Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Read the Start to Iliana and Luke (1)

 Remember back in 4th grade when you got to write stories for fun? Well I'm back to that point :)
After much deliberation, I've decided to share this series with all of you because it's for fun, good practice, and I could use some good critiques.  I haven't written in a while so hopefully it's not awful.

Luke isn't the typical Big 10 football player and he struggles with the dynamic of keeping up appearances and maintaining the money for tuition until he can hopefully earn a scholarship spot. Iliana is completely enamored with the college lifestyle. Engaged in sorority life and classes, she thinks life is ideal...apart from her struggling love life which she manages to ignore through weekend parties and socials. When the two meet, their personal stories collide as they figure out their journeys to happiness and prosperity.

This guy in front of me made me think I was at Disney World.  It was painfully evident that our grad student T.A. was ready to mold young minds, whether we were willing or not.  He kept erasing things on the whiteboard, only to re-write them, and checked to make sure that each desk had a copy of his syllabus/expectations manual.  Whenever he made eye contact with a student, his eyes would light up and it seemed like he was about to engage in conversation but he just stood there, staring.  Thank God I was in a fairy tale class.  But seriously it's the study of Hans Christian Andersen and everyone was telling me take the class.  I figured that it sounded interesting enough.  That, combined with its rumored simplicity, was clutch for the season. Last year I worked my ass off as a redshirt and my mom was always chirping in my ear about the importance of education, just in case this whole "walk-on" deal didn't work in my favor. She didn't have to tell me twice.  I was hustling at every practice, taking advantage of every opportunity to get the coach's attention, and just doing my best to not suck.  My thoughts were interrupted as something slammed into the side of my face and my books were shifted on my desk.

"Jesus Christ!"
"Ohmygosh, I am so sorry! I was just trying to get by and my bag, my bag got in the way."

I looked up to first see a large tote bag in Greek letters as the main culprit that was way overstuffed and its owner was shifting her black framed glasses.  She had a good five minutes before the discussion started but it was apparent that she had been running late or was really out of shape.  She gave me a pleading smile and I just shrugged as she shifted towards the front of the room.  There were plenty of open desks and of course, the first couple rows were left empty, kind of like a buffer between the students and the T.A.'s enthusiasm.  However, there she went, right to the front left corner seat.  Overachiever, I thought.  My buddy Brad hustled into the room to grab the seat next to me.  Boasting a fullride right out of Florida, Brad loved football.  Although Brad's a good friend of mine, I couldn't help but loathe the kid at times.  Call it a chip on my shoulder or whatever, but he got through high school with mediocre grades and screwing around all the way up until graduation (literally) only to earn a full ride at UW.  A full fricken ride.  My dad always told me that my work ethic and drive would always pay off but sitting next to a kid who had a trading card with his face on it since he was a freshman made it difficult to see the bigger goal.

My pity party was soon interrupted by the the guy in the front introducing himself.

"Hi everyone! My name is Greg.  I will by your T.A. for Lit 110 and I'm really looking forward to this semester.  It's a challenging course, despite the rumors."  Greg chuckled to himself as a bunch of students smirked.  "See the thing is, you have to do the readings.  If you don't read the stories and attend lecture, you're well, well you're screwed.  I'm warning you now in case some of you thought this would be a cake walk.  I know it's the second day of classes, but if you already know of any class conflicts, yes I'm looking at you athletes, please bring those to me at the end of class."
Fuck was the first thing that came to mind as my bag slammed into Luke Wyatt's head.  I may have just injured one of our football players.  Holy mother of God this is bad news.  I pictured a mob of angry students carrying my body to the stadium as a sacrifice.  Luckily, Luke's a big guy and I managed to stutter out some semblance of an apology as I scanned the room for a seat.  I was mortified and I just really needed to get away from the jock corner.  In every discussion I had, there was a jock corner where athletes from the "big sports" all gathered together. It was like Darwin's Theory, their athleticism and beauty were magnets for each other.  Great an open seat up front.  I had this thing where no matter if it was a lecture hall or dicussion I sat up front.  For one thing, you had great eye contact with the professor, were forced to not mess around on Facebook, and it made large lectures or weird spaces where you injure football players, seem less intimidating. 
I immediately recognized Greg, a grad student who had a thing for my older sorority sister, Allie.  They met at a tapas bar downtown and he's had a thing for her ever since.  I quickly sent Allie a text, "guess who's my T.A. for Lit 110?!"  I silenced my phone, took out my laptop and quickly surveyed the syllabus set on the desk.  You know you're a nerd when you get excited about the first few days of class and a new syllabus.  I don't know what it is but it just gets me excited, but then again I love being in college. 
After Greg's introduction, he asked the discussion group to introduce themselves.  As this was the second day of classes, I had a good template in the back of my head for this kind of thing and of course, I had to go first.  As I stood up and turned around, I realized that no one sat in the row behind me, great. 
"Hi, my name Iliana but most people call me Illy.  Um some random facts, I'm a Comm Arts major but I'm hoping to get into the Journalism School.  I'm also in the Air Force ROTC program here.  I was recruited for nursing originally, but changed my mind.  I'm also in a sorority and whatwas the last thing? Oh, my expectations for the course.  Well I, uh, I guess I'm just excited to hear the origins and the original stories that the fairy tales we hear today come from.  I've always been a fan of Disney movies but we all know that they're highly unrealistic, plus the original stories usually teach darker lessons."
I sat down and tried to angle myself in my seat so I could listen to the other students.  Whenever intros hit the jock corner, it can get dicey.  Like when it became Brad Seevers' turn and he managed a name, that he's a football player, and added a head nod kind of like a silent wassup bra. Promising.  Then it was Luke Wyatt's turn and I realized how cute he was up close, you know, when I'm not annihilating him with my bag.  This is the moment when you realize that glasses, a messy bun, zero make-up, and the obligatory pair of yoga pants might not have been the best option.  Unlike Brad, Luke stood up.
"Hi guys, my name's Luke. I'm from Southeastern Wisconsin, from a suburb of Milwaukee.  I'm kind of all over the place with my major but I didn't like the prereqs for the Business School, so I guess I'm looking at Comm Arts as well."  He gave a head nod towards me and continued.  "In terms of hobbies, I love football and basically playing sports in general.  I hope this class will be fun, I'll get to meet some folks, and it'll be a great boost on the good ol' GPA."  The class chuckled at the last remark and Greg couldn't help but smile.
The rest of the class introduced themselves and we soon found it to be 12:45.  I headed out for my next class, which was a small group on gender roles. Realizing that I would be a hot mess in the class without sustenance, I headed to a shoppette for a bagel and juice.  Of course, Luke Wyatt is walking behind me the entire way.  Can't this kid give me a break?  He must know how embarrassed I am.  I walked faster and breathed a sigh of relief as he took a left turn.  Girlfriend you are paranoid. He was just heading to class.  I bought my snacks and headed to Lurcher Hall.  As I walked up the stairs and into class, there he was, Luke Wyatt.  

If you'd like to keep reading the series, you can find more on my Wattpad account.  I highly suggest checking out the other stories there and if you're a writer, it's a good place to share your work.

If you liked this post, share it with others! If you feel particularly moved by it, leave a comment because I love feedback and discussion. Social media links are provided below and thanks for reading!
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