Status: Very Active

Study of Life and Love

Bruised Encounters


I pushed my way down through all the students cramming the dorm hallways calling out to each other, their voices reaching impossible heights. There was way too much excitement and happiness radiating through the halls for the first day back at Uni.

I ducked down as a ball went flying over my head and waved off the guy that ran over to apologise. It didn’t actually hit me.

I finally walked outside the doors and practically sighed with relief: too many people and me created danger. It didn’t help that I was extremely clumsy.

I looked around the campus for a moment before heading straight to my favourite café, Leo’s. It’s where I did most of my studying if I couldn’t within my dorm, the place was small with both an outside and inside dining area. Outside the tables and chairs were set to get as much sun as possible. Inside it was open, the windows taking up most of the walls across the front of the shop.

I headed straight towards the counter and grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge before looking at the menu deciding on what I wanted to eat.

I stepped forward towards the line after deciding on my order, only to receive an elbow in my stomach. A gasp fell from my mouth as the pain shot through my body. A few tears clouded my vision my hands instantly grasping my side. The person had elbowed me exactly where a pretty nasty bruise sat, a reminder not to forget the milk.

“I’m so sorry. Hey, you all right? Damn did I elbow you that hard?” The stranger rambled slightly after seeing the tears in my eyes. His hands moved out to touch the spot but I stumbled back away from him. Shaking my head quickly.

“It’s fine, I’m fine.” I forced out between my gritted teeth.

“You really don’t look fine.” I could hear the guilt in the strangers voice and I quickly sucked in a deep breath and tried to will the tears away. Straightening up I ignored the pain at my side.

“I’m fine. You really didn’t elbow me that hard, just got an old bruise that’s all.” I looked up and tried to smile at the dark skinned boy. His warm brown eyes softened and relief flushed through before they narrowed in on my side again.

“Must have been a particularly nasty bruise to get that reaction.” He said slowly, his eyes glancing back up to my face, I flushed slightly under his gaze and shrugged.

“Bad accident.” I responded vaguely, his eyes stayed trained on mine while I shifted awkwardly.

“Let met pay for your drink, I feel bad about elbowing you.” He reasoned with me, I glanced down at the bottle in my hand before looking back at him. My mouth went dry as I saw the small smile slide across his face; he reached out a tattooed arm to take the bottle from me. I let him grab it and he smiled, thinking he had won.

“You know what,” I said slowly, grabbing his attention. “I’m actually not thirsty. But uh thanks.” I stuttered awkwardly before spinning around and almost running from the cafe. I moved towards the left and rounded the building, the pain from my bruise still aching slightly.

I approached my dorm building straining to not move my left side to quickly and sighed before heading towards a vending machine to grab a coke. I then moved back through the bustling halls and to the quiet safety of my room. I entered to find that my roommate still hadn’t arrived. I used the privacy to stand in front of the mirror and lift up my shirt.

Wincing slightly at the angry purple bruise taking up most of my left side, covering the shaded Rose tattoo. I turned the other way and inspected the other green and brown bruises littering my stomach. They weren’t too bad and would hopefully heal soon. It was the large purple one that would take longer, I could tell. I would just have to be careful from now on to not bump it or aggravate it at all. At least being away from home would stop the bruises from reappearing for now.

I turned to face the dorm room where my luggage had been stashed to the side. I hadn’t wanted to claim a side of the room before my roommate showed up but she was late so I grabbed my first bag and began claiming draws in the adjoining bathroom. Bending down was difficult but I pushed through, use to the feel of aching muscles and bruises.

It wasn’t until after I had all my toiletries set up in the bathroom did someone walk through the door.

“Oh you’re here!” I stepped out of the bathroom to be met with a tall slender girl her shoulder length blonde hair a contrast to her dark skin. “I’m Cecile but call me CC I hate Cecile.” She smiled largely and dumped her stuff on the floor.

“Indiana.” I replied softly, smiling and awkwardly walking out of the bathroom. “I uh didn’t know if you would prefer a certain side.” I gestured to the two beds sitting on either side of the room. They each had their own wardrobe situated at the bottom of the bed and two desks sat side by side, between the beds, facing out the window to the grounds below. Across from the desks was a small kitchen that only contained: one tiny fridge, two empty counter tops and another counter that held a microwave with a stove sitting next to it. It was the bare minimum and other appliances we might want were left for us to choose and bring with.

“I do not mind at all. You were here first, you choose.” She smiled widely and watched me while I shifted from either foot and tugged on my long sleeves before grabbing a bag and dumping it on the bed closest to the door. I like the idea of being closer to the escape.

“Great.” Cecile smiled and moved to dump her stuff on her own bed. I watched her for a moment before beginning to rummage through my own bags to pull my clothes out. “So what are you studying?” She asked me as she tipped her bags upside down on her bed so everything fell straight out. I stifled a laugh at her uncaring attitude before answering.

“I uh study Writing and English Literature.” I told her while folding clothes into the drawers set up for me.

“Wow that’s a lot. I do Sport Science, second year. What year are you at?”

“Second.” I nodded at her, and pushed one empty bag under the bed. She nodded and smiled at me warmly before shoving clothes in drawers.

“I’m a bit of a healthy freak by the way. If you didn’t get that by the courses I’m doing but I have like a juicer and I only eat fresh food that I buy from the market but if you want to use anything of mine go for it.” She smiled and pulled out said juicer from another bag, setting it up on one of the counters.

“You can uh use anything of mine too.” I gestured roughly towards my bags not knowing if I even owned anything that she would want to use but she beamed at me nonetheless before looking back at the rest of her stuff and frowning.

“I’m going to go meet some friends, did you uh want to come?” She asked me, unsure. I quickly shook my head and grabbed another bag.

“No I’ll keep unpacking.” I said really not wanting to meet new people. She smiled at me kindly before waving and leaving the room. I sighed and eyed her side of the room for a moment before continuing to unpack, trying to ignore the constant throb on my side from where the dark skinned boy elbowed me today.


I slowly closed the door to the dorm room behind me. Cecile had come home late last night, almost this morning so I didn’t want to wake her up. She snored slightly but other then that she seemed easy enough to live with.


I snorted at the text that came through on my phone. Caydance was one person that I had actually made proper friends with while at Uni. But that was just the type of person Caydance was, when she latches on she tends not to let go.

The halls were unsurprisingly dead for midday. Everyone had obviously been worn out from the excitement of yesterday and were still asleep or already outside.

The sun warmed me up the moment I stepped out and I made my way towards Leo’s café. I could see Caydances’ bright red hair shining in the sun as she sat outside waiting. Except she wasn’t alone, she had a small, younger girl with her with blonde wavy hair. I eyed her curiously as Caydance all but glared at the poor girl.

“Indi!” She called happily upon seeing me; she pulled me into a gentle hug, her arms making sure not to squeeze me too hard. I was sure she had seen a few bruises over the last year but she never questioned or mentioned it. Although, at times like this when she was decidedly more gently, I knew she knew.

“Hey Caydee.” I smiled at her before taking the last seat at the table. The girl sitting there smiled at me shyly, her eyes didn’t meet mine as if she wasn’t sure she was actually allowed to smile.

“So how was your holiday?” Caydance asked me intently, her eyes searching my face. I glanced towards her before looking back to the blonde.

“Uh.” I mumbled before motioning my eyes towards the young one. Caydance sighed and slumped in her seat before looking back at the blonde like she had been hoping that I wouldn’t notice her.

“This is Riley, my own sister.” She grumbled as Riley waved weakly. I eyed them both for a moment confused.

“You have your own person?” I asked her, she smiled slightly.

“Sorry I forget that you don’t know some of our traditions. The senior girls get a new sister who they are supposed to bond with for the month. It’s our way of getting to know them and make sure they pass their tests to become a Grace. They all do things for us, within reason of course.” Caydance smirked at me while Riley bit her lip obviously afraid of Caydance. I didn’t blame her; the red head could be mean if necessary.

“So what do you want to order and Riley here will go order it for us.” She smiled happily.

“It’s fine, I could do it.” I said quickly.

“No, Riley will.” Caydance said forcefully as I sighed before relaying my order to Riley. She smiled at me happily and practically bounced towards the counter.

“Argh, why did they have to give me the blonde preppy chick? Honestly they couldn’t find anyone more opposite then me. This morning at like the crack of dawn she was smiling. Smiling! Who the fuck smiles that early in the morning? She’s just so- “ She trailed off.

“Peppy?” I supplied for her, she nodded instantly ignoring my sarcastic smile.

“Give her a chance Caydance, I’m sure she’s just excited to be here.” I scolded her while she sighed and rested her chin in her left hand.

“So really how was your break?” She asked me intently. I shrugged uncomfortably under her gaze.

“Same as usual.” I told her, knowing she understood the meaning behind the words. She bit her lip and glanced down, her hands playing with the menu.

“Indi.” She said slowly her eyes looking up to search mine. I almost sighed with relief when Riley arrived back, taking her seat and effectively ending our conversation.

“I ordered it all.” She let us know. Caydance didn’t respond but I thanked her.

“So anyhow, I was going to ask you if you wanted to come to the Kings boys party tomorrow night?” I looked up at Caydance, surprised.

“Party?” Riley piped up before I could reply. We both glanced at her and her smile quickly faded as she tried to sink back in her chair.

“Yes, you guys weren’t being told until tomorrow but – well...” Caydance waved her hand dismissively at Riley who couldn’t fight the eager grin off her face.

“You know I don’t do parties.” I told her shaking my head and moving back to allow the server room to place my plate.

“I know that’s why I want you to come tomorrow night. Please!”

“I don’t know. Isn’t it going to be only people who are part of houses?” I asked her taking a bite of a chip trying to think of a reason why I couldn’t go.

“Most yeah, but some people come who just live in the dorms, like you.” She practically beamed at me, her energy infectious. I could see how Riley and Caydance would fit together even if Caydance couldn’t; they were both too eager, too energetic.

“Can I think about it?” I asked her, taking a drink.

“No.” She said bluntly as I shot her a look. “If you think about it you won’t come. So I’m not even asking you anymore. You are coming. It doesn’t start until eight, but you can come over to our house first and hang out before we head over if you want. Sidney will probably just be lecturing the girls on what they aren’t allowed to do.”

Riley frowned at that but kept her eyes downcast to continue eating her meal.

“You know I don’t like parties Caydance. It’s not my thing. We can just hang out another day.” I tried to compromise. Caydance frowned at me and stuffed a chip into her own mouth angrily.

“Just one party, that’s all I’m asking. Please for me.” I shook my head and kept my eyes downcast from them both.

“I have a new roommate that I should probably be getting to know.” The excuse tumbled out of my moth before I could even consider it. Caydance looked hurt for a matter of seconds before she lit up.

“Bring her with. The more the merrier and then I can meet her.” I sighed and stared at Caydance resigned. I had a feeling she would show up to my dorm and drag me out by my hair if I had to.

“Okay, fine but as soon as I want to leave I’m allowed to.” I warned her earning a nod in agreement.

“Sounds good. Alright, I have to go, got a meeting with a lecturer. Come on you.” She commanded. I watched sympathetically as Riley put the rest of her burger down and stood up grabbing her bag.

“Bye.” I accepted Caydance’s hug before waving shyly at Riley. She waved back happily before hurrying to catch up with Caydance. I almost felt bad for Riley but she seemed like a girl who was determined enough to deal with whatever mood came her way.

I finished my lunch and pulled out my journal, flipping through the last few pages of drabbles and random descriptions I had written for inspiration. I picked my bag up thinking of going for a walk to find more things to write about when someone called my name.

“Hey Nick.” I smiled politely up at Nicholas Grimshaw, who practically brightened in front of me his tall quiff barely moving when he flung himself on me for a hug.

“Indi! Great to see you, holidays treat you good? Listen I have to ask, are you still keen to help out at the station again?” I blinked at him for a few moments trying to process the rush of words he said. He stared back patiently, used to people slow in responding to him.

“Sure, I was going to come round later and see if I could still help.” I smiled at him, Nick was the Universities favourite DJ, practically born to talk on the radio.

“We definitely could. Matt graduated last year so we need some extra people coming on board. The head honcho’s want some freshmen on board and I suppose that won’t be too bad as long as I get to pick ‘em. You know get some good looking ones for us both to look at.” I flushed slightly as Nick wrapped his arm around my shoulders and winked at the first boy that walked past. I shook my head at him and pulled out of his arms.

“I don’t really flirt.” I shrugged, uncomfortably.

“We should change that, really.” Before I could reply, a body was slammed directly into Nick’s side making both of us stumble. I gasped and my foot almost slipped before someone grabbed my arm and steadied me. Unfortunately for Nick and the blonde boy that had crashed into him, they both fell to the ground.

“God Niall. I told you before, you need to keep your enthusiasm down when you see me otherwise people might start to suspect something.” Nick pushed Niall off who laughed loudly before standing back up.

“You okay?” I glanced up at the boy holding onto my arm prepared to thank him when my eyes met familiar brown ones. His own eyes widened as I quickly pulled my arm out of his grasp.

“Sorry for almost knocking you over.” I turned to see the blonde boy, Niall, apologizing sincerely. “Lucky Zayn here got you in time.”

“Yeah, uh thanks.” I muttered barely turning to look at the brown-eyed Zayn.

“Uh where are my manners. Zayn, Niall this is the lovely Indiana. Indi this blonde leprechaun is Niall and the tall, dark, handsome and tattooed is Zayn.” I couldn’t help the laugh that fell from my lips at Nick’s introductions, he always knew how to make a situation less awkward although he was exceptionally good at making them more awkward as well.

“We’ve met.” Zayn said gruffly as the smile fell from my lips and I turned to meet his curious eyes. “I accidentally elbowed her yesterday in line. I didn’t make your bruise worse did I?” I almost glared at him as Nick turned to look at me worried.

“Bruise? What bruise? Honestly Indi you always have bruises: clumsiest person I know.” Nick frowned down at me as my eyes widened at his words. I looked back at Zayn who was eyeing me curiously I could feel his gaze flashing over my skin that was showing. I bristled under his gaze, he actually thought I was stupid enough to leave them out in the open.

“I better go. I’m late for some stuff.” I said vaguely, feeling flushed and hot under their stares, taking a step back from them all. Nick frowned at me practically pouting as Niall waved happily.

“Alright, well the station’s starting up next week, come by whenever, I’ll probably be in their all week setting it up.” He nodded at me as I promised to come and visit.

“Bye Indi.” Zayn’s voice cut through as I turned to him, a nervous blush lit up my cheeks as I nodded at him before turning and heading in the opposite direction of my dorm, tugging on my bag strap and maneuvering my way around the crowds of people heading for lunch. I glanced back before rounding the corner only to jump and squeak slightly when I noticed Zayn still watching me, my feet kicked against each other and I touched the wall briefly for support before slipping around the building and breathing deeply.

I passed the welcome sign at the front of the great court noticing the new quote for the day.

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. - Charles W. Eliot

I smiled at the quote and briefly ran my hand over my own journal. One day I hope that someone will read something that I wrote and be inspired or learn from it. Or even just love it to the point that the book is read so often it falls apart in their hands. That’s when you know a book is special to someone, not when it’s pages are white and pristine, corners aren’t folded, nor words or marks on pages. The favourite books are the books that are marked and quoted, and bent and yellowing and bound just by the sheer joy you take in it.

I slipped down past the sign and around the back of the great court to where a lake sat with a fountain placed in the middle, their were different walkways wrapped around the lake and I took one that would lead me to the other side where the trees grew thicker together.

Walking off the path after reaching the other side, I could feel sweat start to gather on my brow but wiped it away as the cool shade settled over me. Moving a few fallen branches out of the way I finally sat down comfortably under the tree, hidden from the people walked the path but I could still see everything around.

It was the perfect place to find inspiration and stay hidden from everyone. I grabbed a pen out of my bag and relaxed, sighing as the pressure on my bruise lifted.

My gaze drifted lazily around the area that I could see, my pen tapping against the blank pages in front of me. I wanted inspiration but it wasn’t coming as quick as I hoped.

I watched, intrigued, as a girl came thundering from another group of people towards one guy and girl walking alone. She almost pushed the guy out of the way in her haste to jump on the girl. I watched their interactions for a few minutes before looking past them: they weren’t entertaining enough.

There were a few people lying in the shade of the hill across from me, I could just see them, slumped, heads resting on bags, clothing covering their eyes. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the heat that was hanging around after summer now that spring had finally arrived.

I looked, uncaring, past the small group of people chatting softly as they passed the place I was hidden in. What did catch my attention though was the boy who stopped not that far away from me, his hand clenched tightly to his phone and his lip was red and bitten to the point of swelling. He was worried but soon continued on his walk and I was left with no inspiration.

Sighing I pulled out my phone from my bag and plugged in my earphones hoping that I would find some inspiration in the random assortment of music I had throughout the device. I hit shuffle and glanced up towards the opening I could see through and quickly clamped a hand over my mouth so I didn’t squeak too loudly.

The boy standing directly in front of the opening I used to get in here paused from digging in his bag and peered into the close trees and bushing surrounding me. He narrowed his eyes and I tried to shuffle quietly away so Zayn’s large brown eyes couldn’t find me. He lifted his foot as if to take a step towards me before shaking his head and mumbling something I was unable to here before turning his back to me. Air flew out of my lungs in relief and I watched, interested, as Zayn cursed under his breath and zipped his bag shut. He obviously didn’t find what he was looking for. Huffing he headed in the direction I had first come from, his shoulders slightly hunched but his walk, confident and knowing.

I shifted in my spot so I could keep watching, noting the many tattoos lining his arms, the perfect condition of his dark hair. His clothes remained one dark colour, no variation from pattern, even his backpack fit in with his whole image. He seemed to be someone who cared deeply what people saw him as but simultaneously came across like he didn’t give a shit.

My pen hovered over the empty page in my journal before I groaned furiously and chucked everything back in my bag, slinging it over my shoulder and slipping out from my hiding spot. No one even spared me a glance as they wandered around, too busy getting to where they wanted to be or more interested in the people around them then they ever would be in me. I didn’t mind. It was easier to hide everything when I appeared in the shadows to everyone else, the image in the corner of their eye that never pulled attention.

I had spent a lot of time ensuring that I was something that didn’t pull attention, that I could sit to the side and be quiet and completely unnoticeable. I was easy to walk past without a glance, people who might known me only knew me as nice and extremely quiet and that’s all people needed to know.

I found in my experience if people asked someone about you and their way to describe you was quiet or shy or kept to themselves then people didn’t bug you, they didn’t try, they just smiled, interacted on a needed basis and passed on the same knowledge to anyone else that asked.

It was more convenient that way, less secrets, less hiding. I blended seamlessly and enjoyed having the social time with Caydance. She was one person that did notice, that found my way of hiding only encouraging like I needed someone to pull me into the open. And I allowed her for short moments and then when she pushed too far I retreated until she understood, learned what I could talk about, what I refused to mention.

I wasn’t broken or any other crap that people in television dramas or gossip news shows insisted on. My parents never broke me, I was still living and breathing and only slightly damaged. But I certainly wasn’t broken but I knew if people found out they would insist I was broken and some self-righteous person would come along and insist on fixing me. I wasn’t here for someone else to fix.

I pushed open my dorm room door and blinked in surprise at Cecile laying on the ground, her legs above her head. The image brought me crashing right out of my own head into the world. She grinned up at me and brought her legs down sweat covered her exposed skin.

“Sorry just got back from a run and fit in a quick warm down stretch.” I nodded politely at her and moved to dump my bag on my bed. I noted Cecil’s side of the room was decorated with posters and pictures. Her desk and bookcase practically full with books and ornaments, she seemed to really like Elephants.

“Do you have stuff to hang up? I hope you don’t mind some of my posters.” Cecile shifted and glanced from her happy, decorated side of the room to my more reserved and empty side. I shook my head and shrugged at her.

“I didn’t really bring anything with. I have a few books but that’s really all.” I gestured haphazardly to a few bags that were still packed in the corner but didn’t make a move for them instead I headed to my desk and grabbed my laptop. I wanted to check my class schedule and make sure I hadn’t missed anything yet.

I could feel Cecile’s eyes on me and I got the feeling that she wanted to talk. I took pity on her and while waiting for the Universities web page to load I turned back to her.

“So I got invited to a party tomorrow night and I was wondering if you would like to go?” I asked her, noting that the web page had loaded. Cecile gaped at me for a moment before sitting down on the ground. I assumed her odd choice of seating was because of how sweaty she was but I didn’t want to judge.

“A party? You go to parties?” She cringed the moment the words tumbled out of her mouth and seemed like she was going to apologise; I waved her off and turned back to my laptop.

“I don’t but my friend is making me and she said I could bring you. So if you’re not doing anything tomorrow night you can come. It’s at the Kings College house.” I didn’t notice the amount of time it took for Cecile to answer but it did seem longer then necessary.

“You’re going to a frat party? You’re inviting me to a frat party?” I looked over at her, distracted, before clicking on my course schedule and nodding at her.

“How did you get invited? People who aren’t sorority or fraternity don’t get invited to their welcome back party. It just doesn’t happen.” I pulled my attention away from the screen, understanding that Cecile needed more information that what I had already given her.

“My friend, Caydance is in a sorority and she can get us in. We just go with them.” I smiled at her and waited for any more questions. She just stared back; her mouth agape and I tried not to laugh at how much my question had shocked her. I almost felt bad, Caydance always invited me to their parties or events and I never wanted to go but Cecile on the other hand seemed like someone who would jump at any opportunities to be a part of their events.

“So are you free?” I asked her when I still didn’t have a reply. She nodded immediately, her eyes still wide.

“Yes, oh my god yes definitely. No way will I not go. Like geez wait till I rub this into my friends. Honestly you are the most amazing roommate.” I laughed as she jumped off her bed and dived for her phone that was sitting on her dresser. I shook my head and turned back to my laptop until she started talking again.

“Not that I only think you’re awesome because you’re getting me into a party I also just think you are going to be a totally awesome roommate because you’re side of the room is clean, and you haven’t complained about me being too hyper, you don’t send judging looks and you haven’t once glared at my Doctor Who poster and called me a hipster or demanded who was my first doctor.”

I let out a surprised laugh at Cecile’s rant and glanced towards said poster.

“I honestly have no idea why anyone would insist on knowing who your first doctor is, how is that important knowledge at all unless he still has records of yours?” I ended my question unsure and Cecile just cocked her head to the side in confusion. I glanced from her to the poster and started to piece it together. “Oh, I’m assuming you mean something to do with Doctor Who and I should tell you now, I haven’t seen one episode.” I admitted and her eyes widened before a large grin broke out on her face.

I smiled back tentatively and looked back down at my loaded class schedule wandering what I had just said that made Cecile look at me like I might just be her new favourite person.
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