Eric slowly sat up in bed and looked around his small dorm room. It was just big enough to turn around in, but it was his home. Once again, he recalled the circumstances that landed him here at the University of Maine. A university that was clear across the country from where he grew up.
When I was in high school, I devoted so much time to my studies, that I neglected to save time for friends and as a result, grew more and more isolated from society. It soon became a routine of going to school, coming home and doing homework, then sleeping and finally, getting up at 3:00AM to deliver newspapers; only to have the cycle repeat itself.
It had become so bad that I even dreaded going out of my room for any reason. After I graduated from high school, I attended a University in town and continued the same old routine. Finally, after I got my degree, I knew that I would have to force myself to get a life and that meant leaving the comfort of this room and routine. With this on my mind, I applied for the University of Maine Graduate program in History and was accepted. No longer, would I be able to hide from people; I would be forced to live and eat with total strangers.
So, my dad and I packed-up the pickup and we drove across the country to Maine. At first it seemed as if the trip would be days of forced conversation, but after the first day, I actually started to enjoy talking to my dad. Towards the end of the journey, I found out things about my dad that I had never known before and for that, I was grateful. Arriving on campus and checking into my room, my dad and I spent the rest of the day just walking around, going to the zoo, and just talking. We had a final dinner together and than the next morning, I stood in the parking lot and watched my dad leave on his journey home. It was then that I discovered that I was truly now alone. It would be up to me to force myself to make friends or otherwise, it would be a long and lonely life.
Walking back to the dorm, I resolved to make myself stay out of my room as much as possible. With this in mind, when I found out that there was an opening on the university grounds crew, I quickly applied for a job and began work. I also forced myself to watch TV, not in the comfort of my tiny room, but out in the main lounge with the rest of the residents. Soon, I began to make friends, not only with the people that lived in my suite, but with others in the dorm. By forcing myself to be more active and by going places with my new friends, I discovered something that had been missing from my life all these years…fun.
Yes, I was actually having fun for the first time in my life and, by the end of that first year, I had made a number of lifelong friends. Now, in my second year I found that I truly enjoyed my life and was happy for the first time in years.
Walking down the narrow hallway to the bathroom, he ran into one of his suite-mates, “Hey, Steve, how’s it going?”
Steve, who stood at a staggering six-feet, five inches staggered over and said, “I’m here, but other than that, I can’t comment at the moment.”
“I know exactly what you mean. There’s coffee in my room if you want some. Just go on in.”
Looking as if there was actually some life left in him, Steve muttered, “Thanks, man.”
Eric lived in a dorm that housed about eighty students and was built in the form of an “H”. If you looked at the “H”, the middle part would be the main lounge on the first floor, a group of rooms, or suites, on the second floor, and a game room, kitchen, and laundry in the basement. The two legs of the “H” contained two groups of seven rooms on each floor, called suites. There would be eight students in each suite (suite-mates), which had a small, common lounge and a bathroom.
Once in the bathroom, Eric walked to the shower, reached in and turned the water on. Once the water was hot enough, he stepped into the shower and, standing under the streaming hot water, he started to go over the strange dream he had just had: Why would he be staying in a strange house in the first place? Would he actually be dumb enough to provoke a ghost, or whatever it was?
However, the main concern facing him was why he was having this dream in the first place. If this was the first time he had it, there would not be a problem and he could just chalk it up to random weirdness, but he has had this dream many times and they always ended in the same way: running away from something. Well, trying to run away from something, that is. It's such a strange sensation when you're in a dream and it feels as if you are running through mush. You run and you run, but you hardly move, while whatever is chasing you gets closer and closer. There must be a reason, but what is it?
Later, after another tough day of working on the grounds crew and then attending night classes, it felt great to be able to get back to the dorm and relax. As Eric walked through the front door Pam, the Resident Advisor on duty, handed him an official-looking letter and said, “This came for you today and it looks like it might be important, so just remember, if you’ve inherited a million bucks, I’m your gal.”
“Thanks, Pammy, I always knew you wanted me for my money,” Eric said, smiling.
Smacking him playfully upside the head, she blew him a kiss and walked back into the office.
Looking at the letter, Eric saw that it came by certified mail and that the return address seemed to be some sort of lawyer’s office. Hey, what if Pam was right and he did inherit a million bucks? Oh well, things like that only happened to other people.
Opening the letter, Eric read through it once and then had to go back and read through it again. The letter stated that he had inherited a 400 year-old farm and some money from an uncle. It then went on to say that he would have to stop by the lawyer’s office in Portland to sign some papers.
Turning towards Pam, he said, “Uh, Pam, is that offer still open?”
To be continued...
The Farm House: Chapter-3A
Copyright © 2010 by Tim A Hicks. All Rights Reserved
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Read from the first installment here... The Farm House Chapter: 1A