Sorry I haven't updated in awhile! This one is a bit smaller than the previous chapters. I promise I'll get to work! ;D
One year later, I found myself beginning sophomore year of college. Free of the small town I left behind, I fully embraced life in a rather large college town. Everything and everyone far behind, I reached for the stars (those metaphorical stars literally being an English degree). I had no idea what I was going to do with my life, but everything was currently going great. I figured winging it was always an option. There was one thing of which I was sure, though. And that was I was not going back home.
I had spent my summer in a small editing office around forty-five minutes from campus on an internship. Internship complete, I was ready to jump into my second year of college life. I had signed up for a new dorm (a nicer one than the freshman dorms), and moving in was proving to be a struggle. My best friend from the freshman dorms, Jamison, had exchanged my help moving into his new dorm for his help moving into mine, and Becka, who went to a community college back home, had driven the five hours to my campus to help me move out too. So the problem I was having with moving wasn't necessarily lack of help. It was Ethan Rivers.
My dad insisted on buying me a nicer mattress than the ones the school provided, and Jamison and I were struggling to carry it into my apartment-we were both the nerdier, never-leave-my-computer types, so we didn't exactly have the proper musculature for the job. The elevator wouldn't fit my mattress, so we had to resort to the stairs. Since I lived on the fourth floor, we weren't exactly happy campers. The entire time we were making the trek, Becka walked dutifully behind us, randomly giving us words of encouragement or criticisms. I had to tell her to shut up multiple times, but it didn't faze her. Jamison was hesitant at first because he had just met her that day, but after our second flight, he almost shouted, "If you know so much about it, why don't you carry the damn thing yourself instead of watching us!?" Becka looked at the ground, her cheeks flaming, and finally kept quiet.
While Jamison and I were climbing up our third flight of stairs, Jamison slipped on some unidentified liquid and flung the mattress up in the air. He fell onto the flat area marking the fourth floor, but I took the tumble all the way down the full flight. The air whooshed out of me and I didn't move, waiting for the ability to breathe to return. My eyes were shut, and my ears were ringing. I could faintly hear Becka and Jamison worrying over me, but I stayed still.
Once I could breathe, albeit painfully, I gingerly sat up and touched the back of my head. My hand came back, bloody. I opened my eyes and assessed the damage. Jamison looked funny, a bit ruffled up, but fine. He and Becka were hovering over me, eyes bugged out of their heads in worry. I giggled at their faces, but then regretted the decision when pain shot through my right side. "Oh, god. Arcadia, are you okay?" Becka seemed to be near tears, so I quickly shook my head.
"No, no!" But my quick movements made me dizzy. I took a deep breath, which hurt like hell. "Just give me a bit of time to recover."
The mattress had toppled over to my left. At least it didn't land on top of me, I conceded. I glanced up to the top of the stairs. There stood a guilty looking boy holding a Styrofoam cup upside down and dripping. "FUCKING ETHAN RIVERS," I shrieked. Becka whipped around, her mouth agape.
"Arcadia? Is that you?"
"I'LL SHOW YOU, 'ARCADIA,' YOU LITTLE ASS. YOUR LITTLE SPILL ABOUT PLUMB KILLED-" My tirade was brought to an end by a coughing fit.
Ethan had slowly made his way down the stairs while I had bee yelling. By the end, he was bent down in between Jamison and Becka, both of whom had stayed quiet throughout the spectacle. "Arkey, holy crap! You're bleeding!" Ethan's hand was on the back of my head, feeling around when he had found what I had a few minutes ago-blood.
I deftly swatted his hands away. "I'm fine."
He gently pulled me up by my arms and started to guide me up the stairs. "I'm sorry that this was all my fault. Come on, mom's upstairs and I'm sure I've got a first-aid kit packed away somewhere."
I looked back to my friend for help, but Jamison shrugged and Becka just supplied the stupid excuse of, "cleaning up this mess," like saving me from a Rivers wasn't more important!