Chapter 2b: My Roommates Are Crazy. Can I Draw Again?
Amelia stood outside the closed door to her new dorm room, uncertainly weighing the pros and cons of entering. What was the protocol here? Should she just walk in? Would it be better to knock? She might not have been so nervous about it if she hadn’t accidentally seen what some of the other Students were up to as she climbed the stairs in Greenwood. She was aware that she’d been standing there for several minutes already, and, since she could see the sun going down through the window at the end of the hall, she took a deep breath and reached out to knock. The door swung open before her knuckles could touch the surface, and a very tall blond man with a pleasantly athletic build said “Hello! I knew there was someone here! The Spirits never lie!” The air wafting past him into the hallway smelled oddly spicy. It made Amelia’s mouth water.
Amelia stared, wide-eyed, up at the man beaming down at her. “Buh- p- I need- hi?” she said, cogently. The young man gave her a kind smile and motioned for her to come in. “You are our new roomie, yes?” At Amelia’s nod, his smile broadened and he guided her to a chair at a small but serviceable table in the center of the living space.
“My name is Boris, and I have been at this charming school for a full year now. It is odd for me,” Boris continued. “I am now the senior student here! Both of my previous roommates graduated last week. Now it is time for more important things, though. I will read your aura!”
Amelia gave Boris a look of polite confusion. He leaned forward over the table and hummed. It was a low droning noise that went on far longer than Amelia had thought he could hold his breath. She opened her mouth to ask what he was doing. He held up a hand, and she shut her mouth again.
“Ah, yes, your aura, it is beautiful. Such pale yellows and brilliant violets make me want to weep. You will bring such wonders into our universe, uh, err… What did you say your name was, again?”
Amelia felt that dreaded full-body blush starting to climb again and stammered out “Amelia. I’m, er, I’m Amelia. Longbottom. Longmire! Amelia Longmire!”
Boris smiled again. “I am pleased to meet you, Amelia Longmire. I think this school will be very interesting for you. So? Tell me some little about yourself! I am from Russia, as you can no doubt tell. I had a very boring life before coming here, and it has been…exciting enough for me. I cannot wait to go back home and be bored again!”
Amelia, who had not been able to tell where he was from, hunched down in her seat slightly, cleared her throat, and said “I’m um, I’m from Gollehon Four. My parents were in the first wave of colonists. And, um, I’m not… I don’t really want to go back there very soon. I had Well-Miner’s Syndrome growing up? And it’s, well, I’m, um… Yeah, I’m happy to be out of bed.”
Boris’ eyes widened and he gave a low whistle. “The Wasting Croup? Ah, yes, this is why you are so thin. Come, come, we must feed you! I have-“ he went into one of the bedrooms and came back out with a few instant meal packets. “-three pork and one – ooo! Lunar Nugget! I didn’t know I had any left! Here, you must eat. You may have all these.”
Amelia tried to smile thanks, but the disgust was obvious on her face. “I’m…um… vegetarian,” she said, meekly. “But thank you, though! It’s very thoughtful!”
Boris smacked himself in the forehead with his left hand which, unfortunately, still held the bag of Lunar Nuggets. “Yes, I knew this was likely already. Come on, Boris! You are a medical student! WMS sufferers cannot eat meat!”
“No, no, it’s ok. I can eat it now. It’s just… just that, well, I haven’t had anything but fruits and vegetables to eat in nine years and the idea is just…yurgh. You know?”
Boris nodded. “Come, your room is through that door; I will help you with your bag.” He stood, took her bags, and put them on her new bed. Amelia was just beginning to formulate a thank-you when the door behind her opened, and another girl walked through. She was short and thin, with long black hair done up in a tight braid. Her clothing was loose but very colorful, and Amelia loved it.
“Amara! Welcome back! This is our other roommate, Amelia. I am afraid I have already eaten that heavenly curry you made for me. Perhaps you could make some more for us all soon?” He gave a meaningful nod Amelia’s way.
Amara dipped her head in acknowledgement and gave Amelia a small, shy smile. “It is good to meet you, Miss Amelia. If you do not mind my asking, what is your Major here? I am in Investigative Sciences and Martial Arts.”
“Oh!” Amelia brightened up a little. “I’m Comp Sci and Engineering!” Her tummy grumbled. “Ugh. Is there somewhere I can get something to eat around here? All I have left are three small carrot sticks.”
Amara gave a small smile. “I just arrived today. I don’t know if there is anything nearby. Boris?”
Boris made a face. “No. Well, yes, there is the cafeteria across the way, but it will close soon, and, besides, I can not, in good conscience, recommend you eat there. There may be something available in Town, though.”
Amelia looked out the darkened window and imagined wandering through an unfamiliar city on an unfamiliar world. “No, no, I will be ok. I can try the cafeteria anyway. How much does it cost?”
Boris, in tones of dreadful warning, said “Again, I do not recommend it. But…” he shrugged “It’s free to anyone with a Student ID, but your class schedule should be good enough for the first night. They won’t expect you to have found the time to get your ID until after this weekend. Come Monday, though…”
Amara took Amelia’s hand gently and said “Come with me. We can go into Town together. I am sure we will find something there.”
Boris nodded as they left. “The spirits will go with you.”