Authors: Nikki D. Walker
© 2013 by Nikki Walker, all rights reserved
Published in United States
Walker, New Bedford MA
Manufactured in United States
First edition published 2013
Cover art and jacket designed © 2013 (by Nikki Walker)
Girl in the White Dress
I want to thank my friends and family who have supported my writing and encouraged me through the process. I especially want to thank my husband for putting up with my hours of writing. I love you, Kenny.
Table of Contents
White dress? Check. Something blue? Check. Something old and somethi
ng new? Double check. Crap, I did not have anything borrowed. It was ok, I told myself. I was not superstitious. Not having something borrowed was no big deal.
“Breathe,” I told myself. I did not need an anxiety attack coming on now. It may have tak
en years to get here, but we were finally here and it was worth the wait. Family, friends, everyone was here. Everyone was excited we both came to our senses. I could not wait to see his shining smile and his crystal blue eyes looking right at me. He was mine now and forever.
“Sam, you ready?” asked Trinity, my Maid of Honor and best friend. She looked so beautiful in her bridesmaid dress.
I sighed. “Yes, let’s do this.”
As we walked out into the hallway, I heard my Mom yell, “Wait! I have something for you.”
We stopped and turned around. I saw my Mom holding out something. “Here,” she said. She handed me my grandmother's bracelet. “I thought you could wear this today.”
“Oh, Mom,” I could feel tears start to well up. “I don’t know what to say.”
“It’s ok. She would want you to wear this.” She put the bracelet on my wrist. Now I have my something borrowed. I took another breath. “Let’s roll. I have the love of my life waiting for me out there.”
Ok, so the summer was over. Now what do I do? Jason and I broke up. He apparently did not want to be “tied down”, as he put it, while he was in California. Ridiculous. Really now. He threw away three and a half years because he needed to grow up. Whatever. I have cried my last tear over him. I was on my way to college and I planned to have fun.
Packing sucked. I looked around my room and all I saw was boxes, boxes, and more boxes. Good thing I took Mom’s advice and labeled them. Clothes took up the majority of the space and my shoes were definitely in the running. A girl needed to be prepared. “Ok,” I said to myself, “Time to load the car.” I took one last look around.
“Mom, are you ready? Is Dad here yet? I need help with these boxes,” I yelled downstairs. Mom hated it when I did that. She would much rather I walk downstairs, but I was lazy.
“Your dad just called and said he will be here in five minutes. Are you sure you have everything you need?”
“Pretty sure, but I am assuming that Worcester does have stores,” I said sarcastically.
“Cute. Sometimes I’m glad you are going away,” she said. Yeah, I could drive her crazy, but she loved me. “I sure am going to miss you, Sam.”
“Me, too, Mom, but you have Max to keep you company.” Max was the Labrador retriever Mom adopted to replace me when I went away. All the years I wanted a dog and she decided to get one now. Figures.
Damn these boxes were heavy. Maybe I did not need to pack my whole wardrobe. Although, New England could get chilly. I was so looking forward to living in a bigger city. Beaver Meadows, Pennsylvania was not known for anything more exciting than the annual tractor pull. Yuck.
“Sam, your dad is here with the truck.”
“Hey sweetie, you all set to go?” He glanced around at the boxes. “I see your mom helped you pack. She never could go anywhere without taking the house with her.”
“Ok, Robert, you can complain all you want. There were those occasions you needed the whole house. I don’t know how you get along without my cooking, cleaning, and other maid like duties.” I could sense the annoyance in Mom’s tone. She and Dad had been divorced for about a year and even though they got along better now, sometimes I think they still would like to kill each other.
“Alright you two. Enough. You know I hate acting like the grown up.” I turned to my father. “Dad, we need to get going if we’re going to get there in time for freshman check-in.”
“You’re right. Off we go.” We continued to pack the car in silence. We were done fifteen minutes later.
The drive would take us about eight hours. Fortunately, it was mostly highway. I got a little misty eyed as we drove by the diner near our house. It was our Sunday morning tradition to go there for breakfast. It was not as if I was never coming back, but it was still sad knowing I would not be back for a few months.
I put on my headphones as we drove onto the highway. “Sam, are you not going to talk to me the whole drive there? I did want to talk to you.”
I groaned. “Dad, please do not give me ‘the talk’. I got that from Mom several times. I am a big girl now and I can handle myself.” Seriously, having this conversation with my dad right now was not high on my list of fun times.
“I just want you to be safe.”
“I know, Dad. I will be fine. I bought stock in Trojan,” I said seriously.
“SAMANTHA RAYNE!” he yelled. He looked like he wanted to hit me.
“I’m kidding! I’m kidding!” I put my hands up in defense. “I’m not a moron. I will be good.” Like I was going to tell him otherwise.
We sat for a while in silence. I did not know what Dad was thinking but every once in a while he would look at me and then quickly look away, probably debating on whether or not to continue our earlier conversation. I was definitely in favor of not continuing it. Of course, I was not going to do anything stupid, but I did want to have some fun while I was there. Which does not include having sex with every guy I meet, but a little flirting never hurt anyone. I put my headphones back on and turned on my iPod. If Dad started talking, I would just pretend I did not hear him. I watched the trees pass us by on the highway and eventually fell asleep.
After what seemed like an eternity, we finally stopped. We were there. I looked up and was in complete awe of the massive buildings that surrounded us. I saw the Worcester Centrum ahead of us. Wow, this was definitely a long way from my small town in Pennsylvania. I felt an anxiety attack coming on. I can do this, I thought to myself. This was why I wanted to get away. I needed to be more comfortable with things. Not get so worked up. I was not exactly the party girl in high school and I was somewhat popular but I was not that comfortable in that role.
“Here we are, sweetheart.” Dad got out of the car and headed to the trunk.
Ok, deep breath, I can do this, I told myself again. I climbed out of the car, glad that I wore sneakers because we did not park very close to the dorms. There was a ridiculous line of cars with other students who looked as freaked out as I felt. Thank goodness. Today was move in day and tomorrow would be freshman orientation. The other students would not be moving in until Tuesday and classes started on Wednesday. I did not have much say in my schedule for the first semester but I did not think it would be too hard. I had a short stories class, Intermediate Spanish (I was not really looking forward to that one), Elementary Education, and Elementary Math. And no, that last one was not because I was math challenged. It was math for teachers. For some insane reason, I wanted to teach children. I wondered how long that would last.
I grabbed a box and headed towards the sign in table. I already had my room assignment but I needed my key. “Hi, I’m Samantha Rayne.”
“What’s your room number?” the girl asked. She looked friendly enough. She was wearing a WSC T-shirt that said staff on it.
“Ok here you go. Sara will be your RA. If you need anything at all you can give her a call.” She was pointing to a blonde girl a few feet away. She also had a staff shirt on. “You can hop in the elevator and take a left. It will take you right to your room.”
“Thanks.” I grabbed my boxes and headed into the building, my Dad in tow. I could not believe the amount of people here. I did not know why I thought there would not be a lot of freshman. Dad and I brought all the boxes upstairs. He wanted to stay and help me unpack but I did not really need him going through my things after that awkward conversation in the car. I did not need him thinking I was not his little girl anymore.
“Ok, Sam,” he said. “I guess I’m going to head out. I have a long drive ahead of me. Again.” He looked at his watch. “I’ll probably take a quick nap and head back.”
“Ok. Thank you for driving me up. I love you. Drive safe.”
“I love you, too, Sam. Be safe.” Dad gave me a hug and left the room. About ten minutes, later my roommate came in.
“Hi, I’m Trinity Carvalho,” she said. She plopped her bags on the bed that I had not staked claim to. “Can I just say holy crap? Where do all these people plan on living? This place totally doesn’t look big enough!” I instantly liked her.
“I know what you mean. It’s crazy! I’m Sam Rayne,” I waved. “Do you need some help with your stuff?”
“Actually, I dragged my boyfriend with me. He’s getting the rest of it for me. Derek is a junior here so he doesn’t have to move in until Tuesday,” she said.
“Well that’s cool. At least you know someone here.”
“Yeah, he’s actually having a party Friday night to celebrate back to school. You want to come?”
“Sure, sounds like fun. It would be nice to meet new people.” I turned around and looked at my pile of boxes. “Ok, so when do the unpacking fairies show up?”
Trinity laughed. “I wish!” She looked around the room. “Why don’t we head down to the cafeteria and see what they have for food first? If we’re going to put all this away we’re certainly going to need some energy.”