While we were talking, I heard a familiar laugh ringing from the back of the office; Tamara. She then poked her head out from around the corner. “Emma!” she cried as she ran over to where I was standing and hugged me around my waist. Tamara McNutt had always been a great role model in my life. She was almost five years older than me, and I always looked up to her. I had met her three summers before, through her sister, Alicia, whom I had been friends with for close to five years. Tamara flashed a smile and tucked a piece of her long, brown, curly hair behind her ear as she said, “Come on, I’ll take you to Dorm!” Dad said he would drive over so that we would be able to just unload the car when we got there, and Tamara and I walked.
Tamara and I caught up as we walked along the main road towards the Dorm. She asked me how my exams were, and I told her all about math. Strangely enough, it was easier to talk about it now that the great burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I asked her about how Pre-Season was, and she told me that it was a ton of fun. I thought about how much that I wished that I was old enough to work Pre-Season. Two months seemed so short a time to spend at Fair Havens, compared to the four months that Tamara was there for. I asked her about how she and Jon were doing, and she told me that they were doing great.
“So, when is he going to pop the question, then, eh?” I joked as we reached the brick pathway leading to the front porch of Dorm.
“I don’t know,” she replied from behind a smirk. I laughed, and told her that I better be one of the first on the calling list when it eventually happened. She promised that I would be.
I climbed up the steps onto the porch. I looked to my left and saw a makeshift fire pit in the very centre of the brick patio. Awe, campfires will be so much fun, I thought. Above me, the eaves hung a little bit below the edge of the roof. They had little plants growing in them that spilled slightly over the ledge, which led me to the conclusion that eaves had not been cleaned out for an eternity. Tamara disappeared through the screen door. I pulled the door open after her and it squeaked loudly. I took one step into the room and was hit by a wall of stench. The room smelled like mould. I coughed and said, “Wow. You would never be able to tell that boys used to live here,” with my voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Yeah, we did our best to clean it up, but the stink just wouldn’t go away. So, we have all the fans on, and we put dryer sheets on them to blow the nice smell all through the house. Clever, huh?” I nodded in agreement.
The Dorm was a moderately sized building. As soon as you stepped in the door, you were in the common room. Adjacent to the common room were the bedrooms, bathroom, and shower. I quickly looked to my left as Tamara directed me towards the bathroom and shower. This is much nicer than I expected, I thought as I inspected the bathroom of my new home. “This one is your room,” Tamara informed me as she pointed out the door directly across from the Dorm entrance. I read the sign on the door; “Welcome Emma and Bekah”, it read. I suddenly was very impatient for my roommate to arrive.
Bekah Hesman has been my best friend since my first summer at Fair Havens. She used to live in Oshawa, but then moved to Windsor when I was in grade seven. Bekah and I have always gotten along famously. Whenever we’re together, we’re joined at the hip; inseparable. I love her like she was my own sister. I remembered the sneaky plan we came up with to both request each other, so that we would for sure end up together. I was very excited to learn during the May Long Weekend that we were going to be in the same cabin, along with Holly Nolson and Becca Thede. I missed Bekah every day. I hated that she lived so far away.
Dad and Tamara helped me to carry all of my stuff into my room from the car. It only took two trips for us to take everything inside. A sense of satisfactions and relief swept over me as I stood in my room, surveying the space and all of my stuff.
Outside on the brick path, Dad chatted with Tamara. Tamara gave me a quick squeeze as she said that she had to get back to work. Dad waved. Then Dad hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. “Call if you need anything, okay? And I’ll probably be up on Thursday with the T.V., DVD player, and internet stuff,” he said. “Okay, thanks, Dad. I love you. See you on Thursday,” I replied as a pulled away from the hug. “I love you too.” With that, he got into the car, and slowly backed out of the Dorm patio area onto the road. He waved as he began to drive away, and I waved back.
I went back inside after saying goodbye to Dad and thought about what I was going to do. I knew that Bekah would not be there until closer to dinner time, so I decided to start unpacking my things a move into our room. The room itself was a little bit larger than I expected it to be. Directly to the right of the door was one set of bunk beds, aligned with the front wall. The other set of bunk beds was perpendicular to the first, and was raised up on a set of four cinder blocks under each leg of the bed. The back wall had a window. It was opened slightly, and I remembered what Tamara had said about trying to get rid of the stench. On the left wall hung the largest mirror I had ever seen in a bedroom. It covered most of the wall length-wise and almost reached the ceiling height-wise. Leaned against the wall directly below the giant mirror was a chest of drawers. I decided to unpack my clothes. I organized them into groups and put them into drawers; long sleeve shirts, sweaters, t-shirts, underwear, pants, shorts, tank-tops, everything.
Before I knew it, my two Rubbermaid storage bins were nearly empty. All that was left in one of them was a couple of dresses and skirts. I came up with the brilliant idea to store my bins underneath my bed. I had chosen the bed with the cinder blocks, so the bins fit very nicely underneath. I had to hand it to the boys; they knew how to make the most of a small space. I then unrolled my sleeping bag and laid it out on the bed. I placed my pillow and teddy bear at the head of the bed and I felt very pleased with all that I had accomplished. I suddenly began to feel very lonely. I decided that I needed some noise, so I plugged in my Mac laptop and put my Lady GaGa CD in. I felt better as I soaked in the music.
I opened the top middle drawer of the dresser and pulled out the box of Blue Mike and Ikes that Mum had bought for me. I loved that she knew the kind that was my favourite. The sugar also helped to relieve my loneliness.
This is Home - A Memoir