“Come on, let’s go! You haven’t been out of the dorm in forever!”

I focus on the paper in front of me. “I have to study, Gail, I have a test coming up.”

“Haven’t you highlighted the important stuff by now?” she teased.

“It’s all important! How am I supposed to know what to highlight?”

She sighs. “Come on Jay, that test isn’t until next week. Can’t we go to the party? Pleeassee!”

“Okay, okay!” I say as I turn to face her. “Stop giving me those puppy eyes and I’ll go get ready.”

“Yes!” She thanks me and skips off.

She may be right. I think. It’s been too long since I’ve been out.

Soon, we walk across the street to the neighboring building where a girl greets us.
“Gail, Jayda! Glad you could come hang out!”

“Hey, Tammy!” Gail hugs her and I smile at the colorfully dressed freshmen. “Sorry, we came a little early. Hope that’s okay.”

“No problem! Come find a seat, I’m gonna grab some snacks to put out.” She walks to the kitchen.

I walk to a small piano sitting stationary in the corner. “Do you play?”

“No, but my roomy does sometimes. Kind of a music nerd. She’s cool though.” She pulls a bowl from the cabinet. “Either of you taken a piano lesson? All those keys make me confused.”

“I can play a little. May I?”

“Of course! Gail, can you watch for people? I want to listen.”

I smile as I sit at the piano and begin to play a melody. Notes flow through the common room and my fingers move effortlessly through a few lively songs. I can hear a rhythm tapping along the kitchen counter as Tammy hums along. With a lingering note, the last song ends and I stand.

As I turn around, a group of people looks back at me and I blush as they applaud. Of course, Gail wouldn’t let me know everybody had shown up.

“One more, Jay?” She calls out to me from the back.

“I don’t know if…” I stammer.

“Yeah, do another!”

“That was awesome!”

And just like that, the room is buzzing with suggestions and a chant for me to play another song. And another. And maybe just one more. The party continues as everyone sings and dances around the piano, and I sure am glad Gail convinced me to get out and live a little.

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