My Camp NaNo novel for August '11
Nessie Jones arrives at university she doesn't expect that her time there will be as exciting as the universe has planned for her.
Her roommate, Aislinn, is strange. Nessie feels almost like she knows her but can't quite place her. Will she discover what is so different about her roommate when strange dreams start to haunt her?
University. I couldn’t believe I was old enough to be going to university, I still felt like a child. Yet here I was.
“Are you sure you’re alright to take your stuff up on your own?” My mother said cautiously as she lifted the last box of stuff from the boot of the car. “I don’t mind coming in with you if that’s what you want. In fact I would rather make sure you make it to your room with all your stuff so I know you’re settled in.”
I thought about it for a moment. I knew my mother would make a scene and cry if she came up to my room with me and helped me unpack, making a fool out of me in front of my room mate, and yet at the same time I sort of wanted her to come up with me. She was all I had and I didn’t want to brush her off like she was nothing.
“Can you come up?” I asked quietly, staring up at the building. “I don’t think I’ll be able to carry all this stuff my myself.”
“Of course,” my mother said, picking up a box. “You lead the way.”
With both of us lugging a box up the stairs, I managed to find my way to the flat where I would be living for the next three years of my life. There were five rooms to each flat with two people in each room and one kitchen between all of us. There were hundreds of others exactly the same across the campus but it was the one that I had the key to that would be my home.
I fumbled with the key to the flat door, which was locked for security reasons, finally putting it in the lock and opening the door. There were other people my age milling around in the corridor with parents holding boxes of stuff identical to mine. I smiled nervously at them as I passed, searching for my room.
“This is me,” I said, surprised to find the door to my room already open. I walked in and found that there was already stuff piled up on the right hand side of the room and clothes put away in the right hand side of the wardrobe. But there was no one else in the room.
“Looks like your room mate has already made herself at home,” my mother observed, putting her box down on the empty bed. “I’ll go down and get the rest of the stuff. You start making yourself at home.” I nodded as my mother left, looking around the room and at the stuff that was already decorating one half of it. The bedspread was brightly coloured in rainbow stripes and the clothes hanging up in the wardrobe were equally colourful and without a pair of jeans in sight.
I was beginning to wonder what sort of strange person I had been put in a room with when my mother reappeared with another box.
“Come on,” she said, “get unpacking or we’ll never get everything neat and tidy before your room mate shows up again. You want to make a good impression, don’t you?”
I nodded again, not really listening to what my mother was saying. Instead I pulled out the duvet and its cover from one of the boxes and began making my bed. In contrast to the sheets on the bed opposite me, my sheets were white with big dark splotchy purple flowers covering it. My mother had picked them out for me a few days beforehand and I hadn’t really grown to like them yet. I would have much preferred to take the plain set of sheets that normally covered my bed at home, but my mother had insisted that I needed a fresh start and that included going out to buy new bedclothes.
Once my bed was made I began pinning up the pictures I had brought with me on the giant corkboard that ran along the wall on my side of the room. There were a few of me and my mum looking sufficiently awkward, posing together for the shot but the rest of the photos were of my friends. Alexandra, Pippa and Logan all looked down at me from the board smiling and happy. But there was one other face that stood out from the rest.
Luke. I carefully pinned each photo of us together up on the board, remembering the time each photo had been taken. Luke had been my best friend for years until last year when I had finally built up the courage to tell him that my feelings towards him were far more than just friendship. I can remember how happy I was when he finally told me he felt the same way and asked me out. I couldn’t remember a time when I was happier than the time I spent as Luke’s girlfriend, his arms wrapped protectively around me, his lips on mine as Pippa and Alex jeered in the background, making fun of me because they knew I would be embarrassed.
I forced myself to get rid of those memories. They were bittersweet and made me want to cry even more than I did already.
The summer had been great. I’d been on holiday with my friends and Luke. I’d spent most of my time with him, just enjoying feeling him close to me. And then when the summer ended and university began calling, he appeared at my door one day, his face serious. I’ll never forget the way he looked at me that day, with so much love in his eyes as he told me that we should break up.
I was heartbroken. Luke was my whole world and I couldn’t imagine a life without him in it. He’d said it was the best for both of us, that we would go off to university and meet new people and have a completely different life. He said I wouldn’t want to be stuck to him when there were other guys out there who weren’t going to be hundreds of miles away at another university.
I couldn’t find the words to fight back so had blindly accepted what Luke had said. He told me that we could still be friends and if there was still a spark there after we had finished university then we could see how things went but he didn’t want me to feel obliged to remain his girlfriend when there were so many more opportunities out there. He said he was doing it because he loved me.