Spirit Splinters, Part 3

I hadn't realized the class had gone by so quickly. I guess when things are getting interesting time flies faster.
I emerged into the cafeteria, my shoulders still in a vice grip under Elly's arm.

"Whoa, look at all the food," he said, gazing at what was practically a buffet stretching from wall to wall. "I wonder how they keep it filled so much."

A little later I sat in a deserted table, prodding listlessly at my grilled cheese sandwich.

Elly had filled up his tray with as much junk food as it would hold, and was stuffing his face with a meat pie and asking me questions at the same time, spraying me with crumbs.

"Sho I heard you were from Ve-ayora," he said, his voice muffled. "Whassit like there?"

"I come from the eastern part," I told him. "My village is pretty quiet. There was a tremendous commotion when I was chosen, though-- they had a huge party in celebration."

"Cool," he said, wiping crumbs off his face. "My family wasn't that happy when I was chosen. They said it should have been my brother."

"That's terrible!"

"Well, I don't live with them now, so I don't have to put up with them anymore."

"That's a pretty cool necklace," I said, trying to change the subject. "What's it made of?"

"Wolf fangs," he boasted. "My uncle gave them to me and I made them into jewelry."

"So you like making jewelry, huh?"

"Ye- I mean, no!" he looked mortified at being accused of such a girly activity. Fortunately, or unfortunately for my amusement, he was saved from having to explain when someone tapped me on the shoulder. "May I sit here?" she asked quietly.
I turned around.

The girl was a little older than me, with a slight, petite frame and earth-dark eyes framed by large, round glasses. Her hair was glossy, black and cut perfectly to fall to her pale shoulders, and she wore the same color uniform as me, except she looked better in it.

"Please do," I said, moving over. "So, what's your name?"

"Minoka Viamui," she said, putting her tray next to mine. "You're new, right? You're... uh..."

"Hanna," I said. "Nice to meet you."

"Yoo-hoo! Forgotten about me?" sang Elly, obviously irritated. I ignored him. "How long have you been here?" I asked.

"Um, three terms," she said. "I'm eighteen."

I blinked. "Eighteen? You look much younger."

She smiled. "Everyone says that."

The bell rung.

The rest of the day passed without incident. Elly kept an eye out for "That uppity hall monitor" but fortunately didn't see him. Minoka tagged along whenever we left class, and at the end of the day we bid each other good bye at the dormitory doors.

"See ya, guys!" called Elly, disappearing through the doors after slapping me a high five. I waved good-bye politely, then turned back to Minoka with a sigh.

"What a day," I moaned. "I'm ready to get some shut-eye-- what about you?"

She blushed. "I-I'll show you your room, if you like."

"I have a room?"

"Of course! We all do!" She led me through and down a hall of doors. We stopped at #98.

It was small, but clean. There was a desk, a green rug, a bed, and a bookcase. I sat down on the green spread. "Thanks, Mino."
She looked rather surprised at being called a nickname already, but soon lightened up. "I'll see you tomorrow, Hanna. Let's eat breakfast with each other."

I nodded and smiled as she closed the door, then lay down with a tired sigh, pulling out a few library books on vampires and my essay paper. It was going to be a long night.

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