Chapter 53: Apologetic
The day wasn’t going so well for Corrie, either. It had started as well as it always did, except that the fog meant she and Byron had to run a little more slowly than usual for fear of crashing into people or buildings. She was, as always, grateful for the emergency lights that shone through the fog. But when she’d gotten out of her shower, Edie was already gone. Corrie met Annie for breakfast like usual, but Edie didn’t join them. She was already in the classroom for their Academic Writing class when they arrived, but didn’t speak to them.
Troy sat with them in class, and Edie seemed to be friendly to him, but after class when he started to talk to her, she shut down again. Corrie followed her out of the building and saw her meet Leila and walk away. Leila might have turned back and smiled at her, but she might have been imagining it.
She couldn’t concentrate all through her biology class… not that that was particularly unusual. At least she’d read the chapter, so she only had to have the question repeated for her, but she knew the answer. And when she still couldn’t concentrate through her First Year Experience Class, it made no difference. The teacher, as usual, droned on for a while and ended class early. He didn’t even hand out a short quiz as he often did.
But, as it turned out, her fears were not realized. When she got back to her dorm room, Edie was there, alive and perfectly safe. “Hi, Edie,” Corrie said with an attempt at her usual cheerful smile, but she didn’t get a response back, and at this point, she wasn’t expecting one. While Corrie puttered around, putting random things away and procrastinating on starting the history paper that was due on Friday, Edie gathered up her things and left without a backward glance.
Corrie hurried to the door and opened it a crack so she could see Edie walking down the hall. She was hoping to see her stop at Annie’s or Roe’s door, but no such luck. The fire door at the end of the hall closed behind her with finality.
Corrie sat down at her computer and opened a new document, but she couldn’t concentrate on the problems the states had leading up to the Civil War. She was more concerned with what was going on in her own dorm room. How could she get Edie to start talking to her again? This couldn’t go on the whole year. True, Edie was a very sweet-natured person and was unlikely to be able to sustain this anger… but if Leila’s magic could make her this angry in the first place, it could certainly keep it going. She would have to do something fairly drastic to make Edie forgive her. But it would be especially hard to do something drastic with Edie ignoring her like this.
She stood up and walked over to the window above her bed, looking out at the trees, which were getting quite brown and bare. She wondered how long it would be before the first frost. She was much more sensitive to the weather and the changing seasons than she had been throughout her city life, even with her mother pointing out everything to her.
Those thoughts just took her back around to Leila, though. Leila loved trees. She and Edie seemed to spend a lot of time together in the woods. Maybe Leila was a dryad or tree faerie of some kind. Of course, that didn’t help, since she didn’t know how dryads might be different from other faeries.
But she was different, Corrie realized. When they had gone into the woods to rescue Annie, the faeries there had tried to capture them. In fact, probably the only reason they hadn’t was Dawn’s Sight. And Dawn had said that the one in charge had threatened her, only being prevented from hurting her by the rule the faeries apparently had against harming the students—which, of course, wasn’t followed by all the faeries. But Leila hadn’t threatened anyone. She didn’t need to threaten Edie, of course, but much as she seemed to look down on Corrie, Dawn, and the others, she hadn’t tried to hurt them.
Corrie didn’t like it, but the more she thought it through, the more she realized that Leila wasn’t a threat—or at least not an immediate one. If she wanted to hurt Edie, she could have easily done it many times over by now. There was no way Corrie would trust her, but maybe they didn’t have to be quite so vigilant.
Corrie smiled, climbed down from her bed, and walked over to Edie’s computer. She wrote a note, leaving it open on the desktop where Edie would be sure to see it when she returned. Then she went back to her own computer and really tried to concentrate on states’ rights and the Civil War.