Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Blue (10/08/09)
- TITLE: School Spirit
By Jessica Ryder
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I hugged my fingers around my warm coffee cup and hoped they would quickly turn back to the color they were supposed to be. It seemed unseasonable cold this fall and it wasn’t helping my mood. I wished the weather was hot with bounds of sunshine to warm the coldness that had settled on my heart. I wished the weather would lift the somber mood I’d been in since the first week I’d arrived.
I had all these notions in my head about college. I painted this picture in my mind about sleepovers and staying up all night with my roommate. My heart was already in love with the boy I knew would sweep me off my feet. My brain was already filled with knowledge that made me the doctor that saved people’s lives. I just assumed that was how it would be, but I was wrong.
The first few weeks were terrifying. Everyone was friendly but no one seemed to connect with me the way I expected. The boys were cute but my prince charming hadn’t showed up. The words in my books were printed clearly but they didn’t seem to sink in the way they were supposed to. The reality of college life was far from what I expected.
I told myself if I talked more or went out to parties like everyone else I would make friends and be happier, but I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t because it wasn’t me, and I didn’t want to live a lie or be someone I knew I wasn’t. If they couldn’t love the girl who read books until her eyes physically couldn’t stay open, the girl who loved to watch old black and white movies, or the girl who didn’t drink then I didn’t want them as my friends. I did want friends, though.
My mother called me every night wondering how I was doing. I lied and told her wonderful as I explained my roommate in detail like she was my best friend. When my sister called and asked about boys I told her about the frat house across the street. I’d never actually been in it before, but she didn’t know that. I didn’t want my family to know I was miserable. I wanted them to think their little girl was having the best days of her life like she was supposed to be doing.
I felt the bench bend as someone sat down beside me; I didn’t bother to look and see who it was. I would have bet a million dollars it was another bright face with a blue shirt on to make me even more depressed. I took a sip from my coffee cup and tried to warm myself from the inside out. Two girls with matching blue sweatshirts sat in front of me and started gossiping loud enough for everyone within a ten mile radius to hear the details of their story. I closed my eyes and tried to zone them out.
I heard the person beside me start laughing; I couldn’t stop myself from looking over to see what he found funny. He looked up at me and shook his head. “Sorry,” he smiled, “I just find girls at this school so childish.”
“I completely understand,” I whispered, not taking my eyes off his face.
“I’m Charlie,” he held out his hand for me to shake.
“Jess,” I wrapped my blue fingers firmly around his warm glove. He seemed to smile at my name in approval before he looked back down at the book he had resting in his lap.
Although I was now out of a million dollars that I didn’t have, I smiled the first real smile my mouth had formed in months as I stared with hope at the brown shirt he was wearing.
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