The car journey to the city was ten times more tedious than Grace could have imagined. For one, she didn't like long car journeys due to nausea; a trait passed on from her former self. And secondly, her brother and mother bickered the entire way there about which radio station to put on until their father bellow, 'Both of you, shut it! I'm putting on radio four!'
After her dad's sudden outburst, the Walker family spent the next hour in silence, listening to old men debate about the new laws being passed on the radio. David would shift uncomfortably now and then, his jeans squeaking on the leather seats; breaking the silence awkwardly. Grace just sat as still as she could, tensing the muscles in her legs every time their went round a corner so she wouldn't have to move with the car as much.
Just when Grace thought she'd got the hang of controllingthe urge to vomit, the car lurched to a violent stop, and her stomach lurched with it.
'You've turned the weirdest shade of green.' David observed as they waited for the traffic light to turn green.
'Do you need to go to the loo?' Her dad turned around to see if David's statement was true or not.
'I am fine.' Grace replied shortly, holding her breath as the car jerked back into motion, gripping the edge of her seat.
'We're nearly there, love.' Her mother informed her, gesturing towards a road sign they were just about to pass. Three miles to go.
Once they had arrived in the university car park, David suddenly looked a lot more animated. He practically hurled himself out of the door when his mother had parked the car. Grace, on the other hand, was taking her time, letting the vast size of the university her brother was going to study at sink in.
'Halls are a five minute walk down that road,' David began, pointing at a little one-way drive which led to a large house in the distance, 'oh, Jesus, this place is bigger than I remember it to be! And my classroom is right on the top floor! Jason's room is next door to mine you know, man, we hit pot luck on that...' Grace drowned out her brother's gushing and found her eyes focusing on something which seemed much more interesting.
A boy, who looked around her age was openly staring at her with a pair of bright, green eyes. Normally, Grace would have been hugely embarrassed by such a display of rudeness - but she couldn't help but find it somewhat funny.
Which was strange, because Grace didn't find many things funny nowerdays. He didn't look like he was starting to be mean, but as if he were starting at something in a textbook, trying to decipher what it meant.
She decided to stare right back at him until he decided to stop being so rude, both of their families were too busy to notice the pair. The boy blinked, as if he suddenly realised what he was doing and shot her a sheepish grin as he toddled off awkwardly back to his family.
Grace's brows furrowed in confusion as she tried to figure out what just happened.
'Once you've stopped staring at your new boyfriend, we'd like to get going.' Said David.
'He isn't my boyfriend.'
'I know that, idiot, let's go.' He rolled his eyes, grabbing her elbow when she didn't make a move right away, dragging her across the car park to where their parents were at the pay meter.
She glanced back at the boy, whose older brother were currently giving him a nuggie as their family made their way to the uni entrance. Grace found herself lagging behind her own in her moment of entrancement.
'Where are we going?' She asked, suddenly realising she had no idea where they were taking her.
'To see your brothers new room.'
'Oh. OK.' She made note of the fact she really didn't want to be there. The place felt very industrial and all the trees had plastic cylinders attached to their trunks, or had a wire fence wrapped around them. The flower beds didn't have flowers in, but instead were littered with crisp packets and empty cans of Red Bull.
But it was her brother's choice to move here, not hers. And it was like she particularly cared about it anyway, it didn't make a difference to her about whether he stayed or left.
'You okay, kiddo?' Her dad asked, slinging his arm over her shoulder. She couldn't help but cringe away from his touch, he seemed to notice her discomfort and released his daughter; reluctance to let her go shone sadly in his eyes.
'Yeah. It is just really gross here.' She told him honestly. He laughed and nodded in agreement, but then went on to explain how the college facilities were really great so it didn't matter if the environment was bad.
Eventually, like she had with her brother, she drowned out her dad's voice; focusing on trying to miss the cracks on the pavement instead.