Title: The University
Author: Jos Mous
DISCLAIMER: I own none of these characters, I'm not making any profit out of this, blahblahblah.
NOTE: OK, I'm in desperate need of feedback here. I'll honestly admit I'm too proud to beg which is probably going to get my muses (all of them) killed.
There comes a time in your life when you suddenly stop and wonder:
'What the Hell am I doing?'
These moments are never brief and can come quite often. At the moment I am wondering what the Hell I am doing, sitting here in a plane, looking out the small window. Leaving everything I know behind. I know I can't realistically turn back now. Everything has already been arranged. The university I'm going to, the apartment I'm going to live in. Everything. But there is still doubt. Still some of part of me that shouts that what I'm doing is stupid. It kicks and screams and begs. It doesn't want me to leave the safety of my home.
But I'm not listening.
Oh, I want to stay. Go to a college that is far away, yet still close enough to be able to return home. But if I were to do that I would never be able to be happy. I might get over her, find someone else and start something resembling a family. But I could never be happy. I would always be doubting. And besides, I don't think I could ever get over her.
So here I am, sitting inside a plane with a one-way ticket to Europe. I might go back one day. But somehow I doubt it.
The plane starts moving, stewardesses enter to explain the safety precautions. If there ever was even a small chance of my changing my mind it is gone now.
The plane slowly rises into the air and I remember the first thing she has ever said to me.
I try to get comfortable in my chair and get some sleep.
I awake again at the crack of dawn. That is to say, the crack of _a_ dawn. I'm not quite sure where we are. We might still be over the Atlantic. We might not. The captain speaks. We're going to be landing soon.
One thing's for sure.
We're not over the Atlantic any more.
The airport looks pretty much the same here as it did there. I suppose airports all over the globe look the same. The only thing which is different is the language used on all the signs. Here, English comes second. Which is in a way quite odd, since the university I'm going to also gives colleges in English.
But as I wait to pick up my luggage I decide that I'm not going to waste my time with thinking about linguistical issues.
I can instantly spot her near the exit. I could instantly spot her anywhere. She's still as beautiful as I remember. Although, since I probably made her more beautiful in my mind than she was in reality that could mean that she has only become even more beautiful.
Which is pretty hard to imagine.
She still colours her hair blue too.
Her eyes had the power to make the world fall away around me and as she looks over in my direction I realise that this has not yet changed.
I feel a sudden urge to drop the luggage, rush over her, embrace her and kiss her as much as I can. I suppress that urge, however and calmly walk over. I have, after all, left Hollywood behind me.
I reach her and look at her.
We embrace each other. I don't press her closely against me. I'm fine with her being as close to me as she is right now.
"Hi." I say.
"Hi." She answers.
Reluctantly we let go of each other, but we don't break the embrace completely. Our arms keep resting somewhere halfway the arms of the other.
"I missed you." She says.
"I missed you even more." I answer.
"Did you bring a ring?" She asks, smiling.
"Not yet." I answer smiling.
"Damn." She says. "I guess this means we can't get married."
"Maybe some other time." She says.
"Some other time." I agree.
We look at each other, saying everything we have to without using words.
I still love her.
She still loves me.
"Come on." She says. "The car's waiting."
I walk with her out of the airport, firmly closing a chapter of my history. I hope the one following it contains a lot more paragraphs with her in them.
NOTE: Just saw the very last episode of the very last season and let me just say one thing: KUT!!! So with that out of my system let's just get on with the fic, right? Oh, and remember, I really need feedback.
The door opened slowly and Sam entered, followed by Ruto who had insisted on carrying the luggage. The room was fairly large. It had to, everything had to be in it. To the far wall, opposite of the door was a sink and mirror, just a little next to it was a couch and a table. There was a bookcase, a desk with a laptop on it, another small table with a TV on it and one large closet. And exactly one bed.
"Well, this is it." Ruto said, closing the door. "I know it's not much, but since we're students there aren't a lot of other places we can be."
"Well, I guess it beats a dorm room." Sam said, looking around, even though there wasn't a lot to see.
Ruto walked over to the closet and put Sam's luggage down.
"There's a kitchen down the hall with a toilet very close by. And there's a bathroom with shower on the second floor." Ruto smiled. "Which, by the way, it was our turn to clean this week, but since you weren't here I had to face the task all alone."
Sam smiled and enclosed the other girl in a hug. "I am forever in your debt."
"And you'd better remember it."
Sam's eyes wandered over to the bed. Ruto followed her gaze.
"Yeah, sorry." She said. "But as you can see there isn't exactly room for two beds."
"It's not that." Said Sam. "It's just... I'm still tired. Mind if I get some sleep?"
"Not at all." Ruto said. "Colleges start next week anyway, so there isn't anything urgent to do right now. And besides, it's Majora's turn to cook this week, so you're gonna need the rest."
"Is it that bad?" Sam asked.
"Worse. He could even screw up one of those microwave menus."
"Well, they're pretty awful as it is, so it might not be his fault."
Sam let Ruto go and started digging through her luggage.
"Is there anywhere I can change?" Sam asked.
"Not really." Ruto said. "If it makes you uncomfortable you could hide behind the closet door and I could go staring out the window and try very hard to ignore the faint reflection of you in it."
"No, no, it's fine." Sam answered.
She took off her jacket and shoes, then hesitated.
"It's OK." Ruto said. "I'll just be over by the window."
Sam continued to undress and fished out a night shirt from her luggage. As she looked up and walked over to the bed she noticed Ruto was, as promised, still looking out the window.
"You can turn around now." Sam said.
Ruto turned around and smiled at seeing Sam, standing rather awkwardly in the middle of the room in her oversized T-shirt.
"I guess this is the part where I should be saying goodnight, but since the sun's still shining..."
"Sweet dreams, Sam." Ruto said.
"I'd wish the same to you, but I suppose you have other plans." Sam's eyes widened slightly. "Not that I'm saying that I want you gone or something. I mean, you arranged this room and all and I..." She said hastily.
"I got it, Sam." Ruto said. "And as a matter of fact there are a couple of things I have to do. I'll wake you when it's time for dinner."
"Thanks." Sam said as she crawled under the sheets.
Ruto knelt down next to the bed and softly stroked Sam's cheek with her hand.
"I'm really glad you're here." She said.
"Me too." Sam said. "I--- I'm glad I'm with you too."
Ruto smiled sadly, knowing what Sam had wanted to say. And she felt bad for not being able to cope with hearing it.
"See you at dinner." She said as she stood up.
Sam turned around a couple of times until she was comfortable and closed her eyes. She was asleep within minutes.
"Sam. Sam, wake up."
Sam slowly opened her eyes and saw Ruto looking down on her.
"I think I've just died and gone to Heaven." She muttered sleepily.
"Flatterer." Ruto said. "Come on. It's a quarter to six, which means dinner is in about fifteen minutes."
Sam gently pushed Ruto away so that she could stand up. Yawning she walked over to the heap of clothes that still lay in front of the closet. She turned around and saw Ruto looking out the window. Sam quickly changed clothes, then walked over to the window. She embraced Ruto from behind and let her head rest on the other girl's shoulder.
There were already people sitting around the kitchen table. They were all students as well. Which made sense, since this was a 'studentenflat'. A sort of off-campus dorm building. They were generally large buildings that usually needed a little repair and which were often inhabited by students, since they couldn't really afford anything more expensive.
"Hey guys, this is Sam." Ruto introduced.
"Ah, the American." One of them said. He was pretty large and looked pretty strong as well. His voice was loud. "My name is Darunia." He introduced himself. "Welcome to our little group. May I ask what you're following?"
"Journalism." Sam answered.
"Really? Interesting." Darunia said, without any trace of sarcasm in his voice. "Well, meet the others..."
"We can introduce ourselves, thank you very much." One of the girls around the table interrupted. Her skin was light brown, her hair was a fiery orange and her lips were white. Yet none of it _seemed_ artificial. "I'm Nabooru." She said smiling.
"Hi." Sam said, not coming up with something better.
"Avriel." Another girl said with the same unusual skin and hair colours as Nabooru.
"Saria." Said the smallest girl around the table. She looked pretty young as well.
"Rauru." The oldest guy at the table said.
"Mikau." Said the last guy at the table. "And Miss Black, Pale and Gorgeous over there is called Impa." He added, indicating a sombre looking girl who managed to sit a little away from the others, even though it was a very small table.
The girl nodded.
Sam nodded back and sat down.
The door swung open and with a lot of noise and trouble two paper bags entered. They were followed by someone who was clearly very much out of breath.
"And that would be Majora." Said Mikau. "He can poison food just by looking at it."
"Let's hope not." Said Majora, planting the two bags on the table. "Otherwise I've got these fries for nothing."
"You went out and bought fries?" Aviel asked, amazement in her voice. Her English was with a very thick accent. "So you've finally given up on trying to cook."
"Nonsense." Said Majora. "But I figured, since we've got a new girl it'd be unwise to scare her off by giving her something I prepared."
"You'll find I'm pretty hard to be scared away." Sam said.
"Careful now." Mikau said. "There are whole tribes who vomited by the mere sight of his cookery."
"Yes, yes, I know." Majora said. "I can't cook. Can we give it a rest now?"
"Sure, man." Mikau said.
The fries were divided in relative silence and for the longest time that silence was broken only by someone asking for the salt. After a while, however, a conversation started. Unfortunately for Sam everyone spoke in Dutch and while she had managed to learn some fundamental basics over the summer, she found she didn't know enough to be able to follow the conversation. So she sat and ate in silence. Ruto lay her hand over Sam's and gave it a slight squeeze. Sam looked at her and smiled back.
Nobody really noticed the small exchange and even if they did it was none of their business.
Night fell and Sam found herself lying in bed with Ruto with a remarkable lack of fuss being made over it. Ruto's back was pressed against her and Sam had laid an arm over the other girl. Sam had often fantasised of having sex with the girl, but now that she was actually lying in bed with her, she found that it wasn't really all that important. Not yet, anyway.
"Ruto?" Sam whispered.
"Remind me to take up a Dutch course, will you?"
"Sure thing." Ruto said. She turned around in Sam's semi-embrace and looked at her. Even in the dark her eyes were simply shining. "I'm sorry if you felt left out."
"It's OK. I should've anticipated something like that anyway." Sam said. "Do they... you know... know?"
"No, they don't." Ruto said. "That is to say, I didn't _tell_ them, but us living here together is a pretty big hint. And I refuse to lie and tell them you're an American relative or something. I'm sorry, but I don't want to lie about us."
"Me neither." Said Sam. "But I don't exactly want to announce it to the whole wide world either."
"You don't have to." Ruto said. "As long as you and I know it."
Sam smiled. "God, I---" She quickly broke off her sentence. It almost hurt not being able to say it, but saying it would hurt _her_ even more. And Sam wouldn't be able to live with that.
Ruto embraced Sam and gently kissed her on the lips.
"You too." She said.
NOTE: Yes, it is a Zelda/Real Life cross-over. Oh, wait, and there's a tiny little bit of Popular there too I suppose. Maybe I'm sending this to the wrong list.
Sam waited patiently as the modem was making the sounds everybody knew and that indicated that an attempt to get on-line was being made. After she was on the net Sam quickly surfed to hotmail to see if she got any new messages. She had two. One from Brooke, one from her parents. Sam hesitated. Did she really want to read this? Really be reminded about what she had left behind? The brunette angrily pushed away those thoughts. They were still family, even if they were halfway across the globe.
Brooke's mail was not very spectacular. She was getting settled in at college, everything was going smoothly, no problems, she had only met great people so far and...
"Wow." Sam said suddenly.
"What?" Asked Ruto, who was brushing her teeth.
"Nothing." Sam said. "Brooke sent me a mail with picture."
"Brooke's your stepsister, right?"
"Right." Sam answered. "And apparently she now has a girlfriend as well."
"Really? Good for her then." Ruto said as she put away her toothbrush and reached for the faucet handle.
Sam opened the attachment, and as the picture was being loaded there was one thing that came to mind.
"Is it that interesting?" Ruto asked, walking over to the laptop. She leaned over Sam's shoulder and stared at the screen. "That her girlfriend?"
"I... I guess." Sam answered, still at a loss for words.
"Pretty butch." Ruto commented.
"Very." Sam said. "You know, Brooke told me she was gay, but I'd never expect her to fall for someone that... that..."
"Well, as long as she's happy, right?"
"Yeah." Sam said.
"OK, honey," Ruto said, leaning over to grab the mouse. "Time to remove this pic before your brain freezes completely."
Sam suddenly smiled. "You called me honey."
Ruto smiled as well and looked at Sam. "I did, didn't I?"
The girls looked at each for a few eternal seconds. Ruto was the first to break out of the reverie.
"So, I saw your parents send you some mail as well?"
"Wha...? Oh! Right. Yeah. Uhm..."
Ruto laughed. "I'd better move now. Wouldn't want to end up with Neanderthal Sam."
"But you'd still lo... like me, right?"
Ruto smiled a little sadly. "Of course." She said quietly. Then she brightened up again. "Unless you'd hit me over the head with a club and drag me over to your cave. No wait, I'd still want to be with you."
Ruto walked over to the couch, sat down and grabbed a book. Sam looked at her for a while, then returned to the small screen.
The mail from Brooke had been pleasant and its surprise at the end had been... surprising. The mail from Jane, on the other hand, was painful. It made it so very clear that life over there would simply go on and that she wouldn't be a part of it. Ruto had apparently noted Sam's distress since she soon felt the girl's arms carefully locking her in an embrace.
"What's wrong?" Ruto asked softly.
Sam quickly wiped away a few tears. "Nothing." She managed. "I'm fine."
"Please don't lie to me now." Ruto said, her voice still soft and soothing. "What's wrong?"
"It's just--- I named him, you know."
"Mac. Mackenzie, my little baby brother, I named him."
"Mackenzie McPherson/McQueen." Ruto said. "I'm not sure if he's gonna be very grateful for that."
"And he's growing up." Sam continued. "He'll grow up without ever knowing me. Brooke, she can come over sometimes, see him and stuff, but me... I'm just going to be a picture on the wall. Some strange girl he's never even met before."
"I can see why that's painful."
"But it was my decision to come here. I knew what I was leaving behind and I don't regret it. But it still hurts."
"I know." Ruto whispered. "Anything I can do?"
"Hold me." Sam pleaded quietly.
As always, the day progressed and Sam and Ruto went about their business. But since they didn't have a lot to do it mainly consisted of a pleasant kind of boredom. Yes, they had nothing to do, but at least they were together while not doing it. But after a while Sam noticed that Ruto was a little distant and distracted.
"Ruto?" Sam asked the girl lying in her arms.
"Is there something you want to talk about?"
Ruto sighed. "I don't think it's the right time."
Ruto shifted a little in Sam's embrace. "The subject matter might be a little problematic." She said carefully.
"Tell me." Sam said resolutely. Then softly kissed Ruto in the back of her neck to back up her point.
Ruto sighed again. Rather content this time. "Fine. If you insist."
The girl struggled free from Sam's embrace and moved over to the far end of the couch so that she could look at Sam.
"It's... It's a long-standing tradition here that students, especially first-year students, go home during the weekends."
"Oh." Said Sam.
"It gives them the chance the get some sleep, get the dirty laundry done and eat something halfway decent for a change." Ruto quickly explained.
Sam nodded. "And you want to go home tomorrow?" It was more a statement than a question.
"I want to stay with you, Sam." Ruto said. "But, yes, I do want to go home tomorrow. And I wanted to ask you to come with me, but..."
"You think it's going to be a hurtful reminder of the fact that I'm not close to my family."
"You're probably right." Said Sam.
"I'll stay." Ruto said quickly. "It's no big anyway."
"Yes it is." Sam said. "If that e-mail I got this morning taught me anything, it's that losing touch with your family hurts and should be avoided if possible."
"No it's not." Ruto said. "I'm a great deal removed from my real family and I'm really very happy with that, remember?"
"Your father wasn't family, Ruto." Sam countered. "And besides, you know what I'm talking about."
"Yeah, I know. So does this mean you're coming with?"
Ruto smiled, leaned over to Sam and kissed her.
"I promise I'll make it up to you."
NOTE: Oh dear, there really is a smut scene on the way. And I don't have a clue how to write smut! Big problem.
Sam sat next to the window. She saw the landscape, but it didn't really register. There wasn't a lot to see anyway. Trains usually avoid the more densely populated areas whenever possible. The only thing Sam saw were flat, green meadows with the occasional cow. A few times they passed through a station and those were the only times that Sam saw that the Netherlands really did have something resembling cities.
There were a few other passengers in the cart. They were silent as well. A few were reading a paper, most of them were staring out the window. The only noise came from a few very excited little kids at the far end. Their mother was almost constantly trying the get them a little more quiet.
Ruto sat next to her, reading a book. She was leaning into Sam, slightly hurting her ribs. The brunette had laid an arm around her.
It was probably the most enjoyable of the entire trip.
One of Ruto's mothers was already waiting for them at the station. Ruto quickly walked over to her and embraced her.
"Hey, mom." She said.
As the woman brought up her arms to embrace Ruto back, Sam noticed that she was wearing a wedding ring. After a few moments the two broke the embrace. Ruto's mother looked over at Sam.
"Sam." She greeted with a nod.
"Mrs. Mylonas." Sam greeted back.
The woman smiled. "Please, call me by my first name." She said.
Sam hesitated for a moment. She quickly searched her memory for the right name. Whenever she and Ruto had the chance to talk more or less directly to each other over the net the first names of their respective parents had never really come up.
Ruto's mother took pity on Sam and decided to help her out. "It's Cassandra. Cass."
"Cass." Sam repeated. "I knew that. It just took me a while."
"Of course it did." Cass said. "I take it you also know the name of my wife?"
"Sure." Said Sam. "Margaret, right?"
"Maggie, yes." Said Cassandra. "Well done."
Sam smiled a little helplessly.
"Come on." Cassandra said, more to Ruto than to Sam. "The car's waiting. And also, might I add, are your brother and sister."
((Brother and sister.)) Sam thought. ((I wonder if Brooke's coming home for the weekend?)) A twinge of pain and regret flashed through Sam once more.
Ruto noticed it and gently took Sam's hand in her own.
"Sorry." Sam said.
"For what?" Ruto asked. "Being with me? If anyone should be sorry it'd be me."
Sam smiled at her.
((My choice.)) She thought determined.
Sam often found herself saying or thinking that. She wasn't just homesick. People get homesick when they know on some level that they can go home soon. For a while Sam had been homesick. She had entertained thoughts of going home for the summer. But the summer was a long way away, plane tickets were expensive, and she also knew that she wouldn't exactly be 'home'. Yes, she would be with her mom, Brooke, Mac and Mike (and possibly Brooke's girlfriend), but she wouldn't exactly be treated as a member of the family. More of a valued guest, who would only stay for a very short time, before disappearing again for an entire year.
The only way she could really be a part of the McPherson/McQueen household was to give up her study here and move back to the States.
But that would mean giving up on Ruto as well.
Sam had made a choice and she was going to stick by it. That knowledge helped ease the pain a little, so that was why Sam often reminded herself of it.
The first thing Sam noticed as she entered Ruto's house was her girlfriend's 'second' mother. More precisely, she noticed that the wedding ring she was wearing was exactly the same as the other. Sam brightened up considerably with that knowledge. It was just another reminder that she and Ruto could get married as well one day.
After greeting her mother Ruto looked around the room.
"I thought Link and Zelda were already home." She said.
"Of course they are." Maggie answered.
"Wait, don't tell me..."
A heart rending cry of agony sounded through the house.
"Already?" Ruto asked a little annoyed.
"It was the very first thing they did." Maggie said. "But from the sound of things I'd say they're about ready."
And, sure enough, a few moments later the door to the living room opened and Link and Zelda entered. Zelda looked very smug, whereas Link most definitely did not.
"You know the good guys are supposed to win, right?" Link complained.
"I _was_ playing with the good guys." Zelda answered. "Hi sis." She said, looking at Ruto.
"Hey." Link greeted casually. "And may I just add to that that you were _not_ playing with the good guys." He continued quickly.
"Now, now Link. Communism is in theory an admirable ideology." Zelda said, clearly very amused. "It's just that it pretty much sucks in practise."
"That's not the point." Link said. "In the game, they are the villains."
Sam leaned towards Ruto, never taking her gaze from the two bickering students. "What _are_ they talking about?" She whispered.
"Command and Conquer." Ruto said. "It's a video game they always play."
"I take it Zelda always wins."
"Oh yeah. Link never even stands a chance."
"But he's still not given up?" Sam asked.
"Pretty stubborn guy."
The day went by without much incident. Even though everybody tried to make Sam feel comfortable, it was very clear that she was not really part of the family. Normally Sam wouldn't mind, but with her recent troubles it hit her pretty hard. Ruto, already finely attuned to Sam's moods, had therefore spend the entire day with her and not with the rest of her family. Needless to say, Sam was very grateful for that. It also occurred to Sam that sometimes either Cass or Maggie would look over at the two of them and smile mysteriously. Sam didn't know what kind of secret the two women thought they had and frankly she didn't care very much.
At one point during the day Link had challenged her to a match. Sam, never really one to back down from a challenge, had accepted before she really knew what the match would entail. But she had made a pretty good guess. A guess good enough to turn out to be right. Link had indeed challenged her to a round of that video game he liked so much. Even though Sam played it for the very first time she did manage to beat Link after a about two hours. With a little help from Ruto of course, but still.
Link had been brooding in a corner for the rest of the day after his defeat.
Night fell and Sam and Ruto found themselves huddled together in a bed designed for just one person. Sam had offered to sleep on a couch or something, but Ruto wouldn't hear of it. Sam soon discovered that their close contact had a few very distinct advantages. At one point during their make-out session Sam, without really thinking, slipped her hand down and under Ruto's shirt, then moved it back up again towards Ruto's breasts. Ruto stiffened slightly, pulled back and gently removed Sam's hand.
"I'm sorry." Sam said quickly. "I wasn't thinking."
"Sam, you apologise too much." Ruto said, smiling in the darkness. "It's not that I mind, it's just that I don't really want to do that kind of thing _now_ if you see what I mean."
"Well... not really." Sam admitted.
Ruto chuckled. "Sam, we have our very own room with our very own bed in it. I want our first time to happen there and not here in my old room in my parents' house."
"I got it." Sam said. "And it makes sense too, even." She was quiet for a while. "Maybe I should go sleep on the couch after all then."
"Don't be silly." Ruto said. "We can sleep together without actually sleeping together. And truth be told if you had waited a couple of minutes longer I don't think I'd have pulled back."
Sam suddenly grinned. "Wait, are you saying that if I had waited a little longer..."
"We would really be having sex now." Ruto finished rather bluntly.
Sam sighed dramatically. "Life's so unfair."
Ruto chuckled again. Sam put her head on Ruto's chest and closed her eyes. For some reason she was really glad that she had not waited a few minutes longer.
“Sleep well I trust?”
“Wait, you two actually had any sleep?”
There were a few glares from three women, all pointed at the only man in the house.
“What?” Link said. “Don’t tell me that the two of you managed to keep your hands off each other.”
Ruto glared at Link with even more intensity. “It’s none of your business, Link. Stay out of it.”
Link smirked. “So you DID have sex then.”
“Mom, please, tell him to shut up.”
Margaret looked over at Link. “Link, leave the girls alone.”
“Oh, but mom…”
“Not another word about it, you hear?”
“OK. Fine.” Link grumbled.
“Now then Link, could you please help me set the table?”
Link, his ego severely bruised, got up from the couch he was sitting on and followed his mother to the kitchen.
“Sorry about that.” Ruto said.
“It’s OK.” Sam answered smiling. “Guys can only think about one thing anyway.”
“Wouldn’t know about that.” Ruto said. “But… I do think we need to talk about it.”
“Not now… not necessarily now, but… you know… sometime. I mean, last night I really wanted to and just looking at you makes me feel… you know…”
“Same here.” Sam said.
Ruto sat down on the couch and looked at the ground. “But I’m scared. I mean, I… care for you, you know that, but… I’m afraid that if we have sex, that I… that I’m not able to…” Ruto sighed and put her head in her hands. “God, I’m not making any sense.”
Sam sat down next to the girl and took her in her arms.
“If it helps, I’m pretty scared too. If we had done it last night, it would’ve been sex from lust. It might’ve felt good and right and all, but it wouldn’t be what I want our first time to be like. Even if we had been in bed at home, it wouldn’t be what I really want.”
Ruto smiled. “Somehow I feel that we’re scared of different things.”
Sam smiled back. She couldn’t help it. Whenever Ruto smiled at her, there could be no reason not to smile as well.
“Probably.” The brunette said. “But either way, we’d best take it slowly. Just one more question.”
“When it happens, do you want it to be spontaneous or planned?”
“Planned.” Ruto answered. “But without the other one knowing about it. Because, if we planned it together it would be a sterile appointment and if it would be completely spontaneous it would probably be because we’re feeling horny and not out o--- not out of what I feel for you. Deal?”
“OK then.” Ruto said with a relieved smile. “Now that we’ve carefully avoided the issue, how about we go see what’s for breakfast?”
The train ride to home was pretty much the same as the train ride from home,
just in the opposite direction. The cart was silent. The only thing that could
be heard where the wheels rolling over the tracks. Sam again was staring out of
the window and not really seeing anything. Again, Ruto sat next to her, leaning
into her, reading a book. A ticket-collector entered the cart and asked the
girls for their tickets. They showed it and the man moved on.
It was only time there was any talking during the ride.
Thinking, on the other hand, was abundant. There really had been only one thing on Sam’s mind for months. It was, of course, the girl sitting next to her. That beautiful blue-haired angel who had become Sam’s entire world in just a very short time. Sam knew that the girl was ‘scarred’, that some would consider her ‘damaged goods’. Naturally, the brunette didn’t feel it like that. Ruto had emerged from her childhood almost triumphantly, a cheerful and confident person.
But there were still some things that her childhood had taken away from her. There were still scars that ran deep and that might never heal. The realisation that Ruto would forever be in pain in some form or the other hurt Sam more than she could have thought imaginable. And with that realisation come determination. Sam was determined to do whatever she could to take away Ruto’s pain. And even if God Himself would come to her and demand her to quit her efforts Sam would simply tell Him to fuck off.
Sam would storm the gates of Hell and fight the forces of Heaven if it would make Ruto happy.
She was pretty stubborn that way.
The walk from the station to Sam and Ruto’s room had been a lot less silent than the train ride. The girls entered the room, talking and laughing. The rather sombre thoughts that had haunted Sam’s mind on the train were pretty much gone. The conversation slowly dwindled and faded until Ruto was in Sam’s arms and their lips were gently pressed against each other.
“It’s good to be home again.” Sam said.
“You’ve lived here for just a few days. How can you call it ‘home’ already?”
Sam smiled. “You’re here, aren’t you?”
Ruto looked up at Sam, a smile firmly in place. Then, all of the sudden, she grew more serious broke out of Sam’s embrace, took a few steps away from the girl, then turned to face her again.
“Sam… I need to tell you something.” Ruto said slowly, her tone of voice indicating that it wasn’t going to be pleasant.
“What is it? Is there something wrong?” Sam asked.
“No. Not really. You see, I’ve been thinking, you know, back on the train and I really think you should hear this.”
“Hear what?” Sam asked, her anxiety growing.
Ruto stood firmly upright, her hands turned into fists, her teeth pressed together. Whatever it was, she was having difficulty with it.
“I…” The girl halted for a moment. “I… love you, Samantha McPherson.”
Sam literally broke out in tears. Her heart hurt with joy. She rushed over to Ruto, embraced the girl and kissed her passionately, tears streaming down her face.
“I love you too, Ruto. God, I love you so much.”
Sam lifted her hand from the button on the alarm clock that had so rudely woken her. She turned around and looked at Ruto, lying next to her. The girl still had her eyes closed.
"Are you awake?" She asked.
"Pity. I can't kiss you when you're still asleep."
Ruto's eyes flew open. "I'm awake."
Sam smiled. "Too late."
"Aw, that's harsh." Ruto said, smiling as well.
"Well, you should've been awake earlier."
"I'll try to hear the alarm clock next time."
"Good. Because I don't not like not getting to kiss you."
"You can kiss me. I'm not stopping you."
"Then why aren't I?"
"Because you decided not to."
"I did? Must've been temporary insanity."
"Allow me to make up for it."
Sam leaned in slightly and kissed the girl. Sam decided she liked waking up like this. She wondered why she hadn't done it more often.
Then she remembered why.
Her mood immediately faltered.
Ruto noticed it. "Something wrong?"
"No. Just… just a bad memory."
"Don't tell me you have a childhood trauma as well." Ruto said jokingly, even though her eyes were concerned.
"I did." Sam answered. "But it lasted just a few months."
"I couldn't be with you."
"I mean, during that vacation where we met, I fell in love with you. Deep and hard and forever. I couldn't bear the thought of not being with you. But I had to. It was hard."
"Big black hole of despair?"
"Guess we were in the same place after all."
"Never leave me again."
Ruto smiled. "I can't." She said. "I have classes today. You too, by the way."
"Can't you skip it?"
"Skip our very first day? Do you know how much of a bad start that is?"
"I don't care."
"You know what? I think you really mean that."
Vertical line; Vertical line slanting up and to the left; half circle; half circle; Vertical line slanting down and to the left; RUTO; repeat process.
"You there! Writing girl!"
Sam looked up from her notebook. The professor had apparently entered the college room. He was a man of possibly fifty years of age. He was mostly bald, except for a few tufts of white hair near the ears. He had also noticed her not paying attention.
"Yes, you. Who are you?"
"Samantha McPherson." The professor took a sheet of paper out of his briefcase and studied it. "Ah yes, here you are. American girl."
"I take it you were a good student at High School?"
"Top of your class?"
"Err… no. But almost."
"And why do you think that is?"
"Because other people were smarter?"
"Yes. Undoubtedly. You see, smart people start to write things down during or immediately after the teacher makes his speech. Not before."
"I _knew_ I was doing something wrong."
There were chuckles from the fellow students. The professor even grinned.
"I trust you'll do better next time."
"Now then, since we have already established Ms McPherson's presence here, let's see if everybody else has already shown up."
The professor again looked down at the paper. The list was fairly short. From
what Sam gathered she had to share the room with four Danish, two Englishmen,
five Germans, one Frenchman and one other American.
"Now then, for some reason you have all decided to come and study here. I won't guess why because, frankly, I don't care. My name is Mark Reevers and I hope you remember it. Now then, you have also chosen to study Journalism, which is a choice I can empathise with. It is, after all, the most beautiful course on the planet. In my opinion anyway. For those non-English amongst you, I hope you know the language well enough to keep up. If not, we have two Americans and two Englishmen here, so you can ask them. Now then, if you would please follow Ms McPherson's lead and take out your notebooks, class is about to start."
"Sam! Sam, wait up!"
Sam stopped and turned around. It was the other American in her class that came running up to her. She had red hair, a rather pale skin and looked unhealthily thin.
"Hi, I'm Melissa." The girl said when she had reached Sam.
"Sam. But I guess you already knew that."
"Yeah. You know, I thought I'd be the only American here. I'm so glad I'm not."
"Me too, really."
"Hey, how 'bout you and me go out tonight? You know, explore the city, pick up guys, get insanely drunk. Student type stuff."
"Maybe. Maybe not."
"Oh, come on. It'll be fun."
"I know. But you see, I'm kinda seeing someone at the moment…"
"Oh. I get it. You want to spend time with him."
"Is he the reason you're here?"
"Wow. I'd never do that, you know."
"Leave pretty much everything behind for some guy. I'd never have that kind of courage."
"So why did _you_ come here?"
"Well, I pretty much live in Nowhere, Alaska. I spend most of life so far daydreaming about how it would be like to get out of that hole."
"So you moved here? To the Netherlands?"
"Not England? Not France? Not even Germany?"
"Any regrets so far?"
"Nah. But it does rain a lot here. How 'bout you? You any regrets?"
"No. None whatsoever."
"Wow. You must really love him, huh?"
"That I do."
"Hey I got an idea! How 'bout if you take him with us tonight? He probably knows the city better than the both of us together."
"Err… I'll ask, but…"
Sam hesitated. On one hand, she didn't want to lie about Ruto and already hated herself for doing so. On the other, she didn't know Melissa. Nor did she know how the redhead would react.
"You see…" Sam started. "The thing is… my boyfriend is really a girlfriend."
Melissa's smile faded. "Oh." She said. "You're a dyke. That makes sense I guess. Well then… err… I have to go now."
And with that the girl turned around and ran.
|Section 2||Jos Mous||Popular||Main Index|