Settling in to the house had been easy.
By the third day of living there, I’d unpacked my cases in the small built in wardrobe, and gone out and brought a few accessories for my room. A desk lamp, an adapter so I can use my laptop, and some books. Ok, not some books, A LOT of books.
I’d had an email telling me what I’d need for the semester, and boy.. was it a lot of books! I’d also gone and got myself a new cellphone. I didn’t know if my old cell was traceable, so leaving it off and hidden and buying a whole new handset and getting a new number seemed like the best option.
I’d decided to take art, and English Lit. I was also taking a class in creative writing. I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be, but Art was a hobby of mine, and I’d written screen plays and enjoyed it, but knew I needed to work on my writing.
It didn’t mean that I was going to go right back into writing screen plays or songs once I was done. I enjoyed writing.
It was a week before school started, and I was feeling a little nervous. We’d been told to explore the campus before the first day, so I packed up my mac and made Darren show me the way.
“The bus runs every half hour, and if you miss it… well, it’s tough shit.” Darren laughed as he perched himself on the bench at the bus stop.
“So, you lived around here before then?”
Darren nodded. “It’s my second year. We lived across town before, actually.. on campus. It’s usually in the second year that you move into student homes. How did you get away with it?”
I shuffled on my feet. I knew I got away with it because I paid my fees in full. “I guess I was just lucky.”
Darren snorted. “Luck my ass. Gotta be cos you’re American.”
“Yea, maybe it’s that.” I said, knowing full well it wasn’t. I looked down the road and turned back to Darren when I saw a bus. “Is this it?”
He jumped off the bus and looked out. “Yup. You sure you don’t want me to come with you?”
I shook my head. “It’s cool. I need to figure it out at some point.”
Darren patted my back before waving the bus down. “Ok dude. I’ll bring us some beers back later. Gonna chill at the pub!” He walked off laughing, leaving me to climb on the bus and figure out what money to give the driver. It took a moment or two, and by the time I had my ticket in my hand and was walking along the bus to find an empty seat all the old ladies on the bus were glaring at me. I sat myself in the only seat available, next to a girl who seemed amused.
“It’s like you stole their pension or something.”
I looked beside me at the girl, who was looking at me with a smile on her face. “What?”
“The old ladies shooting you daggers because you held up their precious bus.” She chuckled, but I just stared at her.
“Oh. Ok.” I looked away, feeling a little awkward. It was the first time a girl had spoken to me since I’d been here. To say I was a little worried I would be recognized was an understatement.
The girl didn’t say anything else to me, and I was glad. Instead I focused on the journey, and listened out for where my stop was. I jumped when the girl leaned across me and pressed the red stop button, telling the driver her stop was next.
It was only as the bus slowed down that I realized it was mine too. I climbed out my seat and walked over to the doors as they opened. I stepped outside and pulled my cap on my head tighter before looking around.
The girl had already stepped off the bus and was walking up towards the university. I didn’t have a clue where to go. I vaguely remembered Darren’s instructions on where to walk, so aimlessly headed in the same direction the girl had gone in and prayed I was right.
I didn’t mean to, but I ended up following the girl right into the library. I had no clue how we got here, or even how to make my way out, so I sat myself at a table as far away from her as possible and pulled out my MacBook from its bag.
I hadn’t turned it on since I’d been in the UK, and in the back of my mind I’d wondered if the guys had received their letters I’d sent. It had been three days, so I figured they would have them now.
Still, I didn’t log in to my email right away. I doodled online, logging in to my twitter to see the usual fans tweeting me nonsense. Why they did it, I had no idea. I hadn’t tweeted in months. In fact I’d been MIA from social networking sites for months. Nothing was different there, so I decided to brave it and sign in to my email.
Three new emails.
One was from World Of Warcraft, reminding me that I hadn’t played in a while, another was a twitter newsletter, and the other… well that made me freeze.
It was from Kevin.
Title: You better answer this!
Sender: Kevin Richardson
Body: Nickolas Gene Carter! I swear If I could smack the shit out of you, I would! I received your letter this morning. A letter?! Boy, you have NO idea how pissed I am. Why didn’t you just talk to me, tell me you were THAT unhappy and we could of worked on that! You didn’t need to run away!
Now you best tell me where you are. Don’t think I won’t hire someone to find your ass.
Kristin’s telling me to be easy on you, but you have NO idea how concerned I am right now. You better be ok, and you best reply to this email!
I rolled my eyes after reading it and went to hit delete, but something told me I should keep it. I had no intentions of replying, so instead I made a folder up named “Eyebrows” and added the email to that. I deleted the other two and logged out before looking around the library.
Pair of eyes watching me from across the room made me frown.
The library was my sanctuary. Even before Uni I’d forever be at my local library, thumbing my way through books, or just sitting there reading, enjoying the silence.
Today was no different day. I was getting ready for my first year at Oxford University and to say I was excited was an understatement. I had been waiting for the day I could leave home and go make something of myself, and now the days were getting closer and closer until I could start doing that.
Still, being someone that loved the library, I decided to get a head start on my learning, and had been at the library daily for a week, reading the books we would be working on in classes.
Only today had been the first day I’d spent procrastinating, rather than reading. My book had been open on page 45 for the last half hour, and instead of reading, I’d been watching a guy across the room, frowning at his laptop screen.
It wasn’t like me to just randomly watch guys. But the guy was the only person sat in here with a hat on, and he was without a doubt unaware he was tapping his finger on the table.
I could see people giving him wayward glances, but no one had the guts to tell him to stop, so, me being me, I shut my book, grabbed my stuff and moved over to the table he was on. I slid in the seat beside him and was surprised he didn’t even look up. I sat my book down and looked at him a moment before tapping him on the arm.
The finger tapping stopped as he looked at me, a look of irritation on his face.
“You were tapping.” I whispered, nodding towards his figures.
“Oh, sorry.” He moved his hand into his lap and went to look back at his laptop screen.
“I’m Mila.” I whispered back, making him glance back at me.
He went back to frowning at his laptop screen, so I reopened my book and tried to focus on reading, but from the corner of my eye I could see his leg bouncing up and down. Did this guy have a nervous tic?
“Your leg..” I hissed, glancing at him. He stopped his bouncing leg, and his face flushed red.
I snorted, before hiding my face behind my book as a few people looked up in annoyance. I heard Nick chuckle beside me before the sound of him shutting his mac book lid made me look up.
“Wanna go for a coffee?” He whispered a small smile on his face.
I pondered his offer for a moment before shutting my book and shoving it in my bag. “Sure, but you’re buying. Whoever offers, buys.” I grinned at him before standing up and throwing my bag over my shoulder. I waited for Nick to pack his macbook away before we left the library and headed over to the Manor Road café.
“So, you followed me here.” I stated as we took a slow walk. I glanced up at Nick, who couldn’t look at me.
“You did. You’re new here? I’ve never seen you around, and you definitely don’t sound like you are from here.”
Nick chuckled. “Nosy much?”
“Pretty much.” I smiled at him before grabbing his arm and pulling him into a building. “So, American?”
Nick followed me up a flight of stairs before we reached the café. “Yea, what gave that away?”
I glanced at Nick to see him smirking. “Gee, I wonder. Well, welcome to Oxford. Expect a lot of parties, rain, cold weather, more rain.. and not a lot of sleep.”
Nick laughed before walking us over to the server. “That I can pretty much deal with.” He orders us our coffee, and paid for it before telling me to go find us a table. I found us one by the window and waited for him to come over.
“So, you from around here?” Nick slid in the seat opposite me, placing my coffee infront of me.
“Actually, no. I’m from the coast. Cornwall. Beautiful beaches and no congestion. I kinda miss it.” I put two sugars in my coffee before stirring it.
“Only kinda? I miss being by the beach.”
I looked up at Nick, who was gazing out the window. “You lived by the beach?”
Nick nodded. “Yea, In California.”
“Woah! You swapped California for boring Oxfordshire? Are you crazy?”
Nick looked at me and laughed before sipping his coffee. “Probably..”
I watched him a moment before sipping my own drink. There was something about this guy that made me feel like I knew him, I just couldn’t pin point what.