ROOM 301, first meeting

The next time I returned to that white building surrounded by trees at the end of a quiet road, there was a lot of people and a lot of noise.

The older students were back, helpful and welcoming. New students who had already moved in were moving around quietly or loudly in groups. And new students who hadn’t moved in yet, like me, were going up and down the stairs with their parents and luggage.

I can’t remember now who opened the door to room 301, but I remember there was a girl, the one who chose Bed A, the bottom bunk beside the door.

I remember that I was impressed by how easily and confidently she could talk to my parents in a friendly but polite way.

I remember how, after my parents left, I was so nervous. I didn’t know how to talk to or live in a space with girls I’d never met.

That night, they asked me if I wanted to eat dinner together.

I think I said I wasn’t hungry. 😆

Recently, the girl in Bed A told me, “I remember in the beginning you were so quiet and shy, but you’re actually quite crazy.” 😆

It’s true. 😆

It takes a while for me to open up, and I do not mind being alone, but that never stopped them.

Four years later, just a few weeks before graduation, they finally persuaded me to drink my first beer, and we all drank together. Laughter and beer bottles in the air, alcohol and happiness turning our cheeks pink.

I still don’t drink nor like beer, and they don’t pressure me to drink it anymore because they know my choice of drink is red wine, but they’re still the same girls who asked me to have dinner with them night after night. Week after week. Months. Years.

Sometimes I said yes, sometimes no.

But always they were there, and I love them so. 😊🎶