I took another glance down at the map in my hands and looked around, picking out the residence office fairly easily. Stepping through its door, I was greeted by a cheery redhead. "Hello," she said, a thick Scottish accent rolling off her tongue, "how can I help you?"
"I'm here for my dorm number? It's my first day." I felt like such an idiot.
The girl just kept smiling at me. "Well, welcome! I'll need to know your name and major?"
"Um, Gabi Richardson, majoring in classics," I answered.
"Okay, you'll be in dorm 302." Her name tag glinted in the light. It was plain metal but she had placed flower stickers all over it; the name "Kaylee" was barely visible beneath them. She gave me a map, and walked me through the locations of my dorm and all my classes.
When she was done I thanked her for her help and headed in the direction of my building. The 300's building was located on the southern end of the beautiful campus, and was only a short walk from almost all of my classes. As I strolled, I looked around at the scenery, and the lovely buildings. Nothing about this felt real, it was like walking through a dream.
I found my dorm and fitted the key into the lock, swinging open the door to reveal a small yet spacious living area. Two bedrooms were at the end of the hall, and on my right was a small kitchen.
Kaylee had told me that my roommate had dropped out last minute, so I would be staying by myself. I didn't mind, though. In fact, I preferred it this way. I had always wanted to live alone, and now was my chance.
I unpacked quickly, eager to see more of the school, and then took a quick look around the dorm. The kitchen was small but seemed to be decently equipped and the bedrooms seemed nice. One window looked out over the green outside where I could see a few students kicking a soccer ball.
Grabbing my keys, I walked out the door. When I went to lock it behind me, the key stuck and I had to do a considerable amount of tugging to get it out. When I finally removed the key and turned to leave, I ran straight into someone. Great. Only the second person I had met here and I was already making a fool of myself. "I'm so sorry!" I gasped.
He chuckled. "Honestly, it's no problem. I shouldn't have been standing here anyway, it was my fault." I had been prepped for accents but wow, I had never heard anything like his.
I looked up in an attempt to match that gorgeous voice to a hopefully equally as gorgeous face. A pair of deep blue eyes met my gaze when I did. A perfect smile lit the man's features. "Hello," he said, smiling politely, "My name's Tom. Tom Hiddleston."
"I'm Gabi." I tried to smile but I think it looked more like an embarrassed grimace.
"American?" He raised his eyebrows at me with a grin.
"Yeah," I laughed, "I'm new here. Today's my first day."
"Well, where are you headed?" he asked, "I could walk you if you want."
"Oh, uh, I was just going to walk around and see the grounds for a while. I wouldn't want to make you late for class."
"Nonsense," he insisted, "I was actually just out for a stroll myself."
"Okay, sure." I actually wouldn't mind a little company after 18 hours of traveling solo.
We walked around for hours, talking and laughing the whole time. As it turned out, both of us were classics majors, and we both loved Shakespeare. Before I knew it, the sky had begun to fade to dusk.
"I should probably drop you back at your dorm, you must be exhausted after today," Tom said.
Sadly, I realized, he was right. Jet lag was starting to get to me, and the bed back at my room sounded like heaven.
We rounded the corner in front of my building. "By the way, I never asked, where do you live?" I asked.
"Oh, I'm in the 400's. 426." With that, we reached my door. "Here's my number," he said sheepishly, obviously a bit embarrassed. He handed me a small slip of paper on which he had scrawled his telephone number, "If you ever need me, I'll be right over there." He pointed to the next building over.
"Thanks," I said. It was nice to at least know one person here, I have to admit I wasn't exactly fond of the idea of being totally alone in a new country.
Tom put his hands in the pockets of his jeans, rocking back on his heels. "Bye, see you around."
"Yeah, hopefully we can do this another time." I answered, and I meant it.
"Definitely," he grinned and nodded. It felt like a promise.