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I stare at the empty bed on the other side of the room and sigh. Lily used to sleep there. She used to live here and I still can't adjust to her absence. She left three days ago, her face pale and her body jumping at every sudden movement or sound as she quickly packed all her stuff and silently ran out of the dorm. She says she doesn't want to talk about what happened that night one week ago when I was with Chase and his friends at the beach. No one really knows what happened to Lily, except for the fact that someone broke into our dorm room and beat her black and blue. It hurts to say, but I think the mental damage of the attack is even worse than the physical, which tells you quite a lot.
No one knows about the note either, except for Tamara who found it, and I want to keep it that way. Everyone thinks it was just some random student who broke into our room, someone who probably chose it at random while looking for stuff of worth, but Tamara, Lily and I know better. I wish Lily would tell me what happened, even though it may not be so much more to it than we've already figured out, but she won't and I got a feeling of that there is something more to it than we know. If all that happened was the attack where she was beaten, I think she'd told us. Lily' isn't one to keep secrets, we've come to stand pretty close to each other, but now she's pushing me away. She's pushing everyone away. Me, Tamara, her other friends. Even her family.
"What happened, Lily?" I wonder out loud. No one's here to hear me anyway. The quietness and loneliness won't last for long, though. I've been told that I'm going to be assigned a new roommate soon. Tamara and I tried to convince the school to let her move in with me instead, since she doesn't have any contact with her roommate whatsoever, but they said no. Apparently, there's been some complication with another dorm and one of the students will move in with me at any day now instead. I can't really say that I'm thrilled. If we pause and go back to my first day here, I was beyond excited to get a roommate but now, all I'm going to think about when I see the bed on the opposite of mine is Lily and thinking about Lily will remind me about the mystery about her suddenly leaving.
A knock on the door pulls me back to reality and I shake all unpleasant and nagging thoughts off of me and open up the door for one of my two new besties.
"Hey, girl", Tamara greets me with a pearl white smile, "you ready to go?"
I quickly grab me beige bag and keys. "Yeah."
Tamara intentionally avoids talking about Lily as we walk towards a nearby café which is located outside of the campus area. It's Sunday afternoon and we have planned to grab a bite before heading towards a gorgeous park to enjoy the last of our freedom before Monday starts again.
"Are you coming to the sorority party tomorrow?" Tamara asks me as we sit on the patio. The view is breathtaking, the café being just by the sea, and I can't take my eyes off of it.
"I don't know..." I admit as I take a sip of the blueberry smoothie I bought, "I guess, but I'm not sure. It's just been so much these past few day, but I still want to join one, I think. Besides, some normality in life could be nice."
"Gotcha", Tamara agrees, "I couldn't have said it better myself." She takes a sip of her own smoothie and I think about the sorority, Delta gamma rho, which we are thinking about joining. We've been to a few of their meeting before and it seems to be a great sorority. All of the girls are really nice and welcoming and everything about pledging seems to be so normal and I could really use a dose or two of normality right now.
Tamara and I agree on going tomorrow, no matter if we feel like it or not, and the thought makes me feel a little bit better. The less time I have to spend in my room until I'm no longer thinking about Lily as soon as I step inside it, the better.
"Hey, let's go to the park now, shall we?" Tamara says while standing up from her chair and stealing a piece of bread I've left on my plate since our lunch.
"Sure." I follow her lead and put my head up in a messy bun while keeping up with her quick pace. It's quite warm outside and the thick air is not working well with my hair. It is at times like this that I consider cutting my hair short but since I know I'll regret it, I just put it in a bun instead.
When we reach the park, we drop down on the grass and just recover ourselves from the walk. I reach for my bag which I've thrown beside me and pull out a bottle of water which I eagerly gulp down.
"You're an angel!" Tamara exclaims as I offer her a new bottle. I've learned that Tamara never prepares herself for what the weather may bring and therefore, I always make sure to keep at least two bottles of water with me when I leave my dorm. It's an old habit, always keeping water with me, which I'm really grateful for right now.
We spend the following hours on the grass, just chatting and gossiping and laughing like crazy. It is times like this that I want to remember when I'm old, times when I'm happy and enjoying myself, and not times when I'm scared and worried for myself or a friend.
When the clock is nearing seven in the evening, we reluctantly get up from our spots, although I'm having a huge teasingly grin on my face. Tamara is off to meet a friend for dinner, or to meet a guy for a date as I call it, and I can't help but tease her about it.
"Have fun on your date with Nadir", I tell her as I hug her farewell. We're going separate ways and I really hope I can remember the way home.