Drew Montana plunked two large garbage bags down onto an unmade double bed and took a moment to look around. "Great," she said aloud. "I paid five grand to live in a hotel room all year."

Two beds. One kitchen. One bathroom. No dividing walls or privacy whatsoever. Peeling wallpaper. A suspicious stain on the carpet. It looked like something she had seen on COPS a few moths before. She wondered if anyone died in here.

Her brother, Dirk, was setting up the PC on her small but serviceable desk. "So industrial. Living here will rock!" He finished putting in a few more plugs and keyed on the system. Drew gave him a worried look as he realized he put something on backwards. Scratching his head, Dirk went back to muttering to himself as he switched plugs around.

She watched her mother and father come in next, bringing appliances and Tupperware.

"I brought extra tampons!" Janice Montana said extra loudly as Drew tried to scream her sorrows into her pillow. "I know how much you love tampons!" She sounded almost too chipper, and Drew knew Janice was trying to hide her ache that her daughter was leaving her.

"Yes, mom, tampons just make my day.."

Drew's father, Daniel, had set a tray of well used plates and plastic cups down. "I know you'll study hard. I know you'll make us proud. This will be good for you." He gave his daughter a hug. "Come on, Dirk. Leave the PC alone."

Drew suddenly felt panic hit. "You aren't going to stay? You aren't going to help me unpack or help me find the nearest ATM or help me meet my roomie?"

"Oh, Drew." Janice hugged her only daughter and Drew just stood there stunned. "We already talked about this. All you need is a few bucks a week and you'll figure out the streets and turn offs in plenty of time."

"School starts in TWO days!" Drew grabbed her mother's shoulders. "I thought we were gonna have pizza or meet the R.A. or..."

Dirk stood between them. He was taller than his sister, but besides the gender difference, they appeared so much alike it was uncanny. "You can't get clingy now. It's kinda losery, big sis."

"Im only older than you buy three minutes..." she whispered, looking to the floor. "And you're right. I'll be okay."

"I'll be at the university. Five minute walk to Rec Hall." Her twin pointed out the window across the way to see a very large Residence that housed the first year students of Chanton University. "And there's always the internet."

Drew shoved him, trying to keep her spirits light. Perching her glasses higher up on her nose, she said, "I'll be okay. Don't worry about me." Her laugh seemed awfully corny as Dirk, Daniel and Janice turned to leave. She gave each of them a huge hug, and waved them on her way.

Dirk made the move okay a few days ago, so why can't I? She watched from her second floor window as her parents pickup truck pulled out and into the heavy traffic of Santanio. Squinting, she thought she saw the tall image of her twin brother disappear among the trees bordering the property of her new home: Augusta Towers.

As she was wondering what the heck to do in this sudden shift of responsibilities, she heard the door slam. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw a pretty faced yet slightly heavy girl drop her heaping laundry basket in shock.

"Im sorry!! Im sorry! It blew shut! How loud!"

Drew shook her head but finally found her voice. As she approached the girl, picking up plastic cups and CD's, she said "Gloria right? You sound exactly like you do on the phone."

"Yup yup yup!" She set the laundry basket down and accepted the dropped CD's. "And you must be Drew! I like you already! You're so NICE!" She frowned. "Unlike my last roommate....she was a snob. But we fixed her."

Drew wasn't sure what to think of that. Was she just threatened? She evaluated the girl in front of her. She didn't look capable of exacting revenge. Still, Drew vowed not to eat any of the girl's food and take all the girl's messages properly. "You're a second year?"

"Yup yup yup! Nursing! I brought a DVD player, like I said I would..and lots of PORNO!" She said this with such excitement Drew took a step back. "You don't watch pornos?"

"Ummm.."

"No worries. We have porno parties, my friends and I. You'll love them! There's three of us. And you'll fit in so well it's as if you were always there." Gloria opened a drawer to the closest wardrobe and began to haphazardly shove clothes in it. "I figured you might like the window. I had the window last year so no sense being a window hog.."

"Well..thank you." Drew honestly didn't know what to say. Instead, she grabbed handfuls of shirts and shoved them into the drawer, helping Gloria unpack. A lot of the shirts were very expensive looking and very sexy and stylish. She held up a tank top and examined it.

"If you want to borrow something, let me know the day before.. but if you stain it you owe me a new one."

"Oh, I have plenty of shirts, I think."

Gloria shrugged and dumped the laundry basket upside down. The rest of her shirts flew out. "I got to get me another load of clothes. I'll be back, Drew!" She hurried out as quickly as she came in, leaving Drew alone once again.

Drew grabbed her room key and decided to fill up her laundry tab. Her brother had warned her about keeping it topped up, so she figured she had better get a head start on it. Stepping out, she made her way across the hall to the laundry room. She frowned to see how packed it was.

Everyone decided that creating a laundry account was the name of the game. Every teenager and 20 something in Santanio was there!

Well not true. Dirk wasn't there. She sighed, missing him already.

Someone slammed into her and she pitched to the floor. She sat up, holding her wounded shoulder. "What's the big idea? Holy shit.." Her shoulder throbbed horribly. This person had some serious power to their swing.

"My god! You alright?" A guy knelt down beside her. "I'm sorry! Shit I'm an idiot... a shit eating idiot.." He helped her stand and she dusted herself off, her anger ebbing somewhat.

She glanced at her attacker to see a kid about her age, holding a laundry basket. He looked really sorry, and Drew knew that in the crowded room the run in was obviously an accident. "It's okay...but I think I'll still sue you."

"Well good luck with that," the guy said with a fatalistic shrug. "I'm broke so all you'll get is a few empty diskettes and a can of tomato soup." He held out his hand. "I'm Clifford from room 400. But call me Cliff. No one calls me Clifford except my grandma."

Drew took his hand and smiled up at him. "I'm Drew from 210. Laundry already?"

Cliff picked up the basket again. "I moved in yesterday but my roommate spilled beer on all my pants.. At least, I've come to the conclusion it's beer." Someone stepped aside and he dove for the washing machine that just made itself available. "Fuckwit."

"Huh?"

"My roomie...he's a fuckwit." Cliff popped open the machine and started trying to shove pants in it without really touching the soiled items. "He's odd. He has anime cards and talks in his sleep. And he smells kinda like drywall."

Drew stood beside him, figuring it was best to make a new friend. Maybe the room would empty out a bit. "Smelling like drywall is the first sign of hair cancer."

"Yeah, that's what I told him!" They both shared a laugh. "Room 210 huh?"

"Yessir."

"Well cheers to having a sense of humor on a day like today and double cheers for the joke. If you need help moving anything, let me know. The beds are heavy. Don't break your back over it, okay?"

She smiled at his thoughtfulness. "Thanks. I just might have to walk up to 400 and recruit ya!"

Finally the room started evening out and Drew managed to get a balance started on her laundry card. Cliff was sitting on the machine, reading a magazine about celebrities, frowning in disgust. She decided to leave her helpful fellow student, waving a friendly goodbye. He looked up and gave a jaunty salute. "Don't touch the bed without me!"

"That sounded filthy. Shame on you."

Cliff just giggled and went back to his magazine.

Gloria was propping the door open and shouting at someone when Drew returned.

"Yeah well FUCK YOU! You goat fucking retard!" Drew winced at Gloria's outburst and glanced down the hall to see who her roomie was yelling at. A woman dressed on in black and thin as a rail was glaring from the other end of the hall. She had the thick calves of a cross country runner and the superior glare of an athlete. Being a bit of a geek herself, Drew automatically felt defensive at the glare.

"Who are you shouting at, Gloria?"

"THAT!" She was pointing at the figure, who spun and ducked into a room at the end of the hall. "Corienne Summers. That bitch totally backed into my car last year. Everyone saw her. Now my NEW car has a dent in it. And she's the RA."

Oh God... Drew rubbed her temple. Hot headed Gloria was going to really mess things up for her.. She'd have to keep her under control. "You're picking a fight with our RA?"

"Well she wasn't an RA last year. If it wasn't for you I'd request a room change. That's how much I hate her."

Drew herded Gloria into their room and went back to helping her shove clothes in drawers. "'If it wasn't for me'?"

"Yeah you got spunk. I lucked out this year." Gloria hugged her new roomie and laughed. "I can just tell. You aren't one of those lame bitches that steal boyfriends and blare music and smoke dope until 2am."

Great. I AM a geek. She just called me mundane, stable, and harmless. Drew sighed heavily. She wished she was so much more than that. I'm the roomie that chats on the computer and covers for her friends and is always the designated driver. Horray for the lab geek roommate..

Well maybe this year would be different. Drew vowed to let that geeky kid die in high school. College would definitely be different.

Now if only she could figure out how she could make that happen without falling on her face or getting arrested.