Amanda's College Education

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Chapter 1Amanda sat quietly in the back seat of her parent's car, looking out the side window at the campus that would be her home for the next four years. She watched as the old stone buildings and well manicured lawns passed by while her parents chatted excitedly, pointing out the different buildings and landmarks as they drove toward her assigned dorm building. Everywhere they looked they saw students walking with boxes and suitcases, some appearing lost while others seemed to know where they were going.Amanda was a shy, quiet girl who had just turned eighteen a month earlier. She didn't have many close friends and usually wore loose, unflattering clothes, despite the fact that she had developed into an attractive young woman. She seldom wore makeup, and her shoulder length dark brown hair fell loosely about her face. Dazzling green eyes peered out from behind large, dark rimmed glasses. She looked like the typical nerd, the shy girl who disappeared in a crowd, never making eye contact with anyone. Her grades were excellent, however, and she was attending the university on a partial scholarship.The car pulled to a stop in front of a four story stone building and they all stepped out, looking up at the imposing structure. The school was an old campus, and many of the buildings were over one hundred years old, with ivy crawling up the sides of them. "Now I can tell everyone my daughter's attending an ivy league school!" her father joked as he noted the creeping vines. Amanda looked at her mother and rolled her eyes. Her father was famous in the family for his bad jokes. He was a tall, athletic man who had played high school and college football and she was their only child. He bent over to extract her bags from the trunk. "What's your room number, sweetie?" he asked as he adjusted two of the bags on his shoulder and picked up a third."Um . . .," she pulled a slip of paper from her pocket and scanned over it. "Room three-fourteen.""Wonderful . . . third floor," he replied with a wink and a grin, pretending to stumble under the weight of her bags. She returned his grin and pulled two smaller bags from the trunk. Her mother, a pretty, petite woman, was carrying plastic food containers bearing cookies and other assorted treats. They started toward the building as throngs of other students, some alone and some accompanied by worried looking parents criss-crossed the lawn. It was even more hectic inside. People and their luggage packed the halls. Some doors were wide open with people moving in and out of the rooms. Freshmen stood staring at their dorm assignment papers and then looking around, as if thinking about forgetting the whole deal and just going home. It was a co-ed dorm, with equal numbers of male and female bodes filling the halls."This way!" her father shouted over the noise, and began to work his way toward a staircase. Amanda and her mother followed him up two flights of stairs, battling for room the whole way up. When they reached the third floor, her father found a relatively quiet area next to the wall and set the heavy bags down."Why don't you go find your room and we'll wait here?" he said, rubbing his arms. Amanda nodded and worked her way through the crowded corridor, looking at room numbers on the doors. She found three-fourteen about halfway down the hall and used her key to unlock and open the door. It was a fairly large room, with two single beds, two dressers, and two desks. She dropped her bags on one of the beds and hurried back to get her parents.Her father set her bags down next to her bed and looked around the room. "Not bad. A lot bigger than my first dorm!" Her mother set the cookies down on the desk and reached for one of the suitcases."I'll help you unpack, dear," she said. Before Amanda could say anything, her mother had a suitcase open and was starting to unpack it. She shot a pleading look at her father, who smiled understandingly. He walked over and gently pulled his wife from Amanda's suitcase."Why don't we let Mandy do this herself, dear? No college woman wants her parents hanging around her dorm room . . ." He winked at Amanda. ". . . cramping her style."Her mother slapped him playfully and laughed. "Oh, John, stop it!" Then she caught the look in Amanda's eyes. At first, she looked hurt, but then she smiled. "Of course, what was I thinking?" She went over to her daughter and hugged her. "I'm sorry, darling. I guess I just don't want to let go yet."Amanda hugged her back. "It's ok, Mom. I understand." She pulled back and smiled. "I'll be ok. And if I need you, you're only a phone call away, or a few hours by train. Try not to worry."After several prolonged goodbyes, they finally left her alone in her bare room. She sat on the bare mattress for a few moments looking around the empty room and realizing that for the first time in her life, she was on her own. She began to unpack and put her clothes in one of the dressers and to one side of the large walk-in closet. The big closet was nice, but she would have preferred if it were a bathroom instead. The rooms in this building used communal bathrooms, of which there were two on each floor. No matter. She would get used to it. She glanced over at the other bed and wondered who her roommate would be. She hoped it wasn't one of those bubble-headed cheerleader types she'd despised in high school. She was just emptying her last suitcase when the door opened and a pretty blonde girl stepped in carrying two large suitcases. She was about five foot eight, maybe one hundred and ten pounds, and wearing a large grin. Her blue eyes sparkled under her blonde curls as they focused on Amanda."Hi!" she said cheerfully as she walked in and dropped her bags on the floor. She walked over to Amanda, her hand extended. "I'm Melissa. Looks like we're gonna be roomies!" Amanda smiled shyly and shook her hand."Hi. I'm Amanda."Melissa looked around. "I guess I'll take that one!" she said with a chuckle, indicating the empty bed. "I can move if you'd prefer this one. It really doesn't matter to me," Amanda said. "No way!" Melissa replied as she set her bags on the other bed. "You were here first so you get first pick. It doesn't matter to me, either. I was just joking!"Amanda finished putting her things away and sat on her bed chatting with Melissa while she unpacked. She decided she liked her; her bubbly outgoing personality made up for her own shyness, and she found her easy to talk to. When she finished unpacking, Melissa stretched out on the bed while Amanda sat in the chair at her desk."So, do you have a boyfriend?" Amanda shook her head, averting her eyes. "No. You?"Melissa sat up, her blue eyes sparkling. "Not anymore! I'm ready for some college guys!" They laughed and Melissa noted Amanda's baggy and unflattering clothes."Do you always dress like that?" she asked. Amanda, suddenly very self-conscious, looked down at her clothes and shrugged. "I guess so. Why? What's wrong with the way I dress?"Melissa stood up and walked over to her. "Why? Well, you're not fat. Why do you hide your body under clothes like that?" Amanda shrugged demurely, but said nothing.Melissa smiled. "Hey, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to embarrass you. It's just that you're pretty and seem to have a nice body. I was just wondering why you don't show it off a little!"Amanda blushed. "I'm not pretty," she said quietly."Sure you are!" Melissa said, pulling her to her feet. "If just took off your glasses . . ." Before Amanda could stop her, she reached up and slid the thick glasses from her face. Her bright green eyes shone from under her heavy bangs. ". . .and pull your hair back from your face a little . . ." She pulled her hair back and held it away from her face. "There! Much better! If you used a little makeup, you'd have to beat the guys off you with a stick!"Amanda pulled away, letting her hair fall back around her face, and slipped her glasses back on. "I . . . I don't think . . .I could . . ." She stared awkwardly at her feet.Melissa touched her arm. "Hey, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to embarrass you. Forgive me, ok?" Amanda looked up and met her warm, blue eyes, and nodded with a slight smile."I'll tell you what," Melissa continued. "On my way up, someone told me there's party tonight on the first floor . . . kind of a