Four: The Welcoming Party †

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The evening sky had been drawn over the college, the intricate detail of the crimson melting in with the yellow, creating the orange tinge around the small circle that was the sun, shining down, its last ray hitting the college.

I was watching the sunset from the bleachers on the athletic ground, a book perched in my lap, open at the page I was on.

Sitting on my own, I watched some runners going for a final jog around the track. This was the first evening here. There was some sort of conventional festivity up on the roof which teachers always tried to overlook – notwithstanding the detestable music blaring through the speakers and students too hung-over to turn up to lessons the next day.

Johanna was already getting changed in the room while I took the liberty to read one of my mom's novels she gave to me before I got here. Another gift like the running shoes – you could say they would miss me more than I perceived. I don't want to imagine what it must be like seeing your only child go off to college.

I finished a chapter and placed my bookmark up to the spine before travelling back to my room. Of course, I happened to see Jason's girlfriend on the way there. She merely glanced at me before looking straight ahead on the stairs and with that, she ignored me.

"The party starts in an hour, you know," Johanna announced, a towel around her body as she spoke from the bathroom.

I closed the door behind me to our room. "I know which is why I'm only getting ready now. It's just first-years, right?"

"Of course." Johanna's echoed voice from the bathroom.

I had a shower when Johanna left the bathroom to change in prior to changing into glittery midnight leggings, a sleeveless top and another pair of boots that went up just past my ankles. I put a light amount of make up on, making sure to put on my scarlet lipstick. I left my hair wavy like natural and before I knew it, it was time for the party with Johanna announcing it theatrically to me.

"Are you ready?" she asked.

"This isn't really my thing," I replied, frowning. "I've only ever been to a couple of parties before and I didn't get drunk. I left before I could." My worry was engulfing me already.

Johanna shrugged, "We're in college now, you need to go to these things otherwise you'll be known as the English girl who never goes to parties and guys won't enjoy that about you."

I stared at Johanna in disbelief. "I thought you were just this geeky science-infatuated college student but instead you're like this party animal. How many have you been to before?"

Johanna's lips turned upwards into a smirk. "Too many to count," she concurred, chuckling with ease after.

Shaking my head, a smile toyed at my lips before gesturing at the door. I followed her and closed the door behind me, trailing behind in her wake up the stairs. The music was already impairing my eardrums and I hadn't even made it up to the roof yet. I cringed as soon as I was under the moon's wrath high in the sky.

I could see the DJ with his headphones around his neck, switching things on and off on the decks as he was on some sort of podium, higher than the rest of us commoners on the dance floor which happened to be everywhere on the roof. The majority of people in minimal clothing were dancing, either with the same sex – like the girls – or with the opposite sex. The guys who weren't dancing were stood near the drinks and food table. I rolled my eyes.

I strolled straight up to the drinks table and grabbed a bottle of water instantly. I hadn't eaten too much at dinner and I didn't want to get too hammered to the point of puking out my whole insides. There was already some girl leaning on the table, her cheeks flushing pale as she doubled over. I instantly moved away, my body tensing just as the song changed.

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