Quick Author Note: For anyone who missed any of my updates, this is the NEW sequel to RHIMA. If you have not read RHIMA, please do so prior to reading this sequel by visiting my profile. Secondly, I originally started the OLD sequel a few years ago but was unhappy with it and discontinued it. Therefore, I am erasing that OLD sequel from my mind and starting this NEW one. Please do not confuse the two. This is the new one and the one I plan to finish. Happy reading!
FULL SUMMARY:(contains SPOILERS for those who have not read RHIMA first): All Raina wanted to do upon graduation from high school was to enjoy the college life with her boyfriend Trent by her side in their new apartment. Little did she know, however, the amount of guilt she would soon feel when her best friend Travis explained how he had to move away because of her. How could she not feel guilt, knowing she had been the cause for his departure? How could she not feel responsible for the fact that Hailey would no longer have an older brother nearby to look up to anymore? How was she to handle the depression that would ensue from the drama she had helped cause?
I stared at my computer screen for what felt like an eternity as I contemplated how to write my college paper. The paper had to be approximately ten pages long and was due by next Friday, only five days from today. I had not even started it yet thanks to all my other assignments that had been piled onto my shoulders from other college courses I was taking. I was trying to prepare myself at becoming a dental hygienist, but in order to do that I had to be one of the top students out of all the other applicants, so I was trying my absolute hardest at getting an A in all my general ed courses prior to applying to the program.
I must admit, however, that the stress did get to me at times. While everyone else around me only cared to pass the class with a C, I myself had to get top marks in order to outscore all the other dental hygiene applicants. We were already halfway through the fall semester and in at least two out of the five courses I was taking, I knew I was only at an A minus and therefore had to bring up my grade. In order to do that I needed as many points as possible on this next English paper of mine. I also needed to get practically every single question correct on my next math exam, which would be sometime next week, so studying was a necessity.
My eyes lifted from the computer screen for a short moment as they scanned the apartment. Trent and I moved into this place about five months ago at the beginning of the fall semester. It was convieniantly located right beside the college we were attending, making it easy to walk to. I was currently alone at the moment, for Trent was busy at his new job that his father helped him get. Trent had become an automotive mechanic after taking some summer courses. He was still in school for it of course, but his father was able to get him a job early prior to his graduation. As of now, he made money by helping his father with the easier tasks that his summer courses had taught him so far. He would be making far more money though once he finished school.
As for me, I was not currently working due to the fact that college alone was just way too much for me. I was thankful that Trent had absolutely no problem taking care of the bills while I focused on school. In the beginning of us moving in together, I constantly questioned him about it, asking him if I should get a job. He assured me countless times that I did not have to worry and to instead put all my attention on school. I could not thank him enough for being so sweet.
A sigh escaped me as I scanned our apartment. It had become such a mess. Trent was not big on being a clean freak, but I was. I just hadn't gotten around to cleaning thanks to being overloaded with school work though. Once I got through everything, I would definitely be taking out all my cleaning equipment to make the place sparkle. For now, it would just have to remain a mess.
I turned my focus back onto the computer screen. I had to write a research paper on any novel of my choosing for English class. The research could be about anything such as how the author was inspired to write the novel, what was important about the novel, weather or not there were any life lessons taught in the novel, and so forth. I chose "To Kill a Mockingbird" as my novel, seeing as it was one of my absolute favorites. I could most certainly write a solid ten page paper on that novel.
My fingers began typing into google's search engine for articles that could back me up on my research paper. I only spent a good two minutes doing this before the Tetris theme song hit my ears, breaking my concentration. It was my cell phone ringing. Sighing, I answered.
"Raina," I heard Zea's voice from the other end of the phone. There was a lot of commossion in the background. No doubt she was at a party or club of some sort. "What are you up to? You should totally come out with everyone! We're at the club near your apartment. Walk over and join us!"
"I can't do that," I explained.
"Sure you can," she said excitedly. It wouldn't be surprising to know she was at least buzzed by now from the alcohol. "Don't be such a bumb. Come join your friends. Royce is here with me and so is Devin and Jake."
Devin and Jake were people that Zea had become friends with ever since she moved onto campus. Her and Royce were originally going to try for an apartment together like Trent and I, but they were financially unable to do it. As a result, they had no choice but to stay on the campus dorms since they were a lot cheaper. This, however, meant that Zea had to seperate from Royce seeing as males and females were not allowed to share the same dorm room. They were still dating of course, but they just could not share a place at the moment. Zea seemed fine with this, but it did bother Royce a bit and he was determined to eventually get an apartment with her.
"I can't," I repeated. "I have a lot of work to get done for school. Maybe another time."
"Oh come on," she persuaded. "Quit being such a bumb and take a break from your homework."
"I literally just started actually," I explained, taping my pen with impatience. "Seriously though, I need to go. Another time maybe."
"Alright then," she said. "But next weekend is your birthday, so you are definitely going out with us weather you want to or not."
"I highly doubt I'll have time, but it's wishful thinking," I laughed lightly. "But I really need to go now so I can work on this, okay? I will talk to you later?"
"Bye," I responded as I clicked the red button on my phone to end the call. I then focused back onto my homework. I typed into the google search engine once again for articles and was happy with the results. There were articles that explained exactly how Harper Lee, the author of the novel I wanted to research, came up with the idea to write the novel. There were also countless articles on what the novel helps to teach its readers. I clicked on the first one where it mentioned how the novel, to this day, teaches readers about how unfair our own justice system can be at times. I definitely could come up with quite a number of pages on that topic alone. I could then use the rest of my paper to talk about other things that are important, such as how much times have changes since the setting of the book took place.
I had been working for what felt like a good hour, just doing solid research when the door opened from behind me. Being too concentrated in my work, however, I chose not to turn around. I already knew it was Trent. He normally got home around this time in the evening.
"Hey baby girl," he greeted excitedly. There was a sound of paper bags crinkling. "I got us some Subway on my way home. Do you want a chicken sandwhich or tuna? I didn't know which one to get you, so I got both."
I didn't answer right away. My concentration was too focused on my writing.
"Raina?" he asked a second time. "Chicken or tuna?"
Still I didn't answer. I wasn't ignoring him on purpose, but I just wanted to ensure I was reading this article correctly before answering. Was this article considered a primary or a secondary source? I needed at least one primary source for this paper.
"Alright, I'll just bring you both," he said, taking out some paper plates from the lower cabinet. Placing the subs on the plate he brought them over to me and sat them on the side of the computer desk. He didn't leave right way though, but just stood and stared at me. That's when I finally snapped out of my reverie and looked up at him. He smiled. "Yay! You finally noticed me. Food always gets peoples attention."
"Oh, I'm sorry Trent," I apologized. "I was just overly focused there for a moment." I then handed the article I had printed out earlier over to him. "Is this a primary or secondary source to you?"
He took the article with his hand and furrowed in concentration. He appeared to be thinking deeply about my question, until he asked me, "What's a primary and secondary source?"
I sighed, taking it back. "Nevermind. I'll just ask one of the college tutors."
A frown formed at his lips. "I'm sorry baby. I study cars, not English. You know me. I was never good in English class. If I were good though I'd definitelly help you now."
I smiled at this. "I know you would and I appreciate that, but it's okay. I can find out tomorrow after class when I see the tutor." I then went back to reading the article over again, trying to figure out if I should use this article or not as one of my sources. As I did this, Trent continued to just stare at me. After a few seconds I looked up at him again, only to meet an expression of concern.
"What?" I asked innocently.
"You seem stressed," he stated simply. "I think you need to put your work asside and eat some food and watch a movie with me."
I shook my head in protest. "No, I'll be fine. I just need another hour or two to work on this and then I'll call it quits for the evening." I then reached over to my plate of food, but he stopped me by taking it away before I could grab it.
"Nope." He smiled mischieviously. "Not until you agree to watching a movie with me. You've been working far too hard lately. You need to relax."
"I will watch a movie with you, but later." I tried to snatch the food back, but he easily lifted it higher above my head. A laugh escaped him as I poorly tried to get it back. I stood from my chair and attempted to stand on the tip of my toes to grab it. It was impossible with him being so much taller than me.
"Watch a movie with me now and you'll get to eat," he said.
"I don't feel like it right now." I jumped, but still couldn't reach. "Would you cut it out? I am starving."
"Then watch a movie with me," he continued to repeat. "Think about it. You can either work and starve yourself. Or you can curl up on the couch with me and watch a movie."
Eventually I sighed in defeat and agreed to him with a nod. His smile grew wider as he lowered his hand to give me my plate back, but not before leaning forward to give me a quick kiss on the lips. I returned it with a smile.
"You know you love me," he said as he gave me my food and walked into the living room to start a movie. His fingers rummaged through our DVD rack that stood beside the TV. "Yup, without me you wouldn't make it through school as well as you do."
I frowned. "What do you mean by that?"
He shrugged as he continued to search the DVD's. "I just mean you overwork yourself too much. If I didn't force you to take a break you wouldn't be getting the high grades you're getting." He pulled out a movie from the shelf and looked at me. "Want to watch Spiderman? I haven't seen it in years."
I considered his first statement. "My grades aren't as high as they could be. I have a few A minuses."
"And you don't consider that an accomplishment?" He shook his head. "You are so hard to please. But either way, if you want to heighten your grades then you will relax with me. Now come over here on the couch and watch Spiderman."
"I don't know," I said. "I have a lot to do."
Trent wasn't going to take 'no' for an answer on this. He marched over to me and, much to my surprise, lifted me over his shoulder. I tried to free myself but he had already brought me to the coach and threw me onto it before I could protest. His right hand held me down into a laying position while his other reached for the remote control to operate the movie. Once he had finally gotten the movie to start he laid down beside me. I gave up fighting him, for I knew he would just force me to lay with him anyway if I tried to get up, and just accepted defeat.
After a few minutes of just laying together he said. "See, isn't this much more relaxing?"
I couldn't help but laugh. "Yeah, after you tackled me to the couch."
"Oh, you know you enjoyed it." A smirk formed at his lips. His arm then wrapped around me as we settled in to watch the movie.
While I never really liked admitting it, he really does help me out quite a bit in regards to everyday stress. Truly, if it wasn't for him there to keep me calm, I'd have jumped off a bridge by now. Well, not literally, but you get the idea.
"Thank you," I told him.
"Oh, I'm awesome for it. I know." He didn't even have to ask what I was thanking him for. He just knew. "And you are very welcome."
A/N: I would greatly appreciate your feedback. I hope my writing over these 4 years hasn't changed too drastically for anyone. I have a lot of drama planned for this story. The opening here isn't anything too amazing yet, but it will get much better. I promise.
For my Travis fans: He isn't mentioned in this chapter, but he will turn up. I have big plans for his character.
But yes, feedback is always appreciated by me. Please tell me what you think. Like I said, it's been 4 years. My writing may have changed slightly. I hope it is still lovable enough though to keep my readers. I love my readers :)