattoos as well, not an inch of untouched skin is seen. I expect him to introduce himself but he doesn't, instead, he rolls his eyes in annoyance and pulls a cellphone from the pocket of his tight, black jeans. He definitely isn't as friendly as his blonde friend.
"See you around Tessa," Niall says and the three of them exit the room. I let out a long breath. To say that was uncomfortable would be an understatement.
"You are getting a new dorm!" My mother yells as soon as the door clicks shut.
"No, I can't." I sigh. "It's fine mother," I do my best to hide my nerves. I don't know how well this will work out either but the last thing I want is overbearing my mother causing a scene on my first day of college. "I'm sure she won't be around anyway." I try to convince her, along with myself.
"Absolutely not, we are going to switch now!" her long blonde hair is flipped to one shoulder, "You'll not be in a room with someone who allows males into her room, those punks at that!" She shrieks.
"Mother.. please," I look into er blue eyes then to Noah, "Let's just see how it goes. Please," I beg. She looks around the room again, taking in the decor covering Steph's side and huffs dramatically.
"Fine." she spits, much to my surprise.