Excerpt from Drama University

I sat there for a moment after opening my room door to the outside commons area, I heard voices yelling, the distant chitter-chatter of people talking below, laughing, yelling and music. Students getting reacquainted, slamming doors from the floor above us and the clanking of people walking down the loud metal staircases at the end of each corridor. I sighed to myself and knew this would be much different than living at home with my parents in our quiet four-bedroom house where our relatively quiet neighborhood was.

At that point, I decidedly I liked the noise for the moment.

This was a whole new exciting world and I was going to try and take in every bit of it. I was hoping also If hung around outside, I was bound to run into someone I knew. I was hoping possibly X, who I still hadn’t heard from yet.

Stepping outside it was like another little city, in its own city. In the middle of the three dorms under large florescent floodlights on the concrete court there were guys outside playing basketball. There were people with their suite doors open standing in the doorway on the phone and people downstairs sitting at an old wooden picnic table in the courtyard by the residential life office where I had picked up the keys to my room this morning.

Although I couldn’t reach Xavier, maybe I could probably scope him out or if I saw Mark, his best friend, I’d ask him. I wasn’t sure what Hall or room he was in yet.

I leaned over the iron railing in front of my suite door and inhaled the fresh air.

I felt a new-ness.

This was going to be different. But wow, me Melody Ann Thomas, in College, at last.

This was crazy!

I wondered what classes would be like? Would I make friends? Would it be like one of favorite sitcoms growing up, like an old re-run of “A Different World?”

My eyes wondered over toward the stair case and just then I saw a slim, tall light skinned guy walking by, with a crew of about three other guys and the tall, light skinned one and I locked eyes for a moment.

My problem always was, I knew how to spot ‘em out, but I was too shy to actually start a conversation. Even if they would come to me first. Xavier was an exception though. But he was different. I don’t know what my deal was with him. Maybe it was the way he spoke to me as if I were the only girl in the world.  Xavier was quiet, but cocky and a charmer at the same time. He tried to act like he didn’t know it, but he did. I think it’s those huge dimples that showed up when he smiled that got girls all googly eyed. Xavier was 6ft. tall, almond shaped dark brown eyes, slim, chocolate brown complexion, and always kept a clean fade.

“Mmmmhmm”, I hummed softly under my breath. He had to have been a basketball player or something, he was well over 6ft. He walked by and I glanced his direction, trying to not be so obvious. He looked back and gave a half smile. Just then, I thought about Xavier. I reach down in my pocket to check my phone, I pulled it out halfway. The screen was empty, no missed calls.

When I looked down over the balcony again I spotted a familiar face that was walking toward the housing office. “Keey-anna”, I yelled. She looked up and spotted my face and I started smiling. She waved a little wave and she held up one finger with her free hand. The other was holding her phone up to her ear.

I had known Natasha Langston since high school she was one of the popular girls. A cheerleader and on the dance team. She stayed fresh all the time. Kept her hair done and nails done and had the hottest wardrobe at our school. Natasha was always cool with me though because she wasn’t like the other popular girls who acted like they were snobs or better than you. Natasha was the real cool laid back type. If she knew you no matter what she would speak to you in front of anyone. She wasn’t stuck up or viciously mean like a lot of the other popular  chicks at our school.

I was relieved to see a familiar face. Even though we weren’t the best of friends at least I’d have someone else on campus I knew.

Natasha came back out of the residential life office a couple of minutes later and came up stairs. She still had the phone glued to her ear, I figured she was talking to her boo the way she was still holding the phone. As she approached she hung up. “Hey girl”, she said with the same enthusiastic smile she wore most times. I smiled back as she reach for a hug like we were old friends who hadn’t seen each other in years. “Oh, my god I didn’t know you were going here too”, she exclaimed. “Yeah, I got accepted like last fall”, I said. “Me too”, she said. “How did I not know that you was going here too”? I thought that you had said you were going to stay home and go to UMKC, didn’t you get that track scholarship? “Yeah, but I had to get out of the city”, she said. “I was tired of seeing the same people all the time. Half our graduating class is staying at home.” “I know the feeling. I didn’t want to stay at home either,” I said.

“Do you know anyone else going here this semester?”, she said. “Yeah you know Xavier is up here with me, but other than him and his little Arrington crew, I don’t know anyone else”, I said. “For real?”, Natasha sound super surprised.

“Ah, so you up here with your boo huh?

I remember y’all been together for a minute right,” she said reminiscently shaking her finger at me. “That’s so cute!” She paused for a minute.

I stood there and smiled.

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