Pets Chapter 1 (Ellie): First Day

This entry is part 1 of 48 in the series Pets

Walking through the corridors of the college, I realized how much schools all looked like each other. Sure, this was no longer high school, but the same boring texture remained. Students were older, but certainly not more mature .

Perhaps the single thing that will annoy me the most, is that during every period of the week, a good 10- to 25% of the students don’t have a class and instead, roam the corridors or talk in front of their lockers.

I always used the bathroom during classes so I could walk the empty corridor and feel free of the peer pressure, free of the constant nagging of my comrades to pressure me into either liking them or to convince me to try to get them to like me.

The silver lining in this new school however is that since there are various programs, most of these people will never know me. I will have anonymity in the crowd. Sure, the other chemistry students will see me more often, but we’re less than a percent of all the students.

My first class was “lab theory”. I sincerely hoped it’s not has boring as it sound. From it’s code, I could see it’s not a chemistry class, unlike my second class, but a general science lab.

To my horror, not only were all the tables meant for two students, but our seating was pre-arranged by alphabetical order. I found my place, discovering my lab partner would be a “Richard Lamprey”. I just hoped his last name wasn’t an indicator of his personality.

I arrived early. Only two students were present before me, so like them, I was browsing the class book. In this class, we would learn apparently how to prepare, execute and report on various labs. If the examples of the book were any indications, we would do kindergarten level experiments to apply a college level methodology.

I hope the chemistry classes will actually be able to teach me something or college will be a complete waste of time.

Sadly enough, Richard arrived in advance of class and even thought I was trying to look focused on my book, he decided it was time for small talk.

“Hello, looks like we’ll be lab partners. I’m Richard. How do I call you ?”

OK, to his defence, Eleanor isn’t a very common name, and it’s easy to presume that no college student would appreciate being called by that old name even if one of our greatest first lady of all time popularized it.

“Ellie. You can call me Ellie”

I took a first look at him. He was dressed like a fresh boy, with clean pants and a well-cut shirt. These were expensive clothes. I spent all high school avoiding jocks and guys like him, only to be paired with one in college. Great. To make matters worse, he had a two day beard hat just looked meant to be that length.

“Say, you are a Lamburger, are you related to the governor ?”

Great,  another fan boy. I just hope he is stupid enough to stop there. The governor had been highly unpopular recently for his almost constant anti-death penalty stance, commuting almost all death penalties into life sentences. Even I received some of the hate by the rednecks of this state who wanted nothing more than to “fry”  all the killers and rapists.

“He’s my uncle”

Now Richard, please, leave me alone… don’t dig up my family tree.

“So, are you William Lamburger’s daughter ? Unless you mom is Marge Lamburger, but then, you would be a Peterson, after your dad”

Great, a fan of the family. Marge Lamburger was my clueless aunt which my uncle and my father convinced to run for senate. Running on my father’s money and my uncle’s popularity then as a public defender, she won by a small margin. Now that my uncle was hated as a Governor, she had most likely less than 3 months left in her career as a politician.

“Must be thought having a father always away from home. Isn’t your mom involved in a lot of charity work? I hope she manages to have time to take care of you”

Who the hell is this boy ? Does he know my family personally ? What is he trying to pull on me ?

“How do you know my family?”

“My dad is a sales representative for Lamburger construction and my sister did an internship for your uncle last summer. I met him, nice guy. Your dad thought, at the Christmas parties, seemed rather dull. How come I never saw you there?”

Because my dad is indeed dull and I stay as far away as possible from him. Because staying at home alone during their social functions was both my darkest nightmare and my fondest memory of my teenage years, allowing me to avoid my indifferent parents, but never letting me forget that other kids which envied our family fortune didn’t know what it meant spending days in a row alone in such a big house.

“I don’t know”

Evasive answers usually work best to avoid a conversation. Won’t the teacher ever show up? In the future, I will circle the corridor in front of my class until he or she actually start talking.

“Are you a sophomore? This is my second year. If you don’t want to eat alone at lunch, you are welcomed to join me and my friends in the cafeteria, next to the vending machines. Most of them are girls and aren’t losers like me…”

I ignored his request. I didn’t want to reject him and have him resent me for the labs, but I didn’t want to give him any hopes. The last thing I wanted for now, was a boyfriend.

“Come on. I promise no one will yell at you or humiliate you in the middle of dinner, unlike your dad.”

What ? Did I just hear him well ? What does he know about my father ?

“What did you just say ?”

“Hey, sorry, didn’t want to offend you. My father’s department had a lunch meeting with your dad about six months ago and he yelled and degraded one of the other salesman in front of everybody. He ran away crying. You father didn’t even wait until the meal was over. “

Wow, no wonder why my father was so tired at home. He wasted all his anger at the office. That was really rude of him. Yet, not once did he raise his voice in the house. He always looked like a vegetable.

“So, will I see you at Lunch?”

Certainly not.

“Sure. Why not”

I spent the rest of the hour long class wondering whether I  meant it or not. Richard didn’t seem like the bad guy I judged him to be. And unlike all of the others who ever talked to me about my family, he was honest in his feelings. I kept pushing people away I judged fake, but Richard made me think he was possibly genuine.

Series NavigationPets Chapter 2 (Richard): Waiting for Lunch»

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