Chapter I: Getting to Know You

Monday, September 4th, 1911

When I first saw her, I knew that she was beautiful, but that's not what attracted me to her. What made me want to know her was her kind, inviting, warm smile. So, there I was: 19-years-old, a first-year at Gressenheller University, plucking up to courage to talk to this lovely young woman.

Just then, as luck would have it, the young woman tripped over her long shoelaces, and fell the ground, dropping all of her things. Her books, her bag, her pencils, everything! "Here's your chance, Hershel!" I thought, and I cantered over to her. When I reached her, I knelt down, and helped her pick up her things.

"Thank you, sir," the lady said. We had picked up all her things, and we were now putting them in order. "You're really kind. Most people would just leave me to pick up my things, but you're different. You have the makings of a true gentleman. Oh! I'm rambling again! I tend to do that…"

I just laughed, and said, "You're too kind. And, it was my pleasure. But please, just call me Hershel. My name is Hershel William Layton. What's your name, dear?" ARGH! I had called her, "dear"! Curse my habits! Now she'll think I'm weird…

"Going for the full name, are we? I like that, for some reason. It shows how open a person is. Alright then, my name is Claire Serenity Kori. And again, I appreciate your help. Are you a teacher here?" Claire thought I was a TEACHER? Did I really look that sharp?

"Actually, I'm only 19. This is my first year here. But, I'm flattered by your assumption, Miss Kori," I said. Actually, I was extremely flattered. I just didn't want to seem vain. I liked this girl a lot, so far.

"You're ONLY 19? Wow! You just look and seem so intellectual, I assumed you were much older, Hershel! Oh, and, please; just call me Claire," Claire said. "Oh! We're going to be late! I'd better get to Dr. Schrader's class! Sorry for wasting your time!" Claire started running off, until…

"WAIT!" I cried. Claire stopped dead in her tracks, and turned around. "I'm heading to Dr. Schrader's, too. Let's go there together, Claire." Claire smiled at me, and nodded in agreement, and I walked over to her.

As we walked to class, we talked a little bit about our likes and dislikes, our families, our friends, and just basically got to know each other a little bit. Well now; only 5 minutes into the school-day, and I was already expecting a great year!

"So, Claire… What are you hoping to be when you graduate?" I asked. I was genuinely interested in this little tidbit of information. To be honest… I wanted to know everything about her. I wanted to be best friends with her.

"I want to be a scientist," Claire said. "My highest marks in school were always in science, and I just find it so interesting!" Claire seemed to light up when she said this, and I just knew that someday, she'd be remembered in the world of science as a hero. "What about you, Hershel?"

"Hm? Oh! I'd like to be an archaeologist and/or a professor of archaeology at this university. Archaeology… The things we learn through archaeology teach us about the past, so that it will help us with our future. That's probably why I like it so much." I smiled as I said, "our future". We finally reached Dr. Schrader's class, and just in time, too! The bell rang right when we got there!

"Better hurry to a seat," I said, opening the door for Claire. Claire smiled at me as she entered the classroom, and I followed her in. I then noticed that the only two seats left were directly beside each other.

"Sorry we're late, Dr. Schrader!" I said as Claire and I sat down… right beside each other. I looked around the classroom, and saw that there were first-years, second-years, and third-years in the class. Most of them were bored out of their minds already.

"Hershel! Hello, my boy!" Dr. Schrader said, happy to see me. I was happy to see him, too! You see, back when I was in grade school, Dr. Schrader was my mentor. I claimed that I was his apprentice (he always denied it, though). And now, he was one of my professors in university!

"We were just about to do the attendance. You are excused," Dr. Schrader said jokingly. Then, he took up the attendance. Among the students were Clark Triton, Brenda Loveheart, Dimitri Allen, Paul Deus, and, of course, Claire and I. I already knew Clark Triton and Brenda Loveheart. Those two have been dating for years.

Suddenly, I felt paper touch my hand. Claire had written a note! I took a look at it; it had Claire's contact information, and a little note from her, saying, "Let's be friends!" I wrote her contact information on my arm, wrote MY contact information on the note, and wrote another note, saying, "I thought we already were!" Claire read it, and we chuckled silently. Little did I know that our friendship would grow to be something much more…