Chapter 2 – Phoebe

Phoebe was tucked into her reading nook when the email beeped through to her computer. She didn't really have an interest in abandoning her book, but did so anyways because it could be related to her college experience. (The school was often emailing her if she needed anything, something she had grown quite accustomed and tired of.)

When she pulled up her Contactor email, she noticed an email without a subject line. Instead it said Hi Phoebe. This is your new roommate…

Now, in truth, Phoebe had been expecting to hear about her roommate soon, but had no idea her roommate would contact her so quickly. She hadn't even gotten her letter yet.

She opened it and read:

Hi Phoebe.

This is your new roommate, Sibella. I'm going to be a freshman this year. We're going to be in North Hall together. Have you gotten a letter about your roommate yet? I don't know which email I selected, so this one is fine. I was hoping we could sort out what to bring to New Hurst.

I'm from Crest Island, Ohio, but I'm driving my car to campus, so I can bring a reasonable sized appliance. I hope your summer has been well.

Email me back when it's convenient.


Sibella Hallward, your new roommate.

Phoebe smiled at the email. Sibella seemed like a perfectly wonderful person.

Unsure of what to send back, Phoebe left the email open and began where she left off in Hamlet.

Phoebe loved theatre with a passion. Her aunt, Salome, was her primary influence when it came to the arts. The woman had taken Phoebe to a plethora of shows as a young girl and Phoebe loved seeing them with her aunt.

The same night, Phoebe clicked the spacebar of her computer to read the email again. What was she supposed to say?

She willed herself to sit down and type out:

Hello Sibella!

It's nice to hear from you! I'm Phoebe D'ysquith! I'm also going to be a freshman. I'll be studying Theatre and English. I hadn't gotten a letter about you being my roommate, but that's alright! I can talk to you through email!

What's Crest Island like? I've never been there before. And what kind of car do you have? I don't know if I would know what it would look like if you told me, but I can google it!

Phoebe wasn't sure what to offer to bring. She knew each dorm had a fridge and microwave, but what else?

Do you drink coffee? I know that I could bring a coffee maker. I usually use mine for tea. It's a Keurig, but it'll do.

What else…? Phoebe was running out of steam. She didn't want to seem off-putting by any means, or seem to suggest that Sibella couldn't bring anything. They could probably use a fan? Highhurst, as she knew, could stay rather hot in August.

Would you be able to bring a fan? It gets awfully hot in Highhurst, especially during the summer. Don't worry if you can't! I know that fans can break easily and it might be cumbersome to bring!

Not sure what else to type, Phoebe tried a few times to come up with a happy salutation and eventually settled on:

I can't wait to meet you! Talk again soon!

Phoebe E. D'ysquith!

Cringing at her shoddy letter, she left it alone for a moment while she went to brush her teeth, and then, finally, hit Send.

"Phoebe! Are you still up?"

On a normal night, Phoebe would be in bed, lights out except for a small reading light on her headboard, curled up with a new book. Her room wasn't as large as people would have thought. It was a fair size with a window seat that she had turned into a reading nook, a few bookshelves, a bed against the far wall, and flowers on her dressers. The only furniture besides the mentioned was a desk, which was impeccable by nighttime but a mess of notes during the day, and a rolling desk chair that was a medium blue color.

She didn't know how sharing a room would work, but she didn't want any favors from the school. It was bad enough that there were rumors at her high school that she was going to college where her family had influence simply so she could save money and get special treatment.


A knock at the door disturbed Phoebe and she, realizing it was simply her brother, called, "come in!"

Her brother, a man of 26 who spent far too much time with his bees and less time trying to find a man, popped his head in and surveyed his sister. "You look anxious. What's wrong?"

"I'm fine, Henry. Just settling some thing for school in a few weeks. Nothing too troubling."

Henry walked into the room, smiling. He was always looking out for her since their parents were off on either keeping each other company on business trips or vacations.

"Just let me know if I need to do anything for you, alright?"

"Sure, Henry. I love you."

Henry mussed up Phoebe's hair and hugged her. "You'll be a fine college girl. I know it. Goodnight?"

"Goodnight." She hugged back.

Soon they broke apart and Henry waited for her to crawl into bed with her book to turn off the lights.

"College in a month!" He whisper cheered. Then he shut the door and Phoebe, too tired to read now, put the book down and got cozy in her layers of comforter and blankets.