Last Night: A Short Story

I had never seen myself as a girly-girl, until last night when I almost fought a man over my hair. It sounds dramatic when I put it long story short, but I feel like if you heard what happened, you’d see it was warranted.

WARNING: THIS STORY CONTAINS CONTENT SPURRED BY ALCOHOL.

After being out and about downtown, a friend of mine (we’ll call him Rainy for story purposes) invited me to a pool near his apartments after bar close. I accepted the invitation and found myself drinking a gin and tonic at Rainy’s apartment with him, a I guy we’ll call Lester, a girl with the code name Karen, and lastly Stan. We changed into our swimsuits at what seemed to be the same moment as a storm started rolling in. But, did this stop a group of youngins in their early 20’s? No.

We walked out of the apartment to find a middle-American land hurricane. It was a torrential downpour. And the indoor pool we were headed toward was a good distance to get soaked. We nominated Rainy to lead us to the pool because it was dark and the rest of us had never been there before. He took his new position to heart and started running across the courtyard to a street that crossed over to the pool. I heard screaming in the rain ahead of me and looked up to see Rainy wipe out in the middle of the road because he tripped over the curb. (This street was a dead end and it was early in the morning, don’t worry he wasn’t going to get ran over.) I burst into laughter and made sure he was okay before we continued on to the building.

Once we got there, Lester and Karen, who didn’t know each other but left the bar together, decided they wanted to head back to the apartment to get dry clothes for later. They left for a good minute while Rainy, Stan and I chilled in the indoor pool. They were in the pool and I was standing on the ledge. Lester and Karen came back to announce that Rainy’s door was locked and they couldn’t get into the apartment. But, before they could announce it, Lester ran and pushed me into the pool. Me and my brand new high lights hit the chlorine water before I could scream “no.”

If you’re not familiar with the risks of being in chlorine after bleaching your hair, it has a tendency to turn the blonde green. Not only did I pay a pretty penny to get my hair done, but I also have a wedding to attend on Saturday. A wedding that my ex, that I haven’t seen in two years, will be a groomsman in. The following couple weeks I will be a bridesmaid in a different wedding. This was not the time to have green hair people!

Okay, back to the story. I got out of the pool to find a towel for my hair and Lester and Karen had already taken Roy to the apartment to let them in. At that point, it was just me and Stan grabbing everyone else’s clothes and cups to take them back to the apartment. As we cleaned, I ranted to Stan about the important events I had coming up. He patiently listened and kept telling me how he understood why I was mad.

We crossed the street and the courtyard back to Rainy’s apartment where Rainy and Lester are standing in the airway. My trek across the yard was enough for me to decide that I had a few extra words for Lester for throwing me into a pool. By words, I mean I  came at him with my fists up.

I screamed at him, “Do you think we’re in high school!? I’m a grown woman! I paid money for this hair! And you just want to horseplay!?”

Rainy and Stan make an effort to hold me back by stepping in between us. Lester put his hands up in defense.

“Why are you so mad!?” he screamed, “it’s just a pool!”

Stan pushed Lester into the house and Rainy stayed outside to try to calm me down. Remember, Rainy initiated this after party and had been drinking enough to not remember this conversation this morning.

“What happened?” Rainy asked.

“What do you mean what happened!?” I questioned. “You were there! You saw him push me into the pool!”

His eyes got big and he started to look mad.

“He pushed you in the pool?” he asked.

“Yes!” I screamed. “That’s what this whole fight is about!”

He stumbled to the door and screamed for Lester to come outside. I could hear Lester refusing before Rainy counted him down like a child to come outside. Lester made it clear he was coming out because he wanted to, and not because Rainy was making him. Rainy stepped up as the mediator in our argument until we settled on Lester agreeing to pay for my hair to get fixed if it turned green before the wedding. Lester happily agreed and apologized for acting like a child and messing around with people he didn’t know.

In hindsight, I had woken up yesterday morning complaining that I was cranky. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone out when I woke up knowing I wasn’t capable of tolerating ignorance.

Lesson learned.

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Labyrinth

I’m just sitting here waiting for my car inspection to get done. I’ll skip the panic and fumbles it took to get me to this small town auto shop, and go straight to the lesson learned. 

Ironically, my lesson has nothing to do with cars. I’m still clueless in that area. It does have to do with this limbo land I’ve found myself in. My classmates have always been a year or two older than me, and my peers have been much older than that. I’ve always done well at saying the right thing and acting the appropriate way to somehow gain the friendship of those wiser. The difference in mental maturity was never noticable, until maybe now. 

One on one conversations with friends have opened my eyes to how differently I see the world. It became apparent when those I related with during their “free spirited lost days” had somehow formed a plan for years down the road. They’re no longer wondering what they want to do with their degree, they’re paving a path to reach whatever they deem as “making it.” 

Lord, I’m still not there. I’m still working toward graduation, let alone plans for after. These 21-24 year olds lead me to question why I’m not where they are, but the fact of the matter is, one year is a world of difference in this limbo land of early 20’s. 

Who knows if I’ll still be lost by the time I reach 20, but seeing as how 20 is right around the corner, I’m just going to say I’m still a lost girl becoming a woman in college. 

“What’s wrong with Nickey?”

For all of you who were gracious enough to give me advice on my housing situation, I think a plan may be falling into place. But first, I need to get you caught up on some of the events that have happened since 2017 began.

The initial “impasse” I mentioned with my landlord turned out to be a foreshadow of what was to come. Things came to a boiling point toward the end of Christmas break. Harsh words were said, tears were fled, and I lost my bed. (No I’m not a poet, but I liked the way it sounded.) Essentially, we came to the agreement that I didn’t want to be there and he didn’t want me there.

To avoid going into detail, I spent the week before last with my belongings in three different locations and slept on a couple couches. I missed two days of work and fell behind in classes. I started questioning what kind of person I was to have become the homeless girl in this college town. You might be thinking, “Girl go ahead with that studio apartment you talked about!” Well, it’s not that easy. I had already gone the day before everything blew up and signed a lease for August because my lease at my old place wasn’t over until the end of July.

Thankfully, I have an amazing support system where I work. “Family atmosphere” is an understatement when it comes to my coworkers and myself. As soon as I told them my situation, one of them opened up her home to me and gave me her spare bedroom. I collected my things from the places they were spread out over and moved in last Monday.

I can’t explain my gratitude to her because there are no words to say to someone who is willing to open their home to me. She thinks I ignore her, but I’m just trying to process everything that’s happened this semester. I’m trying to get caught up at work, in school, and make sure not to neglect the friends who helped me move. I have a hard time opening up and showing these emotions now because I’ve done nothing but show my emotions for the past two months. It’s become hard to express anything but stress. And I hate it.

I’m sure I will open up to her eventually. But, as for now I’m just trying to figure out where to go next because she will be moving in May. At first, I thought about this with the ultimate dread. I’ve been up and down the streets of this town, meeting every landlord possible for the lease I signed in August. I couldn’t fathom trying to run back through that list and ask if they would accept temporary tenants. But, luckily, I don’t think I’m going to have to.

Today, I sat in a study abroad session. They talked about the experiences, the food, and the wonderful people they met. They discussed the financial ease it is to be able to go through the university for exchange student opportunities. They showed me the options I have to fund the trip and the many places I could go. So, what if what I thought was doom and gloom was just God’s way of answering my prayers to travel?

With no rental commitments for the summer, it seems to me the best opportunity to become the gypsy I’ve always wanted to be. Maybe Thailand? Maybe Jamaica? Maybe Czech Republic? Having no obligations other than work, which can be worked around, for the summer might be exactly what I asked for.

So, I promised you a plan. It’s a loose plan. But it’s a plan. First, live with my lovely coworker until May, then be a gypsy, then move into my (beautiful) villa in August.

Honestly, what else do I have to lose while becoming a woman in college?

 

I Couldn’t Make It Up

Like usual, I woke up in an optimistic mindset about my day. I got dressed, danced in my mirror, kissed my boyfriend and was off to class.

Except, I wasn’t off to class. When I went to crank my car, I found my key bent in half by some unfathomable force. This is a good time to mention that the class I was headed to has a zero tardy policy.To be more specific, the classroom door will shut and lock at 9:30 a.m. Naturally, I panicked and emailed my professor with a picture of my key and a description of my situation. I never got an email back.

I finally roped a friend into giving me a ride to class. However, when I arrived, my worst fears were confirmed. It was past 9:30 a.m. and the door was locked. I knocked and knocked. No one came to my rescue. Finally, I sank to the floor with my ear against the door, trying to get some sort of education today.

I laid there listening for about 10 minutes until a girl finally opened the door. I fell in and the entire classroom stared.

I stood up and said, “I’ve been sitting out here for so long, can I come in now?”

All my professor said was, “Oh, we didn’t hear you knock. I got your email, yes you can come in.”

I couldn’t get to the prime seat I had assigned myself the first day of class because my tardiness lead another student to take it. So, I sat my rear-end down in the back of the class and considered it a good day just to have gotten to be there.

 

First Week? I’m Weak.

“No drinking or eating in my classroom…no cellphones on the desk…don’t be late, this is your job…you will be penalized for late work..”

The majority of high school students around the country are getting lulled to sleep by the monotonous speeches of syllabus week. Oh how I miss that lullaby.

This semester marks the beginning of my junior year of college, and if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years it is that a collegiate syllabus is the bible of a course. Unlike high school, the syllabus is referred to MULTIPLE times throughout the semester. They have valuable information like deadlines, office hours, and study tips that I’m sure I’ll be panicking over later in the semester. They are a professor’s form of a contract in which they like to say, “well, you had the syllabus! You should have known!”

The only question I have, after an hour of losing my sanity from combing through these documents is, “how many times do you think we’ll hear the professor say ‘check the syllabus’ this semester?”

Time will only tell.