34. Bailey

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"So how has your first week been?" my mom asks over the phone as I'm walking across campus.

"It was great, Mom. I just finished my last class of the week and am heading to the dorms now."

"That's great, honey. I remember my first week of college. I hated it. I missed my family, and my friends, and even my old teachers," she laughs into the phone. "I'm so glad you are having a much better experience."

"Oh thank God!" I practically shout. "I thought I was being weird. The truth is that it hasn't exactly been what I was expecting. My roommate is awful, she spends all her time on the phone crying to her boyfriend about how she misses him, I got lost on my way to basically all my classes and I'm pretty sure my Psychology professor decided she hated me within thirty seconds."

My mom laughs again. I'm glad someone can find the humor in it. "I'm sure it'll all work out, sweetie. The first few weeks are an adjustment period. I do wonder though how Ian and Nick are actually doing. They both told me they were fine, but they are a lot less forthcoming than you are to me. Have you talked to them?"

"I talked to Ian yesterday. He legitimately seems to be having the best time of his life. He's a freak."

"I'm glad, as much I'm not surprised. I don't actually like to see my children miserable. How about Nick?"

"Um...no, I haven't talked to him."

"That's too bad. I know what good friends you guys became this summer. You should call him."

I need a change of subject. "So any advice for me, Mom? On how to improve my experience?"

"What are your plans this weekend?"

"Derek wants me to go to a party with him tonight, but I don't know. I feel like eating a tub of ice cream and watching Ace Ventura."

"Honey, go to the party," she says sternly.

I can't help but laugh. "You know, Mom, you're probably the only parent I know that is actually encouraging their daughter to go to a college house party."

"I trust you, and you haven't let me down yet," she says. "Besides, you have been going to school with the same small group of kids since you were seven. It's time to spread your wings. I think you'll be surprised. Just be careful."

"I will, Mom. And I'll think about the party."

"That's great, honey. I'll talk to you later, okay?"

"Okay. Bye Mom. Love you."

"Love you too. Oh! And don't forget to call Nick. I spoke to him last week and he sounded...ill, or something, on the phone."

"Alright, Mom," I lie.

When I get to my room, I'm relieved to see that Kelly, my roommate, is already gone for the weekend. She told me she was going home to see her boyfriend, Jeremy—despite the fact that's it's a five hour drive and she's only been away for five days.

Although I've never seen or spoken to him, I feel like I know Jeremy better than Kelly. She's proceeded to tell me his favorite color, and TV show, and his dog's name, despite the fact that I don't give a shit.

I sit at my desk and look at the pictures I put up the day I moved in. They are mostly of my friends, and one of my mom and dad. There is one that stands out every time I sit here. It's of Ian, Nick and me at graduation. Ian is the middle of Nick and I with his arms thrown over our shoulders.

I remember taking this picture. Nick and I had just had our argument about me yelling at his mom. Taking a picture together was awkward, but we couldn't very well say no.

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