Mike's POV

"Shit." I mumbled, glancing over at the clock. It was already 8:30 and class started at 9. I jumped out of bed.

I looked over to my left to see a snoring Dustin still sound asleep on a mattress that was too small for him.

Damn it, my friends were so lucky to have afternoon classes, I don't know what was I thinking taking a morning load.

I slapped on some deodorant and sprayed on a little cologne, knowing I didn't have time to shower.

I then fumbled through my drawers looking for anything decent to wear. Wow, so much for actually trying to look nice for the first day, I thought while grabbing a pair of jeans and a plain blue t-shirt.

I hopped into my pants, slightly struggling to pull them up onto my long lanky legs. I threw on my shirt, and then rushed to the kitchen where I snatched an apple off the counter.

"Someone's in a hurry." chuckled Lucas, while he flipped through the channels on the TV in the living room, probably hoping there would be more than just the typical morning news.

"Ugh, I'm gonna be late." I quickly responded, making my way out of our small apartment.

"Mike, you forgot something." He called out to me before I could completely shut the door.

I marched back inside, mentally scolding myself for forgetting. "Thanks man." I responded, slinging the backpack over my shoulder and once again leaving.

Lucas, Dustin, and I have been friends since practically forever. I met Lucas first in third grade then we both met Dustin in fifth. We grew up together playing D&D, reading comics, going to the arcade, and being zealous fans of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. I have to admit we were huge nerds and even got bullied for it sometimes but hell, we didn't care.. Well not until high school at least, that's when we started noticing girls more and playing D&D less.

Even though those two can be a pain in my ass sometimes, they're kinda like my brothers. Throughout the ups and downs of life we've stuck together. But now here we are once again facing something new and unfamilar.. that something called college.

With all the weird glances my way I knew I probably looked like a crazy man. I was jogging across campus doing my best to find the science building while my backpack vigorously bounced up and down and I had stuck the apple in my mouth, unable to find the time to actually eat all of it.

"Room 1330.. 1330." I mumbled to myself as I walked down the hall looking at all the room numbers posted above the doors. "1332.. 1331.. Ah! 1330! I reached for the doorknob and quickly pulled the door open. I was only five minutes late and the class was already pretty full.

I scanned the large room in search of a place to sit and I made my way carefully through to an open seat doing my best not to disturb the professor's power point presentation.

I took my stuff out and gently plopped it on my desk, grabbing a pen and quickly scribbling in my notebook, following along to the lecture.

Thirty minutes in and I couldn't help but notice the girl in the very front row who continually asked questions. It was odd, normally not many people sat on the first row. There were only maybe a few daring students but most stuffed themselves in the back with the others, ya know outta sight, outta mind type of thing.

However, this girl.. well she was different, she was interesting. Aside from sitting on the very front row, she seemed quite fascinated by the lecture.

Her head would bob up to look at the board and then back down to eagerly jot notes. It became almost rhythmic, apart from her occasionally raising her hand up to ask a question every now and then. I could tell she wasn't just being a kiss-ass but instead she was actually enthralled by everything that the professor had to say.

My astronomy class only lasted around 50 minutes or so. Before I knew it, it was over and the professor began to dismiss us. "Alright class, for homework tonight please make sure to read pages 14 through 25 over nebulae. We'll be discussing that first thing tomorrow." He then paused and looked straight at me. "And please make sure to be on time."

I let out a small groan while I hurriedly gathered my things, knowing I had an advanced bio class in twenty minutes.

Being a Bio Engineer major, I knew I had a tough road ahead especially with so many science classes awaiting me. But I fairly enjoyed science, biology in particular. It's kinda all thanks to my old middle school teacher Mr. Clark. He helped me discover my passion for the subject when he made me and my friends enter the science fair one year.

I was almost out of the door too until somebody suddenly knocked into me.

My back pack easily flew off from not being securely positioned on my shoulder and the contents that were inside it spilled out onto the floor. "Fuck." I huffed under my breath, squatting down to quickly pick up my belongings.

"I'm so sorry!" rang a soft female voice, as she tried to help me pick up the scattered papers.

I didn't pay her any attention though, god, I couldn't be late to my second class. "It's fine." I retorted, trying to mask my annoyance.

I shoved everything down into my bag and this time I made sure to zip it up.

"Here." she said, handing me one of my pencils.

And for the first time I actually looked at the culprit who ran into me.

This was the girl from the front row. I could tell by the chestnut brown curls that fell right below her shoulders, but now I finally had a clear view of her face.

Her huge hazel eyes glistened from the class lights overhead. She had soft rounded cheeks, a sharp chin, and full rose colored lips.

My mouth went dry and it was like I suddenly forgot how to speak words. She was pretty.. really pretty.

I grabbed the pencil slowly from her hand. "Th-Thanks." I finally managed to spit out. But before anything else could happen, I jetted out of the classroom.

"Damn it Mike, she probably caught you staring. Why do you have to be such a loser around girls?" I muttered to myself, trudging my way to my next class.

El's POV

I'm so clumsy, I can't believe I knocked all of that poor guy's stuff on the ground. He probably thinks I'm a klutz.. ugh and he was actually pretty cute too.

I couldn't help but notice his dark eyes, his short black messy hair, and the splatter of freckles on his face as well as his defined jawline that was covered in small stubble. He was also tall.. very tall. I'm gonna guess around six foot three or somewhere close to that.

I shook my head trying to clear my mind. No, I had no time to think about guys, period. I can't allow myself to get wrapped up in all that.. I won't. I came to simply get my degree in teaching and that's it. I definitely don't need anything steering me away from my focus.

I wiggled my key into the lock and opened up the door. I placed my books in my room before I sprawled myself out on the couch, hoping to take a quick nap before my next class, which was in a couple of hours.

My eyes were almost shut before "Hey El!"

"Uh hey Max?" I confusedly replied, looking up to see the redhead in front of me. "I thought you would still be at the registrar's office trying to sort out your schedule?"

"Ya see, I thought the same thing but I may have persuaded a few boys to let me cut in front of them in line."

"Wait, how?"

"Oh, I have my ways." she said, a smirk growing on her face which could only mean that she flirted her way to the front of that line.

I rolled my eyes while sitting up on the couch. I knew I wouldn't have a chance to nap now with her around. Don't get me wrong Max is great, but she kinda doesn't know when to stop talking.

There was a sudden loud knock on the door which made us both jump.

Max went to open it and the smell of pepperoni pizza suddenly filled the room.

"Thought I'd pick up lunch, to celebrate our first day at Indiana State."

"Will you're amazing!" Max squealed, grabbing the boxes from him and setting them in our small kitchen.

"It's a shame how I never hear that until I bring you food." he chuckled.

I was now aware of my rumbling stomach and was ever so grateful for the pizza. "Thanks Will!" I yelled out, making my way towards the kitchen.

We sat together crowded at the tiny dining room table munching on our pizza happily.

"So how was astronomy? I still say you're crazy for taking such an early class." Max asked, looking in my direction.

I quickly swallowed my food before I answered her. "It was actually really good. I love how the professor teaches."

"Well I'm not surprised, you've always been such a nerd." she teased.

I playfully shoved her. "Am not!"

But even though I don't like to admit it, I kinda was and kinda currently am still a nerd. I love to read books, learn, and explore new things, especially since I was so sheltered from the outside world as a child.

I was only taught what my father wanted me to know, nothing else. My childhood was a prison, filled with awful things that I don't even wanna think about at the moment. However, once my father died, I was adopted into a new home and I went to an actual school for the first time.

I was adopted into the Byers home, therefore Will became my brother. He later on introduced me to his friend Max and they helped me through middle and high school. They knew me. They knew all of the little secrets of my past that I never shared with anyone else and because of this we became very close. Our little group only consisted of the three of us, kind of like the three musketeers and we liked it that way.

"So Will, how's the long distance going?" I asked, interested to see how he was coping with the new change.

"Not gonna lie, it's been kinda hard. I haven't seen David since he flew out to Chicago for school a few months ago, but right now it's going alright.. considering." He answered, taking a sip of his cherry coke.

Max shot a coy smile. "Well you know if it doesn't work out with David.. there are literally so many other hotties here."

"Max!" Will and I shouted in unison

"What? I'm telling the truth. Damn, If I knew college would have guys like this I would've tried to graduate high school sooner."

"Wow, Is that all you think about?" I faintly laughed, shaking my head.

"No.. pfft.. shut up Eleven. Anyways when's the last time you went on an actual date, huh?"

I stared down at my half eaten slice actually trying to recall the last date I went on.

"She went on that date with that football player junior year. I think his name was Chad?" Will stated, speaking on my behalf.

"Yes, I remember now! Chad. Chad Stevenson. Oh.. he was super attractive. Why didn't you two ever become a thing again?" Max's forehead wrinkled. The way it only does when she's worried or she's really trying to figure something out.

"Eh, he was not my type at all, way too shallow and full of himself." I answered, cringing at the memory of how that date went.

"Geez, so you haven't been on a date for what? almost three years now? Are you trying to stay a virgin forever? She then nudged me, her playful voice calming into a more serious one. "Come on.. now that we're away at school, it's about time you go and meet someone nice. You deserve it."

"No, no, no." I repeated, needing her to understand. "Guys are definitely not a priority at the moment, not until I get my degree first."

"El, you said the same thing in high school." Will sighed. "I hate to say it but I actually agree with Max. Stop consuming yourself with your studies so much, you're smart and you'll graduate with no problem at all, but you gotta learn to enjoy life."

Really.. Will too? No fair, I was being double teamed. I knew they had a point, but I never was the girl to just throw myself out there. I'm careful and guarded, and because of this it's hard for me to connect with others, especially guys. But I didn't want to talk about guys or dating anymore.. I rather talk about anything but right now.

"Yeah, Yeah.. I know.. but moving on, so are you two gonna join any of the campus activities?"

They both looked at each other and shared the same knowing smile.

However, as usual I was clueless. "What?"

Will spoke first. "So there's a frat party happening next Friday.. You should totally come join us."

"When I mentioned fun campus activities, I was thinking more along the lines of pep rallies or book fairs, not illegal activity!" I shouted under my breath almost worried that someone would overhear us.

Max grabbed my arm and looked at me with pleading eyes. "Come on.. It'll be fun and it's all apart of the college experience."

"Um, I think I'll pass, but you two go and have fun."

If you come with us, we'll never bother you about your dating life again." Will mentioned, getting up from the table to clear his plate.

"Yeah!" Max then gave it some thought and quickly corrected him. "Well, at least not until we graduate."

Not having to deal with them prying into my dating life or the lack thereof and not having be forced out on awkward blind dates throughout the remainder of college honestly sounded heavenly. I carefully considered it, trying to weigh both the pros and cons. I could do one little party right? I mean how bad could that possibly be?

"Okay fine, deal."