“Let me guess, scholarship case?”

Ouch. I am truly offended. I’m putting in my request for a new roommate first thing tomorrow.”

“Then you must be here for some kind of sport. Let me guess, you’re a Billie Jean King obsessed tennis player.”

“You’re pretending to be really bad at this game,” Marina quipped at her roommate as she continued unpacking her bag, “I wasn’t recruited for any sports, but I did make varsity for the field hockey team. I’m pretty sure I remember you at tryouts in all of your goalkeeper padding glory doing drills with Coach Kovalsky.”

“Guilty as charged,” Lizzie smirked; both corners of her mouth curling as she revealed from underneath her bed a beautifully-minted TK stick. “I definitely will be backup to Nicki Rhodes, but we’re two of the three freshmen that made the fucking varsity team. So, what’s your story if you’re not here for glory or by ways of scholarly benevolence?”

Marina hadn’t expected Lizzie to go right to the jugular so quickly. She wasn’t a legacy by any stretch of the means. Her father’s educational pedigree was fostered in Boston and her mother had went to public school all of her life. Most could find out that, like most of the students at the Hill School, Marina had an impressive trust fund that would be at her disposable once she reached the reasonably adult age of 25. Still, at the heart of it, Marina knew that her presence at the Hill wasn’t for it’s impressive academics or network of alumni.

Her mother wanted her gone. Out of the house, but still reasonably close enough to micromanage.

The first day of meeting her roommate was not the time to reveal she was from Philadelphia. If that were the case, then Marina surely would be a day student who could easily commute to campus and not have to board her first year at the Hill. Things would get awkward, and Marina had barely gotten through freshman orientation ice breakers without shuffling away in sheer anxiety. No. It’d be much better to deliver the story she had come up with before she started packing up her duffle bags.

“I came here for both, actually. I want to go to an Ivy, that’s the goal, but I also want to continue playing hockey if I can. The Hill is one of the best schools in the state. If I can juggle both and do well at it, doors will open once it’s time to look at colleges.”

Lizzie’s eyebrows raised, surely at the mention of Marina’s desire to play collegiate. Her fingers impatiently began drumming her hockey stick.

“Well, if you have high aspirations, you’re going to have to do better at penalty shots.”

“I’m sick of these burns!” Marina rolled her eyes, knowing good and well where this was going. Finding her own worn and taped-up TK, she waited for Lizzie to pull more of her gear from underneath her bed. “I get three tries, and if I score on you, that means you're buying Domino’s.”

Lizzie scowled briefly, though Marina knew the sound of actual pizza was all too appealing to her roommate. Circumstances of Marina ending up at the Hill School aside, she had a feeling that things would be all right.