I was the first to wake up. Emily and Vanemy were still passed out on the floor, cuddled against one another and unaware of the noise coming from the hallway outside. The walls were thin, leaving footsteps and talking to be rather loud this early. I tossed the blanket off and got up, stepping over the girls and heading right for the door. I heard a bang as I yanked our door open. "Hey!" There was a tall boy a little down the hall. He had his phone wedged between his ear and shoulder and it looked like he had dropped some textbooks. He looked over at me quickly, I guess he hadn't expected someone to yell at him so early. I watched him hang his phone up and scrambled to grab his dropped items.
I smiled "you know, when I moved in here, being woken up before the sun's even risen wasn't in my plans."
The boy seemed a bit taken back, "O-oh I'm sorry. I was just in a rush for class, I'll be more careful next time."
I entertained his apology with eyeroll and closed the door. I listened to see if he'd gone and after a few seconds he slowly walked off and I heard the ding of the elevator.
"You could be a little nicer to our neighbors" Vanemy had woken up.
"He lives in an apartment complex he should know to be quiet." I defended myself and went to the kitchen. Vanemy slowly got up and dropped her blanket over Emily, who was still in an unmoving deep sleep. Vanemy disappeared into her room afterward. I unpacked some of the smaller boxes with our dishes and utensils in them and organized them into the cupboards. "Vanemy, you and Emily can handle grocery shopping while I'm in class?"
"Yeah, just write down anything specific you want." Vanemy walked out, dressed and tying her hair up. "I still can't believe you're already starting class, we haven't even been here a full day!"
"Trust me, I wish I could stay home and unpack." I sighed, placing a hand over my rumbling stomach.
"Are you hungry? I'm sure I can find something in here for you to have before leaving." Vanemy offered, currently pulling all the boxes labeled for the kitchen over.
I shook my head, "it's fine, I saw a vending machine in the lobby, I'll just grab a snack there. Make sure Emily gets up at a decent time, okay? She can't keep sleeping in or she won't be used to getting up for work. And get her up soon so she can help you unpack. The moving van with the last of our stuff should be here around one, so keep an eye out for them."
Vanemy nodded, setting out pots and pans from the box in front of her as I ran down the list. I helped her with another few boxes before heading to shower. My day of classes started in two hours and I needed time to get ready, unpack my school supplies and walk to the campus.
I kept the shower short and dried my hair before locking myself in my room. I sat on the floor, my mirror propped against the wall and waiting to be hung. I'd have to set my room up later on tonight. I brushed my hair, as usual, stopping for a moment to contemplate if I should do anything with it or not. I was in a completely new city, going to a new school. I'd be meeting so many new people, should I try something new for myself. I played around with my hair longer than I should have, but eventually, my locks were twisted into two buns on top of my head. Despite spending so much time making sure to get them up perfectly, I tugged a few stray strands free.
I wasn't particularly excited to head off to the university. I'd much rather be done with school and despite how hard I tried, I didn't make it to graduating early. I hated that Emily had finished before me, I was always far superior to her in the academic field, but now I'm stuck dilly-dallying in music courses and English, while Emily got to work a real job. Speaking of, I wasn't looking forward to starting work much either. Being a part assistant was fine, the man only needed me in the afternoons and I have class in the morning, so it worked out. The pay was decent as well and I wouldn't have to deal with the general public. Plus I don't get things wrong and I don't need to be told what to do twice, the perfect aspects of an assistant if you ask me. Still, I wish I could skip all this and just be settled and established.
Next, I had to find the box with my books, which was pretty easy as I had extensively labeled all of my own belongings. I threw everything into my bag, set my violin case beside and got dressed. It was nice and sunny outside, looking more like a pretty spring day than it had yesterday. I stuck with wearing a pair of shorts and a white top, pulled my sneakers on and hurried to leave. Emily was in the process of waking up while Vanemy picked up all the pillows and blankets. It looked like she had finished setting most of the kitchen up and left a list of things to get at the market out. I scribbled a few things down, left some money to help pay and grabbed my keys.
"Have a nice day at school" Emily yawned with a wave, while Vanemy did the same.
I smiled, "don't forget to call dad."
Vanemy jumped in the shower shortly after Lily left, leaving me alone in our still disorganized living room. I decided to wait to straighten up, I'd need some help with the sofa and everything anyways. So I opted to tackle my room. I made my bed, finished putting my clothes away, set my desk up, and got through most of my boxes. I had a few of them leftover, filled with books and sitting next to two empty bookcases. Before I could begin to tackle them my phone rang from the living room. I rushed to catch it, "hello? Oh, of course, I'll be right down!" I grabbed my wallet and keys, "Vanemy I'm going to meet the movers!" I shouted before hurrying downstairs.
Just one man was waiting for me in the lobby. There were five boxes and a few smaller packages. The reason they had come today and not with everything else was that they had briefly gotten lost on the way here. Lily had been so angry that her painting supplies had been lost, while most of Vanemy's were clothing and smaller items. I had a lot of my writing and journals in there, important stuff I needed to start working. I bounced with excitement when I noticed a smaller box labeled for Princess, along with a cat tree for her.
"Evans?" The man asked me, writing a few things down on his clipboard.
"That me" I smiled, opening my wallet and collecting a tip for him. We had paid for delivery in advance. He had me sign for everything before turning to leave. "Wait!" I came off a little whinier than I would have wanted. "You're supposed to help take it up."
The man sighed and shoved the clipboard back to my face, "lady, you didn't pay for all that. I have a dozen other deliveries to get to today."
"But I swear I thought we did-"
"It doesn't say that on your receipts."
"But I can't carry all of this myself-"
The man shrugged, "I was told to deliver these to you, now I have to go."
I watched him walk away. I guess there wasn't much I could do to make him help, so I called Vanemy. She didn't answer, she must still be in th shower I sighed. I could manage the two lightboxes along with the packages stacked on top, but the other three were too heavy to carry at once. I stared down at them worriedly, I wasn't sure if I could leave them down here. The lady at the front desk was looking at me as if waiting for me to get them out of the way.
"Oh! Hey, do you live here?" I caught the guy walking in and past me off guard. I set the boxes down and jumped to catch his attention.
He looked around, making sure I was actually talking to him. "Uh, yeah I do?"
"Are you heading up by any chance?"
I smiled and rubbed the back of my neck, "well, I'm kind of embarrassed to ask...but would you mind giving me a hand? I just need to take these boxes up to the seventh floor, but I can't get them all…" I gestured to them, "I mean, you look pretty strong, you could take them I'm sure."
The young guy hummed and looked over everything, I assume trying to decide if he would. I smiled, how awkward would it be if he said no? God, I think I'd just die on the spot. Suddenly he broke out with a sunny smile, "Yeah, sure. I'm going to the seventh floor too, so it's all good."
"oh, thanks so much!" The guy ended up rearranging the boxes a bit, so we could take them all with a little more ease. The elevator ride was a bit awkward at first, "so, I'm Emily by the way." I had set my boxes down.
"Bryson" he smiled, "you just move in or something?"
"Yup, got here last night."
"Oh, so you were the ones stumbling in the halls last night."
"O-oh no, were we that loud? I'm sorry, we were all just so tired getting in."
"Eh, not really" he shrugged, "we probably wouldn't have heard you if we were asleep, to be honest."
"Night owls?" I asked, was I making my first new friend!?
"Not usually" he laughed, "I was just helping my roommate get ready for his trip, just dropped him off at the airport."
"Oh cool, so you have a roommate?"
"Oh, I have two roommates as well!" I picked the boxes up once the elevator reached the seventh floor and stepped off first to lead Bryson to our door. "You can just set them out here, I can pull them in myself." I unlocked it and let it open a bit. Bryson carefully set them down, and while I waited for him to walk down the hall to his place or something he simply took a big step to the apartment across the hall. "We're across the hall neighbors?"
"Looks like it!"
"Oh sweet!" I grinned, good to know I was on a somewhat good foot with our neighbor so far. "Thanks again Bryson, I owe you a favor." He waved it off before disappearing into his apartment, leaving me to take everything inside.
Vanemy was sitting up in the kitchen, her hair tied up into a damp bun. She was dressed, leaving me to realize I had gone through that entire encounter in my pajamas. "Hey, sorry I missed your call" she frowned, "I didn't know there were that many boxes left."
Her phone was laying on the counter, the screen on and she had her headphones in. "it's fine," I spoke quickly, "video chatting Verity?"
She nodded with a smile, so I left her to finish up. I took my own boxes into my room and set Lily's in hers. Vanemy was already in the process of pushing hers into her room, still on the phone. I got dressed quickly into a pair of jeans and a top. I left my sweater by Vanemy's grocery list so I wouldn't forget it when we left. While Vanemy spent some more time chatting with her cousins and younger sister, I quietly began to shelve all my books.
I hadn't wanted to take a music class. Out of the four classes I had registered for, a music class hadn't been on my plan; however, the counselors had called me a few weeks ago that I needed another class. All of the other art classes were full, I wasn't about to join any choir or theatre class either. So, this smaller music-based period was one of my very limited options. I suppose I can't complain too much though, at least I knew how to play an instrument already. Thankfully my mother had made me sit through hours of violin lessons as a child.
The university campus was pretty big. Tower little buildings stood tall, they housed the dorms. A student center sat in the middle of everything that helped all sorts of shops, offices and food places. The library was giant, as were the actual buildings containing the classes. I had already completed my first class, an advanced painting course. Music was next, followed by Business Communications and Business Math Applications. I had a smaller online history and English course as well, but those were easy.
The music class was in a building on the quieter side of the campus, next to a small park with a pond and lounging areas to study at. The music room itself was more circular with chairs and tables scattered about. The class was small, maybe only twenty people or so, with one female professor sitting at her desk. I wasn't nervous walking in and thankfully not many people turned away from their work as I strode up to the professor. "Excuse me? Professor Xavier?"
The older woman looked up, setting her pen down and smiled up at me. "So you're my new transfer? Lilian?"
"Just Lily is fine."
"No problem hun." She stood up and walked up to me, "well, luckily you aren't too far behind everyone else. We're having a bit of a free period today, working on our projects." She leaned to her desk, collecting a few sheets of paper and instruction to give to me. "Why don't you take this class to settle in and catch up, you can come up with any questions you have." I nodded and signed the attendance sheet before turning back to the class to find somewhere to sit. Most of the tables were crowded with small groups working together, while other students were off on their own tuning or practicing instruments. There was one empty table, but someone's guitar case and other things were set out on one side of it. I assume the student stepped away, but seeing as the other half of the table was bare I figured that was my new spot. I settled down with my things and began to look over the project I had missed.
"Oh, hey there."
I glanced up, the owner of the guitar had just walked back into class. When I looked up at him the young man's face changed from a relaxed expression to one that seemed a bit more nervous. I set my paper down and sat back in my seat. Are you kidding me?
"You again." I sighed, it was the boy that had woken me up that morning. He was standing awkwardly beside his seat, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Yeah, it's me" he laughed, though he didn't sound very comfortable.
"Of course it is." I muttered, "listen, sorry about earlier. I was a little grouchy."
"Oh, no it's okay." He sat down, "I was being louder than usual, I normally get out pretty quietly."
"That's good to know." I stuck my hand out for him, "Lilian Evans, but call me Lily."
"Valerian" he took my hand gently, "Valerian Hope." He was holding my hand so gently, his fingers barely tightened around mine. I smiled and squeezed his hand firmly, shaking it. Valerian smiled and drew away, I could tell he seemed a bit more comfortable now.
"You moved in last night?"
"Yeah, with my roommates."
"Nice, we were wondering when someone was going to take that apartment, I live across the hall from you."
"Of course you do." I looked around the room, "so this project everyone's working on?"
"Do you need help?" He asked, leaning over the table with curious violet eyes.
"Well, what is it exactly?"
"We're composing a song to play for our next assessment." He explained, "sometime next month we'll have to play it for the professor."
"Compose?" I cringed. I could play, but I'd never actually written a song of my own to perform. "Well that's great" I huffed, "I've never done that."
"Do you understand how to?"
"Vaguely" I muttered. "I haven't done anything with music in a while, I just took this class because it was the only open one." Valerian's eyes were scanning over my things.
"You do the violin then?"
"Yup" I patted my case, "and you're a guitar kinda guy?"
He nodded with a big smile, "I love guitar, I know violin too. So, if you ever need any help with this…" he trailed, seemingly still unsure if he should offer or not.
"Thanks, but I think I'll try to figure it out myself first."
"Of course" Valerian smiled and played with the edge of his sheet music. "So, what other classes are you taking?"
"The general stuff, art, a few business classes. Hey, do you know where the G building is? I was looking for it earlier on my way here, but couldn't find it."
"It's kind of hidden behind the performing arts building, I have a class there after this one, I can show you if you want?"
"Oh, yeah, I mean if you're going there." I rolled my pen in my hands, beginning to feel a bit awkward with myself. I hadn't expected to walk into class and make a friend so quickly, in fact, I had walked in intending to keep to myself like usual. But Valerian seemed nice, welcoming even. Plus if we were going to live right next to each other I suppose it wouldn't hurt to befriend him.
The class went by pretty fast after that. I started working on the project I had missed and even ordered a few books off Amazon to help me out with writing for the composition project. Valerian and I chatted on and off, he even showed me the start of the song he'd been working on. It had only been a few strings, but it was nice. We packed up and left together quietly. Outside we walked towards a larger building full of wide glass windows: the performing arts center. Behind it I could barely see the top of another building, the one housing my first business class I presumed. The path around here was smaller and fewer people crowded it. Flowers were beginning to blood around the rolling plots of grass, and ducks were paddling along in the ponds. The geese walked around without a care and a few students were sitting outside studying and hanging out.
"So when does your day end?" Valerian asked, walking and playing with the end of his flannel sleeves.
"Three." I was too busy looking around.
"Oh, I get out like twenty minutes after you, do you drive here?"
"No, I walk."
"What? All the way here? That's pretty far."
I shrugged, "owning a car is a little expensive right now, so I don't mind." I looked over at Valerian as I felt his eyes back on me.
"Well...if you don't mind waiting a few extra minutes I could give you a ride? You know, since we live in the same building…"
His question caught me off guard. I could tell my mouth was slightly agape and my grip had loosened on my books. "Y-you don't have to, really."
"No it's fine, it's not an inconvenience at all."
"I-okay...I'll wait for you at the student center?"
Valerian opened the door and held it for me, "that's perfect. See you then." Valerian headed to his class upstairs while I wondered the ground floor.
Valerian's nice. I thought, walking into my next class. No, Valerian's too nice. What's he up to?