"So am I." She smiled, glancing up briefly from the screen. "I can't wait to meet him."
Nearly a fortnight ago, I'd embarked on two of the biggest challenges of my life so far, for a year abroad in the land of pizza would consequentially bring about a long-distance relationship. Nathan was yet to visit me in Italy, but that would soon be changing. He'd managed to book a long weekend off work to come out and see me and, needless to say, I couldn't wait.
"So, what's happening in the news?" I asked her, knowing what she'd be looking at on her iPad.
"Same old, same old." She sighed. "Trump is still finding it impossible to ignore anyone who criticises him, and Southern Rail are planning another strike... Bunch of wankers."
I wasn't sure whether her colourful language was directed at Southern Rail or Trump as well, but she powered on before I could get a word in edgeways.
"I mean, train prices go up every year and yet the service doesn't reflect that. People are paying extortionate amounts of money for pretty much nothing at the moment."
"And what's Trump done now?" I asked, before shovelling a large spoonful of Krave into my mouth.
She scoffed. "Someone needs to take his Twitter account off him and ban the use of exclamation marks in tweets. He comes across as a child, not a president of one of the world's most powerful countries."
Jasmine was very passionate about current affairs and avidly followed the news. In just the short time I'd known her, I'd already realised how intelligent she was and, somehow, that intelligence was endearing. She was never going to get herself into silly situations and her wisdom gave her an unrivalled sisterly vibe—just what I needed while I was out here.
I'd met her on what can only be described as a dating site for people seeking to share flats. Although the thought of living with a stranger had been nerve-wracking, it was more appealing than living by myself where I'd inevitably drive myself stir crazy with loneliness. Spending my third year of university abroad was scary enough, so the thought of having to do it all alone was almost unbearable.
After seeing my profile, Jasmine had sent me a message. It was a relatively short message, consisting of only two sentences:
Hey there, I see you're also spending an Erasmus year in Bologna and I'd love to chat about the possibility of living together.
I'm a bit of a slut (some may say a lot of a slut) so let me know if this is an issue. Jasmine x
As might be expected, the message had completely thrown me and even Nathan hadn't known what to make of it.
"I'm a bit of a slut so let me know if this is an issue," he read slowly, over and over again until I irritably snapped at him to stop it. "Why would someone openly admit to being a slut... Especially a girl?"
I shrugged. "Shall I message her back?"
"Go for it. I wanna know why she's a self-confessed slut."
So I replied to her. The message had intrigued me and, the more we chatted, the more she intrigued me. I didn't outright ask her about the slut business—obviously—but she did make a passing comment about how it was a ploy to drive away any slut-shaming girls.
Through the messages we exchanged, it soon became apparent that Jasmine was far from stupid. She was a driven, passionate individual who simply knew what she wanted. At twenty-two years of age, she was in the prime of her life and desperate to finish university with a decent degree qualification that would aid her search for a job.
Our personalities had clicked instantly. Her positivity had been infectious and her general easy-going attitude meant that we got on well. Despite her carefree exterior, I knew she had a softer side in there, too, but our heart-to-hearts were usually about me—not her. Naturally I hoped this would change as the year went on but, for now, we were both happy with our arrangement.
YOU ARE READING
Getting Through ItalyRomance
Italy: home of pizza, pasta and prosecco. It will also be Isobel Smith's home for the next year as she embarks on her Erasmus placement in Bologna. What she soon discovers, though, is that life in Italy isn't just about enjoying the local cuisine. L...