The summer had ended, I was getting things organized so moving back home after the summer would go smooth. I had an amazing time working at Camp Adelaide. Dad had gone to put our beloved mini dachi Herky down. He was old, and was starting to lose control of his body systems. It was sad. Yet friends helped me stay happy we went out to dinner and talked about the fun times with Herky. I finished working at Camp Adelaide for the last time. I counted and had facilitated with the other Waterfront staff 43 All Camp – Campfires, and well over that number of Regatta’s for the past six summers.
Camp ended and packing began. There was so much laundry to do! I had things to pack for school, as well as do some shopping. I had to keep myself busy. Or thoughts would creep in.
I knew I was going to have a room all to myself in the dorms, in the same dorm house I lived in in first year. I knew the room I was going to be moving into. It had its own sink and mirror so I could wash my face and brush my teeth in private. Which was awesome. No sharing with others! I also chose to buy a little mini television that I would use as well. The room had a cable outlet so I could purchase the TV cable package and watch what I wanted too. Again, in private, or have a friend or two over if I wanted. I did not want to be out in public if I could avoid it. I was afraid of Devon appearing.
Driving back up to Thunder Bay with my parents was long, yet I loved the scenery of seeing the crystal-clear lakes, and all the tree’s as we got closer to Thunder Bay. Stopping in tiny towns along the highway that only had an A&W and maybe one other store. The ride this time was also a little nerve wracking to me as I was getting closer to campus. I was getting afraid of seeing Devon. The nightmares had not gone away that started soon after he left after visiting back in May. I could feel my stomach turning in knots as we arrived on campus. My eyes were darting all around when I was out of the vehicle. Had Devon come up early, was he here? Thoughts were spinning in my head.
I got myself my key and then the moving of stuff started. Since I was a part of the orientation team for Residence, I got to move in a day early. The ladies at the front desk remembered me, and there were a couple of new R.A.’s as well who also remembered me. It was nice to see familiar faces. With the official day of moving in being the day after it was quieter, which I liked.
Mum, Dad, and I with help from a couple of House Presidents who I knew helped me move into my room. I looked out to the parking lot and roadway. It was a big size window. Soon I would be decorating it for October and other seasons. I looked around my room. This is going to be my safe space while I am here. No one will come in unless I say so.
I was up bright and early for moving in day! I had a quick breakfast. Mum, Dad, and I had picked up a few items that I could have for breakfast or quick meals that were tasty. It was for those days when I did not feel like going to the residence cafeteria for breakfast, or if I was running late etc. I did not have a microwave in my room, yet there was a couple of them out in one of the common areas that students could use.
Moving in day for the new students had started. Luckily the weather stayed in our favour and it was a wonderful sunny day. No too breezy either. I had on my orientation t-shirt that was purple and green, shorts, and my runners. I did not want open toes in case I was moving something heavy and accidently dropped it. I loved helping the new students move in and find their room in the same dorm as me. Directing traffic and telling people where to stand was fun too. Many parents with questions on where to park was common as well.
I ran into Bill, and Rob in the afternoon in one of the wings of the dorms. “Hey Aime! Nice to see you again! How was your summer?” Rob was a big gentle giant. He was in the music program.
“Hi Rob! Hi Bill! Nice to see you guys too. My summer was great. Spent it at the Girl Guide Camp working as a Waterfront Staff. It was fun. Where are you guys living?”
“We’re living in Eagle River 6 over in Phase 2, the townhouses. Charlie and Devon are with us.” Bill replied with a smile.
“Oh, that’s good.” I took a breath and smiled. Doing my best to think of something to say that was polite and friendly fast.
“Aime we know about Devon and you. And to be honest I’m scared for you.” Rob said to me with a concerned look.
“Oh.” I had no idea on how to answer that.
“Ya, he’s acting weird, talking about you and him, and I do not like it.” Rob finished his sentence and glanced at Bill.
“Thanks for letting me know. I may not visit you guys when he’s there, I hope you can understand.” I said clearing my throat and smiling again. I thought of the Girl Guide motto of smile and sing even under difficulty.
“Oh yes, that’s perfectly okay.” Rob said.
When they left, I did my best to remain calm, focusing on my breathing. I was out in public on campus and a new group of students and their parents were coming towards me, and I had to help them. I had to keep moving.
The next day I did see Devon three times. Each time my stomach did circles and flips. I did my best to stay calm, taking big breathes. The first time was at a distance, he was outside the other dorm style residence where I was heading. Devon turned though in the other direction moving off down a different path. Luckily our paths did not cross that time. Later that morning I was in a line up for a new student to wait and pay, I had been talking with a fellow volunteer about our summer’s as she was also a Girl Guide.
Devon came very close, he got into line to pay as well. He was not in my direct eye line of sight, but off to one side. I stood as close to the wall as possible pressing the side of my body into the wall, I wanted to disappear. I kept looking down at my toes. I froze, and my stomach did more flip flops, I felt like I was going to puke.
The third time was at night. There was a bonfire on campus that night and I had come back to my dorm, a place where I should feel safe. My door key to my room was giving me problems. I saw Rob, Bill, Charlie, and Devon coming through the hall, they were almost at the doorway into the hall where I lived. “Oh shit” I thought. “Get this damn door open!” My mind raced.
Rob, Bill, and Charlie all said hi. I had my back to them, and did not turn around. I did respond with hi to be polite. When I got, my door unlocked finally I glanced up, Bill, Charlie, and Rob were walking at a normal pace. Devon on the other hand was at a fast walk. I got to my blanket on my bed and took some deep breaths. The feeling of wanting to puke had returned. I did not feel safe.
I did my best to keep moving, and walk calmly back to the bonfire, as I was going to be leading a couple of songs. I ran into the Residence Programmer for the year and she gave me a confused look. I must have had a scared/sad look on my face. When it was my time to lead the songs, I stepped out into the big open ring of students. Moving around I tried my best to not let my voice quiver or shake. I knew Devon was out there in the crowd. Yet with it being pitch black I had a hard time seeing the outer circle of students. I did hover closer to the one leading the campfire though. I felt safe near her.
After the bonfire, I had agreed to chat with Julie as we really had not had a chance to talk about things. I had given her the letters from Devon from the summer to read. She was going to look them over.
“Hey Aime, we got stuff to chat about for sure!” Julie waved as I came back into the hallway. She lived a couple doors down in a single room as well.
Sleeping and nighttime was the worst. My anxiety was on high alert all the time. Sleeping meant I was not moving. Sleeping meant I was still. I did not like being still.