chapter » one

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A small snap sounded through the silent room and Lucy closed shut her bottle of hand sanitizer. The liquid smelled sweet, like vanilla cupcakes, as she spread it over her hands.

One thing she loved about college was the fact that is was so free. There were no more annoying bells during passing periods; instead, a polite professor dismissed them when he decided he was done talking. The outside campus was very nice as well, making for a great walk between buildings and her apartment.

Lucy called out softly for the person in front of her to hold the door. Luckily they did--she didn't want to touch the door handle and have to pull out her hand sanitizer again.

Smiling gratefully, she nudged the door open with the wide of her hip and wiggled her way out. Her skin was greeted by cool air that made the baby hairs stick straight up. Apparently a small sweater and jeans still wasn't enough to keep her warm this late October.

Her boots crunched over the gravely sidewalk as she strode outside. The courtyard was bustling with her classmates, though most of them she had never seen before. Magnolia was a huge city was just as giant of a college, so strange faces were bound to be seen.

Though most of the people she had seen. For example, there was the same bluenette she always saw in the library when Lucy went to exchange her semester books for new ones. Or the raven haired boy who always took his shirt off once he left the room. And how could she miss the giant blonde man, always alone and listening to music under the tree?

All these people Lucy thought of as her friends, strangely enough. She saw them, and they saw her, though few to no words were ever exchanged. But just their presence seemed to comfort her, as if each one of them had a unique roll in her day to day activities.

Not everyone stood out to her, but Lucy definitely made note of those who did. There was the redhead who lived next to her, and they would see each other every night while Lucy was walking inside and her neighbor was just leaving.

Everyone was like a checkmark in her routine. Saw the blue haired girl in the library today? Check. Was the blonde still in his same spot at lunchtime? No, well he must be sick or something. Lucy never talked to these people nor did she have friends of her own to talk to. She just sort of--drifted.

Each day was spent waiting for one moment; the time when Lucy would walk home and cross through her apartment lobby. She would walk to her mailbox and open it up, smiling politely at the pink haired boy who was always checking his mailbox as well.

Lucy tugged the collar of her jacket tighter around her neck and quickly pushed through the revolving doors of her apartment building. The warm, heated air rushed at her so quickly she had to stop and take a deep breath to savor the moment.

There he was; wearing jeans and a hoodie, a checkered scarf thrown haphazardly around his neck. His head was down as he looked through his stack of mail--he always had more than Lucy--yet his hair was pushed back and stayed out of his face.

Lucy hummed quietly to herself, twisting the key inside her mailbox and swinging it open. Her eyes wandered into the empty box. Some days she never had any mail, but she liked the routine of seeing him there every day.

The pink haired boy looked up at Lucy curiously, just seeing who it was. He smiled warmly like he always did. Lucy returned the gesture, rummaging around in her bag just to occupy herself. One of her few talents included pretending she was busy when she really wasn't.

She pulled out a small folder of hers, looking through it and shifting her weight from foot to foot as she waited. Wait for what, really, she wasn't sure. Just maybe for him to leave so she could get the satisfaction of being around someone in a comfortable silence.

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