Chapter 1: Corrie
Wednesday, August 27
Corrie let her last box drop onto the floor with a thump, then looked around, vaguely disappointed by the rather beat-up wooden furniture and the plain, white walls. This was definitely the weirdest school she'd applied to, so she'd hoped for something more interesting. Then again, what had she expected? Unless they let the magic majors decorate the walls of every dorm--which wasn't likely--she had no reason to expect anything other than the usual dorm fare. She would have to buy some posters when she got a chance. At least she could open the blinds over her bed (which she did) and brighten the room a bit. Then she looked down at the box she'd just dropped and winced, guiltily hoping she hadn't packed anything breakable in it; she hadn't labeled any of her boxes. To make sure, she opened it up and sighed with relief to see that it contained pillows and sheets, cushioning the slightly fragile digital camera and phone that she'd packed with them. Well, first things first, right? She located the phone jack behind her desk and plugged it in. She picked up the receiver, was pleased to hear a dial tone, and dialed a very familiar number.
"Hi, Mom! See, I promised I'd call as soon as I got my phone hooked up. No, I'm sure I don't need help. I don't have that much stuff. I'll tell you if I need you, promise! Bye, Mom. I love you." She hung up the phone, sighing in exasperation but smiling. It was true, though; if she hadn't talked to her mom, she would probably be pretty unhappy her first day away at college. But then she wasn't really alone. She had a roommate. And as she turned around, she saw a girl who was presumably that roommate: short, pudgy, plain, with curly brown hair, and just setting down a large box on the unclaimed bed.
The other girl grinned sympathetically. "Helicopter mom?"
Corrie laughed. "We're really close. She just doesn't like me going so far away. All of twenty miles!" She stood up, adroitly avoiding the box of books she'd stashed behind her chair. "I'm Corrie."
"Hi, I'm Edith, and I guess I'm your roommate," the girl said.
They'd gotten information over the summer about each other, but neither had bothered to contact the other. Edith sounded like the right name to Corrie, but it didn't fit the pleasant girl in front of her. She didn't look dowdy or old-fashioned at all, which was what Corrie had pictured. "Mind if I call you Edie?" she asked.
Edith looked surprised and positively delighted. "Sure! I've never had a nickname before."
Corrie laughed. "You'll never forget me, then!"
Edie leaned against her bed, looking suddenly uncomfortable. Corrie tilted her head to the side, sensing that the other girl had something important to say and willing her to spit it out. After a frown, Edie spoke again. "I should tell you, I'm a lesbian, so if that makes you uncomfortable, you should probably do something about it now."
Corrie breathed a sigh of relief. That was not a big deal at all. "Why would that make me uncomfortable?"
Edie shrugged, smiling a little again. "Well, some people are."
"Hey, as long as you remember I'm straight, it's not a problem to me," Corrie said.
Edie's shy smile broadened into a grin, picking up Corrie's playful mood. "Does that mean no friendly roommate sex?"
"Not without permission!"
"Seriously," said Edie, shy again, "what if I, uh, bring a girl over?"
Corrie shrugged. "No different than if I bring a boy over. And while we're on the topic, I guess we should have a signal or something." Though she could hardly believe this was what they were discussing the first time they met. Better than leaving it too long and being surprised, though. And they were being honest with each other: that set a good precedent.
"I don't expect it to happen anytime soon."
"Me neither," Corrie replied. "But I guess a sock on the doorknob will do?"
"Sounds obvious enough," said Edie, nodding. "As long as I can find somewhere else to be!"
A lanky boy appeared in the doorway, most of his form obscured by a tall box. "Hey, Edith, where do you want me to put this?"
Edie turned toward him, looking a little startled. "Just stick it at the foot of the bed." She turned back to Corrie. "I better go get the rest of my stuff out of the car."
"Sure. I may as well start unpacking." She looked around at the piled boxes with a sigh. She didn't really want to start working on all this stuff, but she'd never get it done if she didn't start now. Well, she had her priorities. She picked up the folding bookcase she'd leaned against the foot of her bed and began to unfold the shelves. The room would feel more like home once she'd gotten some of her books set up.
"I hope we can fit all our stuff in this room!" said Edie as she left. Corrie laughed and opened the first box of books.