A/N Heya, I was hanging with my friend Clarey, and we decided to co-write a story together...A Place in This World is still going on, actually, this is in the same universe, and Clare is writing another which will be in the same universe as this and APITW, called Lucky Thirteen, which should be up soon! Enjoy!
First day of classes today. Roommate kept me up all night, when the nightmares didn't. She is such a cow – squealing to her friends at one o'clock in the morning. No consideration at all. As a result, I am so tired, I could possibly lie down and die on the dining hall table right now.
I glance down at my time table – first up is what I'm sure will be a fascinating lecture on adjectives in mid nineteenth century literature. I kind of hope I'm wrong though – I really liked Literature in High School. I finish eating my toast and grab my bag, a worn brown satchel that I've used since junior high, and use my map to head off to the Moira Green Lecture Hall.
I've got everything worked out. From English Lit, there's a precisely eight minute walk to my second class of the day, Chemistry, and after that, another five minutes to get back to the dining hall for lunch.
The Moira Green Lecture Hall looks quite new – I push inside the double doors and realise that it is new – from the moss green seats all the way down to the shiny lectern on the stage. I find a seat right at the back, getting out my pad of paper and a biro to make notes on the lecture.
From here I can see everyone – to the professor at the front to my fellow students, but they can't see me, which is just the way I like things. I like my personal space. The lecture begins dead on time – good – but it's not the dull talk I've been anticipating. It's about Heroines in Romance Novels – as the teacher explains, this semester, we are studying women. Women authors, women heroines, women characters. This is certainly a change from topics entitled 'Use of Adjectives' which is what we studied in junior year.
All of a sudden, I feel hopelessly out of my depth. We're studying these hugely famous women, inspirations each and every one of them – as the professor's steely gaze sweeps over us, I feel like we're meant to live up to the standards these women have set…I feel horribly inadequate. The feeling stays with me all through the lecture – I'm glad to get outside again into the open air.
As I predicted, it takes on average eight minutes to get to the labs. I make it in seven, irrationally terrified of being late on the first day. This leaves me a minute to find a seat. As before, I get out my pad and biro, and wait, looking expectantly towards the front. The teacher hasn't arrived yet.
"Excuse me?" A voice jolts me out of my reverie. One of my hands flies to my heart, and my head whips around. "Is this seat free?" asks, what I realize to my intense embarrassment, is just another of my class mates.
"Of course," I say, focussing on calming my breathing back down.
"Thanks," he says, giving me a very sweet smile. Warning bells start to toll in my head – people can't be trusted – even people who seem friendly. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.
"What's your name?" he asks, obviously not noticing the wary aura I know I'm projecting.
"Erin…" I say softly. "Yours?"
"Uriel Benedict," he gives me that smile again, and I automatically tense up. Once more he seems totally oblivious. "And before you say anything, I'm well aware of the fact it is an absurd name." He rambles on, shooting me a quick sideways look to make sure I'm still listening.
"No, it's okay," I say, gaining confidence despite myself. "My older sister's called Lyric, so she got a lot of the whole 'oh, you have a weird name' crap."
He grins ruefully. "I blame my parents – clearly they were not thinking about how I would manage to get through school with a name like
that when they gave it to me. My little brother, Yves, used to get teased about having a girls name by idiots at his elementary school."
Our conversation about names is interrupted by the arrival of the professor – a grey haired guy in a stained lab coat. He surveys all of us with a look of utter disgust, as if just our presence in his laboratory is a personal affront to him. "Freshmen," he says. I flinch at the tone of his voice – oh god, I can't even count the number of times I've heard that much loathing put into a single word; my name. I shiver, but turn my attention back to the teacher, shoving the feeling into a box inside myself. I will not allow it to escape again. I will not.
Chemistry class is pure and outright torture. I think the teacher hates us – he certainly puts on a front of it – pacing about the room, lecturing us on sub-atomic particles, things we learnt in junior high, but he seems to think that we haven't grasped.
The only highlight of the class is that it appears I am sat next to a science genius. Uriel immediately endears himself to our teacher by showing that he's calm, and collected and knows a whole lot more about Chemistry than most of the rest of the class put together; me included.
I breathe a huge sigh of relief when I'm out in the quad again. To my utmost confusion, Uriel on the other hand looks almost disappointed class is over. "I'm sure he can't be that bad," he tells me as we walk towards the dining hall. "Just putting on the scary teacher mask for the first lesson of term. We had one like him at high school – my brother drove him up the wall."
"Uh…how many brother do you have?" I ask, narrowing my eyes at him.
"Six," he says casually, like everyone in the world has six siblings.
I stop, and stare at him. "Six brothers? You're kidding me right?"
"No." he laughs at the shocked look on my face. "I'm second eldest."
"Your poor mother," I say under my breath.
"What was that you just said?" he asks.
"Nothing," I say airily. "What are their names?"
"Trace, Victor, Will, Xavier, Yves and Zed. Mom and dad decided to go alphabetical on us. And before you ask, no we don't know why they started at T."
"Interesting," I draw the word out. "Well, I have two half-sisters, who are three years older than me – they're twins. They're called Lyric and Melody. Thank God my mother was sane." I sigh.
"Unlike mine," Uriel says. "Come on, I'm hungry."