As we were returning to the dorm a few flurries started to fall. The weatherman was right. On the way back we stopped at the Dairy Queen and picked up hot chocolate.
The phone was ringing again as we entered his room. Owen picked it up, said just a minute and handed it to me.
“It’s for you.”
“For me? Who can call me here?” I wondered if the dean had returned early and was calling me with a proposition. I realized there was no chance of that happening, because how would he know where I was.
“Hello,” I said.
“Ashley, my baby,” It was Mom. “Where’ve you been? We been trying to call you and see how’s everything?”
“I’m not a baby, Mom. I told you not to call me that.”
“You are to me and always will be.”
“How you got this number?”
“Well, we called the hotel where you said you were going to stay. First they said that you had left. We really got worried to hear that. Then the person said to wait and gave this number. Are you all settled? Who’re you staying with? Is he a nice person?”
“Slow down, Mom. I’m okay. Don’t worry. I met Owen this morning and he has been extremely helpful.”
“That’s the guy I’m staying with.”
I didn’t tell her that this was a temporary situation.
“Well, thank him from us.”
“Okay, then. Don’t forget to call us every day and you take care.”
I put the receiver down and turned to Owen. Fortunately he was busy looking through a magazine. I hoped he didn’t hear everything, especially the baby part. He looked at me and didn’t say anything.
Owen didn’t have a TV. We sat across from each — Owen on his bed strumming his guitar and me on Cody’s bed. It was easy to talk with Owen on the Vietnam War, student’s drinking age and our religious believes. It was obvious that he came from a religious family.
At one a.m. we called it a night.