tagNovels and NovellasUniversity Life - First Ch. 01

University Life - First Ch. 01


'Mum, Mum...MOTHER!' Kainene screamed the last word.

'Gah! What is it, Child?' Her mother snapped in irritation. She was trying to stuff her daughter's novels into her suitcase and it refused to shut. Her face was red, she was sweaty and her daughter was screeching in her ear. She was not best pleased.

'Don't yell at me mum, I'm trying to tell you not to bother squeezing them novels in. I've got space in this other bag.' Kainene rolled her eyes. Gosh, she was the one who had to move to Bristol to start university in about -- thirty minutes and her mother was stressing. She knew it was because her mother was sad that her only child was leaving but it wasn't like she was moving all the way to Timbuktu. Bristol was just an hour and a half away or thereabouts on the train.

'Well, why didn't you say so, you ungrateful child? I've been huffing all morning trying to...why do you want so many novels with you anyway? You're going to study not faff about. If you dare fail, I'll....' Her mother said.

'Oh mum, you know that's not gonna happen.' Kainene went round to hug her mother. She could tell that her mum was trying her hardest not to cry. Her face was going red with the effort to hold the tears back in. She truly felt sorry for her mum, but this was her day and she was excited. She had a whole new life ahead of her and had worked hard to get into the prestigious Bristol University and she intended to enjoy every second of it. 'Come on, mum. Let's go haggle Dad to get his dodgy car started now. Don't want it wheezing down the road now, do we?' That got a smile out of her mum, albeit wobbly.

Kainene looked out of the window as the grey, nearly conked out Fiat sped, or rather, smoked its way down the motorway. They had about twenty minutes to get to Bristol and her heart beat sped up every time she looked at the satellite navigator. She opened her compact powder case and stared at her reflection for the umpteenth time. Her green eyes stared back at her. With her golden unruly curls, her large green eyes and snub little nose, she was termed gorgeous by all the guys from her college. However, she didn't think she was. All she noticed was her more than full lips gotten from her Nigerian father, her long coltish legs with knobby knees and her stick thin figure which her anorexic class mates envied but she absolutely abhorred. She ate as much as she could but it didn't seem to be going anywhere, except maybe her height as she was 5'11. Her mother told her she could be a model, as did many other people, but her dad was all about education and luckily, she was a bit of a bookworm so she didn't feel too put out by her father's strict and overly protective way towards her academics. She was the only student in her school to achieve all A stars in her GCSEs and four As in her A-levels earning her a full scholarship to Bristol. This had made her father extremely proud as they were barely comfortable and could not have afforded to send her off to University. Now all she had to pay for was her accommodation which her student loan took care of and her allowance which she had saved a bit for and was going to get a job for anyway. She sighed happily to herself. Her two best friends Vicky and Anna were off to the fashion school in Hackney where all three were from, so they weren't as excited as she was as they still lived in familiar territory. She had never been out of London, except to Surrey to see her god parents on occasion and that was barely outside London so she was beyond excited.

Her mother's 'We're here!' snapped her out of her reverie. She looked out of the window to stare at a long driveway leading to a castle-like building.

'Blimey!' She gasped out loud.

A preppy looking girl stepped up to their car and said in the plumiest accent ever, 'Welcome to Wills Hall.'

'Err...' Kainene said, looking at her parents in bewilderment, 'Actually, I'm supposed to be at University Hall, know where that is?'

A subtle look of slight disgust crossed the girl's face as she whipped her hair lightly and turned away. Calling over her shoulder, she said, 'Well, you're in the wrong place, yah. You have to drive back out and turn left; you'll see directions from there.'

Kainene raised her eyebrows. Well, that put her in her place then. She looked at her parents who still looked a tad confused, 'Guess this must be the hall for them poshies and whatnot. Let's be off then, Dad.'

Her father reversed the car which spluttered a bit and they drove off towards the right hall. On getting there, she realised why the other girl had been so snotty. The building had a council flat-like atmosphere to it. A lot of students were milling about and as soon as she stepped out of the car, she forgot the rude girl entirely. She was finally here! University! She screamed inwardly and impulsively hugged her father who was struggling with her two suitcases in the boot of the car. 'Thanks Dad for making me work so hard. I'm well excited.'

He looked at her tenderly. He was so proud of his lovely daughter. He had come from a dirt-poor home back in Nigeria and had worked hard doing night jobs in the local William Hill in order to take care of his family of two. Although he wasn't the richest of men, he could afford to feed, house and clothe his family plus he had a darling wife whom he loved dearly and his exceptionally clever daughter. What more could he want?

'Oh my darling girl, I am so, so proud of you. You have made me the happiest man alive. Get me that First class and I'll die happier.' He said in his thick Nigerian accent.

His wife nudged him, 'Stop talking about death, Chike and let's help Nene get her stuff to the reception hall. This isn't the end, you know. We still have to get her settled and all ain't that right, baby?' she looked at her daughter.

'Yup. Come on let's go, I wanna see how my room is.' She swung her bag over her shoulder and marched towards the directions leading to the reception hall.

An hour later, she had the keys to her block, her flat and her room. She opened the door to her room, and with the help of her parents dragged her suitcases and massive carrier bag into it. She looked round her room as she fell on her bed in exhaustion. They had had to climb up three flights of stairs as her flat was on the third floor and logging all her stuff had rendered her breathless.

'Not bad, is it, Nens?' Her mum said, setting the carrier bag next to the bed. 'Do you need me to help you sort everything out, you know, arrange your clothes in your wardrobe...'

'Leave her be, Jennifer, She's not a child, she can do it by herself.' Chike's deep voice rumbled as he lined her suitcases by the dinky looking radiator.

'Dad's right, mum, I can do it, don't worry.' Kainene, or Nens as she was called, knew how much her mum wanted to help so as to prolong her stay with her daughter, but she wanted her parents off so that she could get to know her flatmates better. She had already heard some voices coming from the kitchen and wanted to investigate. Although she was naturally shy, she knew that these were the people she was going to live with for one year and thought that the faster she got over her nerves and introduced herself, the better it would be in the long run.

'Okay, my darling. I guess we'll leave you now.' Her mum's voice wobbled at this last bit. She was going to miss her baby. This was the first time that they would be apart. Her college, secondary and kindergarten schools had all been walking distance from home and she was dreading going back to London without her daughter. Her husband put his arms around her as she started sobbing gently.

'Pull yourself together, woman. She's eighteen now. You knew that she was going to leave soon enough, she's not a child anymore.' He said gently. He also felt sad about his daughter leaving but he knew it was for the best and had resigned himself to that fact.

Kainene looked a bit worried as her mum carried on crying. She was going to miss them too, but she could not bring herself to cry as she was too excited to do so. 'Come on, Mum. I'll pop down to London soon. I mean, who's gonna make me the best jollof rice in the world. Or fry the best plantains?'

Her mum giggled tearfully. She forced herself to stop crying. With one last sniff, she rubbed her nose on her husband's shirt sleeve to his quiet disgust. 'Okay baby, we're off now. Don't forget to call us. And make sure you eat well. And don't take no lip from no one especially them people that will be in that other hall. And study hard but not too hard 'cause you don't wanna give yourself those horrible migraines you always get, and...'

'Alright mum already. And I'll make sure to be careful when crossing the road. Go already,' Kainene laughingly cut in.

Her father laughed as well and patted her shoulder once. 'Good luck my darling, and remember to always pray. Take care, Kainene Veronica Nwando.' He kissed her softly on her forehead and both parents walked out of the flat.

Kainene waited a second for the sad feeling to come but all she felt was excitement. She squealed and jumped on the bed. She was a fresher at the University of Bristol, woo-hoo! She spent about thirty minutes meticulously putting all her stuff in the right place, and paid particular attention to her novels, arranging them alphabetically on the few shelves reserved for her textbooks. Those would have to go on her study desk, she told herself.

Once she was satisfied with her room and the bed was properly made with her argos-bought bedspreads, she smiled to herself. Now she could go introduce herself to her flatmates. She put all her indomie noodles and tins of tuna, sweet corn and the like into the carrier bag and walked to the kitchen at the end of the hall. She was in a self-catered hall and had to cook for herself and her mother had gone mad buying up tins and tins of non-perishable food and cooked her three large Tupperware-bowls of jollof and fried rice and thick chicken and beef stews. She was definitely going to miss her Nigerian meals once she was through with her plastic bowls as she couldn't cook to save her life.

When she got into the kitchen she saw four students sat round the dining table. As they were only five in the flat she knew that they were all around then. 'Hey,' she shyly waved at the others as she stepped in. They all looked up at her with wide smiles. There were three guys and one girl.

The girl spoke first, 'Hey, I'm Lorna Williamson, welcome to the wonderful Flat B, of University Hall'. She went round to shake Kainene's hand. She was short, well compared to Kainene's 5'11 frame, and had long, beautiful red hair.

'These are John, Matt and...oh bother, your name's skipped my mind again.' She said gesturing to the three guys. The last one whose name she'd forgotten laughed and shrugged. He had gorgeous hazel eyes and curly dark hair although he looked a bit short to Kainene, but he was sitting down so she could not really tell.

'That's alright,' He said in a northern accent, 'People always have problems with it though I really can't see why. I'm Mykelos. Lovely to meet you.'

'Oh wow, you don't look Greek.' Kainene blurted out, then turned red as she quickly buttoned up.

Mykelos chuckled, 'That's because I'm not. My mum fancied some Greek dancer when she was on honeymoon and decided to name me after him, or so my parents said. My other two siblings ended up with Sarah and Thomas, lucky sods. Although, it helps with pulling, having an exotic name hehe.' The two other guys laughed as well at that.

Lorna rolled her eyes at Kainene, 'Oh God, we're stuck with three randy guys, what joy.' But this was said in an obvious jokey manner so no one took offence. 'So what's your name then? And you're from London aren't you?'

'I'm Kainene, although everyone calls me Nens. And yeah, I'm from London. It's the accent, innit?' she asked.

'Innit? Oh dear, my mum would have a coronary if I said that,' one of the guys, Matt said. He smiled a bit mockingly at Kainene as she turned red again.

'Piss orf, Poshy.' Mykelos said to Matt, then to Kainene, 'Ignore him. He's been moaning about missing out on Wills Hall over there and how he applied late for accommodation and blah blah blah. Like, Lorna missed out as well, but she's not saying anything, he's just been grumbling and we've been here for two hours so get used to him as we've done.'

Kainene just nodded, and couldn't help smiling apologetically at Matt as if she was in the wrong for her east London accent. She knew she sounded like a right chav but she couldn't help it. She sounded like a castrated frog when she tried to speak posh and she had simply given up on that. Sadly, the people she came across who heard her speak thought she was tough and ghetto because of her accent, but she was such a shy, timid girl and couldn't talk back to anyone. If she hadn't had her two friends, Vicky and Anna to stick up for her, she would have been bullied throughout college.

She swallowed the apology that readily sprang to her lips because Mykelos was right. There simply wasn't anything she could do about how she spoke.

'Anyway,' Lorna quickly said to diffuse any arguments, 'I saw on the notice board in the common room, that there's a meet and greet at the bar tonight and there's going to be lashings of beer and wine. I'm excited about that.'

'Plonk more like.' Matt snorted quietly, but everyone heard him. Lorna simply rolled her eyes at Mykelos. John just looked out of the window. He didn't bother to contribute to the conversation and Kainene wondered if he was homesick already because he looked like he was. He was weedy looking, wore glasses and had the mousiest looking hair she had ever seen. He looked like a right Mummy's boy. She quickly castigated herself inwardly for thinking like that. It wasn't in her to be mean, but he truly did look rather drippy.

'Plonk or not, Matt the wine connoisseur, its effect is to get us drunk and more friendly and I'm going to drink as much as I can without chundering, so Nens, is it? Up for a night out at the ole' hall bar?' Lorna asked.

'Yeah, sure. Not like I have any other thing to do.' Kainene nodded quickly.

'Cool, we should probably meet back here like seven-ish then we can all go there together. Everyone okay with that?' This was asked by Mykelos and the others agreed to it.

Kainene smiled at everyone and walked back to her room. This was going to be exciting.


Lorna turned to Matt as soon as Kainene left the kitchen, 'Why did you have to be so mean, you tosser? She's obviously shy and she looked like she was going to bolt once you made that silly comment. What on earth's the matter with you?' she asked, her eyes flashing.

'Oh chill out, Lorns. We aren't back at college, and you can't yell at me like that anymore. God, a cruel twist of fate it was, ending up in the same flat with you. Me and my ex-girlfriend, imagine that.' Matt rolled his eyes and lit a cigarette, opening the window as he did so and ignoring the obvious 'No Smoking Please' signs strategically placed on the kitchen door.

'Wow, both of you went out? Interesting.' Mykelos grinned, twisting an imaginary moustache.

John just stared, petrified at Matt who was smoking and leaning nonchalantly against the window, 'We're not allowed to do that, are we?' He timidly asked Matt.

Matt merely gave him a blank look, and John quickly scuttled off to his room.

'How wet is he?' Matt muttered to himself loudly. The other two couldn't speak up for John because they were a bit irritated by him as well. Who followed the rules in University for the love of God?

'Well, it's already four thirty and I need a bit of beauty sleep in preparation for our night out...although it's just the stupid bar. This hall is a bit grimy, though. Matt's right about that. Ah well, c'est la vie. See you guys in a few.' And with that Lorna flounced out to her room, shutting her door with a slam.

Mykelos chuckled to himself again. He looked at Matt who was staring at him. 'You guys went out, you said?'

'Yeah, for two years, can you believe? Shocking hunh?' He blew out a stream of smoke and flicked his cigarette out the window not caring if it landed in someone's hair or not.

'Hmm...and do you still fancy her then?' Mykelos asked.

Matt sputtered at that for a bit, then sighed, 'Is it that obvious? Fuck. I mean, we broke up because, this was meant to be our first choice of Unis, we even picked the same halls -- Wills and this as a backup option. What I didn't tell her was that this was my second choice as I thought I wanted to...I dunno, explore a bit. I mean, we're eighteen, didn't wanna be tied down. Next thing, I got rejected by Durham, my first choice, and she found out that I'd lied about this being my first choice and we broke up. Over something as stupid as that, can you believe?'

'She probably felt that since you really wanted your space then you could have it.'

'Bloody Hell, how the fuck did you know that? That's exactly what she said?' Matt looked shocked.

Because it's pretty obvious, idiot.' Mykelos laughed, 'plus I'm gay. I know stuff like that.'

Matt looked at Mykelos more shocked than before. 'Are you joking? You don't look like a pouf, no offence, mate.'

Mykelos laughed heartily at that. This was not the first time he had heard that statement. He played rugby and was well-built. He looked nothing like the stereotypical gay person would look. 'That's alright mate. Everyone always says that. And don't worry about locking your door at night, you're not my type anyway.'

Matt blushed a bit at that, as he truly had been thinking of locking his door. 'Ah...hang on, what do you mean, not your type?' He was a bit curious as to why Mykelos would say that. He knew he was fit, with his blonde hair and blue eyes. He was also a rower and had a toned lean body, except he wasn't the tallest, at 5'11. Probably as tall as the Nens girl, he figured. But that didn't detract from his fitness.

Mykelos shrugged, 'Don't really like blondes mate, no offence. You obviously know you're a fit one, so don't fish for compliments, I'm not a sissy gay person. You just aren't, mate. But I think Lorna fancies you too, so try and work things out with her.'

Matt quickly forgot about Mykelos' gayness. Did he truly think Lorna still fancies him then? Hmm, food for thought. He absentmindedly waved bye to Mykelos as he walked back to his room. Time to work out how he was going to get Lorna back tonight, he thought to himself, his mind whirling.

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