Dorm rooms were all the same. It was what you did with them that made them your own.
Now, Warren's roommate was into retro and his half of the room was a bad eighties flashback. There were posters of Loverboy and Flock of Seagulls, Duran Duran and Boy George. There was a bean bag chair by the desk, and a lava lamp next to the bed.
Warren's own style was more ... eclectic. He had things that made the place feel like home, and unpacking his boxes, once he'd dealt with his clothes, was fun.
He had the chair from his desk at home, dark wood with a comic-dogs seat cushion his mom had brought home from a garage sale during his last year in high school.
He had pictures of his folks and his sister, one of his best friend Damien, and one of his dog, Shorty, who was a lab-wolfhound mix with one leg shorter than the other three. Shorty looked as scary as he sounded, but was a big old suck who'd do anything for a tummy rub or a butt scratch.
He had a poster for Blade Runner up, and a small selection of all his favorite books with cowboy boot bookends.
The last box had bits and pieces from his pens and pencils to a few little knick-knacks that he didn't really need but liked. A little, pewter dragon, a big, quartz crystal.
He frowned as he reached in for the last item, carefully wrapped in newspaper. And he laughed when he unwrapped it and realized what it was.
He'd spent the summer helping Aunt Gertrude with her big old house in the country. He'd helped her go through eighty years of accumulated crap and had played Mr. Fix-it in just about every room the big house boasted.
In return, she'd given him a roof over his head, all the food he could eat, and spending money every Friday night. And on the day he'd left, she'd pulled the ugliest ornament he'd ever seen off the shelf.
It looked like one of those Aladdin Genie lamps, only it was red with gold and orange and green and slightly misshapen, with a ding on one side.
And according to his batty old Aunt, it really was a genie lamp. It had been in the family for generations and it was the reason why the Bilhovens had done so well over the years. She'd left him with the admonishment to be careful what he wished for, and not to abuse the power of the lamp by rubbing it constantly.
God, what a hoot.
Like all he had to do was rub the lamp and a genie would appear.
Still, it looked awesome on the shelf over his computer, squat and dented, dwarfing his little, pewter dragon.
He broke down the boxes and shoved them into the back of the closet and looked around. There, now the dorm room was home.