::: the novel written in seven hours :::
Chloe hadn't come to Ann Arbor to get an education, but she was getting one none the less. She had instead come for the experience itself.
But after a few short days she was already learning more than she had bargained for. She was quickly finding out that along her incredible intelligence, beauty, and unique world view, she possessed the mundane properties of vulnerability to things such as cold and hunger. Although she was willing to endure unreasonable amounts of physical suffering out of shear pride and stubbornness, one night of sleeping in an alley between Taco Bell and a convenience store made her realize that she needed the bare essentials of shelter and food.
She had originally planned using her sexuality and beauty to lever her way into some college boy's apartment, doing whatever it took, not caring about such simple ideas as moral or societal laws that had been thrust upon her anyway. She had fully meant to go through with the plan, but she happened to pass a sign when walking through the campus that just seemed like a better opportunity. The sign was about student co-ops and from it she got the location of the office where she planed to sign a contract, live in a co-op house for a month or two before disappearing without having paid a penny. She grudgingly abandoned her original plans, although was unwilling to admit there was anything wrong with there feasibility.
One week of exploring the town, meeting people, and trying to be what she thought of as her ideal self, had taught her some hard lessons. The summation of the experiences of her first week was this: You're not in Kansas anymore. She hated the fact that that stupid phrase had occurred to her at all, and that other cliches were threatening to enter her mind as well. As somebody who considered herself to already know everything she needed to know about life, the world, and the way they should be, she hated to find any holes in her philosophy, beliefs or personality. But that was the harsh reality that was seriously threatening to dawn on her.
In Kansas she had been a brilliant mind among a herd of sheep and banal conformists. In Ann Arbor, she found, especially living with a group of students, that she wasn't the only one with a brain. She had been a diamond in the rough back home, now she was an unpolished gem among those that had been cut and made to shine. She soon discovered that her abrasive attitude and condescending tone were getting her nowhere.
But she was determined not to change. She had already been in several verbally violent confrontations with people she had ran into. Since she didn't really give a damn what they thought about her or feel that they deserved anything more than her scorn, she had no problem beating up on people mentally. Her confrontations made her feel like the master of those around her, which helped her ignore any idea that she might actually be beneath any one mentally.
After one particularly intense bout with her roommate, she decided to go for a smoke out on the front porch. as she was lighting up and taking that first long drag of smoke, she noticed one of her housemates returning from a late night run. He had a fat lip and a trickle of blood running out of his nose. "What happened to you?"
"Oh, I had to beat this guy's ass," he said matter of factly as if he was reporting the weather.
"Wow, you must be real proud of yourself, a big guy like you picking on someone. That's so impressive!"
"Well, it's the same shit you do to everybody, only difference is I did it physically and you do it verbally." He didn't wait for a reply but turned and walked into the house.
For the first time in a long time she was left speechless. She tried to put the whole thing out of her mind, but what he had said really irked her.
She decided to go to bed and was able to forget about the scene with Kenny the night before until she read the newspaper the next morning.
...on to Chapter Nine...
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