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An unclassical tale of metamorphosis.
linoleum, her head snaps up and I see a sweet, heart shaped face surrounded by short mouse brown hair
Her surprise soon gone, she stands at the desk, smiles and says, "May I help you?"
"Yes," I say nervously, "I was supposed to be enrolled here in the fall but there was an emergency and I had to come up now."
"Is everything all right?"
"I don't know," I say.
"I'll see what I can do," she says, "We might be able to put you up with one of the off-campus students until the fall. Is it so very important that you stay here so soon?"
With my eyes beginning to sting once again, I say, "I have nowhere else to go."
Concern is growing on the woman's face. I have never been good at hiding my emotions, it is one of my weaknesses.
"Do you have any family, friends, that you could stay with?"
"None, ma'am," I say, my face now burning. When will the roller coaster of emotions stop?
The woman spins around abruptly in her chair and begins rummaging around in a desk drawer. Before long, she pulls out a thin stack of papers.
"We keep lists of students looking for roommates and also lists of jobs in the area, if you're interested," she says as the pushes the sheets across the desk towards me.
"Thank you so much," I say.
She gives me a warm smile and says, "take the lists, I have more copies. There are phone numbers on all of them."
I thank her again and leave the building. I sit in my car for a half an hour, looking through the lists. All of the names on the housing list had a phone number and a short description of what they were looking for. The list of jobs was basically then same. I circled some of the people I could conceivably live with and some waitressing jobs. I'd waitressed in high school, something I thought could work to my advantage.
I folded up the lists and put them in my bag, immediately starting the car and heading towards what looked like the main street of town. It had been almost a year since I looked at this school with my parents, so, while it was vaguely familiar, I still felt lost and foreign in the small college town.
There were droves of tan, smiling girls with their boyfriends. I felt, probably imagined, there eyes on my as I rambled slowly in my beat up Volvo, face drawn, exhausted, pale, too thin. I quickly pull into a parking lot next to a deli with the sign "Payphone Inside" in the window.
Purse in hand, I stalk into the deli. Lately, it seems that I never simply walk, either stalk or slink or scurry or curl up in a corner and hope no one notices me while I do my business. The payphone is directly inside the deli, which is very busy. I pull out the list of potential roommates and push a few quarters into the slot, starting with the first name on the list, Winifred E. Payne. Her description of her apartment says "two bedroom, one bathroom, small but well-lit, looking for a female roommate, must be quiet and reliable."
As the phone rang, I start imagining what kind of girl she could be. I had always loved people, as introverted as I could be at times, I just loved meeting people, getting to know them, and just being around another person.
Her voice is faint and crackly over the old payphone but I am immediately charmed by its melody.
"Um, hello," I say, "er, my name's Julie Cass and the woman at the administrative office said you're looking for a roommate?"
"Oh, yeah," she says, "I'm Winnie. Are you going to be a freshman this year or what?"
"Yeah, a freshman."
"Well, I'm a sophomore so I guess I know the town better than you. Wanna come down and look at the place?"___
"Sure," I say. My mom always said to never go in the house of a stranger but Winnie doesn't sound like a serial killer. On the contrary, she sounds rather nice.
"Here's the address," she says, "one oh five Pershing..."
"Wait wait wait! I need a pen," I say, smiling a little. I grab the greasy pen from next to the phone book and begin writing on the back of the list.
"Okay," I say, "ready."
"One oh five Pershing Avenue, apartment four."
"Thanks! When do you want me to co