Chapter Six - Inner Confusion
A bright sunny day bloomed over the Haven campus. The trees and the brick walkways were still a little damp from a small rainstorm that had rolled through just before the sun had broke in the sky, now there was not a single cloud in the sky as the light of day took its place.
It was still about an hour before breakfast around the school. A few early birds of students had made their way into the Long Hall, most looking for a fresh cup of coffee on this bright day. Lori was one of the few, getting up before her roommate had even woken up. The girl sot out the coffee to help her with the earliness of morning.
With a large steaming cup in her hand, she took a seat near the window of the dining area, one that overlooked a small bench area just off of the courtyard below. She yawned, as she had just gotten up showered and dressed to do this, and she felt the heaviness of her sleep still in her body.
She had gotten into this early morning routine of getting her coffee, since a couple of weeks before she had noticed how tired she had been in algebra class. She was trying so hard to get it together, and this just give her a little leg up on it all.
She took a sip and smiled, as the bitter drink was like ambrosia to her senses, tickling her tongue with its strong flavor. She sighed with pleasure, as this little ritual she had gotten into was just the thing she needed.
Enjoying her coffee, she watched the courtyard start to get busy, as the girls came out of their dorms to head for morning meal. It weren't too many of them yet, but over the next sixty minutes, it would be like a flood of white and grey dressed water coming in. She took another sip, enjoying the time to just savor all of this.
Lori heard a voice behind her, and it seemed to be talking to her. She turned away from the window, to see just who it was. To her surprise it was the pretty senior class president who stood there, coffee in hand.
" May I join you for coffee?" The much taller asked, her bright smile a breath of fresh air on this morning.
For a second, Lori was shocked with the girl's presence, and almost verbalized it with a gasp. She stopped herself from doing it, and composed herself.
" Sure." She answered, feeling her cheeks flush.
The girl took a seat across from Lori at the table, setting down the navy blue mug she carried. She looked at the blond girl, and saw how shocked the girl seemed to be with her presence.
" I have been wondering how you have been doing, since your little run in with Jade and her friends." She explained.
" Hanging in there, I guess." Lori said, trying to stay calm, yet the pretty girl's smile was making her heart race.
" No trouble from them since?"
" She stares at me a lot in class, and I see them all whispering, but they have not even gotten near me since that day. " Explained, feeling elate that this girl was interested in how she was. " Jade did follow Allison and I a couple of times, but stopped both times on her own... Still, that was creepy."
" A play for intimidation purposes on their part..." Speculated the lovely girl, her eyes locking with the long haired Lori. " She does play a type of mind games now and then, especially with newcomers."
Lori froze, as the girl's beautiful eyes caught her in a soft hold. She felt her heart skip, and her forehead erupted in sweat. She swallowed as she tried to say something, anything at all.
" You think?" Was all she could muster out. She felt weird with her statement, as she wanted to say it better than she did.
" Yes." Said Megan. " She's just our most troublesome girl here over the last three years."
" Three years?" Asked Lori.
" She failed grade nine once, that is why she still wallows in grade Ten." Megan explained. " Hopefully, she will just stay away from you, along with her little posse of followers."
Lori looked at the girl, marveling at the brightness of the President's eyes. She could feel the sincerity and knowledge in those eyes, and she smiled. A warm, comfortable feeling chased most of the blond girl's nervousness away, but another type of emotion was just sitting there. Something that Lori could not put her finger on, or even try to explain.
The two fell silent for awhile, then when they spoke again, the topic changed to more of a lighter tone. They sat chatting together, sipping of their still steaming beverages as they did.
Abruptly, a very tall girl with very wavy hair that covered half of her face came up to the table. By her rigid way of standing, she was waiting for either Lori or Megan to notice she was standing there.
" Megan, there is an emergency meeting of the board about the funding distributions to the clubs." Said the girl, speaking very lethargically. " The Head Mistress said it was minatory for everyone on council to attend to this problem as quickly as we can."
" But right now?" Sighed Megan, looking at the girl.
" Head Mistress want to take it to the financial board as soon as she can... they are still looking for where they can find funding for the field hockey team's new uniforms, and expand the clubs to be better equipped too."
Megan took a long sigh, and looked at Lori with a small smile of tiredness.
" It is never ending." She said, standing up. " Maybe we can talk again sometime, Lori?"
" Uh, ok." The girl replied, shocked at the girl's offer to talk again.
" Great... Have a great day in class." Megan said, with a little wave as she stepped away from the table to join the other girl.
Megan walked off with the tall girl, leaving Lori to her coffee time alone again. The girl with the president looked at her.
" Megan... can I as you something?" She said, matching stride with the quick walking girl.
" As long as we get to out meeting quickly, Ann." Said the girl, her voice showing she had turned all to business.
Ann paused for a moment.
" Why were you sitting with that sophomore?" She asked.
" Lori?" She said, breaking her thoughts. " I told you what happened, I wanted to check on her to see if she had acclimated finally to Haven."
" I've seen this from you before..." Ann piped up.
" What are you talking about?" The school President said, looking at the girl with a raised eyebrow.
" With Heather..." The girl began.
" That is not for conversation." Said Megan, her voice tight.
" It's been three years since..."
" Stop right there." Said the School's President, snapping at her friend. " Do you think I am being attracted to Lori now?"
Ann looked over to Megan, and nodded her head with authority. Megan snuffed and looked away..
" Nonsense!" Megan said, her eyes now averted from her friend. " What I had with Heather was very special... I could not have a relationship like that again."
" It has been three years since she died you know..." Started Ann, as they stepped out of Long Hall and into the courtyard.
Megan turned her head again, her eyes flashing with annoyance as her body stiffened.
" I told you that was not up for discussion!" She spat. " Now lets get out mind on the problem at hand.
Ann just fell silent, hearing the accenting tone in Megan's words. She knew that it was not the time any more to speak about this. She just let the topic slide, and they reverted back to talking about student council business.
Back at Long Hall, Lori sat silently, sipping on her coffee. She seemed preoccupied when Allison joined her at the table.
" Morning." She said, setting down her own mug of java.
Lori looked at her friend with almost a far away look, one her roommate could not ignore.
" What is going on?" Allison asked, seeing the odd facial expression of her roommate.
" Nothing..." Said Lori.
" I heard from some people outside that you were sitting with Megan this morning... " Said Allison, laying out what she knew.
" I was..." She said, blushing, knowing that gossip was the backbone wherever a large group of kids and teens were concerned. " She just showed up and had coffee with me for awhile."
" She's a grad twelve student..." Stated the girl, with a gasp. " That is unheard of here at Haven for the grades to pal around."
" She just did... wanted to know how I was doing, after helping me with my little run in with Jade." Explained Lori.
Allison looked at her friend, and took a long breath in.
" I guess it's different to hear of... class distinction and separation is very strong here." She said. " almost like a tradition."
" To just have coffee, its suppose to be not right to do or something?" Lori asked back.
" It's not just that..." Allison started, her words trailing off a little.
" Then what?" Lori queried
" There was this other girl long time ago, and Megan was seemingly very close to her..." Said Allison, thinking out loud, her voice seeming stressed a little.
Lori blinked, as the girl's word came to her. There was a assumption hidden within them.
" Other girl?" She asked. " What are you getting at, Allison?"
Allison nodded, and looked at her friend's face.
" Awhile back, Megan was in the ninth grade..." Said Allison. "Megan and this girl that were in the same grade together were... close., some said very close."
" Close? What do you mean?" Hearing the implication tone in Allison, but not understanding it.
" You know... lovers!" Said Allison, for the first time, her voice had a flatness to it.
Lori looked at her friend, shocked.
" You think because she sat down to have coffee with me, she wants me to be her lover or something?" She said. " It was just to talk and have coffee."
" You like her, don't you?" Allison posed the question, her face now was blank of expression.
" I like her..." Said Lori, her voice showing waverings, as she did not finish her sentence.
" In that way though?" Allison pressed, her happy tone leaving her. " Do you like her in that way?"
Lori took a deep breath, then shook her head. Her pausing like this was odd on the blonde girl's part.
" I like her." She restated, yet it was not fully with conviction that she said it with. " That is all..."
Allison just looked at the new girl, noting the flustered looks Lori was experiencing as she stared out of the window beside them. Allison just passed on pressing any more, and the two just sat and had their coffees. Through that, it was Allison that seemed to be almost sad as she had her coffee.
Nearby where Allison and Lori sat, three figures slipped out of the hall unnoticed from where they had been sitting behind a row of potted plants. The three were the tall girl named Jade, and her two constant sidekicks.
The girl and her two cohorts had been watching the goings on in the dining room, and now they slunk out of the large room unnoticed. The three were talking low amongst one another with great animation, but on what was for speculating on.