She stretched as the bus came to its final stop in New York. She was relieved that the almost two-day trip was over and vowed to never travel by bus again! She grabbed her bag and rushed to the nearest restroom to wash up and adjust her head wrap; seeing that Tabitha wasn’t able to dye her hair and wigs were out of the question, she adapted the trending fashion statement (she had no clue as to why it was a fashion statement but she would not question something that worked out) of wrapping a t-shirt around her hair and securing in in the back in a tight bun-like ball.
After quickly freshening up, Tabitha followed Jamila’s instructions to a tee, hauling a cab to get to Columbia University’s dorm rooms. She had no trouble finding her room and wasn’t a bit surprised to see that she had a roommate. The girl, however, was definitely surprised to see her! Her sparkling blue eyes almost bore into Tabitha’s soul as she ran her hand through her long blond hair. She was as slim as Tabitha, showing her frame in short shorts and a tank top. Typical, she almost didn’t hide her smirk.
“Hmm… you’re my new roomie?” she almost rolled her eyes.
“Yeah. Tabitha.” she stuck her hand out, anyway. Her right hand was completely healed and the cast was removed the day before she got on the bus in Memphis. There are some benefits to these powers after all, she had thought to herself.
The girl made a slight face but shook Tabitha’s hand, anyway.
“Samantha… but don’t call me Sam; I absolutely hate that!” she dramatically rolled her eyes yet again. Was she an actress, Tabitha wondered and kept her snickers to herself. She already devised a plan to call the girl “Sam” every chance she got, just to get under the girl’s skin; what could she do to Tabitha?
However, she shook that devious plan out of her head and cracked a smile.
“Oh? Okay… what about Sammie?” she asked. Samantha thought for a moment and then laughed.
“No one’s ever thought to call me that! I actually like that.” she saw that Samantha’s attitude seemed to have changed instantly, “Wow; that’s a pretty strong accent! Where are you from?”
“… Memphis.” she thought back to her new ID.
“Aw… a country girl! How sweet! First time in the big city?” she asked casually, plopping down into her bed. It made Tabitha wince; she knew that Samantha wasn’t truly making fun of her: she was just tired of the typecasting of southern people not used to “big city life”. She accidentally huffed.
“Actually… Memphis is the biggest city in the state of Tennessee. So, no; this isn’t my first time in a big city. Let me guess; you’re from here…”
“No… L.A.” the girl answered, a bit let down from being corrected. It was almost enough to make Tabitha laugh but she decided against it. What was really important was for Tabitha to hunt down the showers and get clean. As she dug into her bag for toiletries, underwear and clothes, she had hoped that no one would be in there to see her.
“L.A., huh? Long way from home…”
“I needed a change of pace. What about you?”
“Hmm… same thing. Plus, electric engineering study is the best here.” she decided not to tell the entire truth. She remembered the professor telling her about Columbia’s engineering program and hinted that maybe she would like to go for a masters; however, her main objective was going to be genetic studies, “Well… I really need to get a shower.”
“Okay…” Samantha shrugged. When she left the room, she let out a huge sigh and headed down the hallway to the bathrooms.
It took an hour, making sure that no one would walk in on her but she felt refreshed as ever. The thought of sharing showers with the other females in the dorm made Tabitha decide that she would have to get out of the dorms as soon as possible; she couldn’t risk having one of the girls walking in on her as she was washing her hair; the questions would probably be insurmountable. Then again, it was New York, she tried to reason: would anyone really question why she had dyed her hair the color of snow? As she made her way back to her room, she shrugged the thought out of her head.
Tabitha found her new roommate on her phone but looking at her with bright eyes.
“I’ll call you back; I need to talk to my new roomie.” she announced and hung up, “While you were cleaning up… which took forever… I happen to notice that you only have one bag.” those piercing blue eyes bore into her yet again. She really wants me to give her a good jolt, Tabitha thought but shrugged as she sat down on her bed.
“I like to carry light.” she answered and fought laughter. She wrapped the damp towel tighter around her head and started unpacking.
“Well, you’re going to need a lot more than that to get by here.” Samantha almost turned her nose up. Thank you, Captain Obvious, Tabitha made sure she didn’t see the scoff she gave off, “Where’s your laptop and phone and…”
“I couldn’t carry all that on the bus. My… sister is gonna send that to me.” she didn’t lie about that; Jamila told her that it would be much easier for her to send her whatever she needed through the mail: all of her necessities were being shipped practically overnight.
“What about clothes?” she continued. Tabitha looked over her shoulder at the girl.
“Nosy much? Yes; along with my laptop and phone, she’s sending me most of my clothes!” she almost snapped. It was enough to silence the girl and Tabitha went back to putting her things in the empty dresser.
“… What was up with that thing around your head earlier…?”
“I don’t have any hair…” she almost growled. She admitted that it was funny and turned to look at Samantha’s face expression. She could do nothing but blink at Tabitha and she started laughing, “It’s a little trend going on in the south. Guess you can call it my signature look…”
“Hmm. Sorry for all the questions. I just… never met any…” she paused. It made Tabitha stop what she was doing and look dead at her, almost wide-eyed.
“Black people…?” she tried. Samantha widened her eyes and burst into laughter.
“No! I’ve never met any southern people before! Really?!” she continued to laugh. Tabitha joined her.
“It’s okay! You know what; I like you. Want to go get something to eat? My treat, since you’re new and all.”
“… Sure. That’ll be nice.”