I hear the ring from my alarm and press the off button. My eyes glance around the room and land on the “Go Llama’s!” poster hanging on my wall. I smile and let out a sigh. As much as I would like to hit the snooze button (like I have every Sunday for the past few months), I realize I can’t. In an hour, I will need to be on the road heading back up to Aberdale U. Yes, the summer has come to an end and I am now going to begin a new year of college. And contrary to belief, I am pretty excited!
Taking a deep breath, I stretch and slip out of bed. I can’t believe how fast the summer has gone. It feels like I was just driving home from campus and now here I am getting ready to go back. Not that I hadn’t had a great summer. I had spent a lot of time with my parents, my sister, Judy, and of course, Abby. I had also managed to snag back my job at the library, which was pretty nice. The new librarian, Ms. Rose, was very kind to me. She was willing to train me so I could work the circulation desk instead of being stuck shelving books all summer. She also was kind enough to take a look at the book I am writing, which by the way, I am almost finished with! She has given me great feedback, that I will most definitely be able to use for my editing. She thinks that I should query it to an agent when I am finished, but I really can’t think that far ahead yet.
I decide to make my bed neatly, since it will be a few months before I see it again. No need to leave a mess for my mother. I had already packed all my things and loaded most of them into my car. I figured I would be much too anxious in the morning to load them in. And boy was I right. I couldn’t wait to get back to campus.
Glancing at the clock, I realize that it is getting late. I will be meeting up with Abby in forty minutes and I didn’t want to be late. I quickly head into the bathroom and turn on the shower. Luckily, the water is nice and hot. For the past month, I had had to play the hot and cold game with it. The water heater had gotten broken, and my dad had yet to call someone to fix it. Hopefully, when I come home for break, it will be fixed. I don’t think I could have lasted another month with cold water spraying into my face.
After getting dressed, I give myself a quick touch up in front of the mirror. After being satisfied with my reflection, I turn and head out.
I decide to head back to my room and make sure that I didn’t leave anything behind. All my bags where packed and in the car, but with all the excitement of a new quarter, I kept feeling like I was forgetting something. I decide to go through my whole checklist one last time, but realize that everything is in its place. Maybe it wasn’t that I was forgetting something, but rather that I was a little sad to leave. I had had such a nice summer back home, that it was a little sad to be leaving again.
But then again, I was also really psyched to be going back to Aberdale U, and not just because Abby and I were finally going to roommates and that I was going to see Janice again. There was another certain someone that I hadn’t seen all summer that I was also very anxious to see…
After taking one last look at my room, I turn and walk into the hallway.
I then head downstairs and then into the dining room kitchen. My dad is finishing up a cup of coffee. Judy was off visiting Aunt Viola for the weekend. I had wanted to go, but had made the mistake of mixing up the dates of when I was supposed to go back to campus. Judy was disappointed and was going to cancel the trip, but I told her not to. After all, I would be back for winter break. It’s not like I was moving away. Well…yet.
I said goodbye to her Friday evening before mom dropped her off, and although she was disappointed, I promised to be back for Thanksgiving and Christmas break. That seemed to make her ease up a bit. My dad was supposed to go with her, but he said he had a lot of work to do, so he couldn’t. A part of me thinks that he did it on purpose just so he could be around to see me off. Not that I’m complaining.
“And how is my darling daughter this morning?” my dad asks, walking over to me.
I smile. “I’m doing well dad. Just getting ready to head off.”
“Already? I thought you were leaving in the afternoon.”
I shrug. “I was going to, but Abby and I want to get to the campus a little earlier.”
“To meet with a certain someone?”
“Dad,” I say, blushing slightly, and he laughs.
He then pulls me into a hug. “Well, you drive up safely and have a great quarter.”
I hug him back and smile. “I will. And I will try to call more this time.”
“Please do. And if you need anything, I am always a phone call away.”
I give him a squeeze. “Thanks dad.”
Before leaving, I quickly head into my father’s study. I know my mom is in there reading and she would totally freak if I didn’t say goodbye to her before I left. I am also pretty sure it was why she had not gone with Judy to visit Aunt Viola as well.
“You all packed and ready to go?” she asks when I enter.
I nod. “Yup. Everything is all squared away. I’m about to head out.”
My mom sighs. “I still can’t believe you are about to start your second year of college. It seems like just yesterday you were graduating from high school. ”
“Tell me about it. I still can’t believe I managed to get past my first year of college. Especially after everything that happened.”
My mom smiles. “I can. You are a strong and determined young girl-I mean lady. You can get through anything.”
I pull my mom into a hug and feel a pang of sadness. I was going to miss my “heart to hearts” with her. We had had a lot of them that summer.
“You study hard and keep those grades up,” my mom says into my hair. “But still, try and have some fun. Don’t wear yourself out.”
“I’ll try,” I say with a smile. “But no promises.”
Just then, I hear a beep from my phone. Looking down I see a text from Abby:
-Hey Liz! I’m about to leave! You coming out?
I quickly text back: “Yes! Just saying goodbye to my mom,” and then stash my phone back into my jeans pocket.
“Abby?”my mom asks, and I nod.
“I better head out before she starts hounding me with texts.”
After one last hug from my mom, I hurry out of the study and then out the front door.
As I walk down the porch steps, I look up and see Abby waiting on the curb. She is tapping her foot and whistling some tune with her eyes glued to her phone.
Abby looks up at me as I walk over to her. “Hey you! I thought you were never going to show.”
I pull her in for a hug. “I’m sorry, I just had to say goodbye to everyone.”
Abby laughs. “You do realize that you are going to be seeing them all again in just a few months.”
“I know, but you know us.”
“Yes, I do.”
“You sure are pretty anxious,” I say looking at her suspiciously. “Could it be that you are hoping to see a certain fraternity guy?”
Abby laughs. “You should talk! I know that you are just dying to meet up with a certain light-blue eyed cutie.”
We both giggle like two schoolgirls. It’s a wonder anyone takes us seriously when we are together. It’s also strange to think that just five months ago, we were barely speaking. With all the craziness of last year, I was really worried that our friendship wasn’t going to make it. But alas, here we were, still close as ever. I guess we really could get through anything.
“Soo, before you say anything, I double checked to make sure I sent in our room request on time and I heard back from the dorm advisor. We definitely got a room together.”
I look at her skeptically, and she laughs.
“I promise Lizzie! No mistakes this time. We are definitely roomed together. And I can’t wait!”
I smile. “Me either. We should get going though. We’ve got a long drive ahead of us.”
“And I know what to do to make it more interesting.”
I raise an eyebrow. “Do tell.”
“Whoever gets to the room first, gets their pick of the side they want.”
I laugh. “Are you serious? Abby, that’s ridiculous!”
“Oh is it? Or are you just scared you’re going to lose?”
Abby laughs. “Please, you drive like a grandma.”
My jaw drops. “I do not!”
“Yes you do! It’s like you’re scared that any car beside you is going to hit you!”
We both laugh.
“All right, fine,” I say. “First one there, gets first pick. And I’m going to love doing that.”
“Oh we’ll see about that,” Abby gives me a mischievous little smirk.
We both click the keys to our cars and rush inside. Now while I don’t condone car racing, I was psyched to be going against Abby and definitely did not want to lose. I quickly slip into my car and start the engine, hearing Abby do so as well.
I then pull into the street and take off. Switching on my radio dial, the sound of “You Steal My Sunshine,” by Len, starts blaring from my car stereo. Although it’s an oldie, I can’t help but sing along. I glance behind me in the rear view mirror to see Abby hurrying from behind and bobbing her head along to the rhythm of the same song. I have always loved that we have the same taste in music.
I smile and look back out to the road in front of me. In just two hours, we would be back at Aberdale U, beginning a new quarter of college and I was psyched to see what it had in store for me.