Jessica was just about finished moving her last box into her dorm. This was Jessica’s junior year in college and she finally managed to land herself a single dorm. She was looking forward to this semester. Jessica liked her past roommates and they remained friends, sure, but one thing she never liked about college was sharing her space.
Jessica liked her privacy. She was never able to get any of it when she was living at home. Jessica was the oldest of seven in her family, the youngest being three and a half. Every moment she had alone she savored.
When Jessica first started college, she adjusted better than a lot of the friends she made. They were from small families and were nervous being out on their own. While Jessica was also a little nervous to leave home, the idea of her getting to have a room that was only shared by one other person was enough for her to jump headfirst.
“Last box.” Said Jace walking through Jessica’s dorm room door, a big box in his hand.
Jace was Jessica’s longest friend she had at college. She met Jace when she was trying to find her first class freshman year. She saw this dorky looking kid with his hand’s full papers and books in a stack that was taller than his head. Jessica walked over to help the poor boy and scared him nearly to death causing his papers to fly everywhere.
Jace was very embarrassed about the incident, but Jessica thought he was cute, and he reminded her of her little brothers. It turned out that Jace was only sixteen but had graduated high school early and was attending college. Jace knew the campus from summer classes and helped Jessica find her classroom. They agreed to get lunch together that day and have remained friends ever since.
Now that two years have passed, they remain close to one another. Jessica loved having Jace around, watching him blossom from an awkward sixteen-year-old to a handsome man. Both are juniors this year and since Jace turned eighteen this year he was finally able to move into the on-campus housing.
“Thank you Jace!” Jessica replied smiling. “Just throw it with the rest of them.”
“You would think.” Started Jace setting the box down on the pile of other boxes. “That after doing this for three years now you would be more organized. And what do you have in here bricks?”
“What is the point of having all those muscles if you are not going to use them?” Asked Jessica.
Jace looked down at his arm and flexed, he had put on a lot of muscle over the summer. He was not huge by any means but had toned noticeably.
“They are for the ladies.” Said Jace.
“You have never had a girlfriend in your life!” Jessica teased.
“Hence the muscles Jessica!” Jace replied.
Jessica walked up to Jace and put her hand on his bicep. “Meh… I’ve seen bigger.”
“WOW!” Replied Jace.
“What I am just being honest!” Jessica said smiling turning back to her unpacking.
“Alright, that’s it!” Jace said picking Jessica up with ease and tossing her onto the bed playfully.
“Hey!” Jessica screamed. “What was that for!”
“If you are going to be a brat then I get to throw you on the bed.” Jace smirked, crossing his arms.
“SO RUDE!” Jessica said climbing off the bed and walking up to Jace and poked him in the chest. “You listen here mister. I have never been a brat and never will be do you understand me?”
Jace looked down at Jessica. Jace had had a few growth spurts since they first met. Before Jessica and Jace were about the same size, but he shot up the most in the summer between freshmen and sophomore year. He now stood at a comfortable 5’9 while Jessica was 4’10.
“I hate that you are this much taller than me now…” Responded Jessica looking up at Jace.
“You know, I am kinda liking it though.” Jace said patting her head.
“Oh, get out of here!” Jessica said. “Don’t you have your own room to unpack?”
“I did already. My parents helped me move in like two hours before you even showed up.” Jace replied.
“Why didn’t you call me?” Jessica said. “I would have loved to see your parents.”
“Ehh… it’s probably a good thing you didn’t. My mom is having a really hard time ‘ letting her little baby genius go to college’. ”
“Awe… I know your mom is going to miss you.” Said Jessica. “Did she ever let you redecorate your room before you moved out?”
“Nope! Still baby blue with the same mural she painted for me as a baby.” Replied Jace.
“But that is so cute! I love little baby Jace around all his baby animal friends.”
“You and my mom are the only ones.” Jace smirked. “I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if she turned it back into my old nursery while I’m gone.”
“If she does, I am coming to see it!” Jessica smiled.
“Ha! Deal!” Jace stated.
“So, you got a single dorm this year too? How did you manage that?”
“I have connections you know.” Jace replied slyly.
“Oh whatever. I was on the wait list for two years before I got a single and you just get one handed to you right away.” Jessica stated.
“Is that jealousy I am sensing?” Asked Jace.
“It is just not fair is all.” Jessica said.
“Tell you what, you can come over and watch movies on my projector to make it up to you.”
“Done! You sir are going to love this awful horror movie I found.” Replied Jessica.
Jace laughed and shook his head at Jessica.
“I am meeting some friends for dinner at the cafeteria. You want to come?” Asked Jace.
“No, you go ahead. I am going to unpack and enjoy my earned single room.” Jessica stated.
“Suit yourself. Text me if you want me to bring you back anything or hang out later.”
“I will do. Bye!”
“See you later.” Jace left Jessica’s dorm.
Jessica looked around at all the boxes she had to unpack. Looking at everything she decided that this was a chore better left to another day. She quickly threw a blanket over her bed, changed into some yoga pants and turned on her computer. She would get to the boxes tomorrow.
Jessica pulled up Netflix and hit play; fully intending on binging at least a season of something.
“Ahh…” Jessica signed as she got comfortable in bed. “This is going to be my year.”
BUZZ!! BUZZ!! BUZZ!!
Jessica was awoken to her phone vibrating. She looked over and saw that it was already 9 o’clock. She had slept the entire afternoon and evening away. Groggily she reached and grabbed her phone.
She read the caller ID seeing that Jace’s mom was calling her.
“Hello…” Jessica answered the phone, her voice raspy from waking up.
“I am sorry dear did I wake you?” Mrs. Harrison asked.
“No, well yeah but it is fine. What’s up?” Jessica asked.
“I am sorry to bug you. And I know this is just me being a worried mother with my only baby son gone…” She started to tear up on the phone. “I just always check on him when he is in bed and he isn’t here… and he isn’t answering my calls or texts… and… and…”
“Oh… Mrs. Harrison, that is so sweet. I can go and tell Jace to call you, I am sure he is just excited being his first day and didn’t mean to ignore you.” Jessica responded softly. “My mom was just as worried on my first night at school.”
“She was?” Asked Mrs. Harrison.
“Of course!” Jessica lied. Her parents did not call her till day three to tell her she forgot her toothbrush.
“That makes me feel less crazy.” Mrs. Harrison replied.
“Do not worry one bit. You are not crazy.” Jessica replied. “What is his room number? I haven’t made it over there yet.”
“He is on room 4B.”
“That is too funny! He is on the same floor as me, just on the other end of the building.”
“Oh, how lucky!” Replied Mrs. Harrison. “So, you will check on him then?”
“Absolutely. I am getting up now and will text you when I have confirmed your son is alive and well.” Said Jessica.
“Thank you so much Jess! I owe you another dinner!” Mrs. Harrison replied. “Just make sure that he followed his bedtime routine and that he is wearing the pajamas that I put in his drawer for him.”
“Okay.” Jessica chuckled. “Will go tuck him into bed for you.”
“I know you are kidding but thank you!” Said Mrs. Harrison.
“Anytime.” Replied Jessica hanging up the phone.
Jessica turned her light on and found some slip-on sandals to wear. She walked with purpose to the end of the hall to Jace’s room. She was looking forward to making fun of him for this one. She arrived and knocked on his door.
“Jace! Let me in! I am here to tuck you in on behalf of your mother!” Jessica yelled through the door.
Jessica heard a stumble and small crash from the inside of the room. Jace opened the door slightly so that just his head was sticking out.
“Be quiet!” Jace said. “Do you want to whole floor to hear you? What do you want?”
“Your mother called me to make sure that her baby boy was still alive. Did you like not call her or something?” Jessica asked.
“I was playing some games earlier and didn’t pick up. What the hell is the matter with her?” Jace replied.
“I don’t know.” Jessica shrugged her hands and shoulders. “But I do know this is the longest I have ever stood at a guy’s door room without being invited in.”
“Okay, hold on a second. I just need to put a shirt on.”
“For what?” Jessica said pushing her way into the room. “You’re a guy in a dorm now, you should practically never have a shirt on.”
“Hey wait!” Jace said in response.
But it was no use, Jessica had already made her way into the room. Jace quickly pulled his pajama pants up. Jessica looked around the room seeing that Jace had turned one wall into a giant projector screen and had set up surround sound. She saw that he had calendars and whiteboards up with equations already written on them.
“You do know that classes don’t start till tomorrow, right?” Asked Jessica.
“I was just getting a head start.” Jace replied bending down at his knees instead of his waist to pick his shirt up from off the ground.
After examining his room Jessica turned to Jace, he as just standing back up bending at his knees like a ballerina. Jace had one hand on his pants making sure that they stayed up to his belly button throughout the process.
“Jeepers man. Your pants are so high you look like a ripped Erkel.” Jessica said. “You can relax a little. You look good without your shirt on, actually. You should be proud of that body.”
“Thanks…” Jace said sliding his shirt on. “Guess just still self-conscious.”
“You look better than most of the guys I have seen in this place. Seriously we need to focus on getting you a girlfriend this semester.”
“Yeah…” Jace replied meekly. “Anyway, sorry about my mom calling you to come over here.”
“You don’t need to apologize to me.” Jessica replied, pinching Jace’s cheek. “She is just worried about her baby boy.”
“Stop… please…” Jace said looking back at Jessica defeated.
“I think it is adorable that your mom still puts you to bed at night.” Jessica said smiling and sitting in Jace’s desk chair.
“She does NOT put me to bed… She just likes to think I am still four years old and need to be put to bed.”
“Well, she wanted me to make sure that you completed your bedtime routine. So, Mr. Man, have you brushed your teeth? And washed your face?”
“Oh. My. God. Stop.” Jace replied. “I am perfectly capable of getting myself ready for bed.”
“You didn’t answer my questions Mr. Man…” Jessica said looking at Jace as though she were interrogating a toddler.
“Jessica!” Jace whined.
“Jace – ica!” replied Jessica. “Come on tell me so I can drop it.”
“Yes, I followed my bedtime routine, okay? Are you satisfied?” Asked Jace.
“Almost!” Replied Jessica hoping up from Jace’s chair. “I just need to make sure that you are wearing the pajamas your mommy put in your drawer for you.”
Jessica moved towards Jace’s dresser before Jace blocked her and held the drawer shut.
“Jessica, NO! I have answered your questions, now will you please leave. I was just about to go to bed before you got here.” Jace said finally.
“Wow. Someone is sensitive. I have seen guy’s underwear before. What do you have in their sex toys?” Replied Jessica.
“I have some… personal things that I don’t want you to see.” Jace dogged the question.
“Alright then, keep your secrets.” Jessica flicked his peck.
“Thank you.” Jace guided Jessica to the door. “Now how about I get you breakfast tomorrow for your trouble?”
“I am holding you to that!” Replied Jessica stepping out of Jace’s dorm and turned to face him. “For next time you need a babysitter my going rate is seventeen dollars per hour. Twenty if they are not potty trained.”
“Goodnight Jessica May!” Jace shut the door on Jessica.
“Call your mother!” Jessica screamed into the door.
Jessica laughed and walked back to her dorm. She saw that there was a flyer tapped to her door when she arrived. Someone must have tapped it there while Jessica was sleeping.
NEW PRODUCTS AT CAMPUS STORE!!
NOW OFFERING DIRECT TO DORM DELIVERY!!
Jessica ripped the flyer off her door and entered her room. She kicked off her shoes and got back into bed. She pulled out her phone and texted Jace’s mom.
‘Your baby boy is alive and well, I made sure he brushed his teeth and washed his face. He wouldn’t let me into his drawer to see if he was wearing the pajamas you laid out for him ~Jess’
‘THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Seriously Jess, next time you come over for dinner I will make you anything you want! He is probably just being embarrassed about having great nights is all. He gets so shy around pretty girls. Thx again! xoxo ~MOM’
‘He does get shy! I am sure he will still have a great night! ~Jess’
Jessica put her phone away and plugged it in setting the flyer under it. She opened back up her laptop and turned back on Netflix to fall asleep to.
She smiled as she looked around her. She has a room to herself. She has her best friend on the same floor. Things were on an upward swing for Jessica. Or… so she thought.