Chapter 2


My shower is longer than I intended to. Today I am leaving for college. I will make a fresh start in a different city with different people and experience new things. It's unbelievable that I have left high school behind and now I am going into a different phase in my life.

For some people it might not be a big deal, but to me it is. I have never been out of this town. I am going to miss my grandparents. They are everything to me and they are the only one I have in my life. I don't have any friends, because I don't know how to communicate or socialize. Now I obviously have to, because I am going to college.

To be honest, I have missed out on a lot during the summer. I didn't go out or went to parties like every other teenager, but I did walk around the houses where I could hear the loud music. At least I felt close to the parties.

I enjoy my last shower in this bathroom and let my muscles relax under the hot water. I will definitely miss this.

''Shaina!'' My grandma calls, interrupting my shower and opens the door. Oh god, I didn't even close the curtains. ''Oh you are showering.'' She realizes.

''Granny, go outside.'' I say mortified and close the curtains, but she kisses her teeth.

''Granny please.'' This time begging, slightly opening the curtains.

''Shut up, I have seen you without clothes when you were a kid. I have bathed you and changed your diapers.'' She scolds me.

''Granny, I am not a child anymore.'' I whine and shut the curtains again.

''That's what you think. Don't miss the spot under your ear by the way.''

''Granny.'' I groan, but I do it anyway, because sometimes I forget it.

''Anyway, you are leaving for college today. You are going to study a lot, going to parties and maybe bring a boyfriend home.'' I can sense the grin on her face.

The only thing I have on my mind is studying, going to parties, but no boyfriends. I don't have time for those things.

''Where is Gramps?'' I change the topic.

''He is waiting downstairs, he took the last bag for you.'' She informs me. ''But listen, I have heard that boys these days are very insensitive, but I hope that you find someone like your Gramps.''

I roll my eyes. ''Can you give me my towel?'' I stick my hand out and she mutters something before throwing a towel. I turn off the shower and dry myself.

''I am waiting for you.'' She says before closing the door.

Damn, this woman can be too much sometimes, but I love her. I dry my hair using my blow dryer and wear the clothes my grandma left on the rack of the door, another thing that I will miss.

She has always picked out my clothes since I came here. I never complained, because she has great fashion sense and she knows exactly what fits with my personality. She has chosen a white shirt and light skinny jeans. She thinks that bright colors make me stand out more.

I don't know if that's true, because nobody has noticed me or talked to me. With or without light colors. I run a brush through my hair to get the tangles out. I can't put makeup because I have placed everything in the box, but I do use the lip balm on the sink.

''You look beautiful.'' Granny smiles when I step out and gives me a light peck on the forehead.

''Listen, try to make some friends, okay? I am so worried about you, Shaina. You are always so quiet and I just want you to get out of your comfort zone.'' Her sad smile makes me a little sad as well.

Maybe my mom was right. I am a disappointment, because I can't even please my Granny, who wants me to live like a normal girl.

''Okay, I will try.'' I tell her and walk with her downstairs where my Gramps is waiting for me. He took a leave today to drop me off at my dorm. Granny has some work to do, so she isn't joining us.

''There is my girl,'' Gramps grins as soon as he sees me. ''Everything is settled, time to go.''

I don't want to go, I am terrified. I promised that I will try, but it's difficult when you have relied on people for so many years. I pull Granny for a tight hug.

''Take good care of yourself.'' She smiles before I leave. Gramps is waiting near his car and I walk towards him.

''Ready to go?'' He asks and I nod at him. I think I am ready to do this. When we drive away, I wave at Granny one last time and then I don't see her anymore. I swallow the lump down my throat.

During the whole drive, I don't talk to Gramps out of nervousness. Gramps knows that talking to me will make me more nervous, so he doesn't say anything either.

Upenn has always been my dream school and I have worked hard for it. They have a great psychology program and I can't wait.

The bigger question is whether I will make any friends and who my roommate is. The college is bigger than high school, so there is big chance that I might make friends.

My mind goes back to the time when my mom dropped me off at school. I was so nervous, but my mom told me to suck it up. If she can make friends, then so could I. That day I wore my favorite purple dress and brushed my long caramel brown hair to look nice. The rest of that day, I tried to talk to the kids but they either laughed at me or looked at me in disgust. That day I gave up on making friends and I cried when I got home. I will never forget that day. At that point, I had lost my confidence and hope to make friends.

''Are you okay? You look a little pale.'' Gramps interrupts the memory and I shove it away. I have to let it go at some point.

''I am fine.'' I assure him with a small smile. He doesn't look convinced, but smiles at me.

After two hours we stop in front of the elegant stone building and I climb out. It's crowded with parents hugging or kissing their kids goodbye, confused freshmen walking around and others wearing the shirts with the college initials on it. I wish I was lucky like those kids with their parents. My mom never did that.

''Are you going to be okay?'' Gramps asks when he has pulled out the luggage from the trunk.


''If you need anything, call us, okay?'' I nod again and hug Gramps one last time. I will miss the warm hugs of my grandparents.

He waves at me before he drives off and I am left alone.

Okay, let's do this.

I wrap one bag around my shoulders and the other one around my back and I carry my suitcase with the handle. I walk upstairs and try to not bump into anyone.

I walk to the receptionist's desk. There is a lady with sleek straight hair in bangs.

"Hello, how can I help you?" She politely greets me with a smile.

"Hi, my name is Shaina Millers." I inform her and she types something on the computer.

"You are in room 206." She hands me the keys of my room and shows me the directions. I thank her and walk upstairs. It's not far and I find it easily.

When I slide the key in the lock and open the door, I find a girl sitting on the bed with a magazine in her hands. She has dark brown hair and hazel eyes. She looks up at me with a grin.

"Hey," She starts, standing up. "I am Maira."

"I am Shaina," I smile at her and drop my bags. ''Are you a freshman?''

''Yeah, but I arrived early to settle in,'' She explains. ''Do you need some help with the bags?''

''No thanks.'' I give her a small smile and sit on the bed. I actually like her. Her warm welcome already makes me feel settled in this room. She is the first one who hasn't laughed at me or looked at me in disgust, yet.

''By the way, since you don't know anyone here, we can hang out together if you'd like.'' Her suggestion takes me by surprise, but I am grateful.

''Yeah sounds good.''

''What are you doing tomorrow?'' She asks as I take my clothes out to put in the dresser.

''I haven't made plans.'' I guess I will stay in and get settled.

''If you want, we can go shopping tomorrow. I will introduce you to the group.'' The group? There are more people I have to talk to?

''Okay.'' I answer. I am not going to spend the rest of my college career like a loner again.

''Great, I am going out and let you settle in. What time do you want to go tomorrow ?''


''Noon it is.'' She confirms and leaves the room.

As I fold my clothes in the dresser on my side, I glance at Maira's side. She has a great sense in fashion, but her style is more edgy and bold with leather jackets and dark colors. I gather my books on the desk and lie on the bed.

So far so good, I like my roommate and she has become my friend.

College is not as bad as I thought. I am nervous about meeting Maira's group.

What if they don't like me or think I am a weirdo? No, don't think like that Shaina. You are pretty and sweet. I repeat Granny's words in my head.

I look over at Maira's side of the room. Her room is filled with posters from designers and bands. I know some bands, which are actually my favorite.

I need to get my car, so I can drive to the mall and other places. I change into my pajamas and fall asleep.