The sound of cheering, whistles, and chatter fill the fall afternoon as I walked along the cobblestone path around campus. A week has past since the open ceremony and life as started to settle down for everyone. Students have joined their clubs, cliques, and after school programs to stay socially active during their long stay here. As for me, I’ve opted to go with the ‘walk around campus alone’ club. It’s not that I’m anti-social or anything…I just believe that in an environment where I’m in constant contact with people, I need some ‘me’ time where I can reflect about the day and think about what I need to accomplish before going to sleep. God knows I need that time ever since my roommate and aspiring occultist Katie decided to drag me into her plans.
I looked over and noticed that I’m now walking past the volleyball courts. There, playing as center with her blonde hair tied up in a ponytail, was my roommate Katie. I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous of her. She has a very active life: morning mile runs, volleyball, softball, basketball…she played them all back in her grade school and won awards for her athletic ability. Of course between the two of us, I carry the brains but she definitely carries the brawns. But still…if life taught me anything up until now…
“That was really great Katie!”
“Way to go!
…being the brains doesn’t bring friends.
I turned my head forward, wanting to continue my walk but then something caught my attention. Up ahead was a tall man who was walking towards me, wearing the usual uniform of a male student, black slacks, white button-up shirt, purple tie, robes, but he was wearing something very unique: a brass pin of an open book on the right side of his robe. The pin indicated that the person wearing it is a professor…and he’s not any professor either…
“Miss Missan” The man said in a slightly deep voice.
“Professor Ano…” I replied as I attempted to walk past him. He quickly extended his arm out to prevent me from walking around him. I stopped in my tracks and looked up at him, wondering what he wants from me. For a man that’s in his thirties, he definitely looks older than his age. His short brown hair, glasses, and crow’s feet eyes are all the classic signs of a man who’s seen his fair share of bad students.
“Good pass!” The voice of a girl called out loud.
We both looked towards the volleyball court for a moment then back at each other.
“You’re pretty good friends with Miss Patentski.” He started off as I darted my eyes to the right.
“I-I guess you can say that. I mean, we’re roommates so it is inevitable.” I responded to him. He quickly started talking again, as if my reply wasn’t going to influence his next question for me.
“She likes to snoop around, doesn’t she? Always trying to pry her nose where it doesn’t belong.”
“S-She does have a tendency to be very curious about the world around her, yes.” I said, somewhat getting the idea of where this conversation is going.
“You’re a good student Miss Missan. You zone out from time to time, but a good student.” He said to me, thinking that the comment was supposed to be a compliment. “I’ve already told this to Miss Patentski but she seems to ignore my advice so I’m telling you.” He said as my eyes met his. “Don’t get involve with other student’s affairs. People have a professional life and a private life and they wish to keep those two worlds separate.” He said to me as I felt a chill go down my back.
What in the world has Katie been up too? I’ve seen her talk to other people before, but is she trying to pry herself into their lives?
“I-I didn’t know she was doing those kinds of things-“
“She hasn’t yet, but if she continues to pester the other students about strange things that has happened in the past, I fear that she may stubble upon something that’s beyond her. If I were her or even her best friend…” He stretched his last word “…I would keep my mouth shut and move along.” Professor Ano said as he walked past me. I turned my head and looked back at the volleyball courts to see Katie getting along with her fellow teammates.
I don’t understand. She seems to be getting along with people. Is she really just using them to get information about the school?
Then I saw the truth…
As practice was finishing up, all the girls rallied together and started to head off of the court. Nothing but smiles, laughter, and linked arms were seen as they headed off campus to go to who-knows-where.
And there stood Katie alone.
No one waited for her.
No one invited her to come along.
Other than a teammate…
…no one saw her as a friend.