mjkj's points story: A Mix-Up
mjkj asked for a story about Darcy
It was the first day of college and Darcy was terrified.
Classes hadn't even started yet. They were just moving in. She and her parents had gotten there at nine o'clock that morning and had to wait for a school employee to come in and show them where her dorm was. It was called Mary Thomas. They'd gotten all her stuff, her books and clothes, moved in by ten. Then they'd gone to the dining hall and had a light brunch, just to have something to do.
And then her parents had gone home.
Now she was sitting on her neatly-made bed, her hands folded on her lap, waiting. She didn't know what she was waiting for. She'd sent in her housing request form almost as soon as she'd gotten it, so she'd ended up with a single, even if it was right next to the stairs and she could hear everyone running up and down and laughing. At least she didn't have to share her room. She didn't know what she would do if there was another person in her living space.
Just as she thought that, the doorknob rattled. Darcy nearly jumped out of her skin. She leapt to her feet, wiped her sweaty fingers on her skirt, then walked--carefully, calmly, one step at a time--to answer the door. She unlocked it, opened it two inches, and peeked out. "Hello?"
The girl there, who was much taller than her and had really pretty long hair, looked up from something in her hands. "Oh!" Her eyes widened. "I'm sorry, I must have the wrong room. I'm supposed to have a single. Is this..." She consulted the paper in her hand again. "Is this room 301?"
"It is," said Darcy. "And it's a single. Maybe you're supposed to have a different room?"
The girl shook her head and held the paper out for Darcy. "It says room 301, Mary Thomas building."
Darcy read it. It did indeed say that. "Hang on," she said. She went to her desk and fetched her own paper, which was the same, but had her own name on it. She showed it to the girl at her door. "Mine says room 301, Mary Thomas building too."
The girl bit her lip. "Somebody must have screwed up."
"It wasn't me!" Darcy said hurriedly.
The other girl shook her head quickly. "No, the administration. We have to go figure out what happened."
Darcy did not like the idea of leaving her room. But she would have to do it eventually, wouldn't she? She nodded reluctantly. "I guess they'll know what the error is."
The other girl looked around. Her face looked as nervous as Darcy felt. "Could... could I put my stuff in the room? I just got it all up here, and I don't want to leave it out in the hallway..."
Didn't she have anyone to help her with her stuff? Darcy looked around in the hallway, but the only people there were fellow students. Though it made her gut twist, she nodded. "That makes sense. You don't want to get it stolen." She opened the door and let the other girl move her suitcases inside, then went out and locked the door, clinging to the paper with her room assignment. "Okay then. Let's go."
They made their way down to the administration building, then stood in line between a number of other people waiting for their room assignments. When they finally reached the desks where people were waiting to help them, the tall girl gave the older student there a nervous smile. "Hi. There seems to have been some sort of mix-up. The two of us were given the same room assignment."
"Really?" said the student. "Let me see those." Darcy and the other girl handed over their papers. The boy read them, then leaned back and shouted, "Hey, Mr. Olmeda! We got a problem here!"
After a moment, a middle-aged Hispanic man with a lot of wrinkles around his eyes came out through a door behind the desks. "What's going on, Charlie?"
Charlie held the papers above his head. "We gave these two the same room assignment."
"We did? Oh, no." Mr. Olmeda's eyes widened as he looked over the papers. He looked up at Darcy and the other girl. "Sorry, girls. We'll get this straightened out. Just give me a minute." He hurried back through the door he'd come from. Darcy chewed her lip. How long was this going to take?
Charlie glanced back at the line. "Would you two mind letting some others through while Mr. Olmeda figures this out? We have a lot of people to get to their rooms."
"Sorry!" Darcy said hastily. She moved to the side. The other girl followed a little more slowly, and Charlie beckoned the next person in line forward.
Charlie had gone through three people by the time Mr. Olmeda came out again. He was smiling. Darcy hurried up to the desk. "Simple typo," Mr. Olmeda explained when the two girls reached them. "Darcy--is that you?" Darcy nodded. "You're supposed to be in room 302. That's just across the hall."
"But--" she squeaked. "I'm already all moved in!"
The other girl nodded. "She's got everything put away and all that stuff. I don't mind taking the other room if it's all the same."
"They are both pretty much the same room," Mr. Olmeda admitted. He sighed, looking at the crisp papers in his hands. "Okay, I'll make the change again and get you your new slips." He handed a key to the other girl. "Do you have the key we gave you to room 301?"
"Yeah." She dug the key out of her pocket and handed it to him.
He went back into the other room, muttering, "There shouldn't even be two keys to that room. It's a single." Darcy and the other girl moved out of the way again.
This time only one person went through before Mr. Olmeda returned. He handed the girls their papers with a sigh. "There. That should be all worked out now. Does everything look right?"
Darcy looked down at her paper and nodded. The other girl said, "Yep, room 302. Thanks, Mr. Olmeda."
"I'm just glad it wasn't too hard to fix." He waved them off.
They returned to Mary Thomas, where the other girl easily unlocked her door with her new key. "Thanks... Darcy, was it?"
"That's right," said Darcy.
The other girl held her hand. "I'm Theresa."
"Nice to meet you," said Darcy, shaking her hand. She wanted to hide away in her room again... but first, there was the luggage on her floor to contend with. "Do you want some help moving in?"
"I'd love that," said Theresa with a big grin.