Sighing, I climbed up the stairs and into my bathroom. I could barely recognize my reflection in the mirror. My hair was sticking up in the back and there were pen marks on my face, from brainstorming my screenplay this morning. I sniffed my armpit to test out Sarah’s “wet dog” statement and gagged. A wet dog was putting in nicely.
Turning the shower water on high, I stripped myself and hopped in the shower. I gasped in content as the hot water touched my back and smoothed out all my tense muscles. I loved to shower, it was almost like a therapy for my bunched nerves from academics, my future, you name it, I am anxious about it.
Right now, I was anxious about my friends and that was a rarity. Usually, I was never anxious about my friends. Sure I cared about their well-being but they were my source of comfort. They accepted me for me; despite my flaws. Today, however, really scared me. I had never seen Becca react to me that way before. It was terrifying not only because she looked like she was about to kill me; no that wasn’t even the worst part. It was the fact or realization that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t really know her or any of my friends at all.
Sure, we had only been friends for a year, but wouldn’t you know someone decently by a year? I argue now, no. A prime example is when I first met Becca. It was at orientation at the beginning of our first year of college. We were in the same orientation group. I can even remember the annoying chirpy voice of our leader;
“Hi everyone, my name is Hannah Weller and I will be your orientation leader,” a stout girl with frizzy blond hair chirped when she started to lead us away from the auditorium.
We chorused a hello back and she began talking again.
“So, to start off our orientation, will be coming to one our main dining halls, Crater and get to know each other,” she said and we walked down a flight of stairs and entered through a stone archway into a massive cafeteria.
At the time there were only employees dressed in black chef’s uniforms and hair nets standing behind hot food stations yelling loudly at each other.
“Let’s sit here,” she instructed, abruptly stopping in front of a long wooden table and chairs. Chairs scraped back and we all sat down and stared at each other.
“Ok, everyone. I think the best thing to do is to go around and say everyone’s name. Who wants to go first?” Hannah asked, sitting at the head or the table.
At first, no one did anything but then a raspy voice spoke up.
“I’ll go, my name is Amy,”
We all turned to look at her, with her nose piercing and her black and red ombre hair. Then the boy next to her, a skinny guy with shaggy brown hair said, “My name’s Michael. Most people call me Mike,”
One by one we said our names. I only remember Amy, Mike (because they went first), Ocean (because who names their kid ocean), the four different Matthew’s, and Rebecca obviously. There were about twenty of us, not including the leaders, most of the girls. After we all said our names Hannah said we going to play a few icebreakers.
The first one was a beach ball with random questions like “What’s your favorite show?” “What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?” written all over its colored quadrants. How it was that wherever your fingers handed on the ball, you had to answer that question and then throw it to another person.
Simple enough, but a tad bit awkward.
Becca was the first one to go.
“What is your favorite color?” she read in a monotone voice, her black square spectacles sliding down her nose.
She hesitated for a moment and then pushed her glasses up and replied;
The beach ball was then tossed to me and I read the question out loud;
“What is one thing you like to do in your spare time?”
I bit my tongue and pretended to be interested in studying the seams of the beach ball.
Finally, I answered; “I like to watch old-fashioned movies,”
We continued playing various games until they dismissed out to go get something to eat from the Cafeteria. I was in line for a wrap when I felt a tap on the shoulder. Startled out of my reverie, I turned to face no other than Rebecca. Of course, at the time, I couldn’t remember her name, but I recognized her because of her fiery hair.
“Can I help you?” I asked, not wanting to be rude and stare at her.
“Yes, why old-movies?” she asked, crossing her arms.
“I like to study the progression of how stories are portrayed and I often find the classics do the best job despite the shortcomings of technology,” I responded.
“So, you think that modern movies don’t portray stories right?” she inquired, arching a red eyebrow.
“Not at all. Modern movies do a good job as well,” I said, moving forward behind a tall black boy.
“Then, I beg the question, why old-fashioned movies?” she repeated.
“Watching old-movies is only one of the things I do in my free time. I watch them to get inspiration for dialogue and character. Just like a musician listens to pop music to get inspiration,” I explained.
“So, you wish to be a director or something?” she asked.
“Maybe but my goal is to be a screenwriter,”
“Oh so you study movies to help you develop your creative genius,” she guessed, a small smile playing on her pink lips.
“Yes, not to mention I enjoy them,” I answered, offering her a genuine smile.
“I guess, that is important as well,” she mused and I chuckled.
“Of course or what is the point really? Now, my turn,” I stated.
“Your turn?” she asked
“Yes. It’s only fair. I answered your question now I get to ask you a question,” I replied.
“Ok, Fire away then!” she joked, mirth in her eyes.
“Why the color yellow?” I inquired.
“Why not the color yellow?” she countered.
I shrugged, “I dunno. Just an unusual favorite color, that’s all,”
“I guess it is a little unusual,” she mused.
I moved up to the sandwich station and gave my order then she gave hers.
“Why yellow then?” I repeated after the guy put our sandwiches in the toaster.
She tilted her head up at the ceiling, studying a fly that was buzzing around a light and whispered;
“Because it is the light.”