I was running through the park, the only soul around, after all it was 5 in the morning. Music played quietly in my ears, soft and caressing that made me slow down to a jog and enjoy the quiet morning before the city woke up and all that could be heard was screaming, sirens and horns of impatient drivers. The sun was hardly peeking out, making half the sky glow in a soft orange color while the other was still dark, the moon trying to hang on until it was forced out of the sky.
When I first moved to this city, two years ago to attend college here, I was wound up so tight that if you stuck coal up my ass you'd get a diamond in a week. Okay, vulgar I know but it was the truth. I was some stupid, naïve teen who had attended a private school my whole life full of boys so the only guy I had ever known was my dad, he liked it that way too. So when I moved here I was so stressed I would have probably ended up on the 6 o'clock news as one of those students who just 'snapped' one day. They would interview a few people, they would have said how quiet I was and some would maybe mention how sometimes I talked to myself, always nervously twitching.
That all came to a stunning crash when my roommate finally got her hands on me. I had avoided her like the plague for about three months when I moved into NYU. She had more colors in her hair and even more piercings and tattoo's than I could count. She dressed scantily for the most part and was the total opposite of what I was, and am to this day. To tell the truth, I was frightened of her but I covered that emotion with a snooty attitude and looking down my nose at her, which was difficult considering she's about half a foot taller than me. She saw right through my façade and over the years, has gotten me to relax more and more.
One of her great cures was running. I use to hate it because I had never done any sports my whole life and my boarding school didn't require gym, which was something to look down upon. We were all about academics and scholastics. I was on the debate team, chess club, and so forth. After about three minutes of running with her I would be bent over, gasping for air while trying to figure out a clever way in my head to kill her without anyone noticing. Yet, thankfully, my body grew to urn to run. Waking up so early would seem like a chore to so many people but it wasn't for me, especially since I usually don't go to sleep.
I was a much more relaxed person thanks to one Alexandra Quintin, my roommate. Though I even had to admit, even with all her perverted jokes and innuendo's I had managed to keep most of my naivety and innocence intact. That and I have never had a boyfriend before. I still felt extremely awkward around the male population, except Alexandra's boyfriend who had managed to weasel into my life as much as Xandra had.
I know I am pathetic, 20 years old and I still break out in a sweat whenever a guy approaches me, not that many do. I was about average height, 5'5 the last time I went to the doctors and I hadn't grown an inch in 8 years. My closet consisted of different pairs of jeans, t-shirts and hoodies so even if I had the body to show off, which I don't, I couldn't. I've never worn heels in my life and I just started to wear make-up a year ago, which I hated. For the first 10 years of my life my brown curly hair had been pulled into pig tails, and since then it's been pony tails. I was nothing special, just average. Well except my grades, with the best education money can buy I became 'exceptionally' intelligent. Before I use to smirk proudly at that, now I just snort and roll my eyes. Yeah, anyone who's bred from the time they were born to be the smartest kid on the block would be 'exceptional' too.
I glanced down at my MP3 player, glancing at the time before picking up my speed and heading back towards the gym. I had let my mind wander and people would be waking up soon, and the last thing I wanted was for someone to stare at me when I was all sweaty and winded, which would make me self-consciously think about my thighs and stomach bouncing and how heavy my footsteps were.
I pushed those thoughts from my head as I quickly, but quietly, entered the girls dormitory, nodding over to the security guard who had I become acquainted with over the years of leaving early for a run. He was a good guy, in his mid 30's with pictures of his little kids and wife spread over the front desk. One time I didn't come back at my usual time, because I had gotten lost, and he called the cops, thinking maybe something that happened. I was grateful because I had noticed there were some guys following me but the cops had perfect timing. Though it was a little embarrassing getting a ride in a police car back to the dorms.
I walked into my shared room, walking through the common room over to my small bedroom and trying not to make a sound. Xandra was a year older than me and worked nights bartending so usually she needed as much sleep as she could get before her first class, which was at 8. Both of us were kind of insomniacs, which was one of the few things we had in common.
I grabbed some clean clothes, towel and bath necessities before walking over to the joined bathroom to catch a shower before my first class, which was at 7. It was early and not the time I wanted but when they told me it was the only slot they had left, I took it. I loved the class, and the teacher so I had no problem with the early schedule. Of course I had to keep it a secrete from my parents but that was no problem, except they paid for everything.
It was a photography class, and that had nothing to do with becoming a lawyer my parents had drilled into my head since I can remember. Yet when Xandra and I had gone for scheduling for classes last year I had been mindlessly flipping through the pamphlet for the class when the Professor for the class walked up and started to talk to me about it. I didn't know at the time he was a professor because he looked rather young, a senior at the most but he had actually turned 30 last month. He told me all about the class, and I immediately became interested. He was so enthusiastic that I couldn't help feeling the same way, so without thinking I signed up for the class and lo-and behold, I loved it.
I really sucked at first. I mean, completely and utterly sucked. Our first assignment was to take a disposable camera and just snap a bunch of pictures. Most of mine had a guest appearance of my thumb, some were completely black because I didn't know how to use the flash and all were horrible. I wanted to drop the class because everything else involving school I was fantastic at, I failed at nothing academically speaking and it completely unnerved me that I could fail at something that seemed like such a simple concept. Aim and shoot, how hard was that?
Of course the teacher, Professor Marvel, no relationship to the comic books, talked me into just waiting. He was amused by my defeatist attitude, and liked it even better when I complained that I shouldn't have such a hard time at something so simplistic. I think Prof. Marvel liked it better when a student comes in thinking they know everything, just to prove them wrong.
I sat in his class, as he talked about a picture that he had blown-up to poster size and put on the board. No one was bothering to take notes because there were no tests, and Prof. Marvel thought if you were busy taking notes than you weren't really looking at the picture, and truly listening to what he was saying.
"I suppose that is it for today." Prof. Marvel said as he glanced over at the clock, all of us following his gaze to notice we had gone 15 minutes over the time, once again. He flashed everyone a large smile as he made a few comments as we all walked out of his room. "Prue, I really liked your latest entry. You're good with words when you write." Now when I said I was awkward with guys, that didn't exclude Prof. Marvel. He was very good looking, well at least in my book, with bright eyes and a beaming smile. I was a complete mess when I was around him, like most guys. It didn't mean I was in love with the man, by no means, and I think he found it funny that I was so very inept around men.
"T-thanks." I said quietly and quickly before ducking my head and walking out of the class, cursing my self for once again, making an idiot of myself. I walked quickly back to my dorm room, keeping my eyes lowered to the ground as I entered. Xandra was still at her class, since my was two hours long and hers was only an hour she should be back in a couple minutes.
"Prue?!" Xandra yelled as she walked into our dorm before spotting me immediately and running over to my spread out form on the couch in the common room. I was just about to continue to read an autobiography on Kurt Angle, who won an Olympic medal for wrestling and than went to work for WWE before switching to TNA.
"What is it?" I asked my ecstatic friend. I glanced over when the door closed to see Xandra's boyfriend, Charlie, close the door and give me a friendly smile. I turned my attention back to Xandra. She had shoulder length raven-black hair with random bright blue and blonde chunks through it. Stormy blue eyes stood out from her slightly-tan skin, which was flawless except the adorable freckles that littered her nose and cheek bones. She had a tiny diamond stud in her nose along with a blue ring off to the left on her bottom lip. She was beautiful, standing just shy of 6 foot with a body that models throw-up to get and she effortlessly has. Today she choose to wear a mini-jean skirt with black fake-leather boots that came up right under her knee's and a dark blue off-the-shoulder sweater that showed off the tattoo on her shoulder blade.
"Charlie got us tickets to the concert this weekend." Xandra yelled happily, jumping up and down slightly. I only raised my eyes, having no idea what concert she was talking about. I wasn't really a concert person, actually I loved concerts, just not the crowd of people that accompanies it. Over the years I've known Xandra she's pulled me to every sort of concert from private ones in basements to large ones in sold-out stadiums.
"What concert?" I asked, looking over at Charlie because I knew getting an answer from Xandra at this point was impossible because she was currently in the middle of her cha-cha happy dance she did when she was really excited about things. Charlie was making himself at home by eating our chips before he looked over at me. It was obvious why Charlie and Xandra had gotten together, they were so opposite in looks but completely the same in attitudes. Charlie had thick blonde curly hair that was usually only poking out from his favorite beanie, like it was now and oval-shaped hazel eyes that were only brought out by his black framed glasses. He had a 100 watt smile with dimples on each side. He was lean but was solid, from years of swimming he had told me. He didn't have any piercings or tattoo's and he didn't dye his hair, which was mostly because his parents were strict Christian's and would disown him if they did. He wore dark faded, loose fitting blue jeans, held up by a brown belt with a batman buckle and a blue and white flannel button-up shirt that was left unbuttoned to reveal a tight worn-in Grateful Dead t-shirt.
"Awkward Redemption with Spreading Joy and The T-B's opening for them." I turned back to Xandra and finally understood why she was so happy. Xandra had been in love with Awkward Redemption ever since she was 15 and found one of their CD's while thrift shopping. A year later they became pretty popular, and it was one of the few bands that Xandra didn't consider to be sell-out's since they kept their music sound, and look the same since Xandra first listened to them, which made her happy.
"That's so great, so you guys are going to be gone this Friday?" I asked, trying to keep the hope out of my voice but failing miserably. It's not that I didn't adore Xandra and Charlie, it was just hard to see them so lovey dovey all the time and know I'll never have that, well at least not while I still broke out in hives when ever a guy talked to me.
"Well, not exactly." Xandra pouted slightly after she stopped her cha-cha happy dance, looking over at Charlie with a perfectly pathetic look on her face. I watched as Charlie broke, immediately coming over to Xandra, wiping his hands on his jeans before placing them on her shoulders.
"I told you I'm sorry but I can't get off of work." Unlike Xandra and me, who didn't even know what 'work' looked like, Charlie had been working since he could crawl, on his dads farm. When he moved here he got two jobs, one working a radio station and another at Starbucks to pay for college.
"And that's where you come in." Xandra turned that pitiful look on me and I had to stop myself from giving into her. She had to practice that look in the mirror or something to get it so good!
"Pardon?" I asked, putting down my book because I knew there was no chance I was going to get into it now.
"Well Charlie can't go, and I have one more ticket." Xandra said innocently and I resisted the urge to snort. I wasn't going to go, and she knew it but she was still trying to work her 'magic' on me. Xandra should be the one becoming a lawyer, she was rather good at talking people into doing whatever she wished but it wasn't going to work on this girl. No way. Never. Not happening.
I can't believe I'm here, at a concert, on a Friday night when I could be at home, curled up in bed watching a movie or reading a book. I was uncomfortable but I did have to admit, they were amazing seats. First row in the balcony, no way in hell would I be in the pit and Xandra knew that, like she knew I wouldn't be here-right? Anyways, she had bribed me with everything possible and I had agreed, begrudgingly. So now, we sat in our seats while I happily held my five new t-shirts, three posters and two new CD's. All curtsy of your friendly neighborhood Xandra, who was currently chatting with the people next to us. Honestly, Xandra could make friends with a mob of starving cannibals.
"Calm down." Xandra whispered to me as she handed me a bottle of Mikes Hard Lemonade. I made a slightly face, looking over at Xandra who was taking a small sip of her own. Neither of us were big drinkers, especially me who had thrown up just after her first beer. I didn't have a taste for alcohol but I suppose I could sip on this all night, Xandra wasn't the type to pressure someone into drinking and I was happy about that.
The house lights dimmed as the crowd let out a loud cheer as Spreading Joy walked out onto the stage, the drummer waving a friendly hello before plopping down at his drums. I liked Spreading Joy, the lead singer's voice wasn't smooth and never really on key but you could tell he poured his whole heart and soul into it, anyone with half a brain could tell really. It was the bass player that really held up the whole band with his amazing solo's and the way her, yes her, fingers glided over her instrument made you think she must have been born with a bass.
After three songs they stopped, the drummer once again waving but this time his goodbye as they helped disassemble the instruments and set up the new ones. The T-B's came on after about 20 minutes of a break and Xandra and I looked over at each other in disgust. Neither of us enjoyed when a person screeched into the mic for 2 minutes straight, and it wasn't even that either. They were younger, in their late teen's and seemed like they had just picked up their instruments five minutes before the show. They were generic and special in no way and I watched as some kids in the pit moshed.
I can safely say that I was very happy when their songs, which all sounded the same by the way, ended and they left the stage. I looked at the empty bottle, remembering that I had downed most of it during T-B's and looked over at Xandra who was rubbing her temples.
"Awkward Redemption will make everything better, promise." Xandra said dramatically, patting my knee as I laughed. The lights dimmed and everyone cried out. Xandra pulled me to my feet and we both looked at the stage, watching as the band got into their places. I did have to admit that they were very good looking. All unique in their own ways, none of them moving, playing or anything alike at all. The drummer had to be the best looking out of all of them. The lead singer, and guitarist, had a baseball cap pulled over most of his face so you could only see his mouth, which was currently pulled up in a grin as he sang in, what Xandra called a 'deliciously raspy bedroom voice'. I personally had no idea what that meant but I did like the way he sang. I tried not to listen to the rather perverted lyrics, that I did admit were very well written and cheeky as he sang about a previous girlfriend and there ahem activities.
Xandra had grabbed my arms and we both danced wildly, with her singing along to the lyrics I had only heard a couple 100 times from her playing them so much. We would stop for a couple seconds for her to tell me to take some pictures of the band, and then the very cliché us together picture before turning to dancing goofily.
"Oh my gosh, that was so much fun!" Xandra said as we sat in our seats, waiting for the rush of people to calm down so we could walk safely back to grab a cab. I was leaning on the balcony, my arms folded as I rested my chin on them while watching the crew pack everything up and a few skanky girls talking to them, probably trying to convince the crew to let them met the band. "So are you glad I dragged you here Miss Anti-social?"
"Yes." Normally I would have rebutted something about being anti-social, but I knew it was the truth. It wasn't just guys, it was girls too. Growing up in a cut-throat boarding school full of snooty rich kids that would stab you in the back had made me wary of other people, and just until recently I had been one of those backstabbers. Even though Xandra was loaded, her parents were artists, both of them famous writers and had let Xandra go to a public school and grow up semi-normal.
"Looks like everything is clearing up, let's hit the road jack." She patted my leg lightly before standing up. I watched for a second as a chubby, balding man from the crew disappeared with one of the girls who looked half his age before getting up, grabbing all my souvenirs and my camera before following Xandra out.
I was in a fantastic mood as the New York air hit me and I held onto my stuff lightly, folding it and shoving it into my slightly large purse one item at a time while walking at the same time. We stopped when we came to a curb and I let Xandra call for a taxi as I stood back a little and piled stuff into my purse, holding my camera with one hand because I wanted to put that in last. Xandra had bought it for me and it was my most precious item.
Someone slammed into me and my body, along with my camera and purse, went flying. I let out a startled yelp before it was harshly cut off when my body was formally introduced with the concrete. A shock of pain ran through my shoulder because it had taken the brute of the fall.
"What the hell is your problem jackass?" Xandra yelled immediately and I noticed she was going for her pepper spray as I scrambled into a sitting position, ignoring the searing pain in my shoulder as I tried to shove everything back into my purse, grabbing a phone as the person who had slammed into me grabbed his own before dashing off, mumbling a fake 'sorry'. I looked over at my camera, noticing it had, thankfully, survived the fall. I went to reach out for it as a large mob of girls came trampling through, smashing and kicking around my camera.
I nearly grabbed my own pepper spray but they were gone within an instant. Leaving me staring at my once beautiful camera, that was shattered to pieces. Xandra knelt down next to me and put a hand on my shoulder, which immediately brought a shock of pain through my body.
"Come on, we have to go too the hospital to get your shoulder checked out." Xandra said with a worried expression. "Don't worry about the camera." Even as she said this I scrambled to pick up the pieces and shove them into my purse before getting into the cab with her. "Nearest hospital please." She told the cabby who nodded and drove off, both of us sitting in silence. If I ever saw that guy or those girls again I would murder them all.
It appeared I had busted my shoulder pretty good but the only thing they could do for me was put my arm in a sling and give me some pain killers. It was Saturday and I couldn't go on my run because with every step my shoulder burned but when I took the pills I could hardly walk, let alone run so it was a lose-lose situation.
My phone rang and I reached over with my good arm and looked at the caller ID. Who the heck was 'Fatty'? Did Xandra take my phone again and change all the names? It wasn't that hard since I had about five names in my phone so it wasn't that big of a deal but I really was not in the mood for jokes right now.
"Hello?" I asked moodily into the phone as I flicked it open. She must of changed the ringers too because the song playing when 'Fatty' called didn't sound familier.
"Who are you and why the hell did you steal my phone?!" An angry, obviously male, voice screamed into the phone. I took the phone away from my ear to stare at him before finally noticing that it defiantly was not mine. Than it finally clicked. Thank those countless years of ridiculous tuition paid to that boarding school for my conclusion.
"Don't you dare yell at me when I should be suing you!" I yelled, just as angry.
"What the hell are you talking about?" The voice shouted back.
"It's your own fault that our phones got switched, you slammed into me and now my camera is smashed to oblivion and my arm is in a sling!" There was a long pause of silence before a loud sigh.