Shocked by her organisation, Emmie sat on her made bed and looked at the clock on her alarm once more. She picked it up, shook it and realised that in the last several minutes, it had stopped. This, she thought, was an excellent opportunity to get to know the people on her floor. What else breaks the ice quicker than the need for three AAA batteries? Unfortunately, there needed to be some ice to break. After four of the five other doors had been knocked on, to no response, she went to the one furthest away from her. On the way over, she inspected the kitchenette in its likely-to-not-last clean condition and the microwave that would probably be making her lots of noodles.
Emmie refocused her thoughts and walked to the door. She didn’t know at what point in the last few hours it had happened, clearly whoever this was being incredibly quiet, but someone had definitely moved in. This much was evident due to the two pieces of paper blu-tac’d to the door. The top one said “Hi, I’m Polly!” The one beneath this had blu-tac on the facing side too and said “I’m currently in!” with the ‘in’ being written in green. She gently tore it off and looked on the other side which consisted of the same text, apart from a red ‘out’. As she reattached it the right-way round, she thought that it was actually a pretty good idea. She never did make one for herself, but it was definitely good! Then she knocked.
“Please, have a seat in my parlour!” Polly pointed to her cluttered bed. Holding the clock by her side, Emmie made her way past a variety of bags filled with cooking utensils, books and a lot of accessories. She smiled at Polly, who responded in kind. This maintained for a good twenty seconds. Any water in the room was likely to become ice any moment now.
“…so. You’re Polly then!” Emmie fiddled with the springing piece of metal between the two bells on the clock.
“Yup!” Polly unzipped a bag, realised it was the wrong one, zipped it up, then realised it was the right one and unzipped it again. “Wait, how did you know?”
“It’s on the door?” She pointed at the door, before flicking the metal again.
“Oh, right! That! Yes, well, I thought it was a good idea.” It was definitely the wrong bag, again.
“Uh huh. Well, I’m Emmie.” After flicking the metal a bit too hard, a loud, echoing ding chimed out within the room, making it the second loudest noise in the room after the almost touchable coldness.
“Nice to meet you! This is really all very exciting isn’t it?!” Emmie thought that Polly seemed to be stuck in a constant state of excitement. It was bewildering her, It wasn’t that Emmie wasn’t always happy herself, but the last time she saw someone like this was when they were high. She looked around the room. Polly was not someone who did drugs. This left Emmie with one thought.
“So you’re totally a virgin, aren’t you?” Another accidentally struck ding. The silence after this one was a bit longer though.
“Sorry. What?” Polly was visibly stunned.
“Well, just looking around, at your stuff, your bags, the sign on the door? You couldn’t be much more of a virgin if you tried, yeah.” This forced Polly to look around the room. Nothing seemed out of place to her.
“I don’t really want to talk about this…” Too late
“Well what else is there? You haven’t even unpacked your life yet. I mean, it’s okay, yeah, but it’s gonna be pretty noticeable here at uni.” Emmie wasn’t being purposefully antagonistic. She was light of tone and seemed more in line with a gentle ribbing than anything else.
“Two guys. I’ve slept with two guys.” Polly nervously looked down at her feet after quickly blurting that out.
“Seriously?” Emmie looked around the room again. “No shit!”
“Uhhh…well, I mean…” She looked up at Emmie. “That’s normal, right? Two? By 18? That’s perfectly acceptable? That doesn’t make me a slut, does it?”
“HA! Oh, if that made you a slut, I don’t even know what I’d be!”
“I mean, one of them I, I mean, err, aha, we were drunk, so that doesn’t really count. Does it?” Polly shuffled some bags around pointlessly.
“You’re fine. Two is fine.” Emmie smiled in one of the most inviting ways possible, despite the situation.
“Oh god, I’ve only just met you and we’re talking about this!” Polly raised a palm to her face.
“Ehhh, we’re at uni. My sis told me that if you don’t talk about sex at least three times a week, something is very wrong. Then again, we’re a bit the same in this way, so her freshers week was probably fierce.” Emmie didn’t know whether or not to lean in and put her hand on Polly to reassure her, so it just sort of hovered half way there.
“This is all, ahem, very embarrassing.”
“Think of it as a head start of what’s to come.” Emmie got up to leave. This wasn’t going amazingly, so better to get out while it’s still just-about-positive. “So, I live in the room furthest away from you. Knock if you wanna chat?” She made her way to the door, smiled and saw Polly, eventually, manage a smile back.
She made her way back to her room, sat on her bed and just thought over. Honestly, that wasn’t the best it could’ve been, but it wasn’t a total failure anyhow. Until she realised she hadn’t even asked for the batteries. Half an hour later, there was a knock at her door. Standing there was Polly, meekly.
“Mind if I come in? I, uhm, brought some chocolate. I was going to share it out with everyone else on the floor, but I figure, why not have a head start of what’s to come, right?” She managed a smile, which Emmie replied in kind, before letting her in. “I know that wasn’t the best of starts, but, maybe we could try again? But less sex! I mean, talking about sex!” Polly’s face reddened slightly, but nowhere near as embarrassing as the scene earlier. There was a short awkward silence after the two had nibbled on some chocolate, before something clicked in Emmie’s head.
“By the way, do you happen to have three AAA batteries?”
“I might do. What do you need them for?”
“This.” Emmie lifted up her alarm clock.
“Ahhh, that makes sense. It’s cool, I like it. Where’d you get it from?”
“Well, about that.”
[To the next entry: Opportunity’s A Knockin’]