"My name is Laura Simpson, Mr. Ronald Hudson's scholar. Nonexistent." Laura introduced herself for the nth time in a week the same as the number of her classes. She'd been repeating those words for the past week and she's now saying it with a rolled-eyes.
Unfortunately, the teachers asked her to acquaint herself with the class, or more like to the teachers themselves. This was one thing she disliked even before as it focused their attention on her, they seemed like they didn't settle for one introduction because she had to repeat her introduction multiple times like what she did just now, but leaving her with no other choice, she still unwillingly did so. She had been saying her introduction from Tuesday until today which was, finally, Saturday, the end of her exhausting week, and of burying her face on the book, or not honestly, as she was just pretending.
This school was insane. much worse than her previous school, if that would even give justice knowing how much she hated her previous school, and now this university, for the record, get past it. They took their university's name literally! The teachers f****d the students to recite everything written in the book, so by now, she had pending pages to memorize. and probably recitation too. She couldn't imagine how arduous it was for the scholars who studied in this school from the very start, and how much pressure this school put on their backs to attain the achievement of being in the top schools. Just by the number of words written on one page, it was already formidable. Yet still, anyway, needless to say, she didn't care at all, she remained unbothered.
However, that was for the previous professors, she couldn't do that this time as a stoic man was looking at her, giving her cold stares as if studying every part of her body right through the insides. His gazes were boring holes and Laura suddenly felt uncomfortable.
"Good that you look healthy." The teacher remarked that confused Laura. As far as she could remember, he was also the one who stopped his crazy wife back in the orientation from having them died in hunger and also hoped them to be healthy. "For the transferee's sake, I will introduce myself again. I am Dr. Paul Edison, your instructor in Health Observation and Assessment."
Laura couldn't feel anything but amused by this man's way of looking at her. He never took his eyes away from her when he was talking, and she didn't back down, so if it lasted for a little longer, the other scholars would think that they were having a staring contest, but as Laura said in her introduction, she wanted to be nonexistent and didn't want attention, so she tore her gaze from him and sat back down to her seat.
"Open your book..." She rolled her eyes at that, of course, book.
"Laura, what happened to Eloise? I heard you're roommate with her?" A dude seated beside her quietly asked in the middle of the discussion. He was leaning close to her so the professor wouldn't notice him chatting.
She looked at him, weirded by his sudden start of the conversation. No one had dared to personally talk to her in the past few days, if there were, they were always in a group which was a good choice so Laura wouldn't beat only one human if they got on her nerves.
She creased her forehead and was about to answer when she realized what he was asking, she rolled her eyes at his nosiness, sometimes men were nosier than women, and it annoyed her either way. She clicked her tongue, "None of your business."
The guy seemed caught off guard by her stern answer, he thought Laura was the friendly type of woman that he could talk with but she appeared to be demure and modest so he slowly backed out and came back to just listening to the teacher.
How would she answer him? She and Blake still have no idea know why Eloise got moved to the tunnel and still wondered why she hadn't come back until now where they assumed that she had probably woken up by now. She tried visiting her on Wednesday, but the sentinels positioned at the entrance were not even letting her peek through it or even have a glimpse of Eloise so she would know at least that she was fine there. She almost beat them in annoyance.
She still did not know who did it to Eloise, as well as what they want. She attempted to roam their whole house hoping to find something suspicious that her roommate was keeping and a possible motive why their room was ransacked, but she failed when she found nothing, and her room was locked so she couldn't open it. All she did every night was to walk around the place and check every nook and corner of their room, but what she only found useful was the pile of papers thrown out from the box along with the sticky papers she hid in the shoe box, other than that, she got sneezes and coughs due to the dust.
She never bothered scanning her books right after her classes like what they were told, she was more worried about Eloise than failing, she wasn't there to study anyway. She was with Eloise for only a short time but she knew the girl had a good personality and was just unknowingly got involved in whatever these previous three people plus Earl Buenaventura had done.
Laura shot her gaze up from fiddling on her pen to the front where Dr. Paul and her classmates were all looking at her. She raised her brow dauntlessly, meeting straight his cold eyes again. "Yes, Doctor?"
"You were the only one who can look at me in the eyes, tell me your observation." He said, crossing his arms on his chest that added to his intimidating aura.
Laura, though uncertain, looked straight to his eye, noting everything she could observe. If she just knew that no one could look at him in the eyes, she would pretend as such as well. Among the top-agents, Laura was the most intrepid, she always won in a staring contest and could even look in the eyes of the people higher than her in position, she could lie without even batting that's why she often make people trust her.
"Your eyes are almond shape, your iris is chestnut brown, the sclera is pretty clear, double eyelid, long lashes, you blink 15 times in a minute, and.. that's all." She articulated, telling everything she could see physically.
"Lacking but remarkable. If I ask anyone here to observe my eyes, they will say everything written in the book like they were programmed. That isn't what I want in my class, I want the knowledge in your brains. You use it while you have it. Everyone here should be healthy physically and mentally." The way he said it wasn't sounded so sincere rather cold and raw, it was consequential for her and she didn't know if she was the only observant there or her classmates were just purely hypocrites as they still appreciated it and thanked him for worrying.
She just didn't pay more attention, she just looked outside and drummed her fingers, waiting for the class to end. This will be her last class today, and all she wanted to do was to bury her body in the comfort of her bed and wait for the next day to come. She's used to being alone, she lived alone even before, but she just couldn't help but think now of Eloise, if she was there, then it might be at least more bearable and wouldn't leave her unaccompanied, she didn't want to talk to anyone not affiliated with her task so she's always alone, she rarely saw Blake and once she did, he was busy training, sometimes whenever he saw her looking at them, he will show off by performing exhibition that will make her annoyed and roll her eyes.
The sound of the bell rang signaling the end of every class and the suffering of Laura's heating butt and chair. She immediately stood up as soon as Dr. Paul went out of their room, she didn't have anything else to do in that building and she had no time to befriend anyone in their class just to be included in their not-so-happy group when all they know was to have a group study and do not even know the words 'loosen up' and 'party', unlike what they had expected in the meeting.
She stopped on her track when Blake called her, he was outside of their building and wagging his arms excessively just to catch her attention, which he successfully did, but he got not only her attention, almost all the other scholars around. She facepalmed mentally as she fastened her pace and pulled him out of their building.
"You do like everyone's attention on you, don't you?" She sternly asked, letting go of his collar when they reached the nursing dorm's building.
His lips curled upwards, showing his boyish and handsome smile that would make any girls' heart flutter, "Well-- Aww!" but not Laura who smacked his face with a light punch.
"Get yourself together and tell me why are you here." She told him demandingly, hands both on her hip.
"Okay, cool! So fierce. Anyway, I overhead something from Hannah and Coleen, they are talking about Eloise." He started, smiles faded as his face turned into a serious one with his hand under his chin.
Laura creased her forehead from the unfamiliar yet familiar names, "Hannah and Coleen who? I don't know these people."
"They're the Secretary and President of the student council. They're at the orientation last Monday." He explained which caused her to remember these names, the rude nerd who listed her name and the expressionless President.
"Yeah, I remember now. What's with them?"
He looked at her straight in the eyes, Laura could see a hint of disappointment and annoyance in his eyes, but he remained composed and hid it well.
"Eloise will not be a scholar anymore."