Florence Fiction Friday (1)

Hello everyone, I’ve been needing a new project to work on while waiting to hear back from agents, so I decided to start a story on my blog and see where it leads. I’ll release a new part every Friday or every other Friday. Disclaimer: the main character, Lauren, is not me but on occasion real events will be thrown in.

___

Really, Lauren, why did you think you could handle this? I asked myself as I stepped off my plane in Amsterdam. Not knowing anyone but surrounded by thousands of people, I got pushed along with the crowd. My bags weighed me down and I tripped on the flat escalator. Arms aching, I pressed on to find my next destination. I tried to get euros at an ATM but my card was declined.

I almost cried. Where was my mom? My best friend? Sweating, I realized my gate to Florence changed. I groaned and picked my bags back up, this adventure was far from over. Isolated, dripping sweat, tired from spending the whole night packing, I just wanted to go back to South Dakota.

Two hours later, we landed. Beautiful mountains and sunshine greeted us. A good first impression, but I was nervous to met the people I’d be living with. A girl and two guys. I’d never lived with a guy before. Never even had one like me back.

A crammed taxi ride later, my roommates and I got dropped off on a narrow street. Standing awkwardly outside our apartment, the girl already pulled out her phone. I heard her telling someone she missed them; the baby voice she used told me it was a boyfriend or a small child. I knew nothing about her, other than what I could see: pleasantly chubby with a thick hourglass shape and fancy clothes. She was the kind of person to dress up for the airport.

Yikes.

“I’m Lauren,” I said. My voice was quiet and I couldn’t tell if they were ignoring me or didn’t hear me, but I did not try again.

The guys, relatively the same height though one had a dad bod and the other had nice shoulders, forced their way into our apartment. We were on floor two—three in Italian terms since the first floor is floor zero. Our place was cramped and a coldness met us at the door (it took me a few days to realize this constant chill wouldn’t go away). They trotted into one room and I stumbled into another. The girl came in after, uttering something to me in-between talking on the phone, but I couldn’t decipher it.

I checked my phone, no texts. I’d  messaged my friends but they were hours behind me and asleep. Leaving my bags packed, I climbed into the shower. Cold water rushed over my body, making me more alert and even sadder. Additionally, the water pressure was non-existent; I couldn’t even get my hair wet. So instead, I sat on the ground, letting the backed-up drain pool water around me.

I cried.

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