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Chatoyant College

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.”

Chapter 25: Quiet Morning

Sunday, October 5

Dawn woke up feeling, thankfully, refreshed. And it wasn’t too late, either—which was good, since she’d forgotten to set her alarm and she didn’t know when her parents might call wanting to get together with her again. It was eight o’clock in the morning; she’d gotten a solid eight and a half hours of sleep. Naomi, of course, was still sleeping.

Chapter 24: Long Day

Dawn went into her room—which was unlocked, so Naomi must be there—and sat down on her bed with a sigh. Naomi looked over at her from her desk. “Long day?”

Dawn nodded tiredly. Now that the excitement was over (or she hoped it was, at least), she found she had very little energy. “Even longer than usual. My parents wanted me up at the crack of dawn to go out to breakfast with them.”

“Well, they named you Dawn, I guess they wanted to see you then,” Naomi said with a grin.

Dawn just rolled her eyes and changed the subject. “What about you? Have a good time with your dad?”

Chapter 23: Calm Down

When they were safely away from the man who said he was Corrie’s father—nearly to Gilkey, in fact—Dawn tugged her arm gently, still in Corrie’s grasp. “Corrie,” she said softly, “you’re hurting me.”

Corrie abruptly dropped the arm as though it had burnt her. “Sorry.” She wasn’t looking at Dawn.

Chapter 22: Disbelief

“Just because you know her doesn’t prove anything,” Corrie retorted, feeling like she was ceaselessly pushing against an immovable barrier. “You might have dated her or something. But that doesn’t mean you had to be my father.”

“Knowing the moon doesn’t convince you?”

It was a step in that direction, but she wasn’t about to admit that. “I grew up learning it. I know what I’m doing.”

“You know the difference between a full moon and a gibbous moon, even when it’s very close.”

Chapter 21: Not Human

“Your eyes,” Corrie said. “There’s something about your eyes.” It had been nagging at her, and at least she could say something now. Was that what he wanted her to notice?

“Ah,” he said. “You can’t see them so well in this light. It doesn’t show colors.”
Corrie unfolded her arms so she could look at the photo in her hand. She could see the color of his eyes—not clearly, but well enough. “Your eyes are brown.” Like hers. She shook off the thought. Her mom had brown eyes, too.

“No, I was wearing brown contacts that day. I usually do, when I’m spending time with humans.”

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