Fractured 1

Is this what college is like? The semester hasn’t even started and my teacher assigns homework. With the amount of money books cost, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, even when renting. Start early to get your money’s worth. Every book I picked up from the bookstore features a sticker, campus property. A sticky residue pulls at my fingers. This will be my leash for the remainder of the term.

I change into a graphic tee with strange symbols on it. My mom found the shirt on clearance and said matched my ripped jeans and converse. My gratitude seemed skeptical at the time, but I admit I actually like it.

I toss the books into my backpack for later and head into the common area. The room is spotless for the moment. These dorms are brand new, I’m told. I look at the other doors, five in total with one leading outside and another leading back to my room. Behind the locked doors, three people sleep. I’ve only spoken with two. I take a granola bar from the countertop. They were a welcoming gift to us. Emma, one of my roommates, received this care package from her parents whereas my parents didn’t bother showing.

Their absence probably had to do with my choice in major. English with emphasis in writing and editing. A passion. A love. Frivolous compared to the life they constructed for me. My tenor sax now remains unplayed, wasting away under my bed. They saw my future playing with Oliver in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra or somewhere equally prestigious. My parents wanted me to marry Oliver, play music together, and have 2.5 kids. I didn’t want any of that. Two years later, high school seems so far in the past now.

The silver wrapping on the granola bar comes apart easily, crackling furiously under my touch. I step outside, bar in mouth and lock the door behind me. The bar becomes gooey as I salivate over it. My taste buds relay a sweetness of molasses and earthy tones of almond. Strange though, its scent smells oddly of flowers. I read the wrapper, infused with rose petals. A new trend? I take a mental note to check any future gifted foods. Perhaps in another life I was a food taster for a king or queen. Do not eat. Poisonous.

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