I am a girl of twenty-one and October’s rhythms have slowed now to beat out steady and calm after the fast-pattering adjustment phase of the first month of my junior year at Furman. An early class, probably Shakespeare or grammar, drags me from my secret apartment above the dining hall and it feels like privilege that I awake daily to the warm, holiday smell of bacon frying. I’ll carry that scent into class in my hair and like it, because each time I move I’ll get a whiff of the aroma of being someone very special.
I live in warmest laughter and closeness with my seven best heart-friends. In our hidden apartment, the only three-bedroom palace of its kind, set high above a tiny nation of dorm-dwellers, we have our own washer and dryer and kitchen and living room. And I have a boyfriend - a boy who tells me he loves me so round-eyed earnestly that I have no choice but to believe him. My life overflows with the best kinds of love; regal air floats around me, thick with honors reserved for the luckiest few.
After class I thump down cool cement steps out into fresh, wet air, the first fallen leaves slick and pungent underfoot, and make my way across campus, my purple backpack slung over one shoulder, to find coffee and breakfast. I descend the red-carpeted ramp down into the loud rumble of cafeteria, looking out at faces upturned to watch me down. I slow my pace to enjoy the flattery of gazes. Through the doors open to catch the fresh breeze off the lake, I hear trumpeting geese, a fanfare for my arrival.
I was once October’s princess.
At home in my room, warm against my husband who loves me earnestly and bravely and presently, I hear the trumpeting fanfare of geese blow in once more on the cool morning breeze. This life too, I realize, overflows with the best kinds of love and all the honors reserved for the lucky few. Suddenly, I’m royalty again.
Today, I'm October’s queen.