Back Again

First day of my new year in college.

Honestly, it was more exciting last year. First, the fresher’s year is fun, due to all the changes in your life. The second year becomes slightly less exciting, but at least it’s your first time knowing your way around campus. Thus, the second year goes seeing (or laughing at and helping) the “new freshers” trying to find their footing.
After that, it just passes. It doesn’t matter. After that, you’re only interested in how to get by your own college years, before they are over, in the blink of an eye and the work load increases. Your professors recognize you, they expect certain deadlines and you’re only running around.

So, you become more self absorbed.

And I’d like to imagine that I’m more self absorbed than others, when it comes to my college life. Though, there are times (which I would never admit) that I look out for my flatmates or my family (which includes solely my sister for now).

And, after these years, I still enter the campus, with my earphones on as I move on to see old faces, ignoring the new ones.

***

‘Hey, Owlie, where’s she?’
Owlie smirks and raises her eyebrows at me. She’s sitting in the canteen with a few of her other friends when I spot her.

‘Oh, who?’

It’s my turn to raise eyebrows. She’s just teasing me now.
‘Elena is sleeping it off.’

But she’s not the types to miss the first day back. Technically, that girl is paranoid enough not to miss college unless she’s-

The thought strikes me, ‘Is she okay?’

‘She’s got a fever,’ Owlie replies, very offhandedly, ‘A really bad cold.’

I have a feeling Owlie is being too casual on purpose. I glance at my watch, and I have enough time, since all my classes for the day are done.

‘Thanks.’

I can hear Owlie calling out to me, ‘Aidan, if you catch a cold, I’ll ban you from entering the house. I can’t catch a cold in the start of the semester! We’re not going to live under the same roof if you catch it!’

***

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
In one hand, I’m holding a bag containing some meds, vitamin C tablets, a thermometer and a kettle.
The reason why I bought a kettle with me, is still hazy in my brain, but it’s somewhere on the lines that Elena’s kettle never works properly and she refuses to buy a new one since she’s at our house most of the time.
I even bought soup and bread sticks.

I can hear footsteps from the other side of the door and someone blowing their nose.

The door opens, and… she looks really sick.
She’s got her hair tied loosely in a braid which is messy, red eyes and a handkerchief. Her socks are mismatched and she’s hunching, leaning heavily on the door. She groans when she sees who’s at the door.

‘Why…?’

Her feeble attempt at banging her head on the door doesn’t go unnoticed.
‘Owlie will kill you if you catch a cold,’ she replies, trying to steady her voice, ‘go back.’

I smile at her and push myself inside.
The rest of her friends in the apartment are no where to be seen. They must’ve left for classes.

‘How’s your fever?’ I ask instead.
She groans again, closing the door behind her and following me to her kitchen.

‘I was just sleeping,’ she complains, ‘what are you doing? I have a perfectly functional kettle!’
I was boiling up some water for the soup when I turn around and look at her. She’s in her favorite pajamas with a blocked nose.

She looks very tired, as if she hasn’t slept all night.

‘How come it’s so bad?’ I ask instead. We both seem to be avoiding each others questions.

She sits on the floor, right outside the kitchen and holds her head, looking down. I have a feeling she’s ready to cry because she’s too tired and too sick. It confirms my suspicion that she might have had a terrible night with the blocked nose.

Crouching next to her, I try to lift her by the shoulders. She readily obliges.

‘I took something for it,’ she complains even more, in a very cranky tone, ‘Why did it have to happen today?’

I want to laugh at her state but I control myself. She settles herself in her bed and cuddles with the stuffed panda toy.

***

I am sure that when Elena gets better, I’m going to get whacked.
In fact, she was already sounding agitated at the fact that I was in her apartment while we were not “together anymore”, and also probably because of the party day before yesterday.

Anyhow, the point is, Elena becomes a cranky kid when she’s sick. Luckily, I got some pills and food into her system and hopefully she’ll feel better once she gets up. Meanwhile, I start sorting out some stuff in her house. It’s slightly messy and I don’t mind sorting it out.

After about an hour, the doorbell rings and Owlie stands before me.
And I’m thrown out of the house.

I should really mind my own business and move on. There was no reason to go over to someone’s house like that and invite myself in.

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