New Beginnings, Episode 3, Part 1
People always talk about where they were when they first heard about The Correspondent. She came out of nowhere and tried to make a difference. Some saw her as a beacon of hope, others as a sign of how far down the slope we had come. I never paid attention to all of that. I was too busy. Too busy working to pay my bills, too busy trying to figure out life. I was seventeen when it started. I was The Correspondent. This is my story.
The next week was spent either reassuring my mom that I was OK, or telling Kate that it was OK to go anywhere. Between the two of them I think that Kate took it hardest. My mom was, begrudgingly, used to me putting myself in harms way. With me being away at college I am sure she didn’t think she needed to worry, but what can you do.
Unlike my high school teachers, who were insanely understanding, my professors didn’t care that I had almost burned to death. I still needed to get everything done on time, though my art teacher did say if I needed more time I could take it. Of course that was the class I was prepared for.
Like a responsible person I went to the campus clinic and, after assuring them that I wasn’t in need of a STD test or wanted to take a handful of condoms, they told me to stay out of fires. They gave me an inhaler that was supposed to help my airway heal or something. I used it dutifully and felt right as rain. Everything back to normal.
But it wasn’t normal. I couldn’t stop thinking about what had caused the explosion. Or more importantly, who had caused it. There was a lot of discussion about the explosion in my criminal justice class. One of the no it all kids, besides me, pointed out that there always seemed to be a large crime committed at the beginning of the semester.
My research in the library told me the same thing. It was unofficially known as the “Freshmen Curse”. The police chalked it up to students celebrating thier new freedom. This wasn’t even the first explosion. I didn’t know a lot about being a freshmen, but I didn’t want to blow anything up.
After the next criminal justice class I stayed after to talk to the professor. Dr. Mitchell was cleaning his glasses with his tie when I walked up front. He nodded to the other students as they left and nodded at me, then stared at me when I stood next to him.
“Hi,” I said, feeling lame.
“Yes,” he said, disinterest plain from his tone.
“I had some questions.”
“My office hours are in the syllabus.”
He turned, collecting his briefcase, and strode towards the door.
I followed him towards the door, speaking faster to get it all out before he reached the door.
“I was wondering what you think about the “Freshmen Curse”? It seems wierd to me that there is only one major crime a semester and that any group, especially freshmen could pull it off.”
As I finished my sentence we had made it to the doorway and he shot out as I almost collided with the door jam. He was through the door and down the hall, ignoring my question. I started after him, but Kate intercepted me.
“Lunch time!” she said, her cheerfulness contagious.
I guess I needed to look up his office hours.
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Dylan Reed has always been interested in a good story. Raised without a TV he spent a lot of time with books and loves reading. Dylan has been a professional entertainer, studied commercial diving, and loves random trivia. He brings all of this and more together in his stories.