"Why's your stuff all over the place?" Alexa chimed in.

Lee scratched her head. "Inga's kinda in a bad mood, and I need a place to stay... She kicked me out of her room this morning." She resumed smoothing out the wrinkles on the comforter as she spoke. "I was going to talk to you guys about it when you got back, but I fell asleep..."

"How long?" Asked Michaela, looking at the innocent nine year old. Her eyes were a gorgeous shade of cloudy red that Michaela had never seen before, which she guessed was a trait of either her family or the faction of Sear.

"Just for the night." Lee said. "I don't want to have to ask you this, but... If I ask the Prince or the head mistress, they'll probably get mad at me..." She began to play with her hair nervously. Inside, she was desperate for a yes.

"Okay! Anytime. We'd be glad to have you in here, no matter what the circumstances." Michaela smiled reassuringly.

"Thank you!" Lee yelled, running up to Michaela and giving her a hug. "I love you!"

Now boys and girls are born very similar, with only physical differences seperating them. But as they grow older, cultural differences divide them up much more harshly and sadly. As a child's years pass by, society divides them up into cliques according to their gender. By then, there are already forces pushing them to go their seperate ways, but the climax of puberty acts as a trigger. A trigger activating a permanant barrier preventing close friendship between boys and girls. This seperation stops boys and girls from knowing what life is like on the other side of the fence, so to speak. Therefore, a hug means different things to each gender. To a boy it is a hint that there's something more there than 'I think you're nice.' To a girl it is a show of affection, comfort, or thanks to the receiving party. Although Michaela's life as a boy made things a little harder to interpret, she quickly adjusted and did the only reasonable thing: Hug back.

The End

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