You’re instantly engulfed by bright lights and hot air. You breathe out a sigh of contentment, incredibly grateful for the warm, toasty atmosphere as you feel the heat quickly neutralize the unbearable cold you felt just seconds ago.

 

You dust the snow off your jacket without halting your footsteps and adjust the strap of your carry-on as you feel it digging into your shoulder, bearing most of its unnecessary weight.

 

You make a mental note to remove whatever items in it that you don’t use daily. You have a bad habit of always carrying around a lot of stuff in your bag, but there’s absolutely no reason to keep carrying a butt load of crap everywhere in this shitty weather if you don’t have to.

 

The building is dead quiet from this end, and you make your way through the hallway equally silent. Even though you’re tempted to take the elevator to head to your department, you ditch it in favor of the stairwell as usual.

 

You make your way up the lengthy flight of stairs, taking two at a time like you always do. You consider this part of your daily workout routine, and between your hectic schedule and lack of a gym membership, it’s pretty much the ideal daily exercise option for you. Plus, it helps to fully wake and warm you up for practice on early mornings like this.

 

Just right before you reach the very top of the stairwell, you wince as you feel an abrupt and discomforting sensation right below your chest that makes you stop in your tracks.

 

Ugh. There it is again.

 

This is like the fourth or fifth time it’s happened since it started a little over a month ago. You don’t know why you keep getting this random discomfort in your stomach. You have to hold on to the railing for support as you wait for the uneasy feeling to subside.

 

The first two times it happened, you just figured maybe it was your body’s stress response to the hectic life of juggling two majors, a full-time job, and being constantly worried about money. Now, you’re not so sure it’s as simple as that.

 

You close your eyes momentarily and take in deep breaths, trying hard not to mentally freak out. You find relief when the sensation fades away in a few moments. A few seconds later, you hear the door of the main entrance open again from below you, and a pair of familiar, obnoxious voices follow right after.

 

Even without looking to see who it is, you know all too well the distinctive, high-pitched and snarky voices of Wendy Gilmore and Julianne Hendricks.

 

Wendy and Julianne are, for all intents and purposes, first-class ‘bee-otches’.

 

And that’s by anyone’s standard, including theirs, if they’re honest with themselves.

 

They’re your typical rich and snotty mean girls who have it out for pretty much anyone who isn’t richer and/or more overbearing than they are—which, in your class, is pretty much everyone.

 

Although, you sometimes wonder how long their rich-girl partnership will last. From your own experiences, girls as mean and ruthless as they are always seem to have a hard time getting along with anyone for extended periods of time, even people who are exactly like themselves.

 

You always do your best to avoid the ‘Dastardly Duo’ as your best friends, Trixie and Bill, have dubbed them.

 

You actually think the alias is quite fitting. The chicks are incredibly mean for no reason at all. Lord knows you’ve had your fair share of mean girls in middle and high school, and even during your first go around in college, so you’re no stranger to the general behavior and attitude of girls like them, but you’re way too old to entertain or tolerate that type of juvenile bullshit anymore.

 

You avoid them not because you’re scared of or feel intimidated by them, but because you’re just not a very confrontational person by nature, and at the age of twenty-four, you find dealing with the B.S. and bitchy antics of their kind incredibly exhausting and draining. You have quite enough going on in your life that drains you as it is, and in the extremely rare chance that you’ll actually want more crap in your life, you’ll just tune in to Duck Dynasty. 

 

You hear the echoes of their laughter and gossip becoming louder, signaling that they’re getting closer. The last thing you want right now is for the Dastardly Duo to begin their daily routine of people-spiting with you, so you push your concerns for your stomach to the side for the moment and quickly make your way to the vocal department.

 

***

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THIS CHAPTER MAKES ME FEEL...
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

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