tagMind ControlFollowing Her Dream Ch. 02

Following Her Dream Ch. 02


The soft murmur grew louder as Janet approached the double doors. The warm summer breeze did little to settle her nerves. She stood still, hesitating, never quite feeling this level of discomfort before. It was almost like she was in a foreign country, where everything was so different. That was part of the charm of college, she supposed. Forcing yourself to step outside your comfort, to learn new things and grow. She assured herself it was just the surroundings that were different, but with any luck she would change in time as well.

With forced determination, Janet pushed open the doors. She was met with a cacophony of voices and laughter from the diverse students that filled the atrium. She took a deep breath as the doors closed behind her, their noise almost drowned out in comparison to all else.

Janet wondered at the landscape before her. Students filled the hall in small gatherings, gossiping amongst themselves and having a good time. She stared at the pillars that extended up towards a ceiling that was so high as to make her feel almost insignificant, with the school colors displayed on banners stretching between them. She marveled at the prestigious accomplishments of the school that were on display along the walls. Various trophies and banners announcing the sports teams that brought their school to victory. The pictures depicting prominent faculty members and important philanthropic donors.

While she had toured the campus previously before applying, the school had not felt so alive at the time. Janet was filled with a mix of peace and anxiety. Nervousness over feeling so alone, yet hopeful of where this new chapter in her life would take her.

Her reverie was disturbed as more students burst through the doors, hastily pushing past Janet. She squeaked out a soft apology as she stepped to the side.

With her focus back on the room in front of her, Janet noticed the table with giant blue lettering that read "WELCOME" on the front. She approached one of the attendees seated behind it.

"Hi!", the friendly voice greeted Janet. He looked to Janet to be an upperclassman, probably in his fourth year at the school. The school's logo was displayed on the breast of his polo. "Are you here for the orientation?" he inquired.

"Um... yeah. I'm not... really sure what I need to do, though." Janet responded, her head held low, her hand covering the back of her neck.

"That's okay, you're in the right place," the older student assured her. He went on to explain what to expect for the rest of the day. She was handed a folder stuffed with papers, many of which Janet was sure she'd never read. Finally, after looking up her name, he gave her a table number and directed her towards a set of doors near the end of the hall.

Janet thanked the man and went off in the direction she was told. She wound her way through the maze of students before finally arriving at her destination.

The new room sported a stage with a podium before an expanse of portable tables and chairs. Each table was covered with a white cloth, a floral centerpiece, some water and cups, and a small sign etched with a number and letter. She scanned the room for her table, eventually finding it slightly off to the right, about halfway to the stage. 3F.

She took her seat at the currently-empty table and placed her folder down. She was grateful to no longer be carrying around her luggage, having dropped it off at her new dorm room. There was no one else there at the time, to her disappointment. That was when she parted ways with her parents. She assured them that she would be fine from there, but now part of her wished she had asked them to stay.

Waiting for the event to start, Janet began shuffling through the papers in the folder, giving only a cursory glance as to what they contained. The room was slowly filling as time passed. Janet glanced at her phone, still 35 minutes until the scheduled time.

Janet started when a hand was placed on her shoulder. She turned to her right to see a girl smiling down at her.

"Hey, you must be Janet, right?" the girl cheerfully inquired. Janet could only dumbly nod her affirmation. "I'm Rachel, your new roomy. Nice to meet you!" She held out her hand towards Janet.

"Uh... hi, nice to meet you," Janet responded, shaking the girl's hand. As her heart began to settle from her jump, she smiled back at her new acquaintance.

Rachel took the seat right next to Janet. "So, tell me about yourself, what are you studying here?" Rachel held strong eye contact with Janet, the friendly smile never leaving her face.

"I'm doing a double major in computer science and graphical design," Janet responded, only able to maintain the same eye contact half the time.

Rachel's eyes lit up. "Oh wow! So does that mean you're like super smart? Man, I lucked out with you! You're going to have to help me with my homework then!" she said, laughing. She saw the blush form on Janet's face as Janet tried to stammer out an objection. "Lighten up, I'm just kidding! I do my own homework," she said, playfully pushing on Janet's shoulder.

Janet visibly relaxed, a genuine smile growing on her face. "What about you, what are you going to major in?" she asked in turn.

"Undecided for now. Just going to be taking some gen eds, see if something catches my interest. Until then, I'll just live up the college dream!" Rachel explained with confidence and pride, her voice strained as she stretched an arm straight above her.

Janet couldn't understand how people could go through life like that without a plan, but decided against saying anything.

The two carried on as such, asking each other various questions about the other. What kind of food did they like, what their hobbies were, etc. Janet was glad to find herself able to relax around Rachel. Ever since she decided on staying at the college dorm, she had been concerned that she would be placed with someone, well, incompatible, as she put it.

And that's when Janet heard it, the most beautiful laugh she had ever heard in her life before. It came from the table just two rows away. A group of girls had just started sitting down, still gossiping to each other. Janet turned to see whom the laugh belonged to, her eyes finally spotting her. The girl was a veritable angel. She had never seen someone so gorgeous before. The entire auditorium seemed to go silent, all outside distractions seemingly miles away, as the vision of beauty sat before her eyes.

Who was this girl? Janet felt that term didn't properly fit her. Goddess, more like. Yes, surely that was more suitable. Her very smile seemed to send shivers throughout Janet's body. Janet could feel her heart pounding in her chest. She could only hear her laughter, but it was like the song of a siren. The tune beckoning to Janet to move closer. She only had to stand up and start walking. She only had to-

She was brought back to reality by the hand that was shaking her shoulder. "Hello, Janet? What are you doing?" Rachel asked with a slight twinge of annoyance in her voice.

Janet turned her head around to face Rachel and apologized. "Sorry. I, uh..." she began, her head returning to her object of desire. "Who is that?" she asked, mostly to herself, but still loud enough for Rachel to hear.

Rachel had to push herself up to see over Janet at what her new friend was looking at. "Are you talking about Melanie?"

Janet's whipped her head around so fast that her hair pelted her in the face, Rachel half expecting it to detach from her body and go flying towards the ceiling. "You know her?!" Janet shouted, quickly blushing at her outburst, hoping no one else had heard.

"Easy there, sweetie, I know of her. We went to high school together."

"Please, tell me everything!" Janet went right back to admiring her newfound inamorata, while still trying to listen intently to anything Rachel might say.

"Well... she was valedictorian of my class. Pretty much the most popular girl in the school, but doesn't seem to let it go to her head like most people would expect. I haven't really interacted with her much, but she seemed like a genuinely nice person. Why do you ask? Wait..." Rachel trailed off, something finally dawning on her. "Janet, are you... are you a lesbian?!" She said in a forced whisper, a look of wonder spreading on her face.

Janet's eyes opened in shock. For once she forced her head to stay still, her cheeks turning beet red. She had let herself get so caught up in her fascination that she wasn't aware of how obvious her actions must have been. Her mouth opened to say words, but nothing came out. She didn't dare face Rachel. That is until she heard a burst of laughter from behind her.

"You. Are so. Adorable! Oh my god, Janet." Rachel couldn't stop laughing, even as Janet finally turned around and glared at her. Eventually realizing Janet's reaction to her laughter, Rachel tried to deescalate. "It's fine, it's fine. I don't care either way. I just think it's so cute. I've never seen someone go to eleven like that before." She took a moment to compose herself. "Boy, you sure do know how to pick them, though. I wish you the best of luck. You'll probably need it."

Janet had been looking at the table, filled with shame and embarrassment at the situation, until she heard Rachel's last statement. A look of concern on her face, she questioned Rachel, "Why do you say that?"

"Well who knows if she's actually seeing anyone currently, but I don't recall hearing any rumors of her sexual orientation. Regardless, I'm sure you'll be facing a lot of competition."

Janet stared at her new friend with dejection. Her mind withdrew into itself, constantly going over the situation. She barely even registered when the orientation had started, and only payed half attention during. Before she knew it, the students were released unto the campus.

Janet followed Rachel back to their dorm, responding just enough to keep the conversation going when needed. Rachel, for her part, did her best to stifle her laughter every time she saw Janet's reactions, though it didn't help that she was also instigating the poor girl perhaps a bit too often.

At the dorm, Rachel went over the ground rules to the partly-inattentive Janet. Don't be a slob, help with the house work, respect privacy, understand boundaries, but most importantly, don't "...be such a killjoy, Janet." Rachel playfully tapped Janet's cheek.

Janet apologized for what seemed like the 50th time today. She just couldn't get this Melanie out of her head.

And so the day wore on, Janet slowly opening up some more, mostly at the behest of Rachel. She found it easy to do so around Rachel, when she wasn't otherwise distracted. It was a feat not many people were able to achieve with her. The two continued to gossip and learn more about each other until they both agreed to finally get some sleep.

While in bed, Janet's mind went right back to where it was. She couldn't continue to pester Rachel about Melanie, at least not without having to endure more friendly ridicule. At the same time, though, she realized she likely didn't have a chance of anything happening. She lacked the confidence to even try approaching the girl. There had to be some angle she could use. Some way of obtaining the unobtainable. Perhaps...


All life seemed to wash away from Rachel as she stared at the flitting colors. Each emotion dissipated slowly together, until nothing was left. All the anger, the disappointment, the hurt, the sense of betrayal, gone within moments. Eventually all that was left was a warm, breathing body.

Janet stared at her roommate, partly relieved that things were quiet again, but also saddened at the events caused by her carelessness. She let Rachel stand there, fully motionless save for the minuscule rise and fall of her chest, as she thought back on what she had said. Despite the backlash, and the justified accusations, Rachel still trusted enough in Janet to fix this.

Janet wanted to make it right.

And then the image of Melanie popped in her head, and all Janet could say was, "I'm sorry..."

Guilt permeated through Janet, but in the end her desires won out. Getting to Melanie was too important for Janet, even if it meant she had to use her friend.

Janet placed the tablet on the table, making sure not to break Rachel's line of sight to it while she did so. Not that it seemed to make much of a difference, but Janet had made enough stupid mistakes that day. She didn't want to take any chances.

She straightened up and turned back to Rachel, noting that the girl had moved her head to follow the screen. She approached her carefully, placing a hand on her shoulder. She began talking, quietly. "Rachel, can you hear me?"

"Yes..." came the equally quiet reply.

"In a moment, I am going to wake you up. When I do, you will no longer be bothered by what I had done to you. I want you to be comfortable knowing that I am using my program on you. My goal was never really to change you, but I need your help. I just want you to understand that. So when I count to three, you will wake up, still feeling like yourself, but not concerned about what I had done. 1... 2..." Janet paused, and then eventually sighed to herself. "Also, whenever I say the phrase 'drop for me', you will return to this state of mindlessness, as if you were still staring at the program."

"1... 2... 3..." she counted as she turned off the tablet.

Rachel's eyes began to blink as her surroundings came into focus. She turned her head to the right and saw Janet, now seated on the couch, her head propped up by her hands. She noted the look of anticipation expressed by her roommate, contrasted with concern. "You sneaky bitch," Rachel finally said as she stretched. She grunted as her back arched, her arms taut in the air before dropping back down to her sides. "Wow, this is kinda trippy."

A sense of relief crept up on Janet. It was a bit early for her to tell, but at least Rachel wasn't yelling at her. If anything, the grin on Rachel's face was a bit unsettling to Janet.

"So," Rachel began, "we gonna to talk about this?" She crossed the short distance to the couch and sat at the end opposite Janet, one leg over the edge, with her body held up by her elbow on the arm rest. She watched her roommate squirm, evidently unsure of how to begin.

"Do you... remember everything?" Janet tentatively asked.

"I guess so," Rachel responded. "That's quite the device you made. Couldn't you have just wiped my memory or something? Man, this feels like some Twilight Zone shit..."

"I... didn't want to do that to you. I just needed someone to test it on. If it worked, I was hoping you could help me with something afterward." Janet felt she owed it to Rachel to be honest and open about everything. She finally looked up from the ground towards her friend. "So... you're not bothered by all of this?" Part of her was still anticipating the anger to return.

"Well that's the thing, I feel like I should be, but I'm not. It's kind of hard to explain," Rachel responded, looking up towards the ceiling. "It's like... when you see something out of the corner of your eye. You're so certain of what it is, even though you haven't actually looked at it. Yet when you actually turn to look, it's just... something else. I still have the memory of my feelings from earlier, but when I think on it... I guess I just don't care." Rachel shrugged.

A short silence filled the room before Rachel continued on. "So anyways, I think it's pretty clear your mind-melter works." Janet gave her a look upon hearing her program being referred to as such. "You said you wanted my help. Care to elaborate what it is you need?"

A small blush filled Janet's cheeks. "Do you... remember Melanie?"

Rachel's eyes bulged in shock at the mention of Janet's crush, just before she doubled over in laughter. She had to defend herself from the couch pillow that was hurled in her direction. She looked up to see the anger in Janet's eyes as she struggled to catch her breath. "Are you trying to tell me that you've been fantasizing about Melanie this whole time? And you actually built a mind control device? Just to get laid?! Oh, this is too good!"

Janet ran out of pillows to throw at her hysterical roommate, her anger flaring at the accusations. She looked around the room for something else to throw, but only spotted the tablet sitting on the table. Realizing she still held the upper hand, she turned back towards Rachel, "If you don't stop, I can just use the program to make you. And I assure you there will be no remorse for anything that happens afterwards." She did her best to look as intimidating as possible.

Still riding on endorphins, Rachel tried to stifle her laughter as she picked herself off the floor and back onto the couch. She accepted that there was no way she could remove the grin from her face. "Easy, easy, easy, now. I'll help you," Rachel assured her. "You just have to promise to stop acting like such an adorable lost puppy!" she added in a mocking tone, eliciting a few more giggles. Finally settling down, Rachel probed further, "So how do I fit into this? Why do you need my help?"

The angry tension brought on by the ridicule slowly subsided from Janet's body, her face finally relaxing. "Well, I don't really know anything about her. She's always surrounded by people. It's not like I can just walk up to them and use my program on her... so I was hoping maybe you'd have an in."

"Hate to burst your fantasy, but I don't talk to her either."

A look of defeat fell over Janet's face. She held her roommate's outgoing personality in high regard, but it seemed even that had its limits. Janet felt like she was back at square one, the feeling of hopelessness filling her thoughts.

"So we just need to get her alone somehow, right?" Rachel asked, seemingly hard at thought.

Janet nodded in response while staring at the carpet, disheartened.

"And your mind-melter will work on anyone?"

Another nod. "I would imagine so."

"So what if we use it on my math teacher?"

Janet looked up at Rachel, confusion showing on her face. "Why? What about your math teacher?"

"Well, Melanie and I are in the same math class. Maybe the teacher will be able to get her alone at some point? Plus, we could make her change my grades!" Rachel exclaimed, grinning devilishly. "Hell, why stop there? Let's use your device on all my professors!"

Rachel could see it now, graduating college summa cum laude. Her professors showering her with praise in their recommendation letters. Maybe even toppling Melanie as valedictorian of her class. After all, she'd probably be too busy attending to Janet's devious tendencies. Rachel wasn't doing poorly in her classes by any means, but figured there's always room for improvement.

Rachel was hugging a pillow, stars in her eyes, before being tackled by Janet. "Oh my god, Rachel, you're a genius!" she exploded in excitement, finally snapping Rachel out of her own fantasies. Janet squeezed as tightly as she could, only barely containing her desire to shower her savior in kisses.

"Okay, okay, I get it, you're welcome. Settle down, you monkey." Rachel laughed, trying to wrestle free from Janet's iron grip. "I don't mean to be the bearer of bad news again, but if you'll remember, it's a Friday night. Ms. Gilio doesn't have office hours on the weekend, so you'll just have to wait until Monday. Sorry." She continued to weakly attempt to break free from Janet.

"That's okay, that gives us time to properly plan things out. It also gives me a chance to make this day up to you," Janet said, a mischievous grin spreading across her face.

"Make it up to me? How?" Rachel felt apprehensive over Janet's choice of words, and how she delivered them. Suddenly realizing what Janet could be getting at, Rachel brought her hand up to try to cover Janet's mouth. "Hey now, don't go-"

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