Read Breaking Free: A Living Again Novella Online

Authors: L.L. Collins

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Breaking Free: A Living Again Novella (2 page)

BOOK: Breaking Free: A Living Again Novella
11.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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“I’m
so
coming here for college,” Ben, her brother, mumbled under his breath, his eyes scanning the many girls walking along the sidewalks. He was totally girl crazy, and the girls were also crazy about him. He turned to look at her. “I’m coming to visit. A lot.”

Alexis laughed, shoving her brother playfully. “No boys in my dorm room. So sorry. You can come visit with
Mom
and
Dad
.”

He scowled at her, sticking out his tongue. Cierra giggled behind them at the exchange.

“Please,” she laughed. “As if these college girls would give
you
the time of day. Silly high school boy.”

Their mom laughed, shaking her head at their exchange. “Here we are.” She pulled the van into a parking space that someone had just left. “Lexi’s new home away from home.”

Alexis looked up at the big brick building that would be her new residence. She watched as people poured in and out of the building. Parents carried boxes, bedding, and worried looks on their faces. She flung the door open and jumped out, grabbing whatever she could reach.

“Let’s go,” she said, practically bouncing. Her brother and sister groaned at her impatience, and her mom just smiled. Her dad sauntered up, carrying more that had been in her car.

Alexis led them into the building, her eyes scanning frantically as she tried to take it all in. The buzz was electric, everyone talking and laughing and watching people go by. Pretty soon, she would know all of these people.

The five of them trudged up the stairs in silence, leaving Alexis to her thoughts. She was on the third floor of her dorm, and by the time they got there, they all groaned in relief.

Alexis led the group in finding her room. Most of the doors on the floor were open, and her eyes flitted from one to the next, smiling at all the girls she saw. They looked at her curiously, some of them waving or giving a small smile. She lived in an all-girl dorm, at her dad’s recommendation.

When Alexis finally reached her destination, Hailey squealed when she saw her. She had her side of the room almost completely set up. Their twin beds were on opposite walls, with desks at the end and dressers in between. There was a small closet on each side, and a teeny area for a small refrigerator and microwave. Alexis loved it.

Alexis hugged her friend, both of them jumping up and down. “Just wait until you meet Joey, Lily, Amber, and Reece! They’re our neighbors on either side, and they are all
so
sweet! Reece is a cheerleader, too!”

“I can’t wait! Let’s get my stuff put away first.”

Hailey greeted Alexis’ parents and brother and sister, and they headed back down to the cars to get the rest of her things.

 

 

“Bye, Princess,” her dad said into her ear, hugging her tight.
I will not cry, I will not cry,
Alexis repeated to herself. “I want you to have a lot of fun, but remember what you’re here for.”

Alexis leaned back, looking into her dad’s eyes. “I know, Daddy. You can trust me.”

Ben smiled. “I have no doubt, Lex. Know that we’re just a phone call away, okay?”

Her mom stepped up, already crying. Alexis shook her head, not wanting to start. “I’m so proud of you, Lexi. My beautiful girl is all grown up.” She hugged her mom quickly so she wouldn’t break down. This was harder than she thought it would be!

“I love you, Mom.”

Ben and Cierra hugged her quickly. Alexis knew, knowing Cierra, she would cry once they got out the door. She was so sensitive, but never wanted Alexis to see her upset.

She watched as her family made their way down the hallway to the elevator. Things were a lot calmer now than when they first arrived. Some doors were shut, others were still open but the girls were lying on the beds. She knew later they were having a huge get together to meet everyone, and she couldn’t wait.

Swallowing the large lump in her throat, she turned back to Hailey. They grinned at each other.

“We’re all alone,” Hailey whispered, gripping Alexis’ hands. “At
college!
We’re
here
, Lex! Someone pinch me, I think I’m dreaming.”

Alexis pinched her, sending them both into laughter.

 

 

She had been at college for a week, and today was her first class. Biology. She was stoked, even though she was nervous at what a college class would be like. Thanks to college credits in high school, she was starting school technically as a sophomore, so this class was actually Biology 2.

Being in cheer practice three times her first week had helped her make some friends and feel more at home. Plus their neighbors in the dorm were a lot of fun. Alexis was a very social person and enjoyed having a lot of friends. But that didn’t stop her from wanting to throw up as she looked at the huge brick building where her Biology class was held. She was early, as she planned to be. She hated to be late, and since she was still learning her way around campus, she figured that was smarter.

She sat on the bench outside the building, watching people go by. Alexis couldn’t believe how many people went to this school. It was like a city within a city.

“Hi there,” a voice came from her side, and she looked up into the dark eyes of a handsome guy.

Alexis’ stomach fluttered. She had her share of boys who wanted to date her in high school, but she had never really wanted to. She had gone to dances with a few of them, but she hadn’t been into the dating scene. But this guy? He was gorgeous.

She realized she hadn’t answered him, and he looked at her expectantly. “Hi.” She put out her hand. “Alexis.”

He smiled, sending butterflies aflight in her stomach again. He had deep dimples in his cheeks and straight white teeth. His dark hair was combed neatly, and he wore a pair of khaki shorts and a polo shirt. He definitely didn’t look like he just rolled out of bed, like many of the guys she had seen so far.

“Alexis,” he repeated, his hand still clasped in hers. “A beautiful name for a beautiful woman. I’m Luke.”

“Luke,” she repeated. “Nice to meet you.”

He sat next to her, and she tried not to notice that he smelled good. Like, really, really good. “You’re new here?”

She nodded. “Is it that obvious? Do I scream freshman?”

Luke laughed. “No. I just know I would’ve noticed you before if you had been here.”

He was flirting with her. This gorgeous, obviously-not-a-freshman guy was flirting with her. She felt tongue-tied. She was not a pro at this. She needed Hailey.

“So I take it you aren’t a freshman,” she finally said.

“Junior,” he answered. “What’s your major?”

“Biology. Pre-med.”

His eyes widened. “A doctor? Wow. Beautiful
and
smart. Looks like I hit the jackpot today.”

She looked down at her watch. She probably should get inside and find a seat, but she was having a hard time making herself get up. “Thank you,” she answered. “My dad’s a doctor and my mom’s a therapist and I’ve always loved what they do.”

Luke nodded his head. “That’s amazing, Alexis. What class are you heading to?”

She indicated behind them. “Biology 2. I probably need to get in there, too. It was really nice meeting you, Luke.”

He put his hand on her arm, effectively stopping her in her tracks. “Can I get your number?”

Did she want to give him her number? Her entire body was screaming yes. It was her first day of classes and she already had a handsome upperclassman asking for her number.

When she didn’t answer right away, he dropped his hand from her arm. Disappointment flashed over his face.

Alexis smiled. What harm could a number do, right? “Of course, Luke. You have your phone handy?”

 

 

Alexis breathed out, her hands still shaking from the exchange with Luke outside. He had asked for her phone number. He wanted to take her out. She had a date on her first official college day.

She had texted Hailey immediately upon entering the building, but she was in class and wouldn’t get it until later. She felt like she could scream, and knew she probably looked foolish, sitting in a huge lecture hall with a grin splitting her face.

Biology. She had to focus. Thankfully, she was still early, and students poured in from the several entrances. This was a huge classroom, probably holding a few hundred students.

Alexis was lost in people watching and daydreaming about Luke when she heard a voice over the speakers in the room. Her eyes snapped to the front of the room, where she saw her professor. She was nothing like what she had expected. Alexis had thought that it might be an older, portly guy that had been teaching forever. Instead, she was a young, beautiful woman with long red hair. She was dressed to the nine’s in a skirt suit and heels. Alexis giggled to herself as a buzz went through the room. The boys in the class were very happy now.

“I’m Professor Wilkins. This is Biology 2. Make sure you’re in the right place before we get started. Can I get a few of you to pass out syllabi for me?”

A half dozen boys tripped over themselves to get up there to help her, and Alexis rolled her eyes. What was it about a pretty woman that made boys stupid?

“This is also available online, but I still like to give out a paper copy. Sorry, trees,” she joked. Alexis liked her already. As she continued going through the basics of the class, Alexis doodled in her notebook, writing down a few key things the professor said but otherwise lost in la-la land.

“I’m going to assign lab partners for the class. You will need to meet your partner at least once a week in the lab to complete the assignments. I will not change partners, so deal with it. You’re big kids now, so act like it.” Oh yeah, Alexis liked her. She never enjoyed the pettiness of high school and was glad to leave it behind.

Professor Wilkins flashed a list up on the large screen at the front of the room. “Write down who your lab partner is, and their email. You will have to email each other to set up a time to meet. Trying to do that right now would be chaotic and too difficult.”

Alexis scanned the list for her name, finally finding it. Her partner was Greer Henderson. She looked around, wondering if he was nearby. She assumed Greer was a he. She really hoped he wasn’t one of those fools flirting with the professor; she didn’t think she could handle that.

Alexis pulled out her phone and tapped out an email to her new partner, hoping against all hope that he was someone that wanted to learn and not just have her do all the work.
I wish Luke was in my class
, she thought, then shook her head. She didn’t even know the guy and she was already swooning like a heroine in a romance novel.

BOOK: Breaking Free: A Living Again Novella
11.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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