Good Morning, Boston
by Lyla Collins
I was born in New York City, where a cramped shoebox in downtown Brooklyn was called home for myself and thirty other orphans. If you think I'm going to start saying how horrible life was in that orphanage, then you're absolutely incorrect. Life wasn't good but it wasn't as bad as everyone had tried to make it to be - at least for a two year old. All I could care about was playing with my ragged stuffed toy.
Then when I turned six, someone finally decided I was adorable and plucked me out from that place and into the other side of the city - where buildings were too tall and everyone wore fancy clothes or drove big cars. I had a mother, and as an added bonus a sister, too, living in a palace where the view of Central Park would greet me each time I wake up in the morning.
Heaven it was. Yet home was never really home as time passed by. Mother, sister and I would constantly be on the plane, jetting off to some third-world country where mother would be volunteering at. That whole 'saving the world' thing she was always so passionate about. I didn't really get it at first.
No, don't get me wrong. I didn't mind spending weeks without proper shower or sleeping in a makeshift tent at night while always being cautious about bombs dropping on us anytime. Those would made really fantastic stories in my autobiography (which I planned to publish right before my days would end). Traveling was also a great excuse to skip school.
But what really bothered me was how we never really got to spend time at home. What is 'home' anyway? If home is where my heart is, then I could make a pretty long list right now. Sure, we came back to New York once in a while, and I would get to soak up in a good bubble bath and wear pretty clothes again, but next thing I know we're back on the plane again.
Have I had enough? I think so.
So call it an act of rebelling, ditching the whole 'save the world' family tour to finally settle down for college. Here in Boston, my newfound home. Well, at least for the next few years. But till that day comes, I've got my eyes set on the many things I had always wanted to do at home.
Yes, home. I hope it's as sweet as they say it'll be...
Taking a huge bite on a piece of bagel, I pulled two milk cartons out of the fridge before kicking it shut with my leg. I almost jumped as I turned around to face one of my housemates, Angie. The frown on her face was a clear sign that something wasn't good.
"Stealing food from the fridge again, Ly?" she cocked an eyebrow while staring at the milk cartons in my hand. "Do you know how frustrating it is to wake up and find missing milk early in the morning?"
I stifled a chuckle as I brushed past her, "Angie, you're being dramatic." I placed the cartons on the kitchen counter before finishing off the bagel.
Before Angie could continue with her argument, Harper had popped in along with my favorite little buddy, Miss Meowy. Harper's my fellow BU classmate while the latter's a birthday gift from grandma. Somehow the two have been good friends lately, with Miss Meowy constantly brushing against Harper.
"Good morning, Harp!" I greeted her cheerily much to Angie's frustration. I could hear her sighing aloud - probably even threw her hands up in defeat.
Harper just flashed a warm smile at us before grabbing her own piece of bagel. I watched as she and Angie both paced around the kitchen doing their own things. It intrigued me how strangers could actually get along well in one home.
"No more milk?" Harper asked as she opened the fridge. Angie, who was keeping herself busy beating eggs for her usual plate of omelet, looked up and threw me a hard stare.
"Apparently someone in this house feels the need to drink an extra carton each morning," she muttered sarcastically. Harper, realizing that she was talking about me, just grinned before closing the fridge, "I'll just have coffee then this morning."
I smiled sheepishly at her before wiping my hands off my shirt, "I'll buy a whole fridge full of milk for ya kids when I get back, okay?" Angie just rolled her eyes.
"Heading off to Nate's?" Harper asked. I gave a nonchalant nod as I picked up my bag and keys (and those milk cartons). "Have fun - and don't be late for class!"
I threw a wink before rushing out of the house, my steps hurried as I found my bicycle locked right in front of the door. I had always loved cycling - I liked the feel of the breeze blowing through my hair, as cliche as that sounds - so getting a bicycle was the first thing I did upon arriving.
Besides, it's also environmentally-friendly and gets me to anywhere quickly. Though my boyfriend and fast-car enthusiast Nate thinks it's more of a junk.
Sometimes we just have our differences...
We never really had big arguments. We probably couldn't, because other than that first time we met in Cambodia, we were usually continents apart. It was love at first sight. He was that awkward boy running around with the village kids while failing so badly at soccer. Somehow, he ended up knocking me out with the ball.
I thought it was adorable. Even when we were apart, each in different parts of the world connected by letters and e-mails, we never argued. It was impossible, really.
Yet now that we're both in Boston, minutes apart (since he's staying at Harvard's dorm instead of living it up in an apartment like yours truly), we somehow always had something to bicker about.
Like at this moment, as I found his dorm room trashed from floor to ceiling the minute I walked in.
"Did war broke out in here?" I gasped, stepping over broken beer bottles and pizza boxes. I tried not to gag as I caught a whiff of the stench.
Nate ran his fingers through his messy ginger hair before stifling a yawn, "Frat party. It was some guy down the hall's birthday... honestly I can't really remember the details."
"Just guys?" I found myself asking aloud. Nate, probably still half-awake, just shrugged as he grabbed the milk I'd brought along and dragged himself towards a mini fridge by the door.
"Where's your roommate?" I changed the subject as an awkward silence grew between us. I turned to the empty bed next to his and found beer cans all over it. I winced before turning to find Nate leaning on his study desk next to me.
"Gone when I woke up," he answered. "Maybe because he realized that you'll probably gonna come sneaking into our room again this morning and it's just plain awkward to have your roommate's girlfriend making you breakfast on a daily basis."
I scoffed, "I'm not sneaking in..."
Okay, I was. Sneaking into a guys dorm would probably create havoc for my record but look next door and there probably would be another girl (maybe two?) in that room, too. Who's keeping tabs anyway?
Nate rested an arm around my waist and sighed, "I know that you're trying hard, Ly." He looked straight into my eyes, and my heart still raced each time he does it. "We've been apart for so long and it's great that we're finally together ... physically together, and I hate to break it to you, love, but dropping by every morning is starting to get a little too much."
Right then, I was speechless. I was furious. I was disappointed. These emotions were jumbled up inside me but all I could do was simply mutter a soft, 'Oh.".
He smiled, patted me on my back like as if I had finally understood what he was saying - actually I don't - before leaning over towards me. Somehow I managed to slip away and quickly grabbed my bag which I'd left on his bed earlier.
That caught him off-guard, "You're okay, Ly?" I was already halfway out his door when I paused and turned around.
"Yeah, perfectly fine, thank you. I understand what you're trying to get at so now I'm just going to leave and not make your life OR your roommate's life any harder by doing these things that you'd said to be 'too much'."
Without giving him another second of explanation, I walked out and slammed his door shut. I didn't even care if anyone were to catch me marching down his hallway or the uncomfortable stares some of the guys were giving me. "Stop staring like you hadn't seen the opposite sex before, dude," I hissed at a bespectacled guy I bumped into at the front door of the dorm.
It frustrated me even more when I turned and found no one chasing after me. Then again, I was hoping for too much. Nate wasn't the kind of guy who would run after me during an argument - he knew too well I'd probably trash him out if he did.
And to add more salt to this wound, Nate probably had a point. I would only realize this when I go to sleep tonight and reflect on today's incident. Maybe I had been too much. Maybe I should stop leeching on my boyfriend.
I rode towards BU grumbling and suddenly the breeze blowing through my hair was annoying. Harper and Angie were laughing over something when I walked up to them on the way to class.
Angie looked at me with a sarcastic smile, "Another argument?" Harper patted my back gently, as she always does each time Nate and I were logging heads.
"From tomorrow morning, I swear I won't be stealing any more milk from our fridge," I announced, and jumped as Angie laughed aloud.
"Sometimes there's a silver lining each time the two of you launch into war," she chuckled as she started walking off first to her class. Harper nodded and followed behind her.
So it's a war indeed, now. I'm going to see how long Nate's going to keep up if I stop seeing him altogether. Maybe it's for the better, seeing how we never argue during our long-distance relationship.
i mentioned @thunder-dollfaycee i hope i did portray Harper as you would :) also the story got too long, hehe