Hooray for getting back into MGP! If you're reading this Cartoon Network, please don't let MGP die; it reminds me of the 90's cartoons I loved as a child, I hope others feel the same way as I do. Anyway, this is a sequel to my story, "The Jungle Boogie", and I hope you enjoy it. – Jason
My College Roommate is a Monkey
"Well, that's the last one," I sighed happily, my body aching from carrying all those boxes from house to car at least 20 times. I probably would have had an easier time, but I had gotten lazy over the summer, my muscles taking a break just like I was. My parents took me on a two-week long vacation to Europe as a graduation present, and it was the perfect remedy to the "itch" I was feeling about getting out of the suburbs that imprisoned me. Now that I was back in California, it wasn't so bad; besides, I was finally starting college tomorrow. I felt nervous yet excited for this new chapter in my life to begin.
The university looked like a dream in the brochures I got received in the mail many months ago, and to top it off, I had no trouble at all getting accepted. They said it was a brand-new university, and I especially was a top-candidate for nearly-free tuition. How awesome is that?
I said good-bye to my teary parents. "Please call us when you get there, sweetie!" my mom stated, her arms wrapping me in a vice grip. As I waved a final time, it finally dawned on me that I leaving this town for good…
The university was two hours away, in the outskirts of San Diego, so I had quite a drive ahead of me. It went by quickly enough; my iPod was connected to my stereo and shuffle mode was being good to me, somehow picking up my nervous yet excited vibes and working with them.
The city skyline glowed in the early fall sky, morphing into new buildings, shaping itself into a new world I had yet to experience. My thoughts went out to the friends I had left behind, the animals who showed me another way to live my life. I would definitely miss them, but it was nice to be with my own kind again, knowing the world wasn't that cut-and-dry.
Finally I began to see signs: "San Diego Research Academy 5 miles". My heart began to race and my stomach started to churn. This was really it; once I was here, this college was my new home the next three, maybe four years. Suddenly a thought made itself known in my head, "You never even took a physical tour of this place, just an online orientation with the dean of admissions."
I shook it off and continued to concentrate on the freeway. I saw the campus, applied, got in; what's the big deal if the tour part wasn't part of my plan? It just made getting here more of a surprise, that's all.
I got off on my exit and drove a couple more miles, heart still racing. What I took the wrong exit? What if I miss my first day's meetings? Panic mode was beginning, seeping out my pores. Luckily I saw another sign leading to my destination and I sighed. I really had to calm down or else I'd really work myself into a frenzy. Out of nowhere, the academy rose into view like some looming monster. I could already tell this place was huge and would difficult to navigate my first few weeks.
Despite its size, the different lots were quite organized. I chose the lot labeled "C – Students/Visitors" and found a spot right away. In fact, it was almost too easy to find a parking space at a college for my taste. "Where are all the cars? This place is deserted," I thought to myself, getting out. I didn't bother unpacking my stuff because the college had said they'd assign dorm rooms after the first day orientation.
The walk wasn't bad at all to the main campus; it seemed like they placed directional signs every ten or so feet, as if an elementary school kid was being directed to the lunchroom. Finally, I saw another girl walking around the trails as I was, and judging by her confused looks, she must be a first-time student as well. I stepped up my pace carefully to catch up with her but not startle her. "Hey," I said, finally walking briskly next to the confused girl. "This place is huge, huh?" She turned, a surprised look on her face, but then smiled playfully. "Definitely. It looked so much smaller during the online orientation." She had long, chocolate-colored hair that reached her shoulders, and same-colored eyes that sparkled as she looked at me. "You took the online route too? I'm so glad I'm not the only one!" She laughed at my comment and stuck out her hand. "My name is Christine." I reached out mine and we shook. "I'm Adam. Adam Lyon." Usually I would be more nervous about meeting a new person so suddenly, but Christine made it so easy to actually introduce myself in a laid-back manner.
"I think we're really early or something," I noted as we passed a building labeled 'Safety Lab'. "Did you notice there's like no cars out in the lot?" She almost stopped but then quickly nodded. "Yeah, something did seem weird about that. The packet said 3, right?"
I got out my cell phone and looked at the LCD display. 2:56. "Yeah, it did. Geez, maybe the other kids know something we don't." We agreed to just go the theatre building as the packet had instructed. The building was a tan, neutral-colored building with at least ten doors on the outside. "Wow, it really is like an actual theatre in the city," Christine noted, inspecting one of the giant glass doors. "I'm from up north so I'm still not used to crazy SoCal technology."
I held the door for Christine and then joined her inside. The lobby was covered in red, velvet carpeting and neon signs labeled the different tiers, rows and seat numbers. "This is crazy," I said out loud, the both of us cautiously moving toward the stage area.
"Down here please!" a voice called, and we saw an older looking man with a nice suit waving us down. We quickly went down the lilted stairway, and saw a simple desk with papers and two chairs. Christine and I looked at each other is disbelief. Two seats? No, this had to be some practical joke. MTV or some other network would pop out and tell us what gullible kids we were.
Nothing like that happened though, so we sat down. "Welcome to SDRA, it's great to finally have you with us. My name is Mark Crannell, dean of admissions," the man smiled, offering us each a hand.
"Excuse me sir, but where is everyone else?" I asked, my eyes wandering to look at the rest of this giant building.
Dean Crannell just laughed. "The rest of the students are in classes, at work or studying at their dorms."
Christine suddenly looked angry. "You mean we're late?! But, the paper…"
Dean Crannell just kept smiling. "Both of you are right on time. Please let me explain what's going on. Now, you both know this institute is brand-new here in San Diego, correct?"
We both nodded.
"Yes, well, our college is located right next to the San Diego Zoo. Many of our students are studying fields that focus on animals: veterinary work, training, etc. The location gives the students easier access to have a hands-on approach on the studies. However, many of the students are also studying arts, such as what you both applied for, correct?"
We nodded again.
"Of course. Well, since this is an experimental institution, your tuition and board costs have been-"
"I'm sorry to interrupt, but what do you mean by 'experimental institution'?" I asked suspiciously. This was getting too weird.
"Well, I guess I should tell you now," he grinned, eyes twinkling. "You two are our first human students to enroll here at SDRA."
Dun dun dunnnnn. And now the story really begins! I also wanted to note that any names I use in my stories are completely coincidental to ones that may exist in the real world, so don't freak out on me! Thanks for your reads and reviews.