Moonlit Forest Chapter One

Chapter One

Staring at the huge doors that would take me into the beginning of my college days.  The college is big and huge with several buildings surrounding the main college building.  The cool breeze of September weather greeted me.  I am standing in front of Hall of Main.  Old bricks that are fading colors and beautiful green grass.  The sign that says Welcome to University of Vannita is fading and peeling.  Surrounding buildings are both classrooms and dormitories.  The dormitories are at the far end of the left side of the main college building.  Glancing around me, I saw people running and mingling around the yard.  Only two people caught my eye.  Two gorgeous people who are sitting under the tree chatting.  What caught my eye is that they look gorgeous like models.  The female had long black hair, pale skin and very skinny.  The male is tall, black hair, skinny and also has pale skin.
Feeling a tap on my shoulder, I glanced around to my left side to see who was tapping my shoulder.  A tall, tanned raven haired boy smiled and said, “Hello.  My name is Richard.  Are you lost?”  He seemed to be of an Indian descent.  He had almond wide brown eyes, jaw length raven hair, dark tan skin (not quite dark tan but also not light tan), wide shoulders and very tall (he must be around six foot or taller).

I smiled, shaking my head and said, “No.  My name is Annamarie.  You may call me Marie.  I am new here.  I’m just overwhelmed.”  For a second, I thought I had mispronounced some words, but then he smiled at me.
“I totally understand.  Don’t be offended, but may I ask if you are either deaf or hard of hearing?”
Chuckling, I replied, “Deaf.  I can lip read and speak, obviously.  You didn’t offend me.”
“I was curious.  You speak well.  Do you wear cochlear implant or hearing aids?”
I stood there looking like a dumbstruck girl.  “How do you know about cochlear implants?  Not a lot of people have heard of them.  I wear a cochlear implant.”  Cochlear implant is a device that helps deaf people hear sounds.  It has an electrode that sends sound wave to the cochlea in which transmits sounds to the brain.
“Oh, I have a friend who has a relative who’s deaf and wears a cochlear implant.”  He explained.  “Are you from around here?”
“No, I am not.  I am from Yuda, California.  Moved here for college.”  I explained.  Suddenly, I saw how I must look to him.  Short, pale skinned with long blonde hair and blue eyes, plain compared to those tanned Californians.  I probably looked like a lost waif to him.
“Hmm, you are pale, not tan and you are from California.  Ha-ha.  What did you do?  Stay inside all day from the sun?”  Richard asked.
“Ha-ha, funny.  No, I love outdoors.  My mom always looked pale and my dad is fair skinned.  I guess I am both combination of them.”  I explained patiently, glancing at my watch.  “Oh, my!  I am going to be late for my Introductions to Psychology class!”
“Ok, Marie.  I will catch you later.  Have fun in class.”  Richard said before I ran off towards my class with a wave for him.
Walking into my classroom, I saw my interpreter sitting in the corner.  I smiled and introduced myself to her in sign language.
“Hello.  I am your interpreter, Ama.”  She signed.  She is a short skinny girl sitting on the red plastic chair.  Her hair is short and spiky in a rocker type of way.  Her face is round and kind.  Her hazel eyes seem to say trust me.
Finding a spot to sit, I took the right books out of my book bag and waited for the class to start.  As people started to walk into class, I noticed that one of them is the woman I saw sitting under the tree.  The woman who I thought looked like a model.  She sat next to me.  She smiled at me and I smiled back at her.  I realized that calling her a model is a wrong word to use.  Perhaps super-model would be a better word for this beautiful woman.  She has long jet-black hair with pale skin and deep bright green eyes.  Her eyes sparkles like the gemstone emerald.  She has full lips and has such kindness in her eyes.  She is wearing a deep blue dressy shirt with black khaki pants and black boots.  I couldn’t help but admire her beauty.  Out of my corner of my eye, I saw older person entering, so I glanced at the man.  He looked around the room.  He was perhaps in his mid-forties wearing a tan tweed jacket and a tan khaki pants, not very tall but not too short either.  He is not thin nor big, just a bit stocky.  He said, “Hello class!  I would like to introduce myself.  I am Mr. Bells.  Please state your names and why you are taking this class.”  He pointed at me to start.  I blushed and stood up.
“Hello.  My name is Annamarie.  You can call me Marie.  I am taking this class to be a child psychologist.”  I introduced myself with a clear speech.
The woman next to me said, “My name is Abigail.  You may call me Abby.  I am taking this class because I am fascinated with psychology.”  She smiled and sat down.  When she smiled, her face transformed into a kind person and she had perfect white teeth.
I couldn’t stop staring at her.  When she looked at me, I looked away quickly.  Before I had looked away, I did see that she was curious about something.  I was having hard time concentrating on my interpreter while the professor was explaining about what the class is about and what we would be doing.  “Okay everyone.  I would like for you all to read chapter one and we will discuss about what you learned from that chapter.  Have a good day!”  Mr. Bells said via Ama.  He dismissed us when the class ended.
I quickly wrote down the assignment into my planner.  I rose and stuffed my books into my book bag getting ready to go to my next class of Human Sexuality.  I think it will be interesting to see how that class goes.  I blush easily whenever someone talks about sex.  I felt a light tap on my shoulder.  I glanced up and was startled to see that it’s the woman named Abby who is tapping my shoulder.  I raised my eyebrow.  “Yes, Abby?”  I asked.
She smiled and asked, “Where are you headed next?”
I blushed and said, “Um, human sexuality.  Why do you ask?”
“Oh, that is where I am headed next too.  Would it be okay if I walk with you?”  She asked.
I blinked and said, “Did I misunderstand?  Did you ask if it’s okay with me if you walk with me?”
She looked at me and said, “Yes, I did.  Is that okay?  Or would you rather walk by yourself?”
I just stared at her.  I am trying to comprehend why this gorgeous woman would want to be seen next to this plain ordinary person.  I knew I was not anything worth looking at.  Granted, I am pretty but not gorgeous like Abby was.  Smiling weakly, I replied, “Are you sure you want to walk with me, Abby?”
With a perplexed look, she signed, “Yes, I am sure.  What did you mean by that?”
I gasped as soon as she started signing.  The way she signs is like a ballet dance, her hands moving gracefully without missing a beat.  I whispered, “You signed.  You know sign language.  I just meant that I am not pretty like you, so I didn’t think you would want to be seen with me.”
“Oh!  Ha-ha, okay I understand.  You are pretty!  Well, pretty is like a kid’s word.  No, you are beautiful.  Why wouldn’t I want to walk with you?  I would love to walk with you.  Yes, I know sign language.”  Abby replied, smiling.
Drawn to her smile, I smiled back and replied, “Okay, then you may walk with me.  So I am not the only one who knows sign language here?”
“Oh no.  My brother and I know sign language.  I am so excited that I get to sign with someone else beside my brother!  I think sign language is beautiful!”  She replied.
Distracted by the fact she mentioned that she has a brother, I began to wonder if he was older or younger, if he was cute, and if he was single.  Then I shook my head and muttered in my head, You are not here to find a man.  You are here to study.  Focus!  I looked at Abby and whispered, “You have a brother?  How did you know sign language?”
Laughing, she looked at me.  “Yes, I have an older brother.  Well, our aunt was deaf.  So our aunt and our mother taught us how to sign since we were babies.  We still frequently sign to each other.”
“Oh, awesome.  Glad to know that someone does know sign language.”  I smiled at her.
She smiled back and asked, “Where are you from?”
“California.” I replied.
“Oh.  I thought you were maybe from the plains or mountains.  I mean like Colorado or Iowa or whatever.  You are pale, not tanned like most Californians are.”  She explained.
I laughed.  “Well, I don’t tan well.  I love outdoors, but I don’t tan like anyone does.  I just stay pale to fair skin.”  I shrugged, explaining away about my skin.

We started walking towards our next class.  I noticed a guy standing by the door and I realized it’s the man I had seen with Abby under the tree.  I saw him smile and, oh my, but he is gorgeous!  I whispered to Abby, “Who is that?”
“That’s my brother, Alex.  Alex, this is Marie, my new friend.”  Abby told Alex.  I saw him frown a tiny bit.
“Nice to meet you, Marie.  Hope my sister isn’t driving you nuts yet.”  He said to me.
I looked at him.  I felt like he wasn’t happy with Abby and I talking or something.  I sighed and replied, “No, she’s actually nice.”  He was even more gorgeous than Abby if that was even possible.  Jet black hair, pale skin and deep bright green eyes just like Abby.  What is different is that he is taller and a bit more built.  His bottom lip is full and his top lip is half full.  He has more of an intense look in his eyes.  He’s wearing a black leather motorcycle jacket, white shirt, black boots and blue jeans.  He ought to be on a cover of GQ magazines.  I felt out of place and small compared to Alex, so I decided to ignore Alex and just go into my classroom.  After I entered in the class, I saw Ama sitting in the corner.  I smiled at her as I found a place to sit.  I was waiting for professor to come in.  Abby sat next to me.

“Why did you walk into classroom without hanging out with me or my brother for a bit?”  She signed.
I looked at her, trying to figure out if she was joking.  I signed back, “Are you joking me?  I feel small with your brother beside me.  I don’t think he likes me.  Or he doesn’t like that we talk?”
I saw Abby glance over her shoulder.  I glanced over to see who she was looking at.  Alex was in the back room sitting in the corner, watching us.  I gasped.
Abby looked back at me and said, “He has trust issues.  Don’t mind Alex.  Sorry you felt small.  I will make sure he behaves better next time.”
I shook my head and said, “Oh no!  Abby, there won’t be a next time.  I am staying away from him.”
Abby was going to say something, but the teacher just walked in.  Tall, willowy, tanned woman spoke, “Hello class.  Welcome to Human Sexuality.  In this class, we will be discussing a lot about sexuality as well as about sex.  My name is Mrs. Whittle.”
I blushed as the interpreter relayed what the teacher said.  I could tell that in this class I will be blushing a lot.  Suddenly I felt like someone was looking at me.  So I glanced around and caught Alex staring at me.  He looked like he was smirking at me, I frowned at him and looked away.  He is making me feel some kind of emotion that I couldn’t identify.  I didn’t like this feeling.  I made plans to stay away from Alex.
The day is finally coming to a close.  I sighed in relief.  Now I just need to find my dorm and meet my new roommate.  I am nervous since I do not know who my roommate will be.  Abby tapped my shoulder and signed, “Where are you heading to now?”
“Dorm.  I am done with classes until tomorrow.  I am going to go home and do my assignments.”  I signed back to her.
She looked so crestfallen that I had to smile.  “Oh okay.  I have one more class to go then I will be heading back to my dorm.  It was nice meeting you.  Hope to see you soon.  I know we will see each other on Thursday for Introduction.”  She signed.
I nodded and signed back, “Yes, it was nice meeting you.  If we don’t see each other tomorrow, then I will definitely see you on Thursday.”  Then I got up and started putting my books into my book bag.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Alex approach his sister.  I ignored him and kept on putting stuff into my bag.  I straightened up and waved good-bye to Abby.  She waved back and Alex just stood there watching me.  I glared at him and walked out of the classroom.
As soon as I walked out of the building, I groaned.  It’s raining hard and I don’t have my jacket with me.  Taking my cochlear implant off, I put it in my pocket and ran across the yard to my car.  Sighing in relief as I got into my car, I started up the car and started driving toward my destination, the dormitories.
I decided to grab just my suitcase and my bathroom bag for now until weather clears up then I will unpack my car.  Walking up the steps that will lead me to my dormitory.  I was able to find my room with no difficulty.  After unpacking my suitcase, I sat on my bed and put my cochlear implant back on as I looked around.  The room is plain that holds two beds, two oak desks, two black chairs, two oak dressers and two closets.  On the left side of the wall there was a brown door.  Wondering what was behind the door, I got up and opened the door.  I stood there, staring in the room that is the bathroom.  I was confused, for I thought we had to use the showers with other women but we have our own bathroom.  It has toilet, bathtub, sink and shower.  The color on the wall is gross.  The color is like puke-yellow with ducks border around the walls.  I wanted to gag myself at the gross décor.  I really wished it was a warm color like purple, green or aqua blue.  I shrugged, deciding not to be choosy and smiled happily with the fact that I have my own bathroom instead of huge shared bathroom with other girls.  The two beds were set up against the walls with the dressers beside them.  The desks and the chairs were at the foot of the bed facing the wall.  I got my bed by the window set up with my royal purple comforter, sheets and pillows.  After I was done fixing up my bed, I got my laptop out of the book bag.
Plugging my computer in and turned it on beside my bed.  I sat on the bed and put the laptop on my lap, checking out my e-mails.  I noticed a movement, so I looked up and sat there with shock on my face.  The person who entered is Abby.  “Hey, Abby.  What are you doing here?”  I asked.
“Hello, this is my room.  Guess that means we are roommates.  Friends and roommates.”  She replied happily.  She smiled with her teeth showing.  I smiled back and went back to checking my e-mails.
I received an e-mail from my ex-boyfriend asking me to reconsider our relationship.  I groaned and muttered under my breath, “When hell freezes over, Mark.”  I responded his e-mail back.
“Mark, I am not going to reconsider our relationship.  You cheated on me.  What is there to reconsider?  You live in Florida for college and I am a thousand miles away for college myself.  Quit e-mailing me about our relationship.  Bye, Marie.”
I heard a humming sound, so I looked up to see where it was coming from.  Saw that Abby was watching me, so I asked, “Were you humming?”
She looked surprised at my question.  “Yes, I was.  Thought you were deaf?  How did you know I was humming?”
I looked at her and responded, “Yes, I am deaf.  I wear a cochlear implant which lets me hear sounds.  Since it was just you and me, I am able to hear sounds like your humming.  If there were too many people around, all I would hear are a lot of noises.”
“Oh, I didn’t know.  That’s cool!  So what were you upset about?”
“Oh, just my ex-boyfriend e-mailing me, that’s all.  No big deal.”  I smiled.
“Oh, ex-boyfriends!  Exes can be a pain in the behind!  Can I ask you something?” She asked.
“Ask away.”
“How come there’s no pictures of you or your family?”
I felt a momentarily of pain.  “Um, I don’t like memories.  I have no family.”  I replied and I looked at her with an expression that said I wasn’t giving any more explanation.  She nodded.
I went back to my laptop, lost in thought.  I grew up happy with my loving parents.  My parents were always happy and so in love.  They always encouraged me to do more, like learning new things or trying new things.  We were always going out to the fairs, for a walk, or just having some picnics.  Smiling at the memories, I also remembered staying home by myself when I was sixteen so that my parents could go out and celebrate their twentieth anniversary.  They never came home that night.  I thought maybe they got a hotel room, so I went to school with happy thoughts and feeling blessed to have wonderful parents who still love each other.  A cop had showed up at the school and I had ignored him.  I was in my third period English classroom when the principal and the cop showed up in my room to talk with me.  Outside of the door, the cop asked, “Are you Annamarie, the daughter of Emily and Gary Michelson?”
“Yes, I am.  How may I help you?”  I had replied with a frown on my forehead.
“I am afraid I have bad news.  I don’t know how to put this delicately, but your parents were killed last night.”
Gasping, I sank to the floor.  “No, no!  They have to be at the hotel!  They are not dead!”
The cop and the principal looked at each other.  I was crying hard, then I got up and ran out of the school.
I got up from the bed, screaming, “Mom!  Dad!”  When I realized where I was, I gasped once and laid back down.  My mind registered that the room is lit and my eyes are adjusting to the brightness.  I looked over on my right and saw Abby look at me with concern.
“Are you alright?”  She signed.
I nodded, not trusting myself to speak and turned towards the wall.  I felt wet tears sliding down my cheeks.  I had not dreamed about my parents for three years.  It will be three years and five months since their death.  I am approaching my twentieth birthday in two months.  The room went dark again and I fell back asleep.

When I had woken up the next morning, I had this feeling that the dream wasn’t the end of it.  I sighed, and began to get ready for my College Algebra and Composition classes today.  As I packed the right books for the classes, I gazed outside of my window and saw that it was calm and sunny outside.  I smiled, anxious for autumn to come.  Autumn is just around the corner and I love the smell of crisp, cool wind while the leaves flutters around our bodies while we walk or stand on the ground.  I sighed, hauling my backpack onto my shoulder and headed out to start my day with Algebra.
As I walked to my class, I wondered about the Indian guy, Richard, and looked around to look for him.  I didn’t see him around, but I did see Alex and Abby under the tree just like I had saw them yesterday.  I quickly looked away before Alex noticed me.  I exhaled in relief when I entered my class room.  I saw Ama sitting on the plastic chair in the corner all ready to start interpreting when the professor speaks.  I smiled at her as I chose which seat to take.
My professor, Mr. Gossman, entered and grinned broadly.  “Hello, everyone!  Welcome to Algebra and I sure hope you all are ready!  My name is Prof. Gossman.  You all will groan when I tell you that you will have assignment to do tonight.  Sorry, but I like to get started right away!”  He chuckled, turning towards his desk to flip some papers around.  He is somewhat tall with a belly like Santa Claus.  He had a cheeky face.  I mean, his cheeks were rosy and his eyes sparkled with a hint of mischief.  I knew instantly that no one would be able to hate him even if we do have homework instantly.  I found myself grinning.  As the class neared to an end, he wrote down the assignment on the board with his marker.  I wrote down on my journal just to remind myself of what needed to be done.  As soon as he was done writing, he dismissed us with a reminder, “The assignment is due on Monday.  I shall see you all later.”
I got up and shoved my books into my bag, getting ready to go to my Composition class.  When I entered in my classroom, I grinned because my professor is dressing very colorful.  She is a short, plump woman wearing a purple shirt with bright neon colors of green, yellow and pink skirt.  Her hair is like dirty brown color being done up in a ponytail with black elastic band with white headband.  I smiled, liking her instantly because her clothes are screaming that she is a free-spirit and wild.
“Welcome to Composition.  My name is Professor Bimby.  You may call me Bimby or Prof.  What we will be doing in Composition is writing short stories, journal and learning how to phrase things.  I will try to be a fun teacher for you all students.”  Class chuckled at that.  I grinned.  Ama was trying to keep her face straight as she signed what the professor was saying.  Bimby had us write a short story about who we are.  “Okay class!  Time’s up!  Now I want each student to stand up here and tell us what you wrote.”  I noticed everyone just about groaned at that, but students did get up and tell us about who they are.  I was next.  I nervously stood up there facing the class with my paper in my hand.  I glanced at Prof. and saw her nod at me.
I cleared my throat and began to speak as clear as I could.  “Hello, my name is Annamarie.  I am known as Marie by my friends and family.  I am deaf and I am proud of who I am.  I am from California and just recently moved here to start a new chapter of my life.  I enjoy having fun and having a life.  I enjoy working out, staying fit, and just meeting people.  I plan on living my life to my fullest and becoming a psychologist for children.  Thank you for listening to my story.”  I hurriedly walked over to my desk before my nerves began to attacking me.  I knew I was confident with who I am, but I do have my moments where I doubt myself and I am feeling it right now.
“My, you are brave.  You want to be a psychologist to children.  May I ask why?”  Bimby gently asked me.
“I want to be able to help children who have gone through any trauma or problems.”  I replied.
She smiled at me.  She glanced at her watch and exclaimed, “Oh, my!  I am running you guys over my hour.  Have a good day.  I will see you on Monday!”
I calmly gathered my stuff into my book bag while kids streamed out of the class.  As I walked out of my classroom, I was trying to decide what to do for today when I caught a glimpse of Alex walking.  Oh my!  He really is gorgeous!  Strong and certain walk could mean that he has confidence in himself and that he knows that he is every woman’s dream.  I do not want him to be my dream, but, hmm, look at that butt!  I better keep away from him!  He could only mean heartbreak and problems for me which I don’t need.  I sighed, walking away into another direction.
I had noticed that I seem to notice things about him that I have never noticed about other guys.  Like how strong and graceful he seems, how he seems to be such a gentleman to his sister and how he seems to know what his sister is thinking.  He has a gorgeous smile!  I began to wonder more about them as the days I have been here has progressed.  Abby has never said anything much about their family.  I wanted to Google them so bad.  I had refrained from doing so because I was afraid I would come off as stalker or some psycho.  I didn’t want to give any wrong impression.  I stopped and glanced over to where Alex was at.  I caught him staring at me and I gasped.  I hurriedly entered into my dormitory.  Once I had entered in my dorm, I quickly glanced around to see if Abby was around, when I was done glancing I knew she wasn’t home and I gave out a huge sigh of relief.  I didn’t want to explain anything to Abby.