Keeping up with the Billingsley’s (A short Story by Dara Nichole)
This was my first year of college, and I wasn’t too sure if I was ready for it. Well, mentally I was. I knew I wanted to be an Architect, and that Eastenberg University was the best school for that. I just wasn’t sure about this roommate thing. The cool thing was, I knew who my roommates were going to be. The sucky part of it, was that Renea Billingsley was going to be my suitemate. Renea was one of our high school cheerleaders, and one of the most stuck up girls I had ever met. Her boyfriend David was cool though. His dad owned a construction company downtown, and David was so down to earth. My other two roommates were Latavia Richardson, and Tenia Gray. Latavia was cool. Her parents had a little bit of money, but she was really quiet throughout high school. She always kept good grades and usually hung around the same two or three people. We had spoken a couple times during Spanish class, but nothing more than that. And then there was Tenia. She was my best friend since 9th grade. We had shared so many laughs, tears, heartaches, and pains together, and now we were going to be sharing a dorm room together. How exciting.
“Mom, can you have Uncle Philip pull my T.V from off the truck please?” The two hour drive from home to school was grueling, but we were finally here.
“Yes girl, go in there and get the keys to your room.” My mom was so happy she didn’t have to drive. Since my dad pulled out at the last minute, my uncle was able to help carry what items I did have up to the school.
I walked into the building and was surprised at the people in line to get the keys to their rooms. It was a frenzy. Resident advisors were going over contracts with students, parents were stuffing furniture into elevators, and student organizations had tables set up to talk to kids. I was overwhelmed. I took a deep breath and someone tapped me on my shoulder.
“Hey girl!” I turned around and was standing behind me with the biggest smile on her face.
“I’m glad to see you.” I replied letting out a gasp of air. “It’s crazy in here.”
We stood in line for about twenty more minutes, got our keys and ran up to the room to get a glimpse.
“Are you ready to open the door to our freedom Danielle?” Tenia stood in front of me and blocked the door.
“Girl, will you just open the stupid door.”
We opened the door and our mouths dropped wide open. It was like our very own apartment. When we first walked in there was a huge living room area, off to the right was the kitchen with a dishwasher, microwave and a refrigerator, down the hall were two small bedrooms and a bathroom to share, and down the other shallow hallway were two other small bedrooms and a bath.
“Girl we hit the jackpot, you know they just built these last year. I’m claiming this room.” Tenia jumped on the mattress of the room we were in and sprawled her body across the bed.
“That’s fine, I’ll take the room next to yours. “ I ran in the room and opened up the closet. How was I ever going to fill a closet this size with the little bit of clothes I had? I quickly closed the closet and ran back into Tenia’s room.
“You know who our suitemates are right?” I folded my arms and leaned on the door.
“Yes girl, I heard Latavia and Renea.” Tenia rolled her eyes and laid back on the bed.
“I can deal with Latavia, but Renea, we may have a problem.” We snickered to ourselves as our parents brought our things into the living room.
“Tenia, you betta come out here and help your mama with this stuff!” Tenia immediately jumped off the bed and ran into the living room. My uncle carried up my comforter and a few suitcases, and my mom brought in a big brown box full of shoes.
“Danielle, did you pick out your room sweetie?” I pointed her in the direction of my room and she walked in and put the box on my bed. She smiled a big smile, sat on the bed and pulled me close.
“Honey, I know you may not have the fancy computer or the fancy clothes, but remember that we have both worked hard to have the things you have. Just remember to keep God first and work hard in school, you will be fine.” She smiled at me and gave me a hug. Deep down I was discouraged. I was at a school that we could barely afford, and I knew that if I didn’t work at least a part time job, I wouldn’t have any money at all. It was going to be rough watching my friends hanging out and going shopping while I had to work. Buying anything fancy or going on spring break trips were absolutely out of the question, every dollar I had needed to go to school and I was so aware of that. But I guess if I wanted to be successful, I didn’t really have a choice.
“Hey ladies, the queen is here.” Renea walked in with her mom, dad and older brother. Her mother came in and walked straight into the kitchen while her dad and brother carried in a futon to go in her room.
“Hey Danielle, how are you?” Renea was tall and thin. She was dressed as if we weren’t moving our things in that day; heels, tight jeans, and a tube top.
“Hey Renea, how are yo-” As I was talking she walked right past me and into my room.
“Your room seems so big Danielle, when I looked online at the floor plans all the rooms seemed the same?” This would be the only reason she would walk into my room.
“Well Renea, I think it’s just the shape of the rooms, I think their all the same size.” She sighed and walked back into the living room.
“Mom, my room is in the back.” Renea motioned to her mom to head back to the room without introducing her to anyone I already knew from that point on this living arrangement was going to be different.
Copywright 2010 Dara Nichole