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Love Forever, Live Forever by Annette Mori

Prologue

 

It had been five years since I’d seen her, yet there she was standing in front of me. My Sara. How my heart ached for her. She was my first—first kiss, first date, first lover, my everything.

I am with Annie now. Sweet Annie, who has shown me such love and passion that I know she is who I want to spend eternity with—forever wrapped in her arms.

Yet I can still feel the pull of Sara and seeing her again only intensifies those feelings.

I feel Annie squeezing my hand and I know she is telling me that it is all right—that she is with me. I suspect Annie knows there’s a story here, but to her credit, she won’t ask anything not now, nor later when we’re alone. She’ll let me tell my story in my own time. God, I love that about her. I love everything about her. She is my soul mate.

How did it come to this? How did my small town farm girl world bring me to this stage in my life—to this abyss, which I’m now standing over so precariously?

To understand, I will have to tell you, the reader, the story of my life up until this very moment. Maybe Annie will read this journal and she will understand. I’m not much of a linear thinker and I ramble quite a bit, so forgive me for my need to add running commentary here and there.

I’m eighteen years old and just starting college when my story begins….

 

Chapter 1

 

It’s the summer of nineteen ninety-eight and it’s unseasonably hot for late August in Seattle. I’m sweating so bad that I have big armpit stains on my tank top as I scrutinize the old brick building. Students are bustling about resembling ants in front of an anthill. The old brick building is their anthill.

My dad is pulling books and CDs out of the back of the Honda.

My mom is squinting in the sunshine, politely taking it all in and I can tell that she doesn’t like what she sees. The building is old. The rooms are small and there is a decidedly musty smell to the place. Mercer hall appears to be the oldest, most run down dormitory that the University of Washington offers to their freshman students. Of course, they assign that dorm to me. I’m a reluctant student, but I’m not really given an option.

All the Jorgeson girls will go to college whether they want to or not. Getting a full ride scholarship sure doesn’t help my cause. Dad doesn’t see the humor in blowing off my scholarship and traveling around Europe until I can see myself as a college student.

I don’t give the building much thought one way or another. My attention is hijacked as soon as I glance down the hall and notice the hot red head casually leaning against the wall. My parents don’t know about my preference for women. The red head catches me staring and winks. I’m not sure who she’s winking at, so I turn my head around looking for who this hottie can be winking at. There is no one else in the hallway and I start blushing as I realize the wink is intended for me. I can’t let my parents see me staring, so I look away and focus on my family who are all loaded up with my belongings as they enter the narrow hallway.

“Hey, Nicky, which room is yours? This junk is heavy,” my sister calls out to me.

“Don’t get your panties in a bunch. Its right here, room two ten. Who asked you to come here anyway?”

I act like I don’t want my sister here seeing me off to college, but I really do. My younger sister, Tess, is my best friend. We are only one year apart in age and we always hang out together. I’m really going to miss her, but I can’t admit that to her.

“Nicky, be nice. You know you are going to miss Tess, so stop acting like you’re all tough.” For some reason my mom feels compelled to point this out.

“Well, this building has a certain amount of old world charm,” my dad, the eternal optimist, remarks.

“You gotta be shitting me. This is the oldest dorm on campus and it’s not some historical landmark, Dad, it’s just old and worn down.”

I can’t help being a little snarky. Remember I want to travel the world, not live in some old musty building with a bunch of silly freshman girls who are looking to find some hot guy to shack up with.

“For such an intelligent young woman, you sure find it hard to resist using profanity. Really, Nicky, I thought we taught you better than that.” My mom seems to forget her colorful language when she’s pissed at my dad.

I just want them all to drop my shit off and leave me to get settled. I also want to find the red headed hottie. If I’m lucky, she lives in the worn down rat hole I’m about to spend the next year of my life in.

“You know the drive back to Oregon is going to be really long if you don’t head back pretty soon. I got it from here. Let me just get the last box from the car and you can be on your way.”

“Are you sure you don’t need any help setting up your room?” My dad wrinkles his forehead and gives me that concerned parent look.

“Not from you, Dad. You don’t know a Phillip’s from a flathead screw driver and don’t even get me started on your propensity to smash your fingers, or worse, mine, whenever you wield a hammer.” I’m not trying to be mean when I tell my dad this because everyone in my family knows this about my dad.

“What about dinner? Will you be able to get a chance to eat tonight? Are you sure you don’t want us to take you to dinner before we leave?” I suspect Mom throws this out there as a final attempt to delay their inevitable departure.

It’s always about the food for my mom. Mom’s way to show love is to ensure we are well fed and it’s a miracle I’m not three hundred pounds. I barely escape high school with only an extra ten pounds and I’m a little nervous about what my freshman year will bring. I’ve heard about the freshman ten, which will make me a disgusting twenty pounds overweight.

“I’ve got some granola and other snacks for tonight. So, really, you guys should head out so you can get home at a reasonable hour.”

The waterworks begin and my mom predictably starts crying. “Oh, all right. I suppose we should get going soon. I can’t believe my baby is in college.”

I notice that Dad is trying not to let it show, but I see a tear escape from his eye. I even see Tess get a little choked up. It’s mass hysteria and I catch it from my family. I can’t help getting misty eyed, too. It isn’t my fault that my eyes start watering with my whole damned family starting a crying jamboree.

 

 

 

 

I finally manage to send them on their way and I’m blissfully alone in my room. I’m fortunate because my roommate isn’t here. I notice her girly stuff strewn all over the right side and she has enough make up and nail polish to stock the downtown Nordstrom’s. Two hours pass quickly and I manage to get most of the room set up. Dorm rooms aren’t really all that big, so I don’t have much to unpack and set up. I get my stereo placed and stock my mini fridge.

My music is blaring when Lisa the lemon shows up with her entourage. I call her Lisa the lemon because when she opens the door to the room her first expression resembles a person sucking on a lemon. I don’t think she’s happy that I’m her new roommate. Her prissy friends follow her into the room and give me the once over. I’m guessing they are not impressed. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to peg them as future sorority sisters.

“Don’t worry, Lisa, you won’t have to live here very long. As soon as we pledge with the Tri Delts, we can go live at the sorority house.”

“Damn, I was hoping we could be fuck buddies, but I’m allergic to sorority girls.” I’m going for shock value here, because the little prissy bitch just pisses me off with her snarky comment.

“Huh? You don’t look like a lesbian.” Lisa the lemon narrows her gaze and is scrutinizing me now.

I have to give her props for this comment. She doesn’t appear shocked by my comment. I readjust my first impression and think maybe her lemon reaction’s related to the musty old rat hole we’ve both been assigned to and not to me.

“What exactly does a lesbian look like?” I genuinely want to know the answer to this question because I don’t have gaydar like every other hot-blooded lesbian.

“Oh sorry, that sounded kind of rude. I’m your roommate, Lisa, and don’t mind these two. They’re not as bad as they sound. You’re like smoking hot, so I guess I didn’t expect you to be a lesbian. Personally, I couldn’t care less, but I don’t think we’ll be fuck buddies. Sorry, I don’t swing that way.”

Okay, I definitely misjudge my new roommate. Her entourage I don’t misjudge. They don’t say a word the whole time they are in the room. They just sit there watching us, like they’re watching some tennis match. They do serve a useful purpose when I end up using them as my own personal whipping post whenever I get pissed or frustrated. Don’t feel too sorry for them because, if I’m a bitch, they are both the queen of bitches. Compared to them, I don’t even register on the bitch meter.

“That’s cool, sorry for being a bitch earlier. I’m Nicky, your smoking hot lesbian roommate. Um, I’m not really out yet to my parents so if you could just ignore my snarky initial introduction, I would be ever so grateful.”

“Hey, no problem. I probably looked like I was sucking on a lemon, but it’s not you, honest. I’m just kind of disappointed that I got assigned to this shit hole of a dorm.”

Funny you should say that, Lisa the lemon. I really should rewind my thoughts because I think she might be kind of fun to have around. She seems not to take offense easily and this might work to my advantage. I certainly need a roommate who lets my bitchy moods roll off her back.

“Amen, sister. I thought the same thing. I think we might get along just fine. Welcome to rat hole heaven.” I grin at my new roommate hoping to show that I won’t be a problem for her.

“Hey, did you see that hot red head who lives down the hall? I think she plays for your team.”

“Whoa. First, how do you know that and, second, are you sure you’re not gay?”

“Oh, that. Well, my best friend at home is a big ole dyke—her words, not mine. She kind of taught me the gaydar thing. I’m pretty much never wrong now, although I sure didn’t peg you for a lesbian.”

“You could be really handy to have around. I’m not so good at the gaydar thing. Go figure. It’s damned inconvenient, you know. However, I did notice the red head. She was pretty hard to miss because I think she winked at me.”

“No shit. She’s definitely fuck buddy material if you really are after that.”

Lisa’s pretty cool and her comment cements our relationship.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes it’s painful to remember my old roommate, Lisa. She became a good friend, one that I had all through college. I’ve missed Lisa and her easygoing manner. She was super funny sometimes and managed to keep me from falling into the abyss several years later. I was grateful for her love and support. Besides family, she was the only one I missed.

Well, that’s not really true. I missed Sara, the red head that Lisa nicknamed Red. In fact, I never stopped missing her. I didn’t forget her in the thirteen long years since I had talked to her. I didn’t think of her every day, but I did obsess over her for at least two years after she left.

I rarely think of Sara since I met Annie. I’d like to think I’m going to get a second chance with Annie and she’ll read this journal of mine and know she is the only one I dream about.

 

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