Zola looked out of Nerea’s dormitory room window. The sky was black but the school grounds’ lights were turned on.
“Gee, it is as bright as a stadium around here,” Zola remarked.
“I actually like it. Makes you feel safer, especially when you’re returning to the dorm late at night,” Nerea replied.
“Nerea, has anything bad ever happened that prompted the school to light the place up like it is Christmas?” Zola asked curiously.
“Well…” Nerea’s voice faded off. It took her about a minute before she continued, “I supposed so. I’ve only heard rumours but they are so preposterous that I much rather just dismiss them.”
“What do you mean?”
Nerea’s brows furrowed for a moment before she answered, “Supernatural stuff. Like monsters lurking in the dark. That kind of thing, which is definitely not my favourite topic to discuss.”
“Oh, right, sorry about that!” Zola quickly apologised.
With that, the momentary tension in the room eased as Nerea’s face relaxed. She said, “Well, now you know where to find me. Room 201. Level 2, 1st door. Got it?”
“Got it. You can find me at Room 111. I wanna head back to my room and rest now. I’m only in college yet I feel so old,” said Zola.
Nerea laughed, “Don’t worry about it. We all are. It gets really quiet by 10pm. That’s how old we are.”
“Well, looks like I’ll fit right in!”
The two girls giggled and said goodnight. Zola walked out of Nerea’s room and headed towards the staircase right beside it. As she was about to make her way down the stairs, she felt a sudden cool breeze on her neck. She turned around but there was nobody at the hallway. Zola felt uneasy. In the midst of trying to shake the uneasiness off her, she jumped at a sudden sharp sound but then heaved a sigh of relief when she realised it was made by a girl who slammed the door behind her as she made her way to the bathroom at the opposite end of the hallway.
Zola calmed herself down and walked down the stairs and to her room. She felt better as she made her way through the noisy level one hallway, full of the new girls who were excitedly visiting and comparing one another’s rooms. Zola then realised that she has yet to befriend a freshman like herself. She felt a little lonely but cheered up at the thought of her new classes the next day. She would be able to make friends with them then. Zola entered her room and locked the door. As she sat on the edge of her bed, she felt a desire to look out of the window.
She had a slightly different view outside compared to the one she got in Nerea’s room. She could see the school lake better and felt deeply satisfied by the view. She was too busy unpacking and settling into her room that she did not take the time to appreciate the view. Zola leaned backwards until her back was fully laid on the bed. She shifted herself to position her entire body on the bed. Before Zola could even think about anything, she fell asleep.
The night air around Arevig College was still. Arevig College was always known for its serene physical environment. But that stillness was broken momentarily when a car pulled up to the foyer of the boys’ dormitory.
“Dude, what took you so long to get here? You missed orientation!” Afif exclaimed as he welcomed the sight of a bespectacled dark haired boy.
“How is that your first concern?! Shouldn’t your priority lie in something else?” the dark haired boy retorted with amusement at his friend.
“Don’t worry about it, Anar, she’s safe,” Afif patted the dark haired boy’s shoulder.
Anar looked at Afif with a slight worry and said, “I really hope so. I tried to convince her not to come here after what was revealed to us.”
Anar sighed and continued, “But to each, his or her own. That’s the way it has always been with human beings.”
Afif smiled knowingly to acknowledge the truth in his friend’s words. He looked up into the sky to search for the stars and found them glistening brightly. He then looked down to see Anar doing the same thing.
“Even angels need a break once in a while. Tonight is a good time for that. The stars will watch over her. Here, let me help you with your things and then I’ll show you the place to park your car,” Afif broke the silence and reached for Anar’s luggages.
“Thanks, mate! If you don’t mind, can we stretch our wings for a little bit before we make our way back to the dorm from the parking lot?” asked Anar.
Afif nodded and paved the way to Anar’s room.