A mark of destiny.
That’s what Mom called the star-shaped birthmark on the inside of my left wrist. She said it was destiny’s way of marking me so the world would know to have something big planned for yours truly. I’m sure if she were still here today she would have changed her mind and believed what I did now—my mark of destiny was more like a magnet for tragedy.
Mark or magnet aside, something had led me to Corvallis, Oregon—home of Oregon State University—several days before winter quarter was scheduled to commence. I hovered beside the only remaining companion in my life, unable to muster up the courage to take my first step in this new phase of life.
The monstrosity before me would be serving as “home sweet home” for the next seven months, and if it had a chain-link fence topped with curls of barbed wire, it could have been mistaken for a penitentiary instead of a dorm.
I took a good look at the brick and mortar face of the change I’d selected for myself, and an air of finality settled upon me; confirming what I’d known, but tried so hard to overcome. No matter where I went, I could never leave my past behind. It would always haunt me.