Letters to Romeo: Bad boy good girl

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Strange students: Dormitorium

When Julie was about to open her mouth to speak again, the teacher said, “It would be wise for you to follow my word unless you want to take a walk in the deeper parts of the forest.”

Julie pushed her luggage to the side and decided to pick it up later before following the other two students. She wore her glasses back in their position where one of the frames had cracked.

As she walked, she noticed how wide the corridors were, and paintings were hung on either side of the walls. The paintings were of old towns, villages that were of olden times, along with the landscapes. She saw the boys disappear behind the large black doors, and when she came to stand right in front of the door, for a moment, she paused before pushing the door and stepping inside.

Soon the man who ordered the three of them to come to this room arrived, and the door closed again. He walked forward, bending down to speak to person who was in the chair that was turned around.

On the front side of the room, on the left side, stood the leather jacket boy. In the middle stood the bull who was glaring at her, and she stood on the right. When the chair turned around, Julie caught sight of a woman whose blonde hair had been combed back and let down to reach below her shoulders. She had high cheekbones and her lips unpainted.

“Why am I not surprised to see both of you here for the second time this month. Moltenore and Jackson,” the woman said with a smile on her face, looking at the two boys as if they were her two favourite students, and she was excited to see them.

“Ms. Dante it was-” responded the boy next to Julie.

“Silence!” The smile from Ms. Dante’s face instantly dropped, and she snapped, “Fighting in the middle of the hallway. How disgraceful. You aren’t wild animals of the jungle but senior year students of this university. Being the students who studied here for so long, I would have expected some discipline. Students can get hurt, or you might end up damaging the property belonging to the institution.”

The woman’s eyes then fell on Julie to have her stand straighter than before.

“Did you start recruiting your juniors to get involved in the fight or are you two fighting over her?” questioned Ms. Dante.

Julie’s face turned red at that question, and she was glad she had worn her glasses to cover a part of her face when it didn’t do a good job. Clearing her throat, she said, “I-I am a new student and arrived here today,” she tried to explain to the headmistress. Taking a step forward, she said, “I just took my schedule and the dorm details from the office when I ended up in the middle.”

“She fucking pushed me!”

Oh boy, thought Julie in her mind. The bull boy was more upset about him falling on the ground than being hit by the other guy.

“Language, Jackson,” warned the male teacher.

“Pull,” Julie corrected what the boy said and then turned back to Ms. Dante. “I swear I didn’t know it would make him fall. I mean I am so small, I don’t have that much strength to make him fall.”

“You pushed me!” the boy with the short mohawk haircut glared at her.

“Pathetic,” said the dark-haired boy from the other side. “At least now you know how weak you are. To fall from a girl’s push.”

Why was the other person intent on pouring gasoline over the blazing fire?! Julie was sure that if the headmistress was not sitting in front of them, the two boys would have broken some more bones.

“Why don’t you meet me outside the building and I will show you who is weak,” challenged the blonde boy.

“That is enough, Jackson. I prefer no blood to be spilt in this place. Seems like it was only a misunderstanding, Mr. Borrell,” said Ms. Dante, and her hazel eyes shifted to look at Julie. Hearing this, Julie was relieved.

“She still needs to serve detention. She failed to follow my word of instruction. Not once but twice,” mentioned Mr. Borrell.

“I was only trying to explain that I had nothing to do with the fight,” Julie quickly said.

Mr. Borrell didn’t seem satisfied with her explanation, and his eyes narrowed at her, “Are you telling me that you failed to notice that I am a teacher here? Or perhaps I look eighteen years old instead of thirty-eight?”

Ms. Dante raised her hand so that Mr. Borrell wouldn’t continue to intimidate Julie on her first day here. “Julie Winters is it?” asked the headmistress, and Julie nodded her head.

Julie didn’t know if she should feel privileged that the headmistress knew her name or worried that she was the only person to join late this year. “As it is your first day, Julie, I will ask Mr. Borrell to spare you this time.” The woman offered her a friendly smile, but after Julie had seen the smile fall a while ago from the woman’s face, it would be a lie if she said the smile didn’t daunt her. “You can leave.”

Julie nodded her head, whispering a thank you before turning around and dashing out of the room. Her footsteps were quick, walking towards the hallway where she had left her luggage at the side.

Dragging the trolley suitcase behind her, Julie stepped out of the building. She noticed it wasn’t just those delinquents, but some of the students here had peculiar styles. The last place she had studied had strict rules where: piercing, lipstick, tattoos, and other accessories warranted detention to a student.

Looking down at the sheets in her hand, she tried to figure out the layout of the campus.

“Fresh meat on the campus with fresh b-ow! What was that for?” Hearing the voices behind her, Julie turned to look at a girl and a boy around her age.

“Stop being weird,” said the girl, who had shoulder-length, wavy blonde hair. Her lips were painted red, and her blue eyes turned to look at Julie. “You appear to be a new student, but have already made an impression.”

It took a second for Julie to realize that the girl was speaking about the little hallway incident. Getting in the spotlight was not something she was comfortable with. Not knowing how to reply to it, she asked,

“I was looking for the dorm. Could you be kind enough to point me in the right direction?

“Dorm?” questioned the boy who had spiky black hair, and his eyes fell on the trolley. “Of course.” Julie noticed a piercing in his mouth, which was unusual because there was a pin on his tongue.

“I am Julianne Winters,” Julie introduced herself with a smile.

“Olivia Trosney,” said the girl with a polite smile, “This is Maximus Marudas. Let me take a look at that. The dormitorium block and room number is usually printed there.”

Julie handed the sheets, and once Olivia took a look at them, she said, “Looks like your dormitorium is next to mine. Let me show you the place,” the girl jerked her head.

Maximus stared at Olivia for a second longer before saying, “I will see you later.” He offered Julie a smile and stepped inside the building from where she had stepped out.

Olivia led Julie towards her dormitory.

“It’s quite unusual to have transfer students as it is almost a week since classes started. What brings you here?” questioned Olivia.

“I moved to Woodward two months ago,” replied Julie. Receiving a questioning gaze from the blue-eyed girl, she added, “My parents...they passed away and I had to move.” She clutched the strap of her bag.

“I am sorry to hear that,” Olivia shared her sympathy, but Julie could sense the hollowness in the words that the girl uttered. “It must have been hard to start afresh.”

Julie smiled, “My uncle has been very supportive so it is okay. He lives two hours away from here.” She tucked the piece of her hair behind her ear that had come to settle on the side of her face. “This place looks quite isolated. I noticed there was no town for at least half an hour until I reached the main entrance gates.”

Olivia’s painted lips pulled from one corner. “It is to keep the students safe. Apart from what you saw, and the thirty minutes drive you spoke of, it all belongs to Veteris. In Latin, Veteris means old, people who belonged to an old lineage, and word is that they were once the Lords of these lands.”

“Must have been a nice time,” replied Julie looking at the tall trees while they walked past on the footpath. While walking next to Olivia, she felt the discreet looks some students gave them, but Olivia seemed unfazed by the attention.

When they reached the dormitory, some of the girls stared at her. But after a few seconds, she realized they were looking at Olivia. Julie wondered what that was about.

“Here is your room,” said Olivia, and Julie walked forward to see the door that had ‘100’ number nailed on it. “You should be fine from here.”

“Thank you again for showing me the way,” Julie thanked the blonde girl.

As Olivia walked away from her, apart from the other girls who were out of the rooms staring at her, even Julie noticed the wide fish stockings and the denim shorts on Olivia, which she hadn’t taken note of earlier.

Julie pushed the door open, carrying her luggage inside with her and closed the door shut.

She leaned her back against the door while her eyes took in the things that were in the room. Indeed two of her luggage had already made its way and were kept in the allotted room before she had even reached the university. It was a cosy room, and with only one bed, it meant Julie had the room all for herself. Now that she was away from the outside world and back into her shell, the bag that she had been carrying on her shoulder dropped on the ground with a thud.

As the room was located at the end of the corridor, she had two window views. Walking towards one of the windows, she looked outside at the trees. For the next two years, this would be her home. Once she would complete her graduation, she would leave not just this place but also the state.

After unrolling the mattress on the bed, the first thing Julie did was sleep. She was tired because of the ride, the first day in this place and her life. Right now, all she wanted was a good rest, and she would think about the rest of it later.

Laying down on the bed like a starfish, she fell asleep.

But as Julie’s mind dipped itself in her dreamland, she heard the thunderous knocking on the door.

‘Open the damn door! Do you think you can hide there forever?’ demanded the voice, threat laced in it.

Sweat started to form on her forehead while her breathing quickened. The knock on the door continued, and she looked around the room, which didn’t have a single window to escape. She started to feel suffocated, and she moved into the corner.

When the knocking on the door stopped, the person on the other side of the door said, ‘Open the door now, Julianne.’

Julie’s eyes snapped open, her brown eyes looking at the door of her room and her breath shallow. It was a dream, she duly assured herself. A sigh escaped from her lips before she sat up and grabbed the papers she had collected from the office room. She spotted her major subject which was biology and her minor classes in the schedule that she had selected when applying to this place.

Turning the page, her eyes fell on the highlighted words ‘Rules’. She remotely remembered the office woman mentioning it.

Julie read it, “Rule one. Do not step out of Veteris’s property without permission during your academic years. Rule two. Listen to the teacher’s instructions because they mean well. Rule three. The gates to the Blue block where classes are conducted will be locked after nine and unlocked after twelve,” when she turned the page, it was the last one. “I can live with these three rules,” she placed the papers on the empty table.

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