Well here I am, I thought to myself as I placed my suitcases on the floor. I looked around, a small ish room with a bed, desk and bathroom. Nice, not quite home but this was only the beginning. I was going to make something of myself here, or at least that’s what I kept telling myself. My parents unceremoniously fumbled through the door with more of my things.
“Do I really have to unpack now?” My mum shot me a glare as she returned to the car to bring back some more things. I set up my laptop on my desk, plugged in my tv and the all important beer fridge. After about an hour or so going back and forth all of my things were finally in the room.
“Me and your dad are going to go and fetch a few things from town, we’ll ring you when we are outside.” I nodded and waved my parents out of my room. They were serving lunch downstairs, and my stomach was trying to talk to me. I grabbed my keys and made my way out of the present pit of things that was my room and made the way to the cafeteria.
So hey, I think introductions are in place here. My name’s Verity, but all my buddies back home call me Vez, feel free, it really annoys my mum! I really hate describing myself to people, but I guess a small part of you will want to know at least a few specifics, nothing like my blood type or something. I’m babbling again, sorry. I’m about five foot and three inches tall and really short hair, yeah people mistake me for a guy sometimes, it’s really funny when they realise they’re wrong!
I’m not goth, I’m not skater or even one of the trendy kids, I’m just me, just Vez. I like to look smart even when I don’t have to, and this is my story.
I just finished with my A-levels and made my way into Portsmouth University. It took us four hours to get here this morning, yeah it’s a little far from home but that’s the idea right? Its right by the beach and next to the city, it’s amazing!
And to top it off, one of my old friends from my French course is down here too! So at least I won’t be all alone. But at the minute no one knows anyone, and the people on my floor don’t seem quite that inviting. So I sit down to my dinner alone and muse about this evening. It’s my first night here; I had arranged with Dean weeks ago that we’d meet.
I soon finished off with my food and returned to try and make my room at least habitable for the evening. About an hour later my parents returned laden with food and general things. I rolled my eyes as they stepped through the door, but free food is free food.
My parents are staying the night down here in some hotel over the road, so at least I don’t have to worry about what time I come home! I think my Dad said something about going for dinner before they left. Can’t argue with that, it’s going to be the last meal bought for me until I go home again.
After a little food and some idle chit chat I made my way over to the union building, there were so many people around, but at least I’d know one of them. I kept calling him, there was no sign. I walked into the bar and my jaw hit the floor. There was no way I was getting a drink in here tonight, around the bar was a throng of people and the queue wasn’t getting any shorter. Sending a message to Dean I left the bar dejected and disappointed. I slowly walked home memorising where I was.
Back in my room I flopped down on my bed, eleven thirty on a Saturday night and you’re in your room alone. Well fine example you’re setting Gregory. Removing my clothes I replaced those that may have a shred of cleanliness in them back in my wardrobe. I grabbed a movie and settled in for the night; maybe I’d see Dean tomorrow. Some first night this turned out to be.
Sunday morning was spent on auto pilot, my folks were still here, and still finding things to do or say. There really isn’t much left and I think it finally hits them that it’s time. This really is it, the last good bye till Christmas. Their eldest, their daughter all grown up and moving out on her own. I could see the glossy sheen in my mum’s eye, she was beginning to make excuses, but she knew it was time.
We walked down to the front of the building and said our pieces. She held on to me like it was the last time she could ever hug me. I was going to be home in three months, what was she getting so worked up about? But what surprised me was my old man, sure we talked, we got on, but we never really hugged a lot you know. But here we were in the middle of the street holding onto each other like it was the first time I was in his arms again.
She kept looking back as they walked away. They knew the day was coming, but I still don’t think that they were ready for it. Blinking back the tears I refused to let fall I forced on a smile as I waved them away. Walking back into the building I couldn’t stop doubt creep into my mind. Was this the right thing to do? Had I made the right choice? My fears were soon squashed by the presence of someone familiar.
“Oh my God!! Dean! How are you man!” I ran to him and grabbed him laughing. We both nearly fell over in the reception. “Vezza!! How goes it!!” We turned and made our way down to the dinner hall for some much needed catching up. A lot of talk and a few jokes later we parted ways. Turns out Dean lives on the other side of the island, that’s gonna make for some difficult times.
I still had a lot to fix up in my room so I try to forget that I’m on my own now by busying myself with all the cables and electrics that need sorting in my room. It took forever but eventually everything all worked fine and I booted up my laptop for the first time since I got here. A little good music is all I need, I keep telling myself.
Later in the afternoon Dean called,
“Hey Vezza, what you got planned this evening?” Taking the phone I sat down to check my emails at the same time.
“Nothing really, I don’t know what’s going on.”
“Well there’s like a pub quiz over here, if you want I can come pick you up. You can meet all my flatmates, and after if you want we can go to a club. How does that sound?” He was really trying, I guess I can’t disappoint.
“Sounds like a plan Deano, swing by here about seven and we can go.”
Later in the evening sure enough Dean came by to pick me up. He lives way over on the other side of the island, kinda sucks but at least he has a car!
I was sitting in the bar, it was all fairly same-ish. Been to one pub quiz been to them all. But here I was getting to know Dean’s flatmates rather than my own. There were a few guys all really cool people, I spent more time talking than answering questions.
“Hey Vez, got a little something for you. She moved in today and said she’d come down, her name’s Rachel an ice skater she said. Not really my type, but you could give it a go!” he jabbed my in the ribs with a massive grin, the booze was working and I just smiled back. Forty eight hours and I might get some, didn’t sound too bad.
Sure enough about a half hour later there she was, of course in my drunken state I wasn’t much for conversation but she did catch onto something,
“Can I get you a drink?” Her eyes lit up, oh yeah so smooth.
Soon enough she was almost as drunk as me. The quiz was over and the barmen were chucking us out.
“So now what?” I was just getting started; it was really my first night out here. I didn’t wanna leave just yet.
“Well the union’s still open; you think we can get in?” We all shrugged at Dean’s suggestion.
“It’s worth a shot, hang on let me get us some taxi’s”
Soon enough there we all were in the union dancing like drunkards. Could have something to do with, we were all kinda drunk!! As the DJ increased the tempo the girls in the club were going mad. Including Rachel, she was trying to get people to dance with her, but there were no takers.
“Hey come on Vez, come dance with me!” I rolled my eyes and let her drag me towards the dance floor. My mind ran wild as she got closer and closer to me, all the time never taking her eyes off me. If she was trying to impress it worked, but being the proverbial prat that I was I thought it was just me being cool.
We spent the rest of the evening together, nothing special just dancing and drinking way into the small hours. By the time we had to leave we walked from the club hand in hand to the taxi bay. I waved them off before walking home with a sloppy grin on my face; this could be the start of something good I mumbled to myself.