Scars of My Past(3)

By: D. C. Renee

When I got my acceptance letter to attend the University of Southern California, I jumped up and down, whooped real loud, and threw my arms around the person closest to me.

Not only was I a new person, but I also had a real chance to start over where no one knew me.

I would no longer introduce myself as, “Genevieve, but my friends call me Gen.” Gen was long gone, replaced by someone with more confidence, a better style, prettier, and stronger. Gen was a little girl, and I would be a woman.

Tyler Haywood had been the thing in my life that changed me. And as much as I hated him, as much as I had suffered because of him, he shaped me, molded me, and turned me into who I was now. And the person I was now? I liked her. I liked her a lot.




WHEN I STARTED college, I was shy, nervous even. I had learned to love myself and became comfortable in my own skin, but doubts always have a way of lingering. I had never been kissed or gone on a date; I hadn’t even gotten the attention of guys before. I had to get used to the looks I was getting when I walked around campus—the ones from guys who wanted to have me for dinner and the ones from girls who appreciated my looks.

Having an overly confident roommate who I’d met during orientation helped. Amanda took one look at me and decided we’d be best friends. Where I had a quiet confidence about myself, she knew she looked good and rocked it. Where I thought about my words before I spoke them, she blurted out whatever felt right. Where I was pale with brown hair and light hazel eyes, she was blond and tan with bright blue eyes. I think we balanced each other out, which was why we got along so well.

Within the first few days we’d roomed together, she turned and said, “You know, Genevieve, we all have things in our past we want to bury deep. Some are worse than others, sure, but it’s not a competition of whose pain is worse. You’re beautiful, you’re strong, and you survived.”

“How’d you know?” I asked her because, even if she didn’t know the details, she clearly understood something about what I’d been through.

“Your bracelets,” she said as she flicked her head toward my wrists. “No matter how sentimental they are, no one wears them constantly like you do. Like a shield. Or like you’re hiding something.”

I tasted salt on my lips as I realized tears had been silently streaming down my cheeks. Then it was like the floodgates opened, and I sobbed as I told Amanda everything. After that moment, she made it her duty to tell me how wonderful I was each day. She forced me to participate in extracurricular activities like dorm parties, frat events, or just even hanging out at the bars with friends.

She’d become my rock, and I appreciated her.

And if self-doubt ever crept up, I’d just repeat her words from that day in my head like a mantra. You’re beautiful, you’re strong, and you survived.

I repeated those words the first day of spring semester my freshman year.

I had been rushing to get to my first class so I wouldn’t be late.

Amanda was definitely all about school spirit, and when news of the new star quarterback who had transferred in made its way to her, that meant it made its way to me.

“They said we’ve been trying to recruit him since he was in high school,” she told me like a giddy child. “They finally got him because he hasn’t been getting any play time at his old school.”

“Can you even transfer schools in the middle of the year?” I asked her, not caring about our football team. If it wasn’t for Amanda, I wouldn’t have even gone to any of the games.

“If you’re a hotshot quarterback, you can do anything,” she responded, and I could practically see her saying, “Duh,” right after. “Hilary said he’s hot.”

“And how would Hilary know?” I asked. Hilary had been in one of Amanda’s classes. They’d become friends, which meant we’d become friends.

“She just does,” Amanda huffed. “I bet he’s gorgeous like Tony Romo.” Even I knew who Tony Romo was because he was definitely on the good-looking scale. “And I bet he has muscles for days. Mmm. I wonder what his abs look like.”

I laughed at Amanda’s antics. She giggled in response and threw her pillow at me. I looked at the clock and realized I had only a few minutes to get to class.

“Shit, we’re gonna be late,” I said as I scrambled to grab my books. We didn’t have the same class, but our classes started at the same time.

“We’ll be fine,” she said as she lazily grabbed her things. “It’s the first day.”

“All the more reason to be there on time. Good first impression and everything. Or how about the fact they could give our seats away?”

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