There was a knock at the door, and when I opened it, I was greeted by an unexpected sight. A young woman, looking weary and like she could use a hug. We introduced ourselves, and I led her upstairs, explaining who lived on what floor, and where she'd be living. We got to her room, and she set down her luggage. She was very beautiful, but looked so exhausted, and not just physically, but emotionally.
"Well, if you need anything, I'm right down the hall. The bathroom is right over there." I said, pointing over my shoulder.
"Thank you, Lenny." Sydney whispered. I wandered out of the room, and went over to George's room.
"George." I said, knocking on the door.
"Come in, Len." George said. I walked into George's room, and immediately noticed that he wasn't wearing his Tiger Guide uniform.
"What happened to your uniform?" I blurted.
"Oh, I decided to not be a Tiger Guide." George casually said.
"Alright, George." I answered, unsure of why he had so suddenly decided that.
"What did you come in here to tell me?" George inquired.
"We have a new resident here. A girl, named Sydney. She lives down the hall from us." I said.
"A girl?" George shot up, shocked.
"Yeah, a girl. Don't mess with her, okay? She's one of the saddest people I've ever seen." I said.
"Dang. I wonder what happened to her. Why she's here, you know." George inquired.
"No more room in the regular dorms? Maybe she didn't get assigned a dorm by accident?" I guessed.
"Maybe." George replied. I shrugged noncommittally, and then left his room and headed downstairs. On the way down I ran into Jeremy heading up to his room.
"Hey, Jeremy-there's a new person living in the Vortex." I said.
"Who?" Jeremy inquired via Scoozer.
"Her name is Sydney." I replied. Jeremy nodded in understanding, and then continued his ascent to upstairs. I found the rest of the guys who live in the house and told them about our new roommate. They all nodded, most in shock at first.
"Lenny-do you know where the nearest store is?" Sydney quietly asked.
"Um, yeah. Do you want me to show you, Sydney?" I responded.
"If it wouldn't be any trouble to you, yes." Sydney murmured.
"Alright, let's go." I said, walking towards the door. Sydney followed me, looking as lost as she had the first moment she walked in here. We walked for about ten minutes, Sydney with one headphone in, her iPod playing a loud and fast song. After a few moments, the song changed to a slower one. Sydney sniffed a bit, and then changed the song.
"Does it remind you of something?" I asked.
"What?" Sydney said.
"The song. The slow one?" I inquired.
"Oh. Yeah, it reminds me of something." Sydney replied, and if it was possible, grew even quieter. After another five minutes of walking, we arrived at the drugstore. Sydney wandered down a few aisles, and then stopped at the vitamins. She picked up a bottle, her hand carefully covering the label. That made me curious, but I chose not to pry into her personal life. She walked over to the counter and set down the vitamins. Sydney waited until the cashier told her the price, and then she pulled out a few bills and set them on the counter. The cashier gave her the change, and then we walked out of the store. Our walk back to the Vortex was silent and uneventful. When we reached the Vortex, Sydney opened the door, walked a few steps, and then fell to the floor.
"Sydney!" I gasped, and quickly picked her up and lay her on the couch. In all the intensity of her fainting, the bottle of vitamins had fallen from her pocket.
"Prenatal?" I whispered, looking down at the girl in front of me. I gently picked her up and carried her up to her room, and then sat down on the edge of her bed, turning the bottle over and over in my hands.
"Lenny?" Sydney's confused and slightly groggy voice asked.
"Yes, Sydney?" I responded.
"What happened?" Sydney whispered.
"You fainted. How are you feeling now?" I inquired.
"Fine." Sydney groggily replied.
"Sydney, it's really none of my business, but…are you pregnant?" I whispered.
"You saw the bottle." Sydney sighed. I nodded, looking intently at her face.
"Damn. Yeah, I'm pregnant." Sydney murmured.
"The father?" I asked.
"In a coma." Sydney whispered, her eyes filling with tears.
"He doesn't know, does he?" I inquired.
"No, he doesn't. I didn't know until after the accident, and I didn't get to tell him." Sydney replied.