I peeked at the guy again. His close cropped black hair and his huge body frame reminded me of Tony. He was listening to the lecture intently.
My first class was in the same class I had Introduction to Espionage yesterday but the subject differed. It’s called Fifth Generation. I guessed it has something to do with computer and I was right.
Miss Anita started the class by explaining the history of handphones briefly then she went on to talk about a new device which is well known in this world. The students were excited to hear the details of the new gadgets.
All the while I was missing my phone that I left at the office on the first day of joining this institute. They told me, I could collect it every weekend.
The Tony lookalike guy raised his hand and asked a few questions to Miss Anita. She gladly explained. That’s when I noticed him and I could barely ignore him.
Miss Anita inquired the class about a research work she gave last week. I looked around in confusion but nobody cared to explain it to me.
She further explained the revolution of mobiles and before ending the class, she asked us to be well verse with the phone she gave. We will be having test in regards to it.
I raced to her table, stopping her mid-way. She stared at me, noticing me for the first time.
“I’m sorry Miss but I have a question.” I started.
She smiled, “You don’t have to be sorry for asking a question.” I smiled sheepishly at that.
“I’m new here so I didn’t understand about the phone and the test you mentioned.” She nodded and gestured me to follow her. I walked by her side as she explained to me.
“You’re required to master the phone the institute gave out. It is specially designed for mission purpose. As Year 2 tyro, you have to pass this test. I had given the phone to them last week. Follow me now to my desk. I will hand you one. Make sure you learn how to use it. We won’t give you the handbook. We want to know how much you can learn about a foreign technology on your own. I will give you one month time.”
We walked past Block B to a long pathway, a bridge connecting Block B to Block C.
The hallway was indifferent but the interior of the staff room was the exact replica of the administration building. The rows of teachers’ rooms are transparent s the walls were made of glass.
The Miss Anita stopped in front of a glass door and scanned her name tag. The door opened automatically. We walked in and I found shelves full of computers, laptops, tablets and hand phones. The hand phone looked the same as the one I saw back at the camp. Miss Gabriella used it that night. I stared at it until Miss Anita cleared her throat. I turned to her.
“What’s your name?”
“Ivy, that’s the one I was talking about. Take one.” She pointed at the small silver phone. I hesitated a few seconds and then went and took it.
It was very light and small.
Then, I remembered her words, “Miss, did you mention this is for Year 2?” She gave me an odd look.
“But I’m in Year 1.” I told her.
“The class we had just now was meant for Year 2. I think you’re confused, Ivy.” I didn’t know what to reply so I left with the phone.
I went back to the class and quickly gathered my things to head to the next class as stated in the timetable. I rushed to History class in the next floor. I went in and found Miss Fiona at the front desk. I quickly ran to the back of the class and looked for an empty desk. There was one beside a girl.
I stood next to the girl.
“Excuse me, can I sit here?” I asked, flashing her friendly smile. She was shocked when she saw me. Her face was framed in Barbie doll haircut. Her bangs were pin straight but the lower part of her hair was permed. She stared at me for awhile.
“You’re…” She pointed her index finger towards me.
“Settle down.” Miss Fiona barked at the front of the class, looking directly at me. The girl dropped her finger and nodded quickly.
“Thanks.” I muttered and sat next to her. Miss Fiona asked us to take out our textbook as she scribbled something on the board.
I leaned to the girl and whispered, “Would you mind if I ask a question?” She moved away from me but looked at me expectantly.
“What year is this class for?” I asked, still whispering. She blinked her tiny eyes a few times and then looked away. I sighed.
I was upset because never once anyone was scared or hated to talk to me. This institute is killing my friendliness. I’m slowly giving up talking to people here other than my friends, Steph and Ray.
Miss Fiona’s lecture was too boring, something to do with Italy. I ended up falling asleep on the textbook. It could be minutes or hours, I was dreaming about a magical giant phone that could give me a ride back home. As I stepped on the screen, the phone vibrated. My whole body was shaking as I tried to look at the caller name.
“Ivy! Ivy! Wake up.” I open my eyes and found myself physically shaking.
It was my unfriendly neighbor. She was shaking my shoulder with a tight grip. I winced and she let go.
“Are you awake?” She asked.
“Mhmm, why?” I brushed my hair out of my face as I sit straight.
“What’s going on?” I asked her again.
“She’s coming, quick turn to page 100.” I looked around the class and found Miss Fiona walking from desk to desk, observing the students. The students were doing some sort of work in the book. I opened the page and saw a number of questions. I read it and frown at it. I glanced at the girl beside me, she was busy writing something.
“Do you know the answer?” I asked her. She shook her head but didn’t look up.
“Then what are you writing?” I peered on her book.
“Something. She would not like it, if you didn’t even attempt to answer. As usual she will throw you out of the class.” She said.
I quickly turned to the front pages and tried to look for the answer and I think I found something close to an answer so I scribbled it down. Miss Fiona reached our table, she stood and watched us writing. I pretended as if I was too focused in writing that I didn’t see her.
“Ivy.” She called my name. I looked up and she took my book to look at my answers. I prayed she would not yell at me here, in front of everyone. To my surprise, she nodded and placed the book back in my table and went to the front desk. I exhaled loudly. My neighbor asked,
“Can I take a look at your answer? I think you got the right one.” I nodded.
Seconds later I realized, “Wait.” I said. She looked up from my book. “Are you talking to me?” I asked astonished.
“I guess.” She shrugged. “Okay.” I watched her as she set the book down.
“Ivy, right?” She asked and I affirmed it. “I’m Kat. Were you serious when you asked about the class?” She asked suspiciously.
“I was.” I blatantly stated. She leaned on her chair as she looked away. Obviously, she’s thinking about something. “This is Year 4.” She answered finally. “Oh, thanks.” I replied feeling confused as ever. We didn’t talk after that.
I walked to the cafeteria alone after the class. Most of the students stopped doing whatever they were doing and stared at me. I didn’t look down. I held my chin up and look into each set of eyes that gave me curious look. Many looked away as soon as my eyes meet theirs. I told myself that they’re normal kids too, just like me, not some mutants or superheroes. I have no reason to shy away. I saw my friends were sitting at a table at the corner of the cafeteria. They saw me coming and waved at me. I smiled and walked to the table.
“Hey!” I greeted them as I sat beside Jane. We talked about our classes while having our meals. The food was exceptionally good. We had one hour break before another two hours class start, the next class was unnamed, which was strange. All of us have the same class so I was glad that I do not have to struggle trying talk to someone. This was the only class we have together every day after lunch. I wondered what this class is about.
Stephanie walked up to our table and smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes. I eyed our new friend, she was still in the same white blouse and black skirt, her short hair was pinned neatly. She appeared as though going to attend an interview.
“Hi, guys. Can I join you?” She asked timidly.
Something about her behavior bothered me. She was not as bright as this morning. She sat down quietly and watched us.
After a few silent moments, “Don’t you guys have anything formal to wear?” She asked. “No, we will shop later.” Naomi replied. We were all wearing t-shirts with black jeans. We were the only odd one here.
“Hey Steph, don’t the Angels have summer breaks?” I asked her. “Nope, we don’t. I will let you know earlier don’t waste your time sending numerous suggestion letter for it, they will ignore it. Our only breaks are when the semester ends and thanks the good god its right before Christmas or else even that we won’t be able to celebrate.” Steph told us enthusiastically. Her bad mood was all gone.
“So, where’re your friends?” Jane asked her and just like that her face fell again, making all of us curious.
“Who?” She asked. Her voice shook. “You have friends right? You have been hanging out with us since yesterday. How come you’re not with them?” Jane stressed on.
“Because, I like you guys.” She said with a wide smile which was forced. I’m sure everyone could see through her. She’s a terrible liar. We kept quiet, eyes on her. She grew restless and finally she gave in. She reluctantly turned behind and watched a group of girls that were chit chatting not so far away from our group.
“They don’t like me anymore.” She claimed. Her face was sad. “Why not?” Jane asked.
“Because of last night.” She said slowly.
“You mean because of us?” Naomi asked her. “Not exactly.” She looked up and shook her head, “Don’t misunderstand. I’m not blaming you. It’s just they didn’t like me being your friend. They heard me last night. They didn’t like it when I was being honest with you.” She told us, her eyes fixated on the table.
“Sorry.” Anna murmured.
“It’s alright. We will be back together, they’re just a little angry with me now.” She said hopefully. I looked past her at the girls, they were giggling happily. I don’t think I will behave like that after hurting my friends no matter what the reason is.
“Your room mates right? The one listening to us last night.” Jane inquired. She nodded guiltily.
“It’s okay. Steph. Cheer up. Maybe you don’t need friends like them.” Naomi patted her shoulder.
“Who would have thought, our sweet little Stephanie is such a hypocrite.” A caustic voice said.
I looked to my side and saw two girls were watching us from the garden. The tall girl looked familiar. She’s the one that was glaring at us in the weekly briefing on our first day. She walked to our table, cutting an angry look at Steph. She was wearing a close fitting white chiffon shirt with a skirt that covered her thighs tightly. Her three inches black stiletto clattered as she walked to us. I would have called her beautiful if not for her ugly sneer on her face. Her brunette friend looked paled in comparison.
“What?” Stephanie asked the tall blonde. Stephanie’s face turned hard. Both of them stared down each other. My friends and I exchanged look, aware we were in between some bad blood.
“It doesn’t take you too long to ditch your friends for these new freaks.” She said, gesturing towards us as a group. I was honestly stunned to see her open hostility.
“What did you call us?” Naomi fumed. But the girl ignored her and directly her anger to Anna, “And you, I don’t care where you’re from and what the hell you are doing here. I’m here to warn you to stay away from Ray. I don’t want to see you with him again.” Her voice rang out loud and clear and that’s how I noticed the whole cafeteria were quiet.
Everybody’s eyes were here. Anna was shocked and she got up in anger. “What the hell are you talking about?” She asked. Obviously, she was also embarrassed by the whole scene, her cheeks went red. “Don’t act innocent. You know damn well what I’m talking about.” With those words, she turned and started to walk away. “Hey you, what is your problem?” I called her. She didn’t bother to stop. “Stop right there blondie! We asked you a question.” Jane called out in her bitchy voice. She stopped at that and turned to us. She took a few steps forward and said, “And don’t act as though you belong here, freaks.” Her acid voice was mean but it was enough to silence us. She gave us her sour smile before walking away. Just then, Ray walked right past her to our table. He looked around sensing something going on. The blonde smiled at him, “Hi Ray. You’re back. How was your mission?” She asked in her new girlish voice. We stared at her sudden change of demeanor.
“It was fine.” He answered giving her half smile before turning to us and asked, “What is going on?” His gaze met each of us before landing on now glowering Anna. She raised her eyebrow and said, “You tell me.” Naomi pulled Anna’s arm and she sat unwillingly, giving Naomi a frown.
“Ray, why don’t you sit with us and we can talk about it.” Naomi said to Ray, her eyes darted to the blonde when Ray sat beside me. Olivia and her quiet friend walked away angrily after casting us one last glare. We gladly ignored her.