I had never been so excited to hear the alarm go off in the morning. This was the first day of the rest of my life and I was starting it with the four people I loved best in the whole world. My duffle bag was already packed to bursting and there was still more stuff I wanted to pack. I was a just-in-case sort of packer.
I put on my favourite light blue jeans, the designer rips down the top of my thigh made by me rather than an overpaid designer, and a comfy red-checked shirt over a white tank top. I checked myself out in the mirror, liking what I saw. I was ready to go.
Several layers of make-up later and I emerged into the kitchen downstairs where my mother was frantically making toast.
"Ah, you're ready," she exclaimed, thrusting a plate full of toast in my face. "Have something to eat before you leave."
I took the plate from my mother reluctantly, not really wanting to eat but equally not wanting her to kill herself out of stress. I pretended to nibble on the edge of one slice of jam covered toast to satisfy my mother's anxiety.
"Now remember to stay safe while you're away. By all means make new friends but stay in a group with Aimee and don't get separated; you'll be able to defend yourself better if you're in a group."
"Mum don't fuss," I complained. "I know how to look after myself. I am an adult."
"And remember to be responsible when it comes to drinking. I don't want to hear about you being paralytic and being attacked by a strange man. And remember to stay safe if you do decide to...go to bed with someone-"
"OK stop there Mum, please," I protested, squirming in my seat as I knew where she was going with this conversation. "I know what you're going to say and I think it would be better for both of us if you just didn't say it. I know what to do. Keep safe, don't do anything stupid."
"That's Aimee," I said as I heard the honk of a car horn outside. I jumped up from my chair, grabbing my duffle bag from the floor and giving my mum a kiss on the cheek, all in one swift motion as I headed to the door. "Love you."
"Call me to let me know you're alright," she called as I raced down the hall.
"I will," I shouted back as I shut the door behind me on my way out. I ran up to Aimee who was sitting in her Toyota Sienna looking cool.
"Take your time," she said jokingly, "it's not like we've got three other people to pick up."
"Alright your ladyship," I replied mockingly as I threw my bag into the boot. "So who are we picking up next?" I asked as I swung myself into the front seat and pulled my big sunglasses down from their spot on my head. "Because if it's Harry then he'll want to take the front seat and I'm not going to give it up without a fight."