Warnings: Maize drops a few real curse words.
“Room 303, hallway B, Deluge building,” I repeated the words under my breath; both in an attempt to memorize them and drown out the whispers that haunted me down the hall.
The decision to stay in Willow Creek for an additional week was already biting me in the ass. I had missed Sugar Spring University’s freshman orientation in order to say farewell to my friends back home. and spend one last weekend with my parents. As a result, I found myself hopelessly lost. To make matters worse, conversations stopped mid-tempo when I approached, only to pick up again after I passed. Everyone wanted to talk about me but no one wanted to talk to me.
I fished out a piece of paper from my hoodie, hoping the college provided map would help me orient myself. The map showed the three buildings that composed the campus, each larger than the last. Besides helping me gain my bearings, the map also provided some interesting facts about each building; what year they were built, what studies took place inside, which prominent family had donated towards its construction. The latter was easy, each building shared the family’s surname – Matisse, Prelude, and Endive.
A solid mass rammed into my shoulder, sending me sprawling onto the floor. I hissed in pain, knees throbbing from the sudden impact, but grateful my skull hadn’t been cracked open, brains spewed across the polished tile. That would have been quite the mess for the janitor.
Laughter erupted, dancing circles around me as a trio of berries came into view. A red woman and pink man stood on either side of my assailant, in a V-shaped formation. Their leader was purple, hair short and well kept, lavender eyes darkened with resentment. “Watch where you’re going, color-traitor.” He spat in my direction, and more laughter erupted at his remark.
His accusation was ridiculous, as I hadn’t been going anywhere, but I rose to my feet with a forced smile, “Color-traitor?”
More laughter filled the hallway, swallowing my question beneath its haughty depths. The trio left, the red-haired woman mouthing ‘watch yourself’ before she scampered to catch up with the two men.
I wasn’t sure if it was a warning or threat.
I took a moment to catch my breath, clear my head, and refocus on my destination: Room 303, Hallway B. Only, I didn’t know where the map had gone. “Shit.”
“You stand out enough without using foreign curse words.” I spun around and came face to face with a girl about my age. One hand rested on a jutted hip while the other held out a piece of paper.
I took the map, equal parts thankful and confused. Berry’s official language was English, of that I was certain,“Foreign curse words?”
Her eyes were wide-set and round, though unimpressed, as a single green brow arched delicately over her diamond features, “That’s what I said.”
“But aren’t you speaking English right now?”
She snorted, cutting the words off my tongue, “Dialects. We use a different dialect of English than…. wherever you’re from. The vernacular that southern women in America use to censor themselves, those types of phrases are used in our dialect to swear.”
I thought back to the screaming of my second-grade teacher after she stubbed her toe, “Like mother fudger?”
She rolled her eyes, expression steeped in boredom, “You stumbled upon one of the worst ones there, didn’t you?”
“Oh, sorry.” I apologized, but she was already heading down the hall. I followed, quickly falling into place beside her. Though her tone had been condescending, she had been the first person to willingly speak to me since I boarded my plane. “Thank you. For finding my map.”
She glanced at me; looked like she was going to say something. Instead, she elongated her strides.
I did the same.
Finally, she stopped, whirling to face me, “Why are you following me like a stray dog?”
“Well, I am lost like one.” I flashed her a wide smile. She stared back, expressionless.
“Go find someone else to imprint on.”
“That’s ducks, not dogs.” I corrected.
She groaned, pinching the bridge of her narrow nose, “Room 303, right?”
“How did you-”
“You were reciting it like a mantra earlier. Anyways, it’s right there,” She pointed at a door on the right, three doors down from us, “Now if you excuse me, I have my own class to attend.”
“Thank you …” It was only then, after she had entered her classroom, that I realized I had never caught her name, “Damn it.”
Despite getting lost and the short confrontation, I was on time for my first college class. It was a fairly small room, bloated with easels and about a dozen students. I headed towards the nearest available canvas, my pace picking up as I passed the purple terror and his red companion from earlier.
“I wonder if they have that genetic disorder?”
I rolled my eyes at their comment, continuing down the tight row, adjusting my posture as I walked in order to keep my head held high.
“She has too. She is colorless, after all.”
“Looks like all the freaks got accepted this year.”
At the realization that they weren’t talking about me I found myself glancing around the room, attempting to locate the poor soul that found herself at the wrong end of their jabs. I didn’t find the ‘freak’ that they described, but the most beautiful individual I had ever seen.
I can’t tell you what it is about her.
Maybe the curls of her hair.
The flutter of her lashes.
Or the way her delicate hands grip a brush.
What I can tell you is from that day forward I was infatuated.
A/N: For any original readers of mine, this is what you can sort of expect from generation one. The Same overall plot line, just much more fleshed out than the original.