There was a buzz around the halls denoting another freshers’ week. People were haplessly thrown together with others, forced to forge friendships or go out into the wilderness that was the rest of campus and make friends the non-standard way. It was a terrifying prospect, but one that everyone shared, lessening the fear. This particular hall on this particular floor was made up of three girls and boys. Of course, it being the first Saturday night, none of them were in. Well, one of the girls had got back early. She carried a naivety that she embraced, but did not usually draw attention to. It did, however, show itself as she merrily tackled the apparently insurmountable obstacle that were the stairs leading back up to her room. After some mental training, she overcame the menace; when she got past the last stair, she got off her hands and knees and regained her up-right figure. It was at this point a sound she had heard in the club she had just come from reappear. It came from their kitchenette. Pissedly, she engaged the sound.
There stood one of the other girls, wiping away her continually streaming tears with one hand and sloppily interacting with the microwave’s settings with the other. She was unaware of the drunk floor-mate standing two metres away. She just wanted her soup, her bed and for the day to be done, with as little more sobbing as possible. It was only after the other girl had slipped, released a “Woah!” that the microwave girl had realised she was there. Despite her previous desires, she put down her soup, contained her emotions and helped up door girl, taking her to the side where a little jut of wall meant they could perch. Door girl brushed herself down, again, before addressing her saviour.
“Hey, soooooo, you were there, the club, earlier, weren’t you? We’ve met before, we definitely have!!”
“Yes…to both of those, I suppose. I live next to you. We didn’t get to properly speak before that guy, Joshua, ushered us all out.” Her recall of the night, unlike door girl, was unhindered by the presence of alcohol.
“Yes, yes, that’s right! He did! Josh is cool! You’d like him! Did you speak to him! You should do!” Microwave girl found it difficult to make out if there were any questions there, or if it was all exclamations, but she pushed on regardless.
“No, not yet. He did seem nice though. I suppose not all boys are complete jerks.” She felt herself losing control over her emotions, but she reaffirmed them to help door girl.
“Ooooooh, well someone has a bit of a boy problem, don’t they!” Door girl harder-then-intended elbowed microwave girl. The result, she thought at least, prompted her saviour to burst into tears. “Oh no! I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to hit you that hard!” She tried rubbing where she thought she hit microwave girl, in a motherly way, but quickly came to the realisation that the tears were not due to the elbowing. In that moment of clarity, she seemed to sober up. “Hey, hey, what’s happened? You can tell me anything. I’m a Danton, and all of us are good people. We listen and understand.” The other girl tempered her tears to try and answer.
“Danton? You must be Polly then.” She wiped away the last batch of tears. “I’m Nola. As a Nessen, apparently we have bad luck with guys. Or maybe that’s just me. I mean, who would want someone who looked like this mess?” She pointed to herself, before letting her arms fall hard onto her legs.
“Well, Nola, I saw you earlier and you were stunning. So whatever this bastard did, he’s missing out.” Polly put her drunken, clumsy arm around Nola in an effort to comfort her. Nola, once more, tried to regain her composure.
“Thank you, Polly, however my boyf…my ex-boyfriend didn’t quite seem to agree. Apparently we didn’t fit any more. I…we knew uni would be hard, but this timing. This, it was an excuse.” It was an unwelcome realisation. “This was just a wait for him. This summer? I thought it was just the awkwardness of the last time we’d have together in a few months, but he was just waiting to get rid of me. That…that bas” but before she could finish, Polly provided her own summation for this ex.
“What a dick! Pffft, you’re clearly better than him. Here, you are, helping out a drunk person you don’t really know, whilst your sludge is getting cold no less!” Polly went in for a hug. Nola wasn’t really the touchy-feely type, but she was powerless to resist. In fact, she welcomed it entirely.
Nola’s description of a smart, funny, warming guy prompted Polly’s establishing fact that she never went for anyone any more intelligent as herself. “Stupid people can annoy you, but intelligent people can hurt you”, she somehow managed to splutter out coherently. She then pointed out that Nola should consider the same mantra, as someone like her was bound to be hurt badly the same way again. As much as it initially hurt to consider it, Nola came to appreciate Polly’s advice. It was something they bonded over, one of many things they did over the coming hours. These hours became days. Weeks. Their interests neatly paired up. Their jokes were rarely understood by others, but they didn’t mind. It was a friendship that overwhelmed others in the hall. And without realising the process had occurred, Polly had helped Nola get over her ex, even after his attempts to get back together since his failings at getting the quick scoop early in his uni career. It was something Nola would never forget.
[To the next entry: Sweet, Sweet F.A.]