Found by D.M. Page

One

Aly

I’m running late, again. I got off work at eight tonight but then I saw my friend Jake and we started catching up. Long story short it is eight forty-five and I am currently running through campus to get back in time to go out with my best friend Anna.

The walk back to our apartment usually takes around twenty minutes but if I run, hopefully it will take closer to ten. I can see Erickson Hall, the building I usually cut through up ahead. Since it’s move in week on campus, there are people everywhere. I decide to avoid the cluster of people and go around the building.

Erickson is one of my favorite buildings on campus. It has that old Architecture, red brick look that is traditional on a campus as old as Brickstone University. When I thought about going to college, I pictured the campus looking just like this.

I must have gotten the idea from a TV show or something. Even though my family moved around a lot growing up, I never saw a university like this in person.

Now I’m a senior and the past three years have been a dream come true. I met my best friend Anna, got my dog Bailey and made amazing friends. Mostly, I have loved being here because I got to make the place my own.

Growing up, we moved around a lot and I never really got to set up roots. Nevada was the last place we lived but before settling down there for a year, we lived in 30 different cities. It was always a spontaneous move. I never even saw it coming. Eventually, I just stopped trying to settle in anywhere.

I pretty much had no friends growing up because no one stays in touch when you only spend a couple of months getting to know each other. On top of that, my parents were never around. Their jobs not only moved us around all the time but also sent them on a couple of business trips a week.

You could say my life was pretty lonely before I came here.

It doesn’t make sense that we needed to move if they’re going to be gone almost all the time anyway.

I don’t really even know what they do, every time I ask they give me a vague answer and then change the subject. For some reason I let it slide even though later, after the conversation, I wondered why I didn’t press them more. I think it’s crazy that I don’t know what my own parents do for a living but I gave up on asking a long time ago.

With my parents gone all the time, I was constantly left behind with my aunt. She was not the loving aunt that everyone pictures and hopes for. Instead, she treated me like a burden anytime I was with her. She really didn’t seem to get along with my parents and I still wonder why she would help them by watching me when she really seemed to hate my mom. One time when I asked her about it, she muttered that it was her duty and told me not to ask again.

As with the job thing, I let it go immediately and have never felt the urge to bring it up again.

As I round the corner, I see my apartment up ahead. It took me a full fifteen minutes to get back and now it’s nine pm. Anna and I planned to leave for the bar at nine-thirty tonight so I’ll just have to get dressed quickly. It’s totally doable but Anna will still give me a hard time. I am a notoriously late person and she likes to hold it against me.

When I get to our classic white door, I pull out my key and try to turn the lock as quietly as I can. I’m hoping that I can sneak into my room and Anna won’t notice I got home so late.

As soon as I get the door open, my dog Bailey comes running up to me. I kneel down to pet him and look into his chocolate brown eyes. I should really make a run for my room but I can’t help but fuss.

“Who’s a good boy? Were you a good boy today, Bailey? I love you baby!”

Bailey is my brown, black, and white mutt who I rescued junior year. He is a combination of so many things that I can’t pick them out but he basically looks like a small wolf. He is the most precious boy in my life. He has pointy ears, strong legs, and the most soulful eyes I have seen on a dog. I definitely didn’t think I would be getting a dog while in college, in fact it never even crossed my mind but one day when I was walking home on campus, Bailey found me.

Bailey had been at an adoption show up the street by the local dog shelter and had made a run for it. As soon as he jumped right at my leg and gave me his best puppy dog eyes, I was a goner. So I adopted him right then and there and he has been my baby ever since.

He’s the only guy I have ever loved and he takes that title very seriously.

When I look up from pampering Bailey, Anna is peeking out of her room giving me a playful, but no less scary, death glare.

“I know I shouldn’t be surprised but why are you so late?” She asks.

“I ran into Jake! You know I couldn’t cut him off when we haven’t seen each other since last semester,” I use my best innocent voice and give her a sweet look. She knows I would never blow off a friend, no matter how distant, since I haven’t always had them.

She rolls her eyes at me, “well, we are still leaving at nine-thirty so you better hop to it!”

“Aye, Aye Captain,” I respond as I grab a drink then rush into my room.

I go right to my speaker, plug in my phone and play some music. I choose my getting ready playlist and an EDM song I love starts playing.

I start dancing around my room and it doesn’t take me long to get dressed. I was already showered and I go for simple with my hair and makeup. I’ve never been that flashy but I definitely don’t have time for anything right now.

When I come out of my room, Anna is ready to go and looking fabulous. She starts singing along to the song and I join in. We dance around the living room a little and finish the drinks we started.

“Look it’s nine-thirty, so I am on time!” I say triumphantly with extra emphasis on the ‘am’ once the song is over.

It’s been a long summer with Anna gone and I am just so happy to be back with her. I was pretty lonely this summer with her back at home and me stuck here. Her family actually wanted her home, unlike mine. Not that I would go home if they did and I would be alone anyways. Since I turned eighteen my aunt hasn’t been around anymore and my parents would never take time off to spend with me.

Anna just laughs at me and locks her arm with mine as we head out the door.