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Chatoyant College

Chapter 35: Gareth and Wendy

After skimming through four different yearbooks, Corrie stretched back in the beanbag chair, her back cracking slightly. Her eyes were tired, and so were her hands, from flipping the dry pages. “I need a break.” She jumped up. “I’ll be right back.”

“Don’t get lost,” Naomi said, barely looking up from her book. Dawn just nodded. Corrie closed the door carefully behind her and wandered down the hall.

Chapter 34: With Friends

Corrie unlocked her door and let Dawn and Naomi into her room, then sat down on her bed, staring at the blank wall above Edie’s bed. It was so hard to decide what to do. If Leila was a faerie, Edie could be in danger right now. But if she wasn’t and they said something, Edie and Leila would both probably get mad. And there was no way to prove or disprove it. None of them had seen anything.

Chapter 33: Familiar

Unfortunately, as it turned out, Corrie brought Byron along to have lunch with them. Dawn didn’t have anything against Byron… but she was pretty sure Corrie hadn’t told him about the faeries, unless she’d done so today, and she didn’t mention anything like that. “Don’t say anything,” she muttered to Naomi as they walked up to the sandwich station, a few feet away from Corrie and Byron.

Naomi nodded. “Of course.” They made their sandwiches.

Chapter 32: That Kind of Imagination

Before they reached their own room, Dawn stopped Naomi. “Let me see if Corrie is in. If she’s here the explanations will go much quicker.” She knocked on the door, but no one answered. She tried the doorknob but, as she expected, it was locked. She felt an anxious twisting in her gut, but there wasn’t time to go looking for Corrie or Edie right now. Naomi was impatient and upset, and she didn’t want to make that worse.

Chapter 31: The Word

Dawn grabbed the piece of paper out of Naomi’s hand, her heart beating hard. It could have been worse, yes… but it could have been better, too. Why had she had to use the word “faerie?”

She tried to calm herself down, though the continuing silence between them wasn’t helping. It was hardly the end of the world. She could trust Naomi for certain. They had shared other secrets. Dawn had just been hoping to keep as many of her friends safe as possible, so she hadn’t told anyone about faeries who didn’t need to know.

Chapter 30: Mixed Feelings

Leila stopped in her tracks, blinked, then smiled widely. Her hair was back up in its usual tight bun, which Edie noted with slight disappointment; she’d thought that Leila looked even more beautiful than usual with her hair down and flowing. “Edith!” Leila exclaimed. She stepped towards her and hugged her, saying, “You know how much I love trees. I was just checking on them. What about you?”

Edie hugged her back, even though she felt self-conscious about it with her family still here. “My friend Zip—she just left—was giving us a tour. She’s part of the Hillel.”

Chapter 29: Hillel

The Hillel group had its meetings (including, as Edie understood it, regular Saturday services) in a small building that it shared with the environmentalist co-op. The co-op was happy enough to keep separate sets of dishes and cooking implements for meat and dairy, and kept out of the kitchen and common room at the prescribed times on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. Zip had said that neither the co-op nor the Hillel would have been able to afford to keep its own building, even with the school’s help, so several years ago they had worked together to get a place.

Chapter 28: Family Matters

“So what are Leah and Jake up to this weekend?” Edie asked, sitting down on the edge of her bed next to her grandmother. “I was surprised when you said you were going to leave both of them at home.” Corrie was off for the morning at least with Byron, and she and her family were sitting around in her room, just spending some time talking.

“Jacob has a soccer game this weekend,” her dad said from his seat on top of the trunk where Edie kept her yarn. “He tried to get us to stay home for it, but you know, he has a game just about every other weekend.”

Chapter 27: A Discovery

They spent the next couple of hours with Naomi and her family. They did get to see Naomi’s sculpture—which didn’t look like much to Dawn, but Naomi and Pru both assured her it was shaping up to something—and eventually had some lunch. Dawn was happy to meet some of Naomi’s family, but she did have to admit to herself after a while that the stepmother was just as annoying as Naomi had said she was. She talked incessantly in a slightly-too-loud, nasal voice, and didn’t seem to have much that was good to say.

Chapter 26: Town Tour

Dawn managed to talk her family out of driving to the town. “My friends and I always walk,” she explained, “and the main street is longer than the drive between the campus and the town. Plus, the walk to the parking lot is almost as long as the walk to the town. So unless you guys particularly want to get some exercise or use up some gas, walking makes the most sense.”

Her dad laughed. “Us? Exercise? Unheard of.”

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