D A Y T W O
The next morning, the memories of the night before were like a dream. I couldn't believe what had actually happened. Still, to this day, it felt unreal.
I was a free woman, but my roommate couldn't say the same. Her parents lingered on another day, which was frustrating to her, but relieving to me.
The pair adopted me like a second child and took me to the bookstore so I could get my resources early. (Ironically, my roommate is a HUGE Harry Potter fan)
The events of last night weren't mentioned to Perennial's parents. When asked how the first night went, I mysteriously answered, "explosive."
I was hoping that one day, I could laugh at the experience. But it turns out, I would be looking back at that first night with fond nostalgia for what transpired next.
Perennial's parents vacated later that day, and we were both free women. I was still fiddling around in my room, writing a Game of Thrones quote on the tiny whiteboard sticking to my fridge.
I overheard it from my roommate's room. She was red-faced with distress. I asked what was wrong, and received a very informal explanation.
...Simply put, as to not completely gross out my audience (if you aren't already), there was blood and pain in a place where there shouldn't be, at least...not by a monthly prediction.
I asked if she tried the school clinic, if she wanted me to get the RA. Perennial questioned someone from our university on the phone, then gave me a glum, slightly sickened look.
"They can't do anything. They said they only treat fevers and runny noses..."
I inhaled sharply. "That's helpful."
"Yeah, tell me about it..." Perennial explained how there was a Medical Express that they informed her of.
I offered to drive. Like me, she was hours away from home. Her parents had already left. She was alone, facing this nightmare. No one should be alone facing hell like this.
I would make note here that we left around dinner time--without dinner.
I was already feeling the pangs of hunger, and filled a PLASTIC RED CUP (I bought a couple on my first trip to the supermarket. Because I needed them, and I also wanted to be a little shit) with bland cereal.
So we set off on our sisterly-bonding road trip, in a town that neither of us were familiar with, directed by her phone's GPS.
As I drove, she told me she was in pain, but that was obvious. I could tell by the way she was curled in on herself, hugging her torso. When she spoke, it was hoarse and almost squeaky.
We arrived at the Medical Express. She had to call before they could let her in (thanks to a nameless pandemic, giving our situation an extra thrill of adrenaline).
When Perennial walked, there was a stagger to it. I stayed by her side, and we walked through the door.
I stood off to the side, silent. I hoped my nearby presence was helpful and comforting as my roommate explained her...unfortunate health situation to the woman at the front desk. They spoke for a few minutes.
There was nothing they could do.
The woman told us of a second medical express, somewhere farther off in the unexplored town. We thanked her and headed back towards my car.
My roommate plugged in the second destination and we set off towards our new route...with a new problem.
I noticed the amount of gas in my tank.
You thought being stuck with a person you barely know in a medical emergency nightmare in an unfamiliar place was bad?
How about being stranded in said situation, with an unmoving car on the side of the road? Bring on the pinatas (but if you're gonna hit something--)! It's a party!
So a new blanket of fear had encased me. On top of the slowly-rising hunger, of course. I started scanning the right side of the road for gas stations.
I always loathed getting gas on my own, without the company of my parents in case some disaster happened.
I can happily say this is no longer an issue for me; that phobia of adulting was whisked out the window by the person writhing in pain beside me.
Thank god, I did find a gas station, and we were well on our way. Some relief was restored to me. A few more right turns and we arrived at the second Medical Express for the day.
The routine continued; call the office, wait in the car, plunge into a waiting room full of face masks.
The second Medical Express accepted Perennial with open arms, and rushed her past the front desk. I was left alone in the outside waiting room.
I took a seat. The walls were a calming light green, the hardwood floors golden in the evening sunlight. It was like sitting on the inside of a honeydew melon--including the sticky part.
I called my emotional support system (which at the time consisted of my mom and a few other very unlucky people).
I bestowed my story to them: twenty-four hours into college, and I was now in the waiting room of a medical express. How's Miss Pukey on the first night looking now, eh?
After relaying my situation a few times, I had a moment to sit back and reflect on recent events. And, this is awful, but I say this in full honesty: I was ready to laugh my ass off.
It was my first day in college, and this is what happened. I was in the Medical Express WAITING ROOM.
What were the odds? It was like something from Seinfeld! It was hilarious! The other patients must've thought I'd gone hysterical.
And that is a possibility: it could've been the ongoing starvation slowly chipping away at me.
My bubbly delirium state popped as I faced new problems on the horizon.
One: I needed food. Every situation was improved with food, and this situation was in dire need of improvement. I needed to grab something, somewhere, fast.
Two: what if they decided to keep my roommate overnight? Or take her to the emergency room? How would I get back to the college? We used her phone's GPS to get here.
I looked out the window, and I gazed upon the main protagonist of this story, my saintly savior in my darkest times, the messiah of men.
A KFC drive-thru.