"Well, maybe I'll consider the boarding school," I calmly told my parents. I hoped they were smart enough to pick up on the subtext, but I left before they had time to react.
As I walked out of the room, I thought about what I had said. Was I too hard on them? Of course, they started it, so I can't be blamed. Besides, it's not like I was lying about that boarding school...
Meh, whatever. I made my way to the "poor person's" school, Siri walking by my side. I probably would have said something to annoy her if we hadn't been in public, but I didn't want to seem crazy. This coming from the guy who still has an imaginary friend.
As soon as we got to my homeroom, Siri gasped. I discretely glanced over at her, then followed her gaze to a girl sitting across the room. She seemed pretty normal to me... maybe she just liked her shoes or something. You know how girls are. I sat down in my desk, took a plain notebook out of my plain backpack, and wrote a note to Siri. "What's up with you?"
"I think you may be on to something with that guy in my class," she said aloud; it's not like anyone else could hear her. "There's something off about that girl."
Just to bother her, I wrote, "Which one?"
Exasperated, she walked over to the girl, pointed with both hands, and said, "This one! Don't tell me you can't see anything wrong with her!"
As she came back to my desk, I wrote again. "I can't see anything wrong with her. Honestly."
The bell rang, and the teacher raised a hand for silence. "Okay, guys, we have a new student today. Everyone, please welcome Nerual." The class said nothing, of course. Well, except Siri.
"That's Lauren backwards! She's so obviously from my world!"
"Yeah, and Naik is Kian backwards, so what?" I scribbled to her. She just sighed and sat on the corner of my desk.
At the end of the class, Nerual came over to me. "Hi," she said a little timidly.
"Hey." Siri had stood up at the bell, but she now clutched my desk to keep from fainting.
"Uh, I caught you looking my way earlier. Was there something wrong?" She looked genuinely concerned.
"Oh, no, um... there was a bug."
"Oh. Well, see you later, I guess."
Up until then, Siri had just been staring. But as Nerual started to walk away, she reached out to touch her. The new girl flinched slightly and looked around, as if she had felt Siri's touch. But, that's not possible... right?