Chapter 1: First Day

It was the first day of school…junior year. Starting fall quarter was always tough because I was spoiled the entire summer. I had a shower to myself and didn't have to worry about noise when I was trying to sleep. I spent last summer with my foster parents…they were the only parents I ever knew, but I loved them. I lived with my parents…I love my parents, even though they weren't my birth parents.

The first day of school living in a dorm is like escaping the trenches. I got myself out of bed two hours early just so I could have the bathroom to myself. None of us got to bed the night before until two in the morning, so everyone was pretty grouchy. I am an environmental science major at Oregon State University. My roommate, Blair Kaye, my best friend. We met through our sorority, Sigma Lambda. She is still undecided, like just about everything else in her life. One time she used popsicle sticks to choose her classes for a semester, and that was a really bad idea.

For the first day of school I had one class to sit through, but it was three hours long. You always hope the professor decides to simply go over the syllabi and end class early, but that's not likely. Instead of listening I was planning my birthday party…what would we need? Who was doing music? Where were we getting food? I was turning the big two one this weekend.

Much to my displeasure, Lydia Remfert tapped me on the shoulder and nearly made me jump in fright.

"Do you have an extra pen…or maybe a pencil?"

Her brown eyes looked hesitant.

"No, I don't."

Lydia was one of them…a group of three: Lydia, Darius, and Julian. Julian was her older brother. She used to belong to our sorority, but Josephine kicked her out once she became chapter leader. Josie never liked Lydia for some drama that went back to high school days. What I knew was…they were weird. Very weird…and that sort of strangeness wasn't tolerated.

The class was filled to its capacity. By next week only half of these faces would remain and the other half would either drop the course or reemerged for the midterm and final exam. I was surprised to see Lydia in this class since I didn't know she too was majoring in environmental science. Now my thoughts were preoccupied with that until the professor announced a chilling project.

"In our third week you will be asked to complete your first outdoor lab. It will require you to spend the night outdoors, so it is up to you to bring a sleeping bag and other personal belongings you will need. I'll have more information for you next week."

There were groans, moans, and heavy sighs at the thought of a major project this early in the semester. I never camped a day in my life…I'll admit it. The thought of peeing in a bush made me cringe in disgust. I was already planning a way to bring some Chinese takeout and my own tent.

Once class ended I avoided lost and confused Freshmen as I grabbed myself some coffee and planted roots at a table with an umbrella. I was meeting Vera as she had time to kill between two of her classes.

Vera was always the busiest out of all of us. She played volleyball and our team was one of the best. She was always training, watching what she ate, and balanced a rigorous schedule of classes with practice and games. I admired her ability to stay sane.

"How was class?" She said plopping her books down on the table before taking a seat.

"Meh. Already have a project to do. There's quizzes every day. The book is required. Professor couldn't be more monotone if he tried. You?"

Vera laughed, "Eva, you need to think positive about this…are there any cute guys?"

Since meeting Vera she's been trying to find me "the one". It was cute at first and now it's just been irritating.

"No…but Lydia asked me for pen; if you could believe that."

She shook her head, "you didn't actually let her borrow one did you? You'd have to throw it away, or sanitize it afterwards."

Vera was good with jokes and she witty for a creative writing major.

"Back to your question…the day is good so far. I can't complain…well until tomorrow when my ass muscles will be hurting so bad I'll need help getting off the toilet."

I laughed, "Yeah…you're on your own with that."

My eyes were suddenly drawn to the trio of friends that gathered under a tree. Darius was chasing Lydia. They were acting like children…even though all three of them were older than us by a year.

"Earth to Eva…you listening to me?" Vera was close to throwing one of her books at me.

"Yeah…oh hey, I started a list for my party Saturday. I'm gonna need some help getting all this stuff."

Even though she was an athlete, Vera loved to party on the weekends when she could.

"Of course, just let us know. Josie is inviting the newbies…and some of the guys from Tao Epsilon. I think the whole Orchard Court is invited…You know people will come when they hear there's a party."

Orchard Court was the name of our apartment complex on campus. She was right though…the first weekend always meant parties and attendance wouldn't be a problem.

"Seems like it's coming so soon, you know? I still don't understand why school starts on Thursday?" I sighed and took a long drink of coffee.

"It is strange. I'm not complaining though…makes it easier to get through the first day- just keep thinking: tomorrow is Friday."

Vera checked her watch, "I gotta get going. Class is on the other side of campus."

We hugged before she left and I was alone again with my laptop. Once I finished my coffee I headed back to the dorm.

"Blair? Don't you have class today?"

My roomey was still wrapped up in blankets, but was conscious enough to give me an answer.

"Class tonight…head pounding."

She proceeded to put the pillow over her head to silence me.

"Right…"

When I went back to the door there was a note that someone had slipped under our door. It was addressed to me. I knew exactly who it was from. I sighed reading another love note from my not so secret admirer, Dakota.

Dakota and I met freshman year and ever since he's tried to get me to go out on a date with him. The problem wasn't his looks…he was so damn hot. The problem was…well, Dakota. He was a jerk to the core and I swear a fifth grader was smarter than him. I honestly don't know how he made this far, let alone get into college.

I tore up the letter and threw it into the trash, thankful Blair didn't see it.

Just then I heard a knock…I wasn't really expecting anyone. When I opened the door Josephine and Lavinnia came in with several bags in hand.

"We have no more room at our place, so we're stashing some of this at yours, is that cool? Okay good...thanks Eva," Josie literally threw the groceries down on the counter.

"All of this is for Saturday?" I couldn't help but laugh as I took out bags and bags of paper cups.

"Duh…girly, you didn't think we were gonna let you turn twenty-one sober, did you?" Lavinnia shook her head.

"You guys are such a bad influence on me."

Josie put an arm around me, "you have no idea…this is gonna be the best night of your life and you'll have us to thank."

Lavinnia was jumping on the bed to wake Blair up and the two had a brief pillow fight.

"You know the best parties happen on the first weekend of Fall semester…Saturday night is gonna change your life forever."

If only I knew just how right she was….