I slept for about an hour until I was disturbed. I heard someone shuffling through clothing or something as they muttered in some foreign language. My first thought was my luggage was being ransacked. I sat up fast and said, “Hey!” I guess I was trying to scare him and I did. It was this tan guy around 5’7ish with black hair cut in a bowl cut fashion. He was dressed up in a white polo, brown khakis, brown shoes and glasses. As preppy as it gets.
As soon as I sat up and shouted the poor guy jumped backwards and fell on his rear. He wasn’t anywhere near my bags. He was going through bags I didn’t see before. His bags. It was my roommate.
I said, “I thought you were going through my things. Sorry about that.”
He laughed and said, “No worries. I probably woke you with all of my noise. Sorry. I can not seem to find my book.” He started going through his bags. His English was perfect. Too perfect. It was easy to tell he wasn’t American.
“Hey,” I said. “What language was that?”
“Chinese. Ah. Found it.” He took it out with both hands. It was a book with all of these blue birds on it above an ocean.
I said, “That doesn’t look like a textbook. What book is that?”
“Blue Owl by Timothy Derr. It’s about a boy who has this obsession with birds. He loved how they could literally touch the skies, not being bound to the earth. It was about chasing your dreams.”
That’s when he instantly became my friend. I got along pretty well with readers for obvious reasons. I sat up, repeatedly glancing at my bags with the books in it. My books. He had no clue I was an author and it gave me a thrill. He held up five fingers telling me how many times he had read Blue Owl. Then he went on to tell me how it was about a man who lost his homeland beneath an ocean after a hurricane crushed it. That man later went into creating a 5 star restaurant and making millions.
He gave me the book and introduced himself. He said, “Jean Zhang. Freshman and soon to be biochemistry major.”
I shook his hand. “Ryan Hansel Reeds. Freshman. I want to major in education and English.”
“Why both,” he asked.
That’s when I grinned and dug into my bag. I pulled out my book and handed him a copy. I said, “I have an obsession with writing. Getting an English degree will make me better at it. I also want to teach elementary school.”
“Love’s Lullaby,” he said. “I like aliens, man. So you want to become an author and a teacher?”
He didn’t look at the author name. I always hated when people didn’t catch on. It’s not that I was narcissistic. But it was a pretty HUGE accomplishment. How many people can say they published a book at 18? Not many. I pointed to the author name for him then myself.
“No sir. I am an author. I just became one last year,” I said.
Then his eyes almost fell from his head. He stared at the book then me, then the book then me again. It was hilarious. His mouth kept dropping slowly until he muttered, “You,” maybe a dozen times.
I shook my head. “Yes. I am R.H Reeds.”
He said, “No way. That’s awesome, man! Congratulations. What’s it like to be an author and have people read this? You have to let me have it. I’ll read it tonight and everything. Here sign it!” He got a pen from his pocket and handed me the book. After I signed it he said, “Dude. Can you come to the main campus with me? I have to get my class schedule and you can meet my friends.”
“I need to get my schedule too and I love meeting people.” I let out this heavy breath. I thanked my mom in my mind over a thousand times. My journey finally took a light turn to a clear. Jean gave me a thumbs up and nodded. Then we left the dorms, went down the elevator and towards the main campus.
We had to walk out of the building and walk across campus. Jean didn’t seem to mind the long walk. Neither did I. It gave me the chance to admire the campus. I couldn’t get over all of the green grass. I was so used to seeing pavement walkways. I hadn’t been happier. I hadn’t seen a single skyscraper or overly huge shopping malls since I made it to Canson City. They had shopping centers, movies and other city attraction. But it was very, VERY watered down.
So I was having a good time. I made a friend and we were on our way to meet more friends. Nothing couldn’t have made that day better. Or could it? We walked into this building that was about the size of an office building. The inside had the same theme as the dorm did but with way more space. It wasn’t a surprise that a line was already formed. But luckily we were only behind five people. All of the students got me excited.
I couldn’t stop looking for Stacy though. There were a lot of girls and pretty much all of them looked amazing. A group of brunettes walk past me and that’s when my life changed. One of the girls glanced at me as she walked past me. When she smiled I felt my face get hot and smiled like a dork. That’s when she turned to her friends and started giggling. They kept walking but after a few steps the same girl looked back and waved at me. When I waved back she turned to her friends and started giggling again.
Jean nudged me. “Show them your book, man. Girls love that poetic stuff.”
There were five of them. But I could only keep my eyes on one. She stuck out like a rose in a large field of dandelions. No she wasn’t a rose. She was like some rare orchid. An orchid because of the purple dress she had on. It came to her knees and flowed naturally with the air as her body moved. Most of the other girls had on leggings or jeans but this girl chose to where a dress. A purple one at that.
I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. It’s like she was sexy but she wasn’t. It seemed wrong to call a girl like that sexy. All I could think of was beautiful. But even that word didn’t quite describe her. Her beauty was indescribable. It wasn’t just her beauty. This girl looked dangerously familiar. She looked like someone I had only seen in my dreams. It didn’t make sense. I had to have been losing my mind right?
They stood by an office door a few feet away. She kept watching at me. Just like the girl from my dream she had long and curly dark brown hair. From a distance her hair looked black. But the lighting showed its true color. I had to see her up close to see if it really was her. The dress though. There was no mistake about it. She was wearing the same dress Dream’s Bridge wore.