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Title: Roommates 
Author: Pamela MacLean ([info]aurumsisters)
Prompt: Starting Over (January, Week 1)
Rating: general
Length: 615 words
Disclaimer: none
Author’s Note:[info]brigits_flame entry


           “This is it,” I said, placing the last of the boxes on the empty bed in room 415. I heard my father sigh behind me.

            “Are you sure that’s everything?” he asked, looking around the room. “It doesn’t look like enough.”

            “I’m sure Daddy. It’s everything that I packed,” I told him, looking at the 15 boxes containing my life. Clothes, CDs, books, all of the possessions I had packed were there.

            “Do you need help setting up your room?” my mother asked, looking around the room. “I could help you put things away and decorate.”

            “I can help her set up,” a perky brunette answered, entering the room. I guessed her to be my roommate. “Hi, I’m Jo Briant. You must be Raine Monroe.”

            “I am,” I replied, extending my hand to her. “It’s nice to meet you.” I looked to my parents, pleading silently with them to leave. My father caught on first.

            “Come on dear. We need to give Raine her space,” he said, looking around the room. “Besides, we’ll see her for breakfast tomorrow.” He looked back to me and I nodded.

            “Goodnight,” my mother said reluctantly, with tears already sprinkling her eyes.

            “Night mom. Night dad,” I told them as they walked out the door.

            “Now, time to celebrate,” my roommate said, pulling out two wine glasses.

            “Celebrate?” I asked, watching her clink the glasses together as she sat them on the little bit of desk that was clear.

            “Our parents finally being gone,” she replied, looking around. “At least your mother didn’t burst into tears on you.”

            “She came close. There were tears in her eyes.”

            “Did you bring anything to drink?” she asked, looking around the room. “I brought dishes, but no food or drink.”

            “I don’t have anything. My parents are taking me grocery shopping tomorrow. We could always use water.”

            “Or,” she said, reaching into her pocket. “We could try the vending machines.” She brought out a smattering of coins in her hand. “Are you game?”

            I nodded and followed her out into the hall. We wandered to the right, looking into open rooms as we went. Girls were in various states of setting up their rooms. Some had families with them, others didn’t. Some were giggling, others were crying. We passed ten rooms before hitting a dead end. Jo promptly turned around and I continued to follow her, peering in the rooms again. This time, I was looking at the layouts to get ideas for our own room.

            “Jackpot!” Jo shouted when we had passed another ten rooms. I looked ahead of her and saw the shiny coke machine waiting. We hurried up to it and Jo put in the correct change. She selected Dr. Pepper and it tumbled to the slot. “Does this work for you?” She asked, holding it out. I answered positively and we returned to the room once more.

            She grabbed the glasses off the desk with one hand and opened the soda with the other hand. I watched as it fizzed out over her hand onto the carpet and she laughed, letting the cap drop to the ground. She poured the soda into the two glasses, letting it stream out as she moved it back and forth. When the glasses were full, she handed it to me. I held it very carefully, trying not to spill any of it.

            “Here’s to starting over,” she said, raising her glass into the air, sending soda sloshing out.

            “I’ll drink to that,” I replied, putting on a happy face. I had no idea how I was going to live with this girl for the entirety of my freshman year.



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 5th, 2010 11:28 am (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions. They definitely improved the piece. I'm not sure why I capitalized after the question marks - falling into old habits I suppose.

I'm not sure where I came up with the name Raine, but I liked the uniqueness of it. She is going to be a character in something larger that I'm working with and I was just playing with her for the prompt. (:

Thanks again!
Jan. 5th, 2010 01:58 pm (UTC)
This is really random, just something I noticed though. Jo and Raine walk down the hall 10 doors looking for the vending machine. Then, they turn around (180 degrees I'm assuming) and promptly walk past 10 more doors on their search. Wouldn't this put them right back where they started? Perhaps they turned the corner, I'm not sure.

As for Raine's name, I disagree. I don't think it's a Mary Sue. I think it's incredibly original without being so extreme as to be implausible. While I have never met a Raine (or variation thereof and I have met a lot of people), I do see it as a possibility. I prefer character names that I feel like I might actually encountr. It allows the story to be plausible. :D
Jan. 6th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
That's actually not that random. It's something that held me up in writing it too. I was trying to illustrate that they walked past 10 more rooms that what they originally did. I used the word "another" to try to convery this. But, even after I wrote it, it still seemed confusing. I ended up deciding not to dwell on it. Do you have any suggestions of how I could help it come across better?

That's the same thing I feel with Raine. I haven't met one, but it seems plausible. Come to think of it, I actually got the name from an email that went out at work announcing the name of someone's grandchild.
Jan. 6th, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
Perhaps you could mention that they passed by their own room? Uh, something like: Continuing beyond their room, Jo and I passed another 10 rooms before finding the vending...?
Jan. 6th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
Good thought. Thanks. That might do the trick. (:
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 6th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
Thanks. Jo definitely took on a life of her own as I was writing. (:
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 7th, 2010 04:13 am (UTC)
Thanks for the advice. I will take a look at it all and see what can be altered when I'm more awake. This week back to work seems to be wiping me of energy and concentration.

Vending machines make awesome landmarks (:
Jan. 7th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
I love how Jo's personality just leaps out at ya. Not very sensative and seems to be a bit of a slob what with spilling soda everywhere and not even really caring. I love it though The whole peace for me speaks of the sadness of goodbye versus the horror of roommates (laughs) and the newness of beginning again.

I felt for her father. It was obvious to me he didn't want to leave, looking for anything they could do to help, to prolong the moment, yet he was also the first to quietly melt away as well. It almost made me cry. Great job. Good luck!
Jan. 7th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
Thanks!! Jo sort of took on a life of her own as I wrote her. She had me laughing with her quirky habits. (:
Jan. 7th, 2010 07:17 am (UTC)
She definitely had me grinning and rolling my eyes and going Ho boy. Glad she's not mine. lol
Jan. 9th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
I liked the contrast between Raine and Jo; they both seem like really likeable characters so far.
Are you planning on continuing this?
Jan. 15th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
It will eventually be part of a larger piece. I'm not sure if I will post anymore of it or not. (:
Jan. 12th, 2010 01:58 am (UTC)
Raine is a beautiful name... I have a great niece who has that for a middle name (although I think they spell it Rayne -- she's only 4 months old and I haven't met her yet, nor have I seen her name written!)

I hope Jo is not so bad as a roomie -- I've had worse!
Jan. 15th, 2010 04:38 am (UTC)
I fell in love with the name Raine when I saw it. I like the thought of it being spelt with a "y" also.

I'm sure Jo's not going to be the worst. (:
Jan. 12th, 2010 05:03 am (UTC)
Ah. Independence off parents. Such sweet moment.

Jo and Raine are both very easy to relate to. And you captured the sense of finding one's own new footings in a new surroundings very well. Lovely work.
Jan. 15th, 2010 04:38 am (UTC)
Thanks. I definitely drew off my own experiences, which helped some. (:
Jan. 14th, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC)
Well, there's not much editing left to do with the wonderful help of everyone so far!

I do have to say that the story was a smooth read, and I had no qualms with the characters! It was fun to read their interactions, and boy, did I feel the same way when my parents left my dorm room freshman year. lol

Wonderful piece. Short and sweet.
Jan. 15th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)
Thanks for the compliments.

I definitely drew off my own freshman year experience. It helped a lot when writing this. (:
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )