Thursday, May 22, 2008

Twin Towers

Matthew Yasavolian

English 193A, 5/20/2008

The drive had finally ended. We made the four hour trip in our Lexus SUV that is the car we designated for long trips. The ride had been quite uncomfortable with the car fitting eight people maximum and, of course, we filled every seat available. It was the whole clan which included my brother, sister, grandfather, aunt, uncle, mother and father. The second we parked, I opened the door and sluggishly fell out as I couldn’t feel my legs anymore because the car was so packed with people plus laptop and book bags jam packed the leg room.

It was a bright, gorgeous day in Santa Barbara. The sun was out and heated the sky as the cool breeze drifted in from the ocean. It was like nothing I had ever imagined. Coming from the bay area in northern part of California, the only days that we ever witnessed like this were the best days produced in the summer and even those days didn’t last long. Often, they would be accompanied by gusts of wind or clouds that drifted and covered the ever-so-promising sunny forecast that the weather man had promised us the day before. I hadn’t before visited Santa Barbara and my decision to go to the university was based on rejecting my other college options. It was UCSB or either UCSD, which had a bad reputation for a non-existent social life or UC Davis, which was in the middle of farm land and their hottest seasons there made it possible to fry an egg on the gravel. Plus, I wanted to live near the beach knowing it might be the only opportunity I get.

After I took a moment to soak up what seemed to me as heaven and to regain feeling in my legs, my brother called over to me, yelling numerous times when I finally heard him the third time. He motioned me over to where my parents were grabbing rolling bins that were available for students to put there belongings in to take up to their dorm rooms. I looked up to take a glance at my future home for the next year and was amazed at what I saw.

I wiped my eyes to make sure I wasn’t dreaming but sure enough, it was real. It looked like a small resort with a pool surrounded by palm trees and a huge grass lawn right next to it. The dorm looked like a hotel. It was over nine stories up and consisted of two towers with elevators in each one. The dorm was called Francisco Torres and it was the only one of the dorms that didn’t reside on campus, being about a mile off campus. We were finally able to gather all my things and make it to the ninth floor where my room was and started to unload.

I noticed my future roommate had beaten us to the room and unpacked all his things. However, it seems as if he packed for just the weekend. His side of the room was a mess; his dresser drawers were open as some clothes were neatly folded and others hung from the ends of the drawers. His bed sheets were carelessly put on the bed and looked like someone had already slept in it. On his desk were his fifty-year old computer and monitor and an old printer that looked to have some cobwebs on it. I hadn’t met my roommate before but I was already beginning to get a sense of who he was. We had just talked a couple times on the phone to coordinate what each of us was to bring to contribute to the room. I agreed to bring a television and he agreed to bring a small fridge. The day before move in day, he called and told me he couldn’t find a fridge that would fit in the room and asked me if I could bring one. I seemed to have over packed in comparison, bringing my laptop, printer, sound system, mini-fridge, and the television with its stand. I felt I should bring everything with me in one trip so that I wouldn’t have to drag my parents through this again and make multiple trips. As we were finishing up unpacking, my roommate showed up with his mother and younger siblings and hands full of snacks. He seemed like a very mellow character, very simple plain white t-shirt and jeans and slippers. Our parents and families eventually left and we had time to talk and get a feeling for how the year would span out. My roommate decided to take a nap, but I decided to go out and meet everyone else on the floor. The two guys next door seemed like guys I associated with in High School. They both played on the football team in high school and one of them also did wrestling. I played a lot of sports myself, being the captain of the soccer team and track team and playing 3 years of high school football. I wasn’t the typical jock, the one that picked on nerds or made fun of geeks that stayed after school and had chess club meetings. I was a student that came home after games, did homework and helped my mother with chores around the house.

There were also some weird characters on our floor. I didn’t have the chance to meet her, but I walked past this one door and took a quick glance inside. This girl’s back was facing the doorway and I saw something I knew I would never forget. She had wires that ran through small hooks in her back with tattoos beneath. The scariest thought I would ever see. After meeting everyone else on the floor, I headed back to my room and relaxed and turned on the television. The next day, the first day of classes began and things ran smoothly for the first week. In the dining commons everyday, I would eat with my roommate and our sweet mates and some of our new friends. Each time, I would also notice something; there would be this one kid that seemed rather geeky and didn’t seem to fit in. He wore glasses, tight jean pants, turtlenecks and sneakers. He sat alone at every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner. He looked like a typical high school nerd directly out of those old 1990s television shows. He ate his meals and left, and did the same thing every day.

The Friday night after the first week of school was crazy and everyone seemed to be eager to go out and party. The amount of alcohol being passed that night was more than I had seen my entire life. I decided to stay in that night and relax so I wouldn’t be incapacitated the next morning. I went outside to the pool and relax on a lawn chair and talk with some friends and all of a sudden I heard a loud scream.

We got up and went around the corner into the parking lot and saw there was a large crowd of people huddled around a car in the parking lot. The same girl was still screaming. We pushed our way through the crowd and there laid a body smashed into the hood of the car. The face was hard to recognize at the time because it had taken a serious beating by the hood of the car. The body seemed like it had fallen a long distance and sure enough, I looked up and there was a smashed glass window on the ninth floor of my tower. In fact, the window was from the room right next door to mine.

No comments: