AN This story is set at University in Cairns, Australia, about four months after season three ended. This story is also published on Wattpad! Please read and review! Lots of romance and drama to come :)
Cleo Sertori hauled the last of her bags into her tiny dorm room and looked around. She wasn't sure who her roommate was, but she appeared to be very bohemian. There were paintings already hung up on that side of the wall, and a lacy blanket was on the bed.
Cleo sighed, wishing that she could've been roomies with one of her best friends. After a long, fun summer, they were inseparable. Her, Bella Hartley, and Rikki Chadwick, that was. She would be reuniting with her other best friend, Emma Gilbert, later on.
All four girls had been accepted at the University of Cairns, a big college in northern Australia. It was close enough to the Gold Coast but she still had a lot of freedom. And a lot of unpacking to do.
Cleo started with the closet, and was irritated to find that more than half of the rack was filled with flowy shirts, long skirts and other clothes in soft neutrals. She packed in as many of her own clothes as she could, until she was worried the rack might break with the weight of the combined wardrobes.
She unpacked the rest of her things onto her new bed. It was much smaller than her one at home, so the purple bedspread fell off on one side. Still, it made the whole dorm feel more like home. Unfortunately, Cleo's beloved pet fish had to stay at home. But she set a tiny little tank on her desk, hoping to buy a new fish soon.
Looking at her watch, she realized it was almost noon. Time to meet the girls. Cleo wrote a short, friendly note to her roommate explaining where she would be and headed for the café just off campus.
It was desperately hot outside. Cairns was even hotter than her old town. Even in a loose purple top and shorts she was sweating. Her hair was up in a messy bun.
Even though she was a ways from home, Cleo expected to recognize someone on campus. There weren't many universities to choose from in Australia. She knew Zane Bennett would also be attending this university, but didn't exactly want to meet up with him. Rikki and Zane had broken up at the end of last year and still hadn't got back together. Rikki always went out of her way to avoid him, but now he'd followed her to college.
Cleo sighed and entered the café. She wished her boyfriend, Lewis McCartney, had followed her to college. He would be returning to Australia in about a month and she couldn't wait to finally see him in person again.
While waiting for the other girls to arrive, she thought of her other classmates. Will Benjamin, Bella's boyfriend, had gotten a scholarship to dive competitively and was attending uni in Sydney. Bella missed him a lot. She had no idea where Miriam, Tiffany, Sophie, Byron, or her other classmates were going. Last she'd heard, Miriam had gotten fired from a clothing store in her old town.
"Cleo!" She heard a familiar voice call. Emma was standing just two meters away. Cleo leapt to her feet and hugged her tightly. "I haven't talked to you in ages…I lost my phone in Miami and never transferred over my cell information. How are you?"
She grinned and stepped back. "I'm great. And you look…great!" she said, too much excitement to think of other adjectives. Emma really did look great. Her dirty blonde hair had natural highlights in it from the sun. She was tanner than usual, and maybe even fitter. But, typical Emma, her clothes were the same. She wore a fitted light blue polo, white short-shorts and light brown sandals. Cleo was touched to see her still wearing her locket, and fingered her new crystal necklace self-consciously.
"Where's Rikki?" she asked, looking around.
"Right here." Rikki and Bella seemed to appear out of nowhere.
Cleo hadn't seen them in a few weeks, either. Rikki looked happy but wary. She had bags under her eyes and Cleo knew she was probably still upset about what had happened last year. Her clothes seemed to reflect her feelings, as she was wearing mostly black. A black and white silk shirt, tucked into high waisted black shorts and the crystal necklace.
Bella, however, looked very excited to be on campus. She was dressed colorfully, in a blue and green patterned dress that showed off her tanned legs.
They all took a seat, with Cleo and Emma on one side and Rikki and Bella on the other. Emma was eying Bella warily. Cleo realized Emma didn't know anything about Bella, not even that she was a mermaid, too.
She was surprised at how awkward this meeting was. No one was laughing. No one was even smiling. She slumped in her seat. This was not how she'd planned her first day at university.
AN: Not the most dramatic chapter, but there is plenty of action to come. If you have any thoughts at all please leave them in a review. I would love to hear any criticisms, suggestions, or compliments you may have! :) xx