I was staring at the stars from our dorm hallway.
I had left the room, wanted to be alone for awhile. I traced the window frame. It was painted in grey. The window was locked. The hallway was very quiet. The girls here sleep way too early.
I knew my friends and I will sleep in another hour or so. They were arranging the books that we have gotten from the book store. The dimmed light right on top of the window was designed in bronze. It gave out beautiful yellow light across the hallway. I looked out again, trying to calm my thoughts.
My friends had asked me about Aaron. I kept it secret until that night at the camp. Talking about him after a long while, I felt a pang in my heart.
I miss him.
I miss his stupid jokes.
He would normally call around this hour at night. Since the day we broke up, I tried my best not to think about him. I distracted myself from thinking about him, from thinking about his words to me, his final words.
On the day I discovered his relationship with Claire, I asked him to meet me for dinner. We didn’t eat anything. I told him my discovery the minute he arrived. He struggled to explain.
I accused him and yelled at him for cheating on me and playing with my feelings. He regretted about hurting me but not about him and Claire.
My heart sank when he told me that he loved her and meant to break up with me.
If I hadn’t known him better, I would have simply accused him as a playboy and walked away.
But I knew that was not Aaron.
I believed him, his betrayal was unexpected. I demanded an explanation. He simply stated what we had is nothing serious.
Though we had good times together, apparently I was not the right girl for him and he also promised that after a period of time this will mean nothing to me as well that I will move on. He left with those words hanging over my head ever since.
I was mad to hear those ridiculous words at that time but now, I have no choice but to try to believe in his words.
Yes, everything that happened between us for the last one year is nothing. They are just moments that holds no truth. I’m trying to believe that. I wish I can convince myself and stop wondering about him every night.
“Naomi?” I heard Anna’s voice behind me.
I turned and saw her watching me from our dorm door.
“Are you alright?” She asked. Her face was full of concern.
She was wearing her blue shorts with a really loose big shirt.
I smiled, “I’m okay, just wanted to see this place at night. It’s beautiful, the stars.” She came to stand next to me, looking at the sky.
I felt very short standing beside her. “Yea, it is.” She said, but her expression was thoughtful, as if her eyes were focused onto something in her mind instead of the night view.
“Naomi.” She started when she saw me looking at her.
“Did we make the right choice, you know coming here?” She asked me. I wanted to assure her that we did make a right choice but I knew I would be lying if I say that.
“To be honest, I don’t know.” I said and she looked out the window grimly. “I don’t feel belong here. I have no idea what are we doing here and why we agreed in the first place.” She continued.
“You know why.” I said.
“I feel responsible, for us being here. If I had not asked you guys to join me to the…” Her voice was thick with guilt.
“Anna, that’s ridiculous. It’s not your fault for what happened.” I said, totally surprised to hear this. Never once I thought about it nor expected her to feel this way.
“But I’m partly responsible too. I know that.” She went on as if she didn’t hear me at all.
“No, you’re not.” I told her sternly. She half smiled at me. I knew she was still blaming herself. “What are you guys doing out here?” Ivy and Jane peered out from our room. They joined us at the small corner.
“Nervous about tomorrow?” Jane asked us.
I remembered that our timetable had been changed. The old man had given us a new one. He stated that he had put in all the necessary classes that we will need in the next six months. He gave us the opportunity to do our own choice of course in the next semester. He told us that it is utmost important for each of us to learn whatever they have prepared for us. He also explained about the types of agents that can be found. Normally the most highly qualified agents are trained not only to spy but also to be involved in action i.e assassination.
There are some who specialized in collecting information and details of a particular person. I was dumfounded to hear about the career choices available here and how now we are entitled to choose our career as an agent too.
Now that I heard about the various jobs they are assigned, I realize spy was only the general word to describe them. Spying is not the only thing they do. These kids will graduate as everyone here in this place but their expertise will increase as they solve more missions.
He mentioned that the tutors, trainers and lecturers here are only to guide and teach us the ways and the tactics required.
The students or the tyros are expected to follow the guidance and improve themselves accordingly. Each semester the tyros will undergo all the essential tests and could not move on to the next year until they pass each of the tests given.
After our short meeting at the office, we were instructed to go to Miss Fiona’s room to sit for our first test.
We were totally shocked to hear that, I mean who likes surprise test on the first day of semester itself.
Miss Fiona was fierce and unfriendly as the other day. We were given forty sheets of paper with a mixture of random questions from every subject we had in high school. There were mathematics, physics, chemistry, history and even some riddles. It was pretty much all over the place. I thought I did well but I’m still nervous for the result.
“A little.” Anna replied to Jane.
“They are being mean to us.” Ivy accused the old man and Miss Fiona.
“Very mean. They know we’re having trouble to fit in and still they decided to split us.” I said in frustration. They informed us that it would the best way to train us separately, apparently somebody had complained about us to the administration that we are talking and not concentrating in the class.
And it’s just the first day.
“At least we are staying in the same room.” Jane muttered.
“I’m scared for the self-defense and offense class.” Anna stated.
Our class had been extended until 6. We will be having combat class in the last hour and we were given the two types of clothes to wear to the classes, tracksuits with plain white t-shirts and the black body fitting attire, the gear.
“Is it going to be like the martial arts back at our…” I stopped myself when the door opposite our room opened suddenly and a girl with short curly hair appeared. Our room and the opposite room were the last one at the hallway. I didn’t realize that the room was occupied. The girl stormed towards us angrily in her pink pyjamas and fluffy slippers. She stopped a few feet away and studied us.
“Can you continue your melodramatic conversation in your room? People are trying to sleep here.” She said in a harsh tone as she crossed her hand in front of her. I wanted snap at her but I was too overwhelmed and I don’t want to be involved in a fight on the first day itself.
“Sorry.” I said lamely and we walked to our room. My friends muttered something under their breath. Her eyes were wide in confusion as we walked past her. She cleared her throat when I opened the door, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to come out that rude.” She said in her soft voice. We stared at her sudden change of behavior. Her expression turned guilty.
“I just wanted to stop you talking because I could hear you. I don’t want to eavesdrop. It’s bad.” She stumbled with her words.
“Oh, thanks then.” Anna said. “You seem nice.” She continued. We looked at her, trying to figure out what is she doing.
She smiled, “I mean, I thought you might be bad or arrogant or rude or you know the other stuff.” She clamped her mouth quickly but my curiosity pricked.
“Some things I heard about you guys.” She said in a very small voice.
“What kind of things are we talking about here?” Jane asked her and went to stand in front of her. She backed away, “Look I don’t want to bad mouth anyone. I just heard some things about you. That’s all.” Her voice was shaking.
“Relax, don’t freak out. We won’t force you or something.” I told her. She gave us a small smile.
“What’s your name?” Ivy asked. “Stephanie, you can call me Steph.” She replied.
“I’m Naomi, this is…” I started but she interrupted. “I know your names, you’re Naomi and you’re Jane, that’s Anna and Ivy.” She pointed at us as she mentioned our names.
“Right?” She asked when we didn’t say anything. “You’re right. Steph, how do you know our names? Do we know you or you know us?” Anna questioned her. Steph looked excited because she got our names correctly.
“Everyone knows your names.” She answered.
“Everyone?” Jane and Ivy asked in surprise. “Yeah, you’re kind of famous in this institute since this morning.” I was astounded to hear that. I wanted to know more.
“Hey Steph, are you sleepy right now?” I asked her.
“Right now, no.” She answered immediately.
“Do you want to hang out in my room? It’s really interesting talking you.” I went on. My friends understood where I’m going and they joined in.
“Yeah, we sort of need some help with rules and regulations around here. Can you help us” Ivy chimed in. Steph agreed reluctantly and followed us in.
I woke up even before my alarm rang. I sat on my bed and saw the others are still sleeping soundly. The sun is about to come out soon and it’s breakfast time. Since our classes will be longer and more intense, according to Miss Fiona, she told us to not skip meals and should follow each class as instructed. She even warned us that she will keep an eye on us. I was not scared but her advice was serious. I remembered, yesterday, when she was with us, her eyes were fierce as always but I saw concern too. She and the old man are worried about us. I almost jump out of my skin went the alarm rang suddenly.
“Shut it.” Anna mumbled.
I grabbed it and turned it off.
“Get up, guys. If we hurry we could have breakfast.” One by one stirred and got up. I went to take shower first and the girls were still in bed when I was done. I groaned but I don’t blame them, we slept late last night. Stephanie was more entertaining than I thought she would be. She told us how much our presence affected the institute. The students from all Years are curious about us. I thought the whole school is simply over reacting but she explained that this has never happened before.
Commoners don’t get to study here no matter what. And from there she brought up a few rumours that are going on about us.
Some claimed that we are here because our parents have powerful influence over the institute and that’s why we are attending this school. Another story she heard from Year 4, that we are orphan and homeless, that we needed protection and place to stay so the principal had kind heartedly let us to stay for awhile. We ended up laughing hearing all the ridiculous rumuors.
Steph admitted that she actually believed some of the stories. We told her that none of it was true and when she asked the real reason we had to remain quiet but she got it. She told us that it’s none of her business and she will never ask again.
Before she left, she explained why she acted rude initially. Her roommates were listening to us last night so she thought she should interrupt us. We thanked her. I had never seen such an honest and sweet girl before. She seems too kind to be here.
Stephanie burst in the room suddenly. All of my friends woke up and stared at the door in daze.
“Good morning. I knew it. You guys will skip breakfast.” She said as she walked to Anna’s desk and sat there.
Anna blinked at her a few times, “What are you doing here?” She asked in curiosity but her dry and raspy voice made it sound rude.
Stephanie quickly stood up and apologized. Her face went red. She was wearing a white blouse and black knee length skirt.
“Oops, sorry I didn’t mean that way. Just wondering why are you here, it’s hmm, breakfast time right.” Anna said quickly.
“I had my breakfast and there’s only twenty minutes before the class start so I wanted to stop by.” She answered, back on that chair.
“Oh god, we are late!” Jane leaped out of her bed, grabbed her towel and clothes before entering the washroom.
“What do you mean by you knew about us skipping breakfast?” I asked, as I combed my hair. We brought a long oval shaped mirror and hang it on the wall in between my bed and Anna’s.
“You don’t know?” She asked, gazing at us. We shook our head.
“I thought you knew and decided not to show yourselves.” I tied my hair in pony tail and faced her. “Explain Steph.” I said.
“Okay, so this morning a few students went to the office and placed a complaint about you guys.”
“What? Are you kidding me?” Ivy asked.
“Why? We didn’t do anything.” Anna said while picking out relevant books from the pilr of books given yesterday.
“No, it’s not you. It’s the management. The course they set for you, especially the combat classes. The students were mad because they think it’s unfair for them to treat you differently, to give addition classes.” She said.
“How did the whole school know about our timetable?” Jane asked, coming out from the washroom.
“It’s not a secret.” She stated boldly and got up. I noticed her clothing, “Hey, why are you not wearing the uniforms they gave?” I asked. She gave a dumb look and sighed,
“You have so much to learn, don’t you? Here’s the thing, you will only wear the gear to combat classes, the sports attire to physical activities and for lessons you may wear anything that is in black and white.”
“How about the other colors?” Anna asked. “You can wear those after the school session.” Before she leaves the room, she said, “Remember, this is the Angels. It’s nearly impossible to keep secret here.”