Julia sat on her bed, thinking about the guy with greenish blue eyes. He looked good, not seductively attractive or anything, just... good. She was not a believer in love at first sight; but maybe now love at first sight was making some sense to her, maybe….
As Julia was lost in her thoughts, Henry entered the room. He was wearing a blue hoodie and he strode in quietly on seeing her contemplating.
“Hey” he whispered.
“Hi” she replied, suddenly realising his presence.
"So how was your day miss?" he asked as he sat beside her on her neat bed.
She felt a bit uneasy at first and shifted aside. Henry took notice of her as she turned her back towards him.
"What happened Julia?" he broke the silence.
"Umm..." she shivered "It’s nothing."
Henry didn't reply. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Flashes of memories ran threw his mind and Julia saw his countenance changing to something dark and tenebrous. Henry's face was full of sweat and he felt weak. Julia herself was shocked to see him this way.
"Henry..." she said silently.
He couldn't respond. His senses were numb, lost somewhere in the dark. His strong muscles couldn't support him. Something was haunting him, a shadow, a knavery. Julia removed her spectacles and wiped her eyes and then stared strangely at him again. She was trying to understand what was on his mind. Then after a while, she slipped her hand forward and held his quivering hands. She could feel the coldness in him and he could feel her warmth. After a few seconds, he became normal again and then he stood up.
Julia put on her spectacles back on her nose and asked him "What is it Henry?"
He didn't reply. Instead he walked towards his bed. "I want to apologize for my behaviour, please don't worry about me."
For Henry too, having a girl as a room-mate was weird and awkward.
“Um….." he took a pause "good night...” he said taking his pillow and blanket and heading towards the door.
“You are not sleeping here?” she inquired, feeling rather relieved.
“No. I’ll be sleeping in my car. I understand that it is difficult for you to sleep with me here.” He replied bluntly and left the room.
Her etiquettes asserted her to insist him not to take so much trouble for her, however all she said was 'Thanks' as he left the door tagged with the shiny plate of number 415.
Julia locked the door and changed into her grey night suit, tied her hair into a bun and called Mira. She picked up on the first ring.
“So you have finally called. Oh my god, do you have any idea how much I was waiting for your call? You aren't missing me at all are you?” Mira said even before Julia could say ‘hello’.
“Hold on. Calm down. Relax. I am missing you, duh! That is why I called.
“So, how are you?”
“I am okay… just missing you….” Mira said moodily.
“God! It’s just been a day and you are already missing me…” Julia laughed.
“Well actually, I'm pretty much enjoying life without you.”
“Yeah cool then… so I’ll keep the phone?” She added whimsically.
“Oh, come on Julia! I was just kidding…how was your first day?”
“Well, in one word, it was thrilling.” She said gravely.
“Okay so, first to my utmost shock I have a GUY as my room-mate…”
“Is he handsome? Is he like the perfect guy we imagined in high school? Is he in your room right now?” Mira's tongue ran like a bullet train.
“Mira, don’t be so excited! He is just a guy, perfect or not I don’t know and no, he isn’t in my room. But....” she stopped.
"But what?" Mira shouted.
"Don't scream!" Julia closed her ears and then continued "It is just that he is different, and sort of mysterious..."
"Forget about him," Julia said "He isn't in my limelight presently... There are other things too."
“Fine. So go on.”
“Right. So I might have a second room-mate too. And now before you exclaim, let me continue… today while walking to the dining room, I bumped into this guy who had such amazing eyes.”
“And he turned out to be a jerk and now do not ask me why and by the way I had delicious Italian today.”
“Okay… now that is a lot to happen for one day.”
“Hmm… do you mind if I talk to you later? I still have to unpack my bag.”
Julia kept her phone on the table beside her bed and set to work. She put her clothes in her wardrobe, and put frames of her photographs with her Mom, Dad, Mira and all her high school friends on the study table. She kept her laptop inside her wardrobe too and kept a pen stand on the study desk and put in a lot of pens and pencils inside it. Next, she put up her timetable of classes (which she had received the day her admission was confirmed) on her soft board.
Her classes would start after two days and her first lecture was psychology. She then had biology, mass media and lastly sports. Julia loved playing basketball since grade 6 and had always been the ‘outdoor’ type of person. She could never behave like those girls who were obsessed with pink, make-up and other such things that Julia found meaningless.
After she was done unpacking, she lay down on her bed and instantly fell asleep. It had been a hectic day.
Next morning when she woke up, Henry was standing in their room near his desk.
“Good morning Henry.”
“So, what is your plan for today?”
“Um… I think I’ll just go around the campus today and get to know this place better.”
“Okay. So maybe we can go around together since I am new to this place too; I mean, only if you don’t mind…”
Julia slightly raised her eyebrow. She considered her options. She had no friends here. Moreover, she would get bored the whole day being all by herself.
“Yeah… can you just give me 15 minutes to freshen up?”
She went into the wash-room. Henry waited and then suddenly he heard a knock at their door. He checked his watch.
"Umm… Eight thirty...Who possibly could be there?" He opened the door and found a strange figure standing outside. A young girl in blue stood upright in front of him.
"Whom are you searching for?" Henry, the muscular man in yellow spoke.
"Julia ...Julia Williams." her blue eyes glistened deeply as her lips moved.
To be continued…
-Khushbu and Shubhankar