She did not cry; did not shed a tear for the memories and pain she wanted so
desperately to rid herself.
As gray spirals of smoke and the acrid smell of burning fleece danced
in sporadic, spiral patterns into the humid and cloudless July night, Emma felt nothing.
Emma was, in two words, blissfully happy.
Our heroine was the type of girl, however,
who had a knack for enveloping her love interests in a cocoon of impermeable perfection,
otherwise known as the “Rose-colored Sunglasses Effect.”
They say that love finds you when
you least expect it, and up until she had met Tom, she had never fully believed in the concept
behind true love or love at first sight.
To her, love was a line of nonsense fed to lonely, single
girls in a futile attempt to negate the pervasive feeling of inadequacy.
Emma sat fairly frustrated on the opposite side of room 102 in Sampson Hall, the
Humanities Department building and otherwise known as the ghetto of the United States Military
Institute of Technology.
It was clear that the money flowed out of the pockets of the trustees
directly into the classrooms and labs of the science, technology, engineering, and math
departments i.e. STEM.
Emma shifted seductively in her shaky, Cold War-era desk, and felt out
like she was trying too hard to channel vamps of the past.
On the bright side, however, if her
attempts to be Marilyn Monroe did not work out, ducking and covering under her desk and
praying for atomic annihilation was always an option.
English was Emma’s favorite class; in a world where creativity was judged by how many
twists and turns a student took to derive an equation, Emma found Introduction to Literature 102
to be a breath of much needed fresh air to the right-brained mouth-breathers she spent most of
her time with.
It was hard for her to imagine that in high school, universities such as Harvard
and Columbia and Princeton found her particular brand of athleticism and scholastic ability
tantalizing enough to recruit her to join their swim teams as well as their student bodies.
Unfortunately, her parents, huge military enthusiasts, found that Emma’s college fund took
second fiddle to the elephant in the room, her clinically retarded younger sister, which, although
understandable, Emma resented.
Instead, after an arduous application process, Emma found an
acceptance letter to the United States Military Institute of Technology in her mailbox July 16, no
later than two weeks after the applications process officially opened.
Academics were not a problem; school was a coping mechanism for Emma.
rejections or break-ups, Emma fell into a safe routine.
For three days, she would not leave the
confines of her dorm room as she shoveled Cherry Garcia ice cream into her face.
And once she
gained at least seven pounds, Emma would venture back to the gym and swim practice and sub
sequentially lose fifteen pounds as a way of getting back at her long list of ex boyfriends and