It took me a couple of weeks for my eyes to permanently adjust to the darkness in the bedroom. I didn't think it was possible for shadows to exist without sunlight-apparently, I was wrong. I stare at the empty ceiling, and sigh deeply.

Moonlight Beach. Wow, it's quite sunny outside isn't it?


Mia comes into my view. She remains by the shoreline, beaming at me while waving. I like her smile-makes me want to smile.

"Grah, no," I slap my forehead as if squashing a bug. "Stop thinking about her. She's gone and so is Moonlight Town." This is what I wanted to do-venture outside Moonlight Town and see other places-this is the life.

My bedroom door is quietly opened. "Who is it?"

"Oh, you still didn't adjust?" the fourteen-year old boy leans on the doorframe. I fold my arms as I rise from the bed.

"I did. I wasn't paying attention. Who are you?"

"Forgot me already? I was introduced to all of you guys an hour ago-Nate."

"Do you want something Nate?"

"I couldn't help but overhear the isolated conversation between you and the Master about a girl. And I passed by your room and heard you mumbling about a 'Mia'?"

"Get out."


Nate walks down the silent hallway and enters his own room. Tired of people getting into my business-even Master has been on my ass about Mia. Mia, I wonder what you're doing now-sleeping maybe?

My baggy eyes open wide. I've tried falling asleep for the twentieth time tonight, but my mind won't let me rest. I keep replaying Seth's sudden departure in my dreams, and I wake up bathed in tears. It's been a couple of weeks since that happened and he's still haunting me.

"Go to sleep Mia," I say soothingly to myself. I place my head back on the pillow, shutting my eyes.

"The next time we see each other, I'll be out to kill you." I sit up in a jolt while shivering. Seth doesn't have any reason to kill me-but he looked so serious when he said he would get me. I don't know how to fight, let alone fight my best friend. But it doesn't look like I have a choice-I have to fight in order to protect myself.

How am I going to do that? An idea comes to just as I'm about to fall asleep again; that office on Coffee Boulevard!

When I left the house, I forgot that it was four o' clock in the morning. Oh well, I'm already on the road, so I might as well keep going.

"Are you Mia?" a male voice guesses. "Don't look so afraid, it was a lucky guess."

At first he sounds a lot of Seth, which made me stand petrified by the side of the empty road. No one but me.

"Y-yes," I hesitantly answer. It sounds like he's in my mind.

"A pleasure to meet you, I'm Nate. I'm not a scary person," he reassures. "What are you flustered about?"

How does he know that my nerves are wrecked? Is it that easy to read me?

"You're a very easy person to read. So you're the one he's always talking about."

"He?" I gasp aloud. "Are you-talking about-?"

"Yep, I don't think he can keep his mind off you ever since I got there."

My heart flutters happily. Then I remember his threat and it sinks to my stomach. "Do you know where he is? Do you?"

He asks sternly. "Is he your boyfriend?"

I feel the hot blood warming my face. "N-no! He's…my best friend."

Can I really still call him that? "How cute, you still have feelings for him," Nate chuckles lightly, and then turns serious. "His feelings toward you are mixed at the moment, but they're growing negatively gradually."


"We have many plans that involve you-I can't say that they're pretty, Mia."

Fearfully, I stand petrified. The voice in my head is making me weak and wobbly.

"I look forward to seeing you in the future. I just wanted to meet the pretty girl that Seth keeps rambling about. No harm, no foul right?"

If Seth were here instead of this guy, he probably would have killed me already. That's why I have to learn how to defend myself.


What am I thinking? Coming to this man's office at such a late hour, he's probably not even in there. I knock thrice on the door.

"Come in, come in," Mr. McGraw's voice chimes from inside. "Please close the door behind you, it's too cold for me to handle."

I quickly obey, entering the room while rubbing my shoulders, and sit down on the stool.

"G-g-good, m-m-o-o-r-n-ing," I stutter incoherently. Mr. McGraw passes me a cup of some hot drink.

"Please, get comfortable."

I take a big gulp of the hot ginger tea, nearly tearing up because of my now burnt tongue. That was the first time I had tea-I never really needed it on the island. The warm tea settles in my stomach and warms my chest up.

"Thank you for the tea Mr. McGraw. I'm very sorry to have disturbed you at such a late hour. I need to ask you something."

"It's a 24 hour service here," he assures with a charming smile. "I think I have a feeling of what you're going to ask me."

"I think it's time for me to learn how to defend for myself. I don't want to say too much, but I feel that my life is in danger."

Mr. McGraw leans forward on the desk and rubs his stubble thoughtfully. "I see. I would let you go on the less strenuous missions and let you learn." He sighs, folds his arms and leans back in his chair. It's not the answer I wanted to hear, but I guess I have to do with it.

"However, you are younger than the other two girls that joined," he continues. "I can send you to a specific world and you can find your own master and let him or her teach you. Stay for as long as you want-are you ready to do this?"

"Yes, I am."

"How much money do you have on you?"

"Not much Mr. McGraw."

He places $40 and a yellow chip in front of and gesticulates for me to take it. "Thank you for the money, but what would I need it for?"

"Food to eat there and warmer clothes. Judging by those clothes, you look like someone from the islands. Am I right?"

I depressingly nod, feeling nostalgic.

"When some of these stores start to open, you should get yourself thicker clothes and some food because I'm sure you will be there for a while. Whenever you're ready, squeeze the chip and it will take you to a new world."