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"Hold onto your brother, Cas," Dad told me, holding his iPhone close to his eye as he recorded the process of my move to college. "This one's a picture," he informed as I put an arm around my little brother's shoulder, dragging him in close.

We smiled into the camera of my father's phone just as Mom rushed out, grasping her sequined black clutch and practically hopping on her heels.

"I'm ready!" She announced, a wide smile spreading across her blood red lips.

"Sweetheart, our son is going to college," Dad reminded, eyeing my mom's attire.

"I know. Gotta look good for the occasion." She came over to me, held my face gingerly and gave me an air kiss, so as to not stain my face with her lip stick or whatever it was she liked to put on her lips.

"Let's go, let's go!" Mom squealed. "We've got a two hour drive ahead of us, babies!" She tousled my brother's brown hair with one and a half inch scarlet nails and he squirmed out of her clawy grasp.

"Alright, boys. Let's get this show on the road. Not forgetting anything, Cas?" Dad asked me.

"No, Dad," I quietly responded as we all entered the loaded family van.

"I know you're going off to learn and explore bigger and better things, Cas, but don't forget to make friends. I know it'll do you good."

I grimaced and stared out of the window, looking towards my house and saying my silent good byes to it. I'd be back, of course, but it'd be a couple more months before that happened.

"I don't know, Dad," I replied.

"You've gotta start somewhere, so just get along with your roommate, okay?"

"He probably wouldn't wanna hang with the likes of me, Dad." I drew my seat belt across my body and fastened it, reminding my thirteen year old brother Dawson to do the same.

"The likes of you? What does that mean? You're a highly decent, educated young gentleman. Of course he'd want to be your friend; he's your roommate."

I didn't bother to argue with him. My Dad had strong opinions about literally everything, and while that wasn't awful, it was his first flaw. But he was an awesome Dad, no doubt about it. He'd do whatever in his power to help me with my education.

Anyway, I knew I was right. My roommate was named Nash McAvoy. I managed to find him on social media–Instagram–and there was a lot I could infer about him just from his account. One, I noticed he had x thousand followers, which was quite a lot. To me, anyway.

So from that, I figured he must have been pretty popular back in high school.

Next, his pictures. There were some where he was playing on a football field, in a game, holding or tossing a ball, and there was this particular one where he was pouring a bottle of water down his neck and chest. His head had been thrown back and one could see the droplets rolling down his naked torso as his skin glistened golden in the sunlight. It looked like a work of art, especially since it was a still picture that had been captured at just the right moment.

That let me know he was a jock


and from the looks of it, sort of a heartthrob too. Seeing that picture of him with water running in rivulets down his upper body made my heart jump. It was hypnotizing. He was hypnotizing, and I couldn't wait to meet him.

The drive was a long one, but it wasn't uneventful. My mother was a very loud and eccentric woman, which was literally the polar opposite of my personality.

She talked for half the drive, trying to keep Dawson and I awake and taking our minds off of the fact I was moving on to a higher education. As excited as she was for me, she didn't want to let her "little boy" go.

"Do you have to go, Cas?" Dawson asked, pouting at me.

I smiled and stroked his short hair. "It's college, Dawson."

"But I wanna go, too. I'm gonna be doing all the chores and mom's gonna talk my ears off."

That made me laugh to myself. "You'll live. And one day, it'll be your turn. I know you're smart."

He smiled at me then sighed, leaning his head against the window to fall asleep. I quickly followed his lead, decidedly tired of Mom's stories.


My move—in time was earlier than my roommate's as he'd informed me. We had only ever talked through our emails because I didn't own a single social media account. It wasn't that I had no interest in that stuff

even though it didn't matter to me

, but I had a little number of friends. What I was trying to explain was, he didn't know how I looked, or how I sounded. He probably didn't know the first thing about me, like my passions or peeves. I mean, I got the idea that his passion was football simply because of his Instagram.

I was quick to get checked in and receive my room key. Afterwards I headed back out to the car where we drove to the co—ed residence hall I was staying in and unloaded my possessions.

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