Oxford


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1. Prologue

Lonely. I guess that's how I felt when I first moved to Oxford. Being a girl who didn't fit in when she was in her home town, I was used to having little in the way of a social life. I lived at the posh side of a small seaside town where crime was common, and that and the fact it was a seaside resort were the only things it was known for. I never fitted in. I had too much of a sugar coated outlook on life some would say. Others would say that my outlook was too pessimistic. I was classed as too posh for the life I had. I went to school with criminals and people who couldn't imagine a life away from that town. The posh end had big houses and people with money but they weren't much better than those who lived in the rest of the town.

People thought I was weird. My '80s obsession put people off. We didn't like the same movies or music. I didn't stand for anything I thought was wrong. I wasn't ugly. But I wasn't beautiful. Style was something that I never let myself ignore. I was too unique for people to like.

One thing that having no social life did, was give me the time to work on my school and college work. I got good grades. High grades got me to Oxford. And hopefully to a good job. 

One thing that I've learned is my life can only be bad if I let others make it so. That's my philosophy. So when I arrived at the somewhat daunting halls of residence on a cool September morning I decided that I needed to be me but not me. I needed to be me but a more confident, outgoing, open me. I mean open to new ideas and new activities. Just as long as it didn't involve breaking any rules or laws.

I was always that one kid all the way from preschool to the end of sixth form college who people took an immediate dislike to. I didn't do anything that I know of. I guess I'm just a freak that no one likes. 

I sit in my room listening to music through my large headphones. The sky outside is dark, typical of a British early winter evening. 8pm, and I'm considering going to sleep. Being a loner seriously affects my chances of being a normal teenager. Now I am eighteen, and while most kids I know are out getting drunk, I'm reading biological sciences textbooks and reading my huge textbook on zoo animals. People told me that my career choice was a waste of my education. I didn't believe so. I want to be a zookeeper (and despite not needing a degree, especially one as high a standard as Oxford), nothing is going to stop me doing it my way. The education is something that I want to do as an extra, I mean how good would it look saying you'd gotten a degree at Oxford university, even if you became a refuse collector at the end of it. I begin changing my clothes ready for bed when a knock comes from my door. I stand staring at myself in the mirror. I am dressed just in my underwear and a pair of boots I use as slippers.

"One second." I shout and grab the nearest outfit I can. I throw it on without even looking what it is and open the door. 

Outside stands the guy who lives next door to me in the halls of residence. "Nice outfit." He says in his Queen's English accent. I look down and realise I'm wearing a party dress with a pair of shorts as a jacket. "Looks good but the shorts-jacket thing and the boots don't really work." As soon as he says this, I can tell he's more well-off than me. He has a clear Received Pronunciation accent and his face is free from acne. Unlike most guys my age. They have at least some evidence that they have or have had a spot at some point in their lives. 

"Yeah. I was in a rush."

"So you were in a rush to see me?"

"Arrogant, is there something you wanted?" I glare at him "other than to annoy me?"

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