3 months. 90 days. 2,160 hours.
That’s all it took for my world to fall apart.
My life had always been so certain, I’ve had a concrete plan for as long as I can remember.
Until the day I was accepted into Westwood University.
Until I let anger morph my actions.
Until I opened the gates of hell.
His eyes are what first caught me, I was a fly in his web. Once I was bound in the threads, I was doomed. I let him consume me, all of me.
I was in too deep when he told me the truth…
At the end of the class, I felt like my head was about to split open. This class was already intense and it was only day one. When he dismissed us, the professor asked to see the student he called “Mr. West” and he did not look happy.
I had an hour before my second class started and decided to get a head start reading the first chapter of my Cell Biology book. I sat under a large oak tree facing the parking lot, avoiding some students from my class who flipped me off when I left.
Four pages into my chapter, I almost jumped out of my skin as the boy who sat next to me in class sat down beside me with a grunt. “Hi,” he said as I looked up at him with wide eyes, my stomach dropping with a fluttering feeling.
I quickly pushed past it, looking around to see people whisper. “Listen, if you’re here to prank me or scold me about the bell, trust me there’s no need. I know I fucked up,” I said defensively and started to put my book away to leave.
His hand fell on my book to stop me. “Definitely not here to prank you or scold you. Actually, I’m here to thank you. The bell distraction… helped me, per se. So, thanks.”
I took my book back out and nestled into my spot. He looked normal enough, too hot to be real, but I didn’t get any bad vibes from him. “Are you a believer in the gates of hell?” I mumbled, watching him from the corner of my eye.
He dusted off some invisible dirt from his black Nikes and smoothed out the dark denim of his jeans. “Yes. I am,” he said in all seriousness.
“Yet you’re not mad at me…” I trailed.
He laughed and looked at me. “No. You had some balls to ring that thing, I’m impressed.”
I turned toward him. “You’re not worried I doomed the school?”
This time he didn’t laugh. “This school was already doomed, you just set off an early release button. Plus, it takes about a month for the bells ring to fully awaken anything. So no, I’m not really worried. I’m excited.”
I looked at him dumbfounded. “Right…Well I don’t mean to be rude, but I need to study a bit before my next class,” I said and held up my book for emphasis.
“I’ve got that class too, with Mrs. Saunders?”
I pulled out my phone and looked up my class list again. “Yeah,” I mumbled.
“May I see your phone?” he asked with his hand out.
I reluctantly handed it over, thinking he wanted to look at my class list. He mumbled about a few of my professors once he had the device in hand and then clicked out of the app.
“Wait, what are you doing?” I asked.
“Giving you my number,” he said, throwing me a brief, perfect smile and then looking back down.
“I didn’t ask for your number,” I said with venom to my words, holding my hand out for my phone.
He ignored my annoyed tone and handed my phone back. “Want me to show you where the class is?” he asked.
I looked down at my screen, still lit with his name and number. “Phoenix?” I said aloud, not looking at him.
When I didn’t respond he got my attention with a hand motion. “And yours would be?”
I eyed him for a moment and put my phone away. Standing up and grabbing my bag I sighed. “Ezlynn.”
He stood up too and held out his hand, I shook it. “Well, Ezlynn, it’s nice to meet you. It looks like we’re in the same degree program, so I’ll see you around. Did you need help getting to class?” His tone held no sarcasm and I was taken aback that he might be sincerely helpful.
I shook my head. “No, thanks though. I’m actually going to head back to my dorm for a little bit. I’ll see you there?”
He smiled at me; his black eyes so intense that I had goose bumps on my arms. “Yeah. I’ll save you a seat.”
“Thanks,” I said and waved as I turned around to walk back to the dorms.