It didn’t take very long to explain what Professor Jacobs had been talking about. I only realised half way through that Lily had probably only asked me to help her out to get me to come and have coffee with her. I didn’t really mind that; talking through what the Professor had said helped me to remember it. When we were done our coffee was gone and Lily had a few more pages of notes.
“Thanks so much for that,” Lily said as she put her notebook back in her bag. “That was really helpful.”
“No worried,” I replied. “It’s quite nice to go over it again, it means that I know I definitely understand it.” I looked at my empty coffee cup and then at the clock. “I think I should get back to my flat, I’ve got some other stuff I need to do.”
“OK then,” Lily replied, unfazed. “I’ll see you in our lecture tomorrow then.”
“Definitely,” I replied confidently.
We said goodbye, me giving Lily a shy wave as I left and hurried across the campus towards the accommodation buildings. The weather was looking pretty miserable and the clouds were definitely threatening rain before the day was out. I struggled with my keys to get into the building and raced up the stairs once I had made it through the door, trying to find the key that would open the front door of our flat.
I could hear voices coming from the kitchen so headed straight in, not even going to my room to drop off my bag and books. Owen, Aislinn and James were all seated around the table with mugs in their hands and chatting away to each other.
“I’m telling you,” James said enthusiastically, “I’ve never seen anything so stupid in my life. I have no idea what possessed him to do it but it was hilarious, I wish you could have seen it.”
“What’s going on in here?” I asked, putting my books on the table and pulling up a chair.
“Just having a bit of a chat,” Aislinn replied. “How was the lecture?”
“It was alright. My professor seems alright. I’m not sure I’d be able to approach him with a problem because he’s a bit intimidating but he explains things really well and I like the take he puts on things.”
“That’s good,” Aislinn said nodding encouragingly.
“And I got us invited to a party this weekend,” I continued. “This girl in my lecture, Lily, is living with her boyfriend off campus and they’re having some sort of start of year thing that Lily wants us to go to. She said she’d like to get to know some more faces from around campus.”
“Awesome,” Owen said. “When is it?”
“Um…I’m not sure if you’re invited,” I said awkwardly. “I mean, I told Lily that I had a room mate, Aislinn, and she asked if I would ask her to come.”
“Oh, right,” Owen said, his words catching in his throat. “That’s cool. I jumped to conclusions-“
“I can ask her if you can come too,” I hurried to add. “I’m sure that she’d love to meet you too.”
“That’s alright, I don’t mind sitting this one out.”
“No, I insist. I want you there. I don’t think I’m going to know anyone else there and it’ll be nice to know that I have at least a handful of friends there in case something goes wrong.”
“What will go wrong?” Aislinn asked, concerned.
“I don’t know, but if I were to fall and hit my head by accident, or something like that, I wouldn’t want a total stranger taking me to hospital. I’d want someone I would recognise.”
“We’re hardly exactly lifelong friends,” Owen said. “I highly doubt it would be my face you would want to see when you woke up in hospital.”
“Better your face than a stranger from Lily’s house party,” I retaliated, silencing Owen. “I’ll ask her if I can bring another friend, I’m sure she’ll be happy to add someone else to her guest list.”
There was another silence as no one really knew what to say. I contemplated leaving to take my books back to my room and let the others get on with their conversation when Aislinn managed to break the tension.
“So what else are we planning on doing today? Another wild night in?”
“I don’t think I can handle that,” I protested. “Getting drunk once this week is definitely one too many times.”
“Don’t be such a spoil sport,” James complained. “I really liked that game we played last night, the one with the names.”
“That was the one that sent me over the edge,” I said, vaguely remembering what James was talking about. “I don’t think I’m ever going to have a good relationship with vodka and last night proves it.”
“Just because it tricked you once doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it again,” James insisted.
“All the same,” I protested, “I think I’ll have a quiet evening tonight. I’ve got some reading to do for Professor Jacobs anyway and that needs to be done before my next lecture.”
“I think I’m with Nessie on this one,” Aislinn joined in. “I’ve got some work to do as well that I should probably get out of the way.”
“If that’s what you want to do I can’t stop you,” James said shrugging. “Us guys will go out and hit the town then, right Owen?”
“Yeah, sure,” Owen said robotically, his eyes fixed on me.
“I suppose I’d better tidy this lot up,” I said, collecting up my books and lifting my bag off the floor. “Don’t want it cluttering up the kitchen.”