Thank ObsessingOverEdward for this story, it wasn't going to be written, but she wanted one set in Ireland…not sure if this is what she had in mind, though.
WARNING: Self harm IS in this story. It's not used as a plot device, and I've suffered from it in the past, and still do. If it's a trigger, please do not read. Also, there's violence. THERE IS NO SEXUAL ASSAULT.
Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. I own my memories of CTYI, and an…interesting…time there!
"Bella, are you sure you're ready?" My mam asked me, fussing over my bag. I was going to DCU for three weeks, to study Biomedical Diagnostics.
"Yes, mom, I'm fine. What's there to worry about? I'll be properly supervised, and they're really strict about letting us out. We'll have people looking after us. Come on, if we don't hurry, we won't make it." I lifted up the handle of my suitcase, and patted my pocket, making sure my purse was there. I was in trouble if it wasn't; there was over three hundred euro in it!
Finally she let me go and get into the car, and she drove me to Tullamore train station.
I live in Tullamore, the main town in County Offaly. It's a place that you don't want to go, and if you end up there, you want to get out as soon as you can. My friends are great, but I'm fed up of all the knackers threatening us, just because we don't wear tracksuits and hoodies.
"Bella, do you have everything?" My mam asked, again. She was going to drive me mental. I was going for three weeks, not three years. I had everything, my jeans, my band tees, my belts, my eyeliner. I had triple packed, my wardrobe was almost bare.
"Mam, seriously, I'm fine!" I exclaimed, looking over her shoulder. Coming down the hill to the train station were some of my friends, Angela and Ben.
"Bella! Wait!" Angela called, running to hug me. I returned her hug, and pulled Ben into it, as he stood back, looking awkward.
"Bella, I'll miss you," She said, standing back, looking into my brown eyes with her blue ones. The green streaks in her hair stood out from the rich brown of her natural hair color, and made her look even more beautiful than she was.
"I'll miss you too, you idiot. But I've got credit, and I'm going to Dublin! It'll fly past, promise!" I tried to sound cheerful, but I was worried about it. What if nobody liked me? Three weeks is a long time when nobody likes you. Or what if I had a bad roommate?
I heard the train pull into the platform, and I gave my last goodbyes before going through the ticket desk. I had my month return in my hand, having bought it the day before. I also had my suitcase, and a backpack. The backpack had my laptop and a book in it, along with some food. I wasn't a picky eater, but I needed my chocolate. I had no idea what it was like in DCU, what the facilities were like, so I didn't think I could do too badly with some chocolate with me.
Finally, after about ten minutes, the train pulled off. There was a problem with the single line track somewhere, and the train going the opposite way was running late. Therefore, we ran late. Apparently, the government thought it was better to spend the money on a new road to Galway, than to upgrade the facilities to get there that were already in place.
The train journey passed quickly enough. It was only an hour long, but it seemed to be only twenty minutes. When I got off, I put my ticket through the barriers, and stepped out into the teeming mass of people. There were about a hundred people there, all waiting for one train or the other. Heuston Station served the entire south and west of the country by rail, so it was no surprise it was busy. At least, not to the people who were used to it!
There was a woman there, who was about 5'3, with red hair. She was almost bouncing on the spot, and had a card saying 'Bella Swan'.
"Hi, I'm Bella," I said, timidly. I was a little scared; I didn't know what I was getting into.
"Hey, Bella, I'm Shauna! Welcome to CTYI. I'll be your residential assistant, which means I'm in charge of making sure you're ok when you're not in class or study. I'll also have a meeting with you each afternoon, just to make sure that you're doing ok. Everything will be explained better when we get back to DCU though." I didn't think that she had stopped for breath once during that entire paragraph. She seemed really nice though, so we went and got into her car.
Once we got to DCU, she led me into an office area. There was a small lobby area, with a main office off it, and a narrow corridor which seemed to lead to another corridor.
"Come on in here," Shauna smiled as she spoke, and brought me into an office. Sitting behind the desk was a woman.
"Hi Bella. My name is Eleanor, and I'm the academic co-ordinator here. I just have to sign you in, and then Shauna will show you where your room is. You'll be rooming with a girl called Alice." Eleanor was pleasant, but very businesslike.
I got signed in, and Shauna brought me up a flight of stairs, pointing out everything around me. She showed me the 'Street', the restaurant, the spar shop (that apparently all the students lived on), and the quad.
The quad was the central area around all the residence's (res). It wasn't big, but there were people in there, hanging around, and messing around with stuff.
I lugged my case up a flight of stairs, and Shauna gave me my keycard, with a warning about losing it. She showed me my room, then left to let me get settled in. I opened the door into my room, looked around, and collapsed on the bed. It was only two in the afternoon, but it felt later. I was exhausted. There was so much to take in, would I ever understand what was going to happen? I felt out of my depth, there were so many people here.
As I was thinking, I heard a door open. I looked down at where I'd entered, but the door was still closed. I stood up off the bed, and saw a small figure standing in the doorway of another room.
"Hey! I'm Alice, you must be Bella! It's great to meet you. I'm doing biomed, what are you doing? I'm fourteen, and it's my first year here. My older brother Edward is fifteen though; it's his second year here. How old are you? Are you a newbie? Or are you a nevermore? I hope you're not a newbiemore; they're the worst to be! Imagine, being a newbie and a nevermore the same year. I'd hate for that to happen. Although this year there's some ghosts, maybe you'd get ghost. I know Edward hopes he will, because he's not sixteen until tomorrow." The girl finally paused to take a breath, and I jumped in before she could continue talking.
"Hi, I'm Bella Swan. It's my first year here, I'm fifteen. I'm not sixteen until September. I'm from Tullamore in Offaly. And what the hell are you talking about, newbies, and nevermores?"
Alice explained everything to me. She was from Castleknock, in Dublin. Her dad was a surgeon, and her mam ran an interior design company. Her older brother, Edward, was almost sixteen, and he was doing Biomed as well.
When we next looked at the clock, it was almost four. We were to be at the Terence Larkin Theatre for four, so we started following the crowd over. Alice saw her brother, and pulled me along up to meet him.
"Edward! EDWARD! Wait up!" She yelled. People started staring at us, but then they just laughed, and ignored us. We caught up with him, and he turned around.
"Edward, this is my roommate, Bella. Bella, this is Edward, my amadhán of an older brother." Alice finished her introductions, and I looked up at Edward.
He was almost six foot, with red hair and green eyes. His skin was lightly tanned, but it was still pale. His hair wasn't a bright ginger color, but was like the color of a shiny one-cent piece.
"Hi, Bella, it's nice to meet you. I guess my sister told you all about me?" He said, smiling at me. His teeth were impossibly white; it was like he used a tooth whitener or something.
"Yeah, Alice told me a lot about you, for sure. But I'd be more interested in you telling me about yourself, instead of getting it second hand off your sister. I guess she'd embellish some details you'd prefer to hide," I replied, smiling at him. It was unlike me to be so flirtatious, but being here was like being in another world.
He opened his mouth to speak, but before he could get the words out of his mouth, a deep voice yelled out "I LOST THE GAME!"
The area erupted in people yelling out "I lost the game." Edward muttered it under his breath, and then he yelled out "EMMETT!"
A tall guy, who I presumed was Emmett, came running up to us. He had big muscles, but they weren't overwhelming. I'd reckon he was about six foot, with dark brown hair. He had dimples as he was smiling, and came over to Edward and I.
"Edward! Man, how have you been? You haven't come down to Cork in what, six months? The last time I saw you was before Christmas! Seriously, don't stay away that long. I know my family's insane, but you should still come down." Emmett then noticed me.
"Hey, I'm Emmett McCarthy, I'm doing social psych. And you are?" He asked me, curiously.
"I'm Bella Swan. Doing Biomedical Diagnostics. I'm from Tullamore," I replied, smiling coyly at him. He wasn't my type, but the fact that guys were paying attention to me was so different. I was the quiet girl back home, albeit the one with the piercings.
"Cool. I don't know if there's anyone else from Offaly here. Most people are Dubs, like this one, and his sister."
Emmett seemed quite friendly. He had sparkling grey eyes, and a friendly disposition. I liked talking to him.
When we walked up to the Larkin Theatre, we sat down next to each other. I was on the edge of the row; Edward was on the left of me, and Emmett on the left of him. Alice was sitting a row down, straight in front of me. There was a girl sitting beside her with long blonde hair, and Alice seemed to be talking with her.
A man who appeared to be in his thirties walked down the main aisle that separated the two sides of the theatre. He got down to the main podium, and began to speak.
"Hello. My name's Colm O'Reilly, and I am the director of CTYI. I want to welcome you all to the first session of our Summer 2009 program, and I hope that you'll all enjoy it. I don't want to keep you too long; I'll just have to repeat it all in the morning. The main rules are; no drinking, no smoking, no being out of your room after lights out, and no being in people of the opposite sex's rooms, at any time. Ever. If you break one of these rules, you'll have to be sent home, and then the course will be a waste of time, and you don't want that to happen."
He stared around at all of us, as if daring us to say that we wanted to break one of the rules. We all stayed quiet. It was the most silent that any group of teenagers had been in so long.
"Right. You've all been introduced to your RA's; you'll have your first RA meeting tomorrow. Get to know each other, get used to the quality of the food here, and have fun before starting class tomorrow." He dismissed us with a smile, and the cacophony of noise began again as teenagers left the building.
Alice walked around to me, and hugged me.
"That's Colm. He's ok, but he stays away from the students a lot. He's nice though." She grabbed my hand, and we started walking up the steps to the doors. We got to the canteen, and I held out my vegetarian card. The woman at the canteen stared at it for a minute, and then gave me a slice of pizza and chips. I picked up a doughnut from the stand, and walked around to a table. Edward saw me, and called me over. He was sitting at one end of a table with Emmett, Alice, the blonde girl I saw earlier, and a blond haired boy.
"Bella, this is Rosalie," he said, motioning to the blonde girl. She smiled, her face brightening as her white teeth were shown. "And this is Jasper. They were both here last year with me."
Jasper decided to take this moment to speak. "Hi, Bella. It's nice to meet you; I'm Jasper Whitlock, from Texas." He had a slight drawl, just enough to notice, but not enough to be overbearing.
"Hi Jasper, Rosalie, it's nice to meet you two." I sat down, putting my tray down on the table in front of me. The cheese had congealed on the pizza, making it look like skin coming off a piece of bloody flesh (the sauce, of course, being the flesh).
"This is disgusting!" Alice exclaimed, throwing her fork down onto the plate, causing a crash. "I'm not eating this stuff, it'll kill me. Bella, Rose, do you want to come up to my room? I've got food up there, I stocked up on food before I came here." Alice gave me puppy dog eyes. I was more than happy to leave the almost curdled cheese pizza, and the chips that tasted like they were supposed to be oven baked instead of deep fried.
I learned more about Rose and Alice as we sat up in Alice's room, eating pop tarts that were made in the toaster she had brought with her. When it got to seven, Shauna knocked on the door. We quickly hid the pop tart wrappers and toaster, and opened the door.
"Girls, there's going to be a table quiz in a half hour. You're on a team with Rosalie Hale, and Caoimhe Foley. You've to be down in the Larkin for half seven, so hurry up!" She walked out of the room with a loping gait, and turned down the corridor.
Looking at them, I told them that I was getting ready, and went into my room. I pulled off the wristband that was covering my scars. There were old ones, little more than raised white lines, and new ones that were still red from the blood, barely scabbed over. I picked up the bag that contained my antiseptic wipes, and pulled one out. I rubbed it over my skin, relishing the sting that came from them.
Dropping the wipe in the bin, I pulled out a skirt and top for the quiz. I was wearing blue Doc Martins, with a black skirt with blue ribbon trim, and a black corset top with more blue ribbons. It was a bit more dressed up than usual, but I wanted to look halfway decent. The top wasn't a full corset, it had a kind of bodice, but it had sleeves.
I walked back into Alice's room, with my wristband firmly in place. Nobody needed to know about it.
"You ready, Bella?" Alice asked, then saw my clothes. "You look great! I love that shirt!" She exclaimed, and jumped up – literally, she had far too much energy – and pulled on a jacket. We walked down to the quad, where Edward and Emmett were waiting for us.
"We just have to wait on Rose and Jasper now," Emmett said, and he smiled as he looked at me.
Edward looked amazing. His hair was still damp, and he had a Misfits tee on. His feet were in Chucks, and he had jeans on. I pulled my eyes away, not wanting to stare at him.
Finally, Rose and Jasper came down, and we walked to the Larkin.
The quiz was good fun. There were some totally stupid questions, and the piss was taken out of so many of the RAs, it was great. The answer of the night went to our team. When asked "Would you let this man on the bus", while being shown a picture of one of the male RAs, who had long hair, in a slinky red dress, we replied "What man?"
That answer earned us a round of applause.
By the time it was over, it was half nine, and I was exhausted. The day hadn't been particularly long, but it had been so busy that I hadn't had any time to myself.
When I had gone to go to the door to the res, Alice stopped me, and made me sit down with everyone. Rose had two stick in her hand that were connected by a piece of string, and a thing that looked like two cones joined at the point was balancing on it.
"What's she using?" I asked Alice. I had no idea what it was, but it looked amazing. Rose was throwing it in the air, and catching it on the string again.
"It's a diablo. They're amazing fun. You can get one when we go out shopping at the weekends, they're a really good thing to have." Alice's eyes were transfixed on Rose as she spun the diablo around expertly.
We were sitting there, just looking at Rose, when the RAs started shouting behind us.
"Alright, everyone, it's time for bed. You've all got class in the morning, so you should go get some sleep." was being called out by the RAs.
I hugged everyone, and followed Alice up to my room. She wanted to talk, but all I could do was get my pajamas on, before flopping onto my bed. She seemed to understand that, and left me alone.
The last thing that I remembered before falling into a deep, dreamless sleep was setting the alarm on my phone for half six, so that I could get a shower before breakfast.